Modesto City Schools trustees Monday night approved the naming of two high school facilities after a longtime teacher and basketball coach and a family who built two of Modesto's high schools.
Downey High School's gym will bear the name of Lyle "Ivy" Iverson, a former physical education and geography teacher and boys basketball coach for more than 30 years. He died in 2008 at age 85.
He helped create the Modesto-Downey Basketball Tournament, now called the Modesto City Basketball Tournament, and the Modesto-Downey Relays track meet, later renamed the Smith-Iverson Relays.
Trustee Steve Collins remembered his days as a physical education student of Iverson's and said he was proud to see the gym named after the well-loved coach.
The Mastagni family, owners of Acme Construction Co. in Modesto, will be honored by having Gregori High School's baseball field named after them. The Salida school will open next fall, and the Mastagnis donated work on the boys varsity field and some of the girls softball field dugouts.
Acme is constructing Gregori and built Beyer High School.
"The contributions your family has made have been long and distinguished," Trustee Gary Lopez said.
— Trustees heard a report on a plan to improve student learning at Modesto high schools. The plan is required by California because the high school district is on a federal watch list for consecutive years of underperforming on state tests.
— Staff presented more than 13 months of work that includes plans to increase parent involvement at all high schools. Officials also started a language academy to quickly improve student fluency in English. The money earmarked for the action plan is about $2 million.
— Teachers union representative Barney Hale expressed concern about students taking two English and two math classes for extra help in those subjects. He said those students do not have room in their schedules for electives and career training classes.
"We're losing a generation of vocational education students," Hale said.
— With the $22 million modernization of Downey High School nearly complete, trustees heard an update about the project. Library, classrooms, cafeteria, pool and football field improvements were detailed with photos. Officials estimate the 17-month project will come in a little under budget.
— Trustees finalized Superintendent Arturo Flores' goals and objectives for the 2009-10 school year during a closed session.