By Barry Brucker - Member Board of Education April - June 2000
The Board of Education has been busy this second quarter
addressing many issues including modernization, curriculum, budget, policy,
employee contracts, state funding, school safety and much more. This is my 10th
quarterly newsletter …I hope you find it informative and thought provoking.
Please note the following:
Beverly High…A National Blue Ribbon School and New American
High School: Many hands, hearts and minds generally
contribute to any notable achievements. - Walt Disney
Kudos to Principal Ben Bushman, Susie Curtis,
Bonnie Miller, Dan Stepenosky, the staff, students, district and community for
being awarded the "National Blue Ribbon Award". This is the
"Oscars" of educational excellence. To top this, BHHS received an
additional recognition, by the US Dept. of Education, as a "New American
High School". We were one of ONLY 10 High Schools in the country to
be awarded this recognition.
- Welcome Superintendent Dr. Gwen Gross: On June 27th the
Board voted 5 – 0 to hire Dr. Gwen Gross as our new Superintendent. Dr.
Gross will bring an air of stability, professionalism and strong leadership to
our district. During our site visit to her school district in Ojai, the BH
Board met with almost 40 community and school officials. Adjectives such as:
charismatic, intelligent, strong leadership, professional, child advocate, ‘can-do’
attitude, engaging, workaholic, visionary and community oriented were on the
lips of the Ojai district and community members when describing Dr. Gross.
Some said they cried when they heard the news, others said "it will be a
great loss for Ojai, she was a gem." Dr. Gross will officially begin full
time in August.
- Thank-you Supt. Dr. Ken Moffett: In August we say goodbye to Interim
Supt. Dr. Ken Moffett. We are grateful for his leadership and guidance through
some challenging times. Dr. Moffett was instrumental in establishing scores of
new district policies; he set us on a strategic path for curriculum and budget
analysis, and facilitated, with class and professionalism, the transition of
two distinct Boards. He was an advocate for Study Sessions, and tough on
accountability with our contractors and vendors. He was also a critical
component in attracting an exceptional candidate talent pool for the position
of Superintendent. Dr. Moffett – It was a privilege working with you…THANK
We have an
artistic masterpiece covering the oil well located on the western portion of
the High School thanks to Ed and Bob Massey and a host of children throughout
the State. This Tower symbolizes the work of children afflicted with illness
and those that are healthy coming together in the spirit of hope, love and
peace. Thank you Ed, Bob and the kids!
Curriculum/Summer School: Recently
the District had its first curriculum study session which addressed issues
including: Summer School, 7AM classes, outdated computer requirements, third
year physical education, 9th grade science, instruction time etc.
This Board sent a clear mandate that we want some changes including greater
flexibility and an immediate scheduling and course offering analysis.
Historically, Summer school was meant for remedial education and relieving
students of heavy school term course loads. Currently in BH it seems necessary
for college bound students interested in a full academic load, diverse
electives such as band, drama, journalism, leadership, and athletics to take
at least two years of summer school and or attend 7AM classes. We need to
allow our students the summer life experiences of camp, study abroad, travel,
extracurricular programs, business internships, and more. Most importantly, we
need to make sure our students do not burn out.
Renovation/Modernization: The board awarded a $20+ Million contract
for the modernization of El Rodeo, Horace Mann & Hawthorne. Drive by
Beverly Vista and witness phase one of our new Educational Complex. Walk the
hallways, check out the swim gym, auditorium, and classrooms of BHHS and see
our school construction bond monies coming to fruition. Our renovation and new
construction program will continue in full swing next year with completion
scheduled for 4th quarter 2001 and first quarter 2002. In order to
expedite the construction, bungalows will be installed at all of our schools,
and they will be tested for approved IAQ.
Budget/Fiscal Responsibility: With very tight budget constraints and a
declining student enrollment, we are studying all options to insure fiscal
responsibility. These options include expanding the permit program, thus
bringing in more students/revenue, cutting costly or under utilized programs,
making staffing adjustments and establishing tighter accountability with
respect to purchasing and expenditures. I would also recommend we consider
adopting a zero based budgeting model that will hold department heads and
school sites accountable for their budgets. In addition we should market our
"National Blue Ribbon" and "California Distinguished
School" advantages to BH residents whose children have opted to attend
private schools. Lastly, we could generate substantial BHEF revenue through
targeted fundraising for naming opportunities of buildings, auditoriums and
Board of Education Commissions: Thanks
to all of our Board of Ed commissioners who devote their time and expertise to
our district in the field of Finance, Construction, Community Relations and
the Arts. Collectively, they have saved or found this district millions of
dollars, made them safer and socially responsible, and have exposed our
students to diverse artistic disciplines. We are much better off because of
these tireless community volunteers…Thank You!
E-Mail: In the spirit of
saving trees and protecting our environment, I can communicate my quarterly
Community Update Bulletin "CUB" reports by email for those of you who
prefer electronic communication. This will save on postage, printing, trees and
efficiency. E-mail your address to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to the scores of community members who have already done so.
Communication, pros vs. con: It was brought to my attention at a
recent board meeting that a few people in the community object to my quarterly
CUB reports. It was suggested that I should not communicate directly with the
community for fear of confusion. I would like to make my position clear as to
why I continue to communicate quarterly through my CUB reports. #1. When I ran
for office 2 ˝ years ago, the community expressed frustration with not
knowing what was happening on our campuses and in particular with bond monies
& construction, school safety, budget and curriculum. I promised better
communication. The district has put out one official newsletter "BluePrint's"
in the last 2 ˝ years (Mar. ’99). #2. I have continuously made it clear
that the opinions expressed in these CUB reports are mine alone, and do not
necessarily represent the opinions of my colleagues. #3. I personally pay for
100% of the printing and mailing costs …no district funds are involved. #4.
I have always found it suspect when people want to curb information and
communication. One of the key reasons we chose Dr. Gross as our Superintendent
was because of her commitment to open dialogue and excellent communication
- Good Luck Gabe: Student Board member Gabe Halimi will be attending
UCSB this upcoming Fall. Gabe provided insight into the needs of our students,
lobbied hard for field lights, sensible curriculum programs, and even
conducted memorial services for high school students who passed away this
year. Board Member Halimi is an intelligent and classy young man…he made us
all proud! As we say a fond farewell to Gabe, we welcome David
Foldvary as the new Student Board Member. I am sure David will continue
the tradition of excellent student representation.
We as a district and community have the opportunity to
work together to maximize the educational opportunities for our greatest
treasures…our students. As always please feel free to call, write or e-mail
me. I do want to hear from you and respond to your concerns. We have a lot to be
proud of, and only together through teamwork can we realize our vision
for excellence in education.
Have a happy and restful summer vacation.
Barry Brucker - Member
Board of Education BHUSD
phone: 310-523-4657 (office) 310-550-1114 (home)
fax: 310-329-0943 (office) 310-275-7739 (home)
e-mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note: No expenses relating to this mailing were borne by the BHUSD
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