Tonight was the first regularly scheduled meeting of the full Board in 2009, with a very fat agenda. Here are the highlights:
- Congratulations to Commissioners Kim-Shree Maufas and Jane Kim, who were elected President and Vice President of the Board, respectively, by acclamation. Commissioner Wynns nominated Commissioner Maufas for President and Commissioner Fewer nominated Commissioner Kim for Vice President.
- Principal JoLynn Washington of Jose Ortega Elementary received a commendation from the Superintendent for her excellent work. Ms. Washington began her career as a paraprofessional in Special Education and expressed gratitude for the work of her staff, parents and students. Jose Ortega ES was recently featured prominently in a San Francisco Magazine article about public education in the City and the SFKFiles blog.
- Principals at 10 SFUSD schools were recognized for winning Title I Achievement Awards.
- Deputy Superintendent Dr. Tony “Carmen Miranda” Smith, Associate Superintendent Trish “Carmen Miranda” Bascom and Board Liaison Susan “Carmen Miranda” Kagehiro presented a resolution in support of a staff wellness initiative . Despite the refusal of Superintendent Carlos Garcia and Deputy Superintendent Myong Leigh to don headgear, the resolution passed unanimously.
- Members of the public spoke regarding a student discipline issue at Lowell, and in support of HOMEY, an organization serving at-risk youth that until recently served youth at Mission High School. The HOMEY/Mission issue was referred to the Curriculum committee for further discussion by the Board.
- The Board also spent significant time discussing proposed cuts to transportation services. Board members generally agreed that cuts of at least $1 million are necessary, and that the options proposed are reasonable. We also agreed that it’s important to make the decision and publicize it to the community as soon as possible, so that we have time to assist families who need help making other transportation or school arrangements if they are dependent on one of the routes suggested for closure. However, Commissioners also broadly agreed that if at all possible, we should make decisions about cutting transportation services in conjunction with decisions about changes in the student assignment policy. One option includes adding the status of alternative schools into the mix, since these schools have traditionally offered more transportation options than attendance area schools. Some Commissioners favored changing bell times as a way to shift resources, while others saw that as a last resort.
The meeting adjourned just before 10 p.m.