Fight For Valley Oak Goes to the County… And Beyond

As if Valley Oak did not have enough obstacles already, looking at the budget situation for the Davis Joint Unified School District gives one the clear impression that the school district could not afford to lose another couple of hundred students to a Valley Oak Charter School under the auspices of the county. How they choose to deal with that reality at this time remains somewhat unclear.

However, on March 6, 2008, a Thursday in the evening there will be a public hearing at the County Board of Education in Woodland where Valley Oak’s Charter petition appeal will be heard.

There are more hurdles. If the County chooses to accept the charter petition, the teacher salary schedule is considerably lower than at DJUSD. Their health benefits program is more limited. How this impacts the charter and its ability to attract teachers is unclear at this time.

According to the County Board of Education’s website, the board decision must be made no later than April 4, 2008.

The public has a number of different means by which to comment. One of course would be to show up at the meeting on March 6, 2008.

However, the public may also leave a voicemail message of up to five minutes in length at: (530) 668-3751.

They may also email the county at: vocscomments@ycoe.org

Valley Oak supporters are urging the public to send an email or a voice message to one of those two sources.

Valley Oak Teacher and one of the key organizers Bill Storm told the Vanguard:

“We need people to check our website and offer their support as is suggested there. I’m sure the district will have plenty to say against us, as will those people in Davis who want us dead and the neighborhood left unserved. Community voices will be important here.”

Sarah Fonte, a teacher at Cesar Chavez, in a letter to the Davis Enterprise stressed that the Charter School is a free public school that is nevertheless unique.

“As a strong proponent of equitable public education for all students, I am glad to know that the proposed charter school is, in fact, a free public school. Like all schools in Davis, state academic standards will be taught and student academic performance will be measured through the same testing structures currently used in California’s other public schools.

What makes this school unique, however, is that a board of teachers, community members and parents will work together to determine how these standards should be presented to best suit the needs of all of the school’s students.”

She adds that while the Charter School primarily intends to serve the neighborhood students and families, she believes “students who live in other areas in and around Davis will be able to take advantage of the school’s programs as well.”

“This charter school effort is not a privatization scheme, and in no way is it an effort to undermine other great programs present in the Davis school district. Instead, the goal of this school is to support the low-income and culturally diverse students, among others, who are effectively being denied equal educational opportunity because of the Board of Education’s decision to close their highly successful neighborhood school.”

Finally a letter from Henry Anker, a student at Holmes Junior High wrote an eloquent letter to the editor that was published on Valentine’s Day.

“I am a student at Holmes Junior High, and Valley Oak Elementary School is part of my community. The issue of whether Valley Oak should become a charter school is not financial. It is social. The charter was turned down, but it is not clear why. It would be funded by the state of California and not Yolo County or Davis.

I went to a meeting at Valley Oak on Feb. 2. One person at the meeting who is a Valley Oak teacher and who lives in the neighborhood said, ‘Valley Oak is more than a school.’ What she meant by that was Valley Oak is a unique school that cannot be replicated anywhere else. It is unique because of where it is located, who it serves and how it educates.

When I was at the meeting, I could see why Valley Oak is unique. There were children, adults and old people; Spanish and English speakers. One teacher said there were 23 languages spoken at Valley Oak. There were always at least two people on stage explaining things – one in Spanish and the other in English.

They explained that if the school becomes a charter, it would be a cooperative. A cooperative empowers people to learn by participating. I learned a lot at that meeting – it was an example of the cooperative spirit that makes Valley Oak unique.

One person in the audience, Mariko Yamada, said her children went to Valley Oak once. She told everyone what a great school Valley Oak is, and she said, ‘Most of the battles you will fight in your life you will lose, but if you don’t fight – then we lose them all.'”

The message is clear. Members of the Valley Oak community want the public to know that this fight is not over. That the community is not giving up. That they will continue to fight and take this to the county. That if they should not prevail at the county-level they are going to the state.

There has been too much energy spent on keeping the hope of Valley Oak alive to give up now. Valley Oak represents a strong education for the children of a community that is often under-served. It means a strongly knit and closely bonded community. And the bottom line is that Valley Oak has succeeded despite all of the obstacles in the past. In this time of budget cuts and cutting of programs it is more important than ever to insure that our most vulnerable students have the best possible education.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

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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100 Comments

  1. Curious

    I do not remember the Board making a decision to reject the Valley Oak Charter? I thought that they voted not to accept “Hammond’s deal” but never formally rejected the original charter(or the result of a second negotiation). If the County approves the appeal, can the DJUSD still go back and approve a VO charter proposal and NOT lose the State funding for these children?

  2. Curious

    I do not remember the Board making a decision to reject the Valley Oak Charter? I thought that they voted not to accept “Hammond’s deal” but never formally rejected the original charter(or the result of a second negotiation). If the County approves the appeal, can the DJUSD still go back and approve a VO charter proposal and NOT lose the State funding for these children?

  3. Curious

    I do not remember the Board making a decision to reject the Valley Oak Charter? I thought that they voted not to accept “Hammond’s deal” but never formally rejected the original charter(or the result of a second negotiation). If the County approves the appeal, can the DJUSD still go back and approve a VO charter proposal and NOT lose the State funding for these children?

  4. Curious

    I do not remember the Board making a decision to reject the Valley Oak Charter? I thought that they voted not to accept “Hammond’s deal” but never formally rejected the original charter(or the result of a second negotiation). If the County approves the appeal, can the DJUSD still go back and approve a VO charter proposal and NOT lose the State funding for these children?

  5. Elaine Roberts Musser

    As you can see from the items slated to be cut from the school budget, the school district/board are not necessarily making the correct choices. With a charter school, there is parent/teacher input on how school funding is spent. We desperately need to support any attempts to create charter schools, each of which has its own governing body made up of parents and teachers – stakeholders who have every reason to make the school work financially.

    It is also possible for a charter school to forge relationships with private business to supplement funding wherever possible and appropriate. There are so many great possibilities to improve the fiscal health of a charter school, with imput from parents and teachers. VO Charter School will be an inspiration for better education that meets the needs of its particular student population. I see no reason why teacher salaries could not be supplemented through grant funding or other creative modalities. VO Charter School has the potential to be the envy of the Davis School District!

  6. Elaine Roberts Musser

    As you can see from the items slated to be cut from the school budget, the school district/board are not necessarily making the correct choices. With a charter school, there is parent/teacher input on how school funding is spent. We desperately need to support any attempts to create charter schools, each of which has its own governing body made up of parents and teachers – stakeholders who have every reason to make the school work financially.

    It is also possible for a charter school to forge relationships with private business to supplement funding wherever possible and appropriate. There are so many great possibilities to improve the fiscal health of a charter school, with imput from parents and teachers. VO Charter School will be an inspiration for better education that meets the needs of its particular student population. I see no reason why teacher salaries could not be supplemented through grant funding or other creative modalities. VO Charter School has the potential to be the envy of the Davis School District!

  7. Elaine Roberts Musser

    As you can see from the items slated to be cut from the school budget, the school district/board are not necessarily making the correct choices. With a charter school, there is parent/teacher input on how school funding is spent. We desperately need to support any attempts to create charter schools, each of which has its own governing body made up of parents and teachers – stakeholders who have every reason to make the school work financially.

    It is also possible for a charter school to forge relationships with private business to supplement funding wherever possible and appropriate. There are so many great possibilities to improve the fiscal health of a charter school, with imput from parents and teachers. VO Charter School will be an inspiration for better education that meets the needs of its particular student population. I see no reason why teacher salaries could not be supplemented through grant funding or other creative modalities. VO Charter School has the potential to be the envy of the Davis School District!

  8. Elaine Roberts Musser

    As you can see from the items slated to be cut from the school budget, the school district/board are not necessarily making the correct choices. With a charter school, there is parent/teacher input on how school funding is spent. We desperately need to support any attempts to create charter schools, each of which has its own governing body made up of parents and teachers – stakeholders who have every reason to make the school work financially.

    It is also possible for a charter school to forge relationships with private business to supplement funding wherever possible and appropriate. There are so many great possibilities to improve the fiscal health of a charter school, with imput from parents and teachers. VO Charter School will be an inspiration for better education that meets the needs of its particular student population. I see no reason why teacher salaries could not be supplemented through grant funding or other creative modalities. VO Charter School has the potential to be the envy of the Davis School District!

  9. frw

    I have no children at Valley Oak, but have followed the closure/charter storty with great interest.
    From an observer’s point of view: it appears to me that the district deliberately sought to close Valley Oak by appointing an all white, affluent BUSSTF, under-estimating the opposition to such a decision. It has proved to be a large black-eye for the district, considering the methods used by this 7/11. The deed was done, but the school was resurrected in another form as a charter proposal. The district pulled every dirty trick to sabotage the process while claiming an open mind and a willingness to work with the charter group. The school board was never going to pass the charter in any form, but managed to ask for extensions in order to waste the charter proposal’s momentum. The charter was denied in a 5-0 vote on illegal grounds. Negative financial impacts on the district can’t be a reason for voting down the charter.
    Still the charter preseveres and is now at the county level. If the county grants the charter, the DJUSD has a now hostile charter in its midst, the district has no influence over the charter’s operations,and the charter will bleed off a minimum of eighty of the district’s students. The charter teachers will be employess of the county and subject to a lower pay scale, making employment there less desirable to the dozen and a half or so current, senior Valley Oak teachers who’ve expressed interest in remaining as teachers. Thus, the DJUSD will have to keep those teachers on its payroll at at a time when the district is desperately trying to reduce its payroll, rather than have them shifted to the charter payroll had the board and district acted in good faith and passed the charter in January.
    Is this the kind of leadership we can expect from our school board in these difficult times?

  10. frw

    I have no children at Valley Oak, but have followed the closure/charter storty with great interest.
    From an observer’s point of view: it appears to me that the district deliberately sought to close Valley Oak by appointing an all white, affluent BUSSTF, under-estimating the opposition to such a decision. It has proved to be a large black-eye for the district, considering the methods used by this 7/11. The deed was done, but the school was resurrected in another form as a charter proposal. The district pulled every dirty trick to sabotage the process while claiming an open mind and a willingness to work with the charter group. The school board was never going to pass the charter in any form, but managed to ask for extensions in order to waste the charter proposal’s momentum. The charter was denied in a 5-0 vote on illegal grounds. Negative financial impacts on the district can’t be a reason for voting down the charter.
    Still the charter preseveres and is now at the county level. If the county grants the charter, the DJUSD has a now hostile charter in its midst, the district has no influence over the charter’s operations,and the charter will bleed off a minimum of eighty of the district’s students. The charter teachers will be employess of the county and subject to a lower pay scale, making employment there less desirable to the dozen and a half or so current, senior Valley Oak teachers who’ve expressed interest in remaining as teachers. Thus, the DJUSD will have to keep those teachers on its payroll at at a time when the district is desperately trying to reduce its payroll, rather than have them shifted to the charter payroll had the board and district acted in good faith and passed the charter in January.
    Is this the kind of leadership we can expect from our school board in these difficult times?

  11. frw

    I have no children at Valley Oak, but have followed the closure/charter storty with great interest.
    From an observer’s point of view: it appears to me that the district deliberately sought to close Valley Oak by appointing an all white, affluent BUSSTF, under-estimating the opposition to such a decision. It has proved to be a large black-eye for the district, considering the methods used by this 7/11. The deed was done, but the school was resurrected in another form as a charter proposal. The district pulled every dirty trick to sabotage the process while claiming an open mind and a willingness to work with the charter group. The school board was never going to pass the charter in any form, but managed to ask for extensions in order to waste the charter proposal’s momentum. The charter was denied in a 5-0 vote on illegal grounds. Negative financial impacts on the district can’t be a reason for voting down the charter.
    Still the charter preseveres and is now at the county level. If the county grants the charter, the DJUSD has a now hostile charter in its midst, the district has no influence over the charter’s operations,and the charter will bleed off a minimum of eighty of the district’s students. The charter teachers will be employess of the county and subject to a lower pay scale, making employment there less desirable to the dozen and a half or so current, senior Valley Oak teachers who’ve expressed interest in remaining as teachers. Thus, the DJUSD will have to keep those teachers on its payroll at at a time when the district is desperately trying to reduce its payroll, rather than have them shifted to the charter payroll had the board and district acted in good faith and passed the charter in January.
    Is this the kind of leadership we can expect from our school board in these difficult times?

  12. frw

    I have no children at Valley Oak, but have followed the closure/charter storty with great interest.
    From an observer’s point of view: it appears to me that the district deliberately sought to close Valley Oak by appointing an all white, affluent BUSSTF, under-estimating the opposition to such a decision. It has proved to be a large black-eye for the district, considering the methods used by this 7/11. The deed was done, but the school was resurrected in another form as a charter proposal. The district pulled every dirty trick to sabotage the process while claiming an open mind and a willingness to work with the charter group. The school board was never going to pass the charter in any form, but managed to ask for extensions in order to waste the charter proposal’s momentum. The charter was denied in a 5-0 vote on illegal grounds. Negative financial impacts on the district can’t be a reason for voting down the charter.
    Still the charter preseveres and is now at the county level. If the county grants the charter, the DJUSD has a now hostile charter in its midst, the district has no influence over the charter’s operations,and the charter will bleed off a minimum of eighty of the district’s students. The charter teachers will be employess of the county and subject to a lower pay scale, making employment there less desirable to the dozen and a half or so current, senior Valley Oak teachers who’ve expressed interest in remaining as teachers. Thus, the DJUSD will have to keep those teachers on its payroll at at a time when the district is desperately trying to reduce its payroll, rather than have them shifted to the charter payroll had the board and district acted in good faith and passed the charter in January.
    Is this the kind of leadership we can expect from our school board in these difficult times?

  13. 無名 - wu ming

    the tragedy in all of this is that the school district effectively made this financial mess for themselves by closing valley oak when it didn’t need to, and mismanaging money in the boom cycle of the economy. now that things are looking ugly for the budget, and they’ve driven valley oak to a charter, it’s going to hurt the district more.

    what a mess, and a needless one. davis has more than enough money in the community to make these things work, should it collectively decide that it’s worthwhile. what is so maddening is that the community never really got a chance to weigh in on whether they wanted to keep valley oak open, it was all presented as a fait accomplis by the school board and then more or less ignored in most of the school board and school bond races.

  14. 無名 - wu ming

    the tragedy in all of this is that the school district effectively made this financial mess for themselves by closing valley oak when it didn’t need to, and mismanaging money in the boom cycle of the economy. now that things are looking ugly for the budget, and they’ve driven valley oak to a charter, it’s going to hurt the district more.

    what a mess, and a needless one. davis has more than enough money in the community to make these things work, should it collectively decide that it’s worthwhile. what is so maddening is that the community never really got a chance to weigh in on whether they wanted to keep valley oak open, it was all presented as a fait accomplis by the school board and then more or less ignored in most of the school board and school bond races.

  15. 無名 - wu ming

    the tragedy in all of this is that the school district effectively made this financial mess for themselves by closing valley oak when it didn’t need to, and mismanaging money in the boom cycle of the economy. now that things are looking ugly for the budget, and they’ve driven valley oak to a charter, it’s going to hurt the district more.

    what a mess, and a needless one. davis has more than enough money in the community to make these things work, should it collectively decide that it’s worthwhile. what is so maddening is that the community never really got a chance to weigh in on whether they wanted to keep valley oak open, it was all presented as a fait accomplis by the school board and then more or less ignored in most of the school board and school bond races.

  16. 無名 - wu ming

    the tragedy in all of this is that the school district effectively made this financial mess for themselves by closing valley oak when it didn’t need to, and mismanaging money in the boom cycle of the economy. now that things are looking ugly for the budget, and they’ve driven valley oak to a charter, it’s going to hurt the district more.

    what a mess, and a needless one. davis has more than enough money in the community to make these things work, should it collectively decide that it’s worthwhile. what is so maddening is that the community never really got a chance to weigh in on whether they wanted to keep valley oak open, it was all presented as a fait accomplis by the school board and then more or less ignored in most of the school board and school bond races.

  17. Anonymous

    “it appears to me that the district deliberately sought to close Valley Oak by appointing an all white, affluent BUSSTF, under-estimating the opposition to such a decision.”

    Why did the black member of the School Board vote to close Valley Oak, while the only member to vote against closure was white?

  18. Anonymous

    “it appears to me that the district deliberately sought to close Valley Oak by appointing an all white, affluent BUSSTF, under-estimating the opposition to such a decision.”

    Why did the black member of the School Board vote to close Valley Oak, while the only member to vote against closure was white?

  19. Anonymous

    “it appears to me that the district deliberately sought to close Valley Oak by appointing an all white, affluent BUSSTF, under-estimating the opposition to such a decision.”

    Why did the black member of the School Board vote to close Valley Oak, while the only member to vote against closure was white?

  20. Anonymous

    “it appears to me that the district deliberately sought to close Valley Oak by appointing an all white, affluent BUSSTF, under-estimating the opposition to such a decision.”

    Why did the black member of the School Board vote to close Valley Oak, while the only member to vote against closure was white?

  21. Undaunted

    The Davis School Board is between a rock and a hard place if the County approves the Charter. Valley Oak school will have to be made available to the Charter School, according to Charter School statute about proximity, DJUSD will lose the potential added revenue from a successful Charter School/DJUSD collaboration, DJUSD will lose any input into this Davis school and the Board will have to deal with the Davis Teacher’s Union antipathy if VO teachers are seen as being punished with lower wages and benefits. This is a can of worms that the Davis School Board does not want to open(Taylor said as much from the dais at the first meeting on the “Hammond’s charter proposal”. I hope that the County Board of Education can send the message to the Davis Board that the Charter School proposal rejection was illegal and it is in DJUSD’s best interests to work with the Charter proponents to keep the VO Charter school as an adjunct to the DJUSD.

  22. Undaunted

    The Davis School Board is between a rock and a hard place if the County approves the Charter. Valley Oak school will have to be made available to the Charter School, according to Charter School statute about proximity, DJUSD will lose the potential added revenue from a successful Charter School/DJUSD collaboration, DJUSD will lose any input into this Davis school and the Board will have to deal with the Davis Teacher’s Union antipathy if VO teachers are seen as being punished with lower wages and benefits. This is a can of worms that the Davis School Board does not want to open(Taylor said as much from the dais at the first meeting on the “Hammond’s charter proposal”. I hope that the County Board of Education can send the message to the Davis Board that the Charter School proposal rejection was illegal and it is in DJUSD’s best interests to work with the Charter proponents to keep the VO Charter school as an adjunct to the DJUSD.

  23. Undaunted

    The Davis School Board is between a rock and a hard place if the County approves the Charter. Valley Oak school will have to be made available to the Charter School, according to Charter School statute about proximity, DJUSD will lose the potential added revenue from a successful Charter School/DJUSD collaboration, DJUSD will lose any input into this Davis school and the Board will have to deal with the Davis Teacher’s Union antipathy if VO teachers are seen as being punished with lower wages and benefits. This is a can of worms that the Davis School Board does not want to open(Taylor said as much from the dais at the first meeting on the “Hammond’s charter proposal”. I hope that the County Board of Education can send the message to the Davis Board that the Charter School proposal rejection was illegal and it is in DJUSD’s best interests to work with the Charter proponents to keep the VO Charter school as an adjunct to the DJUSD.

  24. Undaunted

    The Davis School Board is between a rock and a hard place if the County approves the Charter. Valley Oak school will have to be made available to the Charter School, according to Charter School statute about proximity, DJUSD will lose the potential added revenue from a successful Charter School/DJUSD collaboration, DJUSD will lose any input into this Davis school and the Board will have to deal with the Davis Teacher’s Union antipathy if VO teachers are seen as being punished with lower wages and benefits. This is a can of worms that the Davis School Board does not want to open(Taylor said as much from the dais at the first meeting on the “Hammond’s charter proposal”. I hope that the County Board of Education can send the message to the Davis Board that the Charter School proposal rejection was illegal and it is in DJUSD’s best interests to work with the Charter proponents to keep the VO Charter school as an adjunct to the DJUSD.

  25. Anonymous

    As an outsider is it just me (of course it is!) or is the declining enrollment in Davis schools a direct result of Measure J? Shouldn’t that be cause for alarm? A community w/o children does not strike me as a vibrant community. (Whew, it is just me.)

  26. Anonymous

    As an outsider is it just me (of course it is!) or is the declining enrollment in Davis schools a direct result of Measure J? Shouldn’t that be cause for alarm? A community w/o children does not strike me as a vibrant community. (Whew, it is just me.)

  27. Anonymous

    As an outsider is it just me (of course it is!) or is the declining enrollment in Davis schools a direct result of Measure J? Shouldn’t that be cause for alarm? A community w/o children does not strike me as a vibrant community. (Whew, it is just me.)

  28. Anonymous

    As an outsider is it just me (of course it is!) or is the declining enrollment in Davis schools a direct result of Measure J? Shouldn’t that be cause for alarm? A community w/o children does not strike me as a vibrant community. (Whew, it is just me.)

  29. don shor

    “I hope that the County Board of Education can send the message to the Davis Board that the Charter School proposal rejection was illegal and it is in DJUSD’s best interests to work with the Charter proponents to keep the VO Charter school as an adjunct to the DJUSD.”

    It is too late for that. If the county approves the charter, the county BofE is the oversight agency.

    On the other hand, if the county rejects it and the charter is appealed to the state, the state DofE can approve it and then hand it back to DJUSD as the oversight agency. That would be a fine kettle of fish indeed.

  30. don shor

    “I hope that the County Board of Education can send the message to the Davis Board that the Charter School proposal rejection was illegal and it is in DJUSD’s best interests to work with the Charter proponents to keep the VO Charter school as an adjunct to the DJUSD.”

    It is too late for that. If the county approves the charter, the county BofE is the oversight agency.

    On the other hand, if the county rejects it and the charter is appealed to the state, the state DofE can approve it and then hand it back to DJUSD as the oversight agency. That would be a fine kettle of fish indeed.

  31. don shor

    “I hope that the County Board of Education can send the message to the Davis Board that the Charter School proposal rejection was illegal and it is in DJUSD’s best interests to work with the Charter proponents to keep the VO Charter school as an adjunct to the DJUSD.”

    It is too late for that. If the county approves the charter, the county BofE is the oversight agency.

    On the other hand, if the county rejects it and the charter is appealed to the state, the state DofE can approve it and then hand it back to DJUSD as the oversight agency. That would be a fine kettle of fish indeed.

  32. don shor

    “I hope that the County Board of Education can send the message to the Davis Board that the Charter School proposal rejection was illegal and it is in DJUSD’s best interests to work with the Charter proponents to keep the VO Charter school as an adjunct to the DJUSD.”

    It is too late for that. If the county approves the charter, the county BofE is the oversight agency.

    On the other hand, if the county rejects it and the charter is appealed to the state, the state DofE can approve it and then hand it back to DJUSD as the oversight agency. That would be a fine kettle of fish indeed.

  33. Lots of kids in Davis

    A greying town? Maybe your neighborhood is greying, but if you want to see kids then you need to go to the park, soccer fields, performances, etc. where there are many kids. Dry off those tears and get out there. The cries for there being no kids in Davis is an urban legend for developers to have their way with sprawl and empty promises of building schools.

    Farmers market also has lots of kids. I always see lots of strollers being pushed around. Someone’s having babies.

  34. Lots of kids in Davis

    A greying town? Maybe your neighborhood is greying, but if you want to see kids then you need to go to the park, soccer fields, performances, etc. where there are many kids. Dry off those tears and get out there. The cries for there being no kids in Davis is an urban legend for developers to have their way with sprawl and empty promises of building schools.

    Farmers market also has lots of kids. I always see lots of strollers being pushed around. Someone’s having babies.

  35. Lots of kids in Davis

    A greying town? Maybe your neighborhood is greying, but if you want to see kids then you need to go to the park, soccer fields, performances, etc. where there are many kids. Dry off those tears and get out there. The cries for there being no kids in Davis is an urban legend for developers to have their way with sprawl and empty promises of building schools.

    Farmers market also has lots of kids. I always see lots of strollers being pushed around. Someone’s having babies.

  36. Lots of kids in Davis

    A greying town? Maybe your neighborhood is greying, but if you want to see kids then you need to go to the park, soccer fields, performances, etc. where there are many kids. Dry off those tears and get out there. The cries for there being no kids in Davis is an urban legend for developers to have their way with sprawl and empty promises of building schools.

    Farmers market also has lots of kids. I always see lots of strollers being pushed around. Someone’s having babies.

  37. Anonymous

    What a funny comment. You think because you see a “lot” of kids then Davis must have a “lot” of kids. But if you look at the numbers it tells a different story. Enrollment figures are in a serious decline. Which town in Yolo County has the most children? Not Davis. Even though Davis is the largest city in the county, Woodland has a great many more children. This is due in large part to the fact that a substantial portion of Davis are univ. students. So, sorry it is not some developer’s tale. Davis is facing real challenges over its future. The first is the loss of children and then will come the loss of a supervisorial seat. Wake up!

  38. Anonymous

    What a funny comment. You think because you see a “lot” of kids then Davis must have a “lot” of kids. But if you look at the numbers it tells a different story. Enrollment figures are in a serious decline. Which town in Yolo County has the most children? Not Davis. Even though Davis is the largest city in the county, Woodland has a great many more children. This is due in large part to the fact that a substantial portion of Davis are univ. students. So, sorry it is not some developer’s tale. Davis is facing real challenges over its future. The first is the loss of children and then will come the loss of a supervisorial seat. Wake up!

  39. Anonymous

    What a funny comment. You think because you see a “lot” of kids then Davis must have a “lot” of kids. But if you look at the numbers it tells a different story. Enrollment figures are in a serious decline. Which town in Yolo County has the most children? Not Davis. Even though Davis is the largest city in the county, Woodland has a great many more children. This is due in large part to the fact that a substantial portion of Davis are univ. students. So, sorry it is not some developer’s tale. Davis is facing real challenges over its future. The first is the loss of children and then will come the loss of a supervisorial seat. Wake up!

  40. Anonymous

    What a funny comment. You think because you see a “lot” of kids then Davis must have a “lot” of kids. But if you look at the numbers it tells a different story. Enrollment figures are in a serious decline. Which town in Yolo County has the most children? Not Davis. Even though Davis is the largest city in the county, Woodland has a great many more children. This is due in large part to the fact that a substantial portion of Davis are univ. students. So, sorry it is not some developer’s tale. Davis is facing real challenges over its future. The first is the loss of children and then will come the loss of a supervisorial seat. Wake up!

  41. Genvieve

    “The cries for there being no kids in Davis is an urban legend for developers to have their way with sprawl and empty promises of building schools.”

    This is a prejudiced comment without any factual basis.

    Here are some facts on declining enrollment from a 2005 school district report. This situation has grown worse since then:

    “The district enrollment, specifically K-6 enrollment, continues to show a decline (4,649 in 2002-03 to 4,442 in 2004-05). The projected enrollment also indicates a further decline in K-6 enrollment during the next 3 years (4,352 in 2005-06, 4,309 in 2006-07 and 4,229 in 2007-08). If the projected enrollment occurs in 2007, the district will have seen a decline in elementary school enrollment of over 400 students since 2002-03. The current K-6 enrollment of 4,442, after deducting Fairfield and DSIS enrollment (58 and 35 respectively), results in average enrollment of 544 among eight existing K-6 elementary schools. The first year of the decline was considered an anomaly. The third year shows that the decline was not an anomaly.”

  42. Genvieve

    “The cries for there being no kids in Davis is an urban legend for developers to have their way with sprawl and empty promises of building schools.”

    This is a prejudiced comment without any factual basis.

    Here are some facts on declining enrollment from a 2005 school district report. This situation has grown worse since then:

    “The district enrollment, specifically K-6 enrollment, continues to show a decline (4,649 in 2002-03 to 4,442 in 2004-05). The projected enrollment also indicates a further decline in K-6 enrollment during the next 3 years (4,352 in 2005-06, 4,309 in 2006-07 and 4,229 in 2007-08). If the projected enrollment occurs in 2007, the district will have seen a decline in elementary school enrollment of over 400 students since 2002-03. The current K-6 enrollment of 4,442, after deducting Fairfield and DSIS enrollment (58 and 35 respectively), results in average enrollment of 544 among eight existing K-6 elementary schools. The first year of the decline was considered an anomaly. The third year shows that the decline was not an anomaly.”

  43. Genvieve

    “The cries for there being no kids in Davis is an urban legend for developers to have their way with sprawl and empty promises of building schools.”

    This is a prejudiced comment without any factual basis.

    Here are some facts on declining enrollment from a 2005 school district report. This situation has grown worse since then:

    “The district enrollment, specifically K-6 enrollment, continues to show a decline (4,649 in 2002-03 to 4,442 in 2004-05). The projected enrollment also indicates a further decline in K-6 enrollment during the next 3 years (4,352 in 2005-06, 4,309 in 2006-07 and 4,229 in 2007-08). If the projected enrollment occurs in 2007, the district will have seen a decline in elementary school enrollment of over 400 students since 2002-03. The current K-6 enrollment of 4,442, after deducting Fairfield and DSIS enrollment (58 and 35 respectively), results in average enrollment of 544 among eight existing K-6 elementary schools. The first year of the decline was considered an anomaly. The third year shows that the decline was not an anomaly.”

  44. Genvieve

    “The cries for there being no kids in Davis is an urban legend for developers to have their way with sprawl and empty promises of building schools.”

    This is a prejudiced comment without any factual basis.

    Here are some facts on declining enrollment from a 2005 school district report. This situation has grown worse since then:

    “The district enrollment, specifically K-6 enrollment, continues to show a decline (4,649 in 2002-03 to 4,442 in 2004-05). The projected enrollment also indicates a further decline in K-6 enrollment during the next 3 years (4,352 in 2005-06, 4,309 in 2006-07 and 4,229 in 2007-08). If the projected enrollment occurs in 2007, the district will have seen a decline in elementary school enrollment of over 400 students since 2002-03. The current K-6 enrollment of 4,442, after deducting Fairfield and DSIS enrollment (58 and 35 respectively), results in average enrollment of 544 among eight existing K-6 elementary schools. The first year of the decline was considered an anomaly. The third year shows that the decline was not an anomaly.”

  45. don shor

    “Here are some facts on declining enrollment from a 2005 school district report.”

    Yes, but the total enrollment K-12 in DJUSD, though it has fluctuated, has been pretty stable over the last several years.
    Enrollment K-12 in 2000-01 was 8,642. Enrollment K-12 in 2006-07 was 8,647. Total enrollment 06-07 was higher than 05-06.

    So the drop in K-6 is balanced by an increase in grades 7-12. We simply have a shifting demographic from elementary to higher grades.

  46. don shor

    “Here are some facts on declining enrollment from a 2005 school district report.”

    Yes, but the total enrollment K-12 in DJUSD, though it has fluctuated, has been pretty stable over the last several years.
    Enrollment K-12 in 2000-01 was 8,642. Enrollment K-12 in 2006-07 was 8,647. Total enrollment 06-07 was higher than 05-06.

    So the drop in K-6 is balanced by an increase in grades 7-12. We simply have a shifting demographic from elementary to higher grades.

  47. don shor

    “Here are some facts on declining enrollment from a 2005 school district report.”

    Yes, but the total enrollment K-12 in DJUSD, though it has fluctuated, has been pretty stable over the last several years.
    Enrollment K-12 in 2000-01 was 8,642. Enrollment K-12 in 2006-07 was 8,647. Total enrollment 06-07 was higher than 05-06.

    So the drop in K-6 is balanced by an increase in grades 7-12. We simply have a shifting demographic from elementary to higher grades.

  48. don shor

    “Here are some facts on declining enrollment from a 2005 school district report.”

    Yes, but the total enrollment K-12 in DJUSD, though it has fluctuated, has been pretty stable over the last several years.
    Enrollment K-12 in 2000-01 was 8,642. Enrollment K-12 in 2006-07 was 8,647. Total enrollment 06-07 was higher than 05-06.

    So the drop in K-6 is balanced by an increase in grades 7-12. We simply have a shifting demographic from elementary to higher grades.

  49. don shor

    …which raises an interesting point. Expanding a couple of the K-6 schools to K-8 would have been another option for dealing with declining K-6 enrollment, rather than closing an elementary school.

  50. don shor

    …which raises an interesting point. Expanding a couple of the K-6 schools to K-8 would have been another option for dealing with declining K-6 enrollment, rather than closing an elementary school.

  51. don shor

    …which raises an interesting point. Expanding a couple of the K-6 schools to K-8 would have been another option for dealing with declining K-6 enrollment, rather than closing an elementary school.

  52. don shor

    …which raises an interesting point. Expanding a couple of the K-6 schools to K-8 would have been another option for dealing with declining K-6 enrollment, rather than closing an elementary school.

  53. don shor

    So in May 2006 we have this statement from the BUS task force:
    “b) The enrollment forecast shows a loss (district wide, K­12) of approximately 100
    students per year every year for the next five years….”
    And then total district enrollment for 2006-07 increased by 110 students, according to the state Department of Education figures.
    We didn’t have an enrollment problem. We had a student distribution problem: same number of students district-wide, but two additional elementary schools built when enrollment was increasing at the higher grades.
    Perhaps the new DJUSD board would like to revisit the decision to close Valley Oak. The consultant’s enrollment figures are already proving wrong. It was unnecessary to close any school. But it may be a little late for that….

  54. don shor

    So in May 2006 we have this statement from the BUS task force:
    “b) The enrollment forecast shows a loss (district wide, K­12) of approximately 100
    students per year every year for the next five years….”
    And then total district enrollment for 2006-07 increased by 110 students, according to the state Department of Education figures.
    We didn’t have an enrollment problem. We had a student distribution problem: same number of students district-wide, but two additional elementary schools built when enrollment was increasing at the higher grades.
    Perhaps the new DJUSD board would like to revisit the decision to close Valley Oak. The consultant’s enrollment figures are already proving wrong. It was unnecessary to close any school. But it may be a little late for that….

  55. don shor

    So in May 2006 we have this statement from the BUS task force:
    “b) The enrollment forecast shows a loss (district wide, K­12) of approximately 100
    students per year every year for the next five years….”
    And then total district enrollment for 2006-07 increased by 110 students, according to the state Department of Education figures.
    We didn’t have an enrollment problem. We had a student distribution problem: same number of students district-wide, but two additional elementary schools built when enrollment was increasing at the higher grades.
    Perhaps the new DJUSD board would like to revisit the decision to close Valley Oak. The consultant’s enrollment figures are already proving wrong. It was unnecessary to close any school. But it may be a little late for that….

  56. don shor

    So in May 2006 we have this statement from the BUS task force:
    “b) The enrollment forecast shows a loss (district wide, K­12) of approximately 100
    students per year every year for the next five years….”
    And then total district enrollment for 2006-07 increased by 110 students, according to the state Department of Education figures.
    We didn’t have an enrollment problem. We had a student distribution problem: same number of students district-wide, but two additional elementary schools built when enrollment was increasing at the higher grades.
    Perhaps the new DJUSD board would like to revisit the decision to close Valley Oak. The consultant’s enrollment figures are already proving wrong. It was unnecessary to close any school. But it may be a little late for that….

  57. so whats new?

    Newsflash: Consultants who don’t come up with conclusions that fit in with the majority opinion that hired them do not have “successful” consultant careers.

  58. so whats new?

    Newsflash: Consultants who don’t come up with conclusions that fit in with the majority opinion that hired them do not have “successful” consultant careers.

  59. so whats new?

    Newsflash: Consultants who don’t come up with conclusions that fit in with the majority opinion that hired them do not have “successful” consultant careers.

  60. so whats new?

    Newsflash: Consultants who don’t come up with conclusions that fit in with the majority opinion that hired them do not have “successful” consultant careers.

  61. jesaxin

    It appears consultants can make a fine living off of the DJUSD. The district paid $3.5 million to consultants and attorneys last year.
    Makes one wonder what we have staff for down at the district offices.

  62. jesaxin

    It appears consultants can make a fine living off of the DJUSD. The district paid $3.5 million to consultants and attorneys last year.
    Makes one wonder what we have staff for down at the district offices.

  63. jesaxin

    It appears consultants can make a fine living off of the DJUSD. The district paid $3.5 million to consultants and attorneys last year.
    Makes one wonder what we have staff for down at the district offices.

  64. jesaxin

    It appears consultants can make a fine living off of the DJUSD. The district paid $3.5 million to consultants and attorneys last year.
    Makes one wonder what we have staff for down at the district offices.

  65. WDF

    “don shor said…

    We didn’t have an enrollment problem. We had a student distribution problem: same number of students district-wide, but two additional elementary schools built when enrollment was increasing at the higher grades.
    Perhaps the new DJUSD board would like to revisit the decision to close Valley Oak. The consultant’s enrollment figures are already proving wrong. It was unnecessary to close any school. But it may be a little late for that….

    2/24/08 10:39 AM”

    I’m losing the logic, here. Earlier Shor comments pointed out that the district gains students at higher grades (secondary schools?), but has declining incoming elementary enrollment.

    How does that justify NOT closing an elementary school (Valley Oak)? To me it seems like it suggests that you can’t run as many elementary schools moving into the future.

  66. WDF

    “don shor said…

    We didn’t have an enrollment problem. We had a student distribution problem: same number of students district-wide, but two additional elementary schools built when enrollment was increasing at the higher grades.
    Perhaps the new DJUSD board would like to revisit the decision to close Valley Oak. The consultant’s enrollment figures are already proving wrong. It was unnecessary to close any school. But it may be a little late for that….

    2/24/08 10:39 AM”

    I’m losing the logic, here. Earlier Shor comments pointed out that the district gains students at higher grades (secondary schools?), but has declining incoming elementary enrollment.

    How does that justify NOT closing an elementary school (Valley Oak)? To me it seems like it suggests that you can’t run as many elementary schools moving into the future.

  67. WDF

    “don shor said…

    We didn’t have an enrollment problem. We had a student distribution problem: same number of students district-wide, but two additional elementary schools built when enrollment was increasing at the higher grades.
    Perhaps the new DJUSD board would like to revisit the decision to close Valley Oak. The consultant’s enrollment figures are already proving wrong. It was unnecessary to close any school. But it may be a little late for that….

    2/24/08 10:39 AM”

    I’m losing the logic, here. Earlier Shor comments pointed out that the district gains students at higher grades (secondary schools?), but has declining incoming elementary enrollment.

    How does that justify NOT closing an elementary school (Valley Oak)? To me it seems like it suggests that you can’t run as many elementary schools moving into the future.

  68. WDF

    “don shor said…

    We didn’t have an enrollment problem. We had a student distribution problem: same number of students district-wide, but two additional elementary schools built when enrollment was increasing at the higher grades.
    Perhaps the new DJUSD board would like to revisit the decision to close Valley Oak. The consultant’s enrollment figures are already proving wrong. It was unnecessary to close any school. But it may be a little late for that….

    2/24/08 10:39 AM”

    I’m losing the logic, here. Earlier Shor comments pointed out that the district gains students at higher grades (secondary schools?), but has declining incoming elementary enrollment.

    How does that justify NOT closing an elementary school (Valley Oak)? To me it seems like it suggests that you can’t run as many elementary schools moving into the future.

  69. don shor

    Depending on the distribution of the students, you can make some K-8 if you have an excess of facilities at the K-6 level. That is just one option. I haven’t looked back through all the BUS task force minutes, but I don’t recall any consideration of anything like that.

    With virtually the same number of students in 2000 and 2006, the district opened two new elementary schools. Then they found they didn’t have enough kids at that level to fill them, so they decided to close an older school. The entire premise for that decision was the projected enrollment numbers. A year later, those numbers don’t appear to have been valid.

    If you look at just the K-6 numbers, you might come to the conclusion that is necessary to close a school. But if you look at the total district enrollment, you see that it wasn’t. Certainly it is hard to argue that it is the “best use” of school facilities.

  70. don shor

    Depending on the distribution of the students, you can make some K-8 if you have an excess of facilities at the K-6 level. That is just one option. I haven’t looked back through all the BUS task force minutes, but I don’t recall any consideration of anything like that.

    With virtually the same number of students in 2000 and 2006, the district opened two new elementary schools. Then they found they didn’t have enough kids at that level to fill them, so they decided to close an older school. The entire premise for that decision was the projected enrollment numbers. A year later, those numbers don’t appear to have been valid.

    If you look at just the K-6 numbers, you might come to the conclusion that is necessary to close a school. But if you look at the total district enrollment, you see that it wasn’t. Certainly it is hard to argue that it is the “best use” of school facilities.

  71. don shor

    Depending on the distribution of the students, you can make some K-8 if you have an excess of facilities at the K-6 level. That is just one option. I haven’t looked back through all the BUS task force minutes, but I don’t recall any consideration of anything like that.

    With virtually the same number of students in 2000 and 2006, the district opened two new elementary schools. Then they found they didn’t have enough kids at that level to fill them, so they decided to close an older school. The entire premise for that decision was the projected enrollment numbers. A year later, those numbers don’t appear to have been valid.

    If you look at just the K-6 numbers, you might come to the conclusion that is necessary to close a school. But if you look at the total district enrollment, you see that it wasn’t. Certainly it is hard to argue that it is the “best use” of school facilities.

  72. don shor

    Depending on the distribution of the students, you can make some K-8 if you have an excess of facilities at the K-6 level. That is just one option. I haven’t looked back through all the BUS task force minutes, but I don’t recall any consideration of anything like that.

    With virtually the same number of students in 2000 and 2006, the district opened two new elementary schools. Then they found they didn’t have enough kids at that level to fill them, so they decided to close an older school. The entire premise for that decision was the projected enrollment numbers. A year later, those numbers don’t appear to have been valid.

    If you look at just the K-6 numbers, you might come to the conclusion that is necessary to close a school. But if you look at the total district enrollment, you see that it wasn’t. Certainly it is hard to argue that it is the “best use” of school facilities.

  73. don shor

    So, to reiterate, the consultant forecast a loss of 100 students per year district-wide. The next year DJUSD gained 110 students district-wide. At ADA figures of, what?, $4000 per (how much is it nowadays?) that means there is another $440,000 at least than the BUS task force was projecting.
    The distribution is somewhat towards the secondary level, but 39 of those students were in K-6 (DJUSD had 91 more 4th graders in 2006-7!).

    So the statistical premise for closing Valley Oak is already proving wrong. The consultant’s projections were wrong. In fact, DJUSD enrollment has fluctuated since 2000-1, but is only slightly below the 7-year average.

    The district has always had grade-level distribution problems, particularly when there was overcrowding. When my kids were interdistrict transfer students, we went through these issues every year as they compiled final numbers in the first week of the school year.

  74. don shor

    So, to reiterate, the consultant forecast a loss of 100 students per year district-wide. The next year DJUSD gained 110 students district-wide. At ADA figures of, what?, $4000 per (how much is it nowadays?) that means there is another $440,000 at least than the BUS task force was projecting.
    The distribution is somewhat towards the secondary level, but 39 of those students were in K-6 (DJUSD had 91 more 4th graders in 2006-7!).

    So the statistical premise for closing Valley Oak is already proving wrong. The consultant’s projections were wrong. In fact, DJUSD enrollment has fluctuated since 2000-1, but is only slightly below the 7-year average.

    The district has always had grade-level distribution problems, particularly when there was overcrowding. When my kids were interdistrict transfer students, we went through these issues every year as they compiled final numbers in the first week of the school year.

  75. don shor

    So, to reiterate, the consultant forecast a loss of 100 students per year district-wide. The next year DJUSD gained 110 students district-wide. At ADA figures of, what?, $4000 per (how much is it nowadays?) that means there is another $440,000 at least than the BUS task force was projecting.
    The distribution is somewhat towards the secondary level, but 39 of those students were in K-6 (DJUSD had 91 more 4th graders in 2006-7!).

    So the statistical premise for closing Valley Oak is already proving wrong. The consultant’s projections were wrong. In fact, DJUSD enrollment has fluctuated since 2000-1, but is only slightly below the 7-year average.

    The district has always had grade-level distribution problems, particularly when there was overcrowding. When my kids were interdistrict transfer students, we went through these issues every year as they compiled final numbers in the first week of the school year.

  76. don shor

    So, to reiterate, the consultant forecast a loss of 100 students per year district-wide. The next year DJUSD gained 110 students district-wide. At ADA figures of, what?, $4000 per (how much is it nowadays?) that means there is another $440,000 at least than the BUS task force was projecting.
    The distribution is somewhat towards the secondary level, but 39 of those students were in K-6 (DJUSD had 91 more 4th graders in 2006-7!).

    So the statistical premise for closing Valley Oak is already proving wrong. The consultant’s projections were wrong. In fact, DJUSD enrollment has fluctuated since 2000-1, but is only slightly below the 7-year average.

    The district has always had grade-level distribution problems, particularly when there was overcrowding. When my kids were interdistrict transfer students, we went through these issues every year as they compiled final numbers in the first week of the school year.

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