Community Update Bulletin
By Barry Brucker Board Member BHUSD Jan-Mar 1998
Last November you supported me for my bid for BHUSD School Board. With your help we made history as the first successful write-in candidate in over a decade in the State of California. I ran my campaign on a platform of better communication, construction/modernization timelines, accountability, and a vision for technology & excellence in education.
Detailed below are some of the accomplishments this Board has made since I took office in December.
Contract with the OTBS employees: After nearly 1200 days (3 1/2 years) without a contract, this "new" Board came to consensus and negotiated a mutually beneficial contract. We anticipate a contract being signed shortly. Both sides were winners.
KBEV (Channel 6) Telecasts: Instead of just scrolling advertisements, KBEV has expanded its programming to include replays of Board Meetings, Sporting events, Norman Newsreel, Classroom discussions, Drama, Musical Events and Speaker Forums.
District "BluePrint" Newsletter: At the direction of the Board, we are once again communicating with the community with progress reports and updates on our school events including: construction & modernization, student/teacher achievements, scholastic test scores, and Board decisions. This will be a regularly scheduled community newsletter.
Internet postings of public notices and Board Actions: The District Administration has been instructed to post-public notices on the Website.
Talk to a Board Member over the NET: The District will be completing a link to allow the community to e-mail questions to a Board Member. This will open up much needed dialogue between the community and the Board.
Open Board Meetings: This Board, has opened up the Board Meetings to increase community dialogue. The response has been very positive. The Board has benefited from the outreach onto the individual school campuses to dialogue with local parents and teachers. The dialogue has been candid and valuable. Thanks to the PTAs for sponsoring these open forums.
On March 30th the Board unanimously approved the E-rate obligation for rebuilding the technical and telephone infrastructure at our five campuses. If approved by the Federal Grantor, Uncle Sam will be paying for 40% of the infrastructure contracting costs.
This first quarter has been a challenge for the Board. You asked for change and strong leadership. By electing two new board members to help set a clear vision and hold accountable the policies it established, our District is finally on the road to excellence.
Beverly Vista and the EIR: An EIR report is now under way. This should have been done over one year ago by the previous board. Our new board is expediting the process as quickly as possible. Our priority is to rebuild BV and get those kids out of the bungalows.
District Construction and Modernization: The construction and modernization plans set for our schools are to be completed in 2000 and 2001. Our claims to recover FEMA dollars are now in the hands of competent legal counsel. PCM3 is doing a fine job as our construction manager and is very responsive to immediate needs for general maintenance and repair. We are doing extraordinary remedial work to curb the damages caused by El Nino. We have fixed safety hazard cracks in the playgrounds at ER, sinkholes, flooding at BV, asbestos mitigation at the High School and other unforeseen challenges. Our district restrooms are being addressed with added custodial care and environmentally friendly room sanitizers and fresheners. We are now becoming proactive and responsive to the Districts needs.
Special Education and 504s: Special Education is an area where accountability has been less than forthcoming. Reading between the lines of the Lou Barber report suggested that although we are in compliance in our testing procedures, we are out of line with, communication, information and implementation. Our 504 modifications are at a critical low, which suggests that the parents are not adequately informed of their rights. With Ms. Dawson (our very capable Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum) now taking charge of this department, accountability in the Special Services Department will result in better parent communication, friendlier service and timely evaluations. A parent handbook, Special Services Ombudsman or Advocate will be available and hopefully a Special Ed Commission will be formed to advise the Board on the needs of the parents.
In closing, you elected me to help establish policy with respect to accountability, forward thinking vision AND a commitment to excellence in education. Some decisions may not be popular to some, but they are made with the best intentions, knowledge and insight that I have gained on the Board and through my life experiences. Please have trust and faith that our childrens educational interests are the only criteria ever considered.
Please feel free to write, call or e-mail me at your convenience. I look forward to discussing any issues regarding our schools. Your constructive feedback is always appreciated and taken very seriously. Finally, it is critical that you vote on April 14th. Every vote counts...I know this first hand!
Home: 310-550-1114 Office: 310-523-4657 (most convenient for me)
Home fax: 310-275-7739 Office fax: 310-329-0943
Please note: No expenses relating to this mailing were borne by the BHUSD.