January was an exciting month in our district as we continue to work together to reimagine and rebuild for the future in our district! What follows are some important updates for you!
Measure M and Measure O Updates
I had hoped to have news about San Juan School’s future, but I am learning quickly that state agencies do not work quickly. Here is what I know so far. Our architects’ engineering team continued to have technical conversations about the structural elements of the school with t he California’s Department of School Architects (DSA). These conversations are part of the Seismic Study Project to determine whether the school needs simply to be renovated or to be replaced. One important conversation point is whether the renovation costs would be so expensive that it would make more sense to replace the buildings. In addition, when one is dealing with old construction and begins to open up walls, it is possible to find other problems that need to be addressed, and so new construction becomes even more feasible then. These are the conversations that are occurring now. A lot of “what if’s”.
In addition, there is another state agency that controls the funding and that is the OPSC (Office of Public School Construction). Normally, one would wait until the DSA finished their report before engaging the OPSC, but my team has decided to be proactive, and we invited OPSC to visit San Juan School to see if that can help move the process along. This visit occurred this week. At this point, we just need to know which path we are walking down so we can make the right plans. I promise to blast out the news when I finally have something definitive to announce. For now, we wait and continue the preparations that will be necessary for either possible future: renovation or rebuilding.
is the major funding source for this project and we have successfully issued about 5M in bonds to start the plans. You will remember there was 30.5M in Measure O when we began.
In December, the Board approved plans to move forward with several projects to use up the remainder of Measure M. We started with 4.2M, spent about 1.4, and so had about 2.8M to allocate or spend to address at least 4.5M of identified needs. Needs always outpaces available funds, however, the Board approved a variety of projects including the following listed below. Please note that processes have begun but there will be delays and backorders on equipment, so no promises on completion dates, especially relative to HVAC. Some of the bids for what follows will be coming to the Feb 15 regular Board Meeting for approval.
Anzar (850K): HVAC to one of two remaining buildings as well as some Sports related items to support 45% of the student body who participate in sports. This includes a water bottle station and replacing Boys and Girls Locker Rooms and some other items under discussion.
Aromas (1.7M): HVAC for 11 classrooms and GYM ( cooling center).
San Juan (250K): ceiling fans in all classrooms; alternative cooling options; gym maintenance/painting to seal San Juan GYM envelope from rain intrusion/weather.
After School and Summer Enrichment Survey Results
You responded quickly to a survey I sent out regarding our development of after school and summer enrichment programs, using our one-time grant funds. Within a day or two of opening the survey, I had over 100 responses. The top vote getters were Art, Music, and Sports with many other good ideas offered up. So, let me tell you where we are at this point in time with some of these activities.
San Benito Art Foundation
We are using our LCAP planned dollars to fund a partnership with the San Benito Art Foundation that will bring art experiences this spring to some of our students at Aromas and San Juan School. In addition, a mural will be completed at Aromas under their direction and some arts assemblies have occurred at Anzar.
Anzar High School principal Angela Crowley is finalizing some details about a series of Parent Education opportunities. Once details are set, we will send you information about these learning opportunities for adults.
Superintendent Search Timeline
This is an important month for the district as it continues to move through the steps working with Leadership Associates, the executive search firm assisting with the search for your next Superintendent. Recently posted is the profile they compiled using your survey data and results from stakeholder interviews. You can access the profile here.
January 31 was the deadline for applications to be received. The next steps they will take is to prepare the applications to review with the Board on February 13 in Closed Session. The Board will choose a shortlist to interview in Closed Session on February 25. The goal is to have a finalist for approval at an early March Board meeting. That individual’s contract would likely begin July 1, 2023.