MUSD board to hear reports on grant, Alhambra Valley lot, advanced science class, to vote on Black History month

MARTINEZ, Calif. – Martinez Unified School District Board of Education will hear multiple reports Monday on topics ranging from grants to help underachieving students to the possible sale of a lot it received in 1959 and a potential advanced class in environmental sciences.

The panel will be asked to vote on a resolution that recognizes February as African American History month. That resolution encourages schools to incorporate “appropriate instructional activities” as a way to commemorate the month.

The Board will hear Director of Educational Services Tom Doppe describe the Low-Performing Students Block Grant, a state education funding initiative that provides grants to schools with pupils who haven’t scored well on the summative Smarter Balance test for English language arts or mathematics.

To qualify for the grants, a district’s low-performing students must not be receiving be receiving supplemental grant funding under the local control funding formula nor can be eligible for special education services, according to a summary of Doppe’s report.

“As a condition of apportionment, our district is required to develop a plan describing how the funds will increase or improve evidence-based services and how the effectiveness will be measured,” the report summary said.

Such a plan must be presented in a public meeting for discussion and adoption, the report noted.

Assistant District Superintendent Helen Rossi will talk about a lot of land in Alhambra Valley east of Bear Creek Road that Bernard Borach in 1883 conveyed in a deed and which the county Board of Supervisors annexed by resolution into the Martinez Unified School District.

The District is considering a sale of the property, and Aliquot Services has been contracted to look at options for potential buyers. Rossi will present a list of steps that must be completed before the land can be sold.

Doppe will describe a potential Alhambra High School class, advanced placement environmental science. The proposed class has been reviewed by the school’s science department, its department chairpersons, its site council and the Curriculum Advisory Council, which approved the course by 7-0 unanimous vote Jan. 24.

The Board will review candidates for the 2019 California School Board Association Delegate Assembly.

Suzanne Murphy, director of Martinez Adult Education, will ask the Board to underwrite out of stat travel to New Orleans, La., so she can attend the National Adult Education Conference. The cost is $1,889 for travel, meals, hotel and registration.

The Board also may vote to declare surplus devices as electronic waste and to receive a 2014 Ford Fiesta for the auto shop at Alhambra High School. It will hear reports on the Martinez Junior High School locker room, the Multi-Tiered System of Support that documents performances of special education students to determine what additional services are needed after changes in classroom instruction are made, Alhambra High School’s modernization and the size of classes in District schools.

The Martinez Unified School District Board of Education will meet at 5:15 p.m. Monday in closed session to discuss personnel and legal matters. The regular meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the District’s Board Room, 921 Susana St.

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