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What is the biggest issue facing the school district...

October 14, 2004

What is the biggest issue facing the school district?

The biggest issue is the continuing challenge of completing our

many modernization projects, approved by the voters in 2003, in a

short time while facing escalating and exorbitant bids with few

bidders. Currently, construction companies hold all the aces with

hundreds of school districts and other institutions competing for

labor and scarce materials.

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In addition, our teachers work extensive "overtime" to ensure

"business as usual," while projects have been delayed or impede their

work, such as room preparation this fall. Many teachers must pack up

and move out of their classrooms and later move back into their

rooms. If you have ever had to move, you can relate to this burden as

one example. Our teachers have extremely high standards for

themselves, and the projects can't help but add increasing stresses

on their productivity. Providing our faculties the degree of praise

and appreciation that they are warranted is a problem. They need to

be rewarded and praised for their amazing efforts and accomplishments

in the face of modernization setbacks. But how can a public

institution and board members thank them enough? We can't award

bonuses; we can't buy them extra time or materials for their rooms.

We can't do what private companies do when their employees perform

superior work, "above and beyond," and accomplish amazing results

with high "profits" for the company -- our "profit" is the

outstanding growth we are seeing in our children's learning. In

general, providing recognition and respect for the work our staffs do

is never enough.

What can be done to keep test scores on the rise?

You can be proud and confident if you live within the Huntington

Beach City School District! What can be done is being done in the

classrooms by our outstanding teachers and support staff -- and our

administrators are superior in their management skills of the

daunting tasks related to state and national testing. The evidence of

this is in our remarkable children and the published scores, which

have risen dramatically. The evidence is in our visible and

enthusiastic parent support throughout our 10 schools. We have an

amazing community of children, parents, teachers, support staff,

principals, managers under a greatly respected superintendent. We are

hiring and retaining only the best teachers and staff, providing

training and support, giving parents strategies for reinforcing the

standards, infusing technology and software into our instruction to

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