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July 26, 2021
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WSCUHSD School Board preparing for major changes

By: Cassandra May Albaugh
June 18, 2021

The West Sonoma County Union High School District held their first regular meeting of the month on Wednesday June 8. The next scheduled meeting will be on June 23. Meetings are still online. Links to view the meeting via Zoom or YouTube can be found at: www.wscuhsd.org. 

Like most school board meetings in the month of June, the action items were a combination of closing out this year and preparing for next year. Board members talked about attending award ceremonies and graduation events at all three high schools. They also approved a by-law update for how they’ll conduct meetings. The update was to account for how public comments would be permitted online and align that with how they’ve been conducted for in-person meetings in the past. 

Two required public hearings were held. The first was regarding the Local Control Accountability Plan known as the LCAP. This plan is required to be submitted to the Sonoma County Office of Education by June 28. A three-year plan, it covers 2021 through 2024. It “describes the goals, actions, services and expenditures to support positive student outcomes that address state and local priorities.” 

West County set five goals in this plan. They are: “Improve School Physical, Social and Emotional Environment;” “Improve Course Access and Student Success;” Provide 21st Century Classroom Materials and Instruction for students district-wide;” “Decrease the academic achievement gap;” and “Support students successful transition to post-high school success.” More specific details supporting these goals can be found on the district’s website under Academics tab as “LCAP INFORMATION.” The final plan will be approved by the board at their next regular meeting.

The other required public hearing was on the 2021-2022 proposed budget. Catrina Howett from Total School Solutions made the presentation. She covered enrollment and average daily attendance (ADA) projections and anticipated revenues and expenditures for 2021-22 and estimates for the following two years. She said the $493,337 deficit in 2021-22 does not reflect a structural deficit but rather accounts for the one-time funds set aside for a board recall and the purchase of uniforms for the consolidated tentatively named “West County” high school.

Another public hearing was held relating to the district’s transition to by-trustee elections in 2022. As you may recall, the Forestville parents group fighting the consolidation of Analy and El Molino High Schools triggered this process earlier this year. This hearing was for the purpose of seeking a waiver from the State Board of Education related to election requirements when a school boar changes the method for electing governing board members. These waivers are routinely granted by the state when districts change from at-large to by-trustee board elections. Having held this public hearing, the district will submit the waiver request to the California Department of Education. 

The next step which is to hold public hearings regarding the drawing of trustee district maps, can’t be done until fall when the 2020 Census data is made available. Based on that data, a series of public hearings will be held after which the board will select trustee district boundary maps. This must be done by March 2022 so that new trustees can be elected by their district in November 2022.

Other board actions included approval of an “Agricultural Career Technical Education Incentive Grant;” approval of Classified Management and Certificated Administrator Contracts for 2021-2022; approval of a new salary schedule for a Chief Business Official (CBO); and a related agreement for search and recruitment services with School Services of California to conduct that search for a CBO. Finally Superintendent Toni Beal reported that Grey and White football uniforms with a common logo of West County were ordered, they are in the process of ordering other fall uniforms for other sports and student activities; they’ve finalized transportation plans for next year; they are packing to begin the move; and summer school is starts on June 14.