Proposed Special Services Salary Revisions and New Position Unveiled by AUSD Leadership, Parent Raises Questions
ATASCADERO — The Atascadero Unified School District (AUSD) met for its regularly scheduled school board meeting on Tuesday, April 18, at 7 p.m. The meeting took place in person at the Kenneth Beck Building. Since August 2022, the district has remained with in-person meetings only, without a live streaming option. Trustee Terri Switzer was absent from the meeting.
During Oral Communication from the Public, teachers and parents united in their plea for smaller class sizes, particularly for Kindergarten. The advocacy was started by Kindergarten teacher Sarah Holland. Holland urged the board members to consider the well-being of young learners by limiting full-day kindergarten classes to a maximum of 24 students.
Joined by Holland was another educator, Teacher Trish Cooley, who echoed the sentiment for enhanced classroom support. Coonley voiced her request for full-time aides in the classrooms, stating the invaluable role they play in fostering a conducive learning environment for young children. Both teachers shed light on the potential benefits of reduced class sizes and additional support staff, emphasizing the positive impact it could have on academic achievement and individualized attention for students.
Assistant Superintendent of Business Services, Jackie Martin, and Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, E.J. Rossi, presented the Trustees with an overview of the proposed revisions to the Special Services Salary Schedule. The decision to adjust the Salary Schedule stemmed from the recognition of a specific requirement within the district: the creation of a new position named Program Coordinator, Student Engagement, and School Climate, which falls under the umbrella of special services.
During the Public Comment section, Krista Stewart, a AUSD parent, raised a question to the board regarding the process through which the identified needs were gathered. She expressed her lack of awareness regarding the specific concerns that necessitated the establishment of a new position dedicated to addressing student health, safety, and climate.
In response, Rossi acknowledged that within AUSD, individuals often fulfill multiple roles and responsibilities. He also mentioned that other school districts have already implemented the position being discussed and have allocated funds for further expansion in the coming year.
The motion passed unanimously.
Next, Rossi proceeded to present the Identify Schools Receiving Title 1 Funds as School-Wide Programs, which is a recurring agenda item on an annual basis. The presentation was met with unanimous approval from the trustee board.
Additionally, Rossi provided an update on the School-Aged Childcare Services available before, during, and after school hours. For the past 16 years, Champions has served as the childcare provider for AUSD. Going forward, AUSD has decided to continue its partnership with Champions for the next three years.
An Update on AUSD Goal 3: School Climate was also given by Rossi. He shared an LCAP overview with the Trustees and concentrated on School Climate (Goal 3) while doing so. Goals 1 and 2 will be covered in future meetings.
Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Curt Eichperger presented Resolution #20-22-23 Proclamation Declaring May 8-12, as Teacher Appreciation Week. The proclamation was read by Trustee Vy Pierce. The motion was approved unanimously.
The next regularly scheduled school board meeting took place, in person, on Tuesday, May 16, at 7 p.m.