Board of Education eager for new school year to start

DOWNEY - DUSD boardmember Willie Gutierrez voiced the sentiments of the rest of his colleagues when he expressed thanks to the community Tuesday for reposing its confidence in the board for yet another year of opportunity to shape the district's educational policy, even as he lauded the board and the administrative team in no uncertain terms for ensuring, by means of sound strategic policies, that the district remains in the top echelon of public school districts in the area.Just returned from her summer vacation, boardmember Barbara Samperi noted the continued positive STAR test scores of the district, singled out curriculum, instruction and assessment director Denise Takano for praise in preparing the report, and said, "It's amazing how far we've gone with this." While boardmember D. Mark Morris echoed Gutierrez' anticipation of the new school year which starts on Sept. 7, right after the Labor Day weekend, boardmember Don LaPlante once again pointed out the tax revenue shortfall up in Sacramento that threatens to throw the whole sorry budget machinery still more out of whack. He despaired, "Why doesn't the legislature decide once and for all to slash the budget instead of being wishy washy about it?" In other action, the board: *Accepted with thanks cash and in-kind donations: 500 rubber playground balls and pumps valued at $2,000 by the donor, American Line Haul, for use on the elementary school playgrounds; $600 from Coca-Cola Refreshments in support of TLC Family Resource Center; and two rolls of Kraft paper and seven packages of specialty paper valued at $135 by the donor, FedEx Office Print and Ship Center; *Ratified other routine matters such as: payment of convention and conference attendance; general agreements with different outside entities for providing a variety of specialized services, including behavior consulting, youth crisis, health care, etc.; special education placements; purchases by the purchasing department; payments for hourly, overtime, and Civic Center work performed by classified personnel, Adult School and Food Services for the month of June 2011; payment of B warrants; and routine personnel items until subsequent action is taken by the Board of Education; *Authorized a number of amended signatories for various accounts, both in the district office and in the middle as well as high schools (incl. Columbus High), all taking effect starting July 1, 2011 and remaining in effect until subsequent action is taken by the Board of Education; *Approved the agreement with Decision Insite, LLC, for consulting services for trustee area scenario compliance analysis and adjustment (includes digital mapping of trustee area, a preliminary and final analysis report (the latter based on the 2010 census); *Approved the agreements with various firms/institutions which provide different services to the district, including advertising services promoting the Downey Adult School, consultant services involving storm water, the purchase of a stop loss insurance policy from Blue Shield of California, the renewal of refuse/recycling systems services with CALMET Services of Downey, and the furnishing of clinical experience to students enrolled in the ROP program by the Downey Regional Medical Center; *Ratified the agreements between the Downey Adult School and the following facilities to furnish practical experience to students enrolled in the various adult school programs: Acumedix; AME Medical Group, Farnaz Havavi, D.D.S., Inc.; Magic Dental Office; Med-Net; Miracle Mile Chiropractic; Mirna Chambi, M.D., Inc; Mission Urgent Care and Family Practice; Montano Family Dentistry, Inc., Quach Thomas Tri, M.D.; Saturnina L. Mercado, M.D.; and Whittier Health Center; *Awarded bids for the purchase of dry and refrigerated food as well as paper products for the Food Services Department to various vendors; *Approved the establishment of two new positions (equivalent to senior instructional assistant position) assigned to Downey Adult School, and one new limited-term position (equivalent to senior assistant-behaviorally-challenged position for Alameda Elementary; and *Approved the schedule for elementary school bus stops for the 2011-12 school year. The next public meeting of the Downey Board of Education will be at 5 p.m. on Sept. 20 at the Gallegos Administration Center, 11627 Brookshire Ave.

********** Published: August 25, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 19