By Rick LaPlante, New Haven Schools Director of Parent and Community Relations
The Board of Education on Tuesday night approved an extension of winter break by one day, through Monday, Jan. 2. Schools, which will be closed starting next Monday (Dec. 19), will reopen Tuesday, Jan. 3.
To maintain a 175-day school year, the District’s employee groups agreed to open schools Wednesday, March 21, which previously was designated as one of the six furlough days being forced upon the District because of state budget cuts.
However, Gov. Brown announced Tuesday that state revenues are short of original budget projections, meaning “triggers” in the budget will force mid-year cuts to K-12 education. Although the cuts are not expected to be as severe as feared, the District still may be forced to consider additional reductions to the school calendar this spring. Those discussions will begin after winter break, when details about the impacts of the “trigger” will be finalized.
The schedule is unchanged for the other furlough days: Feb. 10, March 5, April 20, May 21 and June 14. Employees also are sacrificing an additional day without pay on a non-student day.
Also on Tuesday night, the Board:
* Acknowledged Kevin Harper, for whom the meeting was his last after seven years of service to the Board. Mr. Harper is resigning, effective at the end of the calendar year, because he and his wife are moving out of the District. His appointed replacement, Michael Ritchie, will serve the remaining 11 months his term, starting in January.
* Re-elected Michelle Matthews as its President and elected Jonas Dino as Clerk, and made appointments to standing committees and other agencies as follows:
o Regional Occupational Program Board: Mr. Dino and Sarabjit Cheema (Mr. Ritchie alternate).
o Alameda County School Boards Association: Ms. Matthews (Linda Canlas alternate).
o Special Education Local Plan Area Policy Board: Mr. Dino (Mr. Ritchie alternate).
o California Interscholastic Sports Federation: Ms. Matthews (Ms. Cheema alternate).
o Board of Education/City Council Sub-Committee: Ms. Matthews and Mr. Dino.
o Union City Youth Violence Prevention Advisory Committee: Ms. Matthews and Ms. Cheema.
* Approved the first interim report on the 2011-12 budget and multi-year projections though 2013-14. Projections for 2012-13 include an additional reduction of three days from the student calendar and an increase in K-3 class sizes to 30:1. The District projects it will be able to recover one of the furlough days in 2013-14.
* Confirmed its meeting schedule for the remainder of the 2011-12 fiscal year. The Board is scheduled to meet at 7:30 p.m. on the following dates: Jan. 17, Feb. 7 and 21; March 6 and 20; April 17; May 1 and 15; June 5 and 19.
* Approved a contract with EMC Research Inc. for a representative survey of registered voters regarding the possibility of placing a parcel tax on the ballot in 2012.