Modesto City Schools boundaries, safety up for vote
Feb 03, 2013 (The Modesto Bee - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
The Modesto City Schools board will be asked to give final approval to high school boundary shifts and vote on beefed-up safety plans for campuses Monday.
First, members will meet at 1 p.m. with consultant Elaine Collins in a special session on setting goals. At 3:45 p.m., the board will meet behind closed doors on items including a midyear evaluation of Superintendent Pam Able.
Supporters of several principals who were notified they would be dismissed June 30 said they plan to give comments before the board begins its closed session. Franklin Elementary families said they will walk down Maze Boulevard to the board meeting site after school lets out at 3 p.m. Principal Michael Brady is expected to address the board and the crowd.
Davis High staff said they planned to speak on behalf of Davis Principal Lynn Lys-co. Johansen High is losing its principal and assistant principal. Elliott Alternative Education Center will lose its assistant principal. Elliott Principal Julie Beebe was put on paid administrative leave in January.
All have expressed hope the board would reverse dismissals of the at-will employees, but it was unclear if the board would take up the matter again in closed session Monday. Board bylaws, and California School Board Association guidelines, say hiring and firing administrators is done with the recommendation of the superintendent.
In open session, trustees will take up the issue of school safety in crisis situations.
After the December school shooting in Newtown, Conn., the district contracted with CaliforniaSafeSchools.com to review safety plans at all its campuses. An agenda report says analysts found that many plans were put in place before advances in communications technology. Standardizing crisis plans and procedures districtwide is recommended.
The plans would be customized by site but adhere to FBI and Federal Emergency Management Agency standards. One drill with students and one while school is out would be done at each site, the report suggests. Key staff should be trained in state and federal emergency management systems.
Cost of the safety procedures overhaul is estimated at up to $99,000.
The boundary adjustments being recommended have not changed. However, parent feedback asking for more family choice in school placement was noted. The report recommends:
--Switching from Beyer to Davis: homes in the Beyer attendance area west of McHenry Avenue
--Moving from Enochs to Beyer: homes east of Oakdale Road, south of Floyd Avenue and west of Roselle Avenue
--Moving from Enochs to Johansen: homes in the Enochs area south of Briggsmore Avenue.
The district plan allows students to finish their high school years without changing high schools, and any siblings starting during those years would be grandfathered in as well.
Open enrollment ended Dec. 1, but the board is being asked to extend it through March 4 for eighth-graders in the affected areas.
Students can apply to attend unique programs at high schools throughout the district.
The Modesto City Schools board will meet in open session at 6 p.m. in the staff development center, 425 Locust St. The agenda is posted at http://bit.ly/Pattersonboardhttp://bit.ly/Pattersonboards.
Bee education reporter Nan Austin can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2339. Follow her on Twitter, @NanAustin.
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