On the agenda for this week’s school board meeting are several items that were carried over from previous weeks, including a public hearing on the Will Rogers Learning Community expansion project, a presentation on diversity , Equity and Inclusion in the District as well as Emergency HVAC Repair Work Authorization.
Emergency air conditioning work
The September heat wave of this year tested the Santa Monica school’s air conditioning systems and proved that SMMUSD’s current cooling infrastructure is unprepared for the extreme heat that the change Climate continues to escalate, prompting the district to allow emergency heating and air conditioning work on the school this week. Board meeting agenda.
From September 1-12 of this year, outdoor temperatures in Santa Monica consistently hovered above 80 degrees and peaked at 90 degrees. Meanwhile, cooling systems at several SMMUSD schools failed, causing disruptions to the school day as classroom and office temperatures were too high to facilitate normal activity.
According to the District, the number of “urgent HVAC service calls” received by SMMUSD maintenance personnel exceeded its capacity and caused it to bring in outside Pardress Air contractors to assist with the situation. Now, with temperatures dropping, district staff are recommending the board approve a contract with Pardress Air to provide emergency HVAC maintenance services in anticipation of future heat.
The work is not expected to exceed $350,000 and district staff expect it to be completed before students return to school after winter break.
Expansion of the Will Rogers Learning Community
Community members will have the opportunity to have their say on the proposed expansion of the Will Rogers Learning Community, with a public hearing on the matter on the agenda. The project is part of a long list of campus improvement plans in the district, many of which have been delayed due to COVID-19.
The project in question would include the construction of a school learning farm, the upgrading of an existing car park from gravel to asphalt and the potential construction of a cafe or school kitchen. This is part of a longer-term plan to expand the Will Rogers campus to add more classrooms and outdoor learning spaces.
In addition to the public hearing, council will also be asked to pass two resolutions certifying that the Will Rogers Learning Community Project meets state requirements and exempts it from the requirements of California’s Environmental Quality Act. due to the scale of the project which would add to the school’s land use only 0.55 acres and increase student capacity by less than 25%.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Update
Staff will present the district’s progress over the past year and a half to meet the needs of marginalized students and help staff better understand conscious and unconscious bias and racism in the education system. The presentation will include details on the training of new teachers which requires new employees to go through an onboarding process focused on diversity, equity and inclusion.
The meeting begins at 6 p.m. and those wishing to comment must submit an online form or an in-person speaking request card. The form and full agenda are available on the SMMUSD website: https://simbli.eboardsolutions.com/SB_Meetings/ViewMeeting.aspx