Pacific Grove Unified School District
Note: This web page is a copy of the minutes from the Board of Education Meeting.
Minutes are NOT OFFICIAL until approved by the Board.
The official Minutes are available at the Board Office.
Address any questions to the Superintendent, Dr. Ralph Porras, or call the District Office at 831-646-6510.

Minutes of the Meeting of March 6, 2003

The Board of Education of the Pacific Grove Unified School District held a meeting on March 6, 2003, at the Pacific Grove High School.

A. Call to Order: 6:30 p.m.

B. Roll Call: Members Present: Debi Page
Beth Shammas
Jessie Bray
Anne Hall
Richard Schramm

Student Representative: Miriam Pearman, ASB Publicity Commissioner

Administrators Patrick Perry, Superintendent
Present: Robin Blakley, Assistant Superintendent

Identified Closed Session Topic:

a. Superintendent’s Evaluation – Review of Goals for 2002-2003

D. Public Comment on Closed Session Items: None

E. Adjourn to Closed Session: 6:31 p.m.


A. Pledge of Allegiance: Recited

B. Adoption of Agenda: MOTION (Bray/Hall) to adopt amended agenda as noted under consent agenda. Motion CARRIED 5 to 0.

C. Report Action Taken in Closed Session: None.


A. Written Communications:
Perry: Received two letters related to school reconfiguration.
B. Board Member Comment:
Schramm: Met yesterday with a parents group regarding the letter writing campaign.
Bray: Expressed congratulations to Pacific Grove High School’s varsity basketball team, and pointed out that there was a newspaper article announcing Pacific Grove High School’s win in the countywide mock trial competition. She reported that she visited and stayed for lunch at Robert H. Down the previous Friday, and was quite impressed with the open communication. She also reported that she had phone visits with the other schools’ staff.
Hall: Said that it was nice to see a full house, and thanked everyone for coming.
Page: Reported that she had been contacted by someone in the District to pursue the varsity baseball field being renamed in honor of Don Curley. The Board gave direction to convene a committee in order to move forward with the request.
Pearman: Announced that the high school’s Sadie Hawkins Dance would be on Saturday, March 15, 8-11:00 p.m., the play Wreckless was to begin that evening, March 6, and on Tuesday an assembly on drug and alcohol awareness would be held.

C. Superintendent Report:
Perry: Attended the basketball game the prior evening, noting that we lost by only one basket. County History Day was a success, and now they are moving forward to State. He stated that he attended the parent meeting the previous day, and recognized the fact that 30-35 people have been manning tables at markets, and helping. He acknowledged Jennifer Jansen and that there were parents throughout the audience who have helped in the letter writing campaign in various ways. At a meeting in Sacramento last week regarding Basic Aid, Perry was informed that ours has been the largest single grassroots effort ever seen in the State. He stated that the District is hoping that assemblymen and senators will understand the devastation this reduction will cause and that the Governor will remove the bill. Palo Alto sent a circular asking if the District would like to participate in a conference call, in which we would gain privileged information on a law suit if the Governor doesn’t remove the item, stating that the District had only one day to respond. It was determined by the Board that rather than spending District funds they would be receiving information in other ways.

IV. PUBLIC COMMENT: Everett Towne, Community High School student, spoke in favor of keeping the Community High School program. Jim Costello, middle school teacher, commented on his trip to Sacramento to meet with our legislators, applauded the parent letter writing campaign, urged the Board to do whatever possible to keep all teachers employed, and listed various facilities on the middle school campus that other campuses don’t have. Rick Rodewald suggested naming a facility after Richard Chamberlin. Sandy Jordan, middle school teacher, displayed two publications she urged the Board to read, indicating what a middle school does, and how she values the “middle school” concept. Nina Russo, high school principal, announced that Community High School was recently accredited by WASC. James Kincaid, high school student, presented a petition to the Board expressing his opinion on releasing faculty member Dan Powers.


A. Drug/Alcohol Task Force Report: Nina Russo, high school principal, explained that, as part of the high school’s continuing effort to maintain and improve its safe and secure campus, a community task force made up of community members, school personnel, students and law enforcement has been established. Russo pointed out the high school’s 15 action plan strategies. She thanked the Breakers Club, the Alumni Association, and various others for their assistance, and in particular the Pacific Grove Police Department for their proactive response and commitment to meet with the Superintendent, District staff and herself. She announced that there would be an in-service in March, as well as the possibility of having a K-9 unit on campus. Russo also acknowledged the Impact organization, which is targeting 25 students for leadership, who would be selected from various groups such as athletics, drama, and other interested students. Impact would help with funds if needed for the leadership training. She also stated that the students requested more counseling, so they are looking into the possibility of having a drug/alcohol resiliency unit on campus.

VI. CONSENT AGENDA: MOTION (Bray/Shammas) to adopt consent agenda

A. Out of County Activities
B. Acceptance of Donations
C. Certificated Assignment Order No. 13
D. Classified Assignment Order No. 12
E. Minutes of February 11, 2003 Study Session
F. Minutes of February 20, 2003 Regular Meeting
G. Warrant Schedule No. 418
H. Revolving Cash Report No. 8
I. Cash Receipts Report No. 8

J. Board Policy/Administrative Regulations Review – Second Reading 5020, 5117.1, 5121, 5125, 5125.1, 5131, 5131.7, 5141.31, 5141.4, 5144, 5144.1, 5145.6 * (Policy 5131, #5 under ‘Student Responsibilities’: should be changed to read “Except with prior consent for health reasons, possession or use of electronic signaling devices, such as beepers/pagers and cell phones”)
K. Revision Regulations 4300 and 4351 – Second Reading * (Regulation 4300, Page 11-B, paragraph #4, sentence #1, under ‘Senior Management of the Classified Service Contracted Management Employees’: should be changed to read “Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent positions, are governed by contracts entered into and between the District Board of Education and Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent.)
L. Peer Assistance Review (PAR) Budget
M. Approval of the ROP Program Joint Powers Agreement for 2003-2004
N. Summer School Session Lunch Program Waiver

Motion CARRIED 5 to 0.

*Note: Jessie Bray asked that items “J” and “K” be pulled for comment and were voted on and approved as edited. MOTION (Bray/Schramm) to adopt items “J” and ‘K”. Motion CARRIED 5 to 0.


A. Sub Committee Reports:
City/District (Page/Hall): No report.
Negotiations (Bray/Shammas): The next PGTA negotiations session is scheduled for March 21.
ROP (Schramm/Shammas): No report.

B. 2003/2004 District Budget: Blakley explained that the District is currently developing the District’s 2003/2004 budget, and waiting to see what is decided with regard to the Governor’s proposed budget. He reviewed the State’s budget situation, how it affects our school district’s budget with a possible 20% reduction, and stated that there have been a number of ways proposed to address the problem, one of which was the possible closure of one school. He stated that a Budget Committee met and has developed a budget reduction list, which includes the closure of one school, and that administration will proceed with the proposed reductions unless the Board directs otherwise. The Budget Committee will come back together to group in dollar amounts, which can be moved around when brought to the Board on March 20. The Board agreed to wait to prioritize until after the committee meets.

Public Comment: Marty Mehan, graduate of PG schools, expressed his opinion that it would be a good idea to pay Palo Alto Unified School District $1,000 to take part in a conference call concerning a law suit with the State of California, and expressed that he is against reconfiguration. April Wooden, mother of a high school student, agreed that the conference call was a good idea, and suggested, “passing the hat”. She also expressed her opinion that a parent should be on the Budget Committee. Julie Phillips, mother of a Robert H. Down student, offered to write a check for $1,000 for the District to take part in the conference call. Carl Monteer, father of two students at Forest Grove, commended Perry and Blakley on the job done in putting together the list of budget reductions, expressed his opinion that we should try to keep all schools open, and spoke in support of Class Size Reduction (CSR). Deanna Karasek, mother of two students in the District, explained that instead of looking at eliminating programs the community should be looking at it positively and try to come up with a solution. Robert Kirschner, parent of a Robert Down student, asked that the Budget Committee look again at all of the District’s expenditures. Lisa Matalina, mother of a middle school student, expressed her concern about losing libraries and asked that when prioritizing, libraries be put at the top of the list. Miriam Pearman, ASB Publicity Commissioner, stated that the budget situation has been discussed and brainstormed in all eight of her classes. Speaking on behalf of the student body she said that their top concerns were extra curricular activities, the main reason students want to attend school, and the potential cut of some of the best teachers they have ever had. Martha Carswell, mother of 2 students who graduated last year, one Robert Down student and one Independent Study student, commented on her faith in the School Board, stating that we need to come up with other ideas, such as boycotting the State’s lottery until they pay toward education what they promised. Andrea Penrod stated that she found PGUSD schools to be the best in the country, spoke in support of the teachers, and finds the reduction list heartbreaking. Terry Riffle, School Site Council member and mother of 2 students at Robert H. Down, expressed that there must be some way, such as through lease holdings, donations or grants, to generate revenue for the District rather than cut. Nancy Towne, mother of 1 Community High School Student, 1 high school and 1 middle school student, also spoke in favor of the Community High School program. Anne Johnston, stated that at least one parent should be on the Budget Committee, asked about using the District’s reserve for this emergency, and suggested we ask the community for pledges. Bill Phillips, father of a fourth grade student, echoed comments made regarding having a parent on the Budget Committee, stating that the Budget Committee should be public. Janice Russo, Adult School teacher and mother of 2 students at Forest Grove, suggested that unused textbook fund dollars be moved to assist in the shortfall. Susan Nine, PGTA Co-President and Budget Committee member, explained who the committee is comprised of, stated that she would like to have had more time to brainstorm, and that she would like to include parents in the committee. Tiffany Howe, high school senior, spoke on behalf of the student body stating that taking sports and drama from students could relate to drug problems. Jerry Norton, father of 2 graduated students, urged the Board to ask the teachers how they could teach for fewer dollars, and recommended a pay cut for administration. Jan Swigert, mother of three District students, explained that using the District’s reserve would only be a short fix. Michelle Maddox, high school student, spoke in support of extra curricular activities. Richard Walker, father of 2 District students, stated that the District’s staff and programs are excellent, that CSR is a priority, and recommended asking the community for the $120 per student as he saw practiced in New Zealand. Ryan Kendall, high school student, stated that cutting extra curricular activities could lead to a spike in crime and drug use. Wistell Drusen, mother of a Kindergartner at Robert H. Down, spoke in favor of paying $120, even if it caused a hardship, in order to keep a school open and teachers employed. Kim Jones, mother of 3 District students, mentioned an article in Newsweek and referred everyone to the website, where class needs could be posted. Elizabeth Orlando, Robert H. Down PTA president, mentioned the idea of sponsorship in the community, and proposed a District fundraiser to other PTA’s. David Wright spoke in favor of keeping Community High School and counseling services, and stated that we need to come to a decision, one that would allow for continuance of some level of CSR.

Page called for a short break: 9:10 p.m.
Board reconvened: 9:18 p.m.

C. School Reconfiguration/Closure: Perry explained that the closure of one school would be a $261,000 cost savings, and that its prioritization has not yet been determined. He explained that Option #1 had been eliminated because of the difficulty in placing 1,000 students on the high school campus. He explained the school closure/reconfiguration parameters and reviewed each of the proposed options, explaining that each option considers Class Size Reduction. In Option III it was pointed out that the cost savings would be $215,000. An error was pointed out in Option VI – K-Center would be at Robert H. Down and 1st – 5th would be at Forest Grove. Page brought up the idea of Forest Grove housing the middle school students for one year (5th – 8th), then moving them back after the construction, or reevaluate at that time.

MOTION (Schramm/Hall) to extend meeting to no later than 11:00 p.m. Motion CARRIED 5 to 0.

MOTION (Shammas/Schramm) to take up Action/Discussion items at this time in lieu of Public Comment on Information/Discussion item “C”, which will follow Action/Discussion in order to allow more time for public comment. Motion CARRIED 5 to 0.


A. Resolution #707, Intention to Dismiss Certificated Employees: During Saxon’s presentation, she pointed out that on page 17-A under ‘Financial Impact’ it should read “The reduction in services listed on Exhibit “A” would result in a decrease in certificated staff of 28.96 full-time equivalent positions, …” MOTION (Bray/Shammas) to adopt Resolution #707 in order to reduce certificated staffing in Pacific Grove Unified School District for the 2003-2004 school year due to lack of funds. Motion CARRIED 5 to 0.

B. Resolution #708, Resolution to Release and Reassign Administrators: MOTION (Hall/Schramm) to adopt Resolution #708 in order to reduce administrative staffing in Pacific Grove Unified School District for the 2003-2004 school year due to lack of funds. Motion CARRIED 5 to 0.

C. Approval of Second Interim Report – 2002/2003 Budget: MOTION (Bray/Shammas) to approve the Second interim financial report and adopt a positive certification indicating that, based on current information and without significant changes in State allocation or funding legislation, the District will be able to meet its financial obligations for the remainder of this fiscal year, and, based on current forecasts, meet its multi-year commitments. Motion CARRIED 5 to 0.

D. Board Calendar/Future Meetings: The Board reviewed its approved Board meeting dates and determined that no additional Board dates need to be established at this time. Schramm reminded the Board that he would not be present at the March 20 Board meeting, and asked that an audio tape be made available for his review.

E. Future Agenda Items: No new agenda items requested at this time.

Public Comment on Information/Discussion item “C” School Reconfiguration/Closure: Deanna Karasek, Forest Grove parent, thanked the Board and administration for keeping CSR in mind, and suggested that the District request donations and grants. Marc Afifi, PGTA Co-President, stated that he attended a PGTA meeting where it was expressed that they don’t want to close a school site, at least to postpone it until we have more definitive information. Annabell, Lorena and Jamie, high school students, expressed their opinion that putting 8th grade students at the high school would expose younger students to an unsafe environment. Monica Jones, mother of three students in the District, expressed her belief that the current configuration should be maintained. Pat Godfrey, middle school teacher, expressed the importance of CSR and explained the need for time that science teachers have for setting up classes, with regard to 7th grade students traveling between schools. JoAnne Vanderhurst, teacher and parent, thanked the students for speaking, stating that she was proud of them. Christine Raybould, mother of a District student and high school guidance secretary, stated that first period beginning at 7:20 a.m. affects students the rest of the day, suggested staggering times if the option is chosen to have 7th-8th grade go to the high school from Forest Grove for 1st period, and asked that high school programs be maintained if we have limited cuts. Paul Wood, CPA, feels that reconfiguration needs to happen at some point, but it doesn’t need to happen now. Kristine Gruber, mother of Kindergarten student next year, feels 7th-8th grade at high school is wrong because of possible attraction to older boys. Jonathan Ryan, father of 2 Forest Grove students, spoke in favor of keeping all schools open for now and maintaining CSR, and recommended fundraising. Elizabeth Kostyshak, teacher at Forest Grove, believes that the current configuration should remain, and stated that CSR makes a difference. Denise Mello, mother of a 3rd grade student at Robert H. Down, feels her child is safe and secure in the after school program. Mike Niccum, father of a 4th grade Forest Grove student, expressed the importance of prioritizing the reduction list, and that any option not allowing for CSR should be rejected. Richard Walker also spoke in favor of CSR, spoke against 4th-7th grade being together, and stated that he has experienced 8th-12th grade working fine in other countries. Marty Mahan, spoke against reconfiguration, and in favor of keeping 7th-8th grade at the middle school.

IX. ADJOURNMENT: 11:00 p.m.

Submitted by,

Patrick Perry, Secretary
Board of Education

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updated: 4/1/03