Vehicle shade structures outfitted with solar panels coming to nine IUSD schools


Vehicle shade structures outfitted with energy-producing solar panels will be added to the parking lots of nine campuses, saving the district an additional $305,000 a year, following a vote this month by the IUSD Board of Education.

Board members voted 3-1 on Tuesday, July 10 to approve the second phase of IUSD’s ambitious solar initiative after removing three schools from consideration based on their proximity to local homes. Board president Michael Parham, who has spearheaded the district’s pursuit of solar energy, voted in favor of the plan, along with Sue Kuwabara and Carolyn McInerney. Gavin Huntley-Fenner dissented after advocating for the structures at five schools, and Sharon Wallin was not in attendance.

“This is an historic step for the Irvine Unified School District, which is now poised to leverage one of the largest solar deployments of any public school system in the United States,” Parham said after the meeting.

“As we continue to grapple with the state budget crisis, it is critical that we look for creative ways to maximize all of our existing resources,” he added. “This project essentially puts our rooftops and parking lots to work, generating significant savings that are unrestricted and available for educational priorities. At the same time, it’s the right thing to do for the environment, and it presents tremendous educational opportunities for our students.”

IUSD is already saving about $220,000 a year from the first phase of the project, which in 2010 and 2011 added photovoltaic tiles to the rooftops of 13 schools and vehicle shade structures to the parking lots of two additional district facilities. By entering into a mutually beneficial power-purchasing agreement with SunEdison, IUSD district paid no upfront capital costs.

The same will be true for phase two, which will place additional solar shade structures at Alderwood, Stonegate and Woodbury elementary schools; Vista Verde School, which is a K-8; Irvine, Northwood, University and Woodbridge high schools; and the new Jeffrey Trail Middle School.

The combined first-year savings for both phases is now projected at nearly $525,000, but the benefits extend beyond the budget. Phase one of the project produced enough energy to power 167 homes and had the equivalent impact of removing 378 cars from the road. Meanwhile, solar power was integrated into the district’s energy curriculum, and Irvine students have been able to monitor their own energy consumption in real time.

Based on these successes, a recommendation for a second phase was presented at the Board of Education’s May 15 meeting. But board members postponed the vote and asked for a greater effort to gauge community interest.

Mark Sontag, IUSD’s administrative lead on the project, said Tuesday that the district has since sent out nearly 8,800 fliers that encouraged feedback through an online input form on the IUSD website. The notices were mailed to homes within a quarter-mile radius of the proposed sites, as well as to residents in connecting neighborhoods. In addition, the district emailed nearly 19,000 residents, posted detailed information on its website and passed along updates via the IUSD NewsFlash, Facebook and Twitter.

Of the nearly 28,000 communications sent out, the district received only 49 negative responses, Sontag said, and 30 of those referenced Oak Creek and Canyon View elementary schools, which were on the original list of sites under consideration.

Board members ultimately removed Oak Creek, Canyon View and Sierra Vista Middle School from consideration, citing their proximity to nearby homes.

The Orange County Register also has the story here.


IUSD sends out notices encouraging the public to weigh in on second phase of solar project


At the direction of its Board of Education, the Irvine Unified School District has mailed out thousands of fliers encouraging local residents to weigh in on a proposal to add vehicle shade structures outfitted with energy-generating solar panels to a dozen Irvine campuses.

Information has also been added to the IUSD homepage, which now links to a more robust webpage with details on the plan, renderings of each site and an online comment form. The idea is to generate as much community feedback as possible by the July 4 deadline. The board, meanwhile, is expected to vote on the matter six days later.

IUSD added solar tiles to the rooftops of 13 schools in 2010 and 2011, and vehicle shade structures topped with the photovoltaic panels were constructed at two district sites, including the District Office. The district paid no upfront capital costs for these projects and is now saving about $220,000 annually thanks to a mutually beneficial power-purchasing agreement with SunEdison.

proposed second phase of this initiative would place additional vehicle shade structures in the parking lots of up to a dozen IUSD campuses. In addition to the environmental and curricular benefits, Phase 2 would reduce energy spending by another $380,000 a year, with a projected 20-year savings of between $5 million and $11 million, officials said. Those dollars would be  unrestricted, meaning they could help offset further operational cuts during California’s fiscal crisis.

Acknowledging the potential upside, the Board of Education wants to make sure the structures are also a good fit with their local neighborhoods, and they’re hoping to gauge the community’s level of support before moving forward.

At its June 6 meeting, the board approved a comprehensive communications plan to get the word out and solicit feedback on the vehicle shade structures. Staff was directed to mail notices to residents within a quarter-mile radius of the sites being considered, as well as other homes that share a neighborhood with those in the quarter-mile zone. In addition, board members asked that more detailed information be posted online and sent out through the district’s Facebook and Twitter sites.

If you’d like to learn more about the plan, or if you wish to leave your comments, click here. All submissions received on or before July 4 will be reviewed by staff and presented to the board, which is expected to vote on the plan at its July 10 meeting.


Board Briefs: IUSD looks to get the word out and collect input on proposed solar canopies


The IUSD Board of Education on Tuesday approved an expanded communications plan to solicit feedback on a proposal to harness solar power at up to 12 additional Irvine campuses.

In the days and weeks ahead, the district will mail notices to residents and neighborhoods within a quarter-mile radius of the dozen sites being considered for parking canopies outfitted with solar panels, and more detailed information will be posted on the IUSD website, which already features an online input form. We’ll also continue to post updates here on the IUSD NewsFlash, as well as Facebook and Twitter.

You may recall that the proposal represents the second phase of an ambitious campaign to save money, promote sustainability and bolster IUSD’s energy curriculum by leveraging solar power districtwide.

The first phase, which added rooftop photovoltaic panels and parking lot canopies to 13 schools and two district sites in 2010 and 2011, is now producing $220,000 in annual savings through a power-purchasing agreement with SunEdison. In addition, Irvine students are able to track their school’s energy consumption in real time as part of a new curricular component.

Phase 2 now centers on 12 schools that were unable to accommodate rooftop solar panels. The board is specifically deciding whether to place vehicle shade structures outfitted with energy-producing solar tiles in the parking lots of Alderwood, Canyon View, Oak Creek, Stonegate and Woodbury elementary schools; Vista Verde School; Sierra Vista Middle School; Irvine, Northwood, University and Woodbridge high schools; and the new Jeffrey Trail Middle School. (To access renderings of the proposals, or to make suggestions via IUSD’s online input form, click here.)

The projected savings from Phase 2 is approximately $380,000 a year, with a 20-year savings of between $5 million and $11 million.

Though the second phase came up for a vote in May, board members took note of the limited public response and questioned whether more could have been done to generate feedback before asking staff to bring back a recommendation for new communication strategies.

Mark Sontag, IUSD’s administrative lead on the project, presented that recommendation on Tuesday, as well as a revised list of the schools under consideration. Among the suggested notification strategies was a proposal to send fliers to all addresses and homeowners’ associations within a quarter-mile radius of each school. Board members favored casting an even larger net, directing the district to include other homes that share a neighborhood with those in the quarter-mile zone. After a discussion that included comments from members of the public, the motion passed.

Sontag said the additional feedback will be collected and tallied over the next few weeks. Phase 2 of IUSD’s solar initiative is expected to be brought to the board for a vote on July 10.

Also on Tuesday, the board honored this year’s Classified Employees of the Year, recognized the 2011-12 student board members and capped a year’s worth of facilities work with the approval of a comprehensive Facilities Master Plan, which was crafted to guide building and modernization decisions over the next 10 to 20 years.


Board Briefs: Board continues solar proposal, ratifies agreement with potential furloughs


Calling for a greater effort to notify neighboring communities, the IUSD Board of Education continued a proposal to add canopies topped with solar panels to the parking lots of 11 Irvine schools.

The proposal under consideration Tuesday night represented the second phase of the district’s ambitious plan to leverage solar power districtwide. The first phase, which added rooftop panels to 13 schools and parking lot canopies to two district sites in 2010 and 2011, has produced $220,000 in annual savings through a unique power-purchasing agreement with SunEdison.

Phase 2 specifically focused on 11 campuses that were unable to accommodate rooftop solar panels. A staff recommendation sought to place vehicle shade structures, outfitted with energy-producing photovoltaic tiles, in the parking lots of Alderwood, Canyon View, Oak Creek, Stonegate and Woodbury elementary schools; Vista Verde School; Sierra Vista Middle School; and Irvine, Northwood, University and Woodbridge high schools. (To access renderings of the proposals, or to weigh in via an online input form, click here.)

IUSD sent out notices, posted renderings on its website and held three community meetings in April. Yet the board pointed to a limited public response in questioning whether more could have been done to notify the community and draw feedback. Board members, acknowledging the financial and environmental benefits of additional solar tiles, directed staff to develop a more comprehensive notification plan to present at the next board meeting on June 5.

Board ratifies agreement with possible furloughs

The board ratified a tentative agreement between the district and the Irvine Teachers Association that includes potential furlough days with corresponding salary reductions for 2012-13.

Eamonn O’Donovan, assistant superintendent of human resources, praised ITA for its efforts to help address ongoing fiscal challenges, saying the negotiated agreement allows for as many as seven furlough days if state lawmakers and the governor impose additional cuts on public education. Should they prove necessary, these days would save the district money by effectively shortening the next school year for employees and students.

Meanwhile, budget news at the state level has gone from bad to worse in recent days. With tax receipts coming in lower than anticipated and some earlier cuts blocked by the federal government, Governor Jerry Brown said California’s deficit has nearly doubled to approximately $16 billion.

More cuts are planned in Sacramento, and to generate additional revenue Brown is advocating on behalf of a ballot initiative that would temporarily raise taxes for high-income earners and increase the sales tax by a half-cent through 2016. If that initiative passes in November, the governor said, schools would be held harmless with flat funding. If voters reject the tax increases, public schools would be cut by about $5.5 billion. That would translate into a loss of approximately $11.5 million for Irvine, according to John Fogarty, IUSD’s assistant superintendent of business services.

IUSD has set aside some funds and implemented a freeze on all non-essential spending to help blunt the impact of any midyear reductions. Still, even with these strategies in place, the district anticipates a shortfall of more than $5 million for 2012-13, prompting the employee negotiations for furlough days.

“It’s a testament to the relationship that we have with ITA that we can come to this kind of agreement when there’s so much uncertainty,” O’Donovan said Tuesday.

Other language changes in the agreement relate to working conditions, evaluations, summer school compensation and shared contracts.

Employees praised for service as retirements near

Also Tuesday, the board recognized the certificated, classified and administrative employees who are set to retire on or before June 30.

In all, 71 IUSD workers are set to retire this year, collectively representing more than 1,800 years of service. O’Donovan introduced those who were able to personally attend the meeting and praised them for their contributions. Each was presented with a small gift as a token of the district’s gratitude.

The retirees in attendance included Anne Caenn, DeAnn DeBey, Linda DeBoer, Renee Dix, Kathy Fredriksen, Darlene Grierson, Cathy Hogan, Vernita Hollman, Jack Houston, Liz Krogsdale, Sandy McHolm, Virginia Meinen, Karen Reaves, Mark Reider, Randy Rossi, Ann Shaw, Joanne Srsic, Debbie Wright and Gail Williams.


IUSD Board of Education to consider the second phase of ambitious solar effort


It’s been more than a year since IUSD held an activation ceremony to mark the installation of solar panels at 13 schools and a pair of support facilities, and the data that’s been gathered over the last 12 months is beyond encouraging.

The sustainable solar technology that was affixed to rooftops and parking lot shade structures in 2010 and 2011 is now producing about 1.9 megawatts of clean energy, with the district saving about $220,000 annually.

And there’s an opportunity for even more savings and greater environmental benefits.

That’s because the initial batch of photovoltaic panels represented the first phase of a potentially larger project. Next week, the IUSD Board of Education will consider a series of new proposals for round two.

If approved by the board on May 15, the second phase would add vehicle shade structures – or canopies, as they’re sometimes called – outfitted with energy-producing solar panels to the parking lots of up to 11 sites throughout IUSD.

The schools under consideration are Alderwood, Canyon View, Oak Creek, Stonegate and Woodbury elementary schools; Vista Verde School, which is a K-8; Sierra Vista Middle School; and Irvine, Northwood, University and Woodbridge high schools. (To access renderings of the proposals, or to weigh in via an online input form, click here.)

Again, these are merely proposals at this point, and it will be up to the Board of Education to decide whether to move forward at any or all of the proposed sites. But the new panels could generate even more clean energy and provide millions of dollars’ worth of additional savings over the long term without IUSD paying any upfront capital costs, according to Mark Sontag, IUSD’s administrative lead on the project.

Sontag, who also serves as the district’s coordinator of math and science, said Phase 2 has the potential to generate approximately 4.5 megawatts. If the entire project was approved by the board, the combined total for phases 1 and 2 would be 6.4 megawatts, which would represent the second largest solar deployment for a public school district in California. The first-year savings for Phase 2 alone would be as high as $380,000, with the district projecting a 20-year savings of between $5 million and $11 million.

“Irvine and other school districts in California are facing significant fiscal challenges in light of the state budget crisis,” said Board of Education President Michael Parham, who spearheaded IUSD’s solar efforts along with Sontag. “This is an opportunity for us to capture added savings that would be unrestricted and available for educational priorities, and of course the environmental benefits are well documented.”

In fact, Phase 1 of the project produced enough energy to power 167 homes for a year and had the impact of removing 378 cars from the road. The first photovoltaic units have also been integrated into the district’s energy curriculum, allowing Irvine students to learn more about solar power while monitoring their own usage in real time.

Learning opportunities would increase with Phase 2. Other ancillary benefits would include downward-facing lights on the canopies, which could make campuses safer by illuminating school parking lots at night.

Meanwhile, other districts have followed IUSD’s lead in embracing solar technology through mutually beneficial power-purchasing agreements, as the Los Angeles Times recently reported.

Under the terms of IUSD’s original deal, which was approved by the board in 2009, SunEdison agreed to finance, operate and maintain the systems, enabling the company to take advantage of tax credits that public agencies can’t leverage. In exchange, IUSD agreed to purchase energy from SunEdison at a lower rate that was predictable long-term. Another company, SPG Solar, was brought in to build the units.

Along with its solar initiative, IUSD has in recent years reduced its electrical consumption, cut waste and added an 18-lesson curriculum on sustainable energy in grades five and six. For all of these efforts, representatives from the Sierra Club’s Orange County Committee on Climate Change announced the Irvine Unified School District as a recipient of its “Solar Energy and Good Practices Award” in 2011.


State health officials recognize IUSD for its attention to indoor air quality


The Irvine Unified School District has been named a recipient of the 2012 Achievements in Respiratory (AIR) Health Awards for indoor air quality by a division of the California Department of Public Health.

In an announcement sent out this week, the agency’s California Breathing program said it was “very impressed” with the district’s efforts to improve indoor air quality and create asthma-safe environments for students and staff. IUSD was one of three districts to secure the honor, joining Oak Park Unified and Fresno Unified.

“This award serves to validate the work of our maintenance, custodial, grounds, construction and facilities teams, which constantly strive to exceed the highest standards of environmental health,” said Joe Hoffman, IUSD’s director of Maintenance and Operations. “We have always recognized that the physical environment is a critical component of learning, and recent research has underscored the connection between air quality, absenteeism and academic performance. From our perspective, nothing is more important than ensuring our students study and play in spaces that are clean, safe and conducive to learning.”

IUSD was specifically lauded for developing a “comprehensive and well-conceived approach” to maintenance and operations with policies and practices that draw from many of the best available environmental health resources. Scott Kessler, programs manager for California Breathing, also noted in a follow-up email that the district was “committed to the most rigorous and up-to-date standards for construction and maintenance of school facilities,” including those established by the Collaborative for High Performance Schools, Leadership in Environmental Energy and Design and the U.S. Green Building Council.

Along with a trophy, which is scheduled to be presented at a Board of Education meeting in June, IUSD will receive $5,000 to continue its indoor air quality improvement efforts.

California Breathing is a program charged with implementing strategies tied to the California Department of Public Health’s Strategic Plan for Asthma in California. For more information, click here.


School board approves first piece of plan that will guide future construction and modernization


With the help of an Irvine-based design firm, IUSD is in the process of developing a comprehensive plan that will be used to guide the construction of new schools and the modernization of existing sites over the next two decades.

IUSD’s Comprehensive Facilities Master Plan is expected to be finalized in spring 2012, but the first piece was recently considered by the Board of Education. With a unanimous vote, board members on Nov. 15 approved a series of staff-recommended educational specifications for elementary schools, middle schools and K-8 campuses, as well as a set of guiding principles.

Educational specifications — or ed specs — are a requirement of the California Education Code. They describe the various instructional activities that will be housed within a school and detail the spatial relationships and special features that will be needed to support those activities.

Guiding principles are philosophical tenets that must be followed as new projects are planned and built. The board approved seven of them on Nov. 15, declaring that IUSD will respond to the needs of each student, promote 21st century skills, support professional development, nurture healthy people and healthy environments, establish the highest quality programs, celebrate the uniqueness of Irvine’s communities and maintain a long-range view.

“Our district has earned a reputation for designing and building first-rate educational facilities over the course of its 40-year history, and much of that can be attributed to diligent long-range planning,” said Sue Kuwabara, president of the IUSD Board of Education. “In fact, we have completed approximately 90 percent of the projects outlined in our previous Facilities Master Plan.”

Though funding for education remains tight as a result of the state budget crisis, Kuwabara noted that revenue sources exist for future construction and modernization projects. Per the state’s Education Code, these dollars must be spent on capital needs, meaning they cannot be used to pay for instructional salaries or general operating expenses.

“Moving forward, we want to make sure IUSD continues to have a thoughtful and thorough facilities roadmap in place, ensuring future generations of Irvine families have access to world-class schools and amenities,” she said.

IUSD’s planning staff and the architects from Irvine-based LPA Inc. have so far connected with more than 750 local stakeholders to determine what employees and community members value in school facilities. Central themes have centered on flexibility, collaboration, school culture, enrichment programs and technology.

Look for high school ed specs to be discussed soon. In the meantime, to learn more about the educational specifications that will be used to drive construction decisions for elementary, middle and K-8 schools, click here. For more information about IUSD’s efforts to develop a new Facilities Master Plan, click here.

(Update: To read highlights of the Nov. 15 Board of Education meeting, click here.)


IUSD’s solar panels and other green initiatives earns kudos from local Sierra Club members


In recent years, IUSD has engaged in an ambitious campaign to harness solar power, cut electrical consumption, reduce waste and promote sustainability while adding an 18-lesson curriculum on sustainable energy in grades five and six.

And these efforts have not gone unnoticed.

On Wednesday, representatives from the Sierra Club’s Orange County Committee on Climate Change lauded the district’s solar project and other green initiatives while announcing IUSD as a recipient of its “Solar Energy and Good Practices Award.”

Members of the Sierra Club, considered the nation’s largest grassroots environmental group, presented the award during a brief visit to Plaza Vista School, where they watched as science specialist Danielle DeFrank walked students through a hands-on lesson on the role of the sun as an energy source for the food chain.

The students later showed off smaller solar panel kits that they had personally assembled. Each was capable of powering modest electric lights or plastic propellers.

Superintendent Terry Walker was there to receive the Sierra Club’s accolade, as was Mark Sontag, IUSD’s coordinator of math and science. (Both are pictured above with Sierra Club member Suvan Geer.)

In March, IUSD held an activation ceremony to mark the installation of solar panels at 13 schools and two support facilities. Officials believe these panels will generate 25 percent to 60 percent of each campus’ electrical consumption, covering about 10.5 percent of the district’s needs while offsetting more than 57 million pounds of carbon dioxide.

But solar power is just one piece of the ecological puzzle.

Over the last four years, IUSD has been walking a greener path in nearly all areas of its operations, from its standards-based instruction and service-learning projects to conservation campaigns and new construction strategies that save energy and produce less waste.

“Solar power units on the school sites have profoundly energized Irvine’s educational opportunities,” said Dr. Chuck Buck, a member of the Sierra Club’s O.C. Committee on Climate Change. “These are the kinds of in-depth and hands-on learning experiences we all want our kids to have to prepare them for an energy-aware future.”

“IUSD and the teachers have been brilliant in putting together this amazing educational package,” Buck said, “to teach about science and sustainable living by using what’s on campus.”


IUSD ‘flips the switch’ during ceremony to mark districtwide solar power initiative


With the help of corporate partners SunEdison and SPG Solar, IUSD ceremoniously flipped the switch on two megawatts of solar power at 15 sites throughout the district Wednesday, marking the completion of an ambitious sustainable energy initiative that’s expected to generate 25 percent to 60 percent of each campus’ electrical needs.

The more than 7,300 solar panels that are now affixed to rooftops and vehicle shade structures are projected to produce more than 2.9 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year and more than 51 million kilowatt hours over 20 years, saving IUSD in excess of $8 million. The district paid no upfront costs to build or install the systems – it will simply purchase power from SunEdison at a reduced rate that is predictable over time.

District officials gathered Wednesday morning for a special “Flip the Switch” ceremony at Rancho San Joaquin Middle School (pictured above), where they were joined by representatives from SunEdison and builder SPG Solar along with city leaders and students from Rancho’s Science Olympiad team. And flip the switch they did – literally, using a giant light-switch prop that was shipped in for the event.

Rancho Principal Scott Bowman emceed the ceremony and introduced each of the five speakers. They were IUSD school board member Michael Parham; Superintendent Gwen Gross; Inna Kaminer, a representative from Assemblyman Don Wagner’s office; Matthew Dickey, director of public sector for SunEdison; and Ted Walsh, vice president of business development for SPG. Also in attendance were school board President Sue Kuwabara, board member Sharon Wallin, Irvine City Councilman Steven Choi and Assistant Superintendent Terry Walker, who was recently named as the successor to Dr. Gross.

Parham, in his remarks, referenced the contributions of Galileo Galilei, noting that the famed Italian physicist wasn’t afraid to challenge the status quo of his era. Neither is IUSD, he said.

“Today we flip the switch on a new idea, a new model for our society – sustainable green energy,” Parham told the audience. “More importantly, we shine the light on a whole new set of opportunities for education, for the workplace and for our children.”

Indeed, the project has significant curricular potential for IUSD. Not only will students be able to track energy production and consumption in real time, they’ll get to learn more about photovoltaic technology on their own campuses. In fact, the production of solar energy is just one part of an 18-lesson curriculum being implemented in grades five and six that teaches students all about sustainable energy sources.

IUSD’s solar journey began back in August 2008, when the district first considered installing panels at Rancho alone. It wasn’t long before officials were looking at all 2.5 million square feet of district roof space and exploring a more wide-ranging plan.

The solar power systems currently in place were made possible through a strategic power service agreement between IUSD and SunEdison, which financed and deployed the units, allowing the company to take advantage of tax credits that public agencies can’t leverage. IUSD, in turn, agreed to buy back power at a rate that is reduced and predictable long-term. SunEdison worked closely with SPG Solar, which was responsible for the overall design and construction.

“This extraordinary partnership with SunEdison and SPG Solar will reduce our energy costs by millions of dollars and shrink our overall carbon footprint,” Superintendent Gross said. “At the same time, we are eager to incorporate new lessons on photovoltaic technology into our curriculum, giving students the opportunity to learn more about solar power as they monitor their own energy usage in real time.”

The technology will generate 25 percent to 60 percent of each campus’ electrical consumption, covering about 10.5 percent of the district’s needs while offsetting more than 57 million pounds of carbon dioxide. That’s equivalent to removing more than 5,600 cars from the road for one year.

Said Parham, “This project is one of the few no-brainers that come along – save money, save the environment, teach children.”


Board of Education approves energy-generating fuel cells for Uni and Woodbridge


In a move that aligns with the district’s energy efficiency goals, the IUSD Board of Education on Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution to partner with ClearEdge Power to design, construct, install and maintain a dozen fuel cells that will produce clean electricity and help heat swimming pools at Woodbridge and University high schools.

Math and Science Coordinator Mark Sontag, who oversees many of IUSD’s sustainability initiatives, noted that fuel cell systems produce far fewer harmful emissions than conventional heat and power sources, and they’re expected to save the district about $567,698 per school over 20 years.

Under the terms of the agreement, which followed a year of research and evaluation, IUSD will purchase six fuel cells for Woodbridge and six for Uni. ClearEdge will design, construct and install the cells, and the company will also maintain them for five years. IUSD can use an available credit from the California Public Utilities Commission’s Self-Generation Incentive Program to help cover the purchasing cost of $329,000.

Sontag said each of the fuel cells – pictured above, they’re about the size of small refrigerators – will use 0.5 therms of natural gas per hour to generate approximately 40,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. Heat, produced as a byproduct during the conversion process, will then be used to warm the existing pool at Uni, as well as the pool that’s now under construction at Woodbridge, offsetting additional costs.

(Update: To read a recap of the entire Board of Education meeting, click here.)