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CUSD Support Staff: School Board Is Not Easy to Work With

Still, the non-teaching employees at Capistrano Unified say there is a “family atmosphere despite woes.”

Support staff wore black to a school board meeting in 2012 when the Trsutees considered cutting more of their positions. Patch photo credit: Penny Arévalo.
Support staff wore black to a school board meeting in 2012 when the Trsutees considered cutting more of their positions. Patch photo credit: Penny Arévalo.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Originally posted at 9:15 a.m. March 13, 2014. A consultant has recently queried focus groups made up of various constituents of the Capistrano Unified School District. Patch is reporting some of the major themes presented by the groups. Today's focus: Non-teaching employees. 

While a focus group of teachers wasn’t sure whether the Capistrano Unified school board even supports public education, support staff doesn’t find the board particularly easy to work with either.

The consultants hired to help the sprawling school district select a new superintendent now that Joseph Farley has announced his retirement conducted a number of focus groups and solicited online questionnaires to various stakeholders, including support staff.

The goal was to define the current strengths and challenges the district faces, along with the qualities the next superintendent should have.

While support staff believe the district has many strengths – including an ethos of hard work, strong academics and a “family atmosphere despite woes” – it also took the opportunity to voice some concerns.

Defined as challenges in the eyes of support staff are:

  • The superintendent tends to cancel meetings scheduled with the non-teaching employees or send someone in his stead
  • The Board of Trustees tends to resolve issues without others and doesn’t show respect for each other
  • The board is not easy to work with
  • The board should consider the students’ needs when addressing budget challenges
  • Dealing with affluent parents and parents who feel “entitled”
  • Shrinking staff numbers
  • The district “caters” to the teachers

According to a report from consultant, Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, input came from a focus group made up of eight support staffers. Another 78 – there could be some overlap, the report says – filled out online surveys. The consultant cautioned that the results are not from a scientific sampling. 

Among the strengths are:

  • “Budget-wise turned the corner”
  • The administration
  • Dedicated staff who are “cutting edge”
  • Great place to work
  • Growth
  • There’s an emphasis on learning
  • Upper management is willing to work with staff

DO YOU AGREE OR DISAGREE WITH SUPPORT STAFF? TELL US IN THE COMMENTS.
Shripathi Kamath March 13, 2014 at 01:19 PM
Is the district paying money to generate these non-scientific surveys? Because I have a pretty decent random number generator that could with a little bias, produce quicker, cheaper results. I'll even throw a few charts. ___________________________________________________ "The Board of Trustees tends to resolve issues without others and doesn’t show respect for each other" ___________________________________________________ I think we need a law that says people must respect each other. In addition they must also agree with each other. Why, just a couple years ago I benefited from this: http://bit.ly/QdMJ1C

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