News, Notes and Votes (ARCHIVED)

News, Notes & Votes
St. Helena Unified School District
February 9, 2012
1. Celebrations of Song and Congratulations!

 The St. Helena High School Jazz Choir performed at the Board Meeting last night, providing a cheerful and pleasant introduction to the meeting. Under the direction of Choral Director Craig Bond, the Choir sang The National Anthem, which they will be singing at the opening of the San Francisco Giants game on June 13, 2012. (You will be able to hear them on the KFRC Radio broadcast of the game.) The Choir also sang a beautiful rendition of the old classic, Blue Moon.
Frank Mazzi  
Also, St. Helena High School History Teacher Frank Mazzi was recognized by the Board for winning the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) 2012 American History Teacher of the Year Award for the State of California, which acknowledges the dedication and passion Mr. Mazzi demonstrates as a teacher and the positive impact he has on his students and community. The judging for this award is based on inspirational and innovative teaching. As a State winner, Frank will be considered in the competition for the DAR National Outstanding Teacher of American History Award in March. Congratulations, Frank!
2. Update on K-5 Parent Group Forums
Dr. Cindy Toews updated the Board of Trustees on the K-5 Parent Group Forums that were held recently at the St. Helena Elementary School, the St. Helena Primary School, and the Stonebridge Apartments. One of the highlights of the meetings was hearing the good suggestions that came up in the dialogue; such as, adjusting the schedule, understanding the parents’ desire for more project-based learning, and strengthening Spanish classes so there is more application of Spanish skills. Dr. Toews stated that the parents feel their children are happy at school. Some of the next steps for K-5 will be creating a year-long plan, adjusting the schedule, and increasing focus on differentiation. Additional focus groups will be provided in the spring to review program enhancements for 2012-13.
3. St. Helena High School Report and Update on use of Kahn Academy
Vice Principal Ben Scinto made a presentation to the Board on the status of St. Helena High School, including current curriculum and instruction issues. Mr. Scinto reviewed each new class established this year with the Board and spoke to the successes these classes have achieved. In addition, Mr. Scinto, along with Math Teacher Brandon Farrell, updated the Board on the use of the Kahn Academy at the High School. They outlined how the Kahn Academy has been used in both the RLS Middle School and the High School and emphasized that it is a supplemental program meant to support the classroom instruction, stressing that it is not intended to supplant the classroom instruction.
4. CSEA – Tentative Agreement and Job Descriptions approved
The Board approved the Tentative Agreement with CSEA and the new Job Descriptions that have been updated to modernize the job descriptions to today’s work environment. It was acknowledged that both the CSEA Negotiating Team and the Administrative representatives put in a lot of dedicated hours and hard work into developing this final Agreement. The full Agreement and the Job Descriptions may be found on the District website.
5. SHTA – Sunshine of Initial Proposals
In line with the Sunshine provisions in the Collective Bargaining process, the initial proposals for contract re-openers, from both the SHTA and the Administration, were presented to the Board of Trustees. This begins the process for 2012-13 negotiations.
6. Deferred Maintenance 5-Year Plan
The Board approved the Deferred Maintenance 5-Year Plan presented by Superintendent Bill McGuire. Projects for the 2012-13 school year include the following:
1. Painting RLS Middle School
2. New Flooring at St. Helena Primary School
3. Replace Basketball Standards and Support Mechanisms
at St. Helena High School
4. Partial Roofing of the 200 Wing at St. Helena High School
5. HVAC Replacement at St. Helena High School
6. HVAC Universal Controller Replacement for Vintage Hall, St. Helena Primary School, and part of St. Helena High School