School Board approves temporary Athletic Director, Stipend for teachers

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The Mariposa County Board of Trustees and Education held its monthly meeting on April 12.

Board President Kathy Chappell reported that the board took the following actions from closed session.  On Item C of the closed session agenda, the board rejected unanimously, two separate cases for claims for damages.  On Item D of the closed session agenda, the board approved unanimously, the Final Settlement Agreement and General Release with the plaintiff agreeing to release all claims specified against the district.

There was no Mariposa County Health Officer Report given.  However, Superintendent Aranguena did take the opportunity to update the board and the public on information he received prior to the board meeting regarding SB-871. Refer to the MariposaToday.com breaking news reporting of this information at the following link: State delays decision on student Covid-19 vaccinations.

Standing reports were provided to the board from ASB President Megan Harris, MCTA President Ben Jewell, CSEA President Chris Bernstein and Superintendent Aranguena.  In short, the high school has been doing a coin drive with funds going to Nature Bridge, a clothing drive for children/students in need, a book exchange to encourage reading and recycling, a recent Prom Fair where prom dresses were available for $10, a recent spring sports rally and dance was held last week and that there will be an upcoming Karaoke Night for students to just get together and have a good time.

MCTA shared a couple things that various classes and schools around the district did on “Pi Day” as well as info about a garden project at Woodland Elementary.  CSEA reported that they are looking forward to a positive working relationship with admins, board and classified members as they ready for negotiations as well as provided a brief intro to a program they hope to have the board and district admin take part in next year that has board members and admin shadowing the various classified positions to get a better understanding of the jobs the classified staff provides. Lastly, Aranguena reiterated the statement that he made earlier regarding SB 871.

Consent Agenda Items: The board approved all items on the consent agenda by unanimous vote.

Instructional Programs: There was no discussion or additional information provided on item 8-A under regarding the A-G Access Grant Program other than to state that the item will come back at the May regular meeting for approval.

Finance and Business: There was no additional discussion or information provided on item 9-A.

Facilities: All items under Facilities were approved unanimously by the Board.

Personnel: The Board approved a $3500 stipend for teachers due to Covid. The actual agenda item states, MCUSD and MCTA would like to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the 2021-2022 year only, as it relates to COVID-19 working conditions. For certificated staff members who provided contracted services between August 16, 2021 and June 30, 2022, a $3,500 retention bonus payment would be issued. This agreement is meant to resolve existing negotiable effects from changed working conditions.” Total cost provided in the agenda packet was “$518,930 for District and $55,723 for County. Funding comes from ESSER III Funds.”

The Board approved, unanimously and without further discussion, a temporary athletic director position and job description to oversee high school and middle school athletics beginning next year. The following is from the board agenda packet, “After multiple discussions and reviews of Athletic Director needs in the district, district staff presents to the school board a job description and a request for a temporary Athletic Director for board review and approval for the 2022-2023 school year. This position will support student athletics between grades 7-12 district-wide. This position will be funded with ESSER III dollars and will help address the impact that COVID 19 has had on district schools and sports programs.”

The board unanimously approved reinstating previously closed bus routes with the new pool of qualified additional drivers, in part, due to recent hiring incentives and driver training classes beginning with the 2022-23 school year; and finally, the board approved adding additional hours to an existing custodial position to make it an eight-hour position in hopes of finding a qualified applicant to fill the position that has been vacant for almost 16 months.

All items under Policy and Regulations were approved unanimously and without discussion.

Under “Future Agenda Items”, Bob Collins, District 5 board member asked that an update on the early release (elementary schools) and late start (high school) days be discussed at an upcoming meeting.

The board has scheduled a special meeting for April 28, otherwise the MCUSD board meetings are held the second Thursday of each month at 5:30 p.m. in the district office board room and is also available via Zoom.

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