News, Notes and Votes (ARCHIVED)

News, Notes & Votes
St. Helena Unified School District
May 10, 2012


Banner Year for Drama and Band! 

1. Presentations 

The Board was pleased to acknowledge the hard work and success of Patti Coyle’s Drama students who starred in their recent production of the play “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” Several Drama students spoke on behalf of their entire cast, advising the Board about their trip to New York to participate in the Broadway Students Summit and also attend some Broadway shows. They also spoke about the success of their presentations of “Bottled Poetry” at Schramsberg Winery and the Drama Advocacy Group’s (D.A.G.) upcoming staged reading of “The Runt,” a play written by SHHS Drama students, which takes place on May 24, 7:00 p.m., at the Caldwell Synder Gallery, 1328 Main Street, in St. Helena. 

The High School Band students were also acknowledged by the Board of Trustees for their success at the World Stride Heritage Band Festival in Hawaii, where they won the Bronze Trophy for their Concert Band, the Silver Trophy for their Jazz Band, and the Award for the Overall Outstanding Band Group that included competition with all of the participants at the Festival. In addition, three SHHS students – Grant Jeffcoat, Chris Kuwell, and Josh Fisher – won individual “Maestro Awards” for their solo performances. 

2. District of Choice 2012-13 Enrollment 

The 2012-13 school year District of Choice Lottery Drawing for open positions for students in the Schools of the St. Helena Unified School District was held at this meeting. All of the District of Choice Applications received for students entering the 9th Grade and Kindergarten were accepted, and a Waiting List was created for the District of Choice Application students seeking spots in classes that are currently at their enrollment cap. 

3. Final K-5 Program Evaluation Report for 2011-12 

Dr. Cindy Toews, along with four members of the K-5 Program Evaluation Committee – Ashley Wright, Nichole Landis, Paula Schweiger, and Carole Shirmang – presented the final K-5 Program Evaluation Report for the 2011-12 school year. Dr. Toews summarized the strengths, challenges and future directions for the K-5 Program that were identified by the Committee. Other members of the Committee included teachers Angie Bond, Colleen McKenna; SHPS Interim Principal Henry Morita; Parents Calixto Flores, Kelly Pitts, and Deborah Russell Broman; and Board Members Cindy Smith and Kevin Alfaro. To view Dr. Toews’ PowerPoint presentation, please click on this link: 

4. Approval of Bid Awards for SHPS Flooring and RLS Modernization 

The Board approved the bid of $359,000, presented by Helmer & Sons, Inc., to complete the RLS Phase 1 Modernization Project. Also, the Board approved the bid of $262,651, presented by Anderson Carpet and Linoleum Sales Company, to complete the St. Helena Primary School flooring replacement project. Bill McGuire reminded the Board that these projects are funded by restricted funds for facilities projects only. 

5. Technology Update 

Ben Wilson, Director of Network Systems and Applications, presented a video of interviews he did throughout the District seeking opinions and suggestions on what a 21st Century Classroom should be. He also updated the Board on the progress made thus far relative to establishing two 21st Century Classroom models in the St. Helena School District – one located in the new Ag Science Building at St. Helena High School and the other will be located at St. Helena Elementary School. To view Ben’s video presentation, please click on this link: 

SHHS Vice Principal Ben Scinto added his enthusiasm and passion for the 21st Century Classrooms project of the District, presenting his views on the necessity of this project and the proposed redesign of the current SHHS Computer Lab to fit with the 21st Century Classroom model. 

6. Facilities Update 

Superintendent Bill McGuire presented the Facilities Update to the Board, outlining all of the building projects that have been undertaken since implementing Measure B and the next steps to resolve many remaining facilities’ issues in the District. To view Superintendent McGuire’s presentation, please click on this link: 

7. Approval of the 2011-12 Third Interim Report 

Chief Business Official Greg Medici provided the 2011-12 Third Interim Report to the Board. Greg’s report confirmed that the District will be able to meet its financial obligations for the current and subsequent two fiscal years. The Board unanimously approved the Third Interim Report. Superintendent McGuire pointed out that schools are not required to provide a Third Interim Report; however, Mr. Medici felt it imperative to keep the Board apprised of the budget situation, especially in these challenging economic times.