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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
May 2, 2012     Feather River Bulletin
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May 2, 2012

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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter 7-11 Committee Recommendations Wednesday, May 2, 2012 "'We declare that pride in community and pride in quality of education are not opposite choices. In a rural area such as ours they are so intertwined as to be indistinguishable. We believe that the children in each of the four communities in Plumas County Chester, Indian Valley, Quincy and Portola are best served by having K through 12 educational programs available in their own towns. We believe that Plumas Unified School District has the responsibility to provide those programs. "" Joint statement from all four 7-11 committees Chester/Lake Almanor Immediate recommenda- tions --Reduce school adminis- tration by one per site for cost savings of $345,868. --Reduce utility cost at each site by cutting the number of phone lines; securing all windows and shutting down in unused area; cutting trash in half and creating recycling opportunities, for a total cost savings of between $115,671 and $143,747. --Close the district office to save $144,213 in utilities and maintenance. Eliminate object code 5200 Travel and Conferences to save $234,977. --Eliminate object code 5800 Professional/Consulting; sav- ings unknown. Eliminate in-town busing in Chester for $279,756 savings. --Generate revenue, S122,560, by renting a PUSD facility to the Plumas Charter School. Indian Valley Summer 2012 recommen- dations Eliminate centralized kitchen to save $268,512. Use Necessary Small Schools waiver for staffing. --Restructure or eliminate Reading Recovery program. Eliminate travel by using Polycom, Skype, teleconfer- encing, etc. Reduce PUSD transporta- tion department. Consider 1 percent sales tax increase; could raise $1,690,710. Initiate all cost- cutting measures first. Survey respondents who favored such a tax warn to see sweeping changes at the district office level first. Maintain two campuses in Chester to provide flexibility and adaptability, but mothball unneeded wings. --Restructure district; neces- sary to continue K-12 programs that are flexible and adaptable in each PUSD autonomous community. Do not remove teacher.s from classrooms for Reading Recovery and CELL/ExCELL programs. Hire aide with Title I money. --Undertake comprehen- sive review and update of the employee personnel manual; exercise due diligence in con- ducting background checks; review and revise employ- ment contracts for adminis- trative level staff; determine legality of out-of-pocket staff travel cost to and from Quincy and/or other sites. Other recommendations --Conduct a staffing analy- sis of the technology de- partment to determine if six technicians are necessary for a district of this size. Ninety-two percent of the department's budget is spent of salaries and benefits. --Reduce interest on general obligation bond. Board should revisit in 2015. --Board and administration should engage in legislative lobbying. --Explore using four fur- lough days throughout the school year to save money. Consider alternative to busing for students who live within one-half mile of a school. Consider elimination of busing altogether. Contract it out. --Close the district office and relocate staff to empty classroom space in Quincy. Lease out district office. Primary recommendations --PUSD board members should resolve to support and fund kindergarten through 12th-grade programs in each community. --The board should form an austerity or budget committee that includes teachers, stu- dents and community mem- bers to recommend ways to save money that lessens the impact on students while balancing the budget. This may also strengthen trust in budget information that is now generally lacking among the population. --The board should evalu- ate the high number of ad- ministrative positions and the high salary scale and adjust them to a more reasonable part of the budget. According to the California School Board Association, the average spent on district administration is 5 percent of the budget. PUSD spends at least 12.5 percent of its budget on district adminis- tration, not including phone costs. --The board should imple- ment all possible savings fur- thest from the students before changing school configurations and use part of its reserve for economic uncertainty (Fund 17) to gradually balance the budget. ---The board could use new programs and school formats as pilot programs so that the individual communities can determine how they work. Elementary administra- tion recommendations --Reduce elementary prin- cipal positions to half-time, based on enrollment. --Eliminate the elementary attendance clerk position and re-assign full-time secondary attendance clerk/registrar to assume all for K-12 attendance duties. Total savings: $61,500. Elementary facilities recommendation Reduce expenses by consolidating Taylorsville Elementary School (TES) with Greenville Elementary School (GES) on the Greenville campus beginning in fall 2012. --Reduce the certificated staff to six K-6 full-time equiv- alent (FTE) for Indian Valley. --Eliminate the TES custo- dian position, yard supervisor position and food services positions. --Reduce utilities to a minimum for maintenance of building, or use as district office or rent the building for another use. --Eliminate the cost of travel and time for principal, secretary, speech services, nurse, Title I and tech support. --Reduce maintenance costs. --Develop a student transi- tion plan, merge TES and GES parents clubs and encourage parents throughout Indian Valley to support all the elementary students. Total savings: $146,000 Elementary Facilities Minority Report --Keep TES open. --Explore the possibility of streamlining administrative responsibilities between GES and TES. --Reduce TES certificated staff to two half-time teachers for a total of six K-6 FTE for Indian Valley. All Indian Valley kindergarten, first- and sixth-graders attend GES. This option results in a three-grade split at GES and a four-grade split at TES. Add one three-hour aide to help deal with the grade spread. TES Parents Club will commit to funding a second three-hour aide. --Base instruction on strategies described in ' Family Approach to Multiage Instruction." --Reduce electrical costs by closing the library. --Investigate less costly alternatives to meals trans- ported from Quincy (possible $10,000 additional savings). --TES Parent Club commits to additional revenue enhance- ment by working with the community and seeking grant funding. Total savings: $61,000 Facilities notes: District office and TES --Establish a trigger num- ber for enrollment at which point TES could be reopened. --Recognize that much of the resistance to consolidating TES with GES is the impact of the empty school on the town of Taylorsville. While it is not the district's primary respon- sibility to create vitality for our communities' businesses, if we have an. opportunity to do so while making better use of our resources, then. we believe those options should be given serious considera- tion. As an added bonus for employees and visitors, the view is spectacular. --There are good reasons to consider moving the district office to TES. Although TES is 22 miles from Quincy. it is centrally located in our county. The facility has been upgraded recently with insulated windows, solar-supplemented electricity and ADA compliant restrooms. The square footage is roughly half that of the current district office build- ing, but preliminary drawings indicate adequate space. It is our understanding that the Internet hub would need to remain in Quincy. That, how- ever, should not stop TES from working well as the district office. Utilities in the existing district office building are currently running over triple those of TES, even with its constant use by students. --Another reason to close the current district office is lack of true ADA compliance. This issue was brought to our attention by an Indian Valley resident in a letter to the PUSD board. The board should address this concern either by closing the building or upgrading the elevator and taking other measures m assure full access. --Alternatively, dividing the departments among the communities could allow dis- trict staff to work near their homes, enhance relationships between communities and the district staff and provide campuses with extra adminis- trative support. Technological connectivity makes the option viable. The current building's location and historical char- acter would make it attractive to potential buyers. It could serve well for numerous purposes including retail or office space. Junior-senior high options --Keep GHS open with the creation of a partnership with Plumas Charter School, both housed on the same campus to afford sharing of activities and electives. Seven options are presented in a tier to reflect the possibility of more reductions in the future. Status Quo -- No changes. Status Quo/Charter Part- nership -- The desired option for the transitional 2012-13 school year. No changes to staff or schedule; PCS is moved onto the campus and flex electives would be avail- able to students in both pro- grams. There would be one principal and a one-year tran- sition coordinator. PCS will provide a program director and will contribute $15,000 for a $30,000 stipend for the program coordinator. 5.5 FTE Plus Charter Part- nership- 1.67 teachers would be removed, and 0.67 FTE academic assistants would be added, each with a bachelor's degree, or equivalent, in the subject they would be helping students with. District staff savings of $106,820. 4.5 FTE Plus Charter Part- nership -- 2.6 teachers would be removed from the existing schedule and 1.33 academic assistants would be added. District staff savings of $163,020. 3.67 FTE Plus Charter Part- nership --3.67 teachers would be removed and two academic assistants would be added. District staff savings of $206,000. 2.67 FTE Plus Charter Part- nership -- 4.67 teachers would be removed and 2.17 academic assistants would be added. District staff savings of $276,900. Independent studycharter partnership to be activated if PUSD drops to revenue limit funding. Other tangible cuts --Split the district office up among the communities and sell the current building to save about $26,000 annually, plus the sale price, and address ADA issues. --Or, move district office to TES, where ADA is up to code and facility improvements have created energy efficiency. Also, utility costs at the cur- rent office are triple those at TES. --Eliminate vice principals at the high schools to save more than $110,000 annually. --Reduce the school year by five days for an estimated savings of $650,000. Portola --We acknowledge, appreci- ate and thank the school board and school district's provision of opportunities for the 7-11 committees to learn in- formation regarding charter schools. Many questions were answered, but more were gen- erated after contemplation. The Portola 7-11 Committee requests the continued opera- tion of the existing committees to move along the processes that are currently taking place in each community as an independent group outside the Brown Act. The committees can choose to stay with their current membership or generate new members, as each committee sees fit. --We still ask that presenta- tions regarding charter schools be made in each individual community, if requested, to the general public of that commu- nity. The community of Portola does not feel educated enough to decide if or which type of charter school would work in Portola. We tried scheduling an in- formational meeting Monday, April 16, but there was a snafu in creating the official agenda and posting the agenda. Taletha Washburn from Plumas Charter was invited to answer questions from us and the public. Due to con- straint of the Brown Act and not having an official agenda, we were unable to convey information to the public. Three 7-11 members did stay to ask Washburn questions. Research and implement further cost-cutting to "moth- ball" Feather River Middle School. We do not recommend complete closure at this time, as we feel that the close proximity of FRMS campus to PHS would be beneficial if Portola were to become a K-12 campus in accor- dance with Facilities Advisory Committee recommendations,. , .......... ,, , C. Roy Carmichael Elementary does not have a regulation sized gym nor fields for CIF/high school sporting events. In addi- tion, the FRMS site allows for the separation of elementary and high school students to accommodate their differem needs. Explore alternative and equitable staffing options that provide flexibility to the pro- posed student-teacher ratio of 35:1 for fiscal year 2012-13. 7-11 facility committees CHESTER Kacie Holland Traci Holt John Lundquist Wesley Maston Gwen Meinhardt Gina Pixler Marilyn Quadrio Peter Schultz Cassie Strand Kathy Todd INDIAN VALLEY Misty Banchio Mike Chelotti Anna Jeffrey Anna Lawson Guy McNett Jim Norman Kest Porter Lisa Smith Veronica Tilton Centella Tucker Sue Weber Bret Cook (non-voting school board representative) PORTOLA Shelley Callahan Jason Harston Shannon Harston Jon Kennedy David Nelson Terry Oestreich Kristy Warren Chris Russell (non-voting school board re presentative) QUINCY Yvonne Braddick Daniel Brandes Frank Carey Susan Donald Leslie Edlund Alan Morrison Sara Patrick Christine Peters Dwight Pierson ........ Suzanne Stirling the 2012-13 school year. We are deeply saddened to recom- mend the closure of Pioneer Elementary realizing that this will have a detrimental impact within the community in terms of loss of jobs, loss of families and loss of a neigh- borhood school. --The administration and the PUSD governing board should immediately examine cost-cutting measures and Numbers obtained from Bruce pursue means of generating Williams as presented in a new revenues. Cost-saving school board meeting were the following projections: QHS 22-1, CHS 18-1 and GHS 14-1 (current number as the future of Greenville is undecided.) PHS staffing is projected at 25-1. While these are average pro- jected class sizes, actual class sizes will likely be different. Many will be considerably higher and some lower, but Portola will have the highest class sizes. We suggest con- siderations of student-teacher ratios of 25-1 or 30-1 with flex- ible class caps as determined by each school. This will also result in fewer staff layoffs. --Acknowledge the. real and/or perceived distrust with the community of Portola and the school district. We request that the board acknowledge this fact and take action to ad- dress this issue of distrust. Quincy Committee recommenda. tions --Unanimously recommend K-6 students be consolidated at Quincy Elementary starting in measures would save schools, retain teachers and provide the framework for quality education for our children. --The committee strongly recommends leaving Quincy Special Day Preschool (QSDS) at its present location. There is insufficient justification to incur the significant cost of moving the QSDS to the Quincy Elementary site. The district should not undertake costs for relocating a portable or adding preschool play- grounds and fencing, as these are not fiscally responsible actions. We recommend col- laboration by the administra- tion, preschool staff and Feather River College to de- velop a joint venture to best meet the needs for special day preschoolers and support staff. Moving QSDS onto the campus would unnecessarily hinder the successful consoli- dation by overtaxing existing resources. --The committee strongly recommends not initiating a preschool program for See 7-11, last page of guide TIMELINE .... i 7:[r' .!;,,l:i:i.:!l  \