PRJUSD trustees OK contracts with top administrators

PASO ROBLES — Paso Robles Joint Unified School District trustees approved on Tuesday, Aug. 14, employment contracts with its top four administrators and was on track to open its community day school on Thursday, Aug. 16.

Superintendent Chris Williams, Deputy Superintendent Jennifer Gaviola, Chief Academic Officer Carol Kenyon and Chief Business Officer Bradley Pawloski had their employment agreements with the district approved by 6-1 votes from the board.

Trustee Chris Bausch voted no on the two agenda items at the regular monthly meeting of the board. Bausch said he supported each of the people in their respective jobs, but used his no vote to make a statement on what he sees as the rising disparity in pay between the private sector and government employees.

“So I’m going to vote no on that,” Bausch said, “to acknowledge that we need to review our stepping somewhere down the road. It’s not just going to be a district policy it is going to have to be done from the state level down to the city level and certainly the school district levels. We continue to fund education very, very poorly in California that is going to be a long term goal that we are going to have address every single cost that we have in the district.”

Williams, who was hired in August of 2014, received a positive review from the board earlier in the summer. According to the staff report, the term of the employment agreement runs from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2022. The base salary was listed as $214,833 per year.

The terms for the other three administrators are for July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2021. The base salary for each was listed as $138,000 per year.

In other matters, the district submitted its application for a county-district code, the final piece to getting its new Paso Robles Community School up and running in time for Thursday’s first day of the 2018-19 school year. Trustees approved the application, 7-0.

Dan Sharon will be the principal of the new school located at 504 28th St. in Paso Robles.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am to open this school,” Sharon said during his presentation to the board.

The campus will serve district students that have been designated as “suspended expulsion,” according to Kristen Shouse, director of Student Services for the community day school. Students, grades 7-11, will be able to transition back to their respective schools if they follow their individualized plan. Capacity of the school is 30, but to start will have 13 kids.

PRJUSD had a similar school — Freedom Community Day School — in the Whitley Gardens area, east of Paso Robles. That school closed about 10 years ago, forcing expelled students to be sent to Chalk Mountain while it was open, but more recently to a campus near Cuesta College in South County.

“This gives us an interim step,” said trustee Field Gibson. “I really like that we have this interim step.”

Trustees also approved, 7-0, the following: acceptance of $36,500 in donations; a contract for another year with IMAGO, a platform that allows all middle school students to learn and explore college and career opportunities; and a recruitment campaign that would pay new bus drivers a $500 bonus upon successful completion of certification and the probationary period; submission of an application for rural school bus pilot project grant that would allow the district to replace older buses with cleaner green zero-emission school buses.

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