By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
The Palisades Charter High School Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, September 22, provided a number of updates on the academic school year over the span of five hours on Zoom.
A motion was passed at the start of the meeting to read 35 minutes worth of public comments at the beginning and save all remaining comments for the end of the meeting.
“I am concerned that not all the letters are being read in the beginning, and there is a lot of pain on this campus—tremendous pain,” Pali High social science teacher John Rauschuber later said about the decision. “With that pain, the board will not take the opportunity to listen to that pain and would like to push that pain beyond the 10 o’clock time when people will have left the meeting. I think this board owes it to the people who are writing these letters to listen to the pain.”
Community Chair Leslie Woolley reported that public comments will no longer be accepted as emails moving forward. If a participant would like to submit a comment, it should be sent in the Q&A section of the meeting.
A high volume of public concerns addressed alleged unclear communication from Pali High’s administration and conflicting language of the eLearning policy document.
Many of the public comments were educators asking that the language of the eLearning policy document be revised and rescinded to adhere to the memorandum of understanding that was previously negotiated and agreed upon.
“Many of us, both teachers and [administration], choose this profession because we want to help young people succeed … I feel that students are suffering now because of the current division,” David Carini, social science teacher of six years, submitted as a public comment.
Later in the meeting, reports were made that a tentative agreement between PCHS and PCHS-UTLA was ratified by the teachers, with an 89.52% vote in favor.
In a subsequent newsletter sent on Saturday, September 26, Pali High Principal Pamela Magee announced that the tentative agreement was approved by the Board of Trustees.
“I am happy to report the tentative agreement between PCHS and PCHS-UTLA was approved by the Board of Trustees,” Magee wrote. “Teachers are now resuming writing letters of recommendation, serving as department chairs and supervising clubs.”
“We are happy to have concluded this round of negotiations,” Pali High’s Dave Suarez and Stephen Klima said to the Post. “Teachers are back to going above and beyond, like they always have done in the past.”
Throughout the meeting, ASB President Isabel Gill often drew the attention back to Pali’s student body and reported the results of a senior survey that was conducted over Schoology. Approximately one-third of all seniors responded to the survey.
The survey reported that 52% of seniors are in favor of moving into a hybrid model, 26% were unsure and 21% were opposed to the idea—primarily due to family health issues and fear of COVID-19.
Additionally 78.8% of seniors said health and safety social distancing measures were what they were most concerned about in regards to a hybrid model.
“We started with seniors because … this is our last year, but we plan on looking at this for every grade level to gauge where everybody’s at in regards to going back to school, when that time comes,” Gill said.
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