Dear Woodside Educational Community,
To continue with our goal to keep our parents and community well informed of school/district business, events and decisions, the following includes the meeting notes from the Woodside School District Board meeting held on Tuesday, December 6:
Board of Trustees Meeting Notes
December 6, 2016
The Board of Trustees considered and agreed with the recommendation of the Parcel Tax Renewal Committee to seek an extension of the same parcel tax parameters:
- The Parcel Tax is up for renewal and will expire
- The District initiated one Parcel Tax measure in 1984 and it has been successfully renewed in 1993, 2001
- The Parcel Tax on each parcel within the School District is approximately $290 and generates $300K for general use annually (3% of the budget) for Woodside School.
- The Parcel Tax currently has a 4% CPI annual cap and the extension measure will ask for the same.
On Tuesday, November 22, the Woodside Elementary School District hosted a community forum meeting to discuss the current Parcel Tax expiring in June of 2017. At that meeting, several questions were raised from attendees and from constituents who were unable to attend the meeting and submitted their questions to Barbara Wood from the Almanac. Responses to those questions:
General Budget Data
- The Woodside School District receives an annual general use grant from the Woodside School Foundation of $1.8 million. This donation makes up approximately 20% of our school’s budget;
- Property taxes shared among numerous public agencies generates 63% of our operating budget;
- WESD spends approximately $21,000 per student — allowing for small class sizes, robust student support, credentialed full-time staff in art, music, design thinking, Transitional Kindergarten and school library;
- Annual increases in property tax revenue vary from year to year. Increases are earmarked for mandated staff costs such as collectively bargained step and column increases as well as increased contributions to the state pension system;
- While our budget is projected to be stable for the current year and two years out, the assessment is based on maintaining the Parcel Tax at our current rate.
- Our student population has decreased over the last few years, as many affluent school districts are experiencing the same situation. The decreased numbers of students does not equate to easily implemented cuts.
- Our classroom student/teacher ratios are on average between 16-20 depending on the grade level. Some exceptions include Transitional Kindergarten and Middle School math, which operate with smaller classes. Ed-data ratios are misleading, as they include all credentialed staff in their formula.
Timing and Type of Election
- We will pursue a special election primarily to avoid the potential loss of revenue which will end as of June 2017. No regular election is taking place in June and a special election is the only option for an election this spring. This will be an all mail-in election to mitigate the costs of the special election;
- The Parcel Tax Committee is made up of school parents and School Board members. The Board and staff provide direction to the committee as is necessary throughout the process.
- The Woodside Elementary School District staff has been established to ensure the full and successful implementation of our strategic plan goals. All our staff are directly connected to the rigorous programs we offer our students and families. While we may be small, all the same services are required to serve our all our students.
- All our staff is compensated on a competitive level including the Superintendent. While our compensation arrangements are robust, those salaries are very much on par with similar districts in the Bay Area and serve to help recruit and retain high-quality staff.
WESD has made the following efforts to include our broader constituents in the Parcel Tax renewal discussion:
- Community Coffee June 2, 2016
- Community Agency Meeting Oct. 3, 2016
- Community Meeting Nov. 22, 2016
- NextDoor Woodside
Additional opportunities for community input:
- Parcel Tax Renewal Committee
at the Village Hub Dates TBD
(January - March 2017)
- Woodside School District
& Town of Woodside
Joint Meeting Dates TBD
(February - April 2017)
Other Board Agenda Item Updates:
Board of Trustees Election of Officers
Claire Pollioni was elected President, Wendy Roth as Vice President and Silvia Edwards as Clerk.
Resolution: Extending Trustee Terms by One Year to Comply with SB 415
Providing greater access to the electorate, SB 415 asks that government agencies move elections to even years. The terms of our Board of Trustees is as follows:
- November 2018: Wendy Roth, Marc Tarpenning
and Claire Pollioni
- November 2020: Kevin Johnson and Silvia Edwards
Readers and Writer's Workshop Program Update
The Board heard a wonderful report from Kindergarten Teacher Tracy Reilly who provided an update regarding the support she is providing K-5 teachers in their Writer's Workshop practice.
Rudy Driscoll Dedication
The Board, administration and community conducted a dedication of the school amphitheater and artificial turf field in former Board member Rudy Driscoll's name.
Complete School Board meeting minutes are available upon approval by the Board at the next meeting and will be posted the following day on our school website. I encourage all school parents and community members to attend the monthly School Board meetings. The next meeting will take place on Thursday, January 19th at 3:30 pm in Wildcats.
Dr. Beth Polito