Bonsall superintendent to oversee English tutoring program

BONSALL —- District Superintendent Jefrey Schleiger will oversee a tutorial program geared toward parents interested in increasing their English-language skills.

The Bonsall Union School District trustees decided Wednesday to turn over control of the Community Based English Tutoring program to Schleiger, rather than lead the project themselves.

In May, trustees directed district officials to pursue a $14,000 grant to launch the project next school year. The program is offered to non-native English-speaking parents hoping to master the language so they can help their children with schoolwork.

When the project was first proposed, the district considered subcontracting the program to the Bonsall Boys & Girls Club and to also have the club provide day care for parents enrolled in the tutorials. After reviewing the program, however, Schleiger said he felt it would be best for him to manage the project.

“We thought that we could easily administer the program from my office,” Schleiger said.

Running the project through the district allows it to choose a day-care program that would accommodate the needs of all parents with young children. The Boys & Girls Club could only care for children ages 6 and older, he said.

The tutorial program was created in 1998 after voters passed Proposition 227, a controversial statewide initiative that replaced bilingual education with English “immersion” courses in California. Every year, until 2008, the state provides $50 million for English classes for adults who pledge to tutor elementary school-age students.

Classes are scheduled to meet in the afternoons during the next school year. The district anticipates at least 35 parents will take advantage of the program, Schleiger said.

School board clerk Catherine Andrew said she was pleased the district was adopting the program since it would benefit many parents in the community.

“We definitely believe in the policy and need for opportunities to provide English education for our non-English (speaking) population of parents,” Andrew said.

Trustees also agreed to plan a board workshop in August to discuss goals and define responsibilities between the superintendent and board members.

“We’re just going to try and clearly delineate the policies of how we deal with organization,” Schleiger said.

The workshop is long overdue, Trustee Dick Olson said. Accusations by some trustees and the public that the board “micro-managed” previous superintendents could have been avoided if responsibilities had been defined earlier, he said. Schleiger is the fifth superintendent to head Bonsall in 5 1/2 years. Department of Education statistics list the average stay of California superintendents to be three years.

“If we had done this years ago, we may not have had the turnover we’ve had,” Olson said.

Contact staff writer Jamie Francisco at (760) 728-5511 or

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