The Cotati Rohnert Park Unified School District met Tuesday, June 21 at the James Pitt Theater on the Rancho Cotate High School campus. The meeting lasted less than an hour and was sparsely attended with only four people in the audience. As the last meeting of the 2021-2022 school year, the agenda was also sparse. Although there were several votes, mostly of a routine nature, there were no presentations or extensive discussions.
One point of action was the approval of a job description and corresponding salary plan for licensed professional nurses. These are new jobs that the district is trying to bring on board to save money. In the past they have awarded these positions. Contracting costs more than an internal employee. Superintendent Mayra Perez reported that the salary scale was researched with comparable school districts such as Santa Rosa and with the Sonoma County Board of Education to ensure the new position is competitive enough to attract applications for those positions.
The Board also approved a revision of the job description for the Curriculum Specialist I positions. They are seeking a position at Rancho Cotate High School for AG curriculum efforts and are transitioning an Educational Services Technician to that position. The aim is to support schools in collecting more accurate data.
They also approved two other points of action. One of these was the ratification of a temporary pay scale for substitute teachers. They first approved this in December 2021, but it expires on June 30, 2022. Perez said they anticipate an ongoing shortage of substitute teachers across Sonoma County, and this approval allows them to extend the higher salary plan through December 31, 2022. The second routine was the approval of the temporary internship permit for Daniel Smith, who teaches physical education at Rancho Cotate High School. Since Smith has not yet received her certification, the internship permit was required.
Both the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) and the 2022-2023 budget were submitted for public comment at the June 7 board meeting. dr LuzElena Perez, the Assistant Superintendent, highlighted some changes to the LCAP since that meeting. She said some data presented as “to be determined” is now available and will be added to the LCAP. Chief Business Officer, John Bartolome, reported that the state still hasn’t passed its budget, so he fully expects to present a 45-day revision of the 2022-2023 budget in August when the state’s budget is known .
Bartolome also presented his monthly report on enrollment. He reported that there had been a net loss of 5 students since last month. 9 new students were enrolled but 14 students left the district. The changes are primarily caused by students moving in or out of the state or Sonoma County, despite one student moving to a private school and one student moving from homeschooling to public education. Total enrollment remains stable and currently stands at 5,972 students this month, up 13 students from August 2021.
The Board also passed Resolution 2022-22, which authorizes the District’s Education Protection Account Fund Spending Plan for 2022-2023. This was a government created program and required districts to plan how they would spend the funds allocated to this program. The approved plan does this for the remaining 2.9 million in that fund. Also, the local performance indicators of the California Schools Dashboard were approved. This is data required when the dashboard does not contain health data. The district has self-assessed and low areas are addressed in the LCAP. It will take 4-5 years to make all necessary curriculum adjustments.
Eventually, the board approved the district’s Universal Transitional Kindergarten (TK) plan. The state requires a ratio of 12:1 for the next school year and 10:1 thereafter. Bartolome said the district is doing well with available classrooms for the next seven years, although the master plan needs to accommodate some classroom shifts in the future. All elementary schools will have a TK class of up to 24 students with a ratio of 24 to 2, except for the University Elementary School at La Fiesta (UELF). UELF only had three students enrolling, so they are being moved to other campuses. Also, on June 8th, summer school started at Lawrence Jones Middle School and Monte Vista Elementary School with over 400 students.
One last note. For the remainder of 2022, I will not be the Community Voice reporter for school board meetings. This is because I will be running next month to be the district two school board candidate in the November 2022 election. It would be a conflict of interest for me to continue publishing articles about the school board while I am a candidate. However, the newspaper will continue to cover board events, just not under my draftsman.