Skip To Main Content

February 8, 2023


Redwood City, California


February 8, 2023


1.         Call to Order

President Márquez called the Regular Session to order at 7:01 p.m.


1.1       Roll Call

Present at the Regular Board meeting: President Cecilia Márquez, Vice-President Janet Lawson; Trustees Mike Wells, and Alisa MacAvoy; and Superintendent Baker. 


Others present during the Regular Board meeting: Assistant Superintendent Liz Wolfe, Deputy Superintendent Wendy Kelly, CBO Rick Edson, Eliana Garcia, Warren Cedar, Patricia Alcocer, Jose Luna, Gonzalo Cordova, and many others.


1.2       Report out on Closed Session from January 20, 2023

The School Board received information and no decision was made.


2.         Welcome

President Márquez welcomed those present.


3.      Changes to the Agenda

Trustee MacAvoy requested to pull agenda item 9.2 First Reading and Discussion of Board Policy 4154/4254/4354 - Health and Welfare Benefits.


For discussion item 9.1, Trustee MacAvoy and Superintendent Baker also reported that the discussion would not include the Orion SPSA.


Trustee Weekly officially arrived at the meeting.


4.         Approval of the Agenda

The School Board approved the agenda as amended (MacAvoy, Lawson; 5-0).

Trustee Weekly (Ayes)

Trustee MacAvoy (Ayes)

Trustee Wells (Ayes)

Vice-President Lawson (Ayes)

President Márquez (Ayes)


5.         Oral Communication

Superintendent Baker reminded the speakers that they do not have to write their names on the speaker’s cards, but if they would like a response, the School Board suggests including a name and a form of contact to hear back.


The School Board agreed to allow one minute for each speaker.


Peter Cowan thanked the School Board for its service. He expressed his support for the immersion classes. He encourages the district to take advantage of the opportunity to provide Transitional Kinder (TK) for as many immersion students as possible.


Alexis Betts, mother to a kindergarten (KN) student in the Mandarin Immersion program (MI) and a rising TK student, requested that the School Board accommodate everyone who would like to be a part of the Mandarin Immersion program.


Meghan O’Reilly-Green thanked the board for all that they do. She informed the School Board that she has been working with underserved families in the Mandarin Immersion program. She stated that the combination of goals and scores at Orion Alternative and Mandarin Immersion are different, and she believes underserved families are not getting the help they need. She asks that the district consider a different structure to serve both programs.


Kyle Zipes did not respond.


William Denniss expressed his support for the sibling priority for the immersion programs because he would like for both of his kids to attend the same school together.


Dipika Gemini submitted a speaker’s card but her husband spoke on her behalf. He thanked the School Board for the Mandarin Immersion program. He expressed his support for an additional TK class for the Mandarin Immersion Program.


Tina Taratutin-Chung also advocated for the Mandarin Immersion Program. She stated it would be helpful for the community if there were additional classes.


Franny Lee thanked the School Board for hearing the public comments on supporting, continuing, and expanding the Mandarin Immersion program. She expressed that she and her husband believe that bilingual Mandarin education is a necessity for their daughter. She expressed that being bilingual strengthens academic skills and builds adaptiveness and resilience. She feels that the Mandarin Immersion program is very important and supports its expansion.


Jackie Chan, the mother of a KN student in the Mandarin Immersion program, expressed that the admission process for the TK and KN Immersion program has been challenging. She shared the need for two TK Mandarin Immersion classes and three KN Mandarin Immersion classes.


Julia Selezneva expressed being astounded by the academic rigor of the Mandarin Immersion program. She expressed her support for the expansion of the program. Chris Southwick did not respond.


Sheila Chan did not respond.


Alex Ou, the father of a KN student in the Mandarin Immersion (MI) program, spoke out in support of the TK and KN expansion of the MI program.


Angela Kang shared that her son is on the waitlist for the TK MI program. She advocated for additional TK MI classes.


Sam Christiansen stated he is only interested in the MI program, and if it does not work out, he will send his child to a private school instead. He is interested in and supports the expansion of the TK MI program.


Chris Terry expressed her appreciation for the School Board members. She commented she has a problem with the lottery system. She believes it is not fair for all children in the district.


Jasper Chen stated it is his hope that the district will invest in expanding the MI program.


Anna Lee Mraz expressed the MI program has been especially difficult for students of low-income families who cannot afford Mandarin after-school programs that will provide extra support. Despite the teachers' efforts, she feels there isn't enough support from the school district to uphold Mandarin learning for bilingual or trilingual students.


Keith Simmons asked the School Board to consider expanding the sibling priority policy for TK. He also asked for the expansion of two TK classes and 3 KN classes.


Heather Stamper agrees with all of the previous comments. She is in support of expanding the Mandarin Immersion TK and KN classrooms.


Mele Rosiles requested extra funding for more help for students who have more difficulty learning in the Mandarin Immersion program. She also requested that there be additional TK classes. She mentioned there is no resource teacher for the Mandarin Immersion program.


Richard Pon shared with the School Board how his daughter loves the MI program. It is his hope that the program is expanded so other families that want to experience the program can have that option.


Mika Banera did not respond.


Ann Lao expressed her support for the expansion of the TK MI program.


Sara Rutherford-Quach, a parent of two MI students, spoke to the School Board and requested consistency in the sibling priority policy across all grade levels.


Tiffany Chao Bebb also expressed her support for the expansion of the MI program.


Shong Yin commented there is a lot of interest in the Mandarin Immersion program, and he inquired if there is anything the parents could do on their behalf to further support the expansion of the program.


Julia Feng thanked the School Board for all they do for the school district. She also expressed her support for the expansion of the MI program.


Sanket Doshi thanked the School Board for their service. He commented his child is currently on the waitlist for the TK MI program. He requests that another class is added to the TK program for his daughter to have the opportunity to join.


Philip Ngai thanked the School Board for creating such a great program. He asks that the program be expanded. He would also like to know if the community can do anything more to make it happen.


Omalis Villanueva requested support for Latino families that are part of the program. She mentioned as a Latina parent, she is unable to provide the needed support for her children. She requests that the School Board eliminate barriers to provide tutoring services at the school so their children can achieve academic success.


Iliana Harrysson also expressed her support for the expansion of the Mandarin Immersion program.


Superintendent Baker commented with the public that they would receive a decision by 5 pm on Friday (2/10).


Kyle Zipes commented he disagrees with the lottery process. He believes that every family that wants to attend the MI program should be allowed to.


6.         Bond Program Consent Items

The School Board approved the Bond Program Consent Items (MacAvoy, Lawson; 5-0), taking the following action:


6.1       Recommendation re:  Approval of Bond Program Consent Items

6.2       Recommendation re:  Approval of Measure T Bond Program Tracking List of Items Under $20k

6.3       Recommendation re:  Approval of Modernization and New Building, Bid Package A, Change Order #9 to the Agreement with Duran & Venables for Orion Alternative School (Formerly John Gill School)


Trustee Weekly (Ayes)

Trustee MacAvoy (Ayes)

Trustee Wells (Ayes)

Vice-President Lawson (Ayes)

President Márquez (Ayes)


7.         Bond Program Action Items



8.         School/Community Reports



9.         Discussion Items

9.1       School Plan for Student Achievement: Adelante Selby

Adelante Selby Spanish Immersion school administrators Warren Cedar, Patricia Alcocer, and Jose Luna reported to the School Board an update of their school’s Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA) report. The purpose of the SPSAs is to coordinate all educational services at the school. Adelante Selby’s administrators reported on their goals to target suspension and chronic absentee rates, improve reclassification rates, and demonstrate at least one year’s growth in ELA and Math. In addition, the Adelante Selby team also reported on school events, student voices, and parent outreach. Lastly, they informed the board they would like ELD Curriculum that aligns with their integrated units, among other supports.

Trustee Weekly expressed he appreciated the student-peer supports. He also noted the great work on lowering suspension rates and progress in targeting absenteeism. Trustee Weekly commented that the English learners (EL) Reclassification Data does not reflect whether or not every EL student is making progress in the calendar year. He would like for the data to be presented in a way that demonstrates the progress the EL students are making. He commented additional work needed to be done to improve math scores. Trustee Weekly praised Warren on the fingerprinting fund and wonders if the district can find a way to also fund for fingerprinting services to have more parent volunteers.

Trustee Wells thanked Warren, Patricia, and Jose for the presentation. He enjoyed seeing the pictures. Additionally, Trustee Wells thanked Warren for speaking on the mental health counselors' work, and the extended learning opportunities and partnerships. Trustee Wells asked for further clarification regarding Warren’s request for an ELD curriculum.

Principal Warren explained he would prefer an ELD curriculum that matched the theme of what students are already learning. He thanked Leslie Daniele for providing staff development training on best practices for teaching ELD.

Assistant Superintendent Liz Wolfe added that the request for another ELD curriculum has been brought up before. Leslie Daniele has gone to the SMC Office of Education, has looked at curriculum online, and has collected different samples of ELD curriculum but none have been a good match to what is needed or it is an old curriculum. The district is looking for materials that are not isolated from everything else that is being taught and align with integrated units and themes.

Trustee Wells also inquired about the NUA strategies that are helping the upper grades. He’d like to know if there is something unique about the NUA strategies that the district should know more about and how it is helpful in reaching reclassification goals.

Principal Warren explained the NUA strategies give access to content to all students at all levels. He invited the trustees to visit the STEAM Lab on March 6th for an opportunity to see NUA’s work.

Trustee MacAvoy thanked the Adelante Selby team for the presentation. She gave a shout-out to all the teachers and staff at Adelante Selby and thanked all the students and families. Trustee MacAvoy reflected on how before Covid there was a lot of progress being made in literacy, reading, and math. Trustee MacAvoy remarked she appreciates the focus from last year and the current year on relationship building and creating a sense of belonging. She also appreciated the concluding comments and hearing what more is needed from the district to support Adelante Selby. She stated it is good to think about how to bring in more resources, or how to move around limited resources.

Principal Warren thanked Trustee MacAvoy for joining the “cafécito.”


Trustee MacAvoy also gave a shout-out to Adelante Selby for being the pilot school for the bus passes. In response to the success of the pilot, now all San Mateo County students who receive free or reduced lunch meals can obtain free bus passes.


Vice-President Lawson echoed all of the previous comments. She thanked the Adelante Selby team for being at the meeting and presenting their report. She also praised the improvement in lowering suspension rates and increasing attendance rates. Vice-President Lawson mentioned she appreciated seeing the school activities and events that help bring the community together. Her last comments were that she agreed the swings need to be brought back once they are deemed safe and that she would like to come and observe the STEAM lab.


President Márquez thanked the administrators and all of the Adelante Selby staff. She mentioned that seeing the ELs move even one step signified progress. She also praised the Adelante Selby team for their positive incentive practices. President Márquez asked if the students who were learning math in Spanish also took the tests in Spanish.


In response, Principal Warren answered that for IReady assessments, the students can take the formative test in Spanish, but all state assessments are in English.


President Márquez praised Jose’s enthusiasm for getting to know the students and making sure the students are provided resources depending on what the specific needs are.


Superintendent Baker thanked Principal Warren for all of his work. Superintendent Baker remarked on the intense meetings that Warren participated in when merging Adelante School with Selby. He commended Warren for the work he has done and continues to do. He also praised Patricia and Jose for their work. Lastly, Superintendent Baker commented Michelle was currently looking for additional funding for the community schools.


9.3       First Reading and Discussion of Board Policy 5113 - Absences and Excuses

Deputy Superintendent Wendy Kelly informed the School Board that the policy had been updated to reflect the requirement for a board resolution approving reasonable methods by which students can verify absences due to illness or quarantine.


Trustee Wells asked if/when the policy is adopted, would the resolution need to be adopted also. Deputy Superintendent Wendy Kelly responded that the second reading of the policy and the resolution would be brought back to the School Board for adoption at the March 8th board meeting.


9.4       First Reading and Discussion of Board Policy 6164.2 – Guidance/Counseling Services

Trustee Weekly expressed his concern about the section on the policy where “budget permitting” was struck out, which makes it seem that it is mandated regardless of funding.


Vice-President Lawson agreed and suggested changing the wording from “shall be available” to “may be available.”


The Board Members agreed to edit the policy to state “may be available” and not strike out “budget permitting” from the Board Policy.


10.       Consent Items

The School Board approved the Consent Items (Weekly, MacAvoy; 5-0), taking the following action:


10.1     Recommendation re:  Approval of Consent Items

10.2     Recommendation re:  Approval of January 11th Board Minutes

10.3     Recommendation re:  Approval of January 18th Board Minutes

10.4     Recommendation re:  Approval of January 20th Board Minutes

10.5     Recommendation re:  Approval of January 24th Board Minutes

10.6     Recommendation re:  Approval of Non-Public School (NPS)/Non-Public

Agency (NPA) Master Contracts

10.7     Recommendation re:  Approval of Amendment #1 to the Agreement between

College Advising Prep (CAP) and the Redwood City School District to increase tutoring

services for the remainder of the 2022-23 school year

10.8     Recommendation re:  Approval of Amendment #2 to the Agreement between

Maxim Healthcare Staffing, Inc and the Redwood City School District

10.9     Recommendation re:  Second Reading and Approval of Board Policy 6158 –

Independent Study

10.10   Recommendation re:  Ratification of Warrant Registers, January 1, 2023 - January

31, 2023

10.11   Recommendation re:  Approval of 2022-2023 Certificated Seniority Reports

10.12   Recommendation re:  Approval of 2022-2023 Classified Seniority Reports

10.13   Recommendation re:  Denial of Classified General Leave Request(s)


Trustee Weekly (Ayes)

Trustee MacAvoy (Ayes)

Trustee Wells (Ayes)

Vice-President Lawson (Ayes)

President Márquez (Ayes)


11.       Action Items



12.       Board and Superintendent Reports


12.1     Report from Board Members and Superintendent

Trustee Weekly reported completing his first lap of touring all the schools in the district, including one charter school. He informed the School Board of his preliminary findings and observations from touring the schools and meeting with the principals.


Trustee Wells reported attending the reclassification ceremony, the Lunar New Year festival, a bond team meeting, a Citizen’s Bond Oversight Committee (CBOC) meeting, and the Little Mermaid performance at Clifford.


Trustee MacAvoy reported attending a Redwood City Together meeting with President Márquez. Trustee MacAvoy also reported being a part of the San Mateo County new board orientation. She also sat in on a Brown Act panel. She also attended the reclassification ceremony. She joined the CSBA Annual Education conference committee. Additionally, she attended a Workforce Housing meeting with Dr. Baker and Vice-President Lawson. Lastly, she attended a Board Policy committee meeting.


Vice-President Lawson reported attending the CBOC, Workforce Housing, and Board Policy committee meetings. Additionally, she, along with Dr. Baker, attended the Chamber Education committee meeting. Lastly, she attended the reclassification ceremony.


Trustee Weekly thanked CTA and Erinn Washburn for inviting him to the CTA-hosted breakfast for new trustees.


President Márquez reported attending the Redwood City Together meeting and the Brown Act training with Trustee MacAvoy.


Superintendent Baker reported attending the Lunar New Year event and the reclassification ceremony.


13.       Information


13.1     Information on San Mateo County Investment Fund - December 2022

No questions or comments.          


14.       Correspondence

President Márquez reported receiving emails regarding the MI program.


15.       Other Business/Suggested Items for Future Agenda

Trustee MacAvoy suggested that the School Board discuss the list of projects and decide what they want to fund with the reserve money.


Superintendent Baker informed the School Board that they will be able to give their input on what items on the list of projects should be prioritized while taking into consideration the remaining balance.


16.       Board Meetings Calendar


16.1     Changes to the Board Meetings Calendar

The School Board was reminded that on February 15th there would be a Closed session meeting at 5:30 pm, and the Regular Board meeting would begin at 6:30 pm.


17.       Adjournment

The board adjourned the meeting at 9:29 p.m. (MacAvoy, Weekly; 5-0).