Education

High School Board Highlights

Return to In-person Celebrations

The Fullerton Joint Union High School District (FJUHSD) Board welcomed back in-person honorary salutes for its staff and students on March 8. Trustees celebrated teachers from the agricultural programs offered at 5 different district schools.

Brian Kim, Sunny Hills High School (SHHS) Agricultural TOSA (Teacher on Special Assignment), highlighted unique agricultural projects like Buena Park High School’s farm to table program that provides FJUHSD cafeterias with fresh produce, to animal husbandry and floral programs.

Kim said that agricultural programs and their instructors support over 2,100 students, many of whom go on to become teachers themselves. The program is “not about growing a crop, but [about] the cultivation of human beings.”

All the programs promote leadership and collaborative problem solving through classes like animal science, entrepreneurship, nutrition, viticulture, and horticulture.

Sonora High School (SOHS) Principal Marvin Atkins celebrated girl’s winter sports by honoring SHHS’s girl’s tennis and golf team winners and Troy High School’s (TRHS) girl’s golf champions. After coach Jerry Cowgill thanked everyone for supporting the team, the trustees announced Coach Cowgill’s year-end retirement and thanked him for over 20 years of service to FJUHSD.

Superintendent Update

Superintendent Dr. Steve McLaughlin welcomed lifted mask restrictions and thanked the board, facilities department, and the technology division for recently updating the board room with better camera and audio capabilities, and digital touchscreen monitors to make meetings and training sessions more effective in the future.

As of Saturday March 12, the FJUHSD implemented a mask optional policy for students, staff, and visitors. Dr. McLaughlin encouraged everyone to respect individual choice in this matter and to not pressure students or staff to don a mask or go without one.

PTA Report

Fullerton PTA Council Co-President Wendy Reid shared that 2022 celebrates the 125-year anniversary of PTA speaking up for children’s rights nationwide.

Parents and teachers founded the Fullerton PTA in 1933, making it the 3rd oldest council in Orange County. Orange County’s 4th District PTA is the largest representative group of parents, teachers, and students in the nation.

PTA’s mission is to advocate on behalf of all children, while supporting parents and teachers to make an equitable, safer environment for children to gain opportunities and thrive.

Dress Code updates

Executive Director of Administrative Services Dr. Karl Zener presented a revised dress code (Board Policy 5650).

Last updated in 1978, the new BP 5650 removed gender specific language and stated the Board’s support for a designated dress code as part of a safe learning environment.

The District’s dress code falls under three tiers starting with the Board’s overarching approval of the Administration’s more detailed policy that outlines acceptable attire during all school activities, and finally, each school administrator’s specific rules covering clothing and accessories.

Dr. Zener said that all levels of the dress code were being updated by stakeholders including students and Title IX Director Julie Blythe. During this first reading, Trustee Joanne Fawley made suggestions to both the Board and administrative policy for consideration. A second reading and vote on the Board policy is proposed for April 12.

Facilities Master Plan

Facilities and Construction Director Todd Butcher updated FJUHSD’s Facilities Master Plan stating that after accomplishing $175 million worth of facility bond projects over seven years, an additional $374 million worth of projects will be required over the next 10+ years. The projects range from regular deferred maintenance roofing, HVAC, and energy upgrades in the next three to five years all the way to new buildings, locker rooms, and walkways 10 years from now.

An estimated $27 million will be used to replace  all the existing artificial turf over the next four to seven years This expense has a special fund apart from the regular deferred maintenance budget. Butcher said the cost projections included higher construction costs due to inflation, labor shortages, and supply change issues that have increased current costs by 33%. Since $200 million of this plan is planned for 10 years from now, the current costs predictions seem premature.

The Facilities Master Plan should be updated every few years to maintain a project installation record and used to predict future needs while estimating costs. Board President Lauren Klatzker thanked Mr. Butcher for his service announcing his retirement in April.

New Sunny Hills High School Principal

On April 12, FJUHSD Administration will request trustee approval appointing Craig Weinreich as the next Sunny Hills High School Principal.

Weinreich has a long history with FJUHSD starting in 1999 when he joined Sunny Hills High School as a Social Science and English teacher.

He has gone on to serve as Assistant Principal at La Habra High School (LHHS), Fullerton Union High School (FUHS), and SHHS.

He received his BA from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, and a MS of Education from California State University, Fullerton. Upon board approval, he will work with SHHS Interim Principal Cathy Gach for a successful transition as the new principal.

The next regularly scheduled board meeting is April 12 at 6pm. For more information, call (714) 870-2800 or visit http://www.fjuhsd.net.

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