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November 23, 2010 > Sunol Glen School Board meeting review

Sunol Glen School Board meeting review

By Alyson Whitaker

The Sunol Glen School Board held its monthly meeting on Tuesday, November 16.

Student Council representatives Nick Lawrence, Mitchell Lambert, and Mikey Hawkins updated the board on their recent events. Student Council strives to increase school spirit with monthly "Wacky Wednesdays" and other themed events. Monthly character trait assemblies sponsored by Student Council promote personal development and camaraderie among the student body. Each member of student council is required to give a minimum of four school service hours per trimester, as part of their leadership duties.

Principal/Superintendant Molly Barnes updated the board on the Carol White Physical Education Grant awarded to Sunol Glen two years ago. The grant includes curriculum, staff development and instruction, as well as equipment. The user-friendly curriculum has helped the teachers implement improved PE instruction at the school, and all grade levels benefit. The grant period was originally designated for two years, but has been extended for a third year.

Mrs. Barnes has also been participating in an ongoing Alameda County Superintendents' Group, looking at ways to narrow the achievement gap and help all students reach their full potential. Recent films like "Waiting for Superman" and "Race to Nowhere" are awakening educators and parents alike to the need to change the mindset, and focus not just on the core academic subjects, but to educate the "whole child." She indicated that a paradigm shift is occurring around views on education and the way children learn. The old mindset of "Intelligence is innate" has shifted toward one of "Intelligence is influenced by opportunity." The group leaders from the county meet regularly and continue their discussion, exchange of ideas, and exploration of how to best meet the needs of the children in their respective schools and districts.

The seventh and eighth grade classes at Sunol Glen are participating in a county-wide program sponsored by Alameda County EMS to teach adult and child CPR. The program is called CPR Anytime, and is an interactive DVD-based instructional kit. The students are trained with the program, then take their kits and a CPR dummy home and are encouraged to train as many family members and friends as they can.

After months of discussion and revisions, the board voted on and approved a new Facilities Use Policy. Sunol-based groups and non-profit organizations may continue to use the facilities at no charge. Outside groups will be assessed a nominal use fee to cover custodial and maintenance costs. All groups using the facilities are required to have sufficient liability insurance coverage.

Jeff Potter, from the Alameda County Office of Education, updated the board and audience on the district budget, following the governor's signing of the state budget in October. No significant revisions were noted and no new cuts are proposed at this time. The 2010/2011 Adopted Budget is not expected to have any changes, and the First Interim revision will be presented at the December board meeting.

This was the final board meeting for board members Guin Van Dyke and Don Ball. Neil Davies remains on as Board President.

Ms. Van Dyke has served on the board for eight years, and has been a part of the school community for 16 years. Though her children are grown, she has been an active participant in the Sunol Glen Community Club as well as serving on the school board. She expressed her love of the school, and her sincere hope that the new board members will continue the forward progress that she worked so hard to achieve during her years of service.

Don Ball was appointed to the board in June 2010 when trustee Graham Barnes resigned due to an employment relocation. He has three children attending the school, and is a dedicated parent volunteer. Mr. Ball thanked the board for appointing him last spring, and giving him the opportunity to serve briefly as a member of the school board. He expressed the desire to continue serving the school in a volunteer capacity, and may consider another run for school board in the future.

Myla Grasso of ACSA (Association of California School Administrators) attended the meeting and presented both Ms. Van Dyke and Mr. Ball with a plaque acknowledging their exemplary service and thanking them for their dedication to the students and staff at Sunol Glen School.

The next meeting will be held on Monday, December 13, when new board members Gerry Beemiller and Diane Everett will be sworn in and officially take office, beginning their service to the school district.

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