The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education gathered last week for what might have been the shortest board meeting in SMMUSD history.
Though it was short in duration, Thursday’s meeting, which lasted a mere 48 minutes and was the first in Malibu since November, featured discussions related to SMMUSD’s recent mural meetings, a pair of resolutions and the death of two former principals each had a tremendous impact on the district and its students.
After student representatives spoke on the happenings at local high schools, Superintendent Ben Drati took a moment to inform attendees on the recent mural meetings that were led by Jane Golden.
“Last week for three days, we hosted muralist Jane Golden and two members of her team from Mural Arts in Philadelphia,” Drati said, mentioning the process included a presentation, small group meetings with members of the community and a group discussion that allowed residents a chance to discuss a few future ideas for the mural.
“Jane will be presenting us with a recap of her findings and recommendations (and) I can’t stress enough how lucky we are as a district and community to have Jane playing a key role in these discussions,” Drati added. The district is waiting for her report but Golden was 100 percent certain that the mural must come down and the walls must be properly prepared for whatever may come next.
Board president Jon Kean said a video and notes of the meeting will be posted online to the district’s website soon.
Shortly after the conclusion of the superintendent’s report, residents were then allowed to discuss issues related to Samohi’s tennis team, vaccines and other issues of importance during the meeting’s public comment section.
With no discussion items on the agenda, the board then moved to approve two resolutions — the first of which pertained to Black History Month.
Board member Maria Leon-Vazquez excitedly read the second resolution of the night, which sought to recognize the month of February as Career Technical Education Month.
“Now, therefore be it resolved, Leon-Vazquez said while she read the resolution, “that the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education adopts this resolution to: recognize February as Career and Technical Education Month across the United States; support the goals and ideals of Career and Technical Education Month; recognize the importance of career and technical education in preparing a well-educated and skilled workforce; and encourage educators, counselors and administrators to promote career and technical education as an option for students.”
A brief moment of silence was held to honor a pair of former local principals before the board adjourned and returned to closed session.