Sunday, September 21, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Topics not on agenda dominate comment at school board meeting

By
From page A1 | March 08, 2013 |

The Davis school board met late into the evening on Thursday, and several of the topics that generated heated public comment weren’t even on the agenda.

The board also announced action in closed session that appeared to indicate that a transition between principals is under way at Davis High School. The school board also instructed staff to begin formal discussions with the city of Davis regarding an easement covering the girls softball field at Davis High School, which spreads over both school district property and city-owned land in adjacent Community Park. The school board authorized up to $50,000 in upgrades to the softball field, which has not seen an upgrade in decades.

The school district’s GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) program was not on the agenda, but several speakers addressed the topic, including parent Hemant Bhargava. Davis is in the midst of drafting a new GATE master plan, and Superintendent Winfred Roberson has said he wants this process to include a look at alternatives to the district’s current model of self-contained GATE classrooms.

Bhargava expressed concern about “disinformation” regarding GATE, saying some California school districts in university towns identify a higher percentage of students as GATE-eligible than Davis does. He disputed the contention that GATE classrooms serve 30 percent of students at grade levels where GATE is offered, insisting that the percentage is actually closer to 20 percent.

“I don’t find that surprising, since Davis is one of the most educated towns in the country,” Bhargava said, adding that he believes GATE classrooms are “more diverse (in terms of ethnicity) than the district as a whole.”

The district’s Montessori program at Birch Lane Elementary was not on the agenda, either. But several speakers during public comment responded to remarks made at the Feb. 21 board meeting by Birch Lane Elementary teacher Michael Monticello and parent Carrie Ziser regarding the percentage of students entering special programs in the district. Monticello and Ziser also commented on the demographics of the students enrolled in the neighborhood classroom program after other students have moved into voluntary special programs, and called for a cap on enrollment in special programs.

Several teachers in Birch Lane’s Montessori program classrooms spoke to what they said was “misinformation” about their program, with teacher Sally Palow expressing concern about “this unfortunate school climate issue.” Teacher Lakshmi Aradhya objected to the suggestion that students entering the Montessori program are “hand-picked” and said her classroom includes students who participate in free and reduced-price lunch programs (with eligibility based on modest household income).

Several other speakers addressed the concept of moving ninth-graders from their current location in the district’s junior high schools to the high school. Teacher Dianna Henrickson of Holmes Junior High spoke about “the ‘middle kids,’ the ‘gap kids,’ ” who she said are best served by teaching ninth-graders in the smaller setting of a junior high. “Moving ninth-graders t0 the high school would be the worst decision we could make as a community,” she said.

Roberson said meetings are being scheduled with teachers to gather their input on the idea of grade reconfiguration. Teacher Rena Nayyar of Emerson Junior High expressed the feeling that the district’s emails announcing these meetings made it sound like it already might be favoring the idea of moving ninth-graders to the high school.

Thursday’s meeting started roughly 30 minutes late, with school board president Sheila Allen announcing in a carefully worded statement that “by a unanimous vote” in closed session, the school board had taken “action to send a notice of release and reassignment” to two administrative employees, effective July 1.

One of these employees appears to be Davis High Principal Jacqui Moore; the other action appears to be a formal response to the recent resignation of special education director A’Delle Duggan-Laws, whose resignation was accepted in the meeting’s consent agenda, and whose position has been posted as open.

Roberson said he would be sending a statement to district employees this morning, and declined comment until that statement was issued.

Moore told The Enterprise last weekend that she did not expect to be back at Davis High as principal in the fall.

Art teacher Jerry DeCamp of Davis High and Da Vinci Charter Academy, who twice has served as president of the Davis Teachers Association, told The Enterprise that he and four other teachers spoke on Moore’s behalf during public comment prior to closed session. DeCamp gave The Enterprise a written copy of his remarks, which described Moore as “one of the best administrators I have ever worked with … smart, professional, respectful, hard-working and completely ethical.”

— Reach Jeff Hudson at jhudson@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8055.

 

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Elementary school counselors: necessary, but poorly funded

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
     
    Bet Haverim hosts High Holy Day services

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

     
    Teams assess damage as wildfire burns

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Driver arrested for DUI after Saturday morning crash

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    Help raise funds for juvenile diabetes cure

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Jewelry, art for sale at Senior Center

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Davis Community Meals needs cooks

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    UC campus chancellors granted hefty pay raises

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

     
    Send kids to camp!

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Da Vinci awarded $38,000 for restorative justice program

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

     
    Hawk Hill trip planned Sept. 30

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Outdoor yoga marathon celebrates community

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Wise words

    By Sue Cockrell | From Page: A12

     
    .

    Forum

    Awareness is key to this fight

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Where is this going?

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A6

    We’re living in the Golden State of emergency

    By Debra DeAngelo | From Page: A6

     
    Options for protection come with flu season

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

    Are we there yet? Not enough hours in the day to goof off

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A6Comments are off for this post

     
    Paso Fino — it’s not worth it

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Archer will get my vote

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    It’s time for Davis Scouts to stand up for what is right

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    Mike Keefe cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

     
    Building something at schools’ HQ

    By Our View | From Page: A10

    Don’t sell city greenbelt

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Paso Fino project is flawed

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Speak out

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    Maybe David can beat Goliath again

    By Lynne Nittler | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    .

    Sports

    DHS gets on its Morse to beat Edison

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    JV Blue Devils drop low-scoring affair

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B2

     
    Wire briefs: Giants rally falls short in San Diego

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Four local swimmers qualify for Olympic Trials

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

     
    Republic FC’s fairy tale season continues

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    ‘We’re a way better team’ than record, says UCD’s Shaffer

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B4 | Gallery

     
    UCD roundup: Aggie men pound Pomona-Pitzer in the pool

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B4

    Davis 15-year-old making a splash in European F4 series

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B8 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    ‘Ladies Foursome’ adds shows

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    .

    Business

    UCD grad’s startup earns kudos at TechCrunch event

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    Styles on target for November debut

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A7

    MBI hires VP of marketing

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    Rob White: What is an ‘innovation center’?

    By Rob White | From Page: A9

    Taylor Morrison unveils new Woodland community next weekend

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Carol L. Walsh

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, September 21, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B8