Monday, August 3, 2009

School board meets tonight

The Patterson Joint Unified School District board will meet tonight (7 p.m., District Office, 510 Keystone Blvd.) in what promises to be a calmer, quieter, less controversial gathering than last month's meeting.

Among the notable items on the agenda is a report from Mark Wheeler, the district's manager of facilities and construction, on the progress that has been made on projects being paid for by Measure V, which was passed by voters in November. According to Wheeler's report, progress is being made on the district's top three priorities — as decided by the board before the election.

Modernization of the agricultural science/auto mechanics building at Patterson High School is underway and is expected to be completed by the end of this year. Completion of Walnut Grove School is moving along — permanent classrooms and the kitchen to be finished for the start of school this week and construction on a permanent student support services building and one additional classroom to begin in September — though no work is scheduled for the library building as of yet. And the district's $12 million debt is being paid off as scheduled.

Also on the agenda is a report on the 2009-10 budget from Assistant Superintendent Steve Menge. The report states that while the district is still waiting to hear final numbers on how the new state budget will affect its allocations, Menge believes many of the proposed cuts have already been factored in by the district and therefore the impact to the district might not be too severe. The district has made several significant cuts already, having laid off teachers and classified staff and closed Rising Sun School, among other cuts.

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