Sunday, December 20, 2015

TMS Food Service Employees: Heroes Among Us

FIRST POSTED JULY 2013
Monday, July 29th marked the start of another school year for the students 
(and employees) of Calaveras Unified School District. 
Toyon Middle School Food Service Facility
16 Years of Noncompliance

The CUSD Food Service employees that have diligently worked (some for years) 
in documented substandard conditions are . . .
Heroes among us.

Monday morning also marked the beginning of the16th year of documented noncompliance for the Toyon Middle School Food Service Facility. The Calaveras County Environmental Management Agency has documented the Toyon Middle School kitchen noncompliance issues since Aug. 24, 1998:

Aug. 24, 1998:
"The kitchen is extremely small for the large number of students it serves. The kitchen needs to be relocated and enlarged." --Paul A. Feriani, Registered Environmental Health Specialist

Dec. 18, 2007:
"The Toyon Middle School is a very small kitchen and does not receive food from the Valley Springs Production Kitchen. They serve approximately 100 breakfasts and 150 lunches. . . The Toyon Middle School Kitchen lacks key items that are required for a Food Facility to properly operate. A hand washing sink, mop sink, janitorial closet, adequate storage and an office/personal item storage area must be installed. The existing kitchen must be increased in size in order to accommodate the items that are missing. A major remodel or a new kitchen is strongly recommended." --Paul A. Feriani, REHS

Dec. 11, 2009:
"The Toyon Middle School is a very small kitchen and does not receive food from the Valley Springs Production Kitchen. They [TMS] serve approximately 170 breakfasts and 250 lunches. . . The Toyon Middle School Kitchen lacks key items that are required for a Food Facility to properly operate. . . The existing kitchen must be increased in size in order to accommodate the items that are missing. A major remodel or a new kitchen is strongly recommended. . . The microwave that is located on the drainboard of the three compartment sink must be immediately removed in order to eliminate the electrical hazard."
--Paul A. Feriani REHS

June 12, 2012:
"On June 6, 2012 the Environmental Health Department performed health inspections at eight Calaveras Unified school cafeterias and the Food Service Warehouse. The inspections were requested by the School District and performed in order to note compliance with California Retail Food Code (Cal Code). Public Schools are classified as Food Facilities in Cal Code and must be in compliance. The school facilities are listed below with noted violations and recommendations to bring them into compliance:

"The Toyon Middle School lacks key equipment that is required to properly operate a food facility. A hand washing sink. mop sink, janitorial closet, adequate storage space and an office/ personal item storage area must be installed. The existing kitchen must be increased in size in order to accommodate the items that are missing. A new kitchen or major remodel is strongly recommended. . .

"During the inspection several ground squirrels were noted again (see attached photograph with squirrel on classroom sidewalk). The ground squirrels are living under the classroom located east of the kitchen. Wild rodents, especially ground squirrels, are reservoirs for bubonic plague. Plague-infected fleas on the ground squirrels can come in to contact with students and transmit infection by their bites. It is strongly recommended that the ground squirrels be immediately eradicated."
--Paul A. Feriani, Registered Environmental Health Specialist

Paul A. Feriani (REHS) CC'd the original June 2012 School Cafeteria Inspection Report to:
     Calaveras Unified School District Board Members
     Mark Campbell, Calaveras Unified School District Superintendent
     Trish Baugus, Calaveras Unified Food Service Office Manager
     Dr. Dean Kelaita, Calaveras County Health Officer
     Colleen Tracy, Calaveras County Director of Public Health

------------*---------------------*---------------------*----------
  • The CUSD school board (with oversight by Superintendents Frost and Campbell) has long ignored the County Health Department’s recommendations and reports of noncompliance for the Toyon Food Service Facility.
  • CUSD had an opportunity to fix this well known and documented kitchen issue at TMS, however,  they instead decided to put in place a $2 million dollar sports-field (even though Toyon itself does not actually have a team).
  • It must be said that the CUSD food service employees that have worked in this very small kitchen are nothing less than heroes. It is not only a an extremely small kitchen (tight quarters), the kitchen is also known for its extreme heat (especially during warmer weather like we are currently experiencing).
  • The Heroes are found on the inside … however, on the other side of the food service counter (the receiving side) you will find 16 years of students having to stand outside in a variety of extreme weather (rain, wind, heat, and cold) in order to purchase food prepared in this small kitchen facility.
  • To add insult to injury the students are regularly required to eat outside (as there is often not enough custodial help to maintain the multipurpose room as an eating area).
  • As mentioned in the above report, the students have to eat outside on tables that have been exposed to campus rodents (primarily squirrels) and stray cats (which are often seen in and around the food court area, especially after school hours).
  • The Toyon multipurpose room was originally built to have an attached kitchen; this space has long been used as the teacher's lounge. If you tour the teacher's lounge you will find (or discover) 2 small offices connected/attached to this area.  The original design (or concept) was for these 2 spaces to be used for walk-in refrigerators and/or freezers.
  • The time has come for Toyon to have a complete (and code-compliant) full service kitchen facility. The CUSD food service employees deserve to work in a healthy, safe and dignified working environment. The students, also, deserve to have a dignified and healthy school environment to purchase and eat their meals. They should not be required to eat outside where extreme weather and rodents make conditions unhealthy, unsanitary, and undignified.
  • Bond money is currently available to upgrade the Toyon Kitchen Facility so that it would no longer be a small, noncompliant out-building, but instead a fully functional kitchen facility connected to the Toyon multipurpose room (as was originally designed). 
  • The CUSD School board and Superintendent, however, are currently strongly considering  to use the remaining bond money ($4 million) to build a performing arts center.
  • As a parent (of a CUSD student) and as a concerned citizen I ask you, the CUSD educational community, how many more years of noncompliance can we expect? When will the dignified and respectful treatment of CUSD employees and students become a reality? Building a performing arts center will not change this unfortunate and undignified reality; building a "compliant" kitchen facility will, however.

TMS Kitchen Facility (Hut)
Producing & Serving approx. 400 meals a day
Heroes among Us.

The Cafeteria Inspection Reports (in their entirety) are on file at the Environmental Health office:
891 Mountain Ranch Road
San Andreas, CA 95249
Phone: (209) 754-6399
Fax: (209)754-6722


Thursday, November 12, 2015

I knew "Special Education" was a magical and sacred place

I can clearly remember one of my early experiences in “Special Education.” It was an overcast and rainy day. I was a relatively new nurse in a classroom for orthopedically disabled children. Many of the students in this particular class came to school in power wheelchairs. On this dreary January morning the veteran special education teacher, seeing one of her newer students stare out the window at the other kids playing in the rain, asked if she, also, wanted to go outside and play in the rain. The girl, sitting in her purple power wheelchair, said she’d love to go outside in the rain, but her mom didn’t want her to get her chair wet--because it could malfunction. (Later, I would learn that this girl had never, as a child, been able to play in the rain.) I stood on the other side of the classroom and just listened. I thought the conversation was over; it was not. The teacher told the student if she really wanted to go outside that she would be glad to carry her out. The girl slowly smiled then quickly unbuckled her seat-belt and the teacher lifted her out of the chair. After they left the classroom, I watched out the window as the teacher ran through the rain holding the student in her arms; the student had her head back trying to drink up rain drops. After watching this I knew “Special Education” was a magical and sacred place--and I wanted to be there.
--Allen Lujan

Attitude (little thing ... BIG Difference)

"What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you." --Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Educator

“The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.”
― C.S. Lewis

“I am not a teacher, but an awakener.”
― Robert Frost

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Requesting a Special Education Evaluation

Sample Parent Letter:
Here is a sample parent letter that can be used as a template when requesting a special education evaluation from your school site.
Remember to keep a copy of the letter for your records. The evaluation must be completed within 60 days of receiving your written request. Within 15 days of receiving your request, the district should provide you with a copy of your procedural safeguards and its assessment plan.

*******************************************************

Date: January 15, 2011

To: Steven Hannoy, Principal
Hope Elementary School
334 Ivy Rd.
Anytown, CA USA

Re: Grace Jones, Grade 3, Mrs. Andrew’s Class

I am writing to you because my child is experiencing difficulties in school. (Here you can list specifics). Grace continues to read below grade level. She struggles with classroom assignments and does not seem to understand the math concepts. She struggled last year and we tried some intervention strategies, but she is still having difficulties.

I am formally requesting that the school immediately begin a special education evaluation. Since this process can take up to 60 days, I would like to receive my procedural safeguards and the evaluation plan explaining the tests that may be given to my child within 15 days. Once I consent to the evaluation, I would like to be informed of when the evaluation will be scheduled.

Thank you very much for your assistance. I look forward to hearing from you and your staff.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.


Sincerely,

(SIGNATURE)

Mrs. Jane Jones
(715) 555-2425

http://www.understandingspecialeducation.com/sample-parent-letter.html

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Brown Act: "The People Insist"



Government Code 
Section 54950-54963   




54950.  In enacting this chapter, the Legislature finds and declares
that the public commissions, boards and councils and the other
public agencies in this State exist to aid in the conduct of the
people's business. It is the intent of the law that their actions be
taken openly and that their deliberations be conducted openly.

   The people of this State do not yield their sovereignty to the
agencies which serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do
not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for
the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people
insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the
instruments they have created.

54950.5.  This chapter shall be known as the Ralph M. Brown Act.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Trustee Integrity: Mandatory

If we expect integrity and honesty from our students ... shouldn't we also expect integrity (and honesty) from our elected  School Board Trustees? For instance, if a Trustee reports (in print) that they possess a teaching credential ... shouldn't they actually have evidence of one? Would we accept this type of behavior from a CUSD student? Can a student turn in an assignment that is not their own? There are strict rules against plagiarism and misrepresentation (check the Handbook and the board bylaws). Integrity matters; for both our students and our elected Trustees.




Trustee Reusche has never publicly apologized for misrepresenting her professional credentials or for misleading the public (or her constituents) during the 2012 election, and in the local media thereafter.

CUSD Mission Statement:

The mission of the Calaveras Unified School District is to provide all individuals with the tools needed to become life long learners who responsibly participate in our diverse changing society.
Goals:
Our district affirms that education is a partnership of parents/guardians, staff, students, and the community.
We further affirm that the purposes of education are to:
    1. Encourage personal excellence for all students and staff.
    2. Achieve high academic standards in a safe school environment.
    3. Make informed moral, ethical, and responsible decisions.



************************************************


Administrative Regulations and
Supporting Exhibits



GOVERNANCE STANDARDS

http://www.calaveras.k12.ca.us/12%20Board%20Policy/Policy/9000%20Series/9005bb.pdf
CUSD Board Bylaw
BB 9005 (a)

The Governing Board believes that its primary responsibility is to act in the best interests of every student in the district. The Board also has major commitments to parents/ guardians, all members of the community, employees, the state of California, laws pertaining to public education, and established policies of the district. To maximize Board effectiveness and public confidence in district governance, board members are expected to govern responsibly and hold themselves to the highest standards of ethical conduct.


Understand that authority rests with the Board as a whole and not with individuals
 (cf. 9200 - Members)

Board members also shall assume collective responsibility for building unity and creating 
a positive organizational culture. To operate effectively, the Board shall have a unity of purpose and:  

1. Keep the district focused on learning and achievement for all students
2. Communicate a common vision
3. Operate openly, with trust and integrity
4. Govern in a dignified and professional manner, treating everyone with civility and respect
5. Govern within Board-adopted policies and procedures

(cf. 9311 - Board Policies)
(cf. 9312 - Board Bylaws)

*******************************

              CUSD School Board Trustees

Kelly Smith
District Area 2

Greg Gustafson (Contractor)
(phone calls welcome: 209-604-5800)
District Area 3
ggustafson@calaveras.k12.ca.us

Zerrall McDaniel (Business Owner/Operator)
District Area 4
zmcdaniel@calaveras.k12.ca.us

Karan Bowsher (Business Owner/Operator)
District Area 5
kbowsher@calaveras.k12.ca.us


Sherri Reusche
District Area 1
(In the 2012 Voter's Guide Trustee Reusche stated she held a California Teaching Credential; in the Union Democrat Candidate Profile Questionnaire--leading up to the November 2012 Election--Trustee Reusche also claimed to have a California Teaching Credential.)
sreusche@calaveras.k12.ca.us

When asked by Calaveras Enterprise reporter Stephen Crane, Trustee Reusche stated:

           “All my course work and what is required by the state of California was completed,” Reusche said, acknowledging she does not have a credential.”

CUSD board member feels harassed
Posted: Friday, November 22, 2013 6:00 am | Updated: 10:18 am, Tue Nov 26, 2013.
By Stephen Crane

                                                                *-----------*

Trustee Reusche has never publicly apologized for misrepresenting her professional credentials or for misleading the public (or her constituents) during the 2012 election, and in the local media thereafter.

*------------*






74% of CUSD Teachers: "No Confidence" in Superintendent Campbell's Leadership

The president of the Calaveras Unified teachers union (CUEA), Lorraine Angel, reported at the last CUSD board meeting (5/5/15) that the teachers of the district took a survey of their professional body.

Recent Survey of Calaveras 
Unified Educators Association (CUEA): 

 "A VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE"
                                         
                       for CUSD Superintendent Mark Campbell

Teachers are “not confident in the ability of the superintendent to provide effective leadership for this district.”  --Mike Taylor, Calaveras Enterprise



98% of CUEA Voted
74% voted “No”…No Confidence

17% voted “Yes”…confidence

9% abstained




by Mike Taylor
May 8, 2015


Sunday, August 9, 2015

Verification of Teaching Credentials

Because I have been asked about my teaching credential (what type and how long I have held it), I thought I would share how the public can check or find out information on any teacher that holds a valid California teaching credential. This is public knowledge and is meant to keep the educational community up to date and aware of the status of teachers and their credentials.



1. Go to www.ctc.ca.gov  (California Commission on Teacher Credentialing) ... also known as CTC

2. Click on "Search for an Educator"


3. Click on "Public Search"

4. Enter the teacher's Last name (and First name if known)

5. If the person/teacher in question has a credential, their name will appear (in blue)

6. Click on their last name (blue) and all information pertaining to their credential will appear.

To start go to: www.ctc.ca.gov
  

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

A Presumptuous and Controlling King

    Public comments at the CUSD School Board meeting May 5, 2015.

The premature vote to name the CUSD Performing Arts Center after ex-superintendent James Frost was more than just Presumptuous.

The first attempt never reflected the will of the people, but only Superintendent Campbell's very own personal point of view and preference.

The arrogance of the premature vote was, ideally, an abuse of power and position. From a citizen's point of view the Superintendent was acting as if he had a "privileged entitlement" to the naming of the Calaveras performing arts center.

It is my point of view, as well as many others, that Superintendent Campbell knew full well about the "PROCESS" of naming a district building. However, when Trustee Bowser had to dismiss herself due to a family emergency at the last meeting, Mr. Campbell (suddenly & unexpectedly) did not have the necessary 3 votes to capture the "premature" naming of the PAC.

If he had received the 3 votes, he would have kept the Frost name and apologized for the oversight: "too late to change it now," would have been the echo.

The Superintendent attempted to AGAIN circumvent the local education system to his advantage--like raises for office administrators (just "house-cleaning") and the so-called amphitheater "concept" vote for the 2nd PAC.

When it's all said and done ... It would have been too late to go back (we've heard it before): "the board already voted ... Can't go back and change it now!"

Shame on you Veteran Board Members & CSBA Vice President! Because you did not raise an eyebrow to stop or derail Mr. Campbell's attempt to force the name upon the district's tax-paying citizens, you are (again) accomplices to the Superintendent's abuse of power and position.

The CUSD administration can be honest ... (It is within their ability); however, when push comes to shove and there is an issue to be protected, the lines of integrity and honesty are quickly and easily blurred. This administration is too willing to do whatever it takes to keep their positions and priorities protected, even if that means lying, cheating, bullying, or deceiving.

You must take great pride in your ability to accomplish these deceptive votes & projects; however these very same "accomplishments" stand out as the very reasons the CUSD staff and community at large no longer trust you; you are too deceitful & deceptive in your capabilities & motives , Sir.

An enormous amount of craftiness, deception, and determination was used to get 2 CUSD office administrators large pay increases--$24K each. The same deceptive behavior was used to get the 2nd PAC passed.

I only wish ...

The superintendent was capable of using the same energy and determination to

1. Solve the JLE Special Ed crisis: an enormous need for 2 qualified teachers to serve the special needs students at JLE.

2. To keep small schools open.

3. To hire & retain highly qualified teachers and support staff

4. To attract and hire highly qualified directors and managers to the district office. Individuals that are independent and able to stand on their own professional merit, not relying on the teaching and internship of a a Superintendent.

5. To resolve to eliminate the bully epidemic in the district by vowing to recognize & eliminate bulling and aggressive behavior from your own interactions with others.

6. To demand dignity issues throughout the district to be rapidly resolved: such as the completion of a Toyon kitchen.

7. To work with all board members rather than spending thousands of tax-payer's dollars to defame and entrap those that have different priorities and points of view than your own.

8. And lastly, to bring educational solidarity to the district, rather than current and ongoing fracturing and infighting.

 In Conclusion:

You, Sir, are a controlling King, one who uses deception and fear to maintain power and position, and not a school superintendent who leads by upright character and professional resolve.

You are currently caught up in saving & protecting your own personal Kingdom; yes, it has boiled down to survival. But protecting your own Kingdom is not what a School Superintendent is called to do, especially through the use of deception and fear in order to gain & maintain one's own personal access & benefit of power and position.

And here, Sir, is where we currently stand: a community in need of a school superintendent, not a deceptive and highly feared King.

I ask you to resign, Sir. Your resignation would immediately allow new academic and educational life-blood to vibrantly flow through the students, staff, and communities of Calaveras County and CUSD. Please, Sir, step down and allow a new education life-blood to freely flow through the land

Monday, June 15, 2015

Calaveras Unified Veteran Trustees: A Letter of Concern

Letter of Concern Directed to the 3 Veteran Trustees of Calaveras Unified:

Trustee Bowsher
Trustee McDaniel
Trustee Reusche (Current CUSD Board President)


I believe the only way to save or turn around this faltering school district is for the three veteran school board members to change or drop their alliance & allegiance to the current Superintendent.

It is your consistent voting record (in lock step with the Superintendent) that provides evidence of your allegiance.

Veteran Trustees your loyalty has led to leadership by tyranny. We are tired of tyranny.

From a citizens point of view it is your loyalty and allegiance to Superintendent Campbell that is blocking change (positive & beneficial) from occurring in this district. You are ...

    Blocking Transparency
    Hindering District Unity
    Discouraging (and Defusing) Community Involvement & Trust
    Deflecting & Derailing Professional Growth & Collaboration (from inside & outside the district)

As a citizen (watching from the front row) it is obvious and clear, you 3 Veteran Trustees are gaining something from your present relationship with the Superintendent:

It has come to the point in your combined years of service that you 3 veteran Board Members have become OBLIGATED to vote in lock step with the Superintendent? You have become obligated to evaluate the Superintendent with your eyes closed to his serious and severe misdeeds and professional shortcomings. Your obligations keep you blind to your true duties as a school board member, which is to INDEPENDENTLY support and protect the students (and staff) of this district.

• Obligations to the Superintendent come in a variety forms:

Such as access to positions and employment, or when the Superintendent overlooks (and supports) a Trustee's past history of deceit and misrepresentation.

What you are gaining in the relationship with the superintendent leaves you in an obligated position--a position which a Trustee (an elected official) should never find themselves in. You, overall, must be obligated to the students, staff, and the community which elected you. Your allegiance should be first and foremost to your constituents, not to the Superintendent (your one employee).

Your job as a Trustee is NOT to befriend and protect the district superintendent.

You need to imagine a better, healthier, highly efficient school district; you are obligated to not only imagine, but to actively seek positive change during a district's time of need. That such time and conditions are heavily upon us. You should be actively seeking a positive change in leadership. By not doing so, you have been holding this district hostage to negative and destructive forces.

Don't continue down the "same old path." You have an obligation to stop the long term agony and suffering; to stop the financial chaos and the crisis in leadership; to stop the ridicule and negative perception that CUSD receives from surrounding school districts (hiring and then firing the same 8 teachers--within a week--has damaged this district for many years to come). CUSD has become a well known professional risk, fearfully avoided by most educators seeking to start a career.

This citizen is requesting that you withdraw your blinded allegiance to the Superintendent and instead fulfill your responsibility and obligation to the citizens and constituents of this district.

By doing so (by stepping outside your loyalty) there would be No more perfect (5.0) Superintendent Evaluations:
          • District issues need to be reflected in the Superintendent's evaluation:
          • Vote of "No Confidence" in Superintendent's ability to lead (by 74% of district teachers) must be reflected in the Superintendent's upcoming evaluation.
          


 If you are ignoring the issues (blinded to the reality of our current circumstances) you are not fulfilling the role for which you were elected.

Next CUSD Board Meeting June 16 (6:30PM)

 The next Calaveras Unified Board meeting will be Tuesday, June 16, 2015.

Closed session begins at 5 p.m. and open session at 6:30 p.m.

Meeting will be held at the District Administrative Offices Board Room.




CUSD Home Page          

Board Meeting Calendar

Board Members

Past Meeting Minutes



Recent District Happenings:



How Many CUSD School Board Meetings Have You Attended?


Next school board meeting is Tuesday, 

June 16, 2015 (6:30 pm) District Office 

I don't have a perfect record for attending school board meetings, however, over the last 3 years I have sat in on a large number of Calaveras Unified school board meetings (missing perhaps 5). I know who the Trustees are and how they tend to vote. I also know the district's strengths, weaknesses, and priorities. 

Because I am now better informed (more aware), I can honestly say that I don't agree with (or line up with) many of the district's priorities or spending practices. 

For these very reasons I have made school board meetings a priority in my life; there are certain times, however, I would rather not attend ... and I search for excuses to find something better or more important to do. Perhaps this sounds familiar to you? As you know, excuses are easy to come by; time and energy are valuable commodities. 

In the end, however, after I wrestle with my conscience, I usually manage to overcome my desire to navigate away from this important civic duty and resolve to attend yet another board meeting; recommitting my priority to become a better, more informed parent and citizen.

I assume most parents are like myself: time and energy are extremely limited; not enough hours in a day. That being said (and true) I still challenge you (as a parent and citizen) to make an attempt (or set a goal) to somehow attend a local school board meeting. Decisions are being made (every other Tuesday) that affect not only you, your child, and your checkbook, but the very community in which you live.

I truly hope to see you there--Allen Lujan

Taxes Anyone?

FIRST POSTED DEC. 2013
Tennis Courts--Bret Harte High School--Aug. 2013
“In Calaveras County, the revenue collected from property tax is distributed between four entities: school districts, the county, special districts and Angels Camp."


Tennis Courts--Calaveras High School--Aug. 2013

 "The school districts receive the brunt of that revenue with 67 percent of the collected taxes. The county receives 18 percent, special districts receive 14 percent and Angels Camp receives 1 percent.”


Property values to see minimal gains
By Stephen Crane
Calaveras Enterprise
Dec. 24, 2013




Sunday, June 14, 2015

Calaveras Unified CFO Unqualified to Navigate Slow-Approaching "Perfectly Visible Storm"


FIRST POSTED AUG. 2014

A “perfect storm,” consisting of a variety of factors (internal and external, specific to projected versus actual revenue and expenditures), all came together mid-June as part of the budget building process and have us where we are today
Calaveras Enterprise Opinion Page
Posted: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 6:00 am
By Mark Campbell



A response to Superintendent Campbell's "Perfect Storm" ...

Unqualified and inadequately skilled "fiscal managers" (Calaveras Unified Superintendent, the Director of Fiscal Services, and an uninformed School Board--often left in the dark concerning fiscal "details") navigated the CUSD fiscal ship directly into the eye of a “PERFECTLY VISIBLE,” all-consuming storm; this fiscal disaster could have been avoided (or at least minimized with proper and adequate fiscal knowledge and preparation). Sorry, no sympathy here.  This was not a “Perfect Storm” of circumstances as CUSD Superintendent Campbell claims; unfortunately (especially for the community), the CUSD leadership is attempting to weather the community-destroying storm with the very same people who should have (and could have) avoided the storm in the first place. The Calaveras Unified CFO is not qualified; she is now receiving oversight from a highly-paid fiscal adviser (at tax-payer expense) and also from the County Office of Education CFO (Claudia Davis, Associate Superintendent of Business Services). That much backup and oversight is the first clue that something is seriously wrong.

 I am a teacher. And like all teachers, I set out daily to do my job independent of others having to double-check or manage my students and classroom affairs (because that is what I am paid to do). If 2 additional teachers (or managers) were overseeing my daily classroom management ... that would be evidence enough that I am no longer able to adequately do my job.

Or, perhaps, I could just explain away the increased oversight as necessary; due to a number of unforeseen and unexpected factors. The first and primary reason, of course, is that I'm the unfortunate victim of a "perfect storm" of circumstances. Hmmmm ... Being a victim doesn't fly to well in the professional teaching world; teachers everyday have to deal with "unfortunate and unforeseen circumstances."

The first order of business should be to replace the CFO with a fully qualified fiscal manager. Leaving the books in the same hands that ran the ship aground is a huge mistake and will only complicate and compound the current budget crisis even further.

Time for a new Calaveras Unified CFO; one who can not only see the storms as they are slowly approaching, but who can also navigate the fiscal ship away from harm and danger, and into safe and protected waters as need (and circumstance) arise.
 --Allen Lujan


Time to Condemn the TMS Food Service Trailer

Plywood over Trailer Window
FIRST POSTED MAY 2015
In light of the accident that occurred yesterday in the TMS food service trailer, in which a CUSD food service employee was injured when a window fell out from an inside wall (due to severe dry-rot), its time to seriously consider condemning the aged food service trailer.

Superintendent Campbell has postponed the building of a TMS kitchen for several years. The promise of an adequate Toyon kitchen has been made (and broken) for a number of years.

Before another CUSD employee gets seriously injured or maimed, it is highly recommended that CUSD condemn the aged food service trailer and immediately invest in a kitchen facility at TMS that is safe and dignified.

After 18 years of documented health code violations, it is way past time for the Toyon food service facility (the "Hut" and"Trailer") to be closed and condemned.





                  Link to Previous Post Highlighting Toyon Food Service Facility:

                   TMS Food Service Employees: Heroes Among Us






Terms and Conditions of Employment for Superintendent Mark P. Campbell

Terms:
The terms and conditions of employment for Mark P. Campbell as
Superintendent of the District cover a period of three (3) years, beginning July 1, 2013, and terminating on June 30, 2016.




Salary Schedule Payment
Commencing on July 1, 2013, the Board will provide the Superintendent a base salary of $137,531.75 plus a Master’s Degree stipend of $1,726.00. The Superintendent’s salary will be increased by 1.7% effective August 1, 2013.

Work Year
The Superintendent shall render twelve (12) months of service to the District during the period covered by this Agreement. The Superintendent shall fulfill a work year of no less than 211 days for the school years during the term of this contract. The Superintendent shall be entitled to 30 vacation days for each year this Agreement remains in effect. The Superintendent shall also be entitled to receive compensation for any days worked in excess of 211, should it be determined that additional days are necessary for the operation of the District. Any additional days would be paid according to current Board policy at the Superintendent’s current per diem rate.

Expense Account
The Superintendent shall be issued a district credit card for necessary expenses that may be incurred in the performance of duties. Verification of expenditures shall be necessary for charges incurred within this provision. It is expressly understood that expenses incurred shall be within district policies and operating budget, not to exceed a maximum expense of $500.00 per month.

--------------------------------***--------------------------------

CUSD Board Policy Resources:

Superintendent Governance Standards
BP 2111 (a)

Superintendent's Contract
BP 2121

Evaluation of the Superintendent
BP 2140

The Importance of Small Schools

Victor Hugo: 1802-1885
First Posted Nov. 2014
At the last CUSD board meeting the Trustees voted to keep the district's small schools open. After the vote was confirmed, joy and clapping filled the boardroom . 

The power of the board's decision will have long-term and far reaching affects. The value and importance of their decision is found in a quote by Victor Hugo: "He who opens a school door, closes a prison."


Education, it seems, has the power to save lives and communities. I only wish more people could have been there to hear the applause. It was a monumental feeling!

Email Addresses for CUSD Board Members

First Posted May 2015


Why Contact Your Local 
School Board Members? 




Here are a Few Reasons Why:
  • Who is going to name the CUSD Performing Arts Center? Tax payers will pay for it, but Superintendent Campbell has proposed naming the PAC after ex-superintendent James Frost: Calaveras Enterprise "Objections stall name for new CHS theater"
  • The CUSD Budget Crisis: should CUSD borrow money while in a "Qualified" Status?
  • Teacher Layoffs and Classroom Sizes: Is there an end in sight?
  • Is Superintendent Campbell capable to lead the district? Teachers Union: 74% Voted "No Confidence" in Superintendent Campbell's ability to provide effective leadership. Calaveras Enterprise: "Unions, administration, wrestling with cuts in CUSD" by Mike Taylor' May 8, 2015
  • What has been done to resolve the Special Education Crisis at Jenny Lind Elementary: there is currently a need for 2-3 special educators at this school site.
  • Keeping small schools open: Is this a priority for Board Members?
  • Hiring (& retaining) highly qualified teachers and support staff: when will the "cutting" stop?
  • Is the district attracting and hiring highly qualified directors and managers to the district office? Individuals that are independent and able to stand on their own professional merit?
  • What has been done to resolve or eliminate the bully epidemic in the district?
  • Where do the board members stand in regards to dignity issues throughout the district: such as the completion of a Toyon kitchen?
  • What can be done to build educational solidarity within the district, rather than the current (and ongoing) fracturing and infighting?

Calaveras Unified School District Board Members

Sherri Reusche (Current Board President)
sreusche@calaveras.k12.ca.us

Zerral McDaniel
zmcdaniel@calaveras.k12.ca.us

Karan Bowsher
kbowsher@calaveras.k12.ca.us

Gregory Gustafson (phone calls welcome: 209-604-5800)
ggustafson@calaveras.k12.ca.us

Kelly Smith
ksmith@calaveras.k12.ca.us

Superintendent Performance Objectives

Calaveras Unified School District
E 2123(a)
Administration                                              
EVALUATION OF THE SUPERINTENDENT: PERFORMANCE OBJECTIVES   

Noninstructional Operations                                
                                                            
The Superintendent: 
                                       
1. Ensures that district records are maintained in accordance with law.                                  
                                                              
2. Provides for a safe school environment. 
               
3. Develops long-range plans for new sites and facilities or for the closure of existing sites
where needed.  
        
4. Provides a program of preventive maintenance for school facilities.                                   
                                                               
5. Ensures that district business functions are efficiently managed by qualified personnel.    
                                                                
6. Ensures that the budget is planned in terms of educational priorities and that it provides
for the improvement of the educational program.                     
                                                            
7. Seeks out new funding sources for the schools.    

CUSD Leadership: Living on HOPE ... Unprepared for the Worst


First Posted Aug. 2014


“There’s no harm in hoping for the best ... 
as long as you’re prepared for the worst.” –Stephen King





"In hindsight, 3 years ago it should have been 30:1 in every classroom. We should have cut sports and music to right this ship, but we didn't do that for all the right reasons. Although, now it’s coming back to bite us. Many, many factors through the course of April through May came into play. Some of it internally inflicted – the misprojection of class size reduction, which has nothing to do with the structural deficit. We were hoping we could hold this off as long as possible and that didn’t work. We knew this day was coming, but we were hoping to soften the scope of it but many, many things happened to get us here much faster."

                                                                        --Mark Campbell, Superintendent Calaveras Unified
                                                                           Quote from July 22, 2014 Board Meeting Minutes



Link to Fiscal Recovery Plan