September 19, 2021
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School district set to begin new year

By: Lanny Lowery
June 28, 2019

The second regular meeting, June 25, of the CRPUSD Board of Trustees, always quiet and not well attended, provided closure for the school year with the completion of reports and budgets and a temporary solution to replacement of the superintendent.

The superintendent issue, dealt with in closed session, was partially reported out when the Board reconvened to open session.  Two subjects were scheduled to be discussed in closed session:  “Public Employment Position”:  Superintendent and “Conference with Labor Negotiator:  Board President” with “Unrepresented Employees:  Assistant Superintendent and Chief Business Official.”

No word about the hiring of a new superintendent, President Leff Brown announced that Julie Synyard and Robert Marical had been approved 3-0 to accept extra duties of the superintendent beginning July 1.  Synyard and Marical will continue in these duties until an interim or a permanent superintendent is hired and may serve in that capacity until June 30, 2020.  Each will receive an additional $5k per month while they perform superintendent duties.

No public comment nor any communications from the Rohnert Park Cotati Educators Association was offered.  The SELPA End of the Year Report, not discussed, was posted online.

The Consent Agenda consisted of approval of minutes for four June meetings, a vended meal agreement with Dunham School, a memorandum of understanding with North Coast School of Education and approval of a Stipulated Student Full Expulsion Case.  With no discussion, the consent agenda was approved 4-0, Trustee Joe Cimino being absent.

Approval of Educational Services Contracts was also approved 4-0.  An Annual Report for Alternative Schools was briefly reviewed:  why El Camino was founded, parent and student input gathered.  Positive gains reported were improved attendance and an expanding work service program.  Julie Synyard will send the completed report to each of the Trustees.  No action was taken.

Personnel Services involved the hiring and termination of certificated and classified employees.  Trustee Tim Nonn expressed concern about the high number of interns, especially of Education Specialists.  He noted that of the 16 being hired, 12 were interns and one was temporary.  Nonn cited issues about the high turnover of staff and the need for staff stability for students.  He urged the district to put money forward toward hiring career teachers, especially in special education.

Three resolutions were then passed to facilitate business operations.  These included authorization to make transfers between fund balances and expenditures at the close of the year, to establish temporary interfund transfers of special or restricted money and requesting from Sonoma County per the state constitution.  The Board passed each resolution 4-0.

Synyard and Marical then presented financial information about different categories:  fiscal update and planning, Local Control Accountability Plan, approving the District’s spending plan for education protection account funds, adoption of the 2019-2020 budget, authorization for Synyard and Marical and four other district employees to sign on behalf of the Trustees, approval of Chromebook purchase and retention of legal services.  Some discussion ensued about the legal services issue.  The board decided to retain the current legal firm, Dannis Wolliver Kelley until the board meets again Aug. 20.

Board members had little to report out.  Tim Nonn again reminded the board that TIP or Trades Intro Program, introduced in the spring at a meeting by Jack Buckhorn, Executive Director of the North Bay Labor Council, was a great opportunity for the school district.  “They want to come here.”  Leff Brown suggested that they wait until they set their goals.  Chrissa Gillies wanted to encourage Buckhorn to bring more information to the board.  Curriculum Director Synyard intends to speak with Buckhorn and get more of an understanding about TIP and how it would fit into the district’s programs.  

At this point, the board adjourned and will not meet again for eight weeks.