Panel May Favor School Closure, but does the School Board?

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The Davis Enterprise reported last night that most of the school task force members are leaning toward closing a Davis elementary school due to declining enrollment. Valley Oak Elementary would be the prime target.

School Board members Sheila Allen, Jim Provenza, and Tim Taylor however all suggested that this would not happen for the 2007-08 school year.

Allen was quoted as saying: “the board needs to be honest with the community that a major change (like closing a school) in the 2007-08 school year is not realistic.”

Provenza added: “To close a school in the next (school) year would hurt the district.”

Tim Taylor said, “I don’t want the community to go into hysteria thinking that the board is going to jam something through on March 1.”

On Tuesday night before the Davis Democratic Club Sheila Allen was emphatic that she was against closing any school and that more over she did not believe that we should pit neighborhood against neighborhood. She strongly supported the ideal of keeping all elementary schools open.

Jim Provenza was also there the other night and while he was not as forceful on this as Sheila, I did not get the sense that he was in disagreement.

At the end of the day, I do not see three votes to close a school. It certainly will not happen in 2007-08. And I think by 2008-09, they will have figured out an alternative strategy.

On the other hand, the task force members were overwhelmingly of the opinion that enrollment had dropped and that it could not sustain the current nine school strategy.

The task force will meet again next week and the final report is expected to be available sometime before the March 1 meeting of the Davis School Board.

At the end of the day, the school district most likely will not take the route of closing a school. I think it is far more likely that they will try to find an alternative solution to prevent the closure of neighborhood schools.

One of those options would be to redraw some existing attendance boundaries for elementary schools while keeping all nine schools open. At this point, despite the task force leaning toward closing one school–probably Valley Oak–I think this alternative is more likely to be adopted by the school district.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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52 thoughts on “Panel May Favor School Closure, but does the School Board?”

  1. Anonymous

    Not all the Task Force members supported school closings. The article said that Val Dolcini opposed the idea. Let’s give him and those trustees some credit for saying NO to a bad idea.

  2. Anonymous

    Not all the Task Force members supported school closings. The article said that Val Dolcini opposed the idea. Let’s give him and those trustees some credit for saying NO to a bad idea.

  3. Anonymous

    Not all the Task Force members supported school closings. The article said that Val Dolcini opposed the idea. Let’s give him and those trustees some credit for saying NO to a bad idea.

  4. Anonymous

    Not all the Task Force members supported school closings. The article said that Val Dolcini opposed the idea. Let’s give him and those trustees some credit for saying NO to a bad idea.

  5. Davisite

    It would be valuable if the process called for the majority recommendation of the Task Force as well as minority positions to be put on paper and available to the public. This would be along the lines of the Supreme Court majority and minority opinions with the pertinent facts referenced and analytical thought process outlined that brought each to their recommendations. This concept should also be applied to the Housing Element Steering Committee.

  6. Davisite

    It would be valuable if the process called for the majority recommendation of the Task Force as well as minority positions to be put on paper and available to the public. This would be along the lines of the Supreme Court majority and minority opinions with the pertinent facts referenced and analytical thought process outlined that brought each to their recommendations. This concept should also be applied to the Housing Element Steering Committee.

  7. Davisite

    It would be valuable if the process called for the majority recommendation of the Task Force as well as minority positions to be put on paper and available to the public. This would be along the lines of the Supreme Court majority and minority opinions with the pertinent facts referenced and analytical thought process outlined that brought each to their recommendations. This concept should also be applied to the Housing Element Steering Committee.

  8. Davisite

    It would be valuable if the process called for the majority recommendation of the Task Force as well as minority positions to be put on paper and available to the public. This would be along the lines of the Supreme Court majority and minority opinions with the pertinent facts referenced and analytical thought process outlined that brought each to their recommendations. This concept should also be applied to the Housing Element Steering Committee.

  9. Rich Rifkin

    How does redrawing district boundaries save any money?

    That may be a solution to the imbalance of demand at each of the 9 elementary schools. But it does nothing, as far as I can see, to address the problem that the task force was assigned to solve: too few K-6 kids in the DJUSD and hence too little money.

  10. Rich Rifkin

    How does redrawing district boundaries save any money?

    That may be a solution to the imbalance of demand at each of the 9 elementary schools. But it does nothing, as far as I can see, to address the problem that the task force was assigned to solve: too few K-6 kids in the DJUSD and hence too little money.

  11. Rich Rifkin

    How does redrawing district boundaries save any money?

    That may be a solution to the imbalance of demand at each of the 9 elementary schools. But it does nothing, as far as I can see, to address the problem that the task force was assigned to solve: too few K-6 kids in the DJUSD and hence too little money.

  12. Rich Rifkin

    How does redrawing district boundaries save any money?

    That may be a solution to the imbalance of demand at each of the 9 elementary schools. But it does nothing, as far as I can see, to address the problem that the task force was assigned to solve: too few K-6 kids in the DJUSD and hence too little money.

  13. Rich Rifkin

    As those of you who read my column know, I favor making Valley Oak a satellite campus of Korematsu, in order to eliminate most of the Valley Oak overhead. However, there’s a “solution” to the money problem out there that no one (to my knowledge) has suggested: redraw the district boundaries and close Cesar Chavez Elementary.

    Why close Chavez? Three reasons:

    1) Chavez is not a neighborhood school. It’s a magnet. It has thus created the lack of students problem at other elementaries by drawing their kids out of their neighborhood schools. If you get rid of the magnet school, there are enough children to populate the remaining 8 elementaries;

    2) For Chavez kids who do live nearby, they could go to nearby Willett or North Davis; and

    3) Chavez is as old a school as Valley Oak. Insofar as the reason to close Valley Oak is that it is worn out, the same reasoning would apply to the erstwhile West Davis Elementary.

    Would that spell the end of Spanish Immersion?

    No. Instead of having it all at one campus, you could have a couple of Spanish Immersion classrooms at each of the other 8 elementaries.

    There is obviously some advantage to concentrating all of the Spanish Immersion at one school. But when that causes a demand problem at the other schools, the benefits of the concentration may not be worth it.

    I should emphasize the fact that I don’t favor the closing of Chavez: making Valley Oak a satellite campus is a far superior solution in my opinion. But if no one in power is willing to implement the satellite suggestion, then closing a magnet school (and relocating its students to their neighborhoods, where hopefully they could have their same programs) is a better idea than just closing a neighborhood school like Valley Oak, or not fully utilizing Korematsu.

  14. Rich Rifkin

    As those of you who read my column know, I favor making Valley Oak a satellite campus of Korematsu, in order to eliminate most of the Valley Oak overhead. However, there’s a “solution” to the money problem out there that no one (to my knowledge) has suggested: redraw the district boundaries and close Cesar Chavez Elementary.

    Why close Chavez? Three reasons:

    1) Chavez is not a neighborhood school. It’s a magnet. It has thus created the lack of students problem at other elementaries by drawing their kids out of their neighborhood schools. If you get rid of the magnet school, there are enough children to populate the remaining 8 elementaries;

    2) For Chavez kids who do live nearby, they could go to nearby Willett or North Davis; and

    3) Chavez is as old a school as Valley Oak. Insofar as the reason to close Valley Oak is that it is worn out, the same reasoning would apply to the erstwhile West Davis Elementary.

    Would that spell the end of Spanish Immersion?

    No. Instead of having it all at one campus, you could have a couple of Spanish Immersion classrooms at each of the other 8 elementaries.

    There is obviously some advantage to concentrating all of the Spanish Immersion at one school. But when that causes a demand problem at the other schools, the benefits of the concentration may not be worth it.

    I should emphasize the fact that I don’t favor the closing of Chavez: making Valley Oak a satellite campus is a far superior solution in my opinion. But if no one in power is willing to implement the satellite suggestion, then closing a magnet school (and relocating its students to their neighborhoods, where hopefully they could have their same programs) is a better idea than just closing a neighborhood school like Valley Oak, or not fully utilizing Korematsu.

  15. Rich Rifkin

    As those of you who read my column know, I favor making Valley Oak a satellite campus of Korematsu, in order to eliminate most of the Valley Oak overhead. However, there’s a “solution” to the money problem out there that no one (to my knowledge) has suggested: redraw the district boundaries and close Cesar Chavez Elementary.

    Why close Chavez? Three reasons:

    1) Chavez is not a neighborhood school. It’s a magnet. It has thus created the lack of students problem at other elementaries by drawing their kids out of their neighborhood schools. If you get rid of the magnet school, there are enough children to populate the remaining 8 elementaries;

    2) For Chavez kids who do live nearby, they could go to nearby Willett or North Davis; and

    3) Chavez is as old a school as Valley Oak. Insofar as the reason to close Valley Oak is that it is worn out, the same reasoning would apply to the erstwhile West Davis Elementary.

    Would that spell the end of Spanish Immersion?

    No. Instead of having it all at one campus, you could have a couple of Spanish Immersion classrooms at each of the other 8 elementaries.

    There is obviously some advantage to concentrating all of the Spanish Immersion at one school. But when that causes a demand problem at the other schools, the benefits of the concentration may not be worth it.

    I should emphasize the fact that I don’t favor the closing of Chavez: making Valley Oak a satellite campus is a far superior solution in my opinion. But if no one in power is willing to implement the satellite suggestion, then closing a magnet school (and relocating its students to their neighborhoods, where hopefully they could have their same programs) is a better idea than just closing a neighborhood school like Valley Oak, or not fully utilizing Korematsu.

  16. Rich Rifkin

    As those of you who read my column know, I favor making Valley Oak a satellite campus of Korematsu, in order to eliminate most of the Valley Oak overhead. However, there’s a “solution” to the money problem out there that no one (to my knowledge) has suggested: redraw the district boundaries and close Cesar Chavez Elementary.

    Why close Chavez? Three reasons:

    1) Chavez is not a neighborhood school. It’s a magnet. It has thus created the lack of students problem at other elementaries by drawing their kids out of their neighborhood schools. If you get rid of the magnet school, there are enough children to populate the remaining 8 elementaries;

    2) For Chavez kids who do live nearby, they could go to nearby Willett or North Davis; and

    3) Chavez is as old a school as Valley Oak. Insofar as the reason to close Valley Oak is that it is worn out, the same reasoning would apply to the erstwhile West Davis Elementary.

    Would that spell the end of Spanish Immersion?

    No. Instead of having it all at one campus, you could have a couple of Spanish Immersion classrooms at each of the other 8 elementaries.

    There is obviously some advantage to concentrating all of the Spanish Immersion at one school. But when that causes a demand problem at the other schools, the benefits of the concentration may not be worth it.

    I should emphasize the fact that I don’t favor the closing of Chavez: making Valley Oak a satellite campus is a far superior solution in my opinion. But if no one in power is willing to implement the satellite suggestion, then closing a magnet school (and relocating its students to their neighborhoods, where hopefully they could have their same programs) is a better idea than just closing a neighborhood school like Valley Oak, or not fully utilizing Korematsu.

  17. Davisite

    Don.. it should be very “interesting”.. remember when a citizen mob marched on Jose Carillo’s home(he was a school board member then) one evening in a mood to, metaphorically speaking, ” burned a pinata on his front lawn”?

  18. Davisite

    Don.. it should be very “interesting”.. remember when a citizen mob marched on Jose Carillo’s home(he was a school board member then) one evening in a mood to, metaphorically speaking, ” burned a pinata on his front lawn”?

  19. Davisite

    Don.. it should be very “interesting”.. remember when a citizen mob marched on Jose Carillo’s home(he was a school board member then) one evening in a mood to, metaphorically speaking, ” burned a pinata on his front lawn”?

  20. Davisite

    Don.. it should be very “interesting”.. remember when a citizen mob marched on Jose Carillo’s home(he was a school board member then) one evening in a mood to, metaphorically speaking, ” burned a pinata on his front lawn”?

  21. Don Shor

    I remember that, and the months of long, anguished letters to the editor about the trauma of moving a child to a different elementary school. Personally, I thought the parents were more traumatized than the kids, but my own kids were interdistrict transfer students so I was always at the whim of the DJUSD.

    The school district budget is so Byzantine that I don’t even know that there is a sufficient budgetary concern to justify closing any school. The task force was looking at ‘best use’ of school facilities, presumably from an efficiency standpoint. But that isn’t the only consideration at the political end of the decision-making process. The board can (and probably will) simply decide that the less efficient current use has valid benefits (neighborhood cohesiveness, less disruption). My guess is they will simply tell the district to keep all the schools open and find a way to pay for it.

  22. Don Shor

    I remember that, and the months of long, anguished letters to the editor about the trauma of moving a child to a different elementary school. Personally, I thought the parents were more traumatized than the kids, but my own kids were interdistrict transfer students so I was always at the whim of the DJUSD.

    The school district budget is so Byzantine that I don’t even know that there is a sufficient budgetary concern to justify closing any school. The task force was looking at ‘best use’ of school facilities, presumably from an efficiency standpoint. But that isn’t the only consideration at the political end of the decision-making process. The board can (and probably will) simply decide that the less efficient current use has valid benefits (neighborhood cohesiveness, less disruption). My guess is they will simply tell the district to keep all the schools open and find a way to pay for it.

  23. Don Shor

    I remember that, and the months of long, anguished letters to the editor about the trauma of moving a child to a different elementary school. Personally, I thought the parents were more traumatized than the kids, but my own kids were interdistrict transfer students so I was always at the whim of the DJUSD.

    The school district budget is so Byzantine that I don’t even know that there is a sufficient budgetary concern to justify closing any school. The task force was looking at ‘best use’ of school facilities, presumably from an efficiency standpoint. But that isn’t the only consideration at the political end of the decision-making process. The board can (and probably will) simply decide that the less efficient current use has valid benefits (neighborhood cohesiveness, less disruption). My guess is they will simply tell the district to keep all the schools open and find a way to pay for it.

  24. Don Shor

    I remember that, and the months of long, anguished letters to the editor about the trauma of moving a child to a different elementary school. Personally, I thought the parents were more traumatized than the kids, but my own kids were interdistrict transfer students so I was always at the whim of the DJUSD.

    The school district budget is so Byzantine that I don’t even know that there is a sufficient budgetary concern to justify closing any school. The task force was looking at ‘best use’ of school facilities, presumably from an efficiency standpoint. But that isn’t the only consideration at the political end of the decision-making process. The board can (and probably will) simply decide that the less efficient current use has valid benefits (neighborhood cohesiveness, less disruption). My guess is they will simply tell the district to keep all the schools open and find a way to pay for it.

  25. Anonymous

    Keeping all 9 elementary schools open is a terrible non-idea. It actually creates more problems than it solves. There aren’t enough kids in the district to support 9 schools and won’t be for years. One way or another, not closing a school will result in diminished program offerings in the district for the purpose of funding of empty seats. Please stop calling people brave for their unwillingness to make what’s obviously the politically more painful and, in this case, correct choice. You may like the choice, but calling it brave is absurd.

    There is no question in my mind, though, that if the school board is too chicken to close a school, then they absolutely, positively must significantly redraw school boundaries so VO is not left as a small school with a 50-60% disadvantaged neighborhood population. Of course, doing that will piss off every other neighborhood in town, as kids from other neighborhoods will be zoned away from their neighborhood school for the purpose of propping up the enrollment of another neighborhood school that doesn’t have nearly enough kids in the neighborhood to make up viable neighborhood school.

    That’s the great irony of all this: VO isn’t even a neighborhood school, now. Only about 40% of the current population resides in the neighborhood. It’s a commuter school, not a neighborhood school. Keeping it open will result in pilfering kids from other neighborhood schools. How does this make sense?

  26. Anonymous

    Keeping all 9 elementary schools open is a terrible non-idea. It actually creates more problems than it solves. There aren’t enough kids in the district to support 9 schools and won’t be for years. One way or another, not closing a school will result in diminished program offerings in the district for the purpose of funding of empty seats. Please stop calling people brave for their unwillingness to make what’s obviously the politically more painful and, in this case, correct choice. You may like the choice, but calling it brave is absurd.

    There is no question in my mind, though, that if the school board is too chicken to close a school, then they absolutely, positively must significantly redraw school boundaries so VO is not left as a small school with a 50-60% disadvantaged neighborhood population. Of course, doing that will piss off every other neighborhood in town, as kids from other neighborhoods will be zoned away from their neighborhood school for the purpose of propping up the enrollment of another neighborhood school that doesn’t have nearly enough kids in the neighborhood to make up viable neighborhood school.

    That’s the great irony of all this: VO isn’t even a neighborhood school, now. Only about 40% of the current population resides in the neighborhood. It’s a commuter school, not a neighborhood school. Keeping it open will result in pilfering kids from other neighborhood schools. How does this make sense?

  27. Anonymous

    Keeping all 9 elementary schools open is a terrible non-idea. It actually creates more problems than it solves. There aren’t enough kids in the district to support 9 schools and won’t be for years. One way or another, not closing a school will result in diminished program offerings in the district for the purpose of funding of empty seats. Please stop calling people brave for their unwillingness to make what’s obviously the politically more painful and, in this case, correct choice. You may like the choice, but calling it brave is absurd.

    There is no question in my mind, though, that if the school board is too chicken to close a school, then they absolutely, positively must significantly redraw school boundaries so VO is not left as a small school with a 50-60% disadvantaged neighborhood population. Of course, doing that will piss off every other neighborhood in town, as kids from other neighborhoods will be zoned away from their neighborhood school for the purpose of propping up the enrollment of another neighborhood school that doesn’t have nearly enough kids in the neighborhood to make up viable neighborhood school.

    That’s the great irony of all this: VO isn’t even a neighborhood school, now. Only about 40% of the current population resides in the neighborhood. It’s a commuter school, not a neighborhood school. Keeping it open will result in pilfering kids from other neighborhood schools. How does this make sense?

  28. Anonymous

    Keeping all 9 elementary schools open is a terrible non-idea. It actually creates more problems than it solves. There aren’t enough kids in the district to support 9 schools and won’t be for years. One way or another, not closing a school will result in diminished program offerings in the district for the purpose of funding of empty seats. Please stop calling people brave for their unwillingness to make what’s obviously the politically more painful and, in this case, correct choice. You may like the choice, but calling it brave is absurd.

    There is no question in my mind, though, that if the school board is too chicken to close a school, then they absolutely, positively must significantly redraw school boundaries so VO is not left as a small school with a 50-60% disadvantaged neighborhood population. Of course, doing that will piss off every other neighborhood in town, as kids from other neighborhoods will be zoned away from their neighborhood school for the purpose of propping up the enrollment of another neighborhood school that doesn’t have nearly enough kids in the neighborhood to make up viable neighborhood school.

    That’s the great irony of all this: VO isn’t even a neighborhood school, now. Only about 40% of the current population resides in the neighborhood. It’s a commuter school, not a neighborhood school. Keeping it open will result in pilfering kids from other neighborhood schools. How does this make sense?

  29. Anonymous

    Rich Rifkin’s satellite option is by far the worst idea I’ve seen on this subject. There’s plenty of educational research showing that having strong on-site administrative support is crucial to the success of a school.

    You can’t tell me that a satellite campus will get the appropriate attention it requires to be effectively managed, have all issues that arise handled, and provide parents with sufficient opportunity to voice their concerns on important matters.

    That idea would be viewed by VO parents, rightly, as a lack of respect, if not an out and out insult.

    But, you see, these are the kind of bad ideas that arise from a well-intentioned but misguided effort to keep all of the schools open regradless of the consequences. In some way, the quality of education provided in the district will suffer.

    Programs will be cut. School sites will suffer from inadequate grade level differentiation. Boundaries will be shifted. There will be unbalanced populations in some of the schools (VO, most likely). Nobody is happy to see a school closure, but all of the remaining options are worse.

    The right choice is to close the school. This is the decision that most task force members, very reluctantly, have come to after carefully considering all the issues over the past year and a half. I can assure you that no one came in to the process hoping to close a school. Quite the opposite. All but Dolcini – who stated from the get go that he wouldn’t consider closing a school, which makes you wonder how he got on the task force to begin with if he wouldn’t follow the data – have come around to the view that the politically unpopular option of closing a school is the best one for the district.

    I have no idea what the Board will do at the end of the day. My guess is that they are happy to delay any tough decision until after the passage of the November parcel tax. But let’s not kid ourselves into thinking that keeping all of the schools open makes any sense. It’s the choice of political cowardice, plain and simple.

  30. Anonymous

    Rich Rifkin’s satellite option is by far the worst idea I’ve seen on this subject. There’s plenty of educational research showing that having strong on-site administrative support is crucial to the success of a school.

    You can’t tell me that a satellite campus will get the appropriate attention it requires to be effectively managed, have all issues that arise handled, and provide parents with sufficient opportunity to voice their concerns on important matters.

    That idea would be viewed by VO parents, rightly, as a lack of respect, if not an out and out insult.

    But, you see, these are the kind of bad ideas that arise from a well-intentioned but misguided effort to keep all of the schools open regradless of the consequences. In some way, the quality of education provided in the district will suffer.

    Programs will be cut. School sites will suffer from inadequate grade level differentiation. Boundaries will be shifted. There will be unbalanced populations in some of the schools (VO, most likely). Nobody is happy to see a school closure, but all of the remaining options are worse.

    The right choice is to close the school. This is the decision that most task force members, very reluctantly, have come to after carefully considering all the issues over the past year and a half. I can assure you that no one came in to the process hoping to close a school. Quite the opposite. All but Dolcini – who stated from the get go that he wouldn’t consider closing a school, which makes you wonder how he got on the task force to begin with if he wouldn’t follow the data – have come around to the view that the politically unpopular option of closing a school is the best one for the district.

    I have no idea what the Board will do at the end of the day. My guess is that they are happy to delay any tough decision until after the passage of the November parcel tax. But let’s not kid ourselves into thinking that keeping all of the schools open makes any sense. It’s the choice of political cowardice, plain and simple.

  31. Anonymous

    Rich Rifkin’s satellite option is by far the worst idea I’ve seen on this subject. There’s plenty of educational research showing that having strong on-site administrative support is crucial to the success of a school.

    You can’t tell me that a satellite campus will get the appropriate attention it requires to be effectively managed, have all issues that arise handled, and provide parents with sufficient opportunity to voice their concerns on important matters.

    That idea would be viewed by VO parents, rightly, as a lack of respect, if not an out and out insult.

    But, you see, these are the kind of bad ideas that arise from a well-intentioned but misguided effort to keep all of the schools open regradless of the consequences. In some way, the quality of education provided in the district will suffer.

    Programs will be cut. School sites will suffer from inadequate grade level differentiation. Boundaries will be shifted. There will be unbalanced populations in some of the schools (VO, most likely). Nobody is happy to see a school closure, but all of the remaining options are worse.

    The right choice is to close the school. This is the decision that most task force members, very reluctantly, have come to after carefully considering all the issues over the past year and a half. I can assure you that no one came in to the process hoping to close a school. Quite the opposite. All but Dolcini – who stated from the get go that he wouldn’t consider closing a school, which makes you wonder how he got on the task force to begin with if he wouldn’t follow the data – have come around to the view that the politically unpopular option of closing a school is the best one for the district.

    I have no idea what the Board will do at the end of the day. My guess is that they are happy to delay any tough decision until after the passage of the November parcel tax. But let’s not kid ourselves into thinking that keeping all of the schools open makes any sense. It’s the choice of political cowardice, plain and simple.

  32. Anonymous

    Rich Rifkin’s satellite option is by far the worst idea I’ve seen on this subject. There’s plenty of educational research showing that having strong on-site administrative support is crucial to the success of a school.

    You can’t tell me that a satellite campus will get the appropriate attention it requires to be effectively managed, have all issues that arise handled, and provide parents with sufficient opportunity to voice their concerns on important matters.

    That idea would be viewed by VO parents, rightly, as a lack of respect, if not an out and out insult.

    But, you see, these are the kind of bad ideas that arise from a well-intentioned but misguided effort to keep all of the schools open regradless of the consequences. In some way, the quality of education provided in the district will suffer.

    Programs will be cut. School sites will suffer from inadequate grade level differentiation. Boundaries will be shifted. There will be unbalanced populations in some of the schools (VO, most likely). Nobody is happy to see a school closure, but all of the remaining options are worse.

    The right choice is to close the school. This is the decision that most task force members, very reluctantly, have come to after carefully considering all the issues over the past year and a half. I can assure you that no one came in to the process hoping to close a school. Quite the opposite. All but Dolcini – who stated from the get go that he wouldn’t consider closing a school, which makes you wonder how he got on the task force to begin with if he wouldn’t follow the data – have come around to the view that the politically unpopular option of closing a school is the best one for the district.

    I have no idea what the Board will do at the end of the day. My guess is that they are happy to delay any tough decision until after the passage of the November parcel tax. But let’s not kid ourselves into thinking that keeping all of the schools open makes any sense. It’s the choice of political cowardice, plain and simple.

  33. Rich Rifkin

    “Rich Rifkin’s satellite option is by far the worst idea I’ve seen on this subject.”

    Hey, I’m number one!

    “There’s plenty of educational research showing that having strong on-site administrative support is crucial to the success of a school.”

    Why does it have to be on-site? Why would strong administrative support not be enough?

    It’s not as if I am saying that the principal (and her aides) would never be on the Valley Oak campus. Obviously, they would have to visit regularly. It’s just that their day-to-day administrative duties could easily be performed at Korematsu. When they had to meet with VO teachers or students, they could drive 4 minutes over to VO as necessary.

    “You can’t tell me that a satellite campus will get the appropriate attention it requires to be effectively managed, have all issues that arise handled, and provide parents with sufficient opportunity to voice their concerns on important matters.”

    Only time would tell for sure. If it turns out to be unmanageable, being 4 minutes away by car, then a better solution would have to be found. I have no idea why you think parents could not contact the administrators if they were located off-site.

    “That idea would be viewed by VO parents, rightly, as a lack of respect, if not an out and out insult.”

    Really? I heard from about a dozen VO parents who thought my idea was a good one. No lack of respect for VO is intended. The only reason Korematsu would share its administration with VO, and not the reverse, is because there are about 2.5 times as many kids who live in the Korematsu area.

    “But, you see, these are the kind of bad ideas that arise from a well-intentioned but misguided effort to keep all of the schools open regradless of the consequences.”

    Other than by way of conjecture, do you know of a real world example where a satellite campus, located 4 minutes away, failed? I don’t.

    “In some way, the quality of education provided in the district will suffer.”

    If there is no doubt about this, then it should not be done. However, the VO kids would have their same classrooms, with their same teachers. The only difference for them would be that the admin staff would be located 4 minutes away (and instantly reachable by phone, text message or email).

    “Nobody is happy to see a school closure, but all of the remaining options are worse.”

    We also have the option of raising taxes in town to pay the $400,000 or so it would take to pay for the admin expenses at a 9th campus. That option is not “worse” in my opinion than what you prefer.

    “The right choice is to close the school.”

    It may be. But it comes at a huge price for that neighborhood. A neighborhood school helps tie together the parents and children into a real community, beyond just living near each other. That is a cost that ought not be ignored.

    “All but Dolcini – who stated from the get go that he wouldn’t consider closing a school, which makes you wonder how he got on the task force to begin with if he wouldn’t follow the data – have come around to the view that the politically unpopular option of closing a school is the best one for the district.”

    Maybe it is because Val Dolicini has a greater sense of the importance of community in Davis than the others on the commission? You may not know it, but the Dolicinis go back in Davis history a hundred years (if not longer). Val’s mother was a teacher in the Davis schools, too.

    “It’s the choice of political cowardice, plain and simple.”

    Anonymous, if you are calling other people cowards and you lack the courage to sign your name to your words, you rightly deserve to be called a hypocrite.

  34. Rich Rifkin

    “Rich Rifkin’s satellite option is by far the worst idea I’ve seen on this subject.”

    Hey, I’m number one!

    “There’s plenty of educational research showing that having strong on-site administrative support is crucial to the success of a school.”

    Why does it have to be on-site? Why would strong administrative support not be enough?

    It’s not as if I am saying that the principal (and her aides) would never be on the Valley Oak campus. Obviously, they would have to visit regularly. It’s just that their day-to-day administrative duties could easily be performed at Korematsu. When they had to meet with VO teachers or students, they could drive 4 minutes over to VO as necessary.

    “You can’t tell me that a satellite campus will get the appropriate attention it requires to be effectively managed, have all issues that arise handled, and provide parents with sufficient opportunity to voice their concerns on important matters.”

    Only time would tell for sure. If it turns out to be unmanageable, being 4 minutes away by car, then a better solution would have to be found. I have no idea why you think parents could not contact the administrators if they were located off-site.

    “That idea would be viewed by VO parents, rightly, as a lack of respect, if not an out and out insult.”

    Really? I heard from about a dozen VO parents who thought my idea was a good one. No lack of respect for VO is intended. The only reason Korematsu would share its administration with VO, and not the reverse, is because there are about 2.5 times as many kids who live in the Korematsu area.

    “But, you see, these are the kind of bad ideas that arise from a well-intentioned but misguided effort to keep all of the schools open regradless of the consequences.”

    Other than by way of conjecture, do you know of a real world example where a satellite campus, located 4 minutes away, failed? I don’t.

    “In some way, the quality of education provided in the district will suffer.”

    If there is no doubt about this, then it should not be done. However, the VO kids would have their same classrooms, with their same teachers. The only difference for them would be that the admin staff would be located 4 minutes away (and instantly reachable by phone, text message or email).

    “Nobody is happy to see a school closure, but all of the remaining options are worse.”

    We also have the option of raising taxes in town to pay the $400,000 or so it would take to pay for the admin expenses at a 9th campus. That option is not “worse” in my opinion than what you prefer.

    “The right choice is to close the school.”

    It may be. But it comes at a huge price for that neighborhood. A neighborhood school helps tie together the parents and children into a real community, beyond just living near each other. That is a cost that ought not be ignored.

    “All but Dolcini – who stated from the get go that he wouldn’t consider closing a school, which makes you wonder how he got on the task force to begin with if he wouldn’t follow the data – have come around to the view that the politically unpopular option of closing a school is the best one for the district.”

    Maybe it is because Val Dolicini has a greater sense of the importance of community in Davis than the others on the commission? You may not know it, but the Dolicinis go back in Davis history a hundred years (if not longer). Val’s mother was a teacher in the Davis schools, too.

    “It’s the choice of political cowardice, plain and simple.”

    Anonymous, if you are calling other people cowards and you lack the courage to sign your name to your words, you rightly deserve to be called a hypocrite.

  35. Rich Rifkin

    “Rich Rifkin’s satellite option is by far the worst idea I’ve seen on this subject.”

    Hey, I’m number one!

    “There’s plenty of educational research showing that having strong on-site administrative support is crucial to the success of a school.”

    Why does it have to be on-site? Why would strong administrative support not be enough?

    It’s not as if I am saying that the principal (and her aides) would never be on the Valley Oak campus. Obviously, they would have to visit regularly. It’s just that their day-to-day administrative duties could easily be performed at Korematsu. When they had to meet with VO teachers or students, they could drive 4 minutes over to VO as necessary.

    “You can’t tell me that a satellite campus will get the appropriate attention it requires to be effectively managed, have all issues that arise handled, and provide parents with sufficient opportunity to voice their concerns on important matters.”

    Only time would tell for sure. If it turns out to be unmanageable, being 4 minutes away by car, then a better solution would have to be found. I have no idea why you think parents could not contact the administrators if they were located off-site.

    “That idea would be viewed by VO parents, rightly, as a lack of respect, if not an out and out insult.”

    Really? I heard from about a dozen VO parents who thought my idea was a good one. No lack of respect for VO is intended. The only reason Korematsu would share its administration with VO, and not the reverse, is because there are about 2.5 times as many kids who live in the Korematsu area.

    “But, you see, these are the kind of bad ideas that arise from a well-intentioned but misguided effort to keep all of the schools open regradless of the consequences.”

    Other than by way of conjecture, do you know of a real world example where a satellite campus, located 4 minutes away, failed? I don’t.

    “In some way, the quality of education provided in the district will suffer.”

    If there is no doubt about this, then it should not be done. However, the VO kids would have their same classrooms, with their same teachers. The only difference for them would be that the admin staff would be located 4 minutes away (and instantly reachable by phone, text message or email).

    “Nobody is happy to see a school closure, but all of the remaining options are worse.”

    We also have the option of raising taxes in town to pay the $400,000 or so it would take to pay for the admin expenses at a 9th campus. That option is not “worse” in my opinion than what you prefer.

    “The right choice is to close the school.”

    It may be. But it comes at a huge price for that neighborhood. A neighborhood school helps tie together the parents and children into a real community, beyond just living near each other. That is a cost that ought not be ignored.

    “All but Dolcini – who stated from the get go that he wouldn’t consider closing a school, which makes you wonder how he got on the task force to begin with if he wouldn’t follow the data – have come around to the view that the politically unpopular option of closing a school is the best one for the district.”

    Maybe it is because Val Dolicini has a greater sense of the importance of community in Davis than the others on the commission? You may not know it, but the Dolicinis go back in Davis history a hundred years (if not longer). Val’s mother was a teacher in the Davis schools, too.

    “It’s the choice of political cowardice, plain and simple.”

    Anonymous, if you are calling other people cowards and you lack the courage to sign your name to your words, you rightly deserve to be called a hypocrite.

  36. Rich Rifkin

    “Rich Rifkin’s satellite option is by far the worst idea I’ve seen on this subject.”

    Hey, I’m number one!

    “There’s plenty of educational research showing that having strong on-site administrative support is crucial to the success of a school.”

    Why does it have to be on-site? Why would strong administrative support not be enough?

    It’s not as if I am saying that the principal (and her aides) would never be on the Valley Oak campus. Obviously, they would have to visit regularly. It’s just that their day-to-day administrative duties could easily be performed at Korematsu. When they had to meet with VO teachers or students, they could drive 4 minutes over to VO as necessary.

    “You can’t tell me that a satellite campus will get the appropriate attention it requires to be effectively managed, have all issues that arise handled, and provide parents with sufficient opportunity to voice their concerns on important matters.”

    Only time would tell for sure. If it turns out to be unmanageable, being 4 minutes away by car, then a better solution would have to be found. I have no idea why you think parents could not contact the administrators if they were located off-site.

    “That idea would be viewed by VO parents, rightly, as a lack of respect, if not an out and out insult.”

    Really? I heard from about a dozen VO parents who thought my idea was a good one. No lack of respect for VO is intended. The only reason Korematsu would share its administration with VO, and not the reverse, is because there are about 2.5 times as many kids who live in the Korematsu area.

    “But, you see, these are the kind of bad ideas that arise from a well-intentioned but misguided effort to keep all of the schools open regradless of the consequences.”

    Other than by way of conjecture, do you know of a real world example where a satellite campus, located 4 minutes away, failed? I don’t.

    “In some way, the quality of education provided in the district will suffer.”

    If there is no doubt about this, then it should not be done. However, the VO kids would have their same classrooms, with their same teachers. The only difference for them would be that the admin staff would be located 4 minutes away (and instantly reachable by phone, text message or email).

    “Nobody is happy to see a school closure, but all of the remaining options are worse.”

    We also have the option of raising taxes in town to pay the $400,000 or so it would take to pay for the admin expenses at a 9th campus. That option is not “worse” in my opinion than what you prefer.

    “The right choice is to close the school.”

    It may be. But it comes at a huge price for that neighborhood. A neighborhood school helps tie together the parents and children into a real community, beyond just living near each other. That is a cost that ought not be ignored.

    “All but Dolcini – who stated from the get go that he wouldn’t consider closing a school, which makes you wonder how he got on the task force to begin with if he wouldn’t follow the data – have come around to the view that the politically unpopular option of closing a school is the best one for the district.”

    Maybe it is because Val Dolicini has a greater sense of the importance of community in Davis than the others on the commission? You may not know it, but the Dolicinis go back in Davis history a hundred years (if not longer). Val’s mother was a teacher in the Davis schools, too.

    “It’s the choice of political cowardice, plain and simple.”

    Anonymous, if you are calling other people cowards and you lack the courage to sign your name to your words, you rightly deserve to be called a hypocrite.

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