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October 24, 2018

OCTOBER 24, 2018


Redwood City, California


October 24, 2018

  1. Call to Order

Vice-President McBride called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. at the District Office, Redwood City School District (“RCSD”), 750 Bradford Street, Redwood City.

Present at the meeting: Vice-President McBride, Trustees Janet Lawson, Alisa MacAvoy, Hilary Paulson, and Superintendent Baker.

Others Present: Linda Montes, Wendy Kelly, Antonio Pérez, Leslie Stafford, Sarah LaTorra, Jennifer Urskin, Bob Faulkner, Susan McCaffee, Bryan Kagle, Kristin Hogan, Stefanie Fermenni, Lisa Gianangiali, Alex Scherning.

Absent: Trustee María Díaz-Slocum

  1. Welcome

2.1 Vice-President McBride welcomed those present. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

2.2 Pledge of Allegiance

  1. Changes to the Agenda

No changes to the agenda.

  1. Approval of Agenda

The board approved the agenda as submitted, (MacAvoy, Paulson; 4-0).

  1. Oral Communication

Sarah La Torra, parent at Clifford School, addressed the School Board by stating that she had reviewed the data presented about Clifford School and commented that the data is not an accurate representation of where Clifford School currently stands academically. Ms. La Torra also expressed that Principal Crane’s leadership has been remarkable and has worked tremendously to improve literacy skills. Ms. La Torra commented that the idea of closing Clifford School is ludicrous and urged the School Board and Superintendent Baker to reconsider keeping Clifford open.

Jennifer Urskin, Clifford PTO and parent, commented that Clifford School has plenty of space to grow and thrive. Ms. Urskin expressed that Clifford School has additional classrooms and has a community that is welcoming of new students. Ms. Urskin further added that if the School Board and administration moves forward with the closure of Clifford School, spending money on solar panels would have been a waste of financial resources to the School District. Ms. Urskin stated that she lives in the border of Redwood City and San Carlos and sending her son to a different school site, would not allow him to walk to school. Ms. Urskin added that closing Clifford School would force many families to go to other schools and districts, thus, resulting in loss of revenue for the School District.

Bob Faulkner, retired teacher at Clifford School, commented that Clifford School is one of the only schools that offers physical education every day. Mr. Faulkner added that students love to be outdoors and that about 74% of the student population is enrolled in after school sports. Mr. Faulkner reiterated the importance of P.E. and sports at school. Mr. Faulkner expressed that he hoped the School Board and administration choose not to close Clifford School.

Susan McCaffee, co-owner of Neighborhood Kids’ Corner, commented that she did not hear any comments pertaining to childcare. Ms. McCaffee stated that Neighborhood Kids’ Corner has over 183 full-time spots of childcare and 93 of those spots are taken by Clifford students. Ms. McCaffee further expressed that it would be alarming to lose Clifford students, in such case Clifford were to close.

Bryan Kagle, P.E. teacher at North Star School, commented that having P.E. available at schools provides teachers with a preparation period, it minimizes discipline and behavior issues and it also provides direction and purpose. Mr. Kagle reiterated that all schools should have at least one physical education teacher.

Kristin Hogan, parent at Clifford and North Star Academy, commented that in order to save Clifford School, Ms. Hogan proposed to merge it with John Gill School in order to have more student population at Clifford School. Ms. Hogan stated that no one wants to go to John Gill School.

Stefanie Fermenni, parent at Clifford School, commented that after a turnover of four principals, Clifford School finally had a principal and vice-principal that were making a positive change for the school in terms of its academics and mental health. Ms. Fermenni stated that Clifford School also has a very active PTO and that there are amazing things happening at the school. Ms. Fermenni stated that Clifford School welcomes other families to its community and urged the School Board and Superintendent Baker to reconsider closing Clifford School.

Lisa Gianangiali, parent at Clifford School, stated the value of a K-8 education program. Ms. Gianangiali expressed that students that receive a K-8 education in one school are better prepared academically and socially. Ms. Gianangiali added that if the School Board and administration decide to close Clifford, they would see a decrease in enrollment. Ms. Gianangiali recommended that Orion or John Gill move to Clifford School.

Alex Scherning, graduate and parent from Clifford School, addressed the School Board by expressing that the School District was facing very challenging times.

  1. School/Community Reports

6.1 2018 CAASPP Report

Director of Assessments and Student Services Antonio Pérez provided Superintendent Baker and the School Board with a presentation on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) results. Mr. Pérez commented that a total of 5,191 RCSD students in ELA and 5,042 students in math in grades 3-8 participated in the 2018 CAASPP assessment, which was given to students in April through May of 2018. The only students exempt from taking the assessment were English Learners enrolled in a school in the U.S. for less than 12 months.

Furthermore, Superintendent Baker commented that the Redwood City School District is not where it needs to be, but reiterated that administrators are working closely with teachers and principals to move things in the right direction.

Trustee MacAvoy expressed that there is a lot of work that needs to be done; however, students are progressing at a faster rate. Trustee MacAvoy thanked Mr. Pérez for the information he presented and requested that at a later time, he present the data by school.

All School Board members thanked Mr. Pérez for his work and presentation.

6.2 Climate Survey Board Report

Director of Health and Wellness, Andrea Garen provided the School Board with a presentation on the results of the climate survey over time. Ms. Garen highlighted that in 2017-2018, there was a significant decline in parent and staff participation, compared to previous years.

Ms. Garen stated that she believes there was a decline in parent participation due to the survey being provided during a busy schedule and that the survey was too long. We will look to shorten the survey for next year.

Furthermore, Ms. Garen reviewed a few significant results from the survey, which included that 73% of families prioritize maintaining mental health services; 46% (3-5th graders) and 32% (6-8 th graders) reported that the behavior of their peers hurts their learning; younger students feel more positive about school climate; and differences in sense of safety based on language spoken at home.

Trustee Lawson thanked Ms. Garen for the presentation.

Trustee MacAvoy thanked Ms. Garen and commented that she loves the climate survey, as it reveals a lot of information from both parents and students that is important in highlighting areas that should be top priorities for administrators to address.

Trustee McBride thanked Ms. Garen for her presentation.

  1. Consent Items

The board approved the Consent Items (Paulson/MacAvoy; 4-0), taking the following action:

Consent Items (Action Required)

7.1 Recommendation re: Approval of Field Trip Request to Yosemite National Park, Kennedy Middle School (6th grade)

7.2 Recommendation re: Approval of Field Trip Request to Yosemite National Park, Kennedy Middle School (8th grade)

7.3 Recommendation re: Approval of the Agreement between Redwood City 2020 and Redwood City School District

President Díaz-Slocum (Absent)

Vice-President McBride (Ayes)

Trustee Lawson (Ayes)

Trustee MacAvoy (Ayes)

Trustee Paulson (Ayes)


  1. Action Items

8.1 Recommendation re: Adoption of Resolution 12, Resolution of Intent of the Board of Trustees of the Redwood City School District to Establish a Citizens’ Oversight Committee for Measure U Superintendent Baker requested that a Recognition of the Citizens’ Oversight Committee be agendized for a future board meeting.

The School Board adopted Resolution 12, Resolution of intent of the Board of Trustees of the Redwood City School District to establish a Citizen’s Oversight Committee for Measure U (Paulson, MacAvoy; 4-0).

President Díaz-Slocum (Absent)

Vice-President McBride (Ayes)

Trustee Lawson (Ayes)

Trustee MacAvoy (Ayes)

Trustee Paulson (Ayes)

8.2 Recommendation re: Approval of Citizen’s Oversight Committee for Measure U

The School Board approved the Citizen’s Oversight Committee for Measure U (Paulson, Lawson; 4-0).

President Díaz-Slocum (Absent)

Vice-President McBride (Ayes)

Trustee Lawson (Ayes)

Trustee MacAvoy (Ayes)

Trustee Paulson (Ayes)

  1. Board and Superintendent Reports

9.1 Report from Board Members and Superintendent

Trustee Paulson reported that she and Trustee MacAvoy attended a breakfast meeting with Silicon Valley Foundation. Trustee Paulson reported attending the Health Fair at Hoover Community School. Furthermore, Trustee Paulson reported meeting with Ms. Gil from Rocketship and discussed test score results.

Trustee MacAvoy reported attending Superintendent of Schools Anne Campbell’s retirement celebration and commented it had been a lovely celebration. Trustee MacAvoy also reported attending the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Committee meeting with Trustee Lawson, Dr. Montes and Superintendent Baker. Furthermore, Trustee MacAvoy attended President of Cañada College Jamillah Moore’s inaugural breakfast fundraiser.

Trustee Lawson reported meeting with Trustee MacAvoy, Dr. Linda Montes, and Superintendent Baker about the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Committee about Board policies. Trustee Lawson stated that Dr. Montes has done a great job cleaning up the board policies about LGBTQ. Trustee Lawson added that she met with the BTSA Par Leadership Team.

Vice-President McBride reported attending Anne Campbell’s retirement party. Vice-President McBride also reported attending the Health Fair at Hoover Community School for backpack distribution.

Superintendent Baker reported meeting with Redwood City Police Department officers, together with Director of Communications Jorge Quintana, Director of Bond Program Don Dias, and Director of Facilities Martín Cervantes to discuss and plan for the November 1st Board meeting. Superintendent Baker further commented that the School Board would conduct their board meeting on November 1st at the Hoover Multi Purpose Room in the morning and in the evening at Kennedy Middle School. Superintendent Baker commented that he is still working on confirming venues for the November 14th and November 28th board meetings.

  1. Information

10.1 Quarterly Williams Report, (July 1, 2018 through September 30, 2018)

There were no comments/questions from Superintendent Baker and School Board members.

  1. Correspondence

School Board members did not report receiving correspondence.

  1. Other Business/Suggested Items for Future Agenda

No items were listed for other business and/or suggested items for future agendas.

  1. Board Agenda Calendar

13.1 Changes to the Board Agenda Schedule

Superintendent Baker commented that Mr. Jim Lianides would present on RCSD’s budget.

  1. Adjournment (Action Required)

The board adjourned the meeting at 9:10 p.m. (Lawson/Paulson; 4-0).

Alisa MacAvoy, Clerk