by Garth Meyer
The Redondo Unified School District April 25 discussed whether it should exit the city charter and move its elections to November – opening a chance for no term-limits and a change from at-large seats to those by district.
The item was brought for discussion by boardmember Rolf Strutzenberg.
Last fall, the city charter review committee voted 6-1 to recommend that school board positions switch from at-large to by district/trustee area (not necessarily the same as city council districts).
“A school district doesn’t have to be in the city charter,” said Strutzenberg, who is also the president of the city charter review committee. “(As is) we can’t contradict the city charter, as a school board.”
Taking the schools out of the charter would move RBUSD elections to even years in November, instead of odd years in March as is the practice of the city.
Redondo Unified would pay the cost of its elections. Term limits would lapse, if not instituted by the city charter, though the school district could vote to set limits themselves.
“In general, is there a desire by this board to (do any of this)?” Strutzenberg asked.
Los Angeles County would administer the school board elections.
Boardmember Raymur Flinn proposed further discussion at a later date.
“So we can do some research on what this would cost,” she said.
“District-based feels like a much more divisive way to do it,” said Boardmember Dan Elder. “… With boardmembers representing different schools (in their area of the city)… Ranked-choice voting can serve to specifically show that no minority vote is stifled.”
Discussion continued. The item will return on a future agenda.
The matter was just the start of a discussion, which it will remain until it is made an action item – if and when the board wants it to be.
E-sports wraps up year two at RBUSD
Redondo Union finished year two of e-sports in April with 17 middle school teams and six from the high school.
Superintendent Dr. Nicole Wesley was in attendance for the last match at the RUHS auditorium against Mira Costa.
She reported to the school board that the program hits on all three goals of a district endeavor: academic achievement, social-emotional learning and post-secondary preparedness.
The middle school kids played “Rocket League,” a game akin to cars playing soccer in an arena. High schoolers competed at “Valorant”; a first-person shooter game set in the near future in which plainclothes participants – as the attacking or defending team – advance, strategize and shoot each other with guns ranging from sidearms to assault rifles.
E-sports are funded by a $75,000 grant from the Redondo Beach Education Foundation.
“The program is really valuable,” said an RBEF representative to the school board April 25, citing STEM learning.
“E-sports was fantastic,” said Boardmember Dan Elder, who also attended the face-off with Mira Costa, won by the Mustangs.
“We hope to get more participation next year,” Wesley said.
RBUSD looks to add video game design classes
The Redondo Beach school board last week approved, pending local Proposition 28 funding, three video game design classes for the high school curriculum, by a 5-0 vote.
“We heard loud and clear, 21st century arts looks like game design,” said Susan Wildes. assistant superintendent, educational services, referring to district research for the project.
No teacher has been hired. Classes are slated start in 2024-25.
“They are not for the faint of heart. They are very, very robust courses,” said Wildes. “This expands our CTE (career and technical education) offerings.”
Proposition 28, passed by state voters last November, requires a certain minimum annual funding of arts education.
Districts have not yet been informed specifically how much money they will receive for its first year in effect.
Board chooses new officers
New officers for the Redondo Unified school board are Rachel Silverman Nemeth, president; Raymur Flinn; vice president and Dan Elder, presiding officer. The board voted April 25 for the new roles.
Silverman Nemeth, as previous vice-president, ran the last two meetings after the the conclusion of former president David Witkin’s two terms on the board.
Pancake breakfast and co-ed flag football
The Redondo Union High School football program will hold a pancake breakfast and co-ed flag football tournament May 20 at Sea Hawk Stadium. Proceeds benefit RUHS football, the girls flag football team and RUHS cheerleaders.
Tickets are $10 per person, age 3 and under are free.
“We are excited about the new flag football tournament, and are looking forward to an event that everyone in the community can enjoy,” said Keith Ellison, RUHS head coach.
Money raised is slated to go toward new uniforms.
RBEF annual fundraiser approaches
The Redondo Beach Education Foundation will hold its “RBEF Light up the Night: Casino Royale” fundraiser event May 12 at the Portofino Hotel. Tickets are available at www.RBEF.org/gala.ER