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Monrovia School Link ~ Number 45 ~ August 28, 2002

I thought maybe the district would get an advance peek at the SAT-9 results since the Star-News said they'd be released tomorrow. But I guess not since there wasn't a word about it. Oh, I think I'm in love. I took my laptop to the board meeting and wrote while the meeting was going on. Now I'm home and I'm almost done. Oh my Toshiba, I love thee!
~ Brad Haugaard (brad@sacklunch.net)

MUSIC BOOST ~ The Monrovia Schools Foundation gave the district a nice fat gift of $10,000 to support the elementary music program. Bruce Staller, MSF president, said the payment was the "first installment." He said the second, for $12,500, will come on about Dec. 15, and the final installment around March 15 of next year. For a total of $35,000.

FOR FREE ~ The board approved a "special assignment stipend" of $3,000 to a woman (whom I will mercifully not name), to do the "Superintendent's newsletter and Monrovia Weekly column for the 2001-2 and 2002-03 school years." And here you thought Superintendent Louise Taylor wrote her own column. Hey! I just had a great idea. I've been so touched by the banner flying on the wall behind the heads of the board - "Volunteers: A gift to the community" - that I want to offer this newsletter for *free* to be the superintendent's column. Hey! That's three grand we'll save.

SAFETY ~ The district is implementing a health and safety plan for all grade levels. It'll have information about abduction ("Stranger Danger"), the lures children should watch out for on the Internet, teen suicide and probably some other stuff. Staff member Loretta Whitson, who gave the report, said that in talking to the Monrovia Police Department, she found there have only been two abductions in Monrovia in 30 years. I don't know how many child abductions is the average, but I'm glad that two in 30 years is "only."

ILL ~ Board President Bruce Carter was out tonight. Vice President Francie Cash said his brother is critically ill. I'm very sorry to hear that. If you are a pray-er, maybe you could say a prayer for the Carter family. I will.

ATTENDANCE ~ You know that teachers take attendance in class. Right? Well, since 1984 the district has also been taking *teacher* attendance. It seems pretty good. In 1984-85 the overall attendance rate was 93.6 percent. In 2001-02 it was 95.6 percent. It doesn't fluctuate much, but that's the highest it's been during that time. As you might suspect, people get, ah, "sick" more frequently on Fridays. If you're a sub, I guess you should get to bed early on Thursdays.

HAIR ~ Board member Monina Diaz was sporting a new hair style. Down now, a lot more casual. She must be getting very comfortable in that board seat. You can tell I have a lot to write about.

DRUGS, POP & PHONES ~ Superintendent Louise Taylor suggested a study session to tackle these three topics: 1) Apparently a legal decision permits schools to require drug tests for any students participating in extracurricular activities. So, should Monrovia do that? 2) Taylor suggested the board talk about whether it wants to ban soda pop from schools, as the LA schools have done. 3) Apparently the state now has no problem with students bringing cell phones on campus. So, should Monrovia allow them?

SEPT 11 ~ There will be a moment of silence at 9:11 am on Sept. 11 throughout the district. The district has also produced a curriculum package, but has left it to the schools to determine exactly how to commemorate the tragedy.

NEXT BOARD MEETING ~ The next regular board meeting is on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2002 at 7:30 p.m. at the administration office at 325 E. Huntington Drive.

Copyright (c) 2002, Brad Haugaard. Also on the Web at: monroviaschools.tripod.com