SRVUSD board to talk educator effectiveness grant, award solar contract

Also new board president, developer fees, paid sick leave and no calendar-change proposal yet

The San Ramon Valley school board is set to debate enhancing teacher professional development through one-time state funding for educator effectiveness Tuesday evening.

The district will be allotted almost $2.4 million through the state's educator effectiveness grant program, which gives districts $1,466 per certificated employee full-time equivalent position, according to Toni Taylor, assistant superintendent of educational services.

"The purpose of the grant is to provide support and mentoring for beginning teachers and administration; to provide professional development, coaching and support services for teachers who need improvement; to provide professional development for teachers and administrators that is aligned to state content standards; and to promote educator quality and effectiveness," Taylor wrote in a staff report to the board.

The district's grant allotment must be spent by June 2018, and district administration is proposing a budget expenditure plan for board review, she added.

The board's public hearing on the grant is among a handful of items on Tuesday's open-session agenda, set to get underway at 7 p.m. inside the boardrooms at the district administrative complex at 699 Old Orchard Drive in Danville.

In other business

* The school board will consider authorizing a contract with SunPower Corp., not to exceed approximately $12.44 million, for the design and construction of proposed solar projects at up to 16 district schools.

The district is in the process of selling approximately $13.2 million in clean renewable energy bonds to finance the new solar energy projects, which they estimate will save the district a minimum of $16.5 million over 25 years.

* The board will select a new board president, vice president and clerk for the upcoming year.

Denise Jennison served as president for the past year, with Greg Marvel as vice president and Mark Jewett as clerk.

Also as part of its annual reorganization, the board will adopt its 2016-17 meeting calendar and determine board members' liaison and committee assignments for the next year.

* Board members will weigh approving the district's 2014-15 developer fee report, which outlines fees collected from new development projects within the district last school year and expenditures from the developer fee fund, which had a balance of approximately $4.61 million as of June 30.

The district collected about $1.6 million in fees from residential new construction or addition projects, plus $182 from commercial projects and just over $15,500 in interest in the fund, according to staff. The district spent about $1.84 million from the fund last year, including about $1.32 million for relocatable classrooms.

* They will consider final adoption of a new board policy and an administrative regulation addressing temporary and substitute certificated personnel.

A key provision of the proposed policy would describe how the district is adhering to a new state law expanding paid sick leave to temporary workers who were previously ineligible. The board discussed the draft documents at its Nov. 17 regular meeting.

* The board will discuss the district's first interim financial report of the 2015-16 school year.

* Missing from the board's agenda Tuesday is consideration of potential changes to the instructional calendar for 2016-17.

Board members in October indicated initial support for proposed calendar changes that focus on shifting the end of the first semester to before winter break starting next school year, and they directed district staff to begin negotiating the topic with employee unions.

District officials originally planned to bring forward the final draft calendar for approval Tuesday -- the board's only regularly scheduled December meeting -- but they needed more time for union negotiations, according to district spokeswoman Elizabeth Graswich.

"In order to meet our collective bargaining obligations, with our three employee associations, we need additional time to ensure that we have fulfilled all of our legal requirements as they relate to negotiations," she said in an email interview.

The board is expected to debate the negotiated 2016-17 instructional calendar at a special public meeting Dec. 15, Graswich said.

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