November 14, 2019

Board Meeting Highlights - November 12, 2019

Seventh grade teacher Stephanie Blasek represented the social studies department at Kent with an educational showcase for the Board at its November meeting on Tuesday. Stephanie showed the Board how students are taught about the reliability of source material through the use of popular culture references such as The Simpsons. She also provided a largely positive early assessment of the new social studies curriculum published by National Geographic.

District Business Official Kirsten Starsiak reported on Measure A Parcel Tax revenues and expenditures ($4,374,964) for fiscal year 2018-2019. Measure A enables the district to: maintain core academic programs, including math, science, reading and writing; attract and maintain highly-qualified teachers; maintain hands-on science and technology instruction; keep school libraries open and retain school librarians; support art, music and PE programs; and prevent class sizes from increasing to 30 or more students. An independent oversight committee comprised of local community members reviews the use of the parcel tax funds annually to ensure the funds are spent as promised.

Work continues on the new Strategic Plan, the vital components of which were drafted over two days in late October with 40 district stakeholders. A subset of that group is taking all of the notes that were generated in that initial planning session and creating a draft written document that will be discussed at the December 10 regular Board meeting. All participants in the October meetings are welcome to participate in this discussion, as are any interested members of the school district community.

Larry Chu, Vice Mayor of the Larkspur City Council, and member of the Marin County Council of Mayors and Councilmembers presented the group’s 2019 report on public employee pensions and post employment liabilities. The importance of preparing for expected substantial increases in retirement benefits was emphasized in the report.

The Board unanimously voted to enter into a contract with Leadership Associates for the Superintendent Search. All stakeholders will be engaged in this process. Opportunities for involvement will be announced in the newsletter.

Liz Schott