Schools & Education

SBHS Trustees Make Their New Trustee Area Boundary Maps Pick

The board decided to go with the "Blue" trustee boundary map.
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San Benito High School board of trustees conducted their final hearing and made a decision on which draft trustee boundary maps they would be adopting at the Nov. 15 meeting. After months of discussion and input from community members, board trustees decided to adopt the "Blue" map, recommended by local LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) representatives.  

The agenda item was first introduced by SBHS attorney William Tunick of Dannis, Woliver, Kelley (DWK) in February. During the February meeting community members and members of LULAC said current board members were not representative of the districts, the community, or the current student population prompting the board to adopt a resolution at the Aug. 22 meeting indicating their intent to re-draw district boundaries and transition from at-large elections to by-trustee area elections, according to the laws set by the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA). During the months of September, October, and November the board held a series of public hearings in which the community was invited to voice their questions and concerns over the three proposed maps.  

During public comment Hollister City Councilwoman Mickie Solorio Luna thanked the board for taking the time to discuss the maps. Luna voiced her opinion in favor of the blue map at the Oct. 24 meeting citing favorable turnout numbers among Latino voters as one of the reasons.  

"…the blue map actually puts the Latino citizen (of) voting age above 50 percent in three districts and the turnout is above 50 percent in only one district but there is always a need for improvement and voter registration and voter participation in this community." Luna said at the October meeting.    

Tunick addressed the board on what the next steps would be saying, "the resolution essentially becomes a proposal to the county committee of the school district organization." 

He said the committee would then hold a public hearing and "they would formally approve the maps," adding "the final steps beyond that, that would come back to the board, would be a request to the state board of education to waive the election requirements."  

The trustee area maps would be used in the 2018 elections.  

P.E. Waiver  

In other board meeting news, board trustees adopted a resolution to change the P.E. requirements from two consecutive classes, freshman and sophomore year, to one being taken freshman year and the other taken at any other time during the student’s high school career. There will continue to be no sports waiver and passing or not passing the Physical Fitness Test will not affect the number of P.E. courses taken.   

The board took a look at the requirement after it was presented at a meeting in January by the  San Benito High School administrative team. During the meeting they said the current requirement "bottlenecks" students their sophomore year and does not allow them to take an additional support course or elective. 

Assistant Principal Claire Grissom said a sophomore following the A-G requirements takes English, math, science, social science, world language, and a P.E. course, leaving no room for electives or support courses unless the student elected to take a seven-period day. 

Board Recognition of Athletics Teams 

The board also recognized the boys' water polo, girls' volleyball and girls' cross country teams during the meeting.  

Girls' Cross Country won their eighth consecutive MBL (Monterey Bay League) Championship. Varsity Boys' water polo won their league title and junior varsity had an undefeated season. All three Girls' Volleyball teams, freshman, junior varsity, and varsity went undefeated, 36-0.  

Laura Romero

Laura Romero has been a reporter and handled marketing/social media for BenitoLink. She has covered education and city government. Formerly, she worked as an assistant account executive at Pembroke PR in San Francisco, where she assisted with press outreach, event coordination, and social media planning. With her PR skills, she has helped to implement social media strategies and develop online giving campaigns for BenitoLink. Laura continues to contribute to BenitoLink on a freelance basis.