NJUHSD board meeting: SAEL to launch, kitchen approved | TheUnion.com

NJUHSD board meeting: SAEL to launch, kitchen approved

The Nevada Joint Union High School District board of trustees met Wednesday night and discussed district-wide structural costs, and the planned launch of the Sierra Academy of Expeditionary Learning (SAEL).

SAEL principal, Erica Crane, presented to the board the school's enrollment and goals for the opening of the campus, which will be located on the Bear River High School campus.

"We are full steam ahead to launch in August 2014," Crane told the board. "With our funding we are also looking to get good enrollment going for today, and the future."

Currently, SAEL has an enrollment of five students, with five more students waiting for the school's lottery. According to Crane, the state has recommended that SAEL have at least 50 students enrolled by August to open this fall. Crane says the school wants to enroll up to 120 students, and is also looking to finalize the hiring of a social studies teacher this week.

Slight revisions to the SAEL charter were approved by the board Wednesday, which include the incorporation of Smarter Balanced Testing into the school's curriculum, and the addition of an NJUHSD candidate to SAEL's governing board, which will consist of seven board elected members.

Karen Suenram, NJUHSD Assistant Superintendent, reported to the board that SAEL has agreed to pay 60 cents per square foot, a month, for the use of BRHS facilities and property. Crane said SAEL will have further updates on the school's progress after their June board meeting.

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Suenram also presented to the board a new state funded district energy management system. The state has provided $130,000 a year, for the next five years to be used for energy management projects. Suenram reported that revamping BRHS's energy system could save the district up to $50,000-$60,000 a year. The board approved the policy unanimously.

During the public forum a Nevada City parent, Judi Caler, and Penn Valley parent, Jan Collins, spoke to the board about helping notifying parents about an April 29 town hall meeting about the new Common Core standards.

"As elected officials, you represent the people of Nevada County on this school board. You owe it to the people to research Common Core for yourself," Calor told the board.

Collins added that parents have the option to have their children opt out of the Common Core standards, adding that "all we are asking for is that you notify parents that they have the option to do that."

Structural costs were approved by the board, including an $80,000 budget to replace the NU science library stucco, and fire head sprinkler.

The appointment of Teresa Ruiz as the head of Management of Student Nutritional Services, was approved by the board Wednesday. Ruiz plans to cut food costs for the district by $30,000, by cooking and preparing food in volume at a satellite kitchen. In addition, the reduction of five classified district jobs were also approved unanimously Wednesday night.

The board's next meeting is scheduled for May 16 at 6:00 p.m., to be held at Bear River High School.

To contact Staff Writer Ivan Natividad, email inatividad@theunion.com or call 530-477-4236.

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