Community Update Bulletin
By Barry Brucker President Board of Education BHUSD July 99
I hope you are having a pleasant summer. The second quarter of 99
has proven to be bittersweet. I would like to remind everyone that the views expressed in
my CUB report are my opinions, and not necessarily that of my colleagues. However, the
facts that I relay are just that, facts.
- Dr. Pellicone: On July 12, 1999 the board placed Dr. Pellicone on paid
administrative leave. For the past several months, the BHUSD has provided
information to the County of Los Angeles concerning recently audited purchase orders. This
matter is not closed and is still under investigation. Initial reports revealed a number
of expenditures and reimbursements to the Superintendent that are not authorized under his
contract or by California Education Code. Because this is a personnel matter, (by law all
personnel matters are not public information) the districts legal counsel
reviewed and presented the initial audit information at a closed board meeting. Following
this presentation, I believe your Board of Education would have been remiss in executing
its responsibilities had it not taken this action. Notwithstanding, this has been a
painful experience for the Board and the community. Your Board of Education is charged
with upholding the standards of educational excellence & ensuring that the business
operations and values are not compromised.
- Interim Superintendent: I am pleased to welcome Dr. Dick Bertain into his new
position as Interim Superintendent. Dr. Bertain is no stranger to this district. Over 30
years ago, Dr. Bertain served as Director of Personnel for The BHUSD, and for the past six
months, Dr. Bertain has been our Assistant Superintendent of Business Affairs and Finance.
Having held the position of Superintendent in other school districts, as well as having
private sector experience, Dr. Bertain brings with him experience and strong leadership
skills. Earning his Doctorate from Harvard University, Dr. Bertain is well respected by
the entire staff. I would like to share a quote from one senior administrator following
the July 12th meeting: "We have 400+ employees who will work 24 hours a day to
support Dr. Bertain and the children of the district. . .we are not headless".
- Bungalows: In response to an article from an Environmental Advocacy group, there has
been heightened awareness about indoor air quality (IAQ) of our children and staff. Due to
class size reduction, over 2 million California students are taught in portable
classrooms, which has made this issue a statewide challenge. I believe it is the
responsibility of our state to assist our district with the solution to this problem.
Therefore, I have written a letter to Governor Gray Davis appealing for his intervention. At
the same time, we must still address these issues on a local level while waiting for a
response from our Governor. The BHUSD is taking a statewide leadership role in
addressing these concerns. We are currently consulting with two independent testing labs,
experts in indoor air quality, industrial hygienists, toxicologists and physicians. We
have also called on (insisting is a better word) The County Department of Health, State
Cal OSHA and The Federal EPA for guidance, direction, and assistance. Along with programs
such as "Tools for Schools" (which guides districts in better air quality
measures) our newly formed Environmental Safety Committee (composed of
Teachers/Staff, Parents, Physicians, City Officials, IAQ Experts and Administrators) will
make recommendations to the board for necessary corrective measures. I promise we will do
whatever it takes to ensure a safe and healthy working, teaching and learning environment.
- C.S.I.L.: Construction Site Information Line is a voice mail telephone message
recording system that allows the community to access up to date information about our
construction progress. Furthermore, this system is provided at no charge by "The
Telephone Connection," Community Relation Commissioner Marc OKrents
company. This system allows for two-way messages for citizen questions. Check it out at
(310) 282-9000. Thank you Marc!
Beverly Vista Modernization: As
the single most important project in the district, I believe we can not hold anything back
that would delay Beverly Vistas construction project. While I am supportive of the
DEMO plans for buildings A, D & F this summer, it should be noted that some FEMA &
SHPO funding will likely be compromised by demolition activity. Please remember, these
funds have never been guaranteed and if successful could include serious time delay and
financial strings attached. In addition, any delay in the BV demo project could put the
district in jeopardy of losing a favorable position for State Prop 1A funding, which is
anticipated to be in excess of 2 million dollars! Applications for Proposition 1A funding
cannot be filed until construction documents are complete. Note: Please be careful about
letters to the editor which may be exaggerated, inaccurate and politically motivated. This
is a complex issue and Beverly Vista should not be used as a pawn.
Budget Deficit: With an approximate $500K deficit (down from $1,080,000), the
district must explore all options in order to maintain fiscal responsibility. With
excellence in education as our mandate, our goal is to support as few programming cuts as
possible. The Budget Review Committee (composed of Dr. Dick Bertain, BHUSD Director of
Finance - Mary Ellen Figueroa, and Board members Allison Okyle and Gerald Lunn) should be
commended for the steadfast hours devoted to researching the district finances. The Board
will collectively make the final budget cut decisions. My goal is to zero our deficit and not
compromise vital programs.
Communication: An overriding concern of the school community is how we communicate.
Dr. Bertain and your Board have made this a top priority. With our district web site is
being updated as we speak, I invite you to check out Board Member Gerald Lunns
website at: www.geraldlunn.com (Note: with a record breaking 1200 hits this month,
it is clear the community is hungry for detailed information.) Check it out!
Congratulations Jared Krissman: Student Board member Jared Krissman will be
attending the University of Washington this upcoming Fall. Jared provided insight into the
students needs, lobbied hard for field lights, a new track and field, and spent numerous
hours with PCM3 understanding the complexities of the construction/modernization program.
Board Member Krissman made us all proud! As we say a fond farewell to Jared, we
welcome Gabriel Halimi as the new Student Board Member. I am sure Gabe will
continue the tradition of excellent student representation.
Student Achievement: This year marked a first for the Beverly Hills Unified School
District as all five of our schools earned the prestigious honor of being designated a
California Distinguished School. As a community, we should all be very proud of our
students, especially our graduating seniors. SAT test scores were higher than ever before,
a direct reflection of our commitment to excellence in education. As a result, Beverly
Hills High School students will be represented at some of the finest universities in the
country including MIT, Whkkkkkarton School of Business, Stanford, Berkeley, Yale, UCLA,
USC and hosts of other fine academic institutions. Along with their stellar academic
achievements, the graduating class of 1999 performed more community service hours than any
previous class. We are producing smart academic achievers who are community oriented,
civic minded, environmentally aware and tolerant young citizens. As members of this fine
community, we should feel proud knowing the quality and caliber of these commendable young
adults. Remember, we are a California Distinguished School because of our students,
teachers, staff, parents and community commitment to education. Yes, we all own a piece of
this prestigious honor.
- Construction/Modernization: After reviewing the construction plans for Beverly Hills
High, El Rodeo, Horace Mann and Hawthorne, the Board of Education awarded construction
contracts for the High School. With our commitments to complete the Beverly Vista project,
we must be fiscally responsible and recognize that at this time there are not enough funds
to render a respectable job at the other elementary schools. However, certain health and
safety measures along with playground equipment will still be addressed at
these school sites.
Although your District is faced with some unique challenges, we will
continue to make proactive decisions to move this district forward. You have my commitment
that I will do everything in my power to lead our district through these obstacles as
swiftly yet efficiently as possible. As always please feel free to call, write or e-mail
me. I DO want to hear from you and respond to your concerns. I will continue to send
community update bulletins on a quarterly basis as a mechanism to keep the lines of
communication open. We have a lot of which to be proud, and only together through
teamwork can we realize our vision for excellence in education.
Have a happy and restful summer vacation.
Beverly Hills Unified School District
phone: 310-523-4657 (office) 310-550-1114 (home)
fax: 310-329-0943 (office) 310-275-7739 (home)
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or
Please note: No expenses relating to this mailing were borne by the BHUSD
[ Home ] [ Up ] [ CUB #16 ] [ CUB #10 ] [ CUB #9 ] [ CUB #8 ] [ CUB # 7 ] [ CUB #6 ] [ CUB #5 ] [ CUB #4 ] [ CUB #3 ] [ CUB #2 ] [ CUB #1 ]