Trustees table to Aug. 3 Measure Q Citizens Oversight Committee resolution – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Dixon Unified leaders on Thursday tabled until their next meeting, Aug. 3, a resolution to establish the Measure Q Citizens Oversight Committee, the decision coming after nearly three hours of discussion, by turns rancorous, repetitious and frustrating.

The lengthy discussion on the first new business agenda item came as a surprise to some, given the seemingly routine nature of such matters in other school districts, but committee members, who have already been meeting over the past several weeks, objected to the addition of five pages of bylaws, committee procedures and an excerpt from the California Constitution attached to the three-page resolution.

Source: Trustees table to Aug. 3 Measure Q Citizens Oversight Committee resolution

Fairfield-Suisun School District seeks bond panel members – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

Residents are sought to serve on the Measure J bond oversight committee that reviews Fairfield-Suisun School District spending of bond funds and issues an annual report on their findings.

The school district seeks a member representing a senior citizen’s group and a member-at-large from the general community.

Meetings are held every other month on the second Monday at 5:30 p.m.

Source: Fairfied-Suisun School District seeks bond panel members

Vacaville school trustees face light agenda Thursday – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

With new LCAPs and annual budgets sent to county offices of education, California school districts tend to face light midsummer agendas in July and August and that will be the case Thursday, when Vacaville Unified leaders meet.

In what likely will be a short meeting, concerned mostly with financial matters, trustees are expected to approve a revised 2017-18 salary schedule for classified, or school-suppport, managers, an unrepresented employee group that ranges from custodial manager and public information officer to director of maintenance and technology coordinator, with monthly pay, depending on which of five steps they fall under, that ranges from (all Step 1, or beginning, salaries, for example) $5,340 and $7,524 to $8,925 and $9,167.

There was no indication in agenda documents about why the salary scheduled was revised.

Source: Vacaville school trustees face light agenda Thursday

Measure Q Citizens Oversight Committee to meet – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Dixon Unified’s Measure Q Citizens Bond Oversight Committee will meet in Wednesday in Dixon.

Members will hear an overview of existing bond projects from John Calise, the rural school district’s director of facilities and operations.

They also will hear from a guest speaker Anton Jungherr on organizational guidance.

Gary Riddle, a committee member, will offer a report and the committee may take action, according to agenda documents.

Calise will present information about the committee’s website content.

Source: Measure Q Citizens Oversight Committee to meet

Measure A projects continue apace, on time and budget – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

School is out, and it is high season for Measure A-related construction projects across several Vacaville Unified campuses, where, at two sites on Thursday, small hand-operated, gas-powered compactors rapidly thudded and packed soil, portable electric saws buzzed and cut wood, and shovels crunched gravel.

Measure A was the $194 million bond Vacaville voters passed in 2014, to upgrade and modernize the school district’s many aging campuses, more than half of them 50 years old, and, of those, several more than 60 years old.

On a tour of new construction at Vacaville High and remodeling at Willis Jepson Middle School, Dan Banowetz, the district’s director of facilities, said the Division of State Architect is still reviewing some plans for other Measure A projects but work continues apace, on time and on budget, for existing projects.

 

Source: Measure A projects continue apace, on time and budget

Measure Q Citizens Oversight Committee to hold organizational meeting – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Dixon Unified’s Measure Q Citizens Oversight Committee will hold its organizational meeting Wednesday at Dixon High School.

The committee, formed in May, will review procedures, policies and guidelines; Brown Act provisions that stipulate the state’s open meetings laws; elect officers (chair, vice chair, secretary, etc.); and set dates for future meetings.

The $30.4 million bond, which will pay for upgrades to the district’s aging schools, passed by more than 55 percent of district voters in November. The money will be used to upgrade the district’s eight campuses, but especially the oldest, such as Old Dixon High, built in 1940, and Anderson Elementary, built in 1949. By law, none of the bond money can be used for administrator or teacher salaries or school operating expenses.

Source: Measure Q Citizens Oversight Committee to hold organizational meeting

Bond committee will discuss possible future Measure S projects over summer – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

Benicia Unified School District trustees heard an update on Measure S projects completed to date and potential projects for the future at Thursday’s school board meeting. The presentation was delivered by Roxanne Egan, the Measure S bond director.

Measure S was a ballot initiative approved by Benicia voters in 2014 to provide $49.6 million in bond funding for projects for the district’s seven schools. The bond funds were initially going to be issued in three series: Series A, B and C. Due to low interest, Series B and C were consolidated into one bond issuance. Series A projects were announced in 2014, and 11 have been completed so far: technology infrastructure upgrades at all the schools, phone system upgrades at all the schools, renovated playgrounds at all the elementary schools, fixing the roofs at Benicia Middle School and Mary Farmar Elementary, fixing the softball field bleachers at Benicia High School, repainting the exterior at Benicia High, installing new camera security systems at all the schools, upgrading the fire alarm system at Benicia Middle, upgrading the IT server and replacing the clocks, bells and PA systems.

Two projects are currently in construction at Benicia High: a renovation of the George Drolette Stadium and fire alarms. The former is expected to be completed over the summer while the latter is estimated to be completed by October, Egan said.

Source: Bond committee will discuss possible future Measure S projects over summer

School district eyes project labor agreement for Fairfield-Suisun Measure J projects – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

A project labor agreement with the Napa-Solano Counties Building and Construction Trades Council goes to Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees Thursday for projects funded by Measure J.

Eric Christen, executive director of the Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction, said Tuesday that the 23-page pact is from the union template for such agreements, a description Danny Bernardini, business manager for the building and construction trades council, disputes.

“It’s all the standard stuff,” Christen said.The pact forces workers to pay union dues and pensions, he said.

Source: School district eyes project labor agreement for Fairfield-Suisun Measure J projects

Fairfield-Suisun school district agenda: Measure J contracts, 2017-18 budget update – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Several large construction contracts, some of them related to Measure J, and an update on Gov. Jerry Brown’s “May revise” state budget are on the agenda when Fairfield-Suisun Unified leaders meet tonight in Fairfield.

The seven-member governing board is expected to approve a $131,000 contract, funded by Measure J, with All Commercial Fence, a Waterford-based firm in Stanislaus County, for a fencing project at Green Valley Middle School.

But trustees will reject a $317,000 bid, because it was the only one, to refurbish Armijo High lockers, and re-bid the project, also funded by Measure J, at an unspecified date.

Measure J was the $249 million school bond measure passed by voters in June 2016, to upgrade aging schools in the sprawling district, the largest in Solano County, with more than 21,000 students across more than two dozen campuses.

 

Source: Fairfield-Suisun school district agenda: Measure J contracts, 2017-18 budget update

Dixon school leaders to add another member to Measure Q oversight committee – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Dixon Unified leaders, when they meet tonight in a special meeting, are expected to approve the addition of one new member to the Measure Q Citizens Oversight Committee, Tad Smith, a scientist.

During a regular meeting last week, trustees approved a list of five members to serve on the committee. They are Julie Mustard, an administrative coordinator; Gary Riddle, a retiree; Robert Strong, a computer network specialist; Andrea Kett, a business owner; and Jack Caldwell, a local manager.

When school bond measures pass in California, citizens oversight committees usually are formed to comply with the requirements of the bond and state law. Its members are appointed volunteers, often from various organizations, in accord with state law, Basically, oversight committees, independent of a school district’s governing board, try to make sure the bond money is being spent wisely on construction projects and is accounted for, by providing period updates to trustees.

Source: Dixon school leaders to add another member to Measure Q oversight committee

Benicia High School informational meeting draws concerns over new graduation requirements, funding for PAB – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

Parents, students and teachers packed the Benicia High School Performing Arts Building for an informational meeting Monday night about the new school board-approved graduation requirements where they voiced their concerns about their potential impact on art and elective courses.

At the March 16 school board meeting, the board held a discussion and first reading of the proposed new requirements to go into effect for the class of 2022, which Superintendent Charles Young said were modeled after the University of California and California State University requirements, although with some modifications. The required amount of units for graduation would remain at 220, but some of the units would be redistributed to additional requirements. The proposed changes were as follows:

* Health and the semesterlong elective that accompanied it would be replaced by a new yearlong course titled “Get Focused,” intended to help freshmen be successful by identifying their life and career goals early on and develop a pathway to prepare for that field, according to its description in the 2017-2018 course catalog.

Source: Benicia High School informational meeting draws concerns over new graduation requirements, funding for PAB

English-learner report, student achievement plan on Dixon Unified agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Dixon Unified leaders, when they meet Thursday, will consider the annual District English Learner Advisory Committee (DELAC) report, approve new courses at C.A. Jacobs Intermediate School, discuss a teacher survey on elementary school reconfiguration, and likely approve the Measure Q Citizen Oversight Committee membership roll.

Mike Walbridge, assistant superintendent of educational services, will present the DELAC report.

Every California public school district, grades K-12, is required to form a DELAC if it has 51 or more English-learner students. The committee is comprised of school staff, parents of English-learner students, other parents and community members who are interested in English-learner programs. The committee advises the district’s governing board (in person, by letters or reports, or through an administrator, on programs and services for English learners).

In the agenda documents, Walbridge noted that an unspecified number of parent members will offer a brief “needs assessment as part of the LCAP (Local Control Accountability Plan) stakeholder engagement process.”

 

Source: English-learner report, student achievement plan on Dixon Unified agenda

“Sunshining” bargaining proposals, Measure Q contracts on SCC agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Sunshining of bargaining proposals between the Solano Community College trustees and Local 39 of the Operating Engineers union, several major construction contracts, and the educational agreement between Mariani Nut Company of Winters and the SCC District are on the agenda when college leaders meet tonight in Fairfield.

Local 39 has presented its initial bargaining proposals to the district board for the purpose of sunshining, as required by law. To sunshine bargaining proposals is to inform the public what will be discussed during labor negotiations. The topics include — no surprise — pay and allowances, working conditions, hours and overtime and leaves of absence.

Public comment on the proposals will be received at the next governing board meeting, June 7.

The eight-member governing board will consider a $78,000 contract with Consolidated Engineering Laboratories for project special inspection and testing services for the new science building project at the main Fairfield campus.

 

Measure Q items, charter school petition on DUSD agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Business related to Measure Q, the $30.4 million bond approved by voters in November, and a public hearing on the Norcal Trade and Tech Center Charter School petition are on the agenda when Dixon Unified leaders meet tonight in Dixon.

The five-member governing board is expected to approve a $864,000 contract with LPA Inc. for design services related to the modernization of Old Dixon High, built in 1940 when Franklin Roosevelt was president. LPA is an architectural firm with offices in California and Texas, from Sacramento and San Diego to Dallas and San Antonio.

Later in the meeting, trustees also are expected to approve some additional applicants to serve on the Citizens Oversight Committee for Measure Q. Typically, bond oversight committees are tasked with being stewards of the money, delivering periodic updates to the governing board on how the money is being spent. Agenda documents did not list the names of the applicants, but two were approved in March, one in April, and Superintendent Brian Dolan, noted the latest applicants bring the committee closer to being fully staffed.

Source: Measure Q items, charter school petition on DUSD agenda

School board to consider awarding fire alarm upgrade to lowest bidder – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

The Benicia Unified School District is already in the process of looking for a contractor for the fire alarm upgrade at Benicia High School. The school board will be voting Thursday to award the contract to the lowest bidder.

The fire alarm improvement is another item to be funded through Measure S, the initiative approved by Benicia voters in 2014 to provide $49.6 million in bond funding to enhance facilities at BUSD’s seven schools. Much like the stadium renovation at Benicia High School and the fire alarm upgrade at Benicia Middle School, the project was taken to a public bidding process where contractors had to be pre-qualified in order to be eligible to bid. According to Measure S Bond Director Roxanne Egan, four contractors pre-qualified and three submitted a bid. The lowest was a $1.9 million bid submitted by Bockmon & Woody Electric Co. Inc. out of Stockton. District staff is recommending that the board award the contract to Bockmon & Woody, noting that the district’s electrical engineer has successfully worked on projects with the company and is confident in their ability.

Source: School board to consider awarding fire alarm upgrade to lowest bidder

Further Benicia Middle School remodeling updates presented to school board – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

Lee Pollard of HY Architects delivered an update of Benicia Middle School’s campus modernization project at Thursday’s school board meeting.

The redesign of Benicia Middle’s campus, funded by Measure S and set to begin in the fall, has been a topic of discussion at school board meetings in recent months. One of the suggestions at the Feb. 2 meeting was to gather more input from staff. Pollard said that shortly afterward, the same presentation was given to BMS staff on Feb. 10, and design committee meetings were held on March 10 and 24, in which additional input was given.

Primary projects of the redesign include new modular classrooms, a modernized campus, a new drama room and kitchen, and removing the lower portables.

Staff has presented concerns about the number of classrooms in the upper campus if the school removed classrooms in the lower campus and congested student traffic in getting out of the library building. They also expressed a desire for 21st century learning classrooms and improving the front of the school and outdoor learning areas.“The group had a lot of passion about making this place as good as we can make it,” Pollard said.

Source: Further Benicia Middle School remodeling updates presented to school board

Winters woman appointed to oversight committee – Daily Republic

By Bill Hicks

The Solano Community College District board unanimously approved the appointment of Winters resident Valentina Lowden to the Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee, Wednesday.

In reporting on behalf of the ad hoc committee, board President Rosemary Thurston outlined Lowden’s background as solidly rooted in business, as well as an extensive background in volunteering for a variety of public education roles.

Source: Winters woman appointed to oversight committee

Slate of Measure S projects on agenda for Thursday’s school board meeting – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

Lee Pollard of HY Architects and Measure S Bond Director Roxanne Egan will deliver an update on progress to the renovation of Benicia Middle School at Thursday’s school board meeting.

The renovation of BMS is one of the last remaining projects in the first phase of Measure S, an initiative approved by voters in 2014 to set aside $49.6 million in bond funding to be used for construction and renovation projects at Benicia Unified School District sites. The modernization of Benicia Middle School’s campus, which was built in 1976, is expected to begin in the fall of 2017 and will include new modular classrooms, a drama classroom, improving the quality of interior spaces and traffic congestion, new 21st century classrooms with new furniture,

Source: Slate of Measure S projects on agenda for Thursday’s school board meeting

Dixon Unified leaders to name bond measure oversight committee members – The Reporter

The members’ appointments come nearly five months after voters approved the $30.4 million bond that will pay for upgrades to several aging schools, including Old Dixon High, built in 1940, when Franklin D. Roosevelt was president, and Anderson Elementary, built in 1949, when Harry Truman was president.

School bond oversight committees consist of volunteers whose mission includes service as stewards of the money and delivery of periodic updates to the governing board.

Trustees will meet in open session at 7:45 p.m. in the City Council chamber, 600 East A St., Dixon.

Source: Dixon Unified leaders to name bond measure oversight committee members

VUSD trustees approve sale of $38M in Measure A bonds, several major contracts – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

With little discussion, Vacaville Unified leaders unanimously approved the pending sale of $38 million in Measure A bonds and several large contracts.

The no-surprise votes came Thursday during a regular governing board meeting in the Educational Services Center.

The bond sale approval comes after the initial issue of Measure A bonds, for $40 million, that help to launch the first major projects under the $194 million measure passed by voters in 2014. They included upgrades to Vacaville High and Sierra Vista K-8 School, among other projects.

The bonds are paid for through property taxes levied by the county, and the money largely will be used to upgrade the 12,500-student district’s aging school buildings, many of them more than 50 years old, and, of those, several are more than 60 years old. Another major Measure A project, the building of a new $12.8 million stadium at Will C. Wood High, officially gets underway with groundbreaking fanfare set for 3:30 p.m. Monday.

 

Source: VUSD trustees approve sale of $38M in Measure A bonds, several major contracts