November 28, 2018
NOVEMBER 28, 2018
REDWOOD CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
Redwood City, California
APPROVED MINUTES OF BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING
November 28, 2018
- Call to Order
President Díaz-Slocum called the closed session meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. at the Sequoia High School, 1201 Brewster Avenue, Redwood City.
Present at the closed session meeting: President María Díaz-Slocum, Vice-President Dennis McBride, Trustees Janet Lawson, Alisa MacAvoy, Hilary Paulson, Superintendent Baker, Wendy Kelly and County Counsel Claire Cunningham.
- Oral Communication
- Closed Session
3.1 Public Employee Discipline/Dismissal/Release/Retention: Gov. Code 54957 (1 case)
- Reconvene to Regular Session at Approximately 7:09pm
4.1 Roll Call
Present at the meeting: President María Díaz-Slocum, Vice-President Dennis McBride, Trustees Janet Lawson, Alisa MacAvoy, Hilary Paulson, and Superintendent Baker.
Others Present: Linda Montes, Wendy Kelly, Antonio Pérez, Leslie Stafford, María Arreola, Francis Cuevas, Teresa Orocio, Milagros Damian, Paula Sánchez, Emilia Sánchez, Ariana Ledezma, Vianey Hernández, Nasario Cisneros, Noelia Armente, Elizabeth Flores, Berenice Zamora, Magali Márquez, Rosalba Rodríguez, Lorena Jacobo, María Herrera, Cristina Sillas, Alma Rubio, Leslie Nangaray, Beatriz López, Sara Ramírez, Mariela Morales, Luis Gochez, Elena Valencia, Ana López, Lupita Reyes, Gloria Rangel, Adriana Rodríguez, Elia Jaimes, Elva González, María Soto, Obdulia Torres, Osiris Aguilera, Tomasa Torres, María Vega, Yadira Sainz, María Apolinar, Juana García, Susan Forker, Yuribia Obeso, Teresita Carlos, Ángel Velazco, Laura García, Norma Gómez, Elena Valencia, Daniela Gochez, Stacey Ciraulo, Araceli Mora, Galilea García, Amy Torres, Sebastian Chávez, Allison Juárez, Magali Juárez, Maria Elena Gaona Mendoza, Jasmin Galdamez, Magdalena Dovywalska, Yaneth Gochez, Bryan Gochez, Jocelyn Ávalos, Andrea Chocano, Gloria Rangel, Tony Quintero, Kevin Sugar, Michelle Smith, Jim Smith, Ramiro Ramírez, Rosa López, Jennifer Bestor, Daniel Casillas, Paul Barboza, Andrea Bugarini, Maribel Aguilar, Erika Arrizón Esquivel, and many others that did not sign in.
4.2 Report Out on Closed Session from 11.28.19
President Díaz-Slocum commented that the School Board accepted the recommendation presented by administration.
5.2 Pledge of Allegiance
President Díaz-Slocum welcomed those present. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
- Changes to the Agenda
No changes were made to the agenda.
- Approval of Agenda
The board approved the agenda as submitted, (Lawson, MacAvoy; 5-0).
- Oral Communication
- Action Items
9.1 Approval of Superintendent’s Final Formal Recommendations: Planning for Our Future Community Engagement Process
Superintendent Baker began his presentation by thanking everyone involved in the Planning for the Future Committee. Superintendent Baker commented that it has been a challenging year, thus far. Furthermore, Superintendent Baker thanked everyone that attended the board meetings and for the input. Superintendent Baker commented that his presentation was based on the consolidation of more than 500 pages of comments from parents, staff, and members of the community, in addition to comments and ideas from members of Superintendent Baker’s cabinet. Superintendent Baker stated that using the information provided by each School Board member, along with comments from parents and the community, and the Superintendent’s Advisory Committee, the following recommendations were made to bring forth to the School Board for a final vote:
· Recommendation 1: Close 4-6 campuses;
· Recommendation 1A: Move Orion Alternative School to John Gill School campus;
· Recommendation 1B: Merge the two Spanish Immersion programs from Adelante Spanish Immersion School and Selby Lane School at Selby Lane School site and create a Spanish Immersion PreK and TK classes for a districtwide PreK-5 Spanish Immersion campus;
· Recommendation 1C: Merge Fair Oaks and Taft on the Taft School site;
· Recommendation 1D: Expand the Roosevelt School Attendance Zone and the Henry Ford Attendance Zone to Include all or Parts of the Hawes Elementary School Attendance Zone;
· Recommendation 1E: Close the District Office and rent out the building;
· Recommendation 2: Staffing Reductions;
· Recommendation 3: Seek Outside Funding to Operate Summer School;
· Recommendation 4: All incoming and current students at schools merging will have priority in the Schools of Choice lottery;
· Recommendation 5: Survey the community to guide the decision on whether to form a committee to review K-8 versus K-5 and 6-8 grade configuration model;
· Recommendation 6: Form a committee of parents and staff from throughout the district to study solutions to areas of concern at North Star Academy.
Susan Forker, kindergarten teacher at Adelante Spanish Immersion School, thanked the School Board and Superintendent Baker for all their hard work during the Planning for the Future process. Ms. Forker commented that closing and merging schools seems logic to some, but to others, it is a hardship. Ms. Forker recommended that the School Board and Superintendent Baker recommended to move Adelante Spanish Immersion School to Kennedy Middle School in order to avoid a large geographic impact.
Yuribia Obeso, parent at Hawes Community School, requested that the School Board postpone their vote. Ms. Obeso commented that the Hawes community was willing to march to demonstrate their disagreement with the decisions made. Ms. Obeso requested that the School Board and Superintendent Baker sit and discuss the Hawes proposal with the Hawes community.
Teresita Carlos, parent at Hawes Community School, addressed the School Board by stating that the only families affected by the consolidation of schools were the socioeconomically disadvantaged families. Ms. Carlos added that many families that attend the schools affected do not have a source of transportation. Ms. Carlos urged the School Board to reconsider their decision of closing Hawes Community School.
Ángel Velasco, student (unknown school site), addressed the School Board by stating that there are numerous issues with the floors at Roosevelt School and it could be hazardous. Ángel encouraged the School Board and Superintendent Baker to reconsider their decision to close Hawes Community School.
Julietta Efigenio, teacher at Hawes Community School, stated that she does not agree with the closure of Hawes Community School. Ms. Efigenio expressed that many families from Hawes Community School do not have a method of transportation and revert to walking their children to school. Ms. Efigenio added that the closure of Hawes Community School could result in families moving their children to a charter school.
Laura García, parent at Selby Lane School, expressed her dissatisfaction with the process of school consolidations. Ms. García added that the proposals shared throughout Superintendent Baker’s presentation only seemed to affect the schools on the Bayside. Ms. García requested that the School Board and Superintendent Baker consider consolidating Adelante Spanish Immersion School with Kennedy Middle School in order to allow the Spanish Immersion Program to continue at Selby Lane School.
Norma Gómez, School Site Council President at Selby Lane School, commented that all 16 schools should be part of the solution, not just the socioeconomically disadvantaged schools. Ms. Gómez recommended that Adelante Spanish Immersion School be moved to Kennedy Middle School and encouraged the School Board and Superintendent Baker to consider transportation services.
Elena Valencia, parent at Fair Oaks School, addressed the School Board by stating that it is unfair that the community needs to continue fighting for their schools. Ms. Valencia reiterated that if Fair Oaks School closes, it would open the door for charter schools to come in. Ms. Valencia expressed that she feels disappointed because she felt like Fair Oaks parents did everything they needed to do to keep their school open. Ms. Valencia asked the School Board and Superintendent Baker to keep Fair Oaks School open.
Luis Gochez, RCSD parent, expressed that the consolidation of schools process would affect over 1,900 students. Mr. Gochez stated that he understood that there is a financial crisis that needs to be resolved sooner than later and requested that the School Board and Superintendent Baker work collaboratively with the communities of the schools affected by the consolidation.
Daniela Gochez, student at Fair Oaks School, expressed her desire in being an advocate for her school and encourage the School Board to keep Fair Oaks School open.
Stacey Ciraulo, chose not to speak.
Araceli Mora, did not speak due to leaving the meeting.
Galilea García, 2nd grade student at Taft Community School, expressed she did not want her school to close because she would not be able to see her friends again.
Rosalba Rodríguez, parent at Taft Community School, thanked the School Board and Superintendent Baker for listening to the community. Ms. Rodríguez expressed understanding that the consolidation of schools has not been an easy task for the School Board and Superintendent Baker and commented that she and other parents are thrilled to welcome Fair Oaks to their school.
Amy Torres, 8th grade student at Selby Lane School, commented that she loves her school the way it is. Amy expressed that she loves working with other students because it makes it feel like it is one great community. Amy stated that she and her siblings love attending Selby Lane School.
Sebastian Chávez, did not speak due to leaving the meeting. María Soto, parent at Fair Oaks School, stated that the consolidation of schools was an insensitive process that would affect socioeconomically disadvantaged families.
Allison and Magali Juárez, mother and student at Selby Lane School, commented that they love their school and want to have an opportunity to continue attending Selby Lane. Ms. Juárez commented that she is a single mother that works two jobs and sending her daughters to a different school would be a great hardship to her family. Ms. Juárez urged the School Board to reconsider the consolidation of schools process.
Marielena Gaona Mendoza, member of the community, commented that Ravenswood City School District has gone through a similar situation as the Redwood City School District. Ms. Gaona Mendoza commented that the Redwood City School District should reconsider the consolidation of schools and personnel cuts.
Jasmin Galdamez, parent at Hawes Community School, commented that she and the rest of the Hawes Community School are willing to protest as many times as they need to in order for the School Board and Superintendent Baker to understand how the consolidation of schools affects families. Ms. Galdamez commented that she knows there are other options available that would not affect families as much.
Magdalena Dovywalska, parent at Adelante Spanish Immersion School, addressed the School by requesting that Adelante Spanish Immersion School be moved to the Kennedy Middle School campus.
The School Board recessed at 9:01pm The School Board reconvened at 9:09pm
Yaneth Gochez, did not speak due to leaving the meeting.
Bryan Gochez, did not speak due to leaving the meeting.
Jocelyn Ávalos, student at Selby Lane School, commented that she has had many memories at Selby Lane School. Jocelyn expressed she would like to eventually graduate from Selby Lane School.
Andrea Chocano, student at Selby Lane School, commented that it is hard for her to lose her friends. Andrea would like to stay at Selby Lane School.
Gloria Rangel, parent at Fair Oaks School, addressed the School Board and Superintendent Baker by asking why were cuts not made years ago? Ms. Rangel expressed her resentment towards the School District for putting the Fair Oaks School community under a state of panic and stress. Ms. Rangel pleaded to the School Board and Superintendent Baker to not close Fair Oaks School.
Ana López, donated her 3 minutes of public speaking to Mr. Tony Quintero.
Tony Quintero, community member, stated that the Fair Oaks School community had not had a chance to understand what was going on with the Planning for the Future process. Mr. Quintero expressed that the Fair Oaks School community had not agreed to the closure of Fair Oaks and added that forcing families to consider alternative options due to hardship and transportation challenges seemed unjustifiable. Mr. Quintero recommended the School Board and Superintendent Baker to consider other options other than closing Fair Oaks Community School.
Kevin Sugar, teacher at Hoover Community School and former RCTA President, commented the importance of the community staying together through the challenges. Mr. Sugar commented that changes would make a difference to the School District, nevertheless, losing families to charter schools could be a possibility throughout the process. Mr. Sugar expressed that the teachers stand in solidarity during the challenging times.
Michelle Smith, parent at Adelante Spanish Immersion School, commented about the negative impact the consolidation of schools has created for families in the Bayside. Ms. Smith reiterated the importance of retaining teachers and encouraged the School Board and Superintendent Baker to brainstorm other ideas that would avoid negative impact on socioeconomically disadvantaged families.
Jim Smith, RCSD parent, asked the School Board and Superintendent Baker why Roy Cloud School and Clifford School had not been considered for the consolidation of schools? Mr. Smith commented that the plan to consolidate the Bayside schools was not a planning for the future process and opined that the School District needed a transformation. Mr. Smith expressed his fear of losing families to charter schools.
Ramiro Ramírez, did not speak due to leaving the meeting.
Rosa López, parent at Fair Oaks School, commented that the Fair Oaks community is adamant to not want to move to Taft Community School. Ms. López commented that the community would refuse to move.
Daniel Casillas, former RCSD student, commented that he is upset and saddened by the consolidation of schools. Daniel commented that consolidating schools would create further barriers amongst communities. Daniel expressed fear about the most marginalized communities being affected by the consolidation of schools.
Paul Barbosa, community member, encouraged the School Board to consider a viable solution. Mr. Barbosa asked the School Board and Superintendent Baker to not forget about students who receive special education services, teachers and staff.
Andrea Bugarini, parent at Adelante Spanish Immersion School, commented that she is a single mother of three children and expressed the stress that the consolidation of schools has created for her and her family. Ms. Bugarini stated that she hopes she is provided with options that are beneficial for her family as she is troubled by having to explain to her children that their school is closing.
Erika Arrizón Esquivel, Mental Health Counselor for the North Fair Oaks community and Henry Ford School parent, questioned the School Board and Superintendent Baker about the North Fair Oaks’ students’ mental health. Ms. Arrizón Esquivel expressed that the School District needs to enhance the communication between parents, staff, and the rest of the community.
Vice-President McBride asked Superintendent Baker to explain how physically moving Adelante to Kennedy Middle School would not save money
Superintendent Baker commented that placing Adelante Spanish Immersion students at Kennedy Middle School, it would require additional administration and additional staff.
President Díaz-Slocum asked Superintendent Baker to speak further about transportation options.
In response to President Díaz-Slocum’s question, Superintendent Baker commented that if Fair Oaks School merges with Taft Community School, there would be transportation services offered.
Trustee Paulson commented that Redwood City is changing rapidly. Trustee Paulson clarified that the Redwood City School District is not selling property and commented that she strongly believes that the school age population would increase in years to come. Trustee Paulson expressed that the Redwood City School District decided to move forward with restructuring the School District, based on the advice of a financial consultant. Trustee Paulson further expressed that making decisions on the closure of schools has not been an easy process for School Board members and Superintendent Baker. Trustee Paulson announced that it was her last board meeting, as her term as a School Board member had come to an end.
Trustee MacAvoy commented that she had read all the materials provided to her, as well as the emails received by parents, staff, and members of the community. Trustee MacAvoy apologized to the members of the audience whom might have perceived she had not acknowledged comments during the public comment section of the board meeting. Trustee MacAvoy assured everyone in attendance that the School Board, Superintendent Baker and administration take their jobs seriously and reiterated that she understood it was a hard process for everyone. Trustee MacAvoy reported communicating with local legislators about our financial challenges. She mentioned having conversations with school board members and parents in that other low-funded districts that are facing the same financial challenges as the Redwood City School District. Trustee MacAvoy commented that she hopes the next phase of Planning for the Future would bring the community together.
Trustee Lawson thanked everyone in attendance. Trustee Lawson commented that the School Board, Superintendent Baker and RCSD have listened to testimony from many of those affected and encouraged everyone to learn more about the Redwood City School District budget. Trustee Lawson reassured the audience that the purpose of the School Board is not to hurt anyone in the Planning for the Future process. Trustee Lawson thanked Rosalba Rodríguez, parent at Taft Community School for being welcoming of the Fair Oaks community.
Vice-President McBride expressed the regret of the hardship the consolidation of schools would create in the community and commented that in 15 years, he never imagined having to close down schools.
President Díaz-Slocum thanked everyone for attending the board meeting and commented that it was difficult for the School Board to make these decisions, but necessary President Díaz-Slocum stated that it would take three votes in favor of the formal recommendation from the School Board to move forward with the Planning for the Future process.
Superintendent Baker commented that as the Superintendent, he never imagined having to make such a difficult decision where he grew professionally.
The School Board approved the Superintendent’s final formal recommendations: Planning for Our Future Community Engagement Process (McBride, Lawson; 5-0).
President Díaz-Slocum (Ayes)
Vice-President McBride (Ayes)
Trustee Lawson (Ayes)
Trustee MacAvoy (Ayes)
Trustee Paulson (Ayes)
9.2 Adoption of Resolution 13, Adoption of the Board of Trustees of the Redwood City School District Accepting Superintendent Recommendations from “Planning for our Future” Community Engagement Process and Approving the Consolidation and Relocation of School Programs, Closure of Schools and Facilities and Taking Related Actions in Connection Therewith
The School Board adopted Resolution 13, accepting the Superintendent’s recommendations from “Planning for our Future” community engagement process and approving the consolidation and relocation of school programs, closure of schools and facilities and taking related action in connection therewith (Lawson, MacAvoy; 5-0).
President Díaz-Slocum (Ayes)
Vice-President McBride (Ayes)
Trustee Lawson (Ayes)
Trustee MacAvoy (Ayes)
Trustee Paulson (Ayes)
- Board and Superintendent Reports
10.1 Report from Board Members and Superintendent
The School Board dispensed with the School Board and Superintendent reports due to the meeting ending late.
School Board members reported receiving many emails from parents.
- Other Business/Suggested Items for Future Agenda
- Board Agenda Calendar
14.1 Changes to the Board Agenda Schedule
There were no changes to the board agenda schedule.
- Adjournment (Action Required)
The board adjourned the meeting at 10:53 p.m. (McBride/Paulson; 5-0).
Alisa MacAvoy, Clerk