Local News

School board to meet Friday to consider budget, technology and coaching hire

By From page A1 | March 19, 2014

The Davis school board will meet at an unusual time — 8 a.m. Friday — to consider approval of a required budget report, and hold a required public hearing regarding the upgrade of technology at Da Vinci Charter Academy as part of the transition to new state-mandated online standardized tests.

And on the consent agenda, the school board also will be asked to approve several personnel moves — including the Davis High girls volleyball coach.

Ordinarily, the school board meets on Thursday evenings. But this week, two trustees indicated they could not be present at the school board’s regular meeting time, and there is also a vacant seat on the school board, which would have left the school board short of a quorum on Thursday night. So the meeting was scheduled for Friday morning, when the school board can get the required minimum of three trustees together.

The school board will be asked to approve the Second Interim Budget Report, which was discussed at a previous school board meeting. The school board will also hold a state-mandated public hearing concerning the $106,223 in special state funds for implementation of the Common Core academic standards that has been earmarked for Da Vinci Charter Academy. The school district plans to spend $50,430 for “technology readiness” (new wireless technology) to prepare Da Vinci for the new online state assessments (which are replacing the old paper-and-pencil STAR tests). Another $37,554 will go for teacher professional development (a three-day workshop for teachers, covering the new Common Core standards), $11,802 for math and science classroom texts and materials, and $6,437 to cover staffing for preparation of the three-day workshop, printing costs, etc. Da Vinci, as a charter school, needs to submit its own plan for use of these special one-time funds; the remainder of the school district is covered by a plan approved by the school board several months ago.

Elsewhere on the agenda, the school board will hear an update on the school districts plans to serve students who are English learners — known as the Tier III Improvement Plan — as required under the federal No Child Left Behind law. Additionally, the school board will consider several proposed course changes at the junior high and high school level (details of these changes had not been posted as of Tuesday) and related new instructional materials. The open session portion of the agenda also includes a resolution authorizing layoff notices for a number of part-time classified employee positions (mostly paraeducators) totaling the equivalent of 5.6326 full-time equivalent positions. The layoffs would save the district some $250,000. The positions may be reinstated if funds from school site councils, PTA or PTO groups, or from the Davis Schools Foundation is donated.

On Friday’s consent calendar is the certificated personnel report, which includes a recommendation that the school district hire Julie Crawford as the DHS varsity girls volleyball coach for the term of March 21 to Dec. 15 with $4,298 stipend.

On March 13, hearing an appeal by Crawford, the school board voted 3-1 to uphold an administrative decision not to offer her a contract for the boys varsity volleyball season (which is currently underway) in response to a parent complaint against Crawford. However, at the same time, the school board announced that Crawford could apply for future openings as a coach. The school district had not hired a coach for fall girls varsity volleyball team. Crawford decided to take the school district up on that offer and applied for the girls volleyball coaching position.

In a statement emailed to The Enterprise on Tuesday morning, Superintendent Winfred Roberson stated “In order to reconcile recent events around volleyball (Monday) I met with Ms. Julie Crawford to discuss her immediate appointment as the varsity girls volleyball coach for the 2014-15 season, pending Board of Education approval on Friday, March 21. As superintendent I strongly believe that employees and students alike should have opportunity to grow as professionals and learners, even in the face of challenging circumstances. We are confident that our students-athletes, Ms. Crawford, the DJUSD and our community will begin the process of moving forward for the betterment of our students and organization.”

Friday’s meeting will begin at 8 a.m. in the Community Chambers at Davis City Hall, 23 Russell Blvd.

Jeff Hudson

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