BARSTOW • Trustee Ray Perea was absent. The Barstow Unified School District Board of Trustees discussed or voted on the following items Tuesday:

PG&E steps up chromium testing at Hinkley School • Even though Hinkley School is located a little less than a mile west of the chromium 6 plume, Pacific Gas and Electric will begin testing the school's wells for chromium and chromium 6 on a monthly basis, according to officials with Barstow Unified School District.

PG&E is stepping up its testing in response to the increasing media attention to the chromium 6 plume in Hinkley, which is migrating to the northeast — away from the school — according to Tony Wardell, the district's assistant superintendent of business.

In a presentation to the board of water testing done at Hinkley School, Wardell said the district has used Riverside-based company ES Babcock & Sons Inc. to do monthly testing for the E. Coli bacteria and annual testing of nitrate levels in the school's wells. The district pays about $3,500 a year for the testing.

Wardell also mentioned that the company can test for other things including yeast and metals and other bacteria. The school board directed the district to find out if it's necessary to test for those items and what the additional cost would be.

New teaching position added to Montara Elementary • Because of increased enrollment in the third grade at Montara Elementary School, the Barstow Unified School District Board approved establishing a new teaching position. The vote was 4-0.

The cost to the district for the new position would be about $69,739 for the 2010-11 school year. The position will be paid for by funds from Barstow's share of the federal jobs bill passed in August. The teacher will work six and a half hours a day, 185 days a year.

Exit exam tutor appointed at Barstow High • Four members of the school board approved hiring a tutor to provide assistance to students taking the California High School Exit Exam.

According to Jeff Malan, assistant superintendent of personnel services, the person hired for the job is a substitute teacher with an English teaching credential. She will conduct both one-on-one and group tutoring sessions between Jan. 12 and Feb. 9. Students will take the test in February.

The tutor will be paid $18.46 an hour from Barstow High School's exit exam funds. She will work no more than six and a half hours a day.

Special needs paraeducator position approved • Four  members of the board approved hiring a paraeducator to provide one-on-one support to an autistic student at Barstow Junior High School.

The cost to the district for this position is about $22,479 in salary and benefits and will be paid for from funds from Barstow's share of the federal jobs bill passed in August.