School enrollment up by 300 students

DOWNEY - A few items of note served to brighten the proceedings of the DUSD Board of Education meeting Tuesday.Boardmember Willie Gutierrez underscored the fact that DUSD enrollment is up this school year. More precisely, there's 300 more students enrolled this year than last year, according to assistant superintendent Stan Hanstad, reversing a worrisome declining trend in the past two or three years. Boardmember Martha Sodetani congratulated Superintendent Wendy Doty's efforts to energize teachers into turning out a better attendance to illness-related absences ratio. To top it off, Board chairman D. Mark Morris expressed admiration at the way the Downey Adult School is fulfilling its promise. According to DAS office manager Sharon Newberg, while enrollment has more or less stabilized this year at 18,000 students, its rate of growth the past few years is arguably "the fastest in the state," rising from a 24th to 15th ranking among adult schools. Morris said DAS right now stands "far and above" the rest of the adult schools in the area. In other action, the Board: *Heard Downey High School principal Tom Houts honor recent DHS graduate Evelyn Cruz for her heroic role in succoring John Kosarich in Turnbull Canyon as the 68-year-old cross-country DHS coach suffered a sudden heart attack; *Accepted with gratitude a cash donation of $30,000 from the Downey Kiwanis Foundation to be used in support of Project Lead the Way at Warren High School; as well as $4,000 from the Jerome Foundation, $242.76 from Sussman Middle School, and $200 from Robin Martin, all to be used in support of the TLC Family Resource Center; *Likewise accepted from Mitsubishi Motors a donation of five damaged Mitsubishi automobiles (valued at zero dollars by donor), for use by the automobile technology class at Downey High School; *Approved the payment of expenses, including registration fees, for convention and conference attendance; *Ratified the FY2009-10 general agreements made with the following institutions: Center for Autism and Related Disorders; Del Sol School; Devereau Texas Treatment Network; Lindamood-Bell; More Than Words; New Haven Youth and Family Services; and Vista Behavior Consulting; as well as the general agreement covering FY2008-09 made with Oak Grove Institute; *Approved the payments for special education placements; *Ratified the settlement agreements regarding Case # 2009060560 and approving the payment thereof of $6,000; as well as Case # 2009070798, for which a payment of $6,500 has been approved; *Approved the purchase orders by the Purchasing Department; *Approved the payments for hourly, overtime and Civic Center work performed by classified personnel, Adult School and Food Services for the month of June; *Ratified B warrants; *Ratified various agreements including those entered into with Administrative Services Cooperative, Inc. for transportation services; CSU-Fullerton (July 1, 2009-June 30, 2014) for student teaching; the city of Downey (effective Sept. 3, 2009-June 17, 2010) for the School Safety Police Program; and Family Service of Long Beach to provide a Certified Application Assistant (CAA) to enroll children into a statewide health insurance program (covering Aug. 1, 2009-June 30, 2010), as well as a counseling program to children and families referred from the District (Oct. l, 2009-June 30, 2010); *Ratified the agreements between the Downey Adult School Career & Education Center and Children's Dental Public Health Clinic-Bellflower Office, along with We Care Dental Office of Dr. Do, to furnish practical experience to students enrolled in the Dental Assistant program; and between it and Amecare Medical Doctors, Douglas A. Blose, M.D., Inc., Cerritos Family Medical Group, Clinic San Miguel, Charles Drew University Urgent Care Clinic, and Earl Fernando, M.D., to furnish practical experience to students enrolled in the Medical Assistant program; *Ratified the contract for reimbursement for School Psychologist On-Loan with the Los Angles County Office of Education (LACOE); *Authorized the advertisement for bids for the purchase of a new walk-in cooler and freezer at Columbus High School, to be charged to the Food Services Fund; *Ratified the bid award ($3.7 million) to PW Construction, Inc. of Glendora, for the Downey High School modernization (Bldgs. J/K/N & L); *Approved the second year bid renewal to both AAA Electrical Supply, Inc., of Montebello and B & K Electric Wholesale of Downey, for the purchase of electrical equipment and supplies as needed, in the estimated annual amount of $500,000; *Approved the change orders in connection with work performed (painting, plumbing, HVAC, and electrical) by a variety of contractors on the Warren High School new library, classroom building and modernization; *Approved the change order affecting the Downey High School new classroom building construction as well; *Accepted as complete electrical, backhoe, rough carpentry, roofing, fire sprinkler, paving and repair work done by various contractors, as well as the new classroom building (Bldg. "B") for Downey High School completed by PW Construction, Inc, of Glendora; *Approved the adjustments (increase/decrease as the case may be) made to the 2009-10 General Fund unrestricted and restricted budgets, the 2009-10 Deferred Maintenance Fund restricted budget, and the 2009-10 County School Facilities Fund restricted budget; *Approved the declaration and sale and/or recycling of District surplus property and abated the income to the Food Service Fund (and/or for pick up by a local e-waste recycler for proper recycling); *Acknowledged the receipt of a claim dated Aug. 14, 2009 and received on Aug. 21, 2009 submitted by 21st Century Insurance Co. on behalf of Joaquin Hernandez, and denied the claim in compliance with Government Code Section 911-15 and 945; *Approved routine personnel items until subsequent action is taken by the Board; *Authorized the services of the Speech and Language Pathologist, as submitted, for the 2009-10 school year, assigned on a waiver for Education Code Section 44268; *Ratified the abolishment of one vacant 5-hour Senior Instructional Assistant position at Alameda Elementary School, effective Sept. 3, 2009, as well as one vacant Senior Instructional Assistant-Severely/Multiply Handicapped position at West Middle School, effective Sept. 22, 2009; *Approved the abolishment of nine (9) classified positions, mostly Instructional Assistant positions, due to the cancellation of categorical funding from the state, effective Sept. 22, 2009; *Ratified the establishment of one new limited-term position with duties corresponding to the current classification of Student Information Systems Operator, assigned to Secondary Education, effective Aug. 17, 2009-Feb. 16, 2010; *Ratified the establishment of one new position with duties corresponding to the current classification of Senior Instructional Assistant-Severely/Multiply Handicapped, to be assigned to Downey High School effective Sept. 2, 2009; *Ratified the establishment of one new position with duties corresponding to the current classification of Senior Instructional Assistant, assigned to West Middle School, effective Sept. 3, 2009; *Approved the establishment one new position with duties corresponding to the current classification of Instructional Assistant, assigned to Lewis Elementary School, effective Sept. 22, 2009; *Approved the changes to the duties of Senior Accounting Assistant, delineated in a new duty statement, effective Sept. 22, 2009; *Approved the changes to the duties of Switchboard Operator/Receptionist as shown in new duty statement, effective Sept. 22, 2009; *After a public hearing, determined that sufficient textbooks and instructional materials are available and consistent with the cycles and content of the curriculum frameworks; *Adopted a resolution in support of Character Counts Week for Oct. 18-24; *Adopted Resolution No. 200910-03, District appropriations subject to limitation for 2009-10; *Approved the slightly revised Downey Adult School Course of Study for 2009-10; *Approved the certification of the provision of standards-aligned instructional materials for each K-12 pupil in the district in each of the following areas: history/social science, mathematics, reading/language arts and science; *Approved the unaudited actual financial report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2009; *Authorized district staff to finalize a retirement incentive plan for public review and board action at the Oct. 20, 2009 meeting; and *Endorsed the actions taken by the superintendent on student cases. The next regular meeting of the Board will be at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 20 in the Theater at Downey High School, 11040 Brookshire Ave.

********** Published: September 25, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 23

NewsEric Pierce