School board OKs new graduation requirements
After two years of planning and months of discussion, the Sonoma Valley Unified School District board on June 14 unanimously approved the "A-to-G" graduation requirements to take effect with the incoming freshman class this fall at Sonoma Valley High School.
The "A-to-G" is the minimum requirements to be admitted into either the 10-campus University of California system or the 23-campus California State University system. "A-to-G" refers to a group of 15 classes in seven areas that students need to achieve at least a "C" grade in.
The graduation policy the board approved month has three parts - the "College and Career Ready Plan," which is "A-to-G" all four years of high school; a "Late Entry Foreign Born Students Plan," for foreign-born students who transfer into the high school after age 15 with no accessible records; and the "Individualized Learning Plan," for special education students of those whose parents decide to opt out of "A-to-G." But "A-to-G" will be the default plan for every student in the ninth and 10th grades.
The board spent more than 90-minutes discussing the plan at last month's meeting in addition to taking comments from more than a dozen parents and business owners. This month, there was little discussion.
Only five people - four of which were school employees - were in the audience when the board adopted policy.
In other action, the board approved raises of 2.1 percent for Superintendent Louann Carlomagno, Deputy Superintendent Justin Frese and Sonoma Valley High School Principal Dino Battaglini. All three have clauses in their contracts that provide the equivalent of a step on the salary scale, but it must be approved by the board because it's performance based.
The board also honored the 16 district employees who retired as of the end of the school year. That includes 10 teachers, five classified employees and one classified management employee. All together, the 16 have been employed for 387 years.
The retirees included: Anne Watson, special education teacher at Adele Harrison, 27 years; Carole Carlisle, teacher at Altimira, 20 years; Sandra Everett, teacher at Dunbar, 35 years; Mike Witkowski, teacher at Dunbar, 33 years; Kerry Oswald, teacher at Gateway, nine years; Linda Donahoe, teacher at Sassarnini, 36 years; Blair Thompson, teacher at Sassarini, 40 years; Darrel Ross, teacher at Sonoma Valley High, 37 years; Rose Anton, instructional assistant at Sonoma Valley High, eight years; Jeanne Barrett, instructional assistant at Sonoma Valley High, 18 years; Rose Carey, instructional assistant at Sonoma Valley High, 23 years; Ken Crandall, custodian at Sonoma Valley High, 17 years; Frances Larson, instructional assistant at Sonoma Valley High, eight years; Barbara McElroy, teacher at the elementary schools and Sonoma Valley High, 36 years; and Eric Muller, program manager in the district's department of maintenance and operations, 32 years.
The district is also increasing the cost of lunches - to $2.75 for elementary students, up 25 cents; $3.25 for secondary students, up 30 cents; and $3.75 for an adult meal, up 25 cents.
Frese told the board that the last time the district raised lunch prices was in June 2007. "We would like to keep them as low and affordable as possible," he said. He added that most of the food price increases are because of rising fuel costs.
The board also approved warrant payments totaling almost $132,600 to Quattrocchi Kwok Architects for various projects. Boardmember Cam Hawing recused himself from the discussion and vote as he is an architect with Quattrocchi Kwok Architects.