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Monrovia School Link ~ Number 12 ~ Sept. 13, 2000

School's back in session, so the school board should be meeting a bit more frequently and I'll be cluttering your email box more frequently with these things. Also, Mayflower's loosing two and Plymouth is gaining one. What *am* I talking about? Read on.
~ Brad Haugaard (

KINDERGARTEN CLOSINGS ~ The district is closing two kindergaten classes at Mayflower school because it was anticipating a bunch more kindergarten students than it got. According to Assistant Superintendent of Personnel Debby Collins, the district is getting 89 fewer k-kids than it predicted. Mayflower has 40 fewer than anticipated and Bradoaks 22 fewer. Plymouth, on the other hand, got five more than expected, so the district will open an additional kindergarten class there. Collins said she is "baffled that the projections were so far off." Now if you add up 40 and 22 - even if you are me - you will discover that they do not equal 89. This is because there was more I didn't catch, for reasons I will make clear shortly.

MORE STATS ~ Clifton Middle School has an enrollment of 718, up 2 from projections. Santa Fe Middle School is at 675, down 39 from projections and Monrovia High is up 10 from projections. Up 10 from what? I don't know.

THE BIG M ~ Board President Yolanda Gallardo thanked the Home Depot folks for refurbishing and relighting the big M on the mountainside above Monrovia. Amen! Doesn't it look cool at night!? If I understand, the side bars of the M are turned off when Monrovia High wins at football, turning the M into a big V. Monrovia won the other day and the V went on. Sorry I missed it.

SUMMER SCHOOL ~ Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Joel Shawn reported that this summer the district had 1,780 students in summer school, and that the summer school program has switched from an emphasis on enrichment to a remedial emphasis. (I wonder if those state tests are exerting a little pressure here.)

SKUNK ~ Director of Business Services Linda Dempsey reported that construction at various schools is "pretty much on schedule but there is a lot more to be done." She also glanced knowingly at the board members and mentioned that Wildrose Elementary "still has the skunk problem." I hadn't heard about the skunk problem. Sounds like a fun story. Any Wildrose people want to tell me about the skunk?

MANY MILES ~ I saw an interesting tidbit in the personnel report tonight, which was approved without discussion or comment. It authorizes $200 a month for "mileage" to 23 administrators (district office folks and principals, from what I could tell). $55,200 a year. This is apparently not mileage to and from home since they all get the same amount and since $200 a month to Glendora (true in at least one case) seems a tad on the high side. Also, it appears the district already pays for special travel, such as to association meetings in Sacramento and Las Vegas and what not, so it must refer just to regular work travel. Let's see... Say half of the $200 is for wear and tear on the car. That leaves $100 for gas. At $1.62 per gallon (ouch!) that's about 62 gallons. Say the average car gets 30 miles a gallon. 30 times 62 is 1,860. 1,860 miles of traveling a month. Wow! Either my math is awful (a distinct possibility) or these folks are really on the go! I wonder where to.

MAGAZINES ~ If you happen to have a set of National Geographics from 1949 going back, or 1990 going forward, maybe the district could use them. It just got a gift of National Geographics from 1950 to 1990 for reference materials for the school libraries. Be nice to have a full set.

STUDENT REP ~ The new student representative to the board is Monrovia High student Abbey Gibb. It was her first time there and she seemed perky and excited about being there. Her career goal is to be a teacher.

A CLUE ~ Tonight Joel Shawn handed out a report on summer school to the board. (It must have been good because President Yolanda Gallardo held it up to the cable TV camera - 25 feet away - helpfully showing both sides.) Nobody but the board got it. Then Debby Collins gave the board a multi-page report on enrollment. Nobody else got it. These materials are - I believe - public record, so I could get them, but it should't be that way. They should just be in the agenda packet (the set of reports that correspond to the agenda items) like all the other reports. That way people who are interested (okay, I'm mostly talking about me) can pick them up as they come in and have a clue what is being discussed.

GOOD TEACHERS ~ Just to show that I can say something nice when I put my mind to it, I've got to say that my wife and I have a very positive first impression of the teachers our children got this year. (One teacher even sent home a class newsletter, and knowing first hand what a lot of work that can be, I was impressed.) My daughter was highly enthusiastic about her teacher, and even my son, who was dreading school, came back after his first day and said that it was "okay." And that is high praise indeed.

BACK TO SCHOOL NIGHT ~ Here's the schedule for back to school nights. Pre Kindergarten at Canyon Early Learning Center, Oct. 2, 6-7 p.m. ~ Kindergarten at Canyon, Oct 2, 6:30-7:30 p.m. ~ All elementary schools, Oct. 3, 6:30 p.m. ~ Clifton Middle, Oct. 5, 5:45 p.m. ~ Santa Fe Middle, Oct. 5, 6:30 p.m. ~ Monrovia High, Oct. 4, 6 p.m. ~ Canyon High, Oct 4, 7 p.m.

NEXT BOARD MEETING ~ The next regular meeting is Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 7:30 p.m. at the administration office at 325 E. Huntington Drive.

Copyright (c) 2000, Brad Haugaard