High school paid $3k for communication workshop


The San Benito High School District agreed to pay $3,000 for a Saturday workshop focusing on communication between trustees and the superintendent, plus a day of interviews leading up to the event, according to records obtained by the Free Lance.
The district contracted with Consultant Michael Crass, of Dave Long & Associates, for work completed Jan. 8 and Jan. 9. The workshop ended with the superintendent, consultant and board members heading into a closed session that violated the Brown Act—the state’s open meetings law—because it was not placed on the agenda with appropriate prior notice.
The Friday before the workshop, Crass was set to interview and have discussions with Superintendent John Perales, each board member, cabinet members and site administrators individually, according to the agreement.
The themes of the nearly four-hour workshop on the following day included concerns about communication and trust; talk of how different personalities affect approaches to work; and the consultant’s suggestion that the school board create a compact outlining practices and including regular self-evaluations.
Going forward, Crass offered the possibilities of meetings every month or two for an hour or so; coaching and mentoring with Perales through monthly meetings or phone calls; and a half- or full-day meeting six months out to evaluate progress.

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