OUSD school board to discuss district office, mask and vaccine mandates, pool Dec. 15

web Screen Shot 2021 12 14 at 9.20.08 AM

Chart via OUSD agenda 

The overview of the district office project. The school district-provided graph is incorrect regarding the date of a
7-11 Committee recommending "surplus of property." Two 7-11 committees in 2011-12 and 2015-16 discussed potential sale or lease of the OUSD district office. The 2018 7-11 Committee was regarding Summit Elementary School.


Grant Phillips, Ojai Valley News reporter

Ojai Unified School District school board will change venues this week to accommodate an anticipated crowd, holdings its meeting Wednesday, Dec. 15 at the Matilija Middle School auditorium (703 El Paseo Road) at 5:30 p.m. 

To read written public comments submitted to the school boad for the Dec. 15 meeting as of Dec. 14, visit:

The full agenda for the meeting can be viewed here:

A closed session will take place at 4:15 p.m., where staff will discuss two cases of anticipated litigation and a conference with labor negotiators. 

The board will then elect a new Governing Board president. Currently, Trustee Jane Weil is board presiden. Per Education Code 35143, the position rotates. 

Duties of the president include consulting with the superintendent or designee on the preparation of the meeting agenda, enforcing board bylaws, putting motions to a vote, and a variety of other responsibilities that can be viewed here:

A vice president and board clerk will also be elected during the meeting. 

A presentation will provide an update to the district office project that will showcase the current timeline and upcoming steps

OUSD entered an exclusive right to negotiate in July 2020 for a period that extends through January 2022. The board notes that an extension or termination or contract will be properly noticed at an upcoming public board meeting. 

Following the Concept Review at the Nov. 17 Ojai Planning Commission meeting, no support was stated by public speakers for a large hotel; some speakers asked for more community involvement in the project, and others raised questions regarding water, traffic, and historic components of the site. Also, and alternative development ideas were shared by some speakers. 

Due to requests from members of the public, a resolution in support of vaccine mandate exemptions was added to the agenda. The resolution is “to request Governor Newsom and other state officials maintain the current allowance for Vaccine Mandate exemptions, including exemptions for families with sincerely held religious or personal beliefs that conflict with the mandate.” 

A separate item will focus on mask mandates and face coverings for students. The universal mask requirement was first implemented by the California Department of Public Health in January of 2021, and was extended on July 12, 2021. 

CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Tomás J. Aragón sent a letter to school leaders on Aug. 23, noting that failure to follow the mandatory Public Health directive will expose schools and school leaders personally to substantial legal and financial risks. These include financial liability if a student or staff member contracts COVID-19, civil lawsuits, and other disciplinary actions. 

In September, the district also entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with staff that states, “The district shall adhere to the most strict and recent COVID requirements issued by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), the California Department of Industrial Relations Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA), Ventura County Department of Public Health (VCPH), and the State of California."

California has also issued a statewide indoor mask mandate starting Dec.15 in an attempt to combat rising COVID-19 numbers due to the highly transmissible Omicron variant. Ventura County Public Health issued its latest indoor mask mandate in October.

Several project using school bond measures J and K will also be reported on, including updates to the painting of San Antonio, the Matilija Middle School Library refresh, and the programming and schematic design phase of the new Nordhoff High School aquatic center.

The board will vote on whether or not to approve the agreement with PJHM Architects to complete the programming and schematic design phase of the aquatic center. This portion of the project is expected to cost $188,600. 

PJHM has been involved with the design and construction of several other high school pools, which have included Highland High School’s 50-meter conventional pool, Fullerton High School’s 33-meter conventional pool, and Buena Park High School’s 43-meter conventional pool.

The suggested design from PJHM is estimated to cost $943,000 for a base architectural fee, with an added estimate of $11,229,975 for construction. 

Public comments can be made in person or can be submitted prior to 4 p.m. on the day of the meeting here: 

The meeting will also be streamed live via the OUSD YouTube channel at:


Editor's note: This post has been corrected to state that the school board entered into an exclusive right to negotiate in July 2020 and the first of the last three 7-11 committees in 2012 recommended surplusing the OUSD district office. The 2015-16 7-11 Committee recommended the school board not consider closing any school until it had decided if it was going to take any action on the district office property. The 2018 7-11 Committee was convened to make recommendations on the future of Summit Elementary School and did not include a recommendation on the district office.



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