CONCORD -- With its July break coming up, the Mt. Diablo school board scheduled a special meeting next Monday to approve their 2013-14 budget and consider a few other issues.

And once they come back from vacation in August, the board will meet on Wednesdays rather than Mondays. The trustees approved the change by a 3-2 vote, with Lynne Dennler and Brian Lawrence voting no. The change of meeting date means staff has until Friday to publish the agendas.

The board also appointed Cathy Chan as principal of Shore Acres Elementary in Bay Point and Linn Kissinger as principal of Ygnacio Valley Elementary in Concord, filling two of three vacant positions. The board also appointed Juliana Sikes as an administrator of school support, filling one of two vacant positions in that district department.

But the board postponed until Monday a decision on an agreement with the Eagle Peak charter elementary school regarding a temporary building, and approval of a new high school environmental science course and textbook.

Interim Superintendent John Bernard told the board that he is working on a plan for increasing district graduation requirements from 200 to 230 units, and that he will bring it before the board for approval in August. He said the changes will be phased in to accommodate students who are already in high school working toward the lower requirement.

"You can't suddenly jump up and say, 'Oh, guess what, we were just kidding, and now you have to take more classes,'" he said. "That doesn't work well."

Bernard said students graduating next year would only need 200 units to graduate under the proposal. Those graduating in 2015 would need 210 units, those graduating in 2016 would need 220 units and those graduating in 2017 would need 230 units, he said.

Board President Cheryl Hansen reported that in closed session, trustees gave direction to staff regarding final settlement agreements with Superintendent Steven Lawrence and General Counsel Greg Rolen. Trustees agreed in April to terminate their contracts early.

The board has hired an interim General Counsel and hopes to hire a new superintendent by September.

more information
Additional details about the meeting are available by calling 925-682-8000 ext. 4000 or by visiting http://esbpublic.mdusd.k12.ca.us. Click on June 17.