Community Update Bulletin
By Barry Brucker - President Board of Education Jan-Mar. 1999
Your Board of Education has been very busy this first quarter of 1999. Detailed below are some of the highlights, accomplishments and challenges from the BHUSD.
SUPERINTENDENT PELLICONE DEMONSTRATES LEADERSHIP: Dr. Pellicone has completed his first six months as our districts CEO. As a proactive leader and an advocate for academic achievement, Dr. Pellicone takes all steps necessary to maximize the educational opportunities for our students. Responding to the needs of our district with an out-of-the-box and visionary style, Dr. Pellicone evaluates various solutions to the challenges referred to him. Dr. Pellicone holds monthly coffees with parents, teachers and students. This is just one example of his interactive approach with our community. We are indeed lucky to have Dr. Pellicone as our CEO.
GOALS & ACCOUNTABILITY: For the first time your Board of Education, Superintendent and District Staff have established goals and objectives that will hold ALL of us accountable to the students, parents and community. We expect performance and achievement from our students...should we be any less accountable? Please tune in to KBEV channel 6 for the Superintendents State of the District Speech, which details these objectives for excellence and accountability.
EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE: Dr. Pellicone and Assistant Superintendent Diane Dawson have been working tirelessly with our exceptional staff on improving and prioritizing our academic and curriculum standards. In the near future, you will see some significant advancement in curriculum offerings and improved scheduling. We are moving from great to GRAND!
BEVERLY VISTA: We are off and running. Your Board of Education committed $22.4 million to build BV. The architects have been given the green light to move forward with design drawings. They have also agreed to expedite their timelines. Susan Weisbarth (BVs amazing PTA President) has been asked to form a school based construction advisory committee. Once built, the new Beverly Vista will be a "community" school of which we can all be proud! Abatement work will begin this month in preparation for demolition.
CONSTRUCTION GALORE: Its better for our childrens future! June will mark the beginning of our full modernization program for El Rodeo, Hawthorne, Horace Mann, and the High School. The students, staff, parents and community will experience inconveniences during this district-wide modernization program. However, it is important to consider the end result improved facilities for our schools. Tolerance and cooperation will help ensure a positive outcome and a successful completion.
It is important to note that the funds available from our 1993 Bond Measure will only cover basic ADA (Americans with Disability Act) upgrades, new electrical, roofing, HVAC, lighting, technology cabling, classroom upgrades and painting. We will NOT be building new structures the funds are simply not there. Note: The community passed a 77M Bond Measure in 1993. These funds were never the amount needed to build state of the art schools. It was the amount the Board at the time felt the community would pass. The unanticipated "94 earthquake compounded the issue with the closure of BV buildings, and the need to re-build.
$ 5 MILLION CITY FUNDS: Thank you to our "fabulous five" City Council Members who allocated $5M for district-wide modernization upgrades. These upgrades include BHHS: new track, field, lights, auditorium and media center (KBEV channel 6) upgrades. All four elementary schools will see modernization of their auditoriums and on their playing fields: including new playground equipment and landscaping. All five schools will be linked to our city library. On a personal note, I would like to thank the City Council for their dedication to our school district. We are very fortunate to be the beneficiaries of their support and concern.
E-WEEK SUCCESS: Bravo for the hard work of all those who participated in this valuable school/community/business education week. An enriching component to our curriculum process, E-WEEK allowed our students to experience a unique perspective about the importance of academic objectives.
DEFICIT SPENDING: We have been experiencing a deficit for several years. With the increase in legal fees, teacher salaries (per contract negotiated in early 97), additional teaching personnel (psychologist, counselors, PE) etc. and "buying" procedures, this board and Dr. Pellicone are looking at all ways to be more efficient and trim without cutting programming.
New BOARD OF EDUCATION COMMISSIONS: The establishment of our Board of Education Commissions has been a gift to the BHUSD. Our district could not afford to pay for the kind of expertise and advice we receive complimentary from our Commissioners. On behalf of the Board of Education, staff and students thank you, thank you, and thank you to all of these exceptional volunteers. Your evaluation, analysis and advice to the board on subjects including construction, finance, community relations/communications and the arts are greatly appreciated and held in the highest esteem.
FEMA: After numerous months, we are finally seeing progress on our FEMA negotiations. Thanks to the hard work of School Board VP Allison Okyle, our staff, consultants and attorneys, we are seeing the light and $$$.
COMMUNICATIONS: We are progressing on our TV programming on KBEV Channel 6. Tune in to see lectures, board meetings, visual tours of our schools, student performances, news and interviews. Century City Hospital has augmented KBEV programming with their Health Education Series. Check out our web site and PCM3s for up to date construction progress. Board Member Gerald Lunn has an excellent website at www.geraldlunn.com. Look for our quarterly "Blueprints" newsletter. This official mailer will feature many of our districts highlights, staff and student accomplishments. Thanks to El Rodeo and Horace Manns PTAs for sponsoring open forums where the Board of Education and community could dialogue about school issues.
AREA CODE OVERLAY: Thank you to Board of Ed. Commissioner Mark OKrent for educating us about the (310) prefix overlay which will take place on April 17th. When dialing all local phone calls you must now add the (310) area code before the local 7-digit number.
CENTURY CITY HOSPITAL: Thank you to John Nickens, CEO at Century City Hospital. CCH is a community leader, and exemplifies the meaning of school-business partnerships. CCH provides the BHUSD with two of our school nurses as well as health education, KBEV programming, and other support services. In September, CCH will provide physician care for our sports teams. We hope additional businesses will be motivated by the example that CCH demonstrates, and participate in other school-business alliances.
BHEF - APPLE BALL: May 11th will be the date of our annual Beverly Hills Education Foundation Apple Ball Gala. This is the organizations largest fund-raiser, of which the BHUSD is the direct beneficiary. The Volunteers of BHEF work tirelessly to make their events fun, entertaining and profitable. I encourage everyones support; the entire School District is the real winner from their dedication!
As always, please do not hesitate to call, write or e-mail me. Your constructive comments are always welcomed, valued and encouraged. Feedback is the mechanism that allows for growth and positive change. Our children, our most precious possessions, deserve a cooperative effort from their school board and community people working together to achieve a common goal, excellence in education.
Phone: 310-523-4657 office 310-550-1114 home
Fax: 310-329-0943 office 310-275-7739 home
Please note: No expenses relating to this mailing were borne by the BHUSD CUB Jan-Mar 99