MUSD vote Monday on school architect

MARTINEZ, Calif. – Martinez Unified School District Board of Education will consider Monday whether California Design West Architectural Firm of Sacramento should be the first company that would work on modernization designs for its elementary schools.

The District released its request for qualifications and proposals in February, and created a pool of firms, according to Assistant Superintendent Helen Rossi. California Design West was chosen as the first firm to consider, but she’ll ask the Board not only to approve a contract with California Design West but also the pool of other prequalified firms.

That pool includes Derivi Castellanos Architects, DSK Architects and Hamilton and Aitken Architects. An evaluation determined those firms and California Design West had relevant experience with kindergarten through 12th grade projects and with different types of construction delivery systems.

They also offered competitive rates and had histories of accurate cost estimates for large projects and bringing projects in on schedule and on budget.

Appointment will be considered for a successor to Martinez Junior High School Principal Katie Martin and for director of personnel services.

The latter position has been brought back as part of several administrative reorganizational steps the District has taken as part of budget cutbacks.

Other changes include eliminating the coordinator of Education Services, with Director of Education Services Tom Doppe picking up those duties, and the coordinator of Human Resources position will be combined with that of executive assistant to the superintendent, the post currently held by the retiring Sue Casey, according to Superintendent C.J. Cammack.

“This is a continued movement on the part of the District Office administration to remain agile and flexible in terms of making sure all needs are met while we continue to decrease out staffing levels due to needed budget reductions,” he said.

Director of Student Services Janelle Eyet will describe inter-district transfers, in which parents must get permission from the district of residence, then may apply to transfer to another district. Such applications must be submitted annually.

The applications are given priorities, with students whose parents or guardians work in the District.

Next in line are students currently attending District schools on an inter-district transfer, then come those whose siblings attend District schools through a transfer; students who have lived in the District and who recently have moved outside the attendance area; students identified as victims of an act of bullying; and finally, new inter-district requests.

Another factor is the Allen Bill, in which residency is based on parent or guardian employment. This lets a District decide a pupil complies with residency requirements for school attendance if at least one parent or guardian is employed within the boundaries of the school district.

Once admitted, the transfer may be revoked only if that parent stops being employed within the District. Before 2013, the Martinez school district Board policy granted district residency status to students whose parents or guardians worked within the district, and those were considered inter-district transfers, not work-related ones.

But the Board may consider dropping the Allen Bill from its policy because employment must be verified each year, because it’s open to anyone employed in the USD boundaries and because school choice applies through the residency provision.

Of students accepted through inter-district transfers, one is in a transitional kindergarten class, seven are in kindergarten, 13 are in first grade, six are in second grade, 19 are in third grade, 16 are in fourth grade, 13 are in fifth grade, 14 are in sixth grade, 20 are in seventh grade, 30 are in eighth grade, 20 are in ninth grade, 18 are in 10th grade, 27 are in 11th grade and 36 are in 12th grade.

The Board will hear Vicente-Briones Principal Lori O’Connor address suicide prevention, including a video presentation and a description of advocacy work with the Department of Education.

Maintenance Coordinator Mike Pawlowski will give the Board information on integrated pest management.

The Board of Education will meet in a closed session at 5:15 p.m. Monday to consider personnel and real estate matters and the potential expulsion of a student. The regular meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the District Boardroom, 921 Susana St.

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