An emergency Patterson Joint Unified School District school board meeting took place following the regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, March 16 to address the growing COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the state. As of this Thursday all PJUSD schools are scheduled to close until April 20.
“There are many unintended consequences when schools are abruptly closed. Because of the lengthy time it takes for symptoms to appear with COVID-19, research has shown that if schools are only closed for a brief period of time and then reopen, the risk of exposure increases. Therefore, any school closure to prevent the spread of COVID-19 must be for a prolonged period of time,” PJUSD Superintendent Phil Alfano said in a prepared statement made on Monday.
The school board also unanimously approved a number of items during their regularly scheduled meeting in relation to contracts, funding and improvements.
COVID-19 emergency meeting
The PJUSD school board in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has delegated authority to superintendent Phil Alfano to take all appropriate action to respond to the coronavirus including, but not limited to, any action:
- To ensure and protect the welfare, safety and educational wellbeing of all students
- To ensure and protect the welfare and safety of persons working for the district which shall include its agents, employees, representatives and all others acting for or on behalf of the district
- To provide necessary staffing and instruction
- To modify school and work schedules
- To declare an emergency pursuant to Government Code 3100 and to assign district employees (in their capacity as disaster service workers) to perform such disaster activities as may be assigned to them.
- To cancel or modify any activities, programs, or courses, up to and including the temporary closure of the district.
- To protect district property
- To make further declarations of emergency and to take emergency action as permitted by law.
Should the superintendent decide on a particular course of action, then it will be up to the school board to approve or deny the decision in an emergency meeting should the need arise moving forward.
California Governor Gavin Newsom and the legislature passed an emergency action on Monday ensuring Local Educational Agencies (LEA) continue to receive funding during the pandemic. This will also provide educational agencies with flexibility in regards to educational options that can be provided to students. The legislation provides $100 million in funding with a minimum of $250 per school site.
These funds can be used to purchase personal protective equipment or for supplies and labor costs related to cleaning school sites during closure.
Educational agencies claiming attendance for the purpose of school funding will only include full school months from July 1, 2019 through Feb. 29, 2020.
The board approved the consent calendar regarding the status of 12 employees working for Patterson Joint Unified School District. Seven of those employees were approved to be hired, while five employees are scheduled to resign or retire from the district.
Board approves telecommunications
A unanimous approval of a three-year contract for E-rate Eligible Wide Area Network (WAN) Services was given on Monday. The district’s current contract linked to Stanislaus County Office of Education (SCOE) is scheduled to expire in Dec. The current contract is a fully managed WAN connection at 1000 Mbps provided by Comcast. The new connection will provide speeds to SCOE of 5000 Mbps. The new connection will come with a monthly bill of $4,800.
Tentative agreement between PJUSD and CSEA
The board approved a tentative agreement with the California State Employees Association Chapter 174 that will last until June 30, 2021.
The agreement establishes labor conditions, payment agreements, training and benefits.
Either party may reopen an article at any time and the parties agree to meet.
A total of three salary schedules for classified management, classified confidential employees and certificated management were approved unanimously.
School districts are required to prepare and submit two interim financial reports to the governing board. The purpose is to notify appropriate offices and officials as to whether or not the district will be able to meet its financial obligations for the remainder of the fiscal year. The district is required to certify that minimum reserve levels are projected to be met in two subsequent years.
A total of six contracts and agreements were approved unanimously by the board on Monday.
The first is an agreement for a special contract service with an APEX interpreting, an independent contractor, to provide classroom education/training for Patterson Adult School students in the subject of medical and legal interpreting.
The contractor will provide the services up to a total of three hours per day at one day per week. Each student will receive a minimum of 24 hours of instruction and training. The contractor will teach one class this spring.
A second agreement was approved with Positive Promotions to purchase two tone knit pom pom beanies for Walnut Grove Elementary at a total cost of $3,807.99.
An agreement between Las Palmas Elementary and Westside Landscape and Concrete for a total of $2,250 was approved. The contract entailed general tree landscaping services as well as removing debris and stump grinding and removal of excess tailings.
An agreement between Patterson Joint Unified School District and City Signs was approved. A total of eight items were listed for purchase that totalled $2,148.
An agreement between PJUSD and KS Telecom was approved to install a 180-degree camera at Del Puerto High School. The price for the project was totaled at $4,340.
A master agreement approval of $338,843.28 was reached between PJUSD and SCOE. The agreement is for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.