REDWOOD CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
Redwood City, California
APPROVED MINUTES OF BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING
December 8, 2008
1. Call to Order
President Masur called the meeting to order at 6:32 p.m. at the District Office
Superintendent’s Conference Room, 750 Bradford Street, Redwood City.
Present at Board Meeting: President Shelly Masur, and Trustees Maria Diaz-
Slocum , Alisa MacAvoy, Dennis McBride, and Hilary Paulson, and
Superintendent Jan Christensen
Garfield Board Members: Trustees Margarita Orrego, Chris Bohl, Doug Adams,
Yassin Jacob, Jennifer McGrath, Eperanza Esquivel, Rocio Esqueda
Others Present: John Baker, Raul Parungao, Patricia McRae, Jane Yuster, Mary
Maher, Joe Siam, Naomi Hunter, Alex Hunt, Trish Girardi, Ahbey Chand,
Annabelle Kloezeman, Angie Aguilar, Sara Ayaji Dopemu, Roberto Noceda, Mr.
President Masur welcomed those present. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
3. Changes to the Agenda
4. Approval of Agenda
On motion by Trustee Paulson, seconded by Trustee Diaz-Slocum, and by
unanimous vote, the board approved the agenda as submitted.
5. Oral Communication
6. Work Session
Board Minutes 1 December 8, 2008
President Masur explained the purpose and process for the board meeting. She
explained that the Redwood City School District board would not be making a
decision on the Garfield Charter at tonight’s meeting.
Superintendent Christensen reported that she had been meeting with Alex Hunt,
Executive Director, on the possible renewal of the Garfield Charter.
Mr. Hunt explained the history of the initial Garfield Charter and renewals. He
reported on the school’s development and success of the current instructional
plan. Mr. Hunt shared Garfield’s Vision and the special components of their
instructional plan. He reported that Garfield provides programs for parent
education. He also stated that Garfield has strong parent involvement.
Mr. Hunt explained that Garfield is facing severe fiscal reductions and listed
possible areas where Garfield programs and staff would have to be eliminated.
Mr. Villanueva, Garfield teacher, asked for the board’s support on renewing the
Mrs. Compise, teacher, reported on the uniqueness of Garfield’s instructional
program and asked for the board’s support.
Ms. Aguilar, teacher, reported the value of having a school like Garfield in the
Redwood City community.
Mrs. Ajayi-Dopemu, teacher, stated that Garfield teachers look forward to
continuing the bilingual program. She stated that Garfield parents value the
school’s bi-literacy program.
Mr. Noceda, teacher, requested the board’s support on renewing the Garfield
Superintendent Christensen announced that she and other staff members had
questions for the Garfield staff and board.
In answer to Superintendent Christensen question about covering a cost of
$200,000 for deferred maintenance projects, Mr. Hunt stated that Garfield does
have funds in the budget for deferred maintenance.
Raul Parungao, CBO, expressed concern about Garfield not including any
projections for declining enrollment in the multi-year projection.
Board Minutes 2 December 8, 2008
Mr. Parungao expressed concern about how a 3.5 percent cost of living allowance
increase for staff would be funded in the 2010-2011 projections.
In answer to Mr. Parungao’s question about the value of a 1 percent increase in
salary, Mr. Chand stated a 1 percent increase costs $35,000.
Mr. Hunt reported that Garfield’s enrollment is stable in grades K-3, but
enrollment does decline in the upper grades.
In answer to Dr. Baker’s question about Garfield “overflow” students at the
beginning of the school year , Mr. Hunt stated that Garfield would keep students
for the first 10 days to locate a placement for the students elsewhere in the
In answer to Dr. Baker’s question about negotiations, Mr. Hunt reported that
CTA had not contacted the school’s administration about representation. Mr.
Hunt stated that Board President Adams would be the school’s negotiator.
In answer to Mrs. McRae’s question about instruction, Mr. Hunt explained that
the school is developing a timeline to follow Ms. Wolfe’s recommendations.
Mr. Hunt explained the special education program at Garfield.
Trustee Diaz-Slocum stated that she is a supporter of the Garfield Charter School.
She expressed concern about Garfield’s academic program and staffing. She
expressed concern about Garfield’s ability to fund the school’s program. She
stated the lack of funding impacts the quality of education.
President Adams, Garfield Board, commended the staff for the excellent job they
are doing on student learning and student achievement. He stated he was also
concerned about school funding.
Trustee Bohl expressed concern about long range funding for Garfield Charter
School. He expressed appreciation for the district’s support to Garfield and
suggested that Garfield’s finance officer, Mr. Chand, report to the district’s CBO.
In answer to Trustee Paulson’s question about Garfield’s uniqueness, Mr. Hunt
stated that there is a high level commitment on part of the staff to the Charter’s
goals. He stated that Garfield has a late exit dual immersion instructional
Jennifer McGrath, parent, stated Garfield’s teachers show a strong commitment
to Garfield’s programs.
Board Minutes 3 December 8, 2008
Trustee Paulson requested cohort-testing data.
Trustee McBride expressed concern regarding Garfield’s low test scores.
Trustee McBride had the following questions about Garfield:
a. Did Garfield set aside 3 percent of its budget for deferred maintenance?
b. Has Garfield already committed to additional expenditures?
c. What makes Garfield unique to other schools in the district?
d. What specific things is Garfield doing to get out of program
Trustee McBride encouraged the Garfield Board to expedite its process for
renewal of the charter.
Trustee MacAvoy asked for Garfield’s five-year spending plan. She also asked
what unique benefits does the charter school bring to students, staff and parents?
Trustee Diaz-Slocum remarked that Garfield parents and students strongly
support smaller class size, but she stated that this would be severely impacted by
Mr. Hunt stated that he has been emphasizing that “this is a year of change for
the Garfield Charter School.”
President Masur asked Mr. Hunt what Garfield values being a charter school
rather than part of the district? She also asked what makes Garfield different
from other schools?
Superintendent Christensen stated that the district needs a formal renewal
application from the Garfield Charter School board. She stated this would
trigger a timeline for a response from the district. She stated she would send
questions to Mr. Hunt from other staff members.
On motion by Trustee McBride, seconded by Trustee MacAvoy, and by
unanimous vote the board adjourned the meeting at 8:35 p.m.
Board Minutes 4 December 8, 2008
Alisa MacAvoy, Clerk
Board Minutes 5 December 8, 2008