The Templeton Heritage Tree Foundation is looking to preserve Templeton history by planting new trees where Heritage Oaks have fallen

TEMPLETON — The Templeton Unified School District had a regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, Aug. 26, at 6:15 p.m.

Trustee Nelson Yamagata ran the meeting as Trustee Vierra was out on the current fires in California. Yamagata spoke a few words in honor of his service and wishes for his safe return before moving to approve the order of business.

There were no reports on closed session, so the Board moved to item 6.0, acceptance of two donations for the Templeton High School football program, the Central Coast Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Friedle family, parents of former Templeton students.

Getting through this together, Atascadero

Item 7.1 was a presentation from the Templeton Heritage Tree Foundation. The organization is a 501c that exists to preserve Templeton’s history and hopes to bring in new trees where heritage trees have been lost throughout the years. They have selected sites based on the need for aesthetics, shade and also mentioned that Oaks draw moisture to them and allow more rain to fall.

The presentation ended with the Board deciding to bring back the item for a vote on a future meeting with an open session.

The public comment period opened and heard from parents who were looking for better systems for students required to quarantine due to exposure, as well as the request of teachers to receive a 2.2 percent raise, in comparison to the 5 percent Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) decided by the state.

The Student Board Member report highlighted the first days of going back to school for the elementary as well as middle and high schools. After the report, Connie Madera Voos, a parent of a junior at Templeton High School, added an update expressing her disappointment in the last-minute cancellation of the AP History class, stating that the equivalent Cuesta class was already full by that time, leaving her child with no avenue to pursue the advanced curriculum desired.

Trustee Yamagata asked that this item be addressed as it is important, but since the item was not agendized, it could not be done at that time.

Yamagata then gave an update on the committee on school districts, explaining that many districts were going from at-large elections for offices, including school boards, to bi-area elections to ensure that special areas would still have representation. Currently, the San Luis Obispo Coastal district was moving toward bi-area, and Paso Robles would soon be up for a vote on the item. He then addressed the fact that while public input was sought on these items, it was important that parents and community members with opinions on this attend the correct meetings, as once it is in the final stages, input will no longer be able to be received.

Item 9.3 was the governance handbook, which was deemed to still be good the way it is and that the Board was happy to stick to it without change.

The Superintendent Report was presented by Superintendent Aaron Asplund. He spoke on the new student orientations and how making new students feel accepted to the schools is a big deal and went well. Overall the first days of school went smoothly, which he thanked school staff for their part in bringing it about so well. He spoke how students were embracing the modifications and his appreciation for the willingness of the students. Lastly, he mentioned the quarantines that had to be imposed on both staff and students who had been exposed, and how these processes do stretch the staff, but that the health staff is engaged with those processes to ensure they run smoothly and that the staff is handling them as best as they can.

The consent agenda was passed with Yamagata pulling item 12.2 to clarify the statement and say that all trustees supported the drafting of a letter, not the letter itself. After the clarification item 12.2 was also passed.

Item 13.1 was presented by Andy Burnett on the Athletic handbook that states that independent studies students must take four core curriculum classes (math, english, social sciences, science) as well as one other class in order to participate in the athletics on campus. He presented the pros and cons of leaving the item as it is currently. One of the pros was that the access to the student-athletes on campus, both by staff as well as for other students to look up to, while a con was that all students in the district deserve equal opportunity, and while a student may find Independent study to their best benefit they also would like the opportunity for sports.

The motion to allow an exception for independent studies students was made, but as it did not receive a second, the motion died, and the Board moved on to the next item.

The next item was the presentation of the letter to the California Department of Public Health. Nelson Yamagagta was opposed to the letter, stating that while things were difficult, he did feel that the Department was doing their best to implement safe procedures for all of California and not overstepping, but that if the Board voted to approve the letter that he would also sign his name to it, as whatever they decide, they decide together.

The motion to approve the letter was made by Trustee Nimick and seconded by Trustee Dubost. The motion was approved with only Trustee Yamagata in opposition. An amendment to the motion was made to allow the student trustee to sign her name to the letter as well if she so chose.

The School Opening and Safety plan was approved after the school board addressed their notification process for any students who were exposed to COVID and explained that district-wide notifications would not be made, but that they would continue with contact tracing and notifying those who may have been exposed.

Item 14.1 was the budget assessment. At this time, the budget is still in flex, and more will be known at the next meeting, but things are in a good place, with changes on both sides of the ledger. The motion was approved.

The last item of business was 15.1, the first reading of the Board policies, which was received and filed, and the meeting was adjourned.

The next Templeton Unified School District meeting is set for Sept. 9 at 6:15 p.m., and the meeting agenda will be posted on the school website when it becomes available: tusd-ca.schoolloop.com/pf4/cms2/view_page?d=x&group_id=1608020383599&vdid=i19b2vanxx1ox