Mr. Sanchez, I Hope You Drive A Bus Because I Plan to Fill it With Many More Backseat Drivers

In this week's board meeting, I criticized some of the board members for their "clarifying questioning" of parents who came to express their concerns over the new assistant superintendent contracts. Mr. Greenwood and Mrs. Lara complained about my "negativity". Mr. Sanchez said I don't walk in his shoes and he welcomes my negativity. He said he likes "backseat drivers to keep him on his toes." Mr. Sanchez, check your rearview mirror, I'm not alone.

I believe our board is allowing the administration to take our district in the wrong direction and would like the board to provide the leadership they were elected to provide. I am tired of being accused of being too negative. Following is a list of some of my "negative" actions over the last 3 years. You decide.

Improve District Communication to Parents

* Pushed for redesign of the district's website to provide more communications for parents

* Request the agenda's and board packets be made available on the website

* Request audio recordings of board meetings be made available on the website

* Request training for school site council members

* Add School Site Council meeting schedules to the district schedule and make the calendar more accessible to parents and community

* Request the district use email and other 21st century technology to keep parents informed

* Make a public announcement about applications for oversight committees

* Ask the district to provide more user friendly bus schedules

* Ask the board to use "their", not the public's (according to Mr. Sanchez) board meeting to openly communicate their decision making rationale

* Criticize the district's failure to properly notify all parents regarding transportation cuts

* Inform my readers of the Swine Flu process implemented by the district and provide links to valuable Swine Flu resources

Encourage Parent and Community Involvement

* Ask the board to update their four year old Parent Involvement Policy and develop a legally required parent involvement plan

* Encourage more parents to get involved through my blog and letters to the editor in the Record Gazette

* Request and receive a board agenda item to allow parents and teachers to voice their opinions about the spending on Measure Z projects

* Request the district to formally recognize the contributions of all the district's volunteers by designating a parent involvement week

* Request the district to recognize National Parent Involvement Day

* Suggest the district make one board meeting a month more parent friendly

* Suggest the district schedule the district's committee meetings on the same night as a parent friendly board meeting and offer child care to encourage parent participation at the board meetings and committee meetings

* Ask the district to open the "community sponsored" pool for public use during the summer

* Call for parents to join parent organizations and attend board meetings

Responsible Spending of Our Kids' Resources

* Request the district not spend the majority of Measure Z bond proceeds on a stadium and spread the funds to projects to benefit all schools not just the high school

* Suggest the district redirect sale proceeds from surplus property to the general fund and reduce the cost of their new $4,000,000 administration building or use a vacant school site as a temporary administration building

* Ask for more transparency in the bidding process for Measure Z projects and select the best contractor for our kids' money

* Ask the district to build the stadium and athletic fields in phases over time and complete more of the smaller projects for all schools

* Push for and receive board commitment to bring technology to every classroom in the district

Supporting Teachers

* Asking the district to follow the teachers suggestions to reconsider the seniority rules and approach to laying off school counselors

* Ask the district to follow the teachers wishes to scrap the 21st century classroom in order to bring new technology to every classroom

* Request the superintendents make personal sacrifices to show leadership and share in the sacrifices they are asking everyone else to make

* Recognize, and blog about, the success of the Early Release Day Pilot Program at Palm Elementary and the Extended First Grade Pilot Program at Three Rings Ranch

* Ask the district to adhere to the increased class sizes they approved during last year's rounds of budget cuts

* Ask the district to listen to teachers' concerns over the number of tests that are cutting into instructional time

Promote Health and Safety

* Ask the district to install defibrillators at every site

* Criticize the board for not accepting the transportation's department request to participate in a ride-along to experience the consequences of their transportation cuts

* Promote health and fitness through the Beaumont Spirit Run organization

Community Fundraising

* Organize a golf tournament to raise funds for all PTA organizations

* Work on the Beaumont Spirit Run Organizing Committee to raise funds for all Beaumont schools