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SRVUSD Board installs new member, approves new project and policies

Board tackles bullying, Monte Vista High gets a state-of-the-art library

The five person San Ramon Valley Unified School District Board of Education was installed for a new term Tuesday. The board elected Paul Gardner as board president and swore in Denise Jennison as its newest member.

Denise was president of the San Ramon Valley Council of PTAs and has served on numerous district committees, including the leadership team for the successful Reading and Writing Project and Homework Policy. She will now sit on the Facilities Oversight Committee, Parcel Tax Oversight Committee, San Ramon City Council and will remain a PTA liaison.

The board also announced and accepted a $281,000 donation from Workday and PeopleSoft founder Dave Duffield to "expand library services, provide digital learning tools and potentially build astate-of-the-art library and career center."

The Monte Vista library is the oldest of SRVUSD's four high schools and the only one that hasn't undergone renovation.

"The infusion of technology is one thing we desperately need," said MVHS Principal Janet Terranova. "But it's also the ability to keep the library open early, during lunch and after school."

Continuing with the theme of technology, Gale Ranch Middle School Principal Lisa Ward showed the board a video made by Gale Ranch and Dougherty Valley High students for Red Ribbon Week. The student-produced and edited video focused on passions -- soccer, music, golf, etc -- which doubled as their "anti-drug."

Ward also presented Gale Ranch's API scores for the past two years and lauded Librarian Katie Williams for an award she received from the California Library Association. Williams was instrumental in the school's wiki project, " Ingenious Inventors and Superb Scientists."

"(Williams is) dedicated, hard working and energetic, and we're lucky to have her working at SRVUSD," said Darren Day, president of the SRVUSD Teacher's Union.

Day also spoke on behalf of a new student nondiscrimination/harassment/antibullying policy, which was unanimously voted in after much stipulation regarding the logistical aspects of implementing such a program.

Assistant Superintendent Jessica Romeo said this is the sort of program that would need to be voted on first, then looked at to develop a solid plan.

"We need to make these policies as important as technology or testing," said Jeff Davis, a social studies teacher at San Ramon Valley High.

Davis then introduced a 15-year-old Gay-Straight Alliance member from SRVHS who spoke about how teacher's action or inaction can be instrumental in ceasing bullying or discrimination.

After the student's compelling speech, board member Ken Mintz said of the new policy "we need to find a way to make sure that this is very visible to students on a regular basis."

The next SRVUSD board meeting will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 11. Minutes from this month's meeting can be found on the district website.

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