« Thanks to Mr. Schwartz | Main | Update on Mississippi's Gulf Coast »

January 20, 2006


I attended this meeting last night.
Jackie Speier's representative quoted Diane Wilson-Graham, the state consultant on PE,that the school board HAS the authority to grant studen-athlete exemptions, while offering a PE program which is in compliance.
Our school board and the administration, led by Mark Avelar, a former PE teacher, wants to protect the interests of the PE teachers and their programs, NOT the interests of their students and parents.
CAHPERD, (Calif. Assoc for Health, PE, recreation Dance) is the lobbying group for PE teachers - Mark and his teachers are supporters of this group.
Unfortunatly, the words - 'strategic' and 'in the best interest of the child' are not the principals upon which they manage the district.


As I stated in a previous thread, Mark Avelar began in the district as a PE teacher, hence his unwavering support for the PE program and those who teach it. I have had several meetings with him, over the last 7 years, and he never recognized the needs of my daughters, only the needs of the PE teachers and the programs, as stated above, and made that perfectly clear. Drumsong, you are right on. But, in my experience with the district and PE, if you want it badly enough and spend more hours than there are in a day working toward that end result, you will end up winning. We did, in any case. Be smart and do the research and keep on them. Regarding Mr. Hanley's comment regarding kids learning about the "health" of their bodies in PE, let us not forget that they also have a "health" requirement and learn all there is to know about their bodies through that class. If, these "student athletes" are to be seen as role models for others as the PE teacher from Mills is quotedas saying (and we heard the exact words regarding our daughters many moon ago), they should be recognized as such by the schools. They are not, unless they are the hottest football player at the school. There is little/no recognition of student athletes who compete in sports outside of school, no matter how well they perform in the classroom as well.
Secondly, let's applaud Jean Holbrook for being one to finally try to establish some equality among the schools in the SMUHSD. They should all be on the same page, and that has never been the case in all the years that I have been around. Why call it the SMUHSD if each HS is a separate entity.


The SMUHSD is way ahead of its constituents on just about everything.

1. 7 period day funding. The 7 period day has been implemented to serve the Academic Core passed by Sam Johnson and the Board. This core requires student to pass a core set of classes and those who fail are enrolled in support classes. These courses are "double" classes as students are enrolled in Alegebra and Alegebra Support. These courses are expensive and take funds away from other classes. Should student have to pass the courses? Yes, is there a more cost efficient way to implement this program. Yes, but the district isn't looking anywhere else for solutions.
The parcel tax and the 7 period day are NOT for increased electives and student opportunities, these increases are for the Academic Core. It would most likely be cheaper to purchase each student a tutor for an hour or two each day than to run a support class.

Why didn't Johnson and the Board know and understand the financial shortfall when they passed the Academic Core? The Academic Core was passed but NO ONE had run a financial impact analysis or created a plan of implementation BEFORE passing the plan. Now the Administration wants to pass the cost on to the local residents in the form of a parcel tax. The parcel tax will not fully return programs that were cut (or in danger of being cut) in Johnson's Budget Reorganization (Counselors, Librarians, Vocational Education, Athletic teams) The parcel tax will fund the support classes.

This board administration does not have the public backing for a parcel tax or bond issue.
They repeatedly ignore parents who are interested in improving the school. Plus, they silence those who have concerns.
Sam Johnson's 7 period day will fall hard as both the 7 period day committee and the teachers union recommend it for ALL schools or NO schools.
But, they will have PE classes --


Can some other folks please get on board on these issues! The community has spent the past two years fielding Johnson's mistakes! Where is he leading this district? Hillsdale High School is getting an extra $500,000 per year for their "experiment" and now he wants a parcel tax? It is reported that Johnson has stated that we should "shoot first and aim later." His record is proving this statement to be true as he has missed on every occasion.

Here is where this issue is going. Johnson has passed the Academic Core but does not have the money or time in schools to fund or implement it. He will therefore take the money he needs from counselors, librarians, electives, band, drama, etc in order to pay for the Academic Core. He will then turn to the public and say "see, I told you we needed money to fully run the schools!" The schools will have the Three R's but not much else. He is willing to burn the village in order to save it. School principals cannot make decisions for their own local communities but must instead follow the orders of the district office. The SMUHSD is no longer the academic powerhouse it used to be. It lacks central leadership and a vision. Johnson is advised by Roslyn Ali, an advocate of policies for poverty based districts. The SMUHSD is not a poverty based district and deserves better.


CAHPERD is a physical education teacher lobby organization. If you read their goals below, they have made some a reality - and are working for more.
-- to have PE grades be counted in the GPA which colleges use. To get already limited funding for special test books more.
Who is looking out for the best interests of our children???
CAHPERD (cailf assn for health, PE, recreation and dance) POSITION PAPER


* All children pre-kindergarten through high school, and al adults through college and university age should have access to quality programs in physical education.
* Quality, daily, developmentally appropriate physical education programs should be required pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade.
* All physical education courses in schools should be taught by teachers credentialed in this subject area, and criteria for class size limits should be consistent with those for other subjects.
* The Physical Education Framework, as adopted by the State Board of Education, should serve as the basis for developing school curricula in physical education, grades K-12. The Curriculum Guidelines for Physical Education Programs in California Community Colleges (1990) should serve as the basis for developing programs of physical education in the community colleges.
* Physical Education should be placed on the textbook adoption cycle by the State Board of Education, as is the case with other subjects commonly taught within K-12 schools. This would enable schools to secure textbooks for use in Physical Education classes, and for a review cycle to be established.
* Physical Education grades should be included by schools and colleges in calculating the overall grade point average of students, as are all other subjects in 9-12 schools.
* Physical fitness is an important outcome of some physical education experiences, but should not be the sole focus of a quality, comprehensive physical education program.
* Achievement tests in Physical Education should be provided for and funded in a similar manner as other statewide assessment programs, and should accommodate the needs and limitations of the physically handicapped.
* Physical Education personnel and programs should be included in all plans for restructuring schools.
* Physical Education personnel and programs should be included in all plans for charter schools.
* Physical Education and Health Education share some common content areas, but they should be treated as separate and distinct disciplines within the school curriculum.
* Physical Education and Athletics are not the same; therefore physical education credit should not be authorized for participation in athletics, unless individual physical education competencies have been successfully evaluated according to department, school, district and state standards.

We will continue to pay for Sam Johnson 'ready, fire, aim' approach and his desire to drive the curriculum into the ground as he attempt sto pay for a 7 period day.
We will have him around until 2008!
See what our duly elected trustees did at a quiet October board meeting. SCARY -- and Mark Avelar is his sounding board - let's pay for more PE and less academics!
"It was moved by Trustee Griffin and seconded by Trustee Prewett that the Board of Trustees extend the Superintendent's contract from June 30, 2006, to June 30, 2008, and approve an increase to the Superintendent's salary for 2005-2006 at the
percentage approved for the management team. The motion carried unanimously. "
VOTE NO on a parcel tax or a bond issue!!


Sam Johnson and the SMUHSD are focused upon destroying our high school sports programs. First they took away the althletic coaching period for on campus coaches and now they are making students wait longer to start practice.

Has anyone seen their child's school schedule for the 2006-07 school year? Schools will now operate longer hours (BHS will run from 8:00 to 3:07 and expect this to expand to 3:15) and high school athletes are being punished by forcing practice and game times to start after the school day ends. The SMUHSD has mandated that no athletic practice shall begin until after the end of 7th period . At most schools this will be 3:15. Student athletes normally begin practice at 2:00 p.m. While pushing athletics after school follows the catholic school model, the district failed to investigate the fact that these private schools end instruction between 2:00 and 2:20. There is NO academic advantage to this plan, in fact, it will most likely hurt student athletes by pushing homework time one hour later into the evening.

As Drumsong has stated above, Johnson's motto "shoot first, aim later" or "ready, fire, aim" are sinking the SMUHSD. Why hasn't his information been discussed with the public?

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

About the Voice

  • The Burlingame Voice is dedicated to informing and empowering the Burlingame community. Our blog is a public forum for the discussion of issues that relate to Burlingame, California. On it you can read and comment on important city issues.

    Note: Opinions posted on the Burlingame Voice Blog are those of the poster and not necessarily the opinion of the editorial board of the Burlingame Voice. See Terms of Use

Contributing to the Voice

  • If you would like more information on the Burlingame Voice, send an email to editor@burlingamevoice.com with your request or question. We appreciate your interest.

    Authors may login here.

    For help posting to the Voice, see our tutorial.