Board to check on policies for consultants
Procedures to be reviewed after ‘Flutes Across the World’ incident
Thursday’s Castaic Union School District Governing Board meeting is expected to include a discussion about the district’s policy and procedures for using independent consultants and contractors.
The discussion comes a little more than a week after the district discovered that an independent contractor with the “Flutes Across the World” program allegedly placed bodily fluids, possibly seminal fluids, on flutes used by students involved in the program.
On Sept. 30, the district discovered that it was one of 23 school districts throughout Southern California, including the Saugus Union School District, who participated in the program with the music specialist. It is unknown if the flutes used by the district were contaminated.
According to the Castaic District, the “Flutes Across the World” program was only at Castaic Elementary during the 2015-16 and 201617 school year. However, the music specialist also provided assemblies at Live Oak Elementary and at Northlake Hills Elementary during the same time.
The district assured parents that the independent contractor was never alone with students without teacher supervision, as is district policy.
The investigation spearheaded by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service is still ongoing; however, the Governing Board is expected to review its own policies during its regular meeting.
According to the current Board Policy, the district only contracts services that cannot be performed by district employees or by a public agency or official free of charge.
Typically, consultants provide “expert professional advice or specialized technical or training services” to staff and students during their contract period.
These consultants must submit a written conflict of interest statement disclosing their financial interests and their contract must be submitted to the Governing Board for approval.