Board member Nicole Stannard stated they were required by law to have 4%, and have had 10% since 2010. She wanted it clarified where the 17% was coming from. Business Manager Nona Greisert said it was a component of the ending fund balance. Superintendent James Berardi stated these reserves have been offsetting our deficit spending and need to have them for unforeseen problems like roof replacement or boilers. He understood that the jump from 10 to 17% might be a big pill to swallow and added they’ve done these cuts without layoffs. Berardi felt they were moving in the right direction. Stannard suggested increasing it by 2.5% this year and the next couple years to get to the 17% in three years. She didn’t think they should jump to 17% all at once. Board President Mike Moore said there were valid reasons for a large reserves and made the motion to increase the County reserves to 13.5% and District reserves to 12.5% both passed unanimously with Board member Patty Hall absent. Berardi thought of it as a win, win where they could increase the reserves and also have money to use on other things. It was stressed this Resolution does not use COVID funds. Over $600,000 in COVID funds will be used for learning loss.
DURING STAFF REPORTS at the Sierra Plumas Joint Unified School Board meeting held Tuesday in Loyalton, Loyalton Elementary Principal Andrea Ceresola stated they celebrated teacher appreciation week and had a great week of activities. She said they had a modified book fair on site and completed a successful Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten enrollment with 14 T-K and 28 Kindergarten registered for next fall.
Berardi reported for Downieville school and said Musica Sierra will be coming to Downieville School on June 2ndand basketball is about to begin for high school students. He stated the end of the year is just speeding up but all good stuff, adding,
they’ve done good considering the year they’ve had and was grateful for what the teachers and everybody have accomplished.
SIERRA COUNTY SCHOOL GRADUATIONS were discussed during the Sierra Plumas Joint Unified School District meeting held Tuesday, May 11th in Loyalton. Board member Christina Potter asked about graduation having heard from parents where they don’t feel the senior’s wishes are being heard. Superintendent James Berardi stated graduation mandates are different from county mandates and no difference from having it inside to outside. From the audience Jane Roberti, parent to one of the Loyalton High School seniors, stated she wanted to have as much normalcy as possible for a graduation, adding they don’t get dances or school proms and it’s affecting our kids. She said they have not been informed as parents and want to work together for the common goal, adding some of these kids will not be going to post secondary education. Roberti pleaded for the Board to have a common goal of rewarding their hardworking kids, adding she was tired of excuses. Berardi offered rather than hearing from the High School to go talk to the health department, stating the power lies with our Health Officer in the County. A committee will be formed with board members Potter and Nicole Stannard, and parents to talk to Health Officer Dr. Celia Sutton-Pado. Roberti wanted to make sure the seniors were heard and graduation has quality. Berardi stated it would be better than last year.
Berardi said Downieville is having its graduation in Sierra City outside at Herringtons on Saturday, June 19th.