September 9, 2020
SEPTEMBER 9, 2020
REDWOOD CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
Redwood City, California
APPROVED MINUTES OF BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING
September 9, 2020
REGULAR BOARD MEETING VIA TELECONFERENCE
- Call to Order
President Lawson called the regular board meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom Teleconference Meeting.
Present at the Regular Board Meeting: President Janet Lawson, Vice-President Alisa MacAvoy; Trustees María Díaz-Slocum, Cecilia I. Márquez, and Dennis McBride, and Superintendent Baker.
*** Trustee Díaz-Slocum joined the board meeting at 7:07pm.
2.2 Pledge of Allegiance
President Lawson welcomed those present. The School Board dispensed with the Pledge of Allegiance.
Others Present During the Regular Board Meeting: Wendy Kelly, Linda Montes, Priscilla Aquino-Dichoso, Don Dias, Will Robertson, Jorge Quintana, Antonio Pérez, Kyle Brumbaugh, Antonio Pérez, Patricia Ortiz, Patricia Pelino, Andrea Garen, Martin Cervantes, Itzel Ramírez, Gonzálo Cordova, and many others.
- Changes to the Agenda
Trustee McBride requested to move Bond Program Action Item 8.1 to Bond Program Consent Items.
- Approval of Agenda
The board approved the agenda as amended, (McBride, MacAvoy; 4-0).
- Oral Communication
Maria Stockton, CSEA President, addressed the School Board and Superintendent Baker last week with a few concerns regarding safety equipment for staff. Subsequent to her comment to the School Board, the Human Resources Department and Facilities’ Department took care of her concerns. Ms. Stockton thanked the School Board, Superintendent Baker, and administration for their attention to safety and collaboration.
- Community/Staff Recognition
- The Sobrato Organization Report
Peter Tsai, Vice President of Real Estate and Sierra Sousa, Development Associate from The Sobrato Organization provided the School Board and Superintendent Baker with a presentation on a joint project between the Redwood City School District and The Sobrato Organization, which explored the idea of creating a mixed-use development located at 750 Bradford Street and 603 Jefferson Avenue. Mr. Tsai commented that this project would create approximately 68 workforce housing units for the Redwood City School District staff and faculty, as well as an adjacent 170,000 square foot office building along Bradford Street, on properties currently by The Sobrato Organization and the Redwood City School District.
The School Board and Superintendent Baker thanked Peter Tsai and Sierra Sousa for the presentation and great collaboration with the Redwood City School District.
- Bond Program Consent Items (Action Required)
The board approved the Bond Program Consent Items (Díaz-Slocum/Márquez; 5-0), taking the following action:
7.1 Recommendation re: Approval of $200,000 Movement from Program Contingency to Energy and Security Project
7.2 Recommendation re: Approval of Encroachment Permit Fee for Taft School with the City of Redwood City
7.3 Recommendation re: Approval of Generator Rental and Purchase Proposal for Orion Alternative School (Formerly John Gill School) with Peterson Power
7.4 Recommendation re: Approval of California Environmental Air Quality (CEQA) Construction Oversight Proposal and Change Order #1 for Orion Alternative School (Formerly John Gill School) with SCS Engineers
7.5 Recommendation re: Approval of Final Plan and Field Review Invoice for Kennedy Middle School Administration and Parking Lot Project with the Division of the State Architect (DSA)
8.1 Recommendation re: Approval of Covid-19 Safety Compliance Officer (SCO) August Proposal and New Agreement for Active Construction Sites with The Safety Guys
President Lawson (Ayes)
Vice-President MacAvoy (Ayes)
Trustee Díaz-Slocum (Ayes)
Trustee Márquez (Ayes)
Trustee McBride (Ayes)
8. Bond Program Action Items (Action Required) None.
9. Discussion Items
9.1 Discussion on Covid-19
Superintendent Baker, Assistant Superintendent Liz Wolfe, and Assistant Superintendent Wendy Kelly provided the School Board with an overview of the professional development that has taken place in order to enhance distance learning, an update on the distribution of technology and meals, and an update on the safety protocols in reference to cleaning and disinfecting of sites.
Michelle Territo, RCSD teacher, addressed the School Board and Superintendent Baker by expressing that she knew distance learning would be the best option for students and staff and also knew it would come with its challenges; however, Ms. Territo expressed concern about the long days of work, which are comprised of planning, meetings, and distance learning. Ms. Territo urged the School Board and Superintendent Baker to work with teachers about the long work hours, which have extended to the weekend. Ms. Territo mentioned that the amount of work is becoming unhealthy for both teachers and students.
Christina Granato, RCSD teacher, commented that her workload has increased substantially and has had to work through the weekends. Ms. Granato urged the School Board and Superintendent Baker to provide support to all teachers.
Vanessa Sánchez, RCSD teacher, expressed that she is very proud of her students and their families. Ms. Sánchez reiterated that inspiration alone has not been enough to get through lesson planning. Ms. Sánchez commented that she has worked through hours of unpaid work. Ms. Sánchez stated that administration has been trying to help, but the response is that the tasks could be completed on Wednesdays. Ms. Sánchez commented that she is addressed the School Board and Superintendent Baker in hopes of receiving guidance because she feels that the aforementioned requirements are not sustainable.
Rita Melton, RCSD teacher, said she deeply appreciates working from home, as it is a lot safer. Ms. Melton commented that administration at Adelante/Selby has been working great with teachers. Ms. Melton stated that she became a teacher to help students learn and grow. Ms. Melton reiterated that creating lesson plans is taking her a long time to complete. Ms. Melton urged the School Board and Superintendent Baker to provide support to all teachers.
Michele Ban, RCSD teacher, commented that she appreciates that the School District is following directives from the County and State. Ms. Ban expressed that she has been voluntarily working on weekends and late hours because working from 8:30 to 3:00pm is not enough. Ms. Ban urged the School Board and Superintendent Baker to provide support to all teachers.
Sharon Tsuchiyama, RCSD teacher, thanked the School Board and Superintendent Baker. Ms. Tsuchiyama expressed appreciation for the distance learning plan and commented that her lesson plans are taking 4 hours more to complete. Ms. Tsuchiyama said she is happy to work additional hours; however, she is now working 7 days a week. Ms. Tsuchiyama requested flexibility to use her office hours differently in order to assistant student and families more efficiently.
Meaghan Blackburn, RCSD teacher, commented that her passion for teaching has always been to seek the best for students. Ms. Blackburn expressed that staring at computer screens for hours is not healthy for the students. Ms. Blackburn further commented that students feel rushed and they have unanswered questions. Ms. Blackburn stated that while she is doing what is best for her students, she cannot be the teacher they deserve due to the long hours she is teaching live. Ms. Blackburn stated that she finds herself in the verge of tears. Ms. Blackburn urged the School Board and Superintendent Baker to provide support to all teachers.
Heather Irani, RCSD teacher, addressed the School Bord and Superintendent Baker by commenting that teachers are working a ridiculous amount of hours. Ms. Irani urged the School Board and Superintendent Baker to provide support to all teachers.
Chelsea Williams, RCSD teacher, commented that she teaches 3 different math curriculums. Ms. Williams expressed that on Wednesdays she’s expected to plan, modify lessons for special education students, and update Google Classrooms, amongst other job duties. Ms. Williams reiterated that lessons usually take 4-5 times more than being in the classrooms. Ms. Williams expressed that she loves her job and her students; however, working long hours is not sustainable.
Sandie Hoover, RCSD teacher, commented that at week 4 of distance learning, she has started the school year with a great group of students and a new level of stress and anxiety. Ms. Hoover added that her level of work has doubled. Ms. Hoover urged the School Board and Superintendent Baker to provide support to all teachers.
Kristy Herrera, RCSD teacher, commented that at week 4 of distance learning, she is already feeling burnt out. Ms. Herrera expressed that she has been working a minimum of 12 hours a day. Ms. Herrera stated that the Technology Department is understaffed, and they are unable to assist teachers with all of their technology issues. Ms. Herrera expressed concern about her mental and physical state.
Stefanie Pappalardo, RCSD teacher, commented that students feel overwhelmed and stressed with the amount of work that has been assigned to them. Ms. Pappalardo urged the School Board and Superintendent Baker to provide support to all students and teachers.
Erinn Washburn, RCTA President, commented that teachers have been working more than their contracted hours. Mx. Washburn reiterated that teachers need breaks in between lessons. Mx. Washburn requested from the School Board and administration that they take teachers seriously when they express, they are getting burnt out.
Angie Teupel, RCSD teacher, addressed the School Board and Superintendent Baker by advocating for her colleagues. Ms. Teupel urged the School Board and Superintendent Baker to provide support to teachers during distance learning.
Katherine Rivera, Principal at Orion Alternative, commented that this year is definitely the hardest year she has experienced at the Redwood City School District. Ms. Rivera expressed that teachers are amazing! Ms. Rivera acknowledged the amazing parent community as well. Ms. Rivera is proud to see how the community is coming together.
Mohammed Tabrizi, thanked the Redwood City School District faculty and school staff for their heroic approach to distance learning. Mr. Tabrizi added that the hard work has been hampered by the School District’s poor use of technology. At a board meeting the community asked to go back to Zoom, rather than Google Meet. Mr. Tabrizi urged the School Board and Superintendent Baker to use Zoom rather than Google Meet.
Tia Knuedler, RCSD instructional assistant, urged the School Board and Superintendent Baker to listen to the teachers’ concerns.
María Elena Gaona, RCSD teacher, commented that she has spent a lot more hours working. Ms. Gaona stated that often times she has had to personally reach out to families to help them with technology. Ms. Gaona commented that she spends a lot of time also preparing for IEPs. Ms. Gaona urged the School Board and Superintendent Baker to provide support to teachers during distance learning.
Shannon Cody, RCSD teacher, commented that she loves her community, her school, her students and her colleagues. Ms. Cody expressed that the administration has been well organized, and the School District has been incredibly hard working. Ms. Cody stated that she loves being a teacher and at times it is hard! Ms. Cody added that distance learning is so much more than what anyone imagined it to be. Ms. Cody expressed that everyone wants the same thing, everyone wants it to work for the kids. RCSD leaders, families, and students are all working together. “We will make this work together because we have to.”
Superintendent Baker commented that teachers that have known him for years, know they can come to him or other of his colleagues with any comments, concerns and/or questions. Superintendent Baker encouraged teachers to reach out to him in case they need to discuss any concerns.
School Board members thanked all the teachers for sharing their concerns. The School Board members assured teachers they would work collaboratively with administration and RCTA to provide support to them.
10.2 Discussion on Board Meeting Calendar, School Assignments and School Committee Assignments for Board Members for the 2020-21 School Year
There were no changes made to the Board Meeting Calendar and School Assignments for School Board Members. The School Board added the Workforce Housing Committee and the Stanford University/RCSD Committee to the School Board Committee Assignments.
- Consent Items
The board approved the Consent Items (Díaz-Slocum/MacAvoy; 5-0), taking the following action:
10.1 Recommendation re: Acceptance of Donations
10.2 Recommendation re: Approval of Additional Vendors to be Included with Non-Public School (“NPS”)/Non-Public Agency (“NPA”) Master Contract
10.3 Recommendation re: Approval of Agreement between Redwood City School District and Peninsula Community Center (PCC) for Fiscal Year 2020-21 (PE+ Program)
10.4 Recommendation re: Approval of Agreement between Redwood City School District and Sequoia Healthcare District (Healthy Schools Initiative Grant)
10.5 Recommendation re: Approval of Agreement between Redwood City School District and One Life Counseling (Increased Counseling Services)
10.6 Recommendation re: Approval of Agreement between Redwood City School District and San Mateo County Office of Education for Library Services for 2020-21 10.7 Recommendation re: Ratification of Warrant Register, August 1, 2020-August 31, 2020
11.1 Recommendation re: Approval of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Redwood City School District and the California School Employees Association
11.2 Recommendation re: Approval of Variable Term Waiver Request
11.3 Recommendation re: Approval of Personnel Changes for 2020-21
11. Action Items (Action Required)
Per Trustee McBride, all Action Items were moved to Consent.
- Board and Superintendent Reports
12.1 Report from Board Members and Superintendent
Vice-President MacAvoy reported attending the virtual RWC2020 retreat, together with Superintendent Baker and Board President Lawson.
Trustee Díaz-Slocum reported talking to many families to assist them to resolve issues they are having with distance learning. She has also been working with Dr. Baker to get updated information for services available to our families from the public libraries.
Trustee Márquez did not have a report.
Trustee McBride acknowledged Board President Lawson for having a birthday earlier in the week. Trustee McBride reported attending a virtual Bond Program meeting.
President Lawson reported attending the RWC2020 retreat, in addition to the San Mateo County Chamber of Commerce Education Committee and a Bond Program meeting. President Lawson also reported attending a Policy Committee meeting with Assistant Superintendent Linda Montes and Vice-President MacAvoy.
Superintendent Baker commented that he participated in many of the same meetings as board members.
- Information on San Mateo County Investment Fund – July 2020
There were no comments or questions from the School Board or Superintendent Baker.
Trustee Díaz-Slocum reported receiving emails from an Adelante/Selby teacher.
Vice-President MacAvoy reported receiving correspondence thanking the School Board for their leadership with the distance learning plan.
- Other Business/Suggested Items for Future Agenda
Trustee Márquez requested to agendize at a future board meeting an information item on the process and equity for School of Choice.
- Board Agenda Calendar
- Changes to the Board Agenda Schedule
Superintendent Baker reported that there would be a Special Session meeting on September 30th at 6:00pm.
- Adjournment (Action Required)
Trustee McBride requested to adjourn the board meeting in memory of Lisa Bamberger, teacher at Roosevelt School.
The board adjourned the meeting at 10:31 p.m. (Díaz-Slocum/McBride; 5-0).
María Díaz-Slocum, Clerk