School finances remain solid and “in good shape,” according to Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Olga Fisher who presented the Lucerne Valley Unified School District’s 2023-24 budget during the Thursday, June 8, 2023 meeting of the Board of Trustees.
Ms. Fisher, who joined the district earlier this year, met with every department and school site to better understand the needs of all and how the budget could fuel that vision.
Using pie charts and other graphics, Ms. Fisher walked the board through the district’s income streams and expenditures. “We are in good shape,” she said.
“I appreciate the conservative approach,” longtime school board member Jim Harvey said about Ms. Fisher’s handling of the district’s funds.
Also during the meeting, Superintendent Peter Livingston presented updates the Local Indicators for the California School Dashboard, which displays the performance of local educational agencies (LEAs), schools, and student groups on a set of state and local measures. Among the district updates were rating district school progress in English Language Arts, English Language Development, Math, Next Generation Science Standards and History/Social Science.
Mr. Livingston reported that the district had a solid year of growth in enrollment from the beginning of 1,034 to 1,055 students for the end of the school year.
Board President Jessica Risler was at several graduations and visited the FFA students at the Fair with her inquisitive father who asked the students numerous questions about raising farm animals.
“I just want to give kudos to the community,” Mrs. Risler said. “Again they came out full force with the senior baskets and the scholarships. They raised $117,000 in scholarships this year, one of the highest ever in the history of the scholarships. And the kids worked hard to get where they’re getting. Their dedication is definitely rewarded.”
Board member Jim Harvey talked about the High School graduation and said that keynote speaker Assemblyman Tom Lackey was very impressed with the school and its students.
Board member Jason Hansen reported on his first visit to the one-of-a-kind LVES Worm Race. He said he was impressed to tears with the students at the year-end events. “Amazing kids, amazing stories.”
Board vice-president Chelsea LaGrange shared her end-of-the-year visits to the schools. She attended the Worm Race, graduations and awards events.
Board member Tom Courtney attended the 6th grade promotion and High School Graduation. He also commented on how Lucerne Valley families step up to support the schools and students. The Fall Festival late last year collected an impressive $8,000 toward the LVES Booster Club fundraisers. “They were running around like they’re at Disneyland.”
LVMHS Principal Jason Story talked about how refreshing it was to see the students enjoying a variety of activities on the last day of school. He also mentioned the FFA members showing animals at the Fair. Two FFA members competed in the masters and finished fourth and fifth. “We wrapped up one heck of a year.” Also, Mr. Story and other administrators got a chance to show animals. Over the summer, the school will receive a new, much-improved intercom system.
Director of Compliance Melissa Cook-Rodriguez talked about new teachers coming aboard district schools and touched on the district’s charter schools.
CTE head Jessica Haecker said that last year LVMHS had eight students receiving credits from Victor Valley College. This year there are 16. The school is continuing to add CTE courses, she said.
Lucerne Valley Elementary School Principal Joanna Mora and Assistant Principal Suzie Manley both were attending a principal’s conference in Texas at the time of the board meeting.
In discussion/action items, the Board of Trustees approved an increase of $10 a day for substitute teachers. The new rates will be $180 a day for the first 20 days of subbing, $190 for days 21 through 40, and $200 for days 41 and above. Substitute teachers will hold their tier from year to year. An additional $10 a day will be added for a “long term” assignment when a substitute teacher remains in the same classroom after 20 consecutive days. The move was made for the district to remain competitive and attract quality substitute teachers.
A tentative agreement between the district and the California School Employees Association (CSEA) Local Chapter was approved.
Also, a provisional internship permit for Jacob Rodriguez, who has been on the district’s Internet Technology team with Jason Hart, was approved.
A special services agreement between the district and Patrick Leier was approved. Mr. Leier provides specialized consulting services related to the administration and overside of the district’s charter schools.
A general service agreement between the district and Peter Day for the position of Social Media Advisor, which also includes web content development and related services, was approved.
A contract was approved with Dave Bang for artificial turf at the Elementary School.
Also approved was an LCAP Federal Addendum, a courier services agreement with the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools, a CMAS contract, a K12 Strong Workforce Program Participating District Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), an MOU: College and Careers Access Pathways Partnership Agreement between the district and VVC.
Produced by LVUSD Social Media
Writer: Peter Day
Writer: Peter Day