Castaic Board to review policies for independent consultants, contractors

Castaic Union School District Building. Dan Watson/The Signal

Thursday’s Castaic Union School District Governing Board meeting is expected to include a discussion about the district’s policy and procedures for using independent consultants and contractors.

The discussion comes a little more than a week after the district discovered that an independent contractor with the “Flutes Across the World” program allegedly placed bodily fluids, possibly seminal fluids, on flutes used by students involved in the program.

On Sept. 30, the district discovered that it was one of 23 school districts throughout Southern California, including the Saugus Union School District, who participated in the program with the music specialist.  It is unknown if the flutes used by the district were contaminated.

According to the Castaic District, the “Flutes Across the World” program was only at Castaic Elementary during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school year.  However, the music specialist also provided assemblies at Live Oak Elementary and at Northlake Hills Elementary during the same time.

The district assured parents that the independent contractor was never alone with students without teacher supervision, as is district policy.

The investigation spearheaded by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service is still ongoing; however, the Governing Board is expected to review its own policies during its regular meeting.

According to the current Board Policy, the district only contracts services that cannot be performed by district employees or by a public agency or official free of charge.

Typically, consultants provide “expert professional advice or specialized technical or training services” to staff and students during their contract period.

These consultants must submit a written conflict of interest statement disclosing their financial interests and their contract must be submitted to the Governing Board for approval.

Additional Agenda Items

  • Approve of field trips for Castaic Elementary School and Live Oak Elementary School
  • Conduct a first reading to adopt a revised exhibit: Employee Notifications
  • Conduct a first reading to adopt revised administrative regulations: Personal Illness/Injury Leave (Certificated); Personal Leaves; and Education for Juvenile Court School Students
  • Conduct a first reading to delete an administrative regulation and adopt a revised board policy and new administrative regulation: Student Records
  • Approve of a 2017-18 individual student instruction contract with Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes to provide 240 hours of 1:1 instruction services for a student at the Westwood Learning Center
  • Approve of purchase agreement for an American Modular Building From Volunteers of America, Los Angeles (VOALA) totaling $150,000
  • Approve of transfer of $175,000 from Fund 52.1 to 49.1 to purchase the building currently owned by Volunteers of America, Los Angeles (VOALA)

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