DOWNEY - The three female Downey Unified School District board members, who were unopposed in last November's district elections and will serve their second 4-year terms, were sworn in Tuesday by Downey Councilmember Roger Brossmer, who also serves as Downey Adult School principal for the district.Taking their oaths of office were Barbara Samperi, representing Trustee Area 7, who was subsequently voted board president, replacing D. Mark Morris; Martha Sodetani, representing Trustee Area l, voted vice-president; and Nancy Swenson, representing Trustee Area 5, who will serve as clerk. After the usual congratulations were made, the 7-member board matched member assignments to various committees. Tod Corrin, Sodetani, and Swenson will comprise the Audit Committee; Morris, Don LaPlante and Willie Gutierrez the Budget; Corrin and Samperi the School/City Coordinating Committee; while LaPlante was reappointed to serve as representative to LACSTA and for Electing Members to the County Committee on School District Organization. Meanwhile, the board heard a presentation by Downey High School principal Tom Houts on a pilot intervention schedule for at-risk students for the second semester of the 2009-10 school year. The gist of the proposed program will be to reward high-achieving students (A-B students) with, say, greater flexibility in their lunch schedules (as an added incentive) and continuing tutoring opportunities for C and below students. The program will be re-evaluated at year-end. In other action, the board: •Accepted with gratitude various cash and in-kind donations from individuals and institutions, including $13,176.33 for classroom use at Gallatin Elementary School as well as $30,000 worth of culinary arts equipment at Warren High-both from the Mary R. Stauffer Foundation; and substantial donations from Michael Berdelis of Prudential 24 Hour Real Estate as well as the Downey Rotary Club; •Ratified/approved the following: the payment of convention and conference attendance expenses; the general agreements with various agencies; the payments for special education placements; the purchase orders by the Purchasing Department; the issuance of payroll orders for hourly, overtime, and Civic Center work performed by classified personnel, Adult School and Food Service, through November 2009; B warrants; the renewal, award or change order of certain bids; the transfer of one fund from the Unrestricted to the Restricted General Fund; routine Personnel items until board subsequent action; the establishment of a limited-term position, for Gallatin Elementary; the changes in positions providing support services for students with special needs; the Memorandum of Understanding between the DEA and DUSD regarding the PAR (Peer Assistance Review) Panel stipends for the 2009-10 school year, as well as that regarding high school counselors; and the proposed revisions to MAR 4141, Administrative, Psychologist, Program Specialist salary schedule A, effective Feb. 1, 2010 (the revisions reflect a 5-step salary structure which rewards certificated personnel with most credits and seniority and provides those with less with 2 percent salary increase gradations); •Accepted as complete the electrical, fencing, backhoe services, plaster, acoustical ceiling, paving, concrete, as well as the bid packages for the WHS modernization program; •Acknowledged the receipt and denial of a claim submitted by Shannon Moore on behalf of Bryce Landon Moore, a minor, in compliance with Government Code Section 911-15 and 945; •Received the 2009-10 First Period Interim Financial Report as of Oct. 31, 2009, and approved the positive certification that DUSD can meet its financial obligations for the remainder of the 2009-10 fiscal year (even as it draws down on its reserves); and •Endorsed the actions taken by the Superintendent on all student cases, considered in closed session. The next regular public meeting of the board will be at 5 p.m. on Jan. 19 at the Gallegos Administration Center.
********** Published: December 18, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 35