October 4, 2021
The board voted unanimously in favor of continuing to conduct electronic board meetings in their current format. The board must reaffirm every 30 days that the necessary conditions are met per AB 361:
1. a proclaimed state of emergency
2. either social distancing is recommended or the governing board determines that meeting in person would present imminent risks to the health or safety of attendees
Assistant Superintendent Randy Kenyon provided an update on the plans for the 10th site. LASD purchased the site (11.65 acres) for $155 million in 2019, then sold 2 acres to the City of Mountain View for $20 million to build a city park. Another 4 acres will be used jointly by the City of Mountain View during non-school hours, with the city contributing an additional $23 million for this purpose. (Some land is also being sold to developers to offset purchase costs.) LASD has been working with the City of Mountain View to make plans for the site. A 2-story school building will take up an estimated 2 acres of land and can accommodate up to 900 students. The 4 acres of joint use recreational space will include a track, soccer field, baseball field, and indoor gymnasium. The location of the 2-acre park has been selected to accommodate traffic patterns and to allow public access without entering school grounds. For more information, please see the full 10th site presentation.
The Santa Clara County Board of Education (SCCBoE) issued a Notice of Concern to Bullis Charter School (BCS) in May of 2021. The notice states that BCS is in violation of the Charter Schools Act, because “BCS is not serving all pupils who wish to attend.” They elaborate by saying they are “not serving all demographic groups” with lower percentages of English Learners, Students with Special Needs, Hispanic Students, and socio-economically disadvantaged students. Failure to correct this violation could result in the denial of their upcoming charter renewal (due in 2021-22). In response, Bullis Charter School has proposed updating their enrollment preferences. Second preference will be given to students living within LASD that qualify for free or reduced-price meals, up to a maximum of 10% at each grade level. Students outside the district who qualify will be given seventh preference. (The full list of enrollment preferences can be found on the BCS website.) LASD board members expressed concern that this change alone will not be sufficient to correct the violation (especially with the 10% cap), as similar measures in the past were unsuccessful. They would like to see the County hold BCS accountable for delivering results before renewing their charter. Board members instructed Superintendent Jeff Baier to send a letter to the SCCBoE before their meeting on Oct 6, 2021 to vote on the proposed changes in enrollment preferences.
October 18, 2021
Superintendent Jeff Baier shared the news that Governor Newsom intends to require vaccines in schools for both students and staff. The mandate could come as early as January 2022 or as late as July 2022. Within LASD, over 90% of staff members are already full vaccinated. Of the students currently eligible (ages 12 and up), approximately 85% are fully vaccinated. Despite the fact that most LASD students are not yet eligible to be vaccinated, there continue to be very few COVID-19 cases, and pool testing results have shown no evidence of school-related spread.
The board voted unanimously to approve the funding plan proposed by Assistant Superintendent Sandra McGonagle. This plan allocates $693,243 in emergency funds (known as ESSER III) granted by the federal government under the American Rescue Plan Act. The bulk of these funds ($500,000) will go toward improving ventilation in the classrooms, while smaller amounts will be spent on providing extra academic support to students below grade level and equitable technology access across all schools.
Stella Kam, Observer