Cypress School District won’t adjust calendars, prepares to move

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This is the new school district office of Cypress SChoool District.

With little explanation, the Cypress School District Board of Trustees pulled the controversial item regarding a vote on returning Landell Elementary to its year-round scheduling from the board’s agenda, and parents of students who pushed for the reversion say now there is little more they can do.

Hundreds of parents had signed an online petition before the most recent Cypress School District meeting asking the board to return the year-round schedule to the elementary school which had been changed to a more traditional school schedule during the pandemic.
According to Cypress School District Supt. Anne Silavs, the Landell scheduling change was required to allow for the seamless transition of students between all six district schools, as the district tried to resume instruction during the pandemic.

“We have to put the needs of our families first,” she said then.

Despite the petition and a brisk email exchange with Brittney Cook, head of the school’s Parent Teacher Association, the superintendent’s position was little changed.

She claims there is still too much uncertainty to allow Landell to revert back to year-round scheduling while the other five schools operate on a traditional schedule.

“We just have to make scheduling adjustments,” to accommodate the pandemic, said Silavs in a follow-up interview after the board meeting.

She again insisted that all schools follow the same scheduling in the event that the pandemic requires seamless transitioning during the upcoming school year.

According to Silavs, however, the Landell year-round scheduling will eventually return, just not next year. “This is a temporary change,” said Silavs, saying again that the Landell scheduling “is not permanent.”

Silavs said she fully expects the year-round scheduling that parents at the school have enjoyed for three decades will return once the threat of the pandemic has largely passed.
While the other five schools within the Cypress School District operate on a “traditional” school calendar, Landell has operated for nearly three decades on what is more or less a year-round calendar, providing students with fewer massive gaps in instruction.

“There’s nothing more we can do,” said Cook this week. “They (Cypress School District) aren’t willing to work with us and it’s clear there’s no changing their minds,” she said.
“I just hope our community keeps all of this in mind come election time. Our school board really should have done more in this situation.”

Meanwhile, the Cypress School District is also planning its big move, having sold the property on which the administrative buildings now stand, using the funds to purchase a modern office building that is currently being renovated to accommodate the CSD’s administrative staff.

Silavs said the board is planning to move during the summer.

At the board’s most recent meeting, they approved several agreements facilitating the move to the district’s new administrative headquarters at 5816 Corporate Avenue in Cypress:

• Corporate Avenue Tenant Improvements Project: M.P. South, Inc. will perform office space improvements to allow the district’s administrative headquarters to relocate by the fall of 2021. The total project cost of $2,128,613.50 will be paid from the special reserve for capital outlay fund.

• Corporate Avenue Electrical and Low Voltage Improvements Project: ICS Service Company will perform electrical and low voltage work (data lines, fire alarms, etc.) at the Corporate Avenue building. The total project cost of $1,170,039.94 will be paid from the special reserve for capital outlay fund.The Cypress School District Board approved the following items related to the new Maintenance/Operations, Transportation, and Technology (MOTT) facility planned for the former Christine Swain Elementary School site:

• California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Exemption: The Board held a public hearing to receive comments from the community prior to considering adoption of a resolution declaring the project as exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act. There were no speakers for the public hearing, and the Board subsequently adopted the resolution finding the project exempt and directing staff to file a Notice of Exemption.

• Architectural Services Agreement: Ghataode Bannon Architects will provide architectural design services for conversion of the closed Swain campus for use by the district’s MOTT department. The total cost of $177,900 will be paid from the special reserve for capital outlay fund.

In order to provide for internet and wide area network connectivity, the Board approved contracting with Spectrum Enterprise for wide area network connectivity districtwide for three years at a monthly cost of $6,260, which will be offset by a 50% E-rate discount reimbursement.

Finally, the Cypress School District also approved the mandatory annual audit of its finances and pupil attendance procedures. The Board received the 2019/20 audit report from Nigro & Nigro, PC, which revealed no findings or exceptions.