Trustee’s motto: ‘Say nothing, act casual’


Say nothing, act casual

is a classic line from the Mel Brooks movie

Young Frankenstein.

Here is how that line relates to our local school board.
At the March 3 meeting, trustees are presented with a request
for a field trip which incorrectly states that parents will be
chaperoning the trip. It is revealed that the

parents

listed are not actually parents of children who will be
traveling.
“Say nothing, act casual” is a classic line from the Mel Brooks movie “Young Frankenstein.” Here is how that line relates to our local school board.

At the March 3 meeting, trustees are presented with a request for a field trip which incorrectly states that parents will be chaperoning the trip. It is revealed that the “parents” listed are not actually parents of children who will be traveling. When it is pointed out by two board members that parents should be chaperoning the trip, the other trustees seem totally disinterested. Not one of the other trustees voiced concern that the forms which were presented to the Board for approval were giving an inaccurate picture of who would be serving as chaperones to these minors. Say nothing, act casual.

At the March 17 board meeting, a facilities update was given. Of particular interest in this report was the progress on building Eliot School. Trustee Rhoda Bress had the good sense to ask if the project is to be completed in time. Due to the heavy rains, the project is running 27 days behind, which is basically more than five work weeks. This was last week, mind you, before the heavy rains of this week. I estimate that we are now running at least 30 days behind schedule on Eliot School, which puts completion of the school into mid-August at best. While the facilities people are optimistic that this work can be completed on time, it might involve overtime and additional workers needed to catch up. If Bress hadn’t asked, and Edwin Diaz hadn’t pursued the question, nothing might have been learned that evening. Say nothing, act casual.

Later that same night, Bress reported on her attendance at the District GATE meeting. I’ve learned over the years in GUSD that it is often best to work outside the framework of the district. GATE parents at Luigi Aprea got tired of waiting for enrichment for their students and have organized a site specific GATE after-school program.

Bress reported to the trustees the concern of parents who question a district decision to use a sizable portion of GATE funds to pay for regular day choir classes at two of our middle schools. While the parents may be concerned, I can tell you that the look on the faces of the trustees was anything but concern. Not one of the trustees spoke up to say that spending GATE categorical funds on a regular class was problematic. Not one of them seemed bothered by the fact that GATE parents were bothered. Say nothing, act casual.

A lot is being written on these pages about the Gilroy Library. I am in favor of both measures proposed by the Santa Clara County Library. The cost per household for both of these measures is less than $4 per month. This is the biggest no-brainer vote in recent memory.

Our library desperately needs to reopen on Mondays. Students receive the bulk of their long-term projects at the beginning of the week. The library was bursting at the seams on two recent Tuesdays. For an additional $12 per year per household, the library will reopen on Mondays. What a bargain!

As a resident who frequents the library, I strongly urge those of you who haven’t been there recently to stop in and see how vital our library is in the community. Once you have seen the bustle of activity, you will be convinced to vote yes on Measures A and B.

Along the same vein, the Gilroy High library is in desperate need of books. The GHS Parent Club has donated $1,000 towards purchasing library books. This week I arranged for a book fair to be held at Barnes and Noble on Saturday, April 30. We will have vouchers available to students, parents and the community. A percentage of all sales will benefit the GHS library.

This will be a day-long event with high school students on hand to entertain and draw in the crowds. I will work with Principal Bob Bravo and the English department to get a table specifically displaying books which will be on the summer reading list. We will also have a wish list developed by the library clerk at the high school for anyone who wants to donate a needed book. I am sure that the community will be supportive of our efforts to build a solid library for the students.

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