The San Ramon Valley school board on Tuesday is set to discuss approving a resolution for the second year in a row in support of voluntary student participation in the National Day of Silence, which aims to raise awareness about youth who face harassment because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
An annual student-led effort held in schools locally and across the nation, the Day of Silence features some students taking a vow of silence for the day to bring attention to verbal and physical bullying many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students and their allies face on campus, using their voice -- or lack thereof -- to demonstrate the silencing effects of such harassment.
The Day of Silence, scheduled to occur on the third Friday in April this year, has been recognized at San Ramon Valley high schools and middle schools in previous years, but last year was the first time the school board adopted a resolution in support of students choosing to take part in the observance.
The board is set to consider approving a similar support resolution Tuesday night.
In the proposed resolution, board members would declare support for students who choose to voluntarily take part in the Day of Silence on April 21, while also acknowledging they were not requiring any student or employee to participate.
The resolution states the observance would not alter classroom instruction that day, but it encourages teachers "to be thoughtful and sensitive as they create lesson plans." Students must contribute verbally in class if such participation is part of the required class lesson, according to the resolution.
Tuesday's school board meeting is being held at Diablo Vista Middle School in Danville, with district officials needing a larger space for another item on the board's agenda -- honoring this year's Classified Employee of the Year recipients.
The recognition ceremony is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. in Diablo Vista's multipurpose room, during which board members and the district community will celebrate several dozen classified workers who were chosen as Employee of the Year at their campus or district department. One recipient will then be singled out as the district's overall Classified Employee of the Year.
Following the reception, the school board will meet in closed session at 6 p.m. in the Diablo Vista library to discuss labor negotiations with the teachers union, a student expulsion case and appointment of a certificated employee.
The board's regular open-session meeting will then convene at 7 p.m. in the library. Diablo Vista is located at 4100 Camino Tassajara in eastern Danville.
In addition to the Day of Silence resolution, the board will also consider approving a resolution in support of April as Autism Awareness Month.
In its proposed resolution, the district "renews its pledge to continually assess and improve the range of educational services provided to meet the varying needs of our students with an autism spectrum disorder ... (and) recognizes that educating our students with autism requires commitment to meaningful collaboration with families and community members."
The district currently educates just over 450 students with autism as their primary disability, representing about 15% of its special education population, according to the resolution.
The resolution closes by declaring that the district remains "committed to inspiring learning and to creating and maximizing future opportunities for all of our students with autism spectrum disorders."
Also Tuesday, the board will discuss accepting the annual audit of the district's building fund for the Measure D revenues and expenditures -- the $260 million school facilities bond initiative approved by local voters in November 2012.