Board Meeting Highlights 2019-2020

September 10, 2019

At its regular meeting on September 10, 2019, the Board joined the entire KSD staff in wishing our Chief Business Official Barbara Johnson farewell as she leaves us to enjoy retirement. Barbara has worked in Kentfield since 1998, starting as an instructional aide in Kindergarten, second grade, third grade, and the Bacich Library, then in the business office. Speakers honored Barbara’s dedication, attention to detail, work ethic, calm demeanor, and kindness. Kirsten Starsiak – who will be stepping into Barbara’s impressive shoes – was welcomed by the Board.

Also introduced at the meeting were new Kent teacher Diane Darrow and Kent counselor Diana Bokaie. Calder Gilliam, seventh grade Science teacher, and Tina Perdices, Bacich School Psychologist, were also welcomed.

The start of school was by all measures a great success. Those who doubted whether or not Bacich would actually be able to open on September 3, 2019 were happily surprised when, in fact, classrooms and common areas were buttoned up, clean, newly furnished, and ready for students! The maintenance and custodial staff on both campuses have been with us through the Kent and Bacich projects, and we literally could not have been successful without them. We are deeply indebted to them for their dedication and hard work.

Laurie Durnell of The Grove Consultants International gave the Board an overview of what to expect when Strategic Planning takes place on October 17 and 18, 2019. She presented examples of templates used in the process and a general road map. This exciting process is still in need of participants, both teachers and parents. We have extended the deadline for letting us know of your interest. Please email by next Friday, September 20, 2019 to be considered.

October 15, 2019

At its regular October meeting on Tuesday, the Board of Trustees thanked and recognized the custodial and maintenance staff at Bacich and Kent. Over the past three years, as the district underwent extensive construction, which involved multiple classroom moves, a complete change of furniture, and more literal heavy lifting; our crew of seven under the leadership of Paul Miller have done the impossible – with a smile on their faces. We so appreciate Medhanie Gebremichael, Carlos Hernandez, Kris Kuivenhoven, Jose Quintanilla, Jimmy Roque, and Jesus Zamorano. We would be lost without them.

The Library teachers at Kent and Bacich presented their programs. Susan Warnick, with the help of four fourth grade Library Pages, gave an overview of book awards, searching for a book, and interviewing for Heritage Day. Rebecca Jelen and a seventh grade student updated the Board on the broadcast class now being produced in the Library as well as other enhancements such as Battle of the Books and author visits.

The Trustees discussed Board Policy 6141.3 – Religious Observances, which was reworked last year but which continues to be confusing to teachers when scheduling tests and homework around religious holidays. Parents should be aware that observing a religious holiday is an excused absence, and any work scheduled during that holiday may be made up by students. In the case of holidays that are not school days off, it is the responsibility of the parent to communicate with the teacher about the student’s absence. The errors that were made this year have been addressed with staff, and a renewed commitment to getting this right next year was made by administration. The district apologizes for any distress students experienced as a result of having tests or homework scheduled around a religious holiday.