October 1, 2020 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Snell, Pye Are New Board Leaders:

After very little discussion, members of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s (SMMUSD) Board of Education unanimously elected Board member Barry Snell to be its President and Board member Kelly Pye to serve as Vice-President.

Snell, an accountant, has been on the Board since 2006. He served as Vice-President this past year. Pye also has been on the Board since 2006.

The Board also approved the charges for the Special Education District Advisory Committee (SEDAC) for the rest of this academic year at the December 10 Board meeting. Five of the seven charges suggested in the District staff report were approved. Snell noted when the Board reviewed the charges that “seven charges for a calendar year that we’re seeing in December is an awful lot of work” since they are expected to be completed in June.

SEDAC’s Chair Teresa Harris agreed with Snell by noting, it would be “challenging to give you advice in all seven areas.”

The Board approved SEDAC advising them “about attitudes, opinions, and issues significant to the Special Education school community.” They also want the committee to “continue to work with District staff in the identification of relevant and unrealized goals included in the recommendations of the Working Group (2009), the Lou Barber Report (2008), and the Special Education Strategic Plan (2004).”

Board members also want SEDAC through their Special Education Handbook AD Hoc Committee to revise the Special Education Handbook in collaboration with District staff based on changes in relevant law, District updates, and feedback from community members. Superintendent Tim Cuneo pointed out that printing a new edition annually could cost from $8,000 to $10,000 so the Board decided updated addendums would be posted on-line to save on these costs.

Another approved charge is having SEDAC assess the use of instructional technology in the District’s Special Education classes, “report on how our District compares to districts that prioritize technology and utilize technology based curriculum.” The Board also wants the committee to advise them if the District needs additional/updated computer equipment and software.

The final charge approved is for the SEDAC to “continue their Financial Ad Hoc Committee’s work with the Director of Special Education, the District’s Chief Financial Officer, and the (District’s) Financial Oversight Committee.”

One of the charges that was not approved was “to work with the Childcare District Advisory Committee, the Childcare & Early Education Task Force and other groups with the common goals to provide input and support regarding Special Education preschool” and after school programs. The other charge that was not approved was the creation and maintenance of a parent support group “possibly in combination with the PTA’s Parent Resource Network.” They hope the SEDAC can work on these issues in the next academic year.

Contact Hannah Heineman

[email protected]

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