2 Important topics on the agenda for Tuesday's Board meeting:
1. Reopening plan for Middle and High School Students (Board will be discussing and voting). I am advocating to get all Opt 1 students back to school at least 4 days per week. Administration is advocating for a hybrid model where Middle/High students will only have part-time in person learning. Email AND call the school board with your input. Phone calls will be most impactful. Board member contact can be found here: https://www.vbschools.com/about_us/our_leadership/school_board/members#rye
2. Budget: $36 million in Reversion money that the Board will vote to allocate. (See further details in the agenda.)
I'm thankful that my suggestion to provide an additional stipend to our teachers is being considered and I am inclined to support the proposal.
Here is a summary of the compensation proposal:
• $13,000,000 to be re-appropriated to the School Operating fund 115 to:
- Provide a one-time bonus of $1,000 for all full-time equivalent (FTE) employees - $11,000,000
- Increase the stipend amount for teachers providing dual instruction for Option 1 (face-to-face) and Option 2 (virtual) students - $2,000,000
I was not able to attend last night's board meeting but I did listen to the workshop. The superintendent now states that he cannot allow all option 1 students to return to in-person learning 4 days per week. He is proposing a hybrid plan and not allowing 7,8,10,11,12 to return at least until Nov 12th. Here is an email that I sent to Dr Spence and the Board this morning sharing my concerns and questions since I was not able to be at the meeting. I am also advocating for a higher stipend for teachers.
A FOIA Request was made for my communications with various people. Legally I am bound to provide this information and I would like all of the public to see the requested information. The FOIA request wants my communications with a variety of people and seems like a fishing expedition for political purposes. I have nothing to hide so I'm sharing the messages publicly as they are produced. It is unfortunate that my political opposition is taking up valuable staff time to compile these items for political purposes. The person making the request is LUCAS ANDERTON who is a paid operative for several local campaigns (see attached).
The opposition seems to be on a fishing expedition but they aren't going to find any rotting fish that they hope for. I am one of the most transparent local elected officials and I'm happy to share my communications here.
FIRST FOIA DOCUMENT FROM MY EMAIL COMMUNICATIONS
Two of my colleagues are denying that Glenn Singleton's Courageous Conversations is being used in VBCPS. At the last School Board meeting, the superintendent and director of equity and inclusion both stated we are currently using it.
I will not stand for the public being told lies.
Here is the video of the last meeting (starting at 1:57): https://youtu.be/NptfQW36d9A?t=7017
The superintendent says: "we do have some training we use now Courageous Conversations Around Races and other training that happens in our schools" and then the Director of Equity and Inclusion also confirms our "framework courageous conversations about race".
These are two emails from two colleagues that were sent out in reply to citizen concerns.
New and Amended Policies being voted on by the VB School Board on Wedn 9/9/20. Including a new EQUITY POLICY and changes to STANDING RULES and PROCUREMENT
The image above was provided to me and I have verified that this is part of current training in VB Schools.
If you have any viewpoints that you would like to share regarding these new and amended policies, contact the school board at the group e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or call to sign up to speak at 757-263-1016. You may also sign up to speak by using this form.
1: EQUITY POLICY:
* Will mandate training for employees and School Board members regarding the topic of Culturally Responsive Practices. School Board has not been informed of what the required training will be. We must vote on the policy to know what is in the policy. Superintendent verified that part of current training is "Courageous Conversations About Race" (see above). Glenn Singleton's "Pacific Education Group based in San Francisco makes millions of dollars from this type of training throughout the country. He is political and seems to be extreme and seems to hold his own biases. I do not know if this is what will be mandated but it is being used now.
* I had a meeting with administration last week and I verified that not all stakeholder groups were represented in creating this policy. The Equity Council and the Policy Review Committee (made up of 3 School Board members) drafted the policy. The equity council is made of 20 members, 16 of which are VBCPS employees. There was little to no representation from the Latin, Filipino, or Native American community. A member of the United Jewish Federation was invited to participate (which is great) but no other Christian or Muslim organization was specifically invited. No one was invited who represented the Special Education Community.
* Budget: the policy gives the Superintendent full authority to spend money with no cap to hire consultants and to implement the policy.
2. SCHOOL BOARD STANDING RULES:
* Reduces the amount of the time the public can address the school board from 4 minutes to 3 minutes
3. BY-LAW 1-47:
* Reduces the amount of time for the public to speak and also reduces the window of when speakers can sign up to address the Board
4. POLICY 3-32-CONTRACT EXECUTION POLICY:
* Exempts certain items up to $100,000 from being competitively procured. This includes Instructional Software and Digital Resources. There are thousands of companies that provide these products.
ACTUAL POLICY DRAFT DOCUMENTS
Next Wedn the School Board will vote on lowering the amount of time citizens can speak at a public meeting.
Why would the Board want do this? Do they not want to hear from the people who they serve?
E-mail the Board or sign up to speak: email@example.com or 263-1016
My Viewpoints on the Proposed Equity Policy and attached draft policy that will be voted on by the School Board on Sept 9.
Last winter, the School Board Ad-Hoc Discipline Committee conducted surveys of teachers and staff at a variety of schools throughout the district. Attached are the qualitative results from those surveys. School Board Legal council has reviewed and redacted appropriate portions of the document for personnel/privacy reasons.
Prior to COVID, I made the decision to run for re-election. The primary reason is because I wanted to continue to be a voice for employees and students related to student discipline problems that I believe strongly relate to safety.
Elementary Level Discipline Survey Results
Middle School Survey Results
High School Survey Results
The new policies being discussed on 8/25 and then most likely up for a vote at the following school board meeting are detailed below. If you would like to provide feedback, you may sign up to speak at 263-1016 or e-mail the full board at firstname.lastname@example.org
The policies include:
Policy Review Committee Recommendations:
1. Equity Policy (brand new 5 1/2 page policy)
2. Bylaw Appendix B / School Board Standing Rules (changes public comment time from 4 minutes to 3 minutes)
3. Bylaw 1-18/ Officers: Elections and Terms of Office (no significant changes to current practice)
4. Bylaw 1-39/ Agenda Preparations (no significant changes)
5. Bylaw 1-47/ Public Comments at School Board Meetings (changes public comment time from 4 minutes to 3 minutes, also reduces amount of time to be able to sign up to speak)
6. Policy 3-32/ Emergency/Small/Sole Source Purchases (exempts certain items such as instructional software and digital resources from competitive bidding)
7. Policy 3-89/ General Contract Execution (increases purchasing authority without approval of business services office)