April 27, 2014

Modesto City Schools to vote on laying off support staff, adding administrators and moving classes

The Modesto City Schools board will consider laying off support staff and adding administrators at Monday’s meeting. Also up for a vote are moves for career courses among high schools and the district’s catch-up program for seniors and juniors.

The Modesto City Schools board will weigh laying off 20 support staff, trimming the hours of eight more and jettisoning 67 empty positions for 2014-15 at its meeting Monday night.

The vast majority of the slashed support positions would be in special programs that may be funded differently next year. They include typists, instructional aides, child care providers and media center assistants. Net savings is estimated at $412,787 for the proposed changes.

Those savings would be more than offset, however, by additions being considered in administration. The board will consider adding positions and redefining several others at a net cost of $416,000 in salaries and benefits.

Being added would be two positions costing $115,708 each in human resources, a $120,089 post as supervisor in special education and a business clerk III job slated to require $51,745.

The shifting job duties would raise salaries and benefits for the new posts in three cases. The largest hike would add $15,357, or 11 percent, to the top job in the Information and Technology Services department, changing that from a director II position to senior director.

An assistant principal in alternative education would be eliminated and an alternative education supervisor added at a cost of $6,706, or 5 percent. A purchasing supervisor would rise to director level, a $3,768 hike, or 3 percent. The increases would be tempered by dropping a budget manager to budget analyst, a 12 percent drop in pay.

Board members also will vote on a succession of moves among high school sites. A program for struggling juniors and seniors would leave Beyer High to make room to expand the school’s robotics program. The intensive program for students who have fallen behind would move to what is now the Reno Avenue career course center, according to an agenda report.

Career courses would in turn move to regular high school campuses. Under the plan, Davis High, which houses the Health Careers Academy, would gain the nurse assistant and hospital-health service occupations courses. Enochs High would add retail sales and marketing. Gregori High would take fashion design and small business management. Early childhood education and teaching would go to Modesto High.

Moving the course catch-up program, known as AdvancePath Academics, would bring it to a more central location, a plus because it does not have district busing, the report says. The program has Web-based courses with teacher assistance, allowing students who missed or flunked courses to tailor their program and make up credits quickly to graduate.

The name would change because Modesto City Schools plans to end its contract with AdvancePath Academic Inc. after six years. The program celebrated its 500th graduation in March, but the district believes it can provide the same service for less. The move would include an estimated $290,290 in one-time costs.

In other business, the board will:

• Vote on a pact for the city of Modesto to use Davis and Downey high schools for summer recreation programs. The large Johansen High pool will be closed for replacement of its heater and fencing, a $470,000 project the board will be asked to approve Monday in a separate vote.
• Vote on raising lunch prices for the first time since 2007. The 30-cent hike would bring the cost of elementary school lunches to $2.30 and junior high and high school lunches to $2.80. The addition would apply to the 30 percent of students who do not receive free or reduced-price meals.
• Vote on a school year calendar for 2014-15. On the proposed schedule, classes would start Aug. 11 and end May 29. Winter break would run Dec 22-Jan. 9. Spring break would be April 3-10.
• Vote on awarding a $548,696 bid to reroof Enslen and Wilson elementary schools and all four junior highs and a separate $335,887 contract to repair the Beyer High I-wing roof, both with Tru-Tech.

The Modesto City Schools Board will meet at 6 p.m. Monday in the district staff development center, 425 Locust St. See the agenda at

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