October 3, 2008

Behind-Schedule Bonita School Projects Expected to Catch Up

By Wes Woods II

SAN DIMAS - Modernization efforts of local schools were detailed with photos and presentations Wednesday night at the Bonita Unified School District board of education meeting.

Two schools, Allen Avenue and Gladstone Elementary schools, were two weeks behind schedule, but the board and project managers did not appear concerned.

Board president Chuck Coyne said he was not concerned and told project manager Roy Combs of Bernards that "we've seen you catch up two weeks" on previous jobs.

Combs, whose company provides builders and management services, told members to not worry because issues of correcting design and unforeseen walls were behind them.

"Sometimes they're just slow," Combs told the board.

Gladstone, Coyne said, had tile that was not laid flat, and there were "high spots on the tile," but Bernards representatives said contractors were headed back to fix the problem.

Coyne added the construction area recently was the site of a copper theft, but the representatives said they had changed the installation of plumbing to combat the thieves.

"It's a sign of the times," Combs told the board about the theft.

In other action, the board passed the first reading of a revamped policy on head lice.

Board member Jim Elliot said after the head lice item was announced "everyone is going to start doing this," before he paused and scratched his head with both hands with a grin.

The policy, which was to send students with head lice home until they were nit-free, was changed.

"It was difficult to get nits, or eggs, out of the hair," said Lois Klein, assistant superintendent of educational services.

The policy has been changed to allow those with nits, but not head lice, the opportunity to come back to school.

"If it's active, they're referred home for treatment," Klein said.

The new policy has the endorsement of the California Department of Public Health, The American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Association of School Nurses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the California School Boards Association, Klein said.

Klein also said there is no evidence that a no-nit policy prevents or shortens lengths of outbreaks.

The head-lice item passed unanimously.

Board members also discussed Ekstrand, La Verne Heights and Roynon elementary schools and Ramona Middle School.

An earlier presentation on summer-maintenance projects districtwide addressed improvements that included window replacement at Roynon; an extended walkway at San Dimas High School; asphalt resurfacing at Ekstrand Elementary, and air conditioning at La Verne Heights Elementary, among other improvements.

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