This is a summary of the business conducted at this week's WCSD's Regular Board of Trustees Meeting. You can also watch the previously recorded meeting here: YouTube Link
2.03 Board Policy 5100
This will require that every student has the right to learn in a respectful, safe, and inclusive learning environment. It was explained that the word teacher is being taken out because this BP deals with student behavior. Per Trustee Smith, a safe learning environment for teachers is covered in other board policies.
2.13 - 2.16 Regarding Committee Appointments
Trustee Church spoke up about how many appointments are often reappointments and when placed under the consent agenda the Board has no idea who applied and how many applications… He wants committee vacancies to be opened up to the public.
Budget Items for Discussion, Presentation, and Possible Action
3.01 Budget Changes
Basically, the Board moved to adopt the numerous resolutions of budget augmentations as required by law for fiscal year 2021-2022 budget.
General Items for Discussion, Presentation, and Possible Action
4.01 The Search for a New Superintendent
The Board’s big concern is to keep the control in the hands of The Bryan Group so that the open meeting law (“OML”) is not triggered. Otherwise, currently employed applicant’s would be afraid to apply.
There will basically be three phases in the selection process.
Phase One - The Bryan Group plans to post the job opening, with the general job description, by January 1st.
Phase Two - Decide how to go about the search (see agenda materials for option details). Would the Board want a search advisory committee (“committee”) completely under control of The Bryan Group or The Bryan Group to just go out into the community asking questions. The choice will be the mechanism used to refine the job description as the selection process moves forward.
Motion - After discussion the Board moved and unanimously decided on using a committee.
Things got a little sticky when discussing who will be on this committee...
The Bryan Group decided there will be 15 adults and 10 students. Many on the Board had spoken earlier about wanting a student voice, but not wanting them to weigh heavily in the decision, so it is concerning that The Bryan Group still decided to make room for 10 students.
The Bryan Group then suggested the 15 people will come from the following categories: parents, students, teachers, support staff, administrators, unions, public officials, district volunteers, and key community members from non-profits and business. Each trustee gave input, all agreeing each of the districts should be represented and diverse. It was not clear on whether The Bryan Group will still meet with each Trustee at this point. However, the Bryan Group must form the committee themselves in a manner that does not trigger OML.
** People can send their input to The Bryan Group at .firstname.lastname@example.org
Motion: Unanimously passed that Bryan Group be empowered to form the membership of the Search Advisory Committee as they see fit.
It is our general understanding that once the large applicant pool is gathered from the job posting then it will be narrowed down by the BG holding town halls, people sending their input, possibly meetings with individual board members and input from the SAC to obtain 6-8 quarterfinalists. Next, short interviews will result in 4-5 semifinalists. Then the long interviews of approximately 2-3 finalists with the Board listening and triggering OML so the community can listen as well.
Phase Three - Compensation.
Discussion ensued. It was noted to take into consideration state law
regarding PERS and that the first contract can not exceed 4 years.
Most agreed the contract should be around 3-4 years but would
leave that open for now.
Motion: For the Board to accept the Bryan Group Recommendation of compensation $275,000 - 310,00 base pay plus benefits plus incentives. Unanimous
Public Comment - How is the first essential duty and responsibility of the Superintendent prioritizing equity for all, when it should be career and college readiness. This continues to show the disconnect between the Board and the community.
4.02 Presentation Debbie Smith Career & Technical Education
Academy High School
The Board of Trustees Meeting space will be relocated to Debbie Smith CTA. Current schedule for opening to students of Fall 2024.
4.03 Rio Wrangler Elementary School Request for More Funding
A supplement was requested due to a 15% cost increase $1,825,000.00
Motion: Pay the augmentation of $1,825,000. Unanimous
4.04 Bid to Build Rio Wrangler Elementary School
-Bid goes to Martin Harris Construction/Group West Construction as a joint venture for $38,625,039.
4.05 -Holiday Card Contest
There were 1,044 entries!
Elementary School Finalist: Jazlyn VanMeter 2nd grade Finalist: Sienna Baker 6th grade Winner: Simarjot Kaur Sahota
Middle School Finalis: Luka Henniger 8th grade Finalist: Manha Maania 8th grade Winner Molly Raymond 7th grade
High School Finalist: Meadowlark Bufkin Plank 12 grade Finalist: McKenna Cao 9th grade Winner: Alex Garcia-Tapungot 10th grade
4.06 Gifted and Talented Program
All in all it seems like Dr. Victoria Westfall found ways around the budget cuts. They increased the number of GATE certified teachers by creating a GATE teacher certification approved by the state which in turn awards the program state money. Now they are nationally recognized and have expanded offerings.
They are also ensuring diversity through a point system if a student does not meet GATE criteria, such as points if you are an english learner and inviting kids in who are on the cusp of acceptance. These students are succeeding without lowering any standards.
(Just a thought - Maybe the Board should look at Dr. Westfall for Superintendent).
Motion - Approve relocation of SWAS program from Roy Gromm to Drake. Unanimous.
4.08 Recommendation by the Superintendent to Hire Outside Counsel
This is legal representation for the board regarding Open Meeting Law, Trustee Meetings and Board Policy committee meetings. The discussion focused on staff counsel like Attny Rombardo being stretched too thin with all the work. They also noted this could save money by not having to hire another legal staff member.
Motion - Motion to accept the Supervisor’s recommendation unanimously approved.
4.09 Possible Acceptance of the Gunderson Law Firm’s
Finding Regarding Former Trustee Calvert
Attorney John Funk presented his findings in two parts: Who knew what and when? Gunderson Law Firm expanded their investigation by using Elite Investigations. After many attempts, Trustee Calvert refused to speak with them. Their findings are generally no fault on behalf of the Board or Attorney Rombardo. (See the Gunderson report in agenda materials)
Legal analysis regarding votes cast and compensation received - Her actions and votes were valid as her seat was never declared vacant until she resigned. Regarding compensation, her seat was not vacant until she resigned so she was entitled to that compensation. She did the work to earn the pay she received and to pursue this any further would not be cost effective.
Motions - Basically, the Board unanimously approved two motions accepting the findings of the Gunderson Law Firm.
4.10 - Hiring a Board Team Builder
The Board is looking at Deb Darby and/or Randy Manner to help them work better together. Deb Darby works through the Nevada Association of School Board and lives in Truckee. They have chosen her, and if they need additional expertise they will review bringing in Mr. Manners.
Motion - Hire Ms. Darby Duddley to conduct individual interviews with Trustees and hold a day long coaching/training and ongoing training/coaching session as needed in order to help us be able to work better together as a team. Unanimously approved.