DUSD's Nancy Matthews presented with Vision Award

DOWNEY - The Board of Education of the Downey Unified School District Tuesday heard Special Education director Kent Halbmeier present the Superintendent's Vision Award in the area of Personnel to Nancy Matthews, program administrator in special education for the district.Halbmeier said the 33-year special education careerist was being honored "because she is clearly extremely qualified, highly skilled, and totally dedicated." He pointed to her background and training as including a BA from Whittier College, an elementary multiple subject credential from CSU-Los Angeles and an MA in school administration from National University. In addition, she holds specialty credentials authorizing the teaching of students with severe disabilities, learning disabilities, autism, and kids with emotional disturbances. Instrumental in developing the district's Early Intervention Program since its inception, Matthews, who came to DUSD in 1976, "has assembled an amazing team of professionals who are exceptionally well-prepared and dedicated to teaching children with disabilities," Halbmaier said. "Success in dealing with these children requires qualified teachers, as well as a support staff such as school psychologists, speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists, and para educators or senior instructional assistants." Matthews' primary responsibility today, he noted, is the direct supervision of the district's Early Childhood Programs (preschool) located at Alameda, in addition to the district-wide programs that provide instruction to children diagnosed with autism. The Board, meanwhile, received the audit report on all district funds and accounts for the 2007-08 fiscal year as prepared by Vavrinek, Trine, Day & Co., LLP, Certified Public Accountants. In other action, the Board: •Accepted with gratitude cash and in-kind donations from various individuals and parties, including a cash donation of $1,000 from the Ellen and Clarence Peterson Foundation, to be used for eye exams and eyeglasses for district students in need; and cash donations of $600 from the Downey Association of Realtors, $500 from Scanlon, Guerra, Burke, Insurance Brokers, $220 from Souhail and Katherine Israwi, and $200 from Robin Martin-to be used in support of the TLC Family Resource Center; •Authorized the payment of expenses for convention and conference attendance; •Ratified the general agreements with DG Therapy Group and Rossier Park Elementary School for the 2008-09 fiscal year; •Ratified the payments for special education placements; •Ratified the settlement agreement regarding Case # 2008110752 and approved payment of $3,250; •Approved the appointment of members to the Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) Community Advisory Committee and extending the terms of other members; •Ratified purchase orders by the Purchasing Department; •Ratified the issuance of payroll orders for hourly, overtime, Civic Center work performed by classified personnel, Adult School, and Food Services, through December 2008; •Ratified B warrants; •Ratified the contract between LACOE (LA County Office of Education) and Downey-Montebello SELPA, "Participation in a Full-Service LEA-County-Local Plan for Special Education," effective July 1, 2008-June 30, 2013; •Ratified the amendment to the contract for special education transportation services for individual(s) with exceptional needs, with LACOE, effective July 1, 2008-June 30, 2009; •Ratified the contract for network services and support educational telecommunications and technology, with LACOE, effective July 1, 2008-June 30, 2011; •Accepted the quarterly uniform complaint report summary; •Authorized the advertisement for bids for an annual contract for weed control services, to be charged to M.O.T. funds; •Approved the change orders involving various work performed by various vendors doing construction/modernization at Warren and Downey High schools, as well as fencing work for the Maintenance Department and at Rio Hondo Elementary School; •Accepted as complete electrical, fencing, and concrete work performed by various contractors; •Approved the adjustments to the unrestricted budgets of the 2008-09 General Fund, Adult Education Fund, Cafeteria Fund, Capital Facilities Fund, County School Facilities Fund, Reserve for Capital Outlay Fund, Self Insurance Fund, Self Insurance Workers Compensation Fund, Self Insurance Health and Welfare Fund, Self Insurance Dental Fund, and the Self Insurance Vision Fund; as well as to the restricted budgets of the same General Fund, the Adult Education Fund, and the Deferred Maintenance Fund; •Acknowledged receipt of claim dated Dec. 3, 2008 submitted by the law offices of Payam Y. Poursalimi, on behalf of Yvonne Rodriguez, and denied same in compliance with Government Code Section 911-15 and 945; •Approved routine personnel items until subsequent action is taken by the Board of Education; •Ratified the establishment of three new limited-term positions, assigned variously to Pace/LACOE E. D. Site, West Middle School, and Ward Elementary School (all special education assignments); •Approved the changes to the duties of Database Coordinator, Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, Lead Food Service Assistant, and Student Testing Technician, as shown in their duty statements, all taking effect on Jan. 13, 2009; •Adopted a resolution listing the criteria for determining the order of seniority for those certificated employees with the same date of first paid service in a probationary status; •Ratified the settlement agreement regarding Case #N200510082, and approved the payment of $13,500; and •Endorsed the actions taken by the superintendent on all student cases. The next regular meeting the Board will be held at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2009 at the Gallegos Administration Center, 11627 Brookshire Ave. ********** Published: January 16, 2009 - Volume 7 - Issue 39

FeaturesEric Pierce