Board Meeting Highlights 2020-2021

November 10, 2020

On November 10, 2020 the Kentfield School Board of Trustees convened in-person for the first time since the March shelter in place order.  The meeting of the Trustees began with a statement from the Board expressing appreciation and unity among our community.  

We then welcomed our first Educational Showcase of the school year presented by Rebecca Jelen, Kent Middle School Librarian,  and students from Kent Middle School.  Ms. Jelen provided examples of activities occurring at the Kent library which cultivate the love of reading among students at Kent.  Students later presented literacy based projects which ranged from the Squawk Talk Podcast to author studies.  

Bacich Principal Mary Ann Spitzer and Kent Principal Grant Althouse shared their excitement to welcome students to campus on Thursday, November 12th for the launch of KSD’s Hybrid Instructional Program.  The many preparations shared by the school team administrators exemplified the district’s readiness to engage in school based instruction. 

October 13, 2020

The Board heard a report from Superintendent Raquel Rose, Bacich Principal Mary Ann Spitzer, and Kent Principal Grant Althouse regarding the current Distance Learning Program; the Pilot Hybrid Program; and preparations underway to launch a full Hybrid Learning Program. Members of our community offered their perspectives on various aspects of the administrators’ report, particularly about the timing of a transition to a full hybrid program and the parent/guardian survey to indicate preference for Distance Learning or Hybrid Instruction.

The Counseling Department, represented by Maia Yamasaki from Bacich and Heidi Longo from Kent, presented the Social Emotional Survey Results that was administered to all Kentfield District students in September and October. A summary of the information gathered can be reviewed in slide deck presentations for Bacich and Kent.

The Board expressed appreciation for the high level of engagement and participation from members of our community in recent board meetings. It was recognized that this board meeting had more than 200 participants, including many students from the 7th and 8th grades. The Board also expressed gratitude to Gretchen Harris, representing the Classified Employees, who made a presentation during the Employee Organization Report. Board members acknowledged that it would be beneficial if the Classified Employees continue to make a monthly report during board meetings.

September 8, 2020

At the September 8, 2020 Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees, site administrators shared information about engagement and connection with students as well as highlighted the high level of attendance in classes. Members of our teaching staff provided insight into the planning and implementation of Distance Learning which included the benefits of teacher collaboration, leveraging home environments to extend learning, and opportunities to engage with students in a new virtual setting. In closing, a student joined the presentation and shared her learning as a Bacich Bear kindergartener.

The meeting also included a Public Hearing for the Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan, and Superintendent Rose shared the purpose of the plan as well as its key components. The board acknowledged that the Kentfield School District's Dynamic School Guide is a great reference for our community to look to for more details about instructional programming and safety protocols.

In closing, we continue to urge our community to consider contributing your time and expertise as a member of one of our Board Committees, which include: Communications, Equity, Finance, Safety, Technology, and Wellness. We encourage diverse stakeholder participation to support varied perspectives and interests in the critical work of our committees. No prior experience is necessary. If you would like to participate in any of our committees for the 2020-21 school year please complete this form by September 30, 2020. As with all of our Board Committees, meetings are always open to the public to attend anytime.

August 18, 2020

The Board heard a presentation from Superintendent Raquel Rose and staff regarding the details of opening school for the 2020-2021 school year. Staff shared details about the Distance Learning plan and provided further rationale about the design of the educational programming. The Board of Trustees considered and discussed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between KSD and KTA which addressed the effects and impacts of working conditions for certificated staff. Following an engaged discussion Trustees approved the MOU. The parties also confirmed they would meet regularly and discuss any necessary adjustments to the agreement as necessary.

Interim Student Services Director, Erika Salazar, updated the community on the planning of the Special Education team and expressed gratitude and excitement of starting the year fully staffed with a highly qualified group of educators.

July 21, 2020

The Board heard a presentation from Superintendent Raquel Rose regarding the status of the Return to School Plan. The plan outlined activities to date related to safety infrastructure and protocols, KSD’s framework for school operations, examples of distance learning and plans for professional development and training for staff. Raquel will continue to keep the community updated regarding the Return to School Plan through weekly office hours on Thursdays from 4:00- 5:00 p.m., recordings and resources from the office hour sessions can be found here.

The Board approved the 45-day Budget Revision capturing additional revenues from the state adopted budget. Additionally three expenditures related to COVID-19/distance learning were approved to support additional safety infrastructure and Essential Protective Equipment (EPE), professional development and planning, and teaching and learning resources to ensure continuity of student learning in a COVID-19 environment.

Lastly, the Board approved a Resolution to endorse the California Schools and Local Communities Funding Act, which promotes full and fair funding for California Schools to meet the needs of our public school students and prepare them for an increasingly competitive, complex, and technological world.