Vallejo school board to meet with search firm – Times Herald

By John Glidden

The Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education will hold its first public interaction with the superintendent search firm it hired last month.

A divided board in May approved the hiring of Leadership Associates to assist the district in selecting a new district CEO after a majority of the trustees voted in March to fire long-time superintendent Ramona Bishop.

During the special Wednesday meeting, trustees will meet with the firm to discuss an overview of the search process, finalize a time line, talk about the desired qualities and characteristics of a superintendent, and identify groups and individuals for community and district staff input.

In recent months, the board has been split 3-2 on numerous issues, including firing Bishop in mid-March. Trustees Tony Ubalde and Burky Worel opposed the firing, while trustees Bob Lawson, Marianne Kearney-Brown, and Ruscal Cayangyang approved.

Source: Vallejo school board to meet with search firm

Divided Vallejo school board picks superintendent search firm – Times Herald

By John Glidden

A familiar 3-2 split of the Vallejo school board once again surfaced as trustees interviewed superintendent search firms during a special meeting Tuesday night.

After receiving presentations from four firms, a 20-minute board discussion culminated into accusations of one trustee “yelling” and that board member accusing three other trustees of collusion.

The trouble began after Vallejo City Unified School District Board President Ruscal Cayangyang recommended the trustees take action at the next school board meeting.

In response, Trustee Tony Ubalde objected, stating the special meeting agenda clearly stated the board would take action Tuesday. This prompted Trustee Bob Lawson to give an amplified “bingo” from the dais.

Later in the discussion, Trustee Marianne Kearney-Brown expressed support for Cayangyang’s recommendation, stating she would like to “fact check” the firms.

 

Source: Divided Vallejo school board picks superintendent search firm

Vallejo school board approves new charter – Times Herald

By John Glidden

A petition to open a new charter school in the city won approval by the Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education during a May 3 meeting.

The petition — submitted by Mare Island Technology Academy officials — earned unanimous support from the VCUSD board. The Griffin Academy Middle School will be the third MIT charter in the city of Vallejo, joining a middle and high school.

Much of the board discussion centered around whether the charter should receive an initial three-year or five-year term.

Cheri Summers, the district’s chief academic officer, said staff recommended three years after noting the petition lacked depth and detail in certain areas but was still “technically compliant” with state law.

Lynne Vaughan, who serves on the MIT Academy Board of Directors, asked the board to consider giving the new charter a five-year term. She addressed the concerns of staff which focused mainly around the school’s learning program.

 

Source: Vallejo school board approves new charter

Vallejo school board to decide numerous items – Times Herald

By John Glidden

A charter school petition, Internet services, and creation of an advisory committee to assist with selection of a superintendent search firm are all before the Vallejo City Unified School District Governing Board Wednesday night.

District staff is recommending trustees approve an application for a third Mare Island Technology charter school. If approved, the MIT Griffin Academy Middle School will have an initial charter from July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2021.

MIT currently operates two charters: A middle school and high school.

• Also before the board is a proposed 10-year agreement with Zayo Networks to provide Internet services for the district. The VCUSD currently pays $31,200 per year to AT&T for Internet and phone services, a student information system, site surveillance, paging systems, clocks, fiscal accounting and online curriculum.

 

Source: Vallejo school board to decide numerous items

Vallejo school district seeks help with superintendent search – Times Herald

By John Glidden

The search for a new superintendent to lead the Vallejo City Unified School District will go before the board Wednesday. Trustees will mull over a recommendation to spend at least $10,000 to advertise a request for proposals (RFP) in an effort to find a firm which will assist the district in selecting a permanent superintendent.

The district anticipates hiring a firm by June 1, with a goal of having a permanent superintendent by Sept. 1, 2017, according to the RFP.

In a 3-2 vote last month, the board, without cause, terminated the contract of District Superintendent Ramona Bishop. Bishop had served in the position for nearly six years.

Trustees recently named Stephen Goldstone as interim district superintendent. Goldstone is no stranger to the district having served as superintendent from 1995 to 2000 before he was fired by the then-school board.

Source: Vallejo school district seeks help with superintendent search

Vallejo School board names former superintendent as interim – Times Herald

By John Glidden

A familiar face is returning to lead the Vallejo City Unified School District.

In a unanimous vote Monday night, the school board named Stephen Goldstone as interim district superintendent.

Goldstone is no stranger to the district having served as superintendent from 1995 to 2000 before he was fired by the then-school board.

Speaking to the board after being named interim, Goldstone said he sees himself as bridge between permanent superintendents.

“I see my role as building a bridge from where you are now, from the good things that are in this district, from where Dr. Bishop left this district, building a bridge to your new superintendent,” he said.

Source: Vallejo School board names former superintendent as interim

Vallejo school board to meet during special meeting Tuesday – Times Herald

By John Glidden

Facing a projected budget deficit for at least the next two fiscal years, the Vallejo City Unified School District Board is convening a special meeting Tuesday afternoon to receive information about the district’s financial health.

VCUSD staff is projected the district’s expenditures will exceed its revenues by about $4.7 million for fiscal year 2017-18.

The deficit spending is projected to continue for fiscal year 2018-19, with VCUSD receiving about $147 million in revenues while its expenditures top $150 million.

The board will also receive information about a district plan to slash $3.6 million from the upcoming budget to lessen the deficit impact in fiscal year 2017-18.

Prior to the budget discussions, the board is expected to begin the meeting in closed session to address potential administrative reassignments.

 

Source: Vallejo school board to meet during special meeting Tuesday

Vallejo school board divided over need for meeting – Times Herald

By John Glidden

Despite electing two new trustees last November, the Vallejo City Unified School District board appears to be still deeply divided.

The division reached a new point during a special Tuesday meeting when trustees Burky Worel and Tony Ubalde briefly participated in a closed session before returning to the main meeting hall.

Board President Ruscal Cayangyang, along with trustees Marianne Kearney-Brown and Bob Lawson continued to meet in closed session with the district’s legal representation.

“I left early because I believe what they were talking about up there should be talked about in open session, not closed session,” Worel said once the regular meeting reconvened.

Source: Vallejo school board divided over need for meeting

Vallejo school board approved safe haven resolution – Times Herald

By John Glidden

Applause erupted during Wednesday’s Vallejo City Unified School District Governing Board meeting after trustees unanimously approved a resolution designating the district’s schools as “safe haven zones.”

Formed in direct response to the recent presidential election, the resolution directs VCUSD Superintendent Ramona Bishop, and/or her designee, to not cooperate with Federal Immigration authorities, except required by law.

The resolution also gives Bishop authority to “protect the data and identities of any student, family members, or school employee who may be adversely affected by any future policies or executive action that results in the collection of any personally identifiable information,” by the Trump administration.

Immigration officials must receive written approval from Bishop before entering district grounds, unless agents present a warrant signed by either a federal or state judge, according to the resolution.

 

Source: Vallejo school board approved safe haven resolution

Vallejo trustees to mull over ‘safe haven’ resolution – Times Herald

By John Glidden

Trustees with the Vallejo City Unified School District will consider designating the district’s schools as “safe haven zones” during a Wednesday meeting in direct response to the recent presidential election.

The draft resolution directs VCUSD Superintendent Ramona Bishop, and/or her designee, to not cooperate with Federal Immigration authorities, except as required by law, and to notify parents of any immigration inquiry about their children which is submitted to the district.

The resolution also gives Bishop authority to “protect the data and identities of any student, family members, or school employee who may be adversely affected by any future policies or executive action that results in the collection of any personally identifiable information,” by the Trump administration.

The proposed resolution requires that immigration officials may not enter without prior written approval from the district superintendent, unless agents present a warrant signed by either a federal or state judge.

Source: Vallejo trustees to mull over “safe haven” resolution – Times Herald

 

VCUSD eyes replacing paging system – Times Herald

By John Glidden

The Vallejo City Unified School District is seeking to replace its internal paging system, a move which is estimated to cost about $200,000 to $250,000.

The VCUSD Board of Education will review the request during its meeting Wednesday night.

“For general announcements and emergency pages, it is recommended that wall-mounted speakers designed specifically for paging purposes be installed and tied into a paging system that is housed locally at the site, but can be monitored and administered centrally, according to a district staff report. “In addition, several schools are utilizing paging systems that are more than 30 years old and cannot be administered centrally.”

District staff is recommending that a control system, along with wiring, and speakers be installed at each school site to allow for paging services and emergency broadcasts.

 

Source: VCUSD eyes replacing paging system

Vallejo School trustees pull request to change board president – Times Herald

By John Glidden

A request to replace Ruscal Cayangyang as Vallejo school board president was dropped from the agenda Wednesday night before the matter could be discussed.

While adopting the meeting agenda for the night, the board, in a 4-1 vote, removed a request from board Vice President Burky Worel seeking to install Trustee Marianne Kearney-Brown as board president.

Trustee Tony Ubalde was first to raise concern about the agenda item.

“I feel that to have a positive working relationship; it’s important that we affirm each other,” he said. “To do something like this, is not helpful or affirmative or respectful of each other.”

Source: Vallejo School trustees pull request to change board president

Worel seeks to replace Vallejo school board president – Times Herald

By John Glidden

Ruscal Cayangyang’s appointment as the Vallejo school board president may soon come to an end.

The Vallejo school board, during a meeting Wednesday night, will review a request to replace Cayangyang as board president, only month after he was elevated to the position.

Vice President Burky Worel submitted the request, which seeks to make Trustee Marianne Kearney-Brown board president.

According to a district staff report, Worel submitted the request on Dec. 15, yet no other information was provided.

Despite multiple attempts, Worel couldn’t be reached for comment.

 

Source: Worel seeks to replace Vallejo school board president

Vallejo school board changes start time – Times Herald

By John Glidden

A spirited discussion was held during the Dec. 7 Vallejo school board meeting, as a majority of trustees agreed to move the meeting time up an hour to 6 p.m.

Board members expressed a desire to shorten presentations and “streamline” the meetings.

While several members of the public also spoke, wondering about the impact of such a move.

Resident Robert Schussel stated the board doesn’t have “well-run meetings.” He advocated that the board add a third meeting per month. Currently, the board meets the 1st and 3rd Wednesday each month.

“Only go to a 6 or 7 p.m. meeting (time), if you can get your act together,” Schussel added.

 

Source: Vallejo school board changes start time

Vallejo school board looks to dump Wells Fargo – Times Herald

By John Glidden

In direct response to a scandal which rocked Wells Fargo recently, the Vallejo school board during its Dec. 7 organizational meeting directed staff to seek another institution as the district’s designated bank.

Staff had recommended that the Vallejo City Unified School District continue to keep its clearing and revolving accounts, along with the student body and scholarship funds with Wells Fargo.

On Sept. 8, the San Francisco-based bank was hit with $185 million in fines for the scandal, in which Wells employees, under pressure to hit sales targets, secretly opened as many as 2 million bogus accounts and funded them with customer money. The fines were imposed in a settlement with the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and two other agencies.

Cecile Nunley, the district’s chief business officer, said during the meeting that the bulk of VCUSD’s funds are handled through Solano County.

 

Source: Vallejo school board looks to dump Wells Fargo

Vallejo school board to hold special closed session meeting – Times Herald

By Times Herald Staff

A special closed session of the Vallejo school board is slated to take place at 4 p.m., Thursday.

The board will discuss possible discipline for a Vallejo City Unified School District employee, and receive information about anticipated litigation.

In addition, the school board will hold a conference with the Vallejo Education Association, and California School Employees Association, the unions which represent district teachers and staff.

The public will have a chance to speak on the items before the closed session, however, the actual session is closed to the general public.

Source: Vallejo school board to hold special closed session meeting

Vallejo school board trustees sworn in – Times Herald

By John Glidden

In front of a packed chamber, three board members were sworn into office during the Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education meeting Wednesday night.

The board welcomed back incumbent Ruscal Cayangyang, and newest members Marianne Kearney-Brown, and Bob Lawson.

Cayangyang easily defeated former trustee Hazel Wilson by about 4,700 votes to retain his seat on the board during the recent election.Both were seeking to represent the short-term, two-year board seat, which is open for election again in 2018.

Source: Vallejo school board trustees sworn in

Departing Vallejo trustees express concerns about race – Times Herald

By John Glidden

A discussion about race and representation of African-American students in Vallejo took place Wednesday night as two departing school board trustees were honored for their service to the district.

Both Vallejo school board trustees Hazel Wilson and Ward “Ace” Stewart expressed concerns about all the district’s students being represented by the incoming school board.

While commending Stewart’s nine years on the Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education, Wilson asked if her grandsons, who are African American and attend schools in the district, will continue to have a voice after Stewart’s departure.

Source: Departing Vallejo trustees express concerns about race

Vallejo school board postpones RFQ on PR consultant – Times Herald

By John Glidden

The Vallejo school board agreed to postpone its search for a public relations consultant until it could hold a discussion on the job duties for the position.

Suggested by Vallejo City Unified School District Trustee Ward “Ace” Stewart, the board in a 3-2 vote tabled approving releasing a request for qualifications for the consultant.

VCUSD Board President Tony Ubalde and Vice President Ruscal Canyangyang voted against.

According to a staff report, the district was asking the board to spend $1,000 from the general fund to advertise for a public information consultant.

The consultant would support the VCUSD by “providing feedback on press release, newsletters, reports and brochures and ensure dissemination of positive stories about VCUSD to local, state and national media outlets,” district staff said in the same report.

 

Source: Vallejo school board postpones RFQ on PR consultant

Vallejo school board to seek PR consultant – The Reporter

By John Glidden

The Vallejo City Unified School District wants to improve its public image so it can attract students and families.

The board of education is slated to review a proposal Wednesday night, which, if approved, would authorize the district to spend $1,000 from the general fund to advertise for a public information consultant.

According to the district, the consultant would support the VCUSD by “providing feedback on press release, newsletters, reports and brochures and ensure dissemination of positive stories about VCUSD to local, state and national media outlets.”

Source: Vallejo school board to seek PR consultant