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 March 2019 Board meetings.
Next Steps in Selection of a Superintendent 

The SRCS Board of Education is in the process of conducting a search to hire the District's next Superintendent. The consultants Rich Thome and Kent Bechler of Leadership Associates were selected to advise the Board in this important process.

As previously shared, they were in San Rafael on March 26 - 27 to facilitate several sessions with various groups in our community to receive input about the desired qualities and characteristics of the next Superintendent. Additionally, they met with the Board during a special open session on March 27, during which they reviewed the search process, protocols and community engagement and input. They discussed the search and selection timeline, and determined that the Board will interview finalist candidates on May 29. Click here for an overview of the timeline. The Board members also briefly described their own feedback on what they would like to see in the next Superintendent; they will have individual sessions with the consultants in the near future.

In addition to the community sessions, the Board and Leadership Associates emphasized that the online survey is a valuable tool for input and is available for all stakeholders until April 5 (NEW DATE) to give feedback on the desired qualities and characteristics of the next Superintendent.
Please stay tuned for more information as the search progresses and visit www.srcs.org/next-SRCS-leader for updates.
Enrollment Update and Implications for Short Elementary School

The District has been paying close attention to our enrollment numbers and projections and has provided a series of updates to the Board. Incoming kindergarten registration has shown that the enrollment patterns have continued to level off for next year and are projected to remain flat or slightly decrease over the next several years.

Given that Short Elementary School does not have an attendance area, they are the elementary school most impacted by a change in enrollment. As enrollment across the District has shifted to a downward trend, we do not anticipate needing a kindergarten class again at Short next year. Currently for the 2018-19 school year, Short has grades 1-5 and a transitional kindergarten (TK). (There were not enough students for a K this year; the TK class is not expected to become a K class next year, as students are expected to attend their residence area school.)

We want to be very mindful of how the size of a school can impact student learning, family engagement, the overall success of the school community and more. Over the past several months, school and District staff have engaged the Short School families, teachers and staff about how we can best serve the school community in the short and long-term given the enrollment information.

At the March 11 Board meeting, the District provided an update about the enrollment projections and implications for Short School. Staff also shared a summary of the meetings and conversations with the Short School community. There were four sessions held, with a large percentage of families attending. At the meetings, school and District staff focused sharing enrollment updates and hearing ideas, questions and concerns about potential options and paths forward. Click here to view the presentation.

Given the feedback, the District presented a recommendation that Short Elementary School remain open for the 2019-2020 school year with grades 2-5 and TK, which the Board accepted at its March 25 meeting. Additionally, it was discussed that a merge with Laurel Dell Elementary may be the best option for a future school year. There are many factors to consider and the need for ongoing engagement is critical, so the recommendation also included that the District will collaborate with all stakeholders to create a "roadmap" for the future of Short. A group of families, teachers, staff, neighbors, community members and others will convene early next school year to brainstorm, discuss and plan a recommendation to the Board about the transition as well as the potential future use of the Short School facility. Click here to view the presentation.

We will continue to give great care to any decision about Short School in the near and long-term in the best interest of the students, families, teachers and staff, and look forward to engaging the greater SRCS community about the future of the facility. If you are interested in playing a role in the next steps, please contact communications@srcs.org.
At-Risk Students to Participate in
New SRCS-Juvenile Probation Program 

There was a special presentation at the March 11 meeting on "School Works," a new pilot program thanks to a partnership between SRCS and Marin County Juvenile Probation. SRSC's Executive Director of Student Services Mike Gardner was joined by Eric Olson, Director of Juvenile Probation; Mike Daly, Chief Probation Officer; and Beverly Wood, Superior Court Judge for the Marin Juvenile Community Court.  

The 18-month pilot program stems from a recommendation by the Marin Reducing Ethnic Disparities (RED) Steering Committee. The initiative aims to provide home and school-based prevention services to meet the needs of families from communities where a disproportionate percentage of youth are entering, and penetrating, the juvenile justice system. It will serve a caseload of up to 15 students from targeted SRCS schools. A case manager, parent partner and deputy probation officer will lead the efforts.

Through the School Works initiative, the hope is that if services and support, including trauma-informed care, are provided to families on a voluntary basis, at an earlier age, and without the fear that can come with law enforcement involvement, Marin County may be able to reduce the disproportionate numbers of Latino youth referred to the justice system. Furthermore, it aims to improve the students' school performance.

The Board approved a MOU for the initiative, and extended their gratitude to the Juvenile Probation team for their collaboration and for fully funding School Works. Click here to download the presentation.
Board Adopts Resolution to Transition to
By-Trustee Area Elections

On March 25, the Board approved a resolution that indicates its intention to transition Board elections to by-trustee area elections. Board members are currently elected in "at-large" elections, where each member is elected by voters throughout the District. Whereas, members are elected by voters in geographical subdivisions of the jurisdiction, known as "trustee areas," in "by-trustee-area" elections.

The California Voting Rights Act's (CVRA) purpose is to ensure that the use of at-large elections does not prevent minority groups from electing candidates of their choice to the elected boards of local agencies. The CVRA allows an individual to file suit over an alleged violation, allows a successful challenger to recover their attorneys' fees from the agency and provides courts with broad authority to impose remedies to prevent the dilution of minority votes.

Recently, the District received a letter from the attorney Kevin Shenkman alleging that current District Board elections are in violation of the CVRA. The letter indicated that litigation may result if the District did not make a transition to by-trustee area elections and suggested the District would be liable for his fees if it did not make the transition. The Board's adoption of the resolution limits the fees that Mr. Shenkman may request once the Board completes the transition. The District's liability for any fees would be subject to Mr. Shenkman making a request for a reasonable amount of fees incurred in sending the letter to the District.

The resolution approved by the Board also provides a general outline of the public process for developing the trustee area boundary map which would be used to implement by-trustee area elections. A subcommittee of the Board and the District are currently determining the timeline, but there will be a minimum of five public hearings as part of the process, including two public hearings prior to the development of any draft maps. Click here to view the resolution.
Second Interim Reports on Budgets Presented 

Director of Fiscal Services John Bartolome presented the Second Interim Reports for both districts at the meeting on March 11. He provided updates and highlights on current and projected financial statuses. Additionally, he discussed the districts' ongoing need for budget prioritization to maximize our investment in students, teachers and families while maintaining balanced budgets. 

The Second Interim Report is the second of two interim budget reports required by state law as a way to ensure fiscal solvency for school districts; districts must demonstrate they are able to meet their financial obligations for the current and two subsequent fiscal years. Additionally, the districts' working budgets are monitored on a regular basis and the adopted budgets are adjusted for any new or additional information that becomes available. 

Click here to view the presentation. Additionally, below are links to relevant Second Interim documents: 

Included in the documents are details on some of the significant changes between the Budget Revision #1 and Budget Revision #2. Also, they include detailed assumptions for the multi-year projections for the General Fund. 

As the Second Interim Report and multi-year projections indicate, the districts will be able to meet their financial obligations for the current year and two subsequent years. However, Mr. Bartolome explained that there continues to be deficit spending and we need to continue to work with our community to make choices to maintain balanced budgets. If you have any questions on the budget or want more information, please contact  communications@srcs.org.
Summer Program Takes Shape With BACR Partnership

BACR logo The Board approved an agreement with Bay Area Community Resources (BACR), who will help lead an updated summer program model with the goal of enhancing the summer school experience for more than 500 SRCS elementary and middle school students. The updated program will provide intensive academic support, but will also offer a stronger focus on enrichment opportunities so it is a more engaging experience for students. BACR currently supports the District's after-school programs, and their further involvement is a testament to the comprehensive services our partners can provide through SRCS' community schools model.

The summer program is partially funded by the state's After School Education and Safety Program (ASES) grant, which SRCS has received since 2006.
SRCS and CSEA Reach Agreement 

CSEA logo The Board approved the agreement with the California School Employees Association (CSEA), who represent the District's classified staff. The most significant factor of the agreement is a 4% salary increase in the Elementary School District and a 2% salary increase in the High School District, retroactive to July 1, 2018. The District also increased its contributions to medical benefits at each level. There is a clause that describes that if either SRFT or SRTA receive a salary increase greater than the one granted to CSEA, CSEA members will receive the same salary increase based on the salary schedule from which they are paid. Click here to read the agreement.
Sales Tax Benefits School-Related Transit

Thanks to Marin voters approval of Measure AA, the Elementary School District is receiving new funding from Marin Transit for transportation programs and services, which is detailed in an agreement that the Board approved on March 11. The ESD will receive $232,085 for 2019-20; the funding amounts will be disbursed through 2021-22 and will increase/decrease annually by the sales tax revenue increase/decrease, per the Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM).
The next regular Board of Education meeting is 
Monday, April 15 at 310 Nova Albion Way. 
Board of Education
Greg Knell, President; Maika Llorens Gulati, Vice President;
Linda M. Jackson; Rachel Kertz; and Natu Tuatagaloa 

Michael Watenpaugh, Ed.D.