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May 3, 2011 > Sunol Glen School Board meeting review

Sunol Glen School Board meeting review

By Alyson Whitaker

The April 19 meeting of the Sunol Glen School Board began with some good news: the three precautionary layoff notices issued to teachers at the March meeting have been rescinded. Enrollment for the 2011/2012 school year is strong, and at this point, no cuts in teaching staff are projected.

Jaime Hintzke (Community Relations Coordinator for Alameda County Health Agency, School Health Services) presented 7th grader Winnie Chen with an award for her participation in the CPR-7 program. Over the course of the program, Winnie trained 51 friends and family members on the basics of CPR and the importance of performing chest compressions on an unconscious person until medical aid arrives. Winnie had the second highest number of trainees in all of Alameda County, and out of 15,000 7th graders!

A representative from District 6 County Supervisor Nadia Lockyer's office also presented a certificate of commendation to Winnie, for excellent community outreach.

Members of the 8th grade class reported on their recent trip to Washington DC. Over the course of their trip, they visited several historical points of interest, including the White House, National Monument, Korean War Memorial, and Jamestown, among others. The trip was informative and educational, and a whole lot of fun!

The Board opened a discussion on the Inter-district Transfer Policy of the district. Currently, more than 75 percent of students in attendance at Sunol Glen are inter-district transfers from neighboring school districts. Alameda County Office of Education is in the process of streamlining the transfer request forms so that it is the same for all districts within the county. However, many districts have a supplemental form for transfer students to sign acknowledging grounds for revoking the transfer.

It was proposed that Sunol Glen USD create a contract for transfer students and their parents to sign acknowledging that academic failure, repeated and ongoing behavioral problems, or low attendance are all grounds for revoking the transfer. Those students with an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) or in the Resource Program would be exempt, unless it becomes clear that services are needed which Sunol Glen USD is not able to provide.

Discussion regarding the policy also included the importance of early intervention and increased communication with parents of those students who are at risk. Board members as well as Molly Barnes, Principal/Superintendent emphasized that Sunol Glen USD is committed to accepting students and helping them to succeed. However, there are times when one teacher and a single grade-level class make it difficult to serve the needs of a struggling student.

During the meeting, Molly Barnes recognized three Sunol Glen employees for their outstanding contributions to the district.

Janet Boorujy, Resource Specialist was acknowledged for making a special difference.

Lowell Hoxie, Facilities/Safety Manager was honored for all his efforts to beautify the grounds and maintain safety at the school.

Suzette Takei, 7th grade teacher, was honored as the Sunol Glen USD Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Takei has been instrumental in bringing numerous programs and ideas to fruition, as well as working with other teachers to improve the math curriculum and instruction at the school. Suzette will be recognized at the Alameda County celebration in October.

During closing comments, Board President Neil Davies commented on the Caltrans project widening Niles Canyon. He expressed concern about the environmental impact and implications of the project, and questioned whether the school board could draft a resolution stating its opposition to submit to Caltrans.

In addition, he gave an update on the gravel parking lot at the school, which is owned by San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. Discussions are underway regarding improvements to the land, including paving the property as well as reaching a more extended occupancy agreement.

The next board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 17.

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