Windsor Unified School District School Board Meeting

Legal opinion sought on who can donate, and how they can be recognized

The regular meeting of the Windsor Unified School District Board of Trustees on Sept. 10 had several smaller items on the table, in order to have time to conduct the facilities workshop later in the evening. (see article)

Director of Educational Services Lisa Saxon provided the board with legal clarification on board policies covering the interplay of donations given to the district and the types of businesses whose products cannot be promoted in the school setting. In an area where wineries, breweries and more recently cannabis operations can often dominate the local business landscape, clarification was needed.

According to Saxon, the legal opinion on sponsorship and donations from those types of businesses is that while it is certainly possible to accept donations from anyone, promotion, such as a banner thanking them for their donation featuring their name and logo, would not be allowed. So, donations can be accepted, but the normal acknowledgements a donor or sponsor might receive are closed to those types of businesses.

Saxon also said that in addition, allowing some or one of those business an opportunity then opens the door to require the district to accept other such businesses.

“We are not supposed to be promoting the use or sale of items — tobacco, intoxicants, movies or products — unsuitable for children,” she said. “The legal opinion is that if we allow a brewery, we can’t deny a cannabis dispensary, therefore we cannot, under this policy, advertise alcohol on campus. There other districts in the county who subscribe to and download the same policies we do and the choice is to gamble a little bit (but) the legal opinion is no.”

All of these restrictions however have no bearing on receiving and promoting donations or sponsorships from nonprofit or foundation wings of businesses, even if the title of the business is still in the name of the foundation.

Another point of legal clarification is that for legal school use purposes, a winery and a vineyard are institutionally the same.

“Specifically, (the) example given was that grapes can be grown for raisins or grape juice, and response from legal is that that is not the common view of grapevines in Sonoma County,” Saxon said.

The final item requiring legal clarification was, given the restrictions on the promotion of those harmful substances, could the district accept donations from fundraisers where alcohol was served, or sold, donated and/or auctioned off. The legal consensus was that it would be allowed with a small change in the current wording of the policy, by altering  line in the policy to say “ ... promote the use of violent drugs tobacco, or inappropriate use of alcohol ...” (bold indicates addition of language).

Finally, it was determined that while the district could not promote any businesses, the businesses would be able to promote their involvement, by having photos or other items in their own establishments; for example the way the local Applebee’s often has photos of local schools’ sports teams on its walls.  

Sidebar:

Dribs and Drabs from WUSD

Cali Calmecac will be holding it’s annual Moveathon on Sept. 28 from 2 to 5 p.m., and this year’s theme is Making Cali Greener. The project planned for the funds raised is give each classroom at Cali its own library. The goal is to raise $75,000.

Cali is also endeavoring to hold Walk & Roll to school days more frequently, and will be holding them on Wednesdays. In September, they will be held Sept. 18 and 25 from 7:45 to 8:15 a.m.

Cali is also hoping to find additional sponsorship for their robotics team, which took home three trophies at last year’s Sonoma County Office of Education Robotics Challenge. 

The Vineyard Academy at Windsor High School and Windsor Rotary are teaming up for a tri tip dinner fundraiser. The Tri Tip Tuesday Dinner Deal is a complete dinner for a family of four, including a tri tip roast, baked beans, salad, dinner rolls and cookies. Interested parties should a Dinner Deal ticket ($55 for a full meal or $25 for a la carte) and choose your pickup time slot (4 to 5 p.m., 5 to 6 p.m. or 6 to 7 p.m.) on Tuesday, Oct. 8. All tickets for meals are pre-sold and orders will be brought to your car in the circular driveway in front of Windsor High School. Proceeds fund purchase of equipment and supplies for the Vineyard Academy at Windsor High School and the Windsor Rotary Community Foundation scholarships for Windsor High School students. Order at https://windsorrotary.ejoinme.org/tri-tip-tuesday.

Mattie Washburn will be having a Beautification Day on Saturday, Sept. 21 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Community members are encouraged to come by and help add some landscaping and art to the campus.

The grand opening of the new Windsor High School Football Stadium is on Sept. 27, starting at 5:30 p.m. There will be community speakers before the Lady Jag Bowl wherein the junior and senior girls play flag football. This will be followed by the Homecoming Parade and Pep Rally around the Town Green on Sept. 28. The Windsor High School Homecoming game takes place on Friday, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. The Homecoming Dance is Oct. 5 from 7 to 10 p.m.

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