Pacific Grove Unified School District
Minutes from District Communication Meeting, 121405
Juliana Dacuyan Robert Down
Jane Leatham Forest Grove
Terry Schaeffer High School
Gail Root Adult School/Parents Place
Elaine DeMarco Middle School
Diana Rookstool Middle School
Patrick Perry District Office
Sue Lovelace District Office
Janice Russo Adult School
Cindy Gallo District Office
The meeting began with a request for additional items to be added to the agenda. No items were suggested.
1. What is Communication? was addressed by Jane Leatham. Jane noted serious concerns related to communication that was occurring in the District and the benefits of the committee. She noted an item recently brought up by the Board of Education, reconfiguration, as an example. Points noted were the lack of information published at the school sites related to elementary reconfiguration, lack of notice to elementary staff related to the item being placed on the agenda, and questions related to the content, its origin and whether it was the Superintendents intent to develop a onesided report. She also questioned how the information was forwarded to the press and why they had done a frontpage article in the newspaper.
After expressing her points of view related to what is communication, the following information was supplied by the Superintendent.
The Communications Committee is set up to discuss items such as this and to relay answers to questions with schoolsite staff. In context with the elementary reconfiguration item, the following was noted by the Superintendent.
o Elementary reconfiguration has been studied in our School District over a number of years. Committees and reports have been developed and presented to the Board of Education in 1997, 2000, 2001 and during the budgetreduction conversations in 2003.
o Contrary to statements being made, there has been a declining enrollment since 1997 to present of
277 students 29% . There is a decline in enrollment in the elementary schools.
o The origin of the most recent report to the Board of Education on December 8th, which was brought into question with the above comments was noted as follows.
¸ Throughout the last 6 10 months, the Board of Education has had on every agenda (under Future Agenda Items), elementary reconfiguration, indicating an interest to discuss this topic.
¸ In late October/early November the Board requested that the topic be placed on the November 17th agenda. This agendized item was noted in the agenda and packet that was forwarded to every school and PGTA leadership. The Board conducted an initial discussion at the November 17th meeting at which time they requested additional information which were the points contained in the December 8th meeting.
It should be noted that the information in the December 8th meeting was developed at the Boards request through conversation at the November 17th meeting.
o The Superintendent noted that Board meeting agendas list the topics to be discussed and the items. The Minutes of the meetings contain the discussion that took place by the Board of Education. Information related to reconfiguration this year, i.e. November and December, have been published in the Board agendas and minutes, and should have been of no surprise to anyone in our School District who has been reading the Boards agendas, Board Briefs or Minutes of the meetings.
o The Superintendent noted that PGTA leadership was personally notified at least one week in advance of the agenda being reviewed by the Board of Education, that the topic of elementary reconfiguration was going to be placed on the December 8th meeting. The intent of this notification was to make sure that PGTA knew of the upcoming item.
o Regarding the newspaper article featuring reconfiguration, it should be noted that the Herald, along with a number of agencies, receive the Districts agenda of upcoming meetings. If they find items of interest, they call the District and request the item. In this case, the newspaper felt the reconfiguration topic was of public interest, requested the item and wrote the article.
o The Superintendent closed his comments by noting that individuals within our School District should review the Board Agendas that are forwarded to every school site, look at the Board Briefs that are posted on the PGUSD website and emailed to all school sites after each Board meeting and read the Board Minutes that are on the School District web page and contained in the Board packets. This is the only way, other than attending each Board meeting, that individuals in our School District will know what transpires at Board meetings. If people wish to be informed or to express opinions about various Board items, the abovenoted sources are the best ways to be informed.
o The question was raised why elementary reconfiguration keeps coming up. It was noted that the Board of Education consistently looks at the overall District operation with school configuration as one, to determine whether it is organized to offer the best services possible for students. Declining enrollment has been a topic discussed in our School District for a number of years. It has resulted in school closures as well as other changes.
o Jane Leatham noted that in the future, when the topic of reconfiguration is discussed, Board members should meet with faculty and gain their input related to the topic. The Superintendent noted that suggestion would be forwarded to the Board of Education.
2. District Wide Math Program. Elaine DeMarco noted that from her vantage point at the Middle School, there is a substantial need to reconvene the Secondary Math Articulation group. She also noted there needed to be substantial time allocated for the math departments to work together for program articulation and improvement.
The Superintendent noted that given the topic and the information that had been shared with him, that a secondary math articulation meeting had been scheduled for January 2006.
3. Reconfiguration. The Superintendent addressed the December 8th Board item focusing on elementary reconfiguration. Copies of this item were distributed to members who requested them. No additional information was shared other than the information noted above.
4. Secondary Task Force Update. Diana Rookstool asked for clarification related to the elementary reconfiguration report and the secondary enrollment task force. It was noted that declining enrollment was the primary focus of the elementary reconfiguration Board item and that declining enrollment was moving forward into secondary schools. This declining enrollment was the subject of a joint faculty meeting that took place with the 6th 12th grade staff last spring which resulted in the secondary task force which has been meeting to study the effects of the declining enrollment in the secondary schools. This group will be forwarding an updated report at the 6th 12th grade joint faculty meeting in January. At this meeting, a summary of the groups work over the last five months will be shared.
Next meeting: January 25, 2006, 3:30 p.m. District Office