Los Banos School Board begins its New Year

On January 27, 2023 by Javier Powell, Reporter

Prior to the public session meeting of the Los Banos Unified School District School Board on January 12th, 2023, a closed session at 6:00 p.m. was held regarding two student discipline cases, a Parental Request for ten Crossroads Alt Ed Center students to graduate early, a liability claim against LBUSD, discipline for an employee, and a conference with labor negotiators from the California School Employees Association/Los Banos Teachers Association. The students in the discipline cases were later reported to be expelled, and the five students at Crossroads were accepted for an early graduation.

The public session began at 7:00 p.m., and included future events, the impact of the rain on the Loftin Stadium project, a clear audit report, and a bid to replace the LBHS fire alarm system was accepted. 

The Public Forum began with an invitation from Los Banos Elementary’s Mrs. Ritchie and Mrs. Leonard to the 6th Annual Color Run in March, with a deadline of February 19th to sign up at the base $20 price. Spanish-speaking members of the community thanked the district for their support of ELAC. The public comment period ended with Mr. De la Cruz, a teacher from Pacheco High School, asking the school board for their blessing to bring students to watch and learn from future meetings.

During the reports section of the meeting, California State Employees Association highlighted the important unseen role paraprofessionals play in the district. CSEA highlighted how even In and Out pays more, has more hours, and gives more benefits to employees than paraprofessionals receive. The superintendent Mr. Marshall made comments on the dated logo, mentioned plans to spotlight student and staff achievement, and made it clear- unless otherwise alerted- schools are open.

The Facilities Report included the impact rain is having on the Loftin Stadium project, stopping work, and potentially delaying the project if moisture has delaminated the OSB boards used in its construction.

Board members mentioned their visits to school sites, and Trustee Gene Lieb mentioned the Rotary Club’s Empty Bowls event. Empty Bowls reminds the community that many in around us go to bed having eaten a bowl of soup and bread at most. Trustee Marlene Smith invited everyone to attend the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. event at the City Hall on the 16th.

The Audit report came back extremely positive, there were no faults found and the district maintains its requirements. The only potentially negative part in the audit report is the drop in average daily attendance from less than 10K in ‘21 and ‘20 to 9,693 in ‘22. The drop could result in less funding to the District.

Reliable Fire and Security Solutions Inc.’s bid for $1,188,832 was accepted to replace the fire alert systems in LBHS. BMY Construction Group was given a total of $16,066.06 more for the construction of Loftin Stadium, all of which go to mundane parts of the project rerouting unforeseen irrigation lines, a backflow preventer, and changing the voltage of lighting conductors. The cost of the project is now $7,031,085.86.

Other notable items were adopted in the Consent Calendar (the block of agenda items that are voted on all at once). This included the adoption of a new 2019 curriculum by Pearson Education and My World Interactive for K-6 grades focusing on CA history and social science at the cost of $931,440. The School Board also accepted a $9,000 donation from Morning Star Packing Company to LBHS wrestling, $4,000 goes to the girl’s team, and $5,000 goes to the boy’s team.  Another donation accepted was $560 from PG&E to Pacheco High School. Additionally, $1,026,261 will go to replacing outdated Chromebooks no longer supported by Google.
The next regular meeting will be held on February 9th.

Filed under: Community, Education

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