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Napa Valley Unified School District announced today that, in accordance with the state mandate to accommodate space for charter school students in the district, it has made an offer to relocate Stone Bridge Charter School to the Mt. George Elementary School campus during the 2020-2021 school year. 

NVUSD’s decision was made under the California State Proposition 39 law, which requires districts to make facilities (including both classroom and non-classroom spaces) available to public charter schools serving students who reside in the district. As previously reported, Stone Bridge School's current campus at 1680 Los Carneros Ave, sits on and near both the West Napa fault and an active, large gas line. NVUSD district staff has been researching options for the school for the last several years and this is the third attempt at finding a new home since the 2014 earthquake. The district has been researching costs associated with rebuilding, establishing a portable campus, or relocating. To make the current Carneros campus seismically safe, was estimated to cost in the millions. With the district's current budget crisis, relocation to Mt. George was the most feasible option.

Assuming the administration at Stone Bridge accepts the district's final offer of facilities by the May 1 deadline, after a negotiation period, they will sign an agreement with NVUSD and pay fees in accordance with the California Education Code regarding charter authorization and oversight. Additionally, the school is responsible for all operational costs for the campus. Any revenue NVUSD receives can be appropriated to the district's general fund. In contrast, if NVUSD were to sell the property, the one-time revenue generated can only be allocated to upgrading district facilities, per the California Education Code. Given the current facility need for Stone Bridge, NVUSD has opted not to sell the property for one time revenue at this time. 

Since its founding in 1998, Stone Bridge School has operated at three different sites. Later this year, the district 7-11 Committee will reconvene to discuss the potential disposition or lease options of Yountville Elementary and possibly Stone Bridge's current campus on Carneros Avenue. Under California Education code, a 7-11 committee makes a recommendation to the Board of Trustees, on "acceptable uses of space and real property, including the sale or lease of surplus real property."   

"As Stone Bridge's charter authorizer, NVUSD looks forward to our continued, mutually beneficial partnership. Charter schools offer families an alternative to traditional schools and provide unique programming and focus areas. Through our charter and magnet schools and robust programs on many of our campuses, NVUSD offers families a full range of educational options,” said Superintendent Rosanna Mucetti.

Posted 1/14/20

Napa Valley Unified School District wishes to receive vendor proposals to upgrade its switch infrastructure to allow all schools and sites to have a gigabit connection to all classrooms and office spaces and 40Gbps from switch to switch.

Please contact Manuel Ruiz, NVUSD Chief Technology Officer at  email mruiz@nvusd.org for information regarding this RFP.

Sealed proposals must be received by the NVUSD Business Services Office no later than 2:00 P.M. on February 24, 2020.

NVUSD Business Services Office
2425 Jefferson Street
NAPA, CA 94558

Download RFP

Posted 1/13/20

Lunch debt is a reality for school districts across the nation. In California, existing law requires each school district or county superintendent of schools maintaining kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 12 must provide one nutritionally adequate free or reduced-price meal for each needy pupil during each school day. (Senate Bill AB 250, passed in October 2017).

For many kids, school lunches are a critical source of nutrition and sometimes the only reliable meal of the day. NVUSD has invested in our food services program, NOSH, and our district has been recognized as a leader in providing fresh, nutritious meals to our students. No child goes without a meal, and we provide the same lunch to every student, even if their lunch balance is zero.

Free & Reduced Lunch Program
Another option for families is our Free & Reduced Lunch Program, which is available to all qualifying families through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Many families may not realize that in the Napa Valley Unified School District, more than 50% of our students do indeed qualify for this program. The process is simple and requires only that families complete a confidential application to determine eligibility.
Our district also has access to the state’s Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) Program which is highly valuable for our families who have the greatest need because it provides free meals to every student in the school based on qualifying student percentage thresholds. This program certifies schools based on a specific state's program criteria, which is available to the highest poverty schools. To be eligible, schools must meet a certain “Directly Certified” student percentage threshold. Four of our schools at NVUSD currently meet this criteria. NVUSD is applying in spring to add schools to this program, if they become eligible.

NVUSD: A Leader in School Lunch Programs
Our award-winning program is one of the few in the state that not only serves healthy and nutritious meals, but goes above and beyond to source local ingredients and focus on sustainability. Our program, called NOSH (Napa’s Operative for School food Health), became a self-operated nutrition program in 2017. Since then, we’ve received more than $500,000 in donations, grants and awards, including an Innovation Award in 2019 for Fresh & Innovative Kitchens. Learn more here.

Don’t confuse lunch debt with “lunch shaming”
Lunch shaming is a term used to describe any action that draws attention to a student’s status in receiving a lunch that isn’t paid for. This terminology has been readily picked up by politicians and media outlets seeking quick soundbites, but this has often times confused the two issues.

Lunch shaming is in no way linked to NVUSD. Our school district has never employed shaming tactics. When approaching parents about their meal balances we do so in a highly confidential way through our secure email system, Titan.

“It’s appalling to imagine that any school or district would have a policy that punishes students for their parent or guardians’ inability to pay for lunch,” said NVUSD Superintendent Dr. Rosanna Mucetti. “Every NVUSD student has the same lunch offering, even if they are on the free or reduced lunch plan, or if they have incurred a debt.”

While upholding this policy both in our values and in our practices, there is a tough reality that comes with it. At the end of the school year, the district must absorb any unpaid balances -- which in past years has been as much as $30,000 -- money that otherwise could be spent on educational programming. This reality is further complicated by the fact that California’s school districts are some of the least funded in the United States.

“Children should not be worried about their lunch account balances,” added Dr. Mucetti. “They should be focused on learning and eating healthy food for their mind and bodies.”

National Headlines and Legislative Action
In October 2019, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a measure that stipulates all students get lunch, regardless of whether their families are behind in paying meal fees. It also requires that pupils with lunch debt are "not shamed or treated differently." This stemmed from a handful of stories outside of California where students were being shamed for unpaid lunch balances. A local Napa child and his mother, who are no longer enrolled at NVUSD, used these other schools as a basis for a nationwide campaign to end “lunch shaming,” even though these tactics were never employed in their own home town here in Napa. Of course, no one wants to see any child shamed, but it’s important to recognize that there it is part of a much larger issue surrounding lunch debt in our public school system.

For more information on NVUSD’s Food Program, please visit our NOSH site.

Posted 1/10/20

 

 

NVUSD announced that Kay Vang has been appointed Executive Kay VangDirector of Fiscal Services, pending board approval. Vang is currently the principal of Canyon Oaks Elementary, and in her new role, she will be primarily responsible for the critical components of the district’s day to day financial management.

Vang has over 21 years of experience in education and over 11 years serving as a principal in both NVUSD and schools in the Central Valley. In her administrative positions, Vang was responsible for school site forecasts and budgeting, and she is currently enrolled in the USC School Business Management Program to earn her chief business official certificate.

"Kay Vang brings a new and unique perspective to the Business Services Department, with both school administration and operations experience and a recent expansion of experience and knowledge around school and district fiscal management. We are thrilled to welcome her to our team as we begin implementing new and efficient technologies to support our fiscal goals," said Rob Mangewala, Assistant Superintendent, Business Services. 

During her tenure at Canyon Oaks, Vang served on several district committees, including the 7-11 District Advisory committee, the ACSA Every Student Succeeding Council, Wellness Council, and the Technology Planning and Policy Committee. She begins her new role in January, and long time NVUSD retired site leader,  Ms. Julie Herdell, will serve as the interim principal effective January 6th. The Human Resources Department will be launching a full scale recruitment and selection process for the permanent principal in early spring. Starting recruitment early will optimize the district’s ability to recruit the next effective, outstanding leader for Canyon Oaks Elementary School.

"With NVUSD's three-year strategic plan underway, I am honored to be part of the district leadership team in supporting these goals to bring an exceptional learning experience for our students," said Vang. "I look forward to working closely with the team to build organizational capacity around effective and potentially transformational resource management and, most importantly, to improve our district's fiscal solvency."  

Posted 12/9/19