Thursday, April 14, 2011

Possibilities . . . Clayton Valley Charter High School

The meeting this afternoon was very interesting.  It was packed, with standing room only.  It was short, to the point, and left a lot of questions, but they said that the next meeting MONDAY evening, April 18th at 7pm (Clayton Library, not CVHS), will have more time for Q&A and will also offer some guests - "charter school experts."

The committee at the school spearheading the idea is working with a paid consultant to work through the details of writing up a charter.  The presentation was led by Pat Middendorf (Athletic Director and Academic Literacy/Special Ed) and Neil McChesney (English, Leadership and Public Speaking). 

Here are some key points related to the "possibilities" of a Clayton Valley Charter High School, please feel free to add if I missed anything you felt was important:

  • Started discussions in September in the "Staff Senate" meeting which is a body of staff members elected by fellow staff and includes some of the most involved staff of the school i.e. the teachers who run leadership, music, etc. - "the heart of the school."
  • They need 50% + 1 of all teachers to vote for the charter, the charter is then written, and then they have a year to implement and plan. This means the earliest this "new" charter high school could be implemented would be the fall of 2012.
  • A charter would have its own governing board and instead of "superintendent" type titles, one may see titles such as CEO, CFO, COO, etc.  The leadership of the school is ON campus.  The school could run independent of the layers of the school district.  The school would make its own decisions.
  • The school would run its own budget and initial estimates are that funding would go up.  Not only would the funding come straight to the school at the high school rate (vs. a blended elementary/high rate), but the school would be eligible for specialty charter grants and other state and federal funding - funds that would go direct to the school, not the school district as it looks today. The discussion of the budget crisis and the possibility in the future of a state takeover was briefly touched upon.
  • Right now the MDUSD is responsible for the budgets and financials for 56 schools.  A Clayton Valley Charter High School would be soley responsible for only their own budget.  This charter would offer "fiscal independence" and could result in a "ton of money" from grants and other charter funding.
  • There is a BIG difference between a new, start up charter and a conversion charter.
  • Clayton Valley Charter High School would have the same attendance areas, it would still be a public school and must adhere to same accreditation standards and testing requirements.
  • An analogy was brought forth of renting a home vs. buying... Clayton Valley Charter would be a owner.  The district would have to give up the site to the charter per law.  The charter would have a lot more autonomy and freedom, but also more responsibility.
  • Employees at the site would have 3 choices; stay with MDEA, create their own bargaining unit, or create a specific contract for the charter within MDEA.
Ideas of "good" things that could happen at a Clayton Valley Charter High School included:
  • Increased API by stopping the brain drain (top kids moving to other or private schools), bringing the top performing kids/families BACK to Clayton Valley.
  • Instituting a Freshmen Summer Transition Program.  Could run 1-4 weeks during the summer and could be enrichment, evaluation, remediation or all of the above.  Pathways for individual students could be carved in order to best serve the individual needs of each student. Discussion of a very successful charter conversion program was brought up here and sounded very exciting actually.  Check out Granada Hills Charter High School as a very successful nationwide model for charter conversions.
  • Emphasis on the goal to "look at every student individually." 
  • Bring back summer school.
  • Work collaboratively with local higher education; colleges, CSU, etc. to bring college level coursework and curriculum on campus.
  • The discussion of dress code and possible UNIFORMS brought the crowd to a loud cheer. It seemed most were in agreement that the sagging pants, alcohol/drug/sex messages on shirts and exposed midriffs (among other things) are a distraction and division within a high school campus and as it stands now there is no support for staff to enforce the supposed dress code.  The school, as a charter, could institute its own dress code and/or uniforms.
  • The school could create its own calendar.  As an example, starting earlier in August so the first semester is finished at winter break.  This too brought many nodding heads and sounds of agreement amongst the audience.  Though a comment reminded that with kids in other district schools, we'd need to be mindful of the coordination of calendars.  It was acknowledged that much still needs to be discussed.
  • Could hire own custodial service to give the school the attention it deserves
So, what else did you get out of it?  Personally, I think it is very , very interesting and I like what I see when I look at the Granada Hills website.  Check it out! Join the facebook page for ongoing information:!/pages/Clayton-Valley-Charter-High-School/123874797687533


  1. A comment was made to me if CVHS becomes a charter they would then loose any legal support from the district and other support. Is this true? So the school would have to pay for its own insurance and legal expertise. Sadly we live in a very litigious society. How would it work for any students on free or reduced programs, this would then come out of the Charter budget and what about food services? I guess it would be nice to see a complete budget with every single item listed from supplies, custodial, food servers, landscape, maintenance,facility costs, etc... Lots to consider and lots to think about.

    Also what about sports and being part of a league?

  2. Great questions. The only one I feel like I could even remotely comment on , though I could be wrong, is the free/reduced lunch. Aren't those state/fed programs? I didn't think those were funded by district funds are they?

  3. Also if you go on the Granada Hills site under About Us, you can see Charter School FAQ as well as their actual charter petition and renewal which offers a bunch of information about what they do, and how they do it. Worth a read.

  4. Ok, sorry for yet another message, but I was reading the Granada Hills Charter documentation and they contract with an outside service for food, see below:

    Food Services
    GHCHS will contract for the best food services available that comply with state regulations. We have developed an automated system that allows for all students to use their student identification as a means of payment for food (including students who receive free and reduced meals). The flexibility to contract with outside vendors has provided our students and staff with greater choices, lower cafeteria operating costs, and will ultimately increase cafeteria participation.

    They also note that special ed stays as a part of the district and as such the legal services pertaining to such lies with the district. They insure themselves too i.e. liability , etc.

    Not saying this is how MDUSD does it, but they did mention today this school being a "model" of a successful conversion charter.

  5. Is CVHS guaranteed by the district to keep your school site?

  6. 3:53, they said today, that yes, they have to provide the site to the charter. I think they can charge rent, but have to provide the site.

  7. Not that I am an expert but lets say you have a child going to Private school. You find that the child needs special ed. services...The home district must then supply the child with testing and placement. I would assume that it would be the same and the special ed attorneys would be a part of that. As far as insurance I would think that the Charter would have to pay for it. I do want to see a copy of the propsed budget but with nearly 1900 - 2000 kids there and ada funding where it is now they should have plenty of money coming in. I would bet that we will get these answers from the charter experts in the coming months.

    On a side note....When I picked up kids at Diablo View today they asked me if I went to the CV meeting...I asked how they knew about it and they both said the teachers were talking about it today. The teachers said it is a good thing for CV. This makes me feel more comfortable with everything knowing the teachers are just as fed up as me makes me see that we are on the same team. (hope that made sense) and yes I was there today and think this is a GREAT thing for our children!

  8. As an active volunteer for the last 11 years with my kids within the MDUSD I can't tell you how disheartening it has been when we must go through the district for everything from computers and technology to literacy aides and art programs. To be able to outsource and get the best prices and to set protocol as to best practices when hiring and creating programs - well it sounds like a dream come true. Our hands are tied at the district. To pay 1000 for a CRAPPY desktop computer when I can go online and get group and educational discounts for half that? All because we have to use district contracts, district staff, etc. etc. - I think the charter, if run right, will have enough money to do the very best for the kids. Heck, maybe they can get food services with HEALTHY , desirable foods for the kids - salad bar? I think the possibilities are endless when the take the layer of red tape and waste of the district away.

  9. Thank you for posting all of this information. Our family has been debating whether or not to have our oldest child rejoin the MDUSD. The more information we have regarding our current "home school" and conversion plans, the better. I will be attending the upcoming meeting. Thank you.

  10. I wonder how athletic eligibility will be affected. There are some rules for students who "transfer". Would going from Clayton Valley to Clayton Valley Charter be considered a "transfer"?

  11. A couple of comments:

    For uniforms, parents at CVHS can vote on that now and institute uniforms, There are several elementary and middle schools that already have a uniform. You don't have to be a charter to have a uniform.

    For special education, the schools would need to determine which SELPA they belong to. If they stayed with MDUSD, then MDUSD would get a funds to manage the SELPA. If the district has manage it, then the district gets the money.

    If the teachers go with MDEA then they are subject to the terms and conditions of MDEA - seniority, furlough days, etc.

    MDUSD would receive 3% of the total budget as rent.

    For athletes, any student who does not live in the attendance area would not be eligible to play sports at CVHS.

    The school would also have to determine how to do payroll, benefits, and financial systems. You would in fact have a mini HR, CFO, etc that would need to be paid.

  12. Except 5:22, you have to have a supportive proactive administration to get a uniform policy in place. Leadership is severely lacking at cvhs. IT is THIS admin that has allowed it to become what it is.

  13. Anon 5:22 I thought I read that a Charter school would be open to anyone and they are selected in a lottery system. If CVHS were to become a charter in 2012 then the current attendance area would be null and void because it would not be under the MDUSD. Where did you get the information on athlete's not being eligible unless they live in the attendance area? Also who would set the boundaries for the attendance area? I would think all of Concord would be in the attendance area because the school is in the Concord city limits.

  14. 6:18, a lot more questions need clarifications, but they made it clear today that attendance areas would not change and if you're at CVHS now, you'd continue to be.

  15. Perhaps we could use language that all understand. SELPA is a common term used and some may not know what it means. not me but I use some of the language and people look at me and say "what are you talking about" I think we need to be extremly open with so many community members here that are just getting involved.

    As for uniforms...If the school stays under control of MDUSD then I think it will take more than uniforms to fix the problems. It starts with lack of leadership at the district and goes right on the deaf ears of the so called leadership at the school.

    I was absolutly shocked at how bad the school looks (not just the kids) the buildings look as if nothing has been done to them since I graduated in 87. such a sad state of a school. How can the kids have any sense of pride and respect if we don't teach it.

  16. Someone asked here, and emailed me privately to see if the district had to provide the same site. Under prop 39, it appears they do, here's a site I found with the following:

    · Conversion charters: Conversion charter schools are those charters that are created when a district school’s parents or faculty submit a petition to convert a district-operated school into a charter school or those charters created as a remedy for poor performance under the state’s Public School Accountability Act. Currently, Proposition 39 provides that a school district may not move a charter school to another site “unnecessarily”. Under the new regulations, a conversion charter school will be entitled to remain at the school site where it was operating before it became a charter school as long as the charter school requests the site from the school district on an annual basis. In addition, the amended regulations will require a school district to obtain a waiver from the SBE in order to move a conversion charter away from the previous location. Given that the regulations were approved by the SBE, it is unlikely that many such waivers would be approved.

    Link to full article:

  17. What happens to the classified staff?

  18. What are the downsides to becoming a charter school?

  19. One downside to this type of charter is that they tend to be a lot more participatory. This isn't a situation where an outside charter management organization like KIPP just runs the whole thing. Teachers don't vote for these kinds of charters just to hand over the reins to a new group. A teacher conversion charter requires lots of parent participation to go well, and the teachers are a lot more like "partners" than "employees", which I think is a good thing. But it probably requires high people skills and lots of cooperation to run successfully. One thing that I don't think warrants excessive concern (expressed a bit in a post above) is how the school will conduct all of its administrative tasks (payroll, insurance, food service etc.). This is not a new challenge for independent charters, and there are organizations that can take on these tasks on an out-sourced basis. They charge fees to the charter for those services, of course, but for a single school, outsourcing is still much cheaper than maintaining a larger fulltime administrative staff. Getting out from under the MDUSD central office expense burden is still a net gain.

  20. I heard that the plan would be to let go all classified, maintenance, IT, etc. and re-hire. This came via some CVHS staff. Any word on this?

  21. A charter school takes away money from every other child in the school district!! We are already suffering from budget cuts. Just because CVHS wants to do this my child will suffer! I don't think so!

  22. Anon 2:15,

    I should let my child suffer for the sake of the mismanaged district?
    You have a right to go anywhere you want personally I think you are
    Selfish and entitled to your opinion. do you really only care about your
    Kid or do you care about the community as a whole?

    If Clayton valley goes away yes they would be taking the money
    The district gets but that money wont be missed because your school
    Will still be getting it's money for its attendance. You should get used
    To this. As soon as we do this everyone will try to do the same

  23. No 2:35 you are wrong. I am not being selfish, from what I have heard this is going to take away about $30 per student in the whole rest of the district. That is selfish. I care about the entire community not just my child and your group is not giving the correct information to the community. I also would like you to point out evidence of where the district has mismanaged money. I see that the state has mismanaged money, I don't see where the district has, but it's much easier for you to blame the district.

  24. The group did not put out any such thing. I am using common sense. Yes you may get a bit less of the tax payer funds but you will loose the salaries of all employees from CV. They will be paid from the funds that will go to CV.
    On that note....Public schools are funded by TAX PAYERS money so the TAX PAYERS have a right to take the school back. It is a mess and I want the school we used to have. I am not trying to start an argument just saying that we also have a right to do this. I hope the people who disagree with it will keep the comments to here or other propper forums with adults. No offense so I hope none will be taken.

    The District has been mismanaging funds for a long time and the money is staying at the top. This is common knowledge. When the times were good the schools where still going down but we had plenty of money to pay for the bandaids now the money is gone and so are the bandaids. We are all stuck.

  25. I do guess in some ways it "proves" the information I did hear about the "blended rates." If taking a school and turning it to a charter takes money away from other kids, then the way the school districts are run are crazy. So the money comes down for the 1800+/- at CVHS, it gets diluted and spread out and blended with the rates of elementary ,then the high school gets a fraction of what is allocated. That doesn't sound fair. I'm in favor of taking the school back, cutting out the middle man and making a better school for all the students that attend. The district can't possibly be surprised by this, in fact, they've probably been holding their breath wondering what took so long!

    But the group put out no misinformation I know. what misinformation is going out there? Please answer, or else we'll assume you're just spouting off.

  26. Anon 2:15
    Many people would like you to believe that Charter schools hurt districts by taking away their money.
    The honest truth is that the money follows the student, it does not belong to a district or a charter.
    If I move out of this District into Acalanes the money leaves when my child leaves.
    If I homeschool the money leaves when my child leaves.
    If I go to private school the money leaves when my child leaves.
    The money does not belong to MDUSD.
    The charter at Clayton Valley is a sign of desperation, shame on this District for letting it get this bad. This is not the first time a group within our district community has wanted to leave the district. I would not be angry at those who want better for their children I would be angry at a district that refuses to address any issue outside the budget

  27. The main factor is that the Mt.Diablo Unified School District is simply too big for today's standards. The District was created when Contra Costa was a "cow county" with low population levels. It is like the West County Unified School District which is also in trouble. The District should be broken up into smaller more manageable school districts.

  28. So, what do we as parents do when the board votes no on this issue, as they did on the other proposed charter. Luckily the CC Board of ED. overruled and allowed it.

    If our board votes no on this, you can bet the no votes will get my LOUD no vote at the next election!

  29. From what I understand about the state law when a conversion Charter is put in place the decision does not rest on the local School Board it the State Department of Education. I can't see them saying no when they have apprived so many in Southern Cal.

  30. The MDUSD board can hold this up, but they cannot stop a teacher trigger charter conversion. LAUSD couldn't stop any of their conversions, and MDUSD can't stop this one, if the teachers and parents are determined to move ahead. The AP did an extensive article on February 20 about those conversions in LA, and it is clear that LAUSD is pretty helpless.

  31. FYI...Theresa Harrington's latest post on her CC Times blog is about MDUSD charters, including the possible CVHS conversion. Comments on her blog often get posted in the paper for the wider public to see, and they also show her and her editors whether there is strong interest around a topic. So you all might want to consider commenting there.

  32. Yes, the district is too big and too spread out. However, breaking down in size would create another board (or more) and another district superentendent (or more) and admins, etc. It would take very careful planning to just recreate a smaller district, say for Concord only, and very carefully push other town's schools into other already existing outlying districts. Then it could work without increased costs, and actually save MDUSD money. The problem there is that those other districts very possibly would not want any of MDUSD's schools dragging down their scores, considering the poor shape MDUSD schools are in. The county or state needs to step in and mandate those decisions.

  33. For the Charter to be approved: MDUSD has 30 days after receipt of the application to make a decision. If they deny it, it gets appealed to the County BOE. That is what happened with Flex. The county approved it over the wishes of MDUSD. If the County (after 30 days) denies the application, it gets appealed up to State Dept of Ed. They almost NEVER deny an application if the application is properly written. The State in fact is encouraging Charter apps.

  34. Actually the times can come here. As responsible journalists I'm sure they would come to this site and others, especially since they couldn't be bothered to send anyone to thursdsys meeting! Not real polite to come to a blog and ask people to go elsewhere!

  35. The Legislature will cap the number of charter schools because they drain scarce resources from other public schools

  36. I would hope that if a school converts to charter, then it is a lottery entrance school only! This is only the equitable, fair process to follow.

    Truthfully I have gotten a bit tired of hearing about CVHS, and yes there are positive things happening at the school with great students, teachers and some parents. However it has appeared and happened that the current administration (along with these parents) have not held their students accountable by giving them the appropriate punishments for their bad choices and for their actions. Sweathirt stealing, leadership students drunk at prom, water polo girls traffic accident with injuries during a "hazing" and this word was used by the several of the CVHS girls water polo parents, and the list goes on.

    So the community thinks a Charter will change all this and more? I suppose one thing could happen would be a behavior contract for students, but what about administrators not living up to their end of the deal?

    There are a lot more questions to be answered and thought about. If a Charter takes any money away from the other students in the MDUSD, then that is no OK in my book. I pay taxes to support EVERY SINGLE STUDENT in the district, not a select few.

    Anon on 4/15 at 4:16 pm said " The District has been mismanaging funds for a long time and the money is staying at the top. This is common knowledge"

    Again assumptions made, un-educated comments with absolutely NO facts behind the statement. If you make this kind of comment, support it with facts, links and assumptions are not acceptable. That would be like me stating "your student is a problem and you as the parent are too because this is common knowledge"

    What I see is the CVHS community is not supportive at all. What I see is Pat M.clearly fearful of the failure of UMDAF and she is running it, so instead how about a Charter? Is this what you would want in helping run a school?

    I am sorry, but sadly many of my dealing with CVHS student athlete's and their parents have not been positive at all. The attitude, the nastiness and the arrogance has been trying and really pathetic especially at sporting events. We are all EQUAL and no matter the school, EVERY SINGLE CHILD deserves the same education, no matter how much money they have.

  37. So it seems that what you are saying by having a lottery system being the only fair way of doing this is that given the chance you would pull your kid and put them there only to take away money from the rest of the students in the district? Or are you saying that ALL children deserve the same poor education that they have been given for the last 20 or more years? Your community has the same opportunity as CVHS. Perhaps the teachers here see what is going on and have their hands tied to take action. Perhaps the changes that come of this could make it so we can punish the kids that have bad behavior. If you think that the only reason this is happening is because the community has money you are wrong. CVHS has a very diverse attendance. Yes some have money but some do not. I people talking at the meeting saying they were from Northgate wanting and waiting to see how this turns out so they can do the same thing. I think the WC school has more money in the communtiy then we do ( I could be wrong about that) I to have many more questions on this but am willing to give it a try to help the children get further ahead in life.

  38. Charters do not drain money away from the district. The money comes from the state and the only way it becomes MDUSD's is if they convince the family to enroll (or re-enroll) in a district school. If MDUSD wants that money, all it has to do is offer a program that families want.

    Here's an easy way to do that: offer a true honors track with an accelerated curriculum starting no later than 6th grade. It would cost very little- just put all the smart kids into one or two classes and use the textbooks for the grade above.

  39. Hmm, wonder if all the high schools in the MDUSD should become Charters or form their own small district, like Acalanes. Can a group of schools become a Charter together? Then each school could offer Academies and then students could have the choice to attend the school that fits their interests.

    Do Charters still have to offer ESL and take students who speak no English?

  40. Sadly I have sat at UMDAF meetings and had to listen to snide comments from CVHS parents and Concord High parents regarding 2 other schools in our district. It was awful and I did hear Pat state "We are all in this together, all schools have sports or none will". I stopped attending because of this.

    California is changing and so are our schools. If you have good, strong administration who will instill rules, follow through on them, instill good work ethics and demand the teachers teach up, then good things will happen. Studies show it does take 3-6 years to turn a school around, it does not happen overnight.

    We should all write Dr. Lawrence and the BOE that we want all our high schools to teach up and bring back classes for GATE and students who want strong academics. Offer a high school that focuses on vocational training or job training for those who are not on the College track. No more of this teaching to the lowest level, no more of this full immersion because it is not fair to the students. If a student tests low, does not speak, read and write fluent English, put them is seperate classes until they test high. Offer all classes at an Honors level, get these kids ready for College. Many graduating Seniors from our State are not passing the College English tests, and this is coming from schools all over the State. This speaks volumns to me, stop teaching down, teach high and demand accountability and put each and every student on a behavior contract. Then remove those students that are constantly disruptive, refuse to participate, refuse to do work and put them in continuation school. Then change the age to 16 and give them back to their parents, they can home school or do independent study. Stop the insanity of trying to teach kids who don't care and thrive on disruption.

  41. Questions:
    1. When a special needs child requires services (speech, behavioral therapist, one-on-one aide, physical therapist, etc. that is mandated by an IEP, (Individual Education Plan) is the charter school responsible for the cost of these services? (I have attended meetings with a team of 8 paid providers for one child.)
    2. Does the charter school have the right to not accept students if they live in the attendance area?
    3. Is the charter school responsible for all maintenance and the upkeep of capital improvements? removing graffiti, broken windows, leaking gutters, etc.
    4. If is a student breaks the rules excessively, what happens if a number of suspensions and conferences doesn't work? (Now students go to the MDUSD Positive Behavior Team, can be transferred to another school, or eventually go up for expulsion.

  42. My guesses on your question is that since the money follows the students, then yes, the charter would provide services. Pat M - one of the teacher organizers, IS a special ed teacher she says and has a special draw to be sure that every child is served (what she said). I think attendance is drawn on the current boundary lines, but there may be some behavior or other contracts that would allow the school to oust some that dont' want to be there or play by the rules (my take).

    On one of the other charter schools mentioned on the facebook page, I saw that the district was responsible for all deferred and ongoing building maintenance (as they are like the landlord and responsible ultimately) , but new things would be on the charter. But that's just a guess. So just think of if you were a renter, what would you take care of, and what would your landlord do?

    Not sure on your last question.. hopefully a behavior and conduct contract is in place at the charter, so there are stricter consequences for misconduct. not sure though.

    Since you have a lot of questions, I hope you will be there on Monday. Some of these things may be premliminary to ask, but never hurts

  43. Answers to some of these questions on special education services in a CVHS charter would depend on the approach taken by that specific charter, as out line in its organization document. Every charter has to spell out how it will handle students with special needs.

    A charter in MDUSD could remain part of the MDUSD LEA (Local Education Authority) for special ed administration and funding. MDUSD is big enough to be its own LEA and its own SELPA (Special Education Local Planning Area). SELPAs are the organizations in California that approve how districts and schools handle special ed students. They also provide technical assistance and handle funding. Every school has to belong to an LEA and every LEA must either belong to a SELPA or create its own (as MDUSD has done). If a charter decides to handle special education through the district where it is created, then nothing much changes for the students in the district who have IEPs and move to the charter. But many charters choose to become their own LEA, which enables them to be members, in their own right, in the County SELPA (every county has at least one SELPA to cover the county). Charter schools that are their own LEAs may also choose to affiliate instead with other SELPAs in other parts of the state. For example, El Dorado County has a county SELPA that offers its services to charters outside the county. Many charter school LEAs have chosen to affiliate with the El Dorado County SELPA, which generally has a good reputation in special ed circles. Flex Academy, for example, uses the El Dorado SELPA.

  44. A charter DOES take money away from the district in that the same amount of staff is needed to maintain the level of work at the district office but now there are less students who help offset the cost. (You can't release one payroll member, one financial analyst, one secretary, etc. because one school does not exist.)

    I have also heard from a board member that no one from CVHS (parent or staff) contacted the board about wanting to work together on changes to CVHS. If that is true, shame on CVHS for now trying to work within the system.

    I agree this is all about Pat M wanting to grab what she can for CVHS and do caring about anyone else!

  45. Anon April 18, 2011 11:23,

    I do not have any interest in the CVHS charter but I have no problem with their desire to seek a charter.

    Shame on you for blaming parents and teachers for not trying to work with MDUSD... are you kidding me!!!!!

    My child goes to a different MDUSD high school and I can tell you that the concerns at CVHS have been made clear to me. I am also aware that we have a Board member who has had a child at CVHS and is aware of the various problems.

    Put the blame where it belongs. MDUSD can not just ignore problems at a school and expect parents and teachers not to take drastic actions. You may have appeased Northgate for now with a leadership change but this kind of last minute fix is not always going to work. It is beyond the time to hold this Board accountable.

  46. 11:23. PLEASE Eberhart, who is the President of the board is WELL AWARE of the issues. He's got a student there. I've personally talked to other board members. THEY KNOW there is an issue. If they say they don't, they aren't telling the truth.

  47. Hmm, anon at 11:23. That is simply NOT true. I have talked personally to Sherry and Gary. Gary does indeed have a student there. I have a feeling he's well aware of the issues. CVHS is well known among the board for having "issues."

  48. Get ready for a bumpy ride. Gary has a conflict and can't vote on this charter, and don't two other board members Lynne and Cheryl live in the CVHS boundary? Everyone says this will raise CVHS property values which creates a conflict for them. So leave it up to Linda and Sherry.

  49. If you really just stop and take a look around CV you will always see the same parents helping out with fundraisers or any events going on in the school. Lets face the fact that not all the parents want to be involved in the school they just want to send their child to school and hope they do what they need to do for the day. It is time for a change and I believe that a Charter school is the way to go our children need a good education and learn how to respect each other and adults.

    If our children have a voice in what type of school they would like to attend. We all might be surprized in what they have to say. I have traveled to other school out of MDUSD and the school are wonderful they give off pride and that is what we need to bring to CV.

  50. 11:11, that is the same in any school. In fact, I will always say, that the same parents you saw at kindergarten stations, you'll see setting up for 5th grade promotion, 8th grade promotion and high school graduations. It's always that way. A charter isn't going to instantly make parents get more involved. If the charter is able to keep kids within the boundaries, then why would much change? If it's an open lottery system, then of course "only" the most involved , most aware parents, willing to sign whatever behavior and expectation contracts, will apply.

    However, I'm very curious about this boundary line thing. I've heard mixed reviews as to whether they'll keep the attendance lines the same, or that if they accept federal charter start up money, it may be a requirement of that money to be an open lottery system.

    How will local CVHS support fare then if those in the attendance boundary line have to put in for a lottery acceptance? I think it won't go over too well, personally. SO we have to know more.

  51. Remember, the proposed CVHS is NOT a regular charter school. It would be a teacher-sponsored conversion of an existing school, and there are specific rules for those types of conversions (just as with the "parent trigger" conversions, created when a majority of parents vote to convert). In these conversions of an existing school, the students living within the existing attendance boundaries receive priority for attendance. The school was built to serve those families (unlike a new charter coming into a community as an additional school). If the school undergoing the conversion is under-enrolled and/or some of the current students decide not to enroll in the new charter (which happens), then there is room for students from outside the attendance area, but the priority goes to the families living in the attendance area.

  52. I heard that federal charter start up money has to be given to low income schools. Would CVHS qualify for this? It seems there are lots of financial questions that still need to be answered and no one who really knows the answers.

  53. It sounds like Crystyl Ranch and the Crossings will be shut out of their closest school

  54. Well of course 7:53 , that's why they pay the big bucks, for Northgate! Hmm, maybe property values will improve after all when the newest, coolest and most innovative school is in the CVHS feeder pattern. It could happen! For crystal ranch and crossings, could end up being a case of ' be careful what you wish for.'

  55. Anon 6:13. Please provide a source for that claim, that only low income schools can get the fed grants. Otherwise , we get it, you are against the idea...