The Governing Board of the Coronado Unified School District met at District Offices on Thursday, March 11th, for their regularly scheduled board meeting.
Sadly, the meeting opened on a somber note to commemorate the contributions of beloved Coronado High School Teacher, Ray Yannaccone, who lost his battle with cancer last month. Mr. Yannaccone, or, Mr. ‘Y’ as he was affectionately dubbed by students, taught English and Musical Theatre at the Coronado School of Arts (CoSA) during his 22 years with CUSD.
“Mr. Y was an inspiring teacher in the classroom, and directing students on stage in the theater,” said Associated Student Body President Kelli Morris. “He was a safe space for many, and always made his students feel heard and valued. Mr. Y will always be remembered for his compassion and devotion to CHS students.”
When it comes to health and safety of teachers, Karl Mueller, Superintendent for CUSD, shared that the district is working hard to assist teachers and employees with access to COVID vaccinations.
“As a district, we made sure that our substitute teachers, our coaches, our part-time employees, and all full-time employees are included…and we have ongoing discussions with Sharp Coronado and the City of Coronado to ensure that the second Pfizer vaccination shot will be administered to all staff prior to spring break,” said Mueller.
Many students sent in emails expressing trepidation regarding the new 4×4 bell schedule set to launch at CHS in the fall. The new schedule, according to previous statements from Dr. Megan Battle, CUSD Director of Learning, was created to expand college and career readiness, increase equitable access to opportunities, allow for remediation and acceleration, and–perhaps, most importantly–help students to more readily access A-G requirements for UC admissions.
Many students, as well as a teacher, expressed worries over increased homework load, the inability for students to access AP tests at the appropriate time, and concerns over accelerated learning. The board members agreed to address questions about the new schedule and add as an agenda item for a future meeting.
Deputy District Superintendent Donnie Salamanca presented a budget update, which actually placed CUSD in a better financial position than expected, but questions remained about programs that were operating at a deficit, such as the Brian Bent Memorial Aquatics Complex.
Dr. Megan Battle shared that in April the district will revisit the probability of bringing kids on campus for longer periods of times, and Mueller addressed community interest about the fall.
“Right now, [for the fall], we are committed to returning all students to campus for five days of instruction,” said Mueller. “Obviously, there are some things that are beyond our control. But if we are continue trending in the direction we are trending, with coronavirus, with our vaccination schedule, we are optimistic… our goal is to try to return to ‘normal’ for our first day of instruction next year.”
Robin Nixon, Athletic Director from Coronado High School, shared which CIF sports will be in session, which include baseball, lacrosse, soccer, softball, track, cross country, swim, golf and tennis. She shared that COVID testing was required for football and water polo, as well as indoor sports, as mandated by the state.
Superintendent Mueller shared that many CUSD teachers have expressed interest in teaching summer school, and an “interest survey” was going to be sent out soon to parents and students. Parents and students are urged to check their emails regarding district updates.