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San Marino Unified School District

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The City Council delayed judgment of an appeal to a future date, in part to push the applicants to actually get input from a number of neighbors regarding a reality television series the applicants hope to film at a home.
In its meeting last week, the council also punted on an appeal for a mixed-use building proposed to be built along Mission Street, instead opting to schedule a de novo hearing at a later date. The city is expected to argue that the project should be denied because it could not pass a plan check in the event it was approved, at least as currently designed.
The four applicants for the denied filming permit — Rosemary Lay, Julie Chan Lin, Alice Shyu and Weni Wilson — are in the meantime tasked with revisiting a number of homes within a 500-foot radius of their own houses they deemed to be unoccupied in their initial surveys. Additionally, the city staff report indicated that they overlooked some required homes entirely in their initial surveying.

Barbara Franks Bice

Longtime local resident Barbara Franks Bice has been appointed to the board of directors at Muse/ique, a Pasadena-based pioneering live music organization which holds a summer events series at The Huntington.
The board, chaired by philanthropist LeeAnn Havner, provides leadership in carrying out Muse/ique’s mission of making music accessible to all through adventurous and meaningful programming, an effort continued throughout the pandemic with drive-in concerts, lawn serenades, and “In a Minute! (…or Two!)” video series, which recently surpassed 100 episodes.
Also joining the board are Christine Swanson and Jonathan Weedman.
“To serve as chair of Muse/ique’s board of directors is to be part of an inspiring and passionate team,” said Havner. “With much enthusiasm, we welcome to the board our newest members — Barbara Franks Bice, Chirstine Swanson and Jonathan Weedman — all of whom bring a breadth of experience and expertise that will help bring to fruition Muse/ique’s adventurous plans for the future.”

The San Marino educational community is mobilizing its response to the defeat of Measure E, the parcel tax which raised more than $4 million annually for the district’s schools.
At its meeting on Tuesday evening, the San Marino school board was expected to approve a resolution calling for the elimination of 41 teaching and advisory positions in order to balance the budget for the 2021-22 school year. By law, the district must provide layoff notices for the upcoming school year to employees by Monday, March 15. The call has also gone out to the San Marino Schools Foundation [SMSF], an organization which is typically enlisted for duty during times of financial duress.

Photo by Mitch Lehman / TRIBUNE
In what was San Marino High School’s first CIF athletic competition in about 11 months, senior Peyton Talt finished second in last week’s Rio Hondo League cross country meet.

Last Thursday’s Rio Hondo League cross-country meet was rife with missteps and miscommunications, but after the eleven-and-a-half months that preceded it, it’s safe to say that nobody cared in the least.
The only thing that mattered was that it took place at all.
“This helps bring back our sanity,” declared Angus Leung, San Marino High School’s cross-country coach, as runners assembled at the starting line.
Since the San Marino Unified School District closed its campuses on the ominous date of Friday, March 13, 2020, and shut down all in-person extracurricular activities, athletes, their families and coaches have ridden the roller coaster of all roller coasters anticipating their return. That day arrived last Thursday, Feb. 25, following a series of scheduled starting dates that went wanting while the pesky coronavirus persisted.
But that all came to an end, at least for now, as San Marino High School’s harriers donned their royal blue uniforms and took to the trails of Pasadena’s Hahamongna Watershed Park to celebrate the return of sports. Due to the socially distanced nature of their sport, Titan runners were able to train almost uninterrupted and have held student-only workouts since last summer.
On the picturesque three-mile course, senior Peyton Talt blazed to a finish of 20 minutes, 31 seconds to finish second overall in the girls’ varsity race. Junior Anya Tang (seventh place, 21:59), junior Katelyn Hansa (23:49), senior Avery Page (24:12) and senior Lily Tong (24:47) locked up second place behind South Pasadena.
The Titan boys’ varsity didn’t have enough members to record a team score as two runners were unaware of a turn during the race and ended up chopping off a substantial distance. Junior Gavin O’Malley successfully made it from start to finish to pace the Titans, finishing 12th overall in 20 minutes, 11 seconds. Freshman Taylor Tan had a strong first outing with a clocking of 23:26 to display promise for the future.

Measure E, the parcel tax that raises $4 million annually for schools within the boundaries of the San Marino Unified School District, had fallen behind the pace needed for victory following an initial ballot count that was taken after polls closed on Tuesday evening at 8 p.m.
At The Tribune’s press deadline, Measure E had received 1,850 yes votes (62.82%) with 1,095 votes in opposition, or 37.18%. The parcel tax required two-thirds approval by the more than 10,400 registered voters who live within the boundaries of the school district to pass.
That tally included all votes that were received by day’s end Tuesday either via mail or in-person drop-off since the election began.

Carver 2nd-grade teacher Sherry Lee expresses a universal message to returning students.

“I am so excited … it’s my first time here in real life!”
“I have waited so long for this!”
The old adage declaring that “out of the mouths of babes oft come gems” was never more accurate than this past Monday morning when students were welcomed back to San Marino Unified School District campuses after almost a year away because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Two kindergartners were overheard vocalizing these two nuggets as students in transitional kindergarten through 2nd grade came back to Valentine and Carver Elementary schools. The event was rife with uncommon sights such as students having their temperatures checked and directional signage encouraging social distancing, but after months away from their friends and teachers, nobody was upset by it.
“What a remarkable day,” exclaimed Valentine Elementary School Principal Alana Fauré. “We had 134 children come back to school with confidence and excitement. They couldn’t wait to meet their teachers for the first time in-person.”
Fauré reported that, thankfully, the extended time away from campus may not have affected one fundamental tenet of youth.

The San Marino Unified School District discussed a strategy to bring students back to its campuses as early as Monday, Feb. 22, at its most recent school board meeting on Feb. 9. If implemented, the plan would reinstate at least partial in-
person education for students in transitional kindergarten through 2nd grade at Valentine and Carver Elementary schools.
The plan was fortified when the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced on Monday that they expect the state’s COVID-19 case threshold to reach the predetermined limit that had been deemed safe by health officials.
“The state permits elementary schools to reopen as soon as we reach an adjusted case rate of 25 per 100,000,” the public health department said in its news release. “We are informing Los Angeles County schools via an emailed letter that we expect to announce we have reached this threshold effective Tuesday, Feb. 16.”

Voters within San Marino city limits and the boundaries of the San Marino Unified School District can expect to receive their ballots this week for Measure E, the parcel tax that raises $4 million annually.
The special election will be held on Tuesday, March 2, by mail-in ballot. In order to be counted, ballots must be postmarked no later than that date.
Measure E raises $968 per parcel, adjusted by the lesser of the Los Angeles Statistical Area Consumer Price Index or 3%, including commercial properties within the boundaries of the school district.
First approved by voters in 2009 for a six-year term, the parcel tax was renewed in 2015 and is scheduled to expire in June. If Measure E receives the required two-thirds vote this year, taxpayers will be charged in perpetuity, as the six-year sunset clause has been removed from the ballot. The official ballot statement says that the tax will be assessed in each fiscal year “until ended by voters.” Voters 65 years of age and older can apply for an exemption.
Measure E funds 35 full-time equivalent teaching positions, which will be eliminated if the parcel tax is not passed, according to the SMUSD.
A second school parcel tax — Measure R — is scheduled to sunset in June 2025. First approved by voters in 1991, Measure R generates $1.6 million annually at $366 per parcel and also includes all parcels and commercial properties located within the city of San Marino as well as the boundaries of the SMUSD. Measure R currently carries a six-year term and requires two-thirds approval by voters.