January 27, 2020

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Monday, December 9, 2019

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Thursday, November 14, 2019

The Leap from High School to College Sports -

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Mateo Comes up Short: 2019 Little Big Game -

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The Master of Self-Deprecating Humor -

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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

A Personal Account On Vaping -

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Girls Water Polo Resumes Winning Ways -

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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Hill Bashes Board

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(Photo Credit: the Redwood City Website)

Strained relations between the San Mateo Union High School District Board of Trustees and the community have prompted State Senator Jerry Hill to call for a civil grand jury investigation of the board’s actions.

“The lack of transparency and the disdainful attitude of some board members have eroded the public trust in this district.”

“The lack of transparency and the disdainful attitude of some board members have eroded the public trust in this district,” Hill said at a board meeting on Jan. 15.

The board has been grappling with two issues: the location of the new charter school, Design Tech High School (d.tech), currently co-located at Mills High School, and the Burlingame High School swimming pool, which is open for both school and public use.

The board has been accused of restricting public use of the BHS pool, and has threatened litigation against the city for not paying  more for it. But according to the board’s Manager of Public Relations, Sheri Costa-Bastis, the board has been “working diligently” with the city of Burlingame to make sure that the BHS water polo and swim teams have enough practice space.

The board did not put the BHS pool situation on its agenda at the Dec. 11 meeting. The board also decided to vote on a separate matter first, before taking public comment. Hill cited these actions as “multiple examples of disservice” and accused the board of violating the Brown Act. But Costa-Bastis said the SMUHSD board had an “extensive public comment session, and discussion of the Burlingame pool issues at its November meeting.”

“Some parents feel so estranged from this board that in order to get your attention, they felt they had to place an advertisement in the San Mateo Daily Journal,” said Hill, citing how the Mills PTO ran an ad asking the board to find a new location for d.tech. Yet Costa-Bastis countered that the board  “interacted and listened closely to the Mills community in one-on-one interactions.”

Despite claims that the board is unresponsive, Robert Griffin, the SMUHSD Board Clerk, believes otherwise. “I receive emails and letters which I read. I have responded when time permits.” Griffin thinks that “Hill’s comments referred to the collective ‘board’ conduct… I believe that some of our conduct has stemmed from an attempt to correct factual inaccuracies or misconceptions,” but “we could have done a better job of communicating our comments.”

In a released media statement, the Board President, Marc Friedman, said that Hill’s accusations were “inflammatory” and that the board tries “to ensure the best educational experience of all of our community’s high school students.”

“Our Board members serve as Board members for one reason – to ensure the best educational experience for all of our community’s high school students.”

Meanwhile, Hill is preparing his request for a civil grand jury inquiry. Friedman welcomes the investigation, saying that the board would be “very happy” to work with the investigators and that the board has “nothing to hide.”

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