Settlement Conference Planned in Norgaard Dispute

Lawyers for a variety of San Marino Unified School District officials and the school board member who is suing them plan to meet for a settlement conference this month, a development that delayed a special school board meeting in which the plaintiff faced possible censure from his colleagues.
In addition, counsel for the defense filed a motion this week indicating its plans to request the dismissal of the lawsuit at a Sept. 6 hearing, citing what it says are shortcomings in the allegations. Continue reading “Settlement Conference Planned in Norgaard Dispute”

Gates Makes Strides in First Year at SMHS

Photo courtesy Terry Fouché San Marino High School Principal Issaic Gates sited this photograph, taken during his first commencement at the school, as his favorite picture from his first year as the school’s principal.
Photo courtesy Terry Fouché
San Marino High School Principal Issaic Gates sited this photograph, taken during his first commencement at the school, as his favorite picture from his first year as the school’s principal.

About a year ago, Issaic Gates compared being hired as the new principal for San Marino High School to being given the keys to mom and dad’s car, specifically a Mercedes-Benz. Continue reading “Gates Makes Strides in First Year at SMHS”

Killackey Announces Run for School Board

Mike Killackey
Mike Killackey

Attorney Mike Killackey has waded into the school board race, recently announcing his candidacy for the San Marino Unified School District Board of Education election in November.
A three-year resident of San Marino, Killackey said he had three areas in mind as a prospective school board member: student wellness, course innovation and the school facilities bond proposal. Continue reading “Killackey Announces Run for School Board”

School Officials, Norgaard Spar Over Restraining Order Request

Attorneys for San Marino school board member Chris Norgaard said this week that a statement filed in court by Superintendent Alex Cherniss is a public smear against the longtime official and also disputed an assertion that Norgaard’s application for a restraining order was untimely.
Norgaard’s request for a temporary restraining order — the second he has filed this month in federal court, after an earlier application was rejected — seeks to allow Norgaard to take part in meetings with the four other school board members to evaluate Cherniss’ job performance, even though Norgaard is now suing all of them for alleged defamation and violations of his civil rights. Continue reading “School Officials, Norgaard Spar Over Restraining Order Request”

U.S. News & World Report Ranks SMHS

*non-magnet or non-charter schools Source: U.S. News & World Report Best High Schools
*non-magnet or non-charter schools
Source: U.S. News & World Report Best High Schools

It’s a gold medal for San Marino High School, at least according to the latest U.S. News & World Report Best High Schools ranking it compiles annually.
The San Marino Unified School District high school ranked 61st in all of California (which includes charter and magnet schools); U.S. News ranked nearly 700 high schools in this state, of which 85 — including SMHS — earned gold medal accolades for being among the nation’s top 500 high schools in terms of college readiness. Continue reading “U.S. News & World Report Ranks SMHS”

District Looking at New Time Allocations for Homework

As the current school year came to an end, it was clear the topic of homework will soldier on through the summer months for the San Marino Unified School District’s administrators, teachers and parents.
A town hall-style meeting last week reflected as much, although the needle did seem to move closer to some sort of consensus between the argument of reducing homework loads and the idea of making homework more meaningful to the students. Continue reading “District Looking at New Time Allocations for Homework”

Board Takes Another Look at Homework Controversy

The San Marino Unified School District has some decisions to make after a lengthy Board of Education meeting last week, chief among them — homework.
Representatives from parent groups who attended the meeting last week seemed generally supportive of the Academic Advisory Commission recommendation to scale back the amount of homework in K-8 classes, but the board was hesitant to commit to anything that night. Continue reading “Board Takes Another Look at Homework Controversy”

Norgaard Lawyer Criticizes District

A lawyer for school board member Chris Norgaard lambasted San Marino Unified School District officials for their latest moves against his client, taken in response to his legal threats against the district.
In an email, attorney Guy Glazier pointed out Norgaard has served for 14½ years in all capacities on the school board, was a founding member of two of the board’s most important committees and has always performed one of the board’s central functions: the superintendent evaluation. The four other members of the board, however, removed Norgaard from that process this month, creating a subcommittee that excludes him. Continue reading “Norgaard Lawyer Criticizes District”