Enochs pool contract, Munn case up for Modesto City Schools vote today

11/12/2013 12:17 PM

11/12/2013 12:18 PM

The Enochs Pool contract and approval of the district’s first charter school will be up for a vote today by the Modesto City Schools board. First, however, board members are scheduled to take a final vote on firing Modesto High campus supervisor Jackie Munn, whose case has become a cause for many.

The Change.org petition asking that Munn be reinstated topped 165,000 signatures Saturday. Modesto High 2001 graduate Gina Hernandez started the petition, which drew numerous testimonials to Munn’s generosity and respectful treatment of students. Hernandez also organized an H Street rally Oct. 31 that drew community members, TV cameras and students, many of whom said Jackie had been a friend in tough times.

The board gave unanimous approval to the plan to fire Munn on Oct. 22, citing grounds of neglect of duty, insubordination and violation of a statute. The vote followed more than five hours of testimony regarding a March 18 incident where Munn pushed a restrained student’s head to the floor, causing his nose to swell. The district released the transcript of that meeting in response to a public records request from The Bee and it is posted at modbee.com.

Munn responded on the Change.org site: “I’ve read some of the responses, and I’d like it known that the male students involved had nothing to do with what a handful of adults chose to do. I feel like he’s being thrown under the same bus that ran me over in March, and it is not fair. None of this has been fair!”

Munn has been on paid leave since shortly after the incident and the student was barred from the campus until January, his mother said.

As a campus supervisor at Modesto High, Munn has helped provide security on campus for the past 19 years and broken up numerous fights. She is being represented through her union, the California School Employees Association. In the transcript, the union lawyer asks for progressive discipline and training rather than dismissal.

The board will convene and take public comment at 4 p.m. today before going into closed session, where it is expected to take a final vote on the matter. The regular, open meeting will begin at 6 p.m.

At that meeting the board will take a vote on awarding a contract for the long-awaited Enochs High pool. Acme Construction Co. Inc. was the low bidder by $300 after all the extras were included. The total Acme contract comes to $2,542,600, just under the next-closest bid by Simile Construction.

Nine qualified bids each submitted a base amount and seven optional extras, five of which district facilities planners recommend buying. As proposed, the bid includes the pool, scoreboard and timing system with speakers at each lane, water polo lines and nets, pace and shot clocks, and a night lighting system.

An additional $457,400 is budgeted for regulatory fees, inspections, testing and contingencies, bring the total expected cost to $3million. All but $48,000 of the money has been collected from extra property taxes and development fees paid by Village I and subdivisions in Riverbank and north Modesto. The district estimates the pool will cost $50,000 to $60,000 a year to maintain.

The board will also be asked to sponsor an existing Aspire charter school. Superintendent Pam Able is recommending approval of the renewal for Aspire Vanguard College Preparatory Academy Charter, a sixth- through 12th-grade school housed on the former Teel Middle School campus in Empire. It opened under the auspices of the State Board of Education and last year had 329 students.

In other business, the board will vote on:

• An online prepayment system for student meals. About 30percent of student meals in the district are paid for by parents. The rest are provided by the federal free lunch program.
• Accepting a United Way of Stanislaus County program to place graduation coaches at three junior high schools, a contribution of $200,000.
• A contract with a Youth for Christ Central Valley program to provide Restorative Justice Training for school personnel to reduce suspensions and expulsions. The $5,400 cost will come from a grant.

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