Top

Sierra-Unified-School-District-Board Leadership and Support Sierra-Unified-School-District-Board

Message From the President

Oct 11, 2021

The Sierra Unified Board of Trustees continues to navigate today’s complicated environment of education in the State of California. Several weeks ago, we needed to clarify our position on local CoViD policies in response to state-level public health orders. There are ongoing questions surrounding these issues, so we offer the following thoughts.  

It was never the intent or declaration of this board to defy lawful state mandates. We accepted a local protocol proposed by the administration for enforcement of masking this fall, and that protocol was implemented, resulting in the “no mask list”. We also looked for legitimate ways to be flexible in testing and quarantining. However, as time went on, it became clear that the strategy on masking was creating its own set of problems, the largest being that it did not appear to be legally sustainable. On Sept 27, it came to a vote, and we made the hard decision to change course, going to the same protocols that our peer districts use on masking, quarantining, and testing. The board has duties to represent our diverse community, provide for the safe and robust education of all children, and oversee the legal and financial soundness of the district. We do our best to honor all of these aspects of our job. Together, we will continue to seek ideas and strategies within legal boundaries. We will also continue to monitor legal challenges and their impact on policy.

We continue in the process of hiring a new superintendent. We will interview on Oct 29th, and will hopefully approve a new candidate at the Nov 8th regular meeting. We received great feedback from the community in both the in-person and online forums. Every board member, as well as the new superintendent, receives those responses to better understand where we are. Our goal is to find a good fit for our mountain strong community to help us build an even stronger district.

We understand the concerns about the recent vaccine mandates for staff and students. It appears we won’t see any requirements until the next school year. It seems that there will be room for medical, religious, and personal belief exemptions, at least for the near term. If you have thoughts on this issue, we urge you to follow this at the state level, and whatever your position, get involved and advocate. Our representatives are Assembly Member Jim Patterson and State Senator Andreas Borgeas.

Lastly, we are well into the school year. Homecoming and the All-Class reunion celebrating the 100th birthday of Sierra High are just around the corner (Oct 22-23). Our students are playing sports, marching in parades, practicing plays, and enjoying the extra after-school fun and support activities in our new Recovery and Resilience program. It is the mission of this board and this district to inspire, engage, challenge, and support all students to reach their highest level of learning and personal development. We continue to check ourselves against that mission and work together to meet it better every day.

Respectfully,

Connie Kee Schlaefer
President, Sierra Unified Board of Trustees

The role of the school board is to ensure that school districts are responsible to the values and beliefs, and priorities of the communities. Boards fulfill this role by performing five major responsibilities: setting direction, establishing an effective and efficient structure, providing support, ensuring accountability, and providing community leadership as advocates for children, the school district, and public schools.

Our authority as school board members is only as we sit as a board, and by majority decision of the board. Individually, we have no authority. Additionally, the school board has only one employee – the superintendent. A good way to consider the role of the governance team of the district is that we are the direction-setters, taking the input of the educational professionals and setting the “what” for the district. Our superintendent, while part of the governance team, is the “how”, and determines how the “what” is accomplished. The school board does not determine the how.

Sierra-Unified-School-District-Share

The community elects their school board to be their voice in the local school district. We appreciate your input and support! There are many ways to provide this input. Informally, you are welcome to share thoughts and ideas with us at school functions, or when you see us at the grocery store!

Sierra-Unified-School-District-Share

The community elects their school board to be their voice in the local school district. We appreciate your input and support! There are many ways to provide this input. Informally, you are welcome to share thoughts and ideas with us at school functions, or when you see us at the grocery store!

A more formal way to provide input or share your thoughts is by attending the school board meetings and speaking during public comment at the beginning of each meeting. Board meetings are held monthly on the second Monday at 5:00pm, with workshops typically held the fourth Monday of the month at 5:00pm. While we cannot comment or take action during public comment, you will have three minutes to share your comments and have an audience of the entire board.

Sierra-Unified-School-District-Attend
Sierra-Unified-School-District-Attend

A more formal way to provide input or share your thoughts is by attending the school board meetings and speaking during public comment at the beginning of each meeting. Board meetings are held monthly on the second Monday at 5:00pm, with workshops typically held the fourth Monday of the month at 5:00pm. While we cannot comment or take action during public comment, you will have three minutes to share your comments and have an audience of the entire board.

Sierra-Unified-School-District-Involved

Our district has many other ways you can be involved. We have Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) meetings, parent clubs, school site councils, various community input committees, and online surveys. We encourage everyone to please take the time to get involved! If you are unable to attend meetings in person, you can review board agendas, minutes and links to the podcasts we post of each meeting and workshop here on the website, as well as find information available on social media.

Sierra-Unified-School-District-Involved

Our district has many other ways you can be involved. We have Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) meetings, parent clubs, school site councils, various community input committees, and online surveys. We encourage everyone to please take the time to get involved! If you are unable to attend meetings in person, you can review board agendas, minutes and links to the podcasts we post of each meeting and workshop here on the website, as well as find information available on social media.

School Board Meetings 2021

Past and Upcoming Regular Board Meeting Dates

January 11, 2021
February 8, 2021
March 8, 2021
April 12, 2021
May 10, 2021
June 14, 2021
July 12, 2021
August 9, 2021
September 13, 2021
October 11, 2021
November 8, 2021
December 13, 2021