Report Card
Pajaro Valley Unified School District


The 2006-2007 Grand Jury conducted an investigation into the performance of the Pajaro Valley Unified School District. The jury investigated how well the district’s board of trustees has managed its fiscal oversight responsibilities and looked into allegations of an appearance of conflict of interest on the part of the superintendent. The jury found that the district, in particular its board of trustees, has in many respects failed in the performance of those duties. The board did not provide effective oversight of fiscal matters nor did it take corrective action for failed management tools and practices. The results of the investigation of the appearance of a conflict of interest are inconclusive.


The Pajaro Valley Unified School District (PVUSD) Board of Trustees is charged with providing the children in the district with the best possible education. It is the board’s responsibility to assure the taxpayers that school funds are spent legitimately and efficiently and that the students are getting the highest quality teachers, curriculum, and school facilities possible. It is also the board’s responsibility to hire and give direction to a superintendent who is responsible for managing school funds and instructional programs.

Not only has the PVUSD board failed to meet its responsibilities, but according to local papers, the school district continues to be in a state of chaos.[1] The board continues to be criticized by local newspapers and community members for years of failure to bring its students up to grade level and meet state and federal requirements.

The district has argued that political interference, unfair measurement tactics, lack of funds, impoverished families, the prevalence of speakers of English as a second language, cultural imperatives, and micromanagement have hindered the district’s progress. However, the question remains — has the Pajaro Valley Unified School District provided its students with the education they deserve?

The Grand Jury investigated reported problems with the PVUSD and its superintendent of schools, as well as concerns that large sums of money and resources have been wasted. The Grand Jury discovered that the district not only paid more than $1,300,000 for an educational program and related materials that were inadequate and inappropriate, but the materials were purchased from the new superintendent’s recent employer and she did not exempt herself from the purchasing process. Did her position as superintendent have a direct or indirect influence over those purchases? That is one of the questions the Grand Jury set out to investigate. The Grand Jury also looked into how the Pajaro Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees handled its fiscal oversight responsibilities.


The Grand Jury investigated:

·        The allegation of conflict of interest by the PVUSD Superintendent of Schools

·        The PVUSD Board of Trustee’s oversight of the district budget, expenditures and construction projects

·        Possible Brown Act violations

·        Teaching standards and related expenditures

·        The viability of the “Zone System” — the geographically determined management structure by which the district is organized

The Grand Jury conducted 45 interviews of:

The Grand Jury reviewed:

Terms and Definitions

America’s Choice
A for-profit company selling educational strategies, training, materials and texts. Was an integral part of National Center for Education and the Economy, an educational strategies developer and promoter.

Pajaro Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees.

Certificate of Participation a type of financing where an investor purchases a share of the lease revenues of a program rather than the bond being secured by those revenues.

County Office of Education
Santa Cruz County Office of Education (COE) has responsibility to oversee all school districts within the county for good governance, fiscal integrity and to supply centralized services.

DAG Report
A report by the District Alternative Governance Committee on the failure of seven district schools to meet educational standards.

Pajaro Valley Unified School District.

Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team — a State of California organization mandated by AB1200 to help California's local educational agencies fulfill their financial and management responsibilities.

Fair Political Practices Commission — a California State body charged to ensure fair, impartial interpretation of political campaign, lobbying and conflict of interest laws.

Gold Study
English Learner Programs Evaluation, February 2007, Norm Gold Associates. A study which determined many of the problems of the districts’ delivery of education to the English language learners population of the school district – approximately 45 percent of the schools’ population.

Management Audit Study
Organizational and Efficiency Study, October 12, 2004, School Services of California. A study commissioned by PVUSD Board of Trustees and prepared for the board’s Management and Audit Committee. Its scope included interviewing more than 130 employees and community members and reviewing the organizational and functional practices of the PVUSD administration.

Nine Essential Program Components
Nine teaching and administrative strategies to ensure quality education and grade level attainment for all students in English, reading, language arts and mathematics, as designated by the California Department of Education, September 2006.

The National Center for Education and the Economy — a developer and promoter of America’s Choice Strategy training, materials and texts.

California State Department of Education’s School Assistance and Intervention Team. The SAIT process is a state intervention currently charged with bringing the two district schools into compliance with state educational standards.


A.     The Purchase of Educational Materials Influenced by the PVUSD Superintendent of Schools

1.            In early 2003, within months of leaving a position with the for-profit company America’s Choice, the superintendent asked a subordinate to purchase the America’s Choice Million Words Campaign. This request was followed up in 2003, 2004, and 2005 when she encouraged subordinates to purchase a multi-year educational program from America’s Choice — including licenses, texts, materials and training — for three schools. Amounts paid over the three-year initial period (2003-2004, 2004-2005, 2005-2006) amounted to more than $1,300,000, according to a review of the documentation.

2.            The superintendent was intimately familiar with the America’s Choice program. According to her resume, when she was employed by the National Center for Education and the Economy (NCEE), she “assisted in the development and refinement of the comprehensive school design America’s Choice.” America’s Choice is a subsidiary of NCEE.

3.            The superintendent, as a former employee of America’s Choice, was reportedly offered a stock purchase option.

4.            The superintendent’s did not clearly indicate her connection to America’s Choice when she encouraged its purchase by her subordinates.

5.            The district’s ethics policy includes conflict of interest guidelines which may apply in this type of situation, but because this policy is not dated, it is not clear when it went into effect.

B.     PVUSD Board of Trustees’ Fiscal and Management Oversight

6.      Several concerns with the budget review process were investigated.

6.1    The PVUSD’s annual budget and amended budgets are often delivered to the board without adequate time for the trustees to study and understand their contents.

6.2    According to some board members (past and present), they are discouraged from asking questions because asking questions makes the meetings last too long.

6.3    Some board members reported that they do not understand the budget and that the budget and amendments are not an area of their individual interest.

7.7.      There are differences of opinion within the board as to what constitutes appropriate fiscal oversight.

7.1        A number of trustees (past and present) stated they prefer to trust that the budget is an accurate and efficient document not needing their input or oversight.

7.37.2        None of the board members interviewed (past and present) knew the dollar amount or types of purchases that should go to the board for approval.

7.3        Some board members and district staff reported that they did not know that there were policies and procedures concerning board oversight.

8.            Difficulties overseeing expenditures were reported.

8.1        At regular board meetings, the consent packet includes a listing of some payments and some purchase orders. The listings of disbursements and purchase orders are not all-inclusive and are not reported in a format that allows board members to oversee expenditures effectively.

8.2        Board members reported they did not review purchases made from categorical or grant funds and some reported they thought of these funds as “free money” that didn’t require oversight.

8.3        Purchases were made from a new vendor (NCEE-America’s Choice) of a multi-year program and materials amounting to over $1,300,000 without specific board approval. These purchases were paid from various funding sources including categorical funds (state, federal and private funds with specific purposes and requirements).

9.      The district has a recent history of being governed by interim superintendents.

9.1        The district applied for “interim” superintendent status with an emergency waiver while having another interim superintendent under contract.

9.2        At the time of the writing of this report, the district is being served by a part-time (60 percent) interim superintendent.

9.3        It takes time for a district to set its priorities, establish a search committee and begin the process of filling the position of superintendent. However, to date, the board has not begun the process of filling the position of full-time superintendent. Instead, the board is considering creating the position of deputy superintendent.

9.4    A letter signed by approximately 500 teachers was presented to the board requesting a full-time superintendent.

C.     Allegations of Brown Act Violations

10.    There is evidence that the Pajaro Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees may have not complied with the state’s open meeting laws referred to as the Ralph M. Brown Act.

10.1  The Brown Act requires that in advance of meetings, closed and open session topics be clearly identified with a description of the subject matter to be considered.

10.2  The following are two examples of agenda items with questionable descriptions:

o       In a closed meeting session on January 17, 2007, the board discussed terminating the current interim superintendent and rehiring the former superintendent in the interim role. However, the agenda item simply stated, “2.1a Title of Position, Interim Superintendent.”

The board approved the termination and appointment with a majority vote.

o       In open session of the same January 17, 2007 meeting, agenda item 12.5 stated, “Report, discussion and possible action to approve Amended contract for Interim Superintendent.” The backup information for this agenda item stated, “The current contract for the Interim covers the responsibilities for both the Interim Superintendent and the Interim Associate Superintendent.As reported to the Grand Jury, several of those in attendance assumed this item referred to the responsibilities of the current Interim Superintendent, but, in fact, it referred to the previous closed meeting discussion of two superintendents the person who was currently filling a dual role as Interim and Associate Superintendent and the former superintendent who was being rehired. At best, this description was vague and confusing. Even if it were legal under the Brown Act, it does not provide the detailed level of transparency required to maintain public confidence.

D.     Board’s Oversight of Construction Funds

11.        Because of the way it was funded, the public had little opportunity to weigh in on a multi-million dollar school construction project. In 1997, the board approved $10 million Certificate of Participation (COP) through Paine Webber to cover construction costs of schools. California Financial Services was chosen to administer the fund. Initial costs for the note came out of the COP itself before any money was available to PVUSD. This is a method of obtaining funds without public notice beyond that provided by the normal board agenda. This lack of publicity deprived parents and citizens of a reasonable opportunity to express an opinion.

12.        Individual trustees were not aware of the disadvantages of Certificate of Participation funding.

12.1    The financing cost for COPs is higher than for general obligation bonds.

12.2    Certificate of Participations require a debt-service reserve fund, typically 10 percent of the principal. Using this method usually increases the principal amount borrowed. In this case, according to CFS Financial reports, $2.4 million in fees were paid to obtain the Certificate of Participation, leaving only $7.6 million for school projects.

13.        The board faced numerous problems and cost overruns for construction projects.

13.1    The board faced public controversy when the site for the new high school was under review. After architectural plans were drawn for a site that had been secured and approved, many members of the Watsonville community insisted the school be built elsewhere. The board agreed and approved the Harkins Slough Wetlands as the new site. Changing the site cost the district many millions of dollars in the following areas:

o       The original architectural plans were not designed for the multilevel terrain of the wetlands. The new school would also be located in the airport flight path turning zone. As a result, the school had to be redesigned. (Estimated loss of $1.9 million just for the new architectural plans.)

o       Extensive environmental studies were required. To get approval to build on the new site, the board had to give up a portion of the land and build the Wetlands Educational Resource Center as required by the Watsonville Municipal Code. (Estimated cost of center: $690,000.) Because there was less buildable space, the high school on the new site was 41,000 sq. ft. smaller than the one designed for the original site.

o       The change in architectural plans required that an additional 60,000 cubic yards of soil had to be trucked away. (Cost: approximately $161,000.)

o       A cafeteria was built which can seat only 328 students, yet the school will have approximately 2200 students. The kitchen facilities are also inadequate. Therefore, the food will have to be prepared in a kitchen that was remodeled at the district offices. This cafeteria was part of the original plan, and when money was not available, district administration made it a separate project paid for through a bond measure.

13.2    Mold was found in the new school buildings. Cleaning up the mold cost the district $2.5 million. A lawsuit is still pending and legal fees are still being incurred. To date, they are estimated to be approximately $2.7 million.

14.        When applying for funding, the board acted against the advice of financial counsel.

14.1    The board asked for an additional Certificate of Participation for $12.5 million in May 2000 to pay off the previous Certificate of Participation and had $2.5 million left to use as needed.

14.2    The district owed $12.5 million in a Certificate of Participation with almost $750,000 in fees. Financial counsel advised the board not to take out the loan. The board, however, voted to take out the loan, with one trustee opposing.

15.        The district continued to make poor management decisions related to construction projects and other financial issues.

15.1    The board approved an air pressurized fabric structure as a temporary gym for Aptos High School without respect to state regulations for that type of structure which require that it meet permanent rather than temporary use standards. The district lost over $130,000 in costs incurred in the purchase, move and set up of a structure that was not approved by the state.

15.2    The district had the opportunity to receive federal funds for needed high-speed internet access for the entire district. However, the administration filed the application late and the Federal Communications Commission denied the funds, resulting in a loss to the district of $900,000.

16.        As of the writing of this report, the California Department of State Architects has not given final approval to the Pajaro Valley High School construction project.

E.     Teaching Standards and Expenditures

17.        Schools in the district are not meeting teaching standards.

17.1    The California State Department of Education’s School Assistance and Intervention Team (SAIT) took over Pajaro Middle School and H.A. Hyde Elementary School. The SAIT process is a state intervention currently charged with bringing the two persistently lowest achieving district schools into compliance with standards that will improve their achievement scores. The SAIT team has set benchmarks and goals for these schools to teach state-approved consistent strategies and texts.

17.2    SAIT required re-training of teachers and principals in implementing consistent instructional methods that teach to state standards and use state compliant texts.

17.3    In 2006, a District Alternative Governance (DAG) committee was formed and charged with investigating reasons for failure at seven of the lowest performing schools. The seven schools selected were Freedom, Hall District, Mintie White, Ohlone, Starlight, E.A. Hall, and Rolling Hills. In those seven schools, the DAG committee found instructional methods, texts and materials being used that were inconsistent and did not meet state standards. (See SAIT findings above.) Actions were implemented to institute the Nine Essential Program Components required by the state to remedy the inconsistencies and failure to meet state standards in those seven schools. In 2006, the SAIT team established a timeline for implementation and made assignments for accomplishment beginning in early 2007.

18.        Some of the training efforts prescribed by the DAG have met with difficulty. Some of the teachers and principals report they have been unable to go to trainings because there are not enough substitutes to teach their classes. Those who have not been trained cannot use the state-compliant strategies and texts in their classrooms.

19.        In all the low achieving schools, there is a large population of students for whom English is a second language. According to an extensive review of the district’s bilingual programs called the Gold Study, adequate quality instruction and consistent goals and implementation of a language learning system were not in place as of February 2007.

20.        Expensive educational materials from America’s Choice are not being used or have been deemed inappropriate. There are boxes of expensive texts — some not even opened — in school storerooms, which the teachers choose not to use in their classrooms.

F.      The Zone System

21.        The Pajaro Valley Unified School District is divided into three geographical zones, each of which is managed by a Zone Assistant Superintendent. A lack of support and communication between district personnel and zone management has been reported.

21.1    Teachers, principals and support staff expressed a lack of support from their Zone Assistant Superintendent. However, the North Zone interviewees expressed less concern than the South and Central Zone interviewees.

21.2    Interviewees from all three zones indicated they had never received a clear explanation of the functions of the Zone Assistant Superintendent.

21.3    Teacher and support staff interviewees reported they have spoken with their Zone Assistant Superintendent primarily when dignitaries or evaluators from outside the district were visiting the school.

21.4    Interviewees said that the lack of communication and support from the district contributed to low morale and an opinion that the district did not know and had little concern for the challenges in the classrooms.

21.5    The Gold Study and the 2004 Management Audit Study found that the Zone Assistant Superintendents make their own decisions with little or no board oversight. In effect, the zones act as small school districts without a board of trustees.

21.6    Zone meetings are poorly publicized, resulting in parts of the community not knowing or being able to express concerns affecting their schools. No minutes or agendas are kept or published of these meetings.

21.7    Although school board members occasionally attend zone meetings, they are not required to, nor do the Zone Assistant Superintendents who preside over the meetings thoroughly report back to the board the concerns raised or the issues discussed in the meetings.

21.8    The Zone Assistant Superintendents may have discussed zone meetings with the superintendent. However, no record is kept of these discussions. Therefore, there is no way to determine if issues are being adequately addressed or resolved, and no way for the board to participate or provide oversight.

22.  Several demographic differences exist between and within zones.

22.1    The current North Zone system has significantly different socio-economic demographics than the other two zones. Under-achieving students have become the norm in the schools of the South and Central Zones. They have been achieving scores averaging at least two years below grade level for all of the years examined. However, the grade level and achievement scores of most of the schools in the North Zone have been significantly higher and appear to be climbing every year.

22.2    There is a significant difference in the available per-student categorical funds and enhancement money available to South and Central zones to the exclusion of the North Zone. Because of the disparity of categorical funds to North Zone schools, those students who need English learner assistance in the North Zone — a small population of students — get far less assistance than students of the same language acquisition status who live in South or Central Zones.

22.3    According to the audit study, the North Zone “does its own thing,” and the stakeholders interviewed believe that the district has agreed not to interfere.

22.4    Those interviewed from the North Zone were aware of the fact that South and Central Zones receive substantially more money per student due to state and federal funding for the impoverished and under-performing schools.

22.5    According to the management audit, zone meetings are evaluated by the parents as more important than board-level meetings because the board does not know the concerns from any one particular zone.


A.     The Appearance of a Conflict of Interest on the Part of the Superintendent

1.            The superintendent’s actions in the purchase of America’s Choice materials appear to have violated the district’s ethics policy concerning conflict of interest. However, since the district’s ethics policy is undated, it cannot be determined if it was in place at the time these actions were undertaken.

B.     The Board’s Fiscal and Management Oversight Responsibilities

2.            The board failed to perform proper oversight of the district budget.

2.1        Various board members did not know or understand the budgets and amendments well enough to make informed opinions of their accuracy or justifications.

2.2        The board’s lack of oversight in reviewing the budgets and amendments may have resulted in unnecessary expenditures of large sums of money.

3.            The board failed to perform proper oversight of district expenditures. The packet information the board receives is too loosely organized to assure the board they are reviewing all of the purchases or disbursements for a given period.

4.            The board’s inadequate oversight may have resulted in undiscovered inappropriate or imprudent spending over the past five years.

5.            A reasonable explanation has not been offered for why the process of hiring a full-time superintendent has been slow.

C.        Allegation of Brown Act Violations

6.      The actions of the board on January 17, 2007 in closed and open sessions did not comply with the spirit — if not the letter — of the Brown Act because the two intended actions were not clearly described on the agenda.

D.     The Board’s Oversight of School Construction Projects

7.            The PVUSD Board did not provide sufficient oversight of construction expenses.

7.1        The PVUSD Board signed off on two Certificates of Participation (COP) totaling $12.5 million at the cost of several million dollars over six years. Using Certificates of Participation is not cost effective. Other districts in California have gotten into trouble using COPs because they could not pay them back.

7.2        The board should have consulted with the City of Watsonville and conducted an in-depth feasibility study on the impact to the community of building the high school in the current location. The new site not only incurred cost over runs due to unanticipated problems, but it does not provide adequate sports and cafeteria facilities for the students. Nor is there room for a facility that was planned for the safe storage of materials for chemistry classes.

8.            The cost of the architect is probably justified because the plans were changed so many times. The architectural firm, however, may have some responsibility for the mold situation if their design did not provide adequate ventilation for a building so close to the wetlands.

E.     The District’s Management of Instructional Programs

9.            The Pajaro Valley Unified School District superintendent and assistant superintendents have failed to provide leadership, rigorous standards, and management of instructional programs.

9.1        The intervention of the state’s School Assistance and Intervention Team (SAIT) at H.A. Hyde Elementary and Pajaro Middle schools reflects on the district’s mismanagement of these schools.

9.2        The texts previously used in the classrooms, before the SAIT intervention, were inappropriate, and the money was misspent. Those texts were found to be inconsistent with quality instructional delivery.

9.3        The District Alternative Governance committee has had to assume district management’s role of managing the seven schools in jeopardy of needing state intervention.

9.4        There are approximately 10 other schools in the district with many of the same inconsistencies and non-compliance problems as those addressed by the District Alternative Governance committee and SAIT.

9.5        Every day that quality English language learner instruction is not being delivered in PVUSD classrooms means these students are falling further behind. The Gold Study of 2007 clearly indicates the failed management of this vital area of instruction for PVUSD students.

9.6        The current district leadership has demonstrated poor management of the schools in the following areas:

o       Lack of consistent and effective teaching strategies.

o       Lack of achievement benchmarks and failure to rigorously pursue attainment of those benchmarks.

o       Failure to empower and support good teachers and provide quality, state-approved texts.

9.7        The results of poor school management are reflected in the fact that students are failing to achieve grade level goals.

E.     The Effectiveness of the Zone System

10.        The Zone System is failing as an effective management organizational structure.

10.1    The current zone system promotes de facto cultural and racial segregation. If it is desirable to keep the Zone System, efforts must be made to encourage cross zone collaboration of students.

10.2    The practice of not documenting zone meetings results in a lack of communication to the entire board about issues the community raises in zone meetings and a lack of total community awareness of problems and solutions that all zones are encountering. 

10.3    The two-level governing process (district and zone) contributes to inconsistencies in practices, poor communication, a lack of accountability, and a lack of awareness of the total district by the board. Board failure to provide oversight is the result.


1.      Since it is unknown when the district’s ethics policy was enacted, the board must determine if the superintendent’s actions concerning the purchase of materials from a former employer were in violation of policy. Addressing this issue will contribute to the credibility of the board and engender confidence from the community.

2.      The board needs to develop a comprehensive fiscal oversight policy.

2.1        The board should develop reasonable criteria for maintaining fiscal oversight responsibilities and perform oversight by diligently reviewing purchase orders and disbursements that meet designated dollar totals and/or determine other criteria for oversight.

2.2        The board must be sure it is reviewing disbursements from all funds for which it is responsible; this review must include — but is not limited to — disbursements from categorical and grant funds.

2.3        Any consultant fees from any fund should be reported to the board in the same timely manner as other disbursements.

2.4        The annual independent audit should verify that the board has been made aware of all consultants’ fees.

2.5        The board should place in the Independent Audit Scope a provision that the Independent Auditor will ascertain that all expenditures and purchases requiring board oversight were, in fact, presented to the board in a clearly defined format and were timely, complete and accurate.

2.6        A Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team (FCMAT) study for the period 2002-2007 should be contracted to determine if all operational and instructional expenditures and disbursements were appropriate and prudent. The board should take any actions necessary to resolve problems uncovered by the study.

2.7        The board should examine the educational and financial value when approving large or multiple-year contracts for licenses or services, regardless of which taxpayer funds are allocated to pay for them.

2.8    One of the highest priorities of the board should be safeguarding the taxpayer monies.

2.9    The board must be vigilant in the following areas:

     assuring the delivery of quality education to all the students, including knowing what educational strategies are being delivered.

     overseeing the superintendent and requiring adherence to goals and benchmarks needed to achieve district responsibilities.

     maintaining open communication with students, community and parents.

3.      The PVUSD Board should take appropriate steps to ensure better oversight of construction projects.

3.1        The district’s list of vendors involved in the construction projects should be reviewed and their performance audited. This information about vendors should be made public.

3.2        A Certificate of Participation should only be used in dire financial situations. The board should first consider other methods of financing.

3.3        In future construction, the location should be secured before the district invests in a design project.

3.4        Since the Grand Jury determined that no effective oversight of construction project spending has been done, a Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team study for the period 2002-2007 should be contracted to determine if all construction expenditures were appropriate and prudent. This study would provide a clean slate for the board to institute more prudent oversight of future construction projects.

4.      The superintendent needs to effectively manage instruction and implement a consistent plan throughout the district.

4.1        The School Assistance and Intervention Team (SAIT) changes, the District Alternative Governance (DAG) committee recommendations, and those of the Gold Study should be implemented as soon as possible in all the under-achieving schools in the district in order to garner consistency and measurability of the learning benchmarks.

4.2    The Nine Essential Program Components as set by the California Department of Education and used by the DAG team should be instituted in all regular elementary, middle and high schools in the District. A grid plan similar to the one developed by the DAG team should be worked out for each school using the format and benchmarks set by the DAG report and setting early attainment dates. The assistant superintendents and the superintendent should be the primary persons responsible for performing this task, and the principals and the school staffs should collaborate with one another until all of those benchmarks are set and met.

4.3        Those barriers to good education that are management-related — as spelled out in four management studies, the DAG, the SAIT, the Gold Study and the Management Audit Study — should be remedied immediately with assertive, scheduled and measured action by those persons in charge – the superintendent and whatever deputies the superintendent designates. This is a primary responsibility and must not be avoided or delayed by studies and the formation of committees. All of these actions and benchmarks should be in place for the next school year to remove any inconsistencies and failures to teach to approved strategies and goals.

4.4        District staff should give a monthly status report of the benchmarks accomplished and the status of those in process with scheduled dates of completion.

o             Those benchmarks not accomplished within the scheduled dates should be discussed and remedied and new firm dates set for accomplishment. 

o             Those benchmarks achieved and verified should be met with much fanfare. This will contribute to credibility of the board and confidence from the community

4.5        In concurrence with the Gold Study, the Management Audit Report and the recommendations of many of the stakeholders, an expert curriculum specialist should be hired immediately and given the responsibility and authority to review the integrity and consistency of the district-wide curricula, texts, standards and teaching strategies.

5.      The purpose and attendance requirements of zone meetings should be clearly defined. The meetings should be well publicized and accessible to all. Agendas and minutes should be readily available.

6.      Zone management should establish a uniform method of communicating their deliberations and actions to the board.


Responses Required




Respond Within

Pajaro Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees

1, 2, 4, 5, 6-9, 10-22


90 Days

October 1, 2007




Articles, Documents & Publications by Date Published


10-02                     Resume August 2002, Dr. Mary Anne H. Mays Ed.D

12-29-02               Newsmaker of the Year PVUSD Trustees: Board names new high school, hires female superintendent, Santa Cruz Sentinel


2003                      The Brown Act, Open Meetings for Local Legislative Bodies (The California Attorney Generals Office, 2003, p. 1.)

10-24-03               Friday Board Update, October 24, 2003, Dr. Mary Anne Mays, pg. 2


4-3-04                   Fifty years after Brown v. Board of Education, segregation no longer black and white, The San Diego Union-Tribune
[Article on integration using PVUSD as an example]

10-12-04               Management Audit, Organizational and Efficiency Study, October 12, 2004, School Services Corporation

10-25-04               The Education Innovator, October 25, 2004


2-05                       Dr. Mays Reply to Management Audit, Planning
Operational Improvements and Efficiency,
February 2005, Superintendent, Dr. Mary Anne Mays

6-30-05                 Watsonville “Emergency Card” OPT-OUT a Winner, Santa Cruz Indymedia

11-2-05                 The Pajaro Valley Unified School District Creates Innovative Ways to Challenge Reading Skills, Graniterock Press Release for press conference  
[Regarding the Million Word Campaign]


2006                      Student Success, A Shared Vision, 2006 Report to the Community, Santa Cruz County Office of Education

2-10-06                 Contentious PVUSD board race began with Superintendent’s exit,
Times Publishing Group

3-24-06                 PV school superintendent resigns, Santa Cruz Sentinel

4-4-06                                      Pajaro Superintendent Dr. Mary Anne Mays Resigns,
The Mid-County Post

4-18-06                 The Struggle Continues at Pajaro Schools, Business Chief Retires a Few Weeks after Superintendent Resigns – Recall Campaign Announced Against Trustee, The Mid-County Post

7-20-06                 Business leaders seek ‘outstanding’ PVUSD school board, Santa Cruz Sentinel 

10-4-06                 Retired teacher, volunteer vie for P.V school board, District ‘turmoil’ prompts volunteer to seek post and Board members touts experience and leadership, Santa Cruz Sentinel

10-8-06                 Nuances of school board trusteeship, Santa Cruz Sentinel
[Editorial page]

10-26-06               Former PVUSD administrator alleges slander by school board member, Santa Cruz Sentinel

11-3-06                 Balance of power hangs in outcome of PVUSD races, Santa Cruz Sentinel
[A summary of issues facing PVUSD]

11-14-0611-14-06               Students look back on state’s history, Santa Cruz Sentinel

12-4-06                 PVUSD leaders to be sworn in Wednesday, Santa Cruz Sentinel



1-9-07                   Pajaro Implements Efforts To Raise Scores and Avert Takeover,
The Mid-County Post

1-9-07                   No School Left Behind!, The Mid-County Post

1-9-07                   Former Pajaro Schools Personnel Director Settles Lawsuit,
The Mid-County Post

1-11-07                 Change Requires Effort, Good Times
[Article by Michael Watkins, COE]

1-18-07                 Pajaro Valley schools shocker: Mays back as superintendent,
Santa Cruz Sentinel 

1-18-07                 PVUSD new board majority approves return of superintendent,
Santa Cruz Sentinel

1-19-07                 Mays envisions stabilizing P.V. schools, Santa Cruz Sentinel

1-19-07                 PVUSD makes decisive choice, Santa Cruz Sentinel

1-23-07                 Dr. Mary Anne Mays Returns to Pajaro as Interim,
The Mid-County Post

2-2-07                   Board of trustees must not ignore the Brown Act, Register-Pajaronian

2-3-07                   PV High School is getting a bum rap, Register-Pajaronian
[Letters to the Editor]

2-4-07                   Luis Alejo letter to the Board, Re. Brown Act Violations during the January 17, 2007 meeting.

2-7-07                   Schools chief warns of low expectations, O’Connell: Minority students suffer because of racial bias, Santa Cruz Sentinel
[O’Connell is State Superintendent of Schools.]

2-07-07                 DAG Study, Overview of PVUSD District Alternative Governance Committee Process as presented to the PVUSD Board February 7, 2007, included in Board Study Packet

2-9-07                                      Pajaro Valley school district headed to trial over high school mold clean-up, Santa Cruz Sentinel 

2-9-07                   PVUSD headed to trial over P.V. High School $1.5 million mold cleanup, Santa Cruz Sentinel

2-14-07                 English Learner Program Evaluation Final Report, February 14, 2007
Norm Gold Associates

2-20-07                 Beacon Charter Organizers Developing Plans for South County Schools, The Mid-County Post

2-20-07                 Pajaro’s Program Improvement Schools Face Many Recommendations, Little Time, The Mid-County Post

2-21-07                 $1.5 million dollars grant aims to curb gang activity at middle school level, Santa Cruz Sentinel

2-24-07                 P.V. schools superintendent back at 60 percent, Santa Cruz Sentinel 

3-1-07                   PVUSD board votes to hire Mays as interim superintendent,
Santa Cruz Sentinel

3-3-07                   Pajaro Valley school district in major flux, Santa Cruz Sentinel

3-8-07                   PVUSD ponders management shake-up, Santa Cruz Sentinel

3-12-07                                  Educators await slate of school studies, Santa Cruz Sentinel
[23 state department of education studies]

3-15-07                 SAIT State Intervention Report, February 28, 2007, Board Packet Report by Mrs. Vicki Alterwitz, Action Learning Systems Progress Report Mar 15, 2007

3-17-07                 $2.5 million dollars reading center now open, Santa Cruz Sentinel
[The center is at Cal State Monterey Bay]

3-17-07                 Management mop-up? Pinks slips handed out to five,
Register Pajaronian

3-19-07                 Beacon aims to open schools in P.V. and S.C, Santa Cruz Sentinel
[Beacon is a charter school organization.]

3-27-07                 School district employees silenced, Mays says only she can discuss schools with press, public, Register Pajaronian

3-27-07                 Mays’ stormy return to PVUSD,

3-28-07                 State ratchets up pressure on lagging schools, Santa Cruz Sentinel
[2006 Base Academic Performance Index (API) Report p. A-4]

3-30-07                 Pajaro Valley teachers oust longtime leader, Santa Cruz Sentinel
[Change in teachers union leadership]

4-3-07                   Dispute emerges over P.V. teachers union’s leadership,
Santa Cruz Sentinel

4-5-07                   Membership has spoken, Santa Cruz Sentinel
[Letters to the Editor]

4-6-07                   P.V. teachers union election challenged, Santa Cruz Sentinel

4-6-07                   Savino challenges Pajaro Valley teachers union election,
Santa Cruz Sentinel

4-7-07                   Befuddled by PVFT’s style of democracy, Register Pajaronian
[Letters to the Editor]

4-10-07                 Poor decisions being made for our school district, Register Pajaronian

4-11-07                 Fed up with this school district, Register Pajaronian
[Letters to the Editor]

4-12-07                 Business Deal sparks questions about P.V. teachers union,
Santa Cruz Sentinel

4-17-07                 Half of seniors who flunked exit exam returned to school,
Santa Cruz Sentinel
[CA Jack O’Connell, State Superintendent of Instruction re: state wide exit exam results.]

4-19-07                 Trustees focus on improving English proficiency, Santa Cruz Sentinel

4-20-07                 Teach kids in English, Santa Cruz Sentinel
[Letters to the Editor on the bilingual policy]

4-21-07                 County school board OKs office move, Pajaro Valley educators, trustees blast deal to buy Harvey West space, Santa Cruz Sentinel

4-21-07                 P.V. students enjoy incentives before critical testing,
Santa Cruz Sentinel

4-22-07                 How a School Gets Into and Out of Federal Sanctions,
Santa Cruz Sentinel

4-24-07                 Teachers union settles leadership crisis, Santa Cruz Sentinel

4-26-07                 Program helps to build a future with students, ROP organizers reach out to middle schools, Santa Cruz Sentinel

4-07                       State threatens to take away five local schools, Mays stays in district to head new committee, Register Pajaronian

Date unknown        Judge faults P.V. school district in student’s expulsion,
Santa Cruz Sentinel

5-25-07                  P.V. District in discord over new post, Santa Cruz Sentinel
[Regarding the hiring of a deputy superintendent.]

Date unknown        Pajaro Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees Bylaw 9270 ‘Conflict of Interest’

Date unknown        Government Code 89503,Government Code 81013, The Political Reform Act of 1974; Article 2, Chapter 7

Multiple dates         Warrants, Invoices, Purchase Orders 2003-2006 to NCEE: school years 2003-2004, 2004-2005, 2002-5-2006 Watsonville HS, Pajaro MS, Calabasas ES. Doesn’t include travel, personal expenses for training etc.; not audited.

Web Sites:

Center for Public Integrity

Senate Governmental Affairs Committee

SEC – Securities and Exchange Commission

COP Information

Mays’ stormy return to PVUSD

The Education Innovator, October 25, 2004

[1] Santa Cruz Sentinel, “County school boards OKs office move, Pajaro Valley educators, trustees blast deal to buy Harvey West space,” April 21, 2007.