Board to check on poli­cies for con­sul­tants

Pro­ce­dures to be re­viewed af­ter ‘Flutes Across the World’ in­ci­dent

The Signal - - NEWS - By Christina Cox Sig­nal Staff Writer

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.

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