Survey results, budget on crowded school board agenda

Board also to discuss superintendent's contract, resolution against federal agency

Survey results on satisfaction levels with Palo Alto schools are among many items on tonight's crowded Board of Education agenda.

Also on the agenda is a proposed school district operating budget for 2014-15 of $185.6 million.

In the annual Strategic Plan Survey, administered in March to more than 4,000 parents, students and school employees, more than 80 percent of students said teachers challenge students to excel academically and 76 percent said effective help is provided to struggling students.

But in open-ended comments, both students and parents expressed concerns about the district's high-stress culture as well as consistency of teacher quality and grading policies.

The survey results will be up for discussion Tuesday night along with terms of a contract for Glenn "Max" McGee, a New Jersey head of school who has accepted the position of superintendent of Palo Alto schools, replacing Kevin Skelly, who resigns June 30. McGee is expected to make an appearance at the next scheduled school board meeting June 17, when a final vote on his contract is anticipated.

Also on tonight's docket is discussion of a proposed school board resolution faulting a federal agency that has been investigating alleged civil rights violations in Palo Alto schools. If approved by the full board when it comes to a final vote June 17, the resolution would enable the board to "expand its pursuit of a just review and remedy of substantial…errors (by the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights)…through correspondence and meetings with elected representatives and educational coalition affiliates."

Tonight's meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in the boardroom of school district headquarters, 25 Churchill Ave.

It is the second-to-last regular meeting before the board breaks for the summer, with an unusually crowded agenda, and likely to go until close to midnight.

View the board's full agenda here.

Chris Kenrick

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