Board of Education to hear reports on summer school, bond projects, voting rights act

Martinez Unified School District Board of Education will hear a series of reports Monday, beginning with a description of its summer school and extended school year (ESY) program.

Students attend summer learning programs for a variety of reasons. Among them are summer classes for students who have Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) that go beyond the conventional school year.

Martinez Unified School District (MUSD) offers summer school in both physical classes as well as through online formats that still allow students to work with teachers and in small groups.

The report will be presented by Principals Kerry Cusack and Joanna Ayala.

Assistant Superintendent Helen Rossi, Maintenance Coordinator Mike Pawlowski and Bond Projects Administrator Joe Schoenstein will give the Board an update on the district’s summer bond projects.

Director of Educational Services Tom Doppe will give a report on employees’ professional development.

Superintendent C.J. Cammack will speak to the Board about the California Voting Rights Act. Last year, the school district and the city of Martinez were accused by Malibu attorney Keven Shenkman, representing a Texas-based organization, of having racist attitudes and of violating the state’s voting rights act by diluting the votes of minorities through at-large elections.

While the Board repeatedly denied Shenkman’s accusations, it recognized that no public agency had successfully challenged him. It followed state-established procedures and both state and federal requirements to change from at-large to a by-area voting system, as did the city. Both accomplished the changes before a period of protection from lawsuit expired.

The way the new districts were drawn created multiple precincts of fewer than 250 people, and the Contra Costa County Elections Division has announced that those smaller districts will be vote-by-mail only.

John Swett Elementary School’s fourth grade Gold Rush Camp will request permission for an overnight California history study trip for 90 students to go to Coloma Outdoor Discovery School in Placerville Nov. 13-15.

The Board also will consider accepting a $2,000 donation from Sara Knodell and a Disney EARS to You grant to John Muir Elementary School and ratifying contracts with The Speech Pathology Group, Language Line Services and Delia Colorado.

Updates to Board policies to align them with the California School Boards Association also will be considered.

The Board of Education will meet at 6:10 a.m. Monday in a closed session to consider legal matters. The regular meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the District Board Room, 921 Susana St.

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