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Monrovia School Link ~ Number 48 ~ Sept. 25, 2002

Kind of slow tonight, so I had to bulk up the newsletter with some smarty-pants comments and even some complimentary stuff (shows how desperate I am, huh?).
~ Brad Haugaard (brad@sacklunch.net)

MIKE ~ The almost completely inaudible board member, Betty Sandford, and her close rival, the mumbling Superintendent Louise Taylor, are now completely audible. Betty said they got new microphones. This, of course, is a double-edged sword. On the one hand it's nice to be able to clearly hear what they're saying (though not always terribly informative), but it's a shame that now there's one fewer thing for me to gripe about. Oh no! Will I be reduced to being nice all the time?

OPEN ~ Well, here's a nice little compliment. The president of the Monrovia Chamber of Commerce, after presenting about 140 awards, said he has dealt with a number of school districts and the Monrovia district is the most business-friendly one he has encountered. He said that when a business wants to contribute, the Monrovia school district is very open. Not, I guess, a lot of hoops to jump through. See! And you thought I only wrote nasty stuff about the district. The truth is its only 98 percent nasty.

SECRET IDEA ~ I really like this. The Confidential/Classified (Don't tell!) Management group (I guess it's some sort of employees' labor negotiating unit) proposed a system that would allow members of the group who have more than nine days of accumulated sick leave to donate any sick days over the nine to another C/CM member who needs it for a long-term illness. (Apparently a member of the group has exhausted his or her sick time.) Assistant Supe of Human Resources Debby Collins said something about getting a similar deal for the other employee groups. The board, by the way, approved the proposal. I think this idea should be adopted not just at the district, but all over the place!

CONFIDENTIAL ~ Speaking of confidential, I won't mention who wrote the board agenda item that says a dropout prevention program will "counteract the tendency of recognized student's towards dropping out." Naughty! Naughty! In this case, "students" is plural, not possessive, unless the program is aimed at just one student. Also, should it be "tendency toward" or "tendency towards?" Personally, I'd say "tendency to." Any English teachers out there? This phrase is almost as bad as last issue, where I wrote: "Bradoaks has a big problem!." An exclamation point *and* a period? Bad, bad, Brad.

BALLOONS ~ Get your party balloons ready for September and October. The board proclaimed September as PTA Month (you know what the PTA is about, so I won't belabor it), and October as Character Education Month (That's where you educate characters). No, actually it's designed to promote "the principals of morality, truth, justice, patriotism... American citizenship and the meaning of equality and human dignity." But isn't teaching morality immoral? Well, I guess not. The resolution says that "state law" calls upon educators to do it.

OLD TIMERS ~ Congratulations to the district's 30-year and 25-year employees! The 30-year folks are Karen Allen, Marney Davidson, Ruben Fuentes, Adelinda Gajo, Daphne Niall, Elouise Tye and Arvin Wenzelberg. And the 25ers are Lenore Crilly, Carole Guyon, Eilleen Logan, and Valerie Sanchez.

OUTSTANDING ~ Also, the Monrovia Chamber of Commerce and Board recognized these folks for "outstanding service": Bus driver Andy Cowdery, Santa Fe instructional assistant Nancy Kemp, instructional aide Tamille Buckell (what's the difference between an instructional assistant and an instructional aide? Oh well), data support specialist Rosby Murga and Santa Fe teacher Gloria Patterson.

SILENCE OF THE HAMS ~ If you thought my bombastic comments last issue would provoke the board to comment about Bradoaks School's poor test results, you are mistaken. Nary a comment. Whoops! I take it back. Monina Diaz said she ran into a parent at Bradoaks back-to-school night who works in Culver City but sends her child to Bradoaks. Monina thought this spoke very highly of the school. Rrrrright.

PRIVATE SCHOOLS ~ Speaking of which, a quick little interchange caught my ear. Somebody (Who was it? Frances Cash? I think so.)... well, *somebody* asked where the families who have moved into a new housing development in town are sending their children to school. (I think the somebody was referring to the development near the top of Mountain, but I'm not sure.) Senior Director of Pupil Personnel Gail Grant said those families either don't have children or they're sending their kids to private schools. Hmmm. Maybe if you fixed Bradoaks...

SICK ~ Board member Bruce Carter was out again. Apparently his brother, in Northern California, has taken a turn for the worse. I'm really sorry to hear that. Board VP Frances Cash adjourned the meeting with a request for prayers for the Carter family.

HARE ~ In a last ditch effort to bulk this thing up, I'm going to tell a joke my son told me a long time ago and which I fortunately - or unfortunately, as the case may be - wrote down. Him: "If you have 100 rabbits and make 99 of them take one step back, how many do you have?" Me: "100?" Him: "No! How many do you have in *front*?" Me: "Ah... One?" Him (pulling on his hair): "One hare. Get it?" Did you like my son's joke? Huh? ... What? No, I have no idea how you get the rabbits to take one step back. I don't know why the 100th rabbit didn't move back. maybe he was glued to the floor. No! That was a joke. Don't call the SPCA. Look! Let's just forget the whole thing, okay?

NEXT BOARD MEETING ~ Are you suffering from the stress of an interesting and exciting life? Don't let life rob you of dullness! Join the rest of your community (or at least one member of it) at the next Monrovia school board meeting. It's on Wednesday, October 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the administration office at 325 E. Huntington Drive. Come on down and catch up on your sleep!

Copyright (c) 2002, Brad Haugaard. Also on the Web (someday, when I get around to it) at: monroviaschools.tripod.com