Board Briefs provides important information about the work of the 
San Rafael City Schools Board of Education. Following Board meetings on a
regular basis, SRCS will publish Board Briefs as a resource for the
greater SRCS community on Board discussions, actions and activity.

Below are updates from the February 2019 and March 1, 2019 Board meetings.
Next Steps in Selection of a Superintendent  

At its meeting on Feb. 11, the Board voted not to grant a one-year extension of Superintendent Michael Watenpaugh's employment agreement, which expires on June 30, 2019. At the next meeting on Feb. 25, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Amy Buster Baer presented the Board with options for next steps in securing new leadership for the District, which include beginning the process of using a search firm to conduct a superintendent search or appointing an interim superintendent and conducting a search at a time later identified by the Board.

Ms. Buster Baer highlighted what a search firm could provide to the District, such as support to the Board in developing the criteria and qualifications and the facilitation of the process for the input and engagement of the community - students, teachers, staff, parents, community members and others. The option of appointing an interim superintendent for the 2019-20 school year was also discussed, with the understanding that the Board would begin the search process for a superintendent during the next school year. At a follow up meeting on March 1, the Board continued to discuss the options and an updated timeline for a superintendent search was reviewed. Click here to download the presentation, which includes the original and updated timelines.

The Board authorized the District to begin the process of selecting a superintendent search firm. They also emphasized that while the process to select a firm will begin immediately, they want to ensure that SRCS finds the best person for the role and for the District. This means the Board has the option to decide, if the search process is not on track to find the right leader, to appoint an interim superintendent and conduct and/or complete a search next year. To help lead the process for identifying the District's next leader, the Board appointed Board Vice President Maika Llorens Gulati and Trustee Linda Jackson to serve on a Board subcommittee.

At its next meeting on March 11, during a special session from 5 - 6 pm that is open to members of the public, the Board will hear presentations from interested search firms and consider selecting a firm. If the Board were to select a firm and move on to the next steps, the firm and District will collaborate to ensure that the greater SRCS community is informed about the process and has the opportunity to provide input on what qualities and characters are desired for the new superintendent. Visit www.srcs.org/next-SRCS-leader for the latest information. 
Task Force Exploring Dual Immersion Program for SRCS

This school year, SRCS launched a Dual Immersion Task Force, and Deputy Superintendent Dr. Mayra Perez provided an overview of their work and progress to the Board. She described that the group - consisting of teachers, administrators and community partners - is studying various dual immersion programs and visiting a range of local examples. She also provided research from Thomas and Collier about English learner's achievement based on the various program options (see chart to the right; click to view and see larger), and highlighted that they are digging into other relevant research and professional reading. Ultimately, the task force could make a recommendation for a SRCS program if it is in the best interest of our students. 

During discussion, it was noted that a potential implementation timeline and detailed plan has not yet been determined, but that there is real excitement about the promise of a District program. Click here to download the presentation.
Parcel Tax Oversight Committee
Presents Report and Recommendations

At its Feb. 25 meeting, the Board reviewed and approved the SRCS Parcel Tax Citizens Oversight Committee (PTCOC) Report 2014-2015 through the 2017-2018 fiscal years. The Board also heard a presentation from the PTCOC president and TLHS teacher, Morgan Agnew.

The San Rafael community approved the continuation of the existing parcel tax in 2014 to maintain and improve quality education, improve reading and mathematics, enhance technology and science programs, preserve small class sizes, and attract and retain quality teachers in the elementary and high school districts. An independent Parcel Tax Citizens Oversight Committee was appointed by the Board to ensure that special tax proceeds are spent for their authorized purposes and to report the expenditure of such funds. Due to an administrative error, that committee did not meet between 2014 and 2018, but has now convened this school year to review the revenues and expenditures for both the Elementary School District and the High School District and produce its report for review and approval by the Board.

In his presentation to the Board, Mr. Agnew shared that the committee agrees the District is in compliance with the letter of the law that every dollar of the parcel tax funds go towards one of the priorities outlined in the ballot language. He also discussed that in accordance with the spirit of the law, the PTCOC is working to ensure that the priorities outlined are reflected in the use of parcel tax funds, and shared some solutions to address concerns from the PTCOC in this regard. He described how they would be able to provide more meaningful oversight if the District were to reallocate parcel tax funding to better reflect the priorities. Click here to download his presentation.

In discussion, the Board indicated that they are interested in reallocating parcel tax funding in future budgets and as a next step, asked Business Services and PTCOC leaders to meet and collaborate on how to best implement this reallocation.
Service Connects SRCS With  Qualified Substitutes

The Board approved an agreement with Swing Education as a pilot program to increase our access to qualified substitute teachers and staff. School districts across the state are having significant difficulties filling vacancies with qualified substitutes. This shortage, combined with the significant professional development in SRCS, has meant that we are often short qualified substitutes. These shortages have forced teachers to miss staff development opportunities and cancel important planning days. Swing Education recruits, fingerprints and trains substitutes from the greater Bay Area and will work with SRCS to staff unfilled vacancies.
Annual Safety Plan Updated and Approved

Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Doug Marquand presented a District-wide emergency preparedness and safety plan based on the Marin County Office of Education's model plan. The District annually reviews the Safety Plan and provides updates to all schools and departments. SRCS partnered with Bill Welch from North Bay Security Group to collaborate with the sites to develop the plan, oversee the implementation of the plan and provide site training. The plan has also been shared with local emergency officials and incorporates their feedback. The Board approved the comprehensive safety plan and highlighted how important preparation and trainings are for the safety of our students and staff.

Bill Welch has been working with SRCS for the past three years training school and district staff on emergency and disaster preparedness. A review of the school's safety plan is included in the annual trainings. Click here to download the presentation.
The next regular Board of Education meeting is Monday, March 11 at 310 Nova Albion Way. There will be a special open session at 5 pm for presentations from firms for a superintendent search.
The regular open session will begin at 6 pm and closed session will follow.  
Board of Education
Greg Knell, President; Maika Llorens Gulati, Vice President;
Linda M. Jackson; Rachel Kertz; and Natu Tuatagaloa 

Michael Watenpaugh, Ed.D.