High School Board HIGHLIGHTS & Commentary: April 11 Meeting

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April 11 Meeting

The April 11 FJUHSD board meeting began by honoring 81 people for visual arts and spring sports.

Administering Medication and Monitoring Health Conditions Update

Director of Special Education Maureen Cottrell presented a second reading of the updated board policy (BP 5141.21). The board unanimously approved without content discussion, despite the policy’s supposed parental notification issues mentioned during the last regular board meeting. BP 5141.21 stayed exactly as presented at the March meeting except for a fragmented sentence in the third paragraph that looked like an accident rather than a purposeful change.

This updated board policy and administrative regulation (AR 5141.21) addresses health support and medication treatment for allergic anaphylactic reactions, type I and II diabetes, and accidental opioid overdose, currently not an issue on any district campus, but possibly a future problem due to hidden fentanyl in many illegal and fake medications. Parental permission is still required for prescription and over-the-counter medication ingestion by any FJUHSD student during school activities. Check with your child’s school principal for any questions.

New Transportation Budget

Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Ruben Hernandez presented the newly required Transportation Plan for board approval. Focused on serving special education and unduplicated student populations (meaning students that fall into two or more categories can only receive benefits once), the district currently runs seven established bus routes bringing students to schools district-wide. Unduplicated students include English language learners, students qualifying for free or reduced lunches, and foster youth.

In addition, eligible students can receive free monthly bus passes if the current district bus routes do not give them access to and from school.

The district allocated $1.35 million to maintain and replace buses, cover annual fuel costs, provide free city bus passes, and hire additional drivers and support personnel. Trustee Joann Fawley mentioned that the transportation budget was presented at January’s District Advisory Committee for input, where increasing bus pass availability was suggested by parents attending the meeting. Participating in District Advisory Committees or English Language Advisory Committees (ELAC) is a valuable way to get suggestions funded at the district level.

Bond I and Bond AA Repayment Update

Jason Chung from Fieldman, Rolapp & Associates presented the bond repayment update. The district has excellent AA credit ratings and two bonds listed on property tax invoices under the FJUHSD area. Mr. Chung mentioned that state law limits the maximum amount of money a district may borrow at $30 per every $100,000 of assessed value (not market value) of each property in the district area, and even with both bonds (AA and I), the district is under that limit.

The voters must approve any additional assessment of bond issuances. The $175,000,000 Measure I Bond completed its issuance (the district received all the money from it), and refinance options begin in 2025. Bond Measure AA primarily built La Vista/La Sierra High School and made the final repayment in 2029. Refinancing Bond AA four times saved taxpayers over $4 million. Refinancing municipal bonds for a lower interest rate maintains the same repayment schedule while lowering the taxpayer repayment rates.

Facilities Update

Facilities Director Todd Walstrom updated the board that rain delayed the progress of the SOHS Aquatics Facility, but he expects to complete the project by September. The planned FUHS Aquatics project still has money but is waiting for state (DSA) approval, and the final science room updates are waiting to see if there will be funds to complete the final Bond I projects.

This summer, the facilities team returns its focus to deferred maintenance projects, with the largest being replacing the 30-year-old roof at the district office (now covered with plastic due to rain) and BPHS’s 200-building roof. In addition, painting, carpeting, landscaping, parking lot replacement, and A/C and HVAC updates will also occur district-wide.

The Fullerton Auditorium’s $8.3 million seismic update is completed, and they are now pricing new seating and equipment upgrades. Additionally, the pipe organ also requires maintenance.

The next meeting is May 9.