Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Clayton Valley Community Meeting Recap

The community meeting tonight was interesting. Far fewer parents than I thought I'd see, though I did see a couple of PFC Presidents and several teachers. There weren't any questions submitted before hand, so we were all able to write our questions on paper and submit them in order that they be answered by one of the several administrators present.

Questions were varied... many questions about discipline and safety including discussion about suspension, expulsion, bullying, threats and fights. There were questions about teacher compensation, benefits, discipline (teacher), the process of considering a parcel tax, student supervision, kindergarten class size changes, substitutes, the lottery money, technology, connect-ed, budget cuts, thefts on campus, library and even a transgender issue. (there were probably more, but I wasn't taking notes)

The question that Mr. Writer posed on his blog, was asked, well, by him.

What will it take for the MDUSD Board of Education to determine what the majority of stakeholders want as far as the future of the Superintendent? What kind of information will convince one side or the other to alter their viewpoint?

It was saved for last . . . I almost couldn't wait for it. Andre' will post the audio tomorrow and you can see what you think. April Treece was selected to answer this particular question, so ....

I did have a nice talk with Board of Education VP, Dick Allen, outside at the end of the meeting. I have to say, he is a very, very nice man, and it seems his heart is in the right place. He and the other board members need to hear from you if you are not happy with the status quo. If the last two meetings at Rocco's showed anything, it showed there is a lot of unrest and dissatisfaction with the administration and fear for the future of this district. So why aren't parents coming to these meetings in droves?

Are you writing to the board members or to the administration? Here are at least three Administrators you can write to:

Superintendent Gary McHenry (925-682-8000, x4009;(mchenryg@mdusd.k12.ca.us)
Associate Superintendent-Educational Services Alan Young (
Assistant Superintendent-Elementary Education Roger Bylund (


  1. April Treece, if you are reading this.. what are you thinking? You work for "us," collectively - as a community. Why are you so staunchly supportive of this administration? It is your JOB as a school board member to keep watch for us. To ask questions when things go wrong. To hold people accountable for bad decisions. WHERE ARE YOU? I didn't hear you answer the question asked at Rocco's. In your view, what are 5 things McHenry can improve upon? Are you still thinking of an answer? Or are you still contemplating the dozens of other questions left unanswered? Why don't you come out of hiding and be OPEN and honest with us all. Have an open dialogue on these boards with us. Come on, stop hiding behind your inane ability to speak without saying anything.

  2. I call upon EVERY parent, EVERY teacher, EVERY student to direct mail, telephone calls and emails to APRIL TREECE (on the board of education), GARY McHENRY, the Superintendent, and the Editor of the CCTimes to have Gary McHenry resign, April Treece back Paul Strange and Gary Eberhart and make the changes needed in MDUSD to move forward. Teachers are counting on you. Parents and Students are counting on you. It is time for Gary McHenry to move on. Email addresses are available at mdusd.k12.ca.us (select the tab for the Board of education).

    BE VOCAL. SHOUT. If you wimp out, nothing will happen and you will have no one to blame but apathy.

  3. Yes, why aren't parents going to these meetings in droves? I know wonderful parents who choose not to get involved with anything outside their childrens sports or helping in the classroom. Some are stay at home parents and have the time. To me it is frustrating because how could you not want to be involved and ask questions.

    When I casually mention what is happenning within our school board I get blank stares and a change of subject. That is my clue, they do not want any part of this divide. It needs to be worked out within our school board and that is what I heard in Ms. Treece's answer. There is no easy answer or right or wrong answer. I believe many parents are taking a neutral stance and to me this sends a message. Work it out, if change is going to happen let the election in November start the change process.

    As someone wrote on another blog,

    Anonymous said...
    Even though the turnout for both Gary/Paul and April/Dick were good for Saturday mornings, it seems there is really a small number of people speaking up and speaking out, compared to the number of employees and parents in our district. Despite the number of postings, I believe that there is a handful of people who continue to write.

    I think it is good Gary and Paul have brought things to the public's attention. It is clear how they feel and like a few posts have said, maybe the time to decide on change is during the November elections.

    If that is going to be the case,I would suggest that Gary and Paul, rather than continue to focus on what has already happened, (and I admit there are questions and discrepancies), I would like to see everyone focused on working to see how the district could move forward if the superintendent stays for his contract period.

    Between the board members asking for information and clarification, and with Dr.Nichol trying to provide as much as he is able to, hopefully things will continue to improve.

    This is not a "for or against" the superintendent comment, it is just a hope that most people in the district are now aware of what's going on, aware that people are questioning things, and will do everything possible to improve the problems we have had.

    And as most everyone knows, the board holds a certain amount of responsibility for any situation the district is in.

    We can all work to make a positive difference, even if the superintendent stays.

    April 29, 2008 6:26 PM

  4. I don't know why there weren't that many people at the meeting last night. I think it is possible that people don't believe they can effect change, so they become apathetic and do not get involved.

    Take comfort in the words of Margaret Mead (everyone has used this quote, but it is valuable)- "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

    Don't give up!

  5. Anon 1:36. I agree that it is a powerful quote, and that is why its been the "motto" of this blog since it started... its at the top :) People are talking now... that's the first step... some didn't even know there were any issues before... many now do... whether they get involved or not, they are talking about cuz I hear it at the school sites - that's a good thing.