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School Board Eyes All Weather Track
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Talk of an all-weather track for Riverbank High School surfaced during the public comments portion of the Riverbank Unified School District board meeting earlier this month. Currently, the track at RHS is dirt and has been for several years. The issue was also on the agenda under the Information and Discussion Items. There were many members of the public advocating for an all-weather track at RHS, stepping to the podium to offer public comment.

According to District Superintendent Daryl Camp, staff would bring in an architect to redesign the track, and they would have to look at the composition of the current ground, the amount of space per lane, and whether the track would have eight or nine lanes.

“Those are some of the issues that would have to be discussed,” stated Camp. “Right now we have a group looking into it.”

The district staff is currently working with staff from RHS on the possibilities of an all-weather track and researching models that are out there.

The cost of this project, the timeline, and what the funding source will be are all part of the discussions for the board to consider as they review the proposal.

In other business, the board is close to seating a new member. On March 22, Ana Vigil was interviewed for the vacant school board seat that was vacated by John Mitchell, who resigned effective Feb. 28. Vigil has been appointed by the board to fill the fifth seat and bring the school board to a full five-member board. At the next board meeting on Tuesday, May 6 Vigil will most likely be sworn in and take the oath of office.

“I think the board will be in a good position to start off essentially from last year, we will have four new board members and so they have a chance to establish their way of how they are going to work together as a team to deal with our school district,” said Camp.

Another item on the agenda that resulted in extensive discussion was the possible reduction of Classified Employees for the 2014-2015 school year.

According to Camp, the recommendation from staff was to reduce classified employees due to a loss of federal grant dollars. The loss of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) could be approximately $300,000 in funds that were used for after school and summer school. However some positions may be affected as well.

The board did not approve the resolution to reduce the classified staff; instead they are going to wait and see if they get federal grant money to keep the positions. Depending on the grant dollars, that could affect the board in how they proceed with this issue. If they do not get the federal dollars then they may look for some alternative funding sources. Currently, they have applied for a grant through the county and are still waiting to hear if that was approved.

“So if we get the grant, we can look at providing a service similar to what we are currently providing families but if we don’t get the grant then we are going to have to find another funding source for the employees to maintain the same level of the program or we are going to have to significantly redesign the program,” explained Camp. “Ultimately, they (the board) decided not to take action.”

Although the loss of those funds will affect the summer school opportunities, the district will still offer a Summer Learning program.

All RUSD schools are closed for Spring Break and will return on Monday, April 28. The next regular Board Meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 6 and may have resolutions to some of the items listed above.