MUSD to consider next Measure R Bond projects

MARTINEZ, Calif. – Martinez Unified School District Board of Education will weigh in Monday on the next projects that will be underwritten by Measure R bond money.

The second series of Measure R bonds have been sold for $30 million and the money is in the District’s account, Assistant Superintendent Helen Rossi said in her report.

Since a construction list was approved March 27, 2017, the Board has discussed possible modifications to those projects. At Monday’s meeting, the District staff will ask for guidance, particularly regarding the locker room and Maker Space remodeling at Martinez Junior High School.

In addition, the Board will hear staff describe site-based facility committees. Convening those committees could encourage a more definite exploration of the planning and scope of projects expected to be done at Las Juntas, Morello Park and John Swett elementary schools.

Also on the agenda is approval of the Contra Costa Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA), a part of a mandated updating process.

The changes include addition of a definition section to assure terms are used consistently; identification of Office for Civil Rights, California Department of Education and Office of Administrative Hearings complaints; identification of which agency counsel would be retained and paid to defend a complaint; and addition of a mandatory dispute resolution process to help resolve disputes more easily when they involve SELPA members as well as other clarifications for legal purposes.

The Board also will look at a couple of land issues.

One concerns questions about what steps need to be taken and what reports are required for the sale of a house lot in Briones Valley that has been given to the District.

Robert Wong of Aliquot and Associates and Larry Lippow of Lippow Development Company will address Board questions on the matter.

Also on the agenda is the closure of the Wendy’s Restaurant, 3455 Alhambra Ave. A contract for the property extends to March 2024, but the Board will be asked to discuss what the District should do if the current tenant no longer occupies the site.

The Board will review a request to accept a bequest from the Mary Baier Trust, to establish the Carol Baier Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Scholarship Foundation Account to award a $1,000 scholarship annually to an Alhambra High School senior girl.

The foundation is named for an Alhambra High School chemistry and biology teacher who still lives in Martinez who was the only female science instructor Dianna Vanni Stephenson ever had. Stephenson earned a doctorate degree in zoology from Northern Arizona University, and three years ago established the scholarship.

In 2018, Mary Baier, the eldest daughter died, leaving a sum of money to the scholarship, which has reached more than $18,000 through that and other contributions from supporters.

Molly Baier, trustee of the Mary Baier Trust, has asked the District take custody of the fund, use established criteria and provide $2,000 scholarships annually to a qualifying senior.

They’ll also hear staff recommendations through a resolution to reduce the District’s para professional staff and a typist clerk position in secondary schools, discuss furniture at Alhambra High School.

The Board of Education will meet at 5:45 p.m. Monday in a closed session to discuss labor matters. The regular meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the District Board Room, 921 Susana St.

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