Schools, City Discuss Whether to Hire Campus Officers

School safety dominated discussion at a joint meeting last week of the City Council and the San Marino Unified School District Board of Education, specifically on the viability of sharing the employment of one or more school resource officers to provide security at local campuses.
Outgoing district Super-intendent Alex Cherniss told the council that the school system was analyzing safety and security issues as part of a wider facilities assessment and was awaiting input on that report from local first responders.
“That report looked at the physical plan of all the schools and also looked at other options for securing our schools,” he said. “We’ve given the report to your police chief and fire chief for comment. Once we get those back, we’ll get that ready for presentation at the board.
“There are examples of cities funding resource officers for the schools, so we are compiling that information as well,” Cherniss continued. “Before we come to the city for a request, we’re going to want to have a lot of information.”

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School Board Hears Ideas for Safer Student Drop-Off, Pickup

Changes in drop-off and pickup traffic at San Marino Unified School District campuses might be considered after the Board of Education reviewed a professional traffic study at its meeting last week.
Transportation engineers representing the firm Albert Grover & Associates told the board that, according to their assessments, three schools could benefit from modifications in parking lots and other aspects of how and where students are dropped off. The board accepted the study but did not take any action on it.
Recommendations for San Marino High School addressed three separate locations: the half-circle lot along Huntington Drive, the alleyway behind a series of commercial storefronts at the corner of Winston Avenue, and signs at Winston and Cumberland Road.
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Norgaard, SMUSD Reach Settlement in Civil Suit

One month after the parties agreed on a framework to resolve their dispute, the San Marino Unified School District and one of its Board of Education members, Chris Norgaard, have signed a formal settlement to his lawsuit against the school system and several of its officials.
In the agreement, Norgaard agreed to drop his lawsuit with prejudice — meaning he cannot later try to litigate the issue again — and there is no monetary award to him or the former defendants. Nor is there an admission of liability from either party.
The agreement, reached Monday, also introduces a new code of conduct that significantly restricts board members’ ability to interact with school faculty and staff members during school hours. In a joint statement, all parties affirmed that the issue that began in January was resolved.
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School Board Candidate Touts Education Experience

Jane Chon
Jane Chon

Jane Chon said she aims to make the best use of her background in education policy if she is elected to the San Marino Unified School District Board of Education in November. A resident of San Marino for a decade, Chon said having twin sons at San Marino High School, a daughter at Huntington Middle School and a preschooler at a private school has given her a wide-ranging perspective on education here and feels she can contribute better because of it.
“If you look at all of my children, you’ll see that they are all in different stages of their lives and they’re very different people,” she said in a recent phone interview. “There’s a very big range of experiences within our own schools, and I think that’s a very small example of what’s going on in our school district. Continue reading “School Board Candidate Touts Education Experience”

School Board Likes Feb. 26 for Tax Renewal Election

The San Marino Unified School District has settled on Feb. 26 as the date for an election to decide whether to renew a parcel tax used to pay for a variety of faculty and staff members.
The Board of Education unanimously voted on that date, suggested by board member Chris Norgaard, at its meeting last week. The board’s next step will be to adopt a resolution formally calling the election no later than Nov. 30; state law requires that elections be called at least 88 days prior to their date. Continue reading “School Board Likes Feb. 26 for Tax Renewal Election”

Superintendent, Settlement Top SMUSD Leaders’ Concerns

Although the San Marino Unified School District Board of Education did not reach a decision last week on its next step regarding the soon-to-be-open superintendent job, it was poised to take another closed-session crack at it during a meeting this week.
In another matter taking place behind closed doors, district officials also continue to hammer out a settlement agreement in a lawsuit they are facing.
The board was scheduled to meet in closed session starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5, after The Outlook’s press deadline. It previously met in closed session after its regular meeting Aug. 28, although no decisions were made. Continue reading “Superintendent, Settlement Top SMUSD Leaders’ Concerns”

School District Welcomes New Staff

Photo by Staci Moraza / OUTLOOK New and promoted staff members for the San Marino Unified School District include (front row, from left) Diane Park, Zainab Mamdani, Hiyas Mutia, Henry Ku, Sal Senar and Yosuke Miyoshi. Second row: Jill Gulick, Mindy Cobb, Nicole Moubarak, Soomain Chao and Nicole Stark. Third row: Matthew Mizrahi, Daniel Montejano, Shota Horikawa, Jorge Muñoz and Colleen Hollington. Back: Alana Fauré, Rick Barclay, Linda de la Torre and Jason Kurtenbach. Not pictured: Chrystal Chan.
Photo by Staci Moraza / OUTLOOK
New and promoted staff members for the San Marino Unified School District include (front row, from left) Diane Park, Zainab Mamdani, Hiyas Mutia, Henry Ku, Sal Senar and Yosuke Miyoshi. Second row: Jill Gulick, Mindy Cobb, Nicole Moubarak, Soomain Chao and Nicole Stark. Third row: Matthew Mizrahi, Daniel Montejano, Shota Horikawa, Jorge Muñoz and Colleen Hollington. Back: Alana Fauré, Rick Barclay, Linda de la Torre and Jason Kurtenbach. Not pictured: Chrystal Chan.

For the start of the 2018-19 school year, San Marino Unified School District has brought in 18 newcomers to its schools, while some familiar faces have been promoted. Continue reading “School District Welcomes New Staff”

Scholar’s Work is a World Apart From Her SMHS Days

Photo courtesy Nicole Grajewski Nicole Grajewski, a 2011 San Marino High School graduate, stands in front of Kyrgyz mythical hero Manas in Ala-Too Square in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, where she is studying Russian as part of her doctoral studies with the University of Oxford. She is there as a Rotary International Global Grant Scholarship recipient.
Photo courtesy Nicole Grajewski
Nicole Grajewski, a 2011 San Marino High School graduate, stands in front of Kyrgyz mythical hero Manas in Ala-Too Square in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, where she is studying Russian as part of her doctoral studies with the University of Oxford. She is there as a Rotary International Global Grant Scholarship recipient.

Curiosity about her family’s lineage is what opened the door to diplomacy for Nicole Grajewski.
The San Marino High School class of 2011 alumna is currently in Bishkek, the capital of mountainous Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia, studying for her doctorate in international relations from the England’s University of Oxford. She is doing so as Rotary Club of San Marino’s fourth Global Grant scholar and the first to apply the funding toward a doctorate. Continue reading “Scholar’s Work is a World Apart From Her SMHS Days”