The Cotati Rohnert Park Unified School District met at The James Pitt Theater on the Rancho Cotate High School campus Tuesday June 21. 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 extended discussions.
One action item was the approval of a job description and corresponding salary schedule for Licensed Vocational Nurses. These are new jobs the district is trying to bring onboard to save money. In the past they would contract out these positions. Contracting costs more than an in-house employee. Superintendent Mayra Perez reported the salary schedule was researched with comparable school districts such as Santa Rosa and with the Sonoma County Office of Education to ensure the new position is competitive enough to attract applications for these positions.
The board also approved a revision of the job description for Curriculum Specialist I positions. They are looking to fill a position at Rancho Cotate High School for AG curriculum efforts and reprograming an Educational Services Technician to this position. The goal is to assist schools with the collection of more accurate data.
They also approved two other action items. One was to ratify a temporary substitute teacher salary schedule. They first approved that back in December 2021, but it expires on June 30, 2022. Perez said they expected continued shortages in substitute teachers throughout Sonoma County, and this approval allows them to extend the higher salary schedule through December 31, 2022. The second routine item was to approve the Provisional Internship Permit for Daniel Smith who teaches Physical Education at Rancho Cotate High School. Since Smith has not yet obtained their certification, the internship permit was necessary.
Presented at the June 7th board meeting for public input, both the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) and the 2022-2023 budget were adopted. Dr. LuzElena Perez, the Assistant Superintendent highlighted a few changes to the LCAP since that meeting. She said that some data which was presented as “To Be Determined” were now available and added to the LCAP. Chief Business Officer, John Bartolome reported the state still hasn’t passed their budget, so he fully expects to present a 45-day revision to the 2022-2023 budget in August when the state’s budget is known.
Bartolome also presented his monthly report on enrollment. I have reported there was a net loss of 5 students since last month. 9 new students were enrolled, but 14 students departed the district. The changes are primarily driven by students moving in/out of State or Sonoma County although one student transferred to Private School and one student moved from homeschooling to Public Education. Overall enrollment remains stable and is currently at 5,972 students this month which is up to 13 students from August 2021.
The board also passed Resolution 2022-22 which approves the district’s spending plan for Education Protection Account Funds for 2022-2023. This was a state created program and requires districts to plan how they were going to spend the funds set aside for that program. The approved plan does that for the remaining 2.9 million in that fund. Also, California Schools Dashboard Local Performance Indicators were approved. These are data required when there are no state data within the dashboard. The district self-rated itself, and low areas are being addressed in the LCAP. It will take 4-5 years to address all the required curriculum adjustments.
Finally, the board approved the district’s Universal Transitional Kindergarten (TK) plan. The state requires a ratio of 12-1 for next school year and then 10-1 thereafter. Bartolome said the district is good with available classrooms for the next seven years, although the Master Plan will need to address some shifting around of classrooms in the future. All the elementary schools will have a TK class of up to 24 students with a 24-2 ratio except for University Elementary at La Fiesta (UELF). UELF only had three students enroll so they’ll be shifted to other campuses. Also, summer school started on June 8th at Lawrence Jones Middle School and Monte Vista Elementary School with over 400 students attending.
Finally notice. For the rest of 2022, I will not be the Community Voice’s reporter for school board meetings. This is because next month I am filing to be a school board candidate for District Two on the November 2022 ballot. It would be a conflict of interest for me to continue publishing articles about the school board while I’m a candidate. The paper will still cover board events however, just not under my by-line.