Big decisions will be made and prepared for at the West Sonoma County Union High School District’s (WSCUHSD) board meeting at the West County High School Theater at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 14. Everyone attending must wear a mask and other regulations and COVID-19 protocols are in the sidebar.
The full agenda is available at this link. At 5:30 p.m., there will be a brief opportunity for public input on topics to be covered in the closed session scheduled to begin at 5:35 p.m., before opening back up for the main public meeting at 6 p.m.
The board is slated to formally present new student school representatives to be administered the oath of office.
First public hearing on possible trustee voting area composition
One of the first conversations will be a public hearing on the makeup of the possible trustee voting areas as the district shifts from an at-large election method to a by-trustee area election system. This opportunity for public input comes before the district’s demographer creates draft voting area plans.
The point, according to the agenda report, “is to offer greater opportunities for board representation for candidates that might not otherwise be elected under an at-large system.”
All registered voters in the district can vote for any candidate to join the school board in the at-large system, but the by-trustee area method involves the district dividing up into “trustee areas” where candidates from each zone can only be elected by the voters living within the same zone.
The board of trustees now must hold public hearings on suggested trustee area boundaries before the demographer forms the draft map options. The draft maps will be made once the 2020 Census data comes out, to be uploaded on the district’s website for review, with more public hearings on the voting area options to follow.
Ultimately, the draft voting areas would be presented to the Sonoma County Committee on School District Organization for approval, with which the new election method would kick off for the Nov. 8, 2022 general election. Trustees on the board now will continue until their full terms are up, no matter where they live, with the switch to by-area elections happening as seats come up for election.
Talking about rebranding again
The board will once again be discussing a “comprehensive high school rebranding process,” according to Tuesday night’s agenda. Trustees may give direction to Superintendent Toni Beal moving forward on the issue that stirred major uproar among Analy High School alumni especially.
The agenda report revisits that the board agreed to rebrand the consolidated school located at the campus that until now has housed Analy and Laguna High School, but decided at the May 5 special board meeting to hold back on the timeline upon new information about its finances. On May 12, the board chose to pause until the budget could more confidently deliver on the rebranding and directed Beal to go with “West County High School” as the school’s temporary name “until additional financial information was known and current students could be consulted in the process,” per the report.
Showing the money and the new CBO to keep track of it
When it comes to finances, the trustees will consider approving the 2020-21 “Unaudited Actuals Report” to send to the Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE). The report reviews the district’s financial status as of the end of the year, with “the unaudited actual reserve and expenditures for the 2020-21 fiscal year for all funds of the district,” included in the full report, the agenda said.
The financial statements and any of their adjustments become “the basis for the district’s audited financial statements” when the district’s independent auditors go through them, per the agenda report.
The board will also consider approving the employment contract for Andrew Soliz as WSCUHSD’s new chief business official (CBO), who has accepted and is ready to start Monday, Sept. 20, the report said. Anne Barron has served as the interim CBO in the meantime.
After former CBO Jeff Ogston resigned last April, the district received scant and unqualified applications. Eventually, the board voted to bump the position’s salary schedule by 3% and agreed to bring on School Services of California to recruit. With a couple more applicants than last time, ultimately Soliz accepted the offer presented by Beal and Mia Del Prete, Director of Human Resources.
Turn up or tune in for the rest of the agenda
There’s a lot worth paying attention to, and here’s what else is headed to the board for approval or hosting at the Sept. 14 meeting:
● A contract with Varsity Brands
● A Comprehensive Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CCEIS) Plan
● COVID-19 Safety Plan update
● A public hearing on “sufficiency and insufficiency of instruction materials”
● A resolution regarding “sufficiency and insufficiency of instruction materials”
● A resolution to make September “Attendance Awareness Month”
● The monthly 2021-22 budget update
● A resolution adopting the Gann Limit
● A contract with Total Compensations Systems for Governmental Accounting Standards Board Statement No. 75 Actuarial Study
● Approval for the district’s election to take part in the 2021-22 Mandate Block Grant
● Monthly personnel report
● Two new job descriptions for the California School Employee Association
● An updated auxiliary salary schedule