Hundreds of Da Vinci Students Flood Chambers Hoping to Save Jobs of Their Teachers

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One thing just about everyone agreed last night–no one had seen so many students at the Community Chambers. The fire marshal locked the doors to the main chambers. The hallway outside was filled to capacity. They opened the room next door and it was filled. People, almost all of them students, flooded the corridors and the patio. One had to park down the street. It was an amazing site.

Inside was a sad picture. A picture of inevitability. For almost two and a half hours, the Davis Joint Unified School Board went back and forth discussing the possibilities and the probabilities and numbers. Oh those numbers. There just aren’t enough of them. Or too many of them, depending on your perspective.

We learned earlier this week that Da Vinci High School faced a possibility of 9 of its 12 teachers being on the layoff list. An occurrence that would obviously decimate the school.

Last night we learned the consequences if the school district did not make over $4 million in cuts. Associate Yolo County Superintendent Linda Legnitto with Superintendent Jorge Ayala looking on, laid out in very stark, very real, and very cold terms exactly what a lack of action by the Davis School Board would mean. It would be that Davis Joint Unified would lose control of its financial affairs. It would prevent the School District from taking on new debt without approval from the voters. It would prevent them from applying or being eligible for various monies. It would in all likelihood lead the County take over most operations. In short, we would lose local control of our schools.

Unfortunately last night, we also learned the consequence of making such deep cuts. There are some 280 students at Da Vinci which has become a magnet for technology and students who are unique. One by one the vast majority of those students flooded the chambers and spoke from their heart. One by one, the cold hard truth sunk in deeper and deeper. This is going to be a devasting loss.

When you think about it, whether it is Da Vinci High cuts, whether it is foreign languages, whether it is music, whether it is programs that aid at-risk kids, the bottom line is that you are cutting programs that for some kids mean the difference between education and not education. Between success and failure. Every kid is different. What inspires a kid varies. What keeps a kid interested and engaged depends on the kid. What makes Davis unique is the variety of programs that it offers to keep students engaged in their education and when those programs are taken away many kids will become at-risk.

The worst part of these cuts are that they are deep, painful, and have the air of inevitability. We cannot merely rail against the County, the Board of Education, the School District, and hope to make things change. We cannot blame the boogie man and demand better. There is no bad guy here. There are mistakes to be sure. But the board in this case is doing what it has to do. And that’s the worst part about it. It is a helpless feeling. The worst thing in the world was watching those kids sitting in the audience and you could literally see their hearts ripped out of them and you knew there was literally nothing that you could do to stop it.

That said, all is not completely lost. As the board emphasized, by March 15, 2008 they were required to lay out these cuts–send out the layout notices and show the county that they had over $4 million, it is closer to $4.3 million in cuts.

However, things can go back some now that this has occurred. The budget will take a long time to hash out, Ms. Legnitto suggested not until at least the summer would we know, but there is a good chance that the state cuts will not be as steep.

In the meantime, the Davis Schools Foundations has already raised over $15,000 and their goal is to raise $2.8 million. They are sponsoring a “Dollar a Day” fundraising campaign, which for laymen would be $365 donations (or perhaps $366 since it is leap year). For more information people are encourage to go to their website at http://www.davisschoolsfoundation.org.

Should their efforts to raise $2.8 million be successful, it could help bridge the gap. The problem of course is that this too is just one-time money. And the budget picture for next year is not figuring to be any better, in fact, there might need to be another $600,000 in cuts.

There was talk of another parcel tax. But the deadline for June is today. So that would obviously be out of the question. That puts November as a possibility. But would the voters approve another parcel tax just a year after they renewed the last one? That seems like a lot to ask the voters. We are probably talking about another $100 per year to cover everything. It is tough to imagine. Then again, it is tough to imagine $4 million in cuts.

There is no doubt that yesterday was the low point among low points for many in this community and on that board. Gina Daleiden, who called in from Los Angeles from her visit to the Museum of Tolerance emphasized how difficult a call this was and that this was not what she came to the board to do.

One has to sympathize with our new Superintendent James Hammond, who finds himself thrust in the firing line. Hopefully the coming weeks bring better news, until then, we will have to bunker down and ride out this storm.

—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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84 thoughts on “Hundreds of Da Vinci Students Flood Chambers Hoping to Save Jobs of Their Teachers”

  1. Anonymous

    So what happened last night? Did the board pass their resolution and announce plans to pink slip staff? Was Emerson Jr. High also schedule to be ‘closed’? Updates?

  2. Anonymous

    So what happened last night? Did the board pass their resolution and announce plans to pink slip staff? Was Emerson Jr. High also schedule to be ‘closed’? Updates?

  3. Anonymous

    So what happened last night? Did the board pass their resolution and announce plans to pink slip staff? Was Emerson Jr. High also schedule to be ‘closed’? Updates?

  4. Anonymous

    So what happened last night? Did the board pass their resolution and announce plans to pink slip staff? Was Emerson Jr. High also schedule to be ‘closed’? Updates?

  5. Doug Paul Davis

    I guess I should have made that more clear, they are proceeding with the proposed cuts at this time and I believe will make the final decisions next week.

  6. Doug Paul Davis

    I guess I should have made that more clear, they are proceeding with the proposed cuts at this time and I believe will make the final decisions next week.

  7. Doug Paul Davis

    I guess I should have made that more clear, they are proceeding with the proposed cuts at this time and I believe will make the final decisions next week.

  8. Doug Paul Davis

    I guess I should have made that more clear, they are proceeding with the proposed cuts at this time and I believe will make the final decisions next week.

  9. Varzil the Good

    Gina was on the phone for, what, six hours? I hope she wasn’t using the hotel’s phone! They’re notorious for insanely overcharging for phone calls.

  10. Varzil the Good

    Gina was on the phone for, what, six hours? I hope she wasn’t using the hotel’s phone! They’re notorious for insanely overcharging for phone calls.

  11. Varzil the Good

    Gina was on the phone for, what, six hours? I hope she wasn’t using the hotel’s phone! They’re notorious for insanely overcharging for phone calls.

  12. Varzil the Good

    Gina was on the phone for, what, six hours? I hope she wasn’t using the hotel’s phone! They’re notorious for insanely overcharging for phone calls.

  13. Mike Hart

    I would like to know what it would cost to subsidize the DaVinci program to cover the cost of the nine teachers. I think that if we can figure out that cost, we may be able to find supporters to subsidize it. Does anyone know what this cost is?

  14. Mike Hart

    I would like to know what it would cost to subsidize the DaVinci program to cover the cost of the nine teachers. I think that if we can figure out that cost, we may be able to find supporters to subsidize it. Does anyone know what this cost is?

  15. Mike Hart

    I would like to know what it would cost to subsidize the DaVinci program to cover the cost of the nine teachers. I think that if we can figure out that cost, we may be able to find supporters to subsidize it. Does anyone know what this cost is?

  16. Mike Hart

    I would like to know what it would cost to subsidize the DaVinci program to cover the cost of the nine teachers. I think that if we can figure out that cost, we may be able to find supporters to subsidize it. Does anyone know what this cost is?

  17. Anonymous

    You know, back in the “old days” schools were supported by property taxes directly though the local governments (counties, cities). Then the state wanted to equalize the quality of education across the state. So the state started collecting it and distributing it back to the counties. Now that it is folded into the general state budget I wonder how much of that property tax money we now get back for schools?

    My facts may be fuzzy here so I would gladly be corrected.

  18. Anonymous

    You know, back in the “old days” schools were supported by property taxes directly though the local governments (counties, cities). Then the state wanted to equalize the quality of education across the state. So the state started collecting it and distributing it back to the counties. Now that it is folded into the general state budget I wonder how much of that property tax money we now get back for schools?

    My facts may be fuzzy here so I would gladly be corrected.

  19. Anonymous

    You know, back in the “old days” schools were supported by property taxes directly though the local governments (counties, cities). Then the state wanted to equalize the quality of education across the state. So the state started collecting it and distributing it back to the counties. Now that it is folded into the general state budget I wonder how much of that property tax money we now get back for schools?

    My facts may be fuzzy here so I would gladly be corrected.

  20. Anonymous

    You know, back in the “old days” schools were supported by property taxes directly though the local governments (counties, cities). Then the state wanted to equalize the quality of education across the state. So the state started collecting it and distributing it back to the counties. Now that it is folded into the general state budget I wonder how much of that property tax money we now get back for schools?

    My facts may be fuzzy here so I would gladly be corrected.

  21. music parent

    I left the meeting at ~12:30 a.m., and there was still discussion going on about closing a JH (Emerson). I understood that there was only discussion about how such a plan would work. A vote would probably come later.

    The pink slips have been initiated, however. Even the admin. staff at EJH will be getting those notices. It is a CYA move to allow them to close Emerson later if they choose to.

    To address one of Mike Hart’s questions, 1 FTE = 1 teaching job for a year. A rough estimate that district staff uses is 1 FTE = $60K in salary in benefits, on average. Obviously the real number depends on longevity of the teacher.

    Even if the Davis Schools Foundation makes only part of its goal, say $1.4M, that should lessen the blow to Da Vinci and other programs.

  22. music parent

    I left the meeting at ~12:30 a.m., and there was still discussion going on about closing a JH (Emerson). I understood that there was only discussion about how such a plan would work. A vote would probably come later.

    The pink slips have been initiated, however. Even the admin. staff at EJH will be getting those notices. It is a CYA move to allow them to close Emerson later if they choose to.

    To address one of Mike Hart’s questions, 1 FTE = 1 teaching job for a year. A rough estimate that district staff uses is 1 FTE = $60K in salary in benefits, on average. Obviously the real number depends on longevity of the teacher.

    Even if the Davis Schools Foundation makes only part of its goal, say $1.4M, that should lessen the blow to Da Vinci and other programs.

  23. music parent

    I left the meeting at ~12:30 a.m., and there was still discussion going on about closing a JH (Emerson). I understood that there was only discussion about how such a plan would work. A vote would probably come later.

    The pink slips have been initiated, however. Even the admin. staff at EJH will be getting those notices. It is a CYA move to allow them to close Emerson later if they choose to.

    To address one of Mike Hart’s questions, 1 FTE = 1 teaching job for a year. A rough estimate that district staff uses is 1 FTE = $60K in salary in benefits, on average. Obviously the real number depends on longevity of the teacher.

    Even if the Davis Schools Foundation makes only part of its goal, say $1.4M, that should lessen the blow to Da Vinci and other programs.

  24. music parent

    I left the meeting at ~12:30 a.m., and there was still discussion going on about closing a JH (Emerson). I understood that there was only discussion about how such a plan would work. A vote would probably come later.

    The pink slips have been initiated, however. Even the admin. staff at EJH will be getting those notices. It is a CYA move to allow them to close Emerson later if they choose to.

    To address one of Mike Hart’s questions, 1 FTE = 1 teaching job for a year. A rough estimate that district staff uses is 1 FTE = $60K in salary in benefits, on average. Obviously the real number depends on longevity of the teacher.

    Even if the Davis Schools Foundation makes only part of its goal, say $1.4M, that should lessen the blow to Da Vinci and other programs.

  25. Ken Wagstaff

    It’s a good thing that folks are giving money to the Schools Foundation. It felt good to see the Board members and others in the community ponying up their $365. Our family will do its part too. But a voluntary fund is not a solution!
    Vanguard says that an additional tax of $100 might be too much for taxpayers to pay. If your roof falls in you take emergency steps to rebuild it! Your first response cannot be, well, we will live in the basement.
    If the situation is so dire that we are going to see our school programs decimated, including schools closed and programs ended, the whole community must act. It must make the investment, which is what a tax is, to protect education–a defining, core value and institutional necessity for a quality community. What can be more important than the future of our children and grandchildren?
    The school Board should provide the leadership to get a measure on the ballot, and start now to do the planning that will make it happen.
    This action must come quickly, so that the pain, panic and destabilization created by pink slips and budget cutting plans is offset by hope. Hope can take the form of a tax plan that is tailored and limited. It could be triggered by a specific finding of actual state reductions that reach a specified level (after the Schwarzenegger/Legislature dust settles), and limited to maintenance of programs at current levels, funded by an amount (X) per parcel that does not exceed (Y) over a specified time (Z).
    Despite the mistakes of previous Boards of Education, the citizens and taxpayers of Davis will respond to strong leadership from the new Board.

  26. Ken Wagstaff

    It’s a good thing that folks are giving money to the Schools Foundation. It felt good to see the Board members and others in the community ponying up their $365. Our family will do its part too. But a voluntary fund is not a solution!
    Vanguard says that an additional tax of $100 might be too much for taxpayers to pay. If your roof falls in you take emergency steps to rebuild it! Your first response cannot be, well, we will live in the basement.
    If the situation is so dire that we are going to see our school programs decimated, including schools closed and programs ended, the whole community must act. It must make the investment, which is what a tax is, to protect education–a defining, core value and institutional necessity for a quality community. What can be more important than the future of our children and grandchildren?
    The school Board should provide the leadership to get a measure on the ballot, and start now to do the planning that will make it happen.
    This action must come quickly, so that the pain, panic and destabilization created by pink slips and budget cutting plans is offset by hope. Hope can take the form of a tax plan that is tailored and limited. It could be triggered by a specific finding of actual state reductions that reach a specified level (after the Schwarzenegger/Legislature dust settles), and limited to maintenance of programs at current levels, funded by an amount (X) per parcel that does not exceed (Y) over a specified time (Z).
    Despite the mistakes of previous Boards of Education, the citizens and taxpayers of Davis will respond to strong leadership from the new Board.

  27. Ken Wagstaff

    It’s a good thing that folks are giving money to the Schools Foundation. It felt good to see the Board members and others in the community ponying up their $365. Our family will do its part too. But a voluntary fund is not a solution!
    Vanguard says that an additional tax of $100 might be too much for taxpayers to pay. If your roof falls in you take emergency steps to rebuild it! Your first response cannot be, well, we will live in the basement.
    If the situation is so dire that we are going to see our school programs decimated, including schools closed and programs ended, the whole community must act. It must make the investment, which is what a tax is, to protect education–a defining, core value and institutional necessity for a quality community. What can be more important than the future of our children and grandchildren?
    The school Board should provide the leadership to get a measure on the ballot, and start now to do the planning that will make it happen.
    This action must come quickly, so that the pain, panic and destabilization created by pink slips and budget cutting plans is offset by hope. Hope can take the form of a tax plan that is tailored and limited. It could be triggered by a specific finding of actual state reductions that reach a specified level (after the Schwarzenegger/Legislature dust settles), and limited to maintenance of programs at current levels, funded by an amount (X) per parcel that does not exceed (Y) over a specified time (Z).
    Despite the mistakes of previous Boards of Education, the citizens and taxpayers of Davis will respond to strong leadership from the new Board.

  28. Ken Wagstaff

    It’s a good thing that folks are giving money to the Schools Foundation. It felt good to see the Board members and others in the community ponying up their $365. Our family will do its part too. But a voluntary fund is not a solution!
    Vanguard says that an additional tax of $100 might be too much for taxpayers to pay. If your roof falls in you take emergency steps to rebuild it! Your first response cannot be, well, we will live in the basement.
    If the situation is so dire that we are going to see our school programs decimated, including schools closed and programs ended, the whole community must act. It must make the investment, which is what a tax is, to protect education–a defining, core value and institutional necessity for a quality community. What can be more important than the future of our children and grandchildren?
    The school Board should provide the leadership to get a measure on the ballot, and start now to do the planning that will make it happen.
    This action must come quickly, so that the pain, panic and destabilization created by pink slips and budget cutting plans is offset by hope. Hope can take the form of a tax plan that is tailored and limited. It could be triggered by a specific finding of actual state reductions that reach a specified level (after the Schwarzenegger/Legislature dust settles), and limited to maintenance of programs at current levels, funded by an amount (X) per parcel that does not exceed (Y) over a specified time (Z).
    Despite the mistakes of previous Boards of Education, the citizens and taxpayers of Davis will respond to strong leadership from the new Board.

  29. Doug Paul Davis

    I agree with the comments of both music parent and Ken Wagstaff.

    Even part of their goal will go a long way, but by the same token fundraising and volunteerism can only go so far. I hope Ken is right on that account, there is just too much at stake here.

  30. Doug Paul Davis

    I agree with the comments of both music parent and Ken Wagstaff.

    Even part of their goal will go a long way, but by the same token fundraising and volunteerism can only go so far. I hope Ken is right on that account, there is just too much at stake here.

  31. Doug Paul Davis

    I agree with the comments of both music parent and Ken Wagstaff.

    Even part of their goal will go a long way, but by the same token fundraising and volunteerism can only go so far. I hope Ken is right on that account, there is just too much at stake here.

  32. Doug Paul Davis

    I agree with the comments of both music parent and Ken Wagstaff.

    Even part of their goal will go a long way, but by the same token fundraising and volunteerism can only go so far. I hope Ken is right on that account, there is just too much at stake here.

  33. music parent

    Ken Wagstaff said:

    “If the situation is so dire that we are going to see our school programs decimated, including schools closed and programs ended, the whole community must act. It must make the investment, which is what a tax is, to protect education–a defining, core value and institutional necessity for a quality community. What can be more important than the future of our children and grandchildren?
    The school Board should provide the leadership to get a measure on the ballot, and start now to do the planning that will make it happen.”

    Hear, hear!

    It took a long time for DJUSD to recover from Prop 13 cuts, and some could argue that we’re still recovering. How long would you like to see DJUSD recover from this current crisis? 5 years? 10 years? longer?

    One thing that distinguishes Davis from neighboring communities is that we will publicly support our schools in ways that other communities don’t.

    If we support our schools during these dark times, we will be really shining when times get better. Many neighboring districts will be taking 5 and 10 years to recover from this.

    This boils down to what kind of community do you want? and are you willing to pay for that kind of community? (it isn’t free, it will cost something)

  34. music parent

    Ken Wagstaff said:

    “If the situation is so dire that we are going to see our school programs decimated, including schools closed and programs ended, the whole community must act. It must make the investment, which is what a tax is, to protect education–a defining, core value and institutional necessity for a quality community. What can be more important than the future of our children and grandchildren?
    The school Board should provide the leadership to get a measure on the ballot, and start now to do the planning that will make it happen.”

    Hear, hear!

    It took a long time for DJUSD to recover from Prop 13 cuts, and some could argue that we’re still recovering. How long would you like to see DJUSD recover from this current crisis? 5 years? 10 years? longer?

    One thing that distinguishes Davis from neighboring communities is that we will publicly support our schools in ways that other communities don’t.

    If we support our schools during these dark times, we will be really shining when times get better. Many neighboring districts will be taking 5 and 10 years to recover from this.

    This boils down to what kind of community do you want? and are you willing to pay for that kind of community? (it isn’t free, it will cost something)

  35. music parent

    Ken Wagstaff said:

    “If the situation is so dire that we are going to see our school programs decimated, including schools closed and programs ended, the whole community must act. It must make the investment, which is what a tax is, to protect education–a defining, core value and institutional necessity for a quality community. What can be more important than the future of our children and grandchildren?
    The school Board should provide the leadership to get a measure on the ballot, and start now to do the planning that will make it happen.”

    Hear, hear!

    It took a long time for DJUSD to recover from Prop 13 cuts, and some could argue that we’re still recovering. How long would you like to see DJUSD recover from this current crisis? 5 years? 10 years? longer?

    One thing that distinguishes Davis from neighboring communities is that we will publicly support our schools in ways that other communities don’t.

    If we support our schools during these dark times, we will be really shining when times get better. Many neighboring districts will be taking 5 and 10 years to recover from this.

    This boils down to what kind of community do you want? and are you willing to pay for that kind of community? (it isn’t free, it will cost something)

  36. music parent

    Ken Wagstaff said:

    “If the situation is so dire that we are going to see our school programs decimated, including schools closed and programs ended, the whole community must act. It must make the investment, which is what a tax is, to protect education–a defining, core value and institutional necessity for a quality community. What can be more important than the future of our children and grandchildren?
    The school Board should provide the leadership to get a measure on the ballot, and start now to do the planning that will make it happen.”

    Hear, hear!

    It took a long time for DJUSD to recover from Prop 13 cuts, and some could argue that we’re still recovering. How long would you like to see DJUSD recover from this current crisis? 5 years? 10 years? longer?

    One thing that distinguishes Davis from neighboring communities is that we will publicly support our schools in ways that other communities don’t.

    If we support our schools during these dark times, we will be really shining when times get better. Many neighboring districts will be taking 5 and 10 years to recover from this.

    This boils down to what kind of community do you want? and are you willing to pay for that kind of community? (it isn’t free, it will cost something)

  37. Art

    The problem now is how expensive is it going to be to live in the city. You have another parcel tax on top of the parcel and library tax already passed. You are looking at taxes from the city–public safety, parks, perhaps more. You are looking at rate hikes from the water improvement project. When you add all of that up, it means a lot of expenses, can the average person afford to live here? People want to talk about housing, but taxes can also price people out of the community.

  38. Art

    The problem now is how expensive is it going to be to live in the city. You have another parcel tax on top of the parcel and library tax already passed. You are looking at taxes from the city–public safety, parks, perhaps more. You are looking at rate hikes from the water improvement project. When you add all of that up, it means a lot of expenses, can the average person afford to live here? People want to talk about housing, but taxes can also price people out of the community.

  39. Art

    The problem now is how expensive is it going to be to live in the city. You have another parcel tax on top of the parcel and library tax already passed. You are looking at taxes from the city–public safety, parks, perhaps more. You are looking at rate hikes from the water improvement project. When you add all of that up, it means a lot of expenses, can the average person afford to live here? People want to talk about housing, but taxes can also price people out of the community.

  40. Art

    The problem now is how expensive is it going to be to live in the city. You have another parcel tax on top of the parcel and library tax already passed. You are looking at taxes from the city–public safety, parks, perhaps more. You are looking at rate hikes from the water improvement project. When you add all of that up, it means a lot of expenses, can the average person afford to live here? People want to talk about housing, but taxes can also price people out of the community.

  41. GO CHARTER

    Putting more money down the rathole is not the answer – it will only be a temporary fix for an ongoing problem. Even if the community were able to come up with enough money/taxes to cover this year’s shortfall, how about next year, and the year after that? It will take massive amounts of continued funding in ever increasing amounts to fix the mess. How many can afford that, or want to do it? Lets take a look at some cold, hard facts.

    DaVinci got started with a grant from the Melinda & Bill Gates Foundation. However, was any consideration given to the funds necessary to run it? Has anyone gone to the foundation and asked for further funding to save the school?

    Furthermore, DaVinci serves a total of approx. 250 students; it is not a critical need; it is a school within a school, an interesting experiment that appears to have been successful. If the students/parents/community are passionate enough about it, then let the School Board vote to close it – then have DaVinci go CHARTER!!!

    Emerson serves all of west Davis. To close that school would be ridiculous – it is a critical need – and nothing more than a cover up of the malfeasance of past School Boards, who have robbed Peter to pay Paul, by building too many schools that there is not enough funding to run. But I say let the School Board vote to close that one too, and let it go CHARTER!!!

    If DJUSD/School Board can’t get its collective act together, then the community should take things over by going CHARTER wherever possible. Yes, to set up a charter school is a difficult process; it takes huge commitment, but the long term effect is to put funding in the hands of STAKEHOLDERS – parents and teachers, who have every reason to make a school succeed.

    Folks, if you want to save your programs/schools, take your courage in your hands, and fight for what you want. Give yourself a say in how the school funding is spent. How much money is being spent on “buying out” a past Supt.’s contract, so he can do nothing for DJUSD? How much money/staff personnel were siphoned off to Total School Solutions over the years? How much money is being wasted in legal fees and staff time to fight the Valley Oak charter, which was denied for the wrong reasons (even the county school board said so last night)?

    When the School Board/District want to, they let money flow like running water. Other times they insist we can’t pay for basic services. I’ve seen this game played out for years and years. Every time their answer is for the public to pony up more money. But what has been the result of that sort of mindset? All of this continual misplanning and malfeasance has finally come home to roost – and we are now talking about closing schools, even though we just opened some.

    Follow Valley Oak’s example – GO CHARTER!

  42. GO CHARTER

    Putting more money down the rathole is not the answer – it will only be a temporary fix for an ongoing problem. Even if the community were able to come up with enough money/taxes to cover this year’s shortfall, how about next year, and the year after that? It will take massive amounts of continued funding in ever increasing amounts to fix the mess. How many can afford that, or want to do it? Lets take a look at some cold, hard facts.

    DaVinci got started with a grant from the Melinda & Bill Gates Foundation. However, was any consideration given to the funds necessary to run it? Has anyone gone to the foundation and asked for further funding to save the school?

    Furthermore, DaVinci serves a total of approx. 250 students; it is not a critical need; it is a school within a school, an interesting experiment that appears to have been successful. If the students/parents/community are passionate enough about it, then let the School Board vote to close it – then have DaVinci go CHARTER!!!

    Emerson serves all of west Davis. To close that school would be ridiculous – it is a critical need – and nothing more than a cover up of the malfeasance of past School Boards, who have robbed Peter to pay Paul, by building too many schools that there is not enough funding to run. But I say let the School Board vote to close that one too, and let it go CHARTER!!!

    If DJUSD/School Board can’t get its collective act together, then the community should take things over by going CHARTER wherever possible. Yes, to set up a charter school is a difficult process; it takes huge commitment, but the long term effect is to put funding in the hands of STAKEHOLDERS – parents and teachers, who have every reason to make a school succeed.

    Folks, if you want to save your programs/schools, take your courage in your hands, and fight for what you want. Give yourself a say in how the school funding is spent. How much money is being spent on “buying out” a past Supt.’s contract, so he can do nothing for DJUSD? How much money/staff personnel were siphoned off to Total School Solutions over the years? How much money is being wasted in legal fees and staff time to fight the Valley Oak charter, which was denied for the wrong reasons (even the county school board said so last night)?

    When the School Board/District want to, they let money flow like running water. Other times they insist we can’t pay for basic services. I’ve seen this game played out for years and years. Every time their answer is for the public to pony up more money. But what has been the result of that sort of mindset? All of this continual misplanning and malfeasance has finally come home to roost – and we are now talking about closing schools, even though we just opened some.

    Follow Valley Oak’s example – GO CHARTER!

  43. GO CHARTER

    Putting more money down the rathole is not the answer – it will only be a temporary fix for an ongoing problem. Even if the community were able to come up with enough money/taxes to cover this year’s shortfall, how about next year, and the year after that? It will take massive amounts of continued funding in ever increasing amounts to fix the mess. How many can afford that, or want to do it? Lets take a look at some cold, hard facts.

    DaVinci got started with a grant from the Melinda & Bill Gates Foundation. However, was any consideration given to the funds necessary to run it? Has anyone gone to the foundation and asked for further funding to save the school?

    Furthermore, DaVinci serves a total of approx. 250 students; it is not a critical need; it is a school within a school, an interesting experiment that appears to have been successful. If the students/parents/community are passionate enough about it, then let the School Board vote to close it – then have DaVinci go CHARTER!!!

    Emerson serves all of west Davis. To close that school would be ridiculous – it is a critical need – and nothing more than a cover up of the malfeasance of past School Boards, who have robbed Peter to pay Paul, by building too many schools that there is not enough funding to run. But I say let the School Board vote to close that one too, and let it go CHARTER!!!

    If DJUSD/School Board can’t get its collective act together, then the community should take things over by going CHARTER wherever possible. Yes, to set up a charter school is a difficult process; it takes huge commitment, but the long term effect is to put funding in the hands of STAKEHOLDERS – parents and teachers, who have every reason to make a school succeed.

    Folks, if you want to save your programs/schools, take your courage in your hands, and fight for what you want. Give yourself a say in how the school funding is spent. How much money is being spent on “buying out” a past Supt.’s contract, so he can do nothing for DJUSD? How much money/staff personnel were siphoned off to Total School Solutions over the years? How much money is being wasted in legal fees and staff time to fight the Valley Oak charter, which was denied for the wrong reasons (even the county school board said so last night)?

    When the School Board/District want to, they let money flow like running water. Other times they insist we can’t pay for basic services. I’ve seen this game played out for years and years. Every time their answer is for the public to pony up more money. But what has been the result of that sort of mindset? All of this continual misplanning and malfeasance has finally come home to roost – and we are now talking about closing schools, even though we just opened some.

    Follow Valley Oak’s example – GO CHARTER!

  44. GO CHARTER

    Putting more money down the rathole is not the answer – it will only be a temporary fix for an ongoing problem. Even if the community were able to come up with enough money/taxes to cover this year’s shortfall, how about next year, and the year after that? It will take massive amounts of continued funding in ever increasing amounts to fix the mess. How many can afford that, or want to do it? Lets take a look at some cold, hard facts.

    DaVinci got started with a grant from the Melinda & Bill Gates Foundation. However, was any consideration given to the funds necessary to run it? Has anyone gone to the foundation and asked for further funding to save the school?

    Furthermore, DaVinci serves a total of approx. 250 students; it is not a critical need; it is a school within a school, an interesting experiment that appears to have been successful. If the students/parents/community are passionate enough about it, then let the School Board vote to close it – then have DaVinci go CHARTER!!!

    Emerson serves all of west Davis. To close that school would be ridiculous – it is a critical need – and nothing more than a cover up of the malfeasance of past School Boards, who have robbed Peter to pay Paul, by building too many schools that there is not enough funding to run. But I say let the School Board vote to close that one too, and let it go CHARTER!!!

    If DJUSD/School Board can’t get its collective act together, then the community should take things over by going CHARTER wherever possible. Yes, to set up a charter school is a difficult process; it takes huge commitment, but the long term effect is to put funding in the hands of STAKEHOLDERS – parents and teachers, who have every reason to make a school succeed.

    Folks, if you want to save your programs/schools, take your courage in your hands, and fight for what you want. Give yourself a say in how the school funding is spent. How much money is being spent on “buying out” a past Supt.’s contract, so he can do nothing for DJUSD? How much money/staff personnel were siphoned off to Total School Solutions over the years? How much money is being wasted in legal fees and staff time to fight the Valley Oak charter, which was denied for the wrong reasons (even the county school board said so last night)?

    When the School Board/District want to, they let money flow like running water. Other times they insist we can’t pay for basic services. I’ve seen this game played out for years and years. Every time their answer is for the public to pony up more money. But what has been the result of that sort of mindset? All of this continual misplanning and malfeasance has finally come home to roost – and we are now talking about closing schools, even though we just opened some.

    Follow Valley Oak’s example – GO CHARTER!

  45. Anonymous

    “Putting more money down the rathole is not the answer – it will only be a temporary fix for an ongoing problem.”

    How will a charter school address the fundamental education revenue issues facing Davis? The way I see it, there are thousands of Davis adults pulling toward their own self interest goals with little regard for any common good. If they would bother looking over their shoulders they might see the8,500 kids needing support and guidance.

  46. Anonymous

    “Putting more money down the rathole is not the answer – it will only be a temporary fix for an ongoing problem.”

    How will a charter school address the fundamental education revenue issues facing Davis? The way I see it, there are thousands of Davis adults pulling toward their own self interest goals with little regard for any common good. If they would bother looking over their shoulders they might see the8,500 kids needing support and guidance.

  47. Anonymous

    “Putting more money down the rathole is not the answer – it will only be a temporary fix for an ongoing problem.”

    How will a charter school address the fundamental education revenue issues facing Davis? The way I see it, there are thousands of Davis adults pulling toward their own self interest goals with little regard for any common good. If they would bother looking over their shoulders they might see the8,500 kids needing support and guidance.

  48. Anonymous

    “Putting more money down the rathole is not the answer – it will only be a temporary fix for an ongoing problem.”

    How will a charter school address the fundamental education revenue issues facing Davis? The way I see it, there are thousands of Davis adults pulling toward their own self interest goals with little regard for any common good. If they would bother looking over their shoulders they might see the8,500 kids needing support and guidance.

  49. wdf

    go charter said…

    “Furthermore, DaVinci serves a total of approx. 250 students; it is not a critical need; it is a school within a school, an interesting experiment that appears to have been successful. If the students/parents/community are passionate enough about it, then let the School Board vote to close it – then have DaVinci go CHARTER!!!”

    How much personal disruption will you advocate?

    The board is not voting to close DaVinci.

    At what point can the district/school board start taking some credit for fixing past mistakes? DPD has done a very good job of explaining, more or less, how the district got to its present situation.

    The older generation — Tahir, Murphy, West, Sallee, Jones — are out of here.

    It sucks to be in Hammond’s or the school board’s position, but they’re doing what they’ve got to do.

    I am not intimately involved w/ the VOC effort, but I have read some good things about charter schools. I just don’t think a charter school is the answer all the time.

  50. wdf

    go charter said…

    “Furthermore, DaVinci serves a total of approx. 250 students; it is not a critical need; it is a school within a school, an interesting experiment that appears to have been successful. If the students/parents/community are passionate enough about it, then let the School Board vote to close it – then have DaVinci go CHARTER!!!”

    How much personal disruption will you advocate?

    The board is not voting to close DaVinci.

    At what point can the district/school board start taking some credit for fixing past mistakes? DPD has done a very good job of explaining, more or less, how the district got to its present situation.

    The older generation — Tahir, Murphy, West, Sallee, Jones — are out of here.

    It sucks to be in Hammond’s or the school board’s position, but they’re doing what they’ve got to do.

    I am not intimately involved w/ the VOC effort, but I have read some good things about charter schools. I just don’t think a charter school is the answer all the time.

  51. wdf

    go charter said…

    “Furthermore, DaVinci serves a total of approx. 250 students; it is not a critical need; it is a school within a school, an interesting experiment that appears to have been successful. If the students/parents/community are passionate enough about it, then let the School Board vote to close it – then have DaVinci go CHARTER!!!”

    How much personal disruption will you advocate?

    The board is not voting to close DaVinci.

    At what point can the district/school board start taking some credit for fixing past mistakes? DPD has done a very good job of explaining, more or less, how the district got to its present situation.

    The older generation — Tahir, Murphy, West, Sallee, Jones — are out of here.

    It sucks to be in Hammond’s or the school board’s position, but they’re doing what they’ve got to do.

    I am not intimately involved w/ the VOC effort, but I have read some good things about charter schools. I just don’t think a charter school is the answer all the time.

  52. wdf

    go charter said…

    “Furthermore, DaVinci serves a total of approx. 250 students; it is not a critical need; it is a school within a school, an interesting experiment that appears to have been successful. If the students/parents/community are passionate enough about it, then let the School Board vote to close it – then have DaVinci go CHARTER!!!”

    How much personal disruption will you advocate?

    The board is not voting to close DaVinci.

    At what point can the district/school board start taking some credit for fixing past mistakes? DPD has done a very good job of explaining, more or less, how the district got to its present situation.

    The older generation — Tahir, Murphy, West, Sallee, Jones — are out of here.

    It sucks to be in Hammond’s or the school board’s position, but they’re doing what they’ve got to do.

    I am not intimately involved w/ the VOC effort, but I have read some good things about charter schools. I just don’t think a charter school is the answer all the time.

  53. Robin

    Da Vinci will, indeed, be destroyed if its core teachers are all laid off — which is likely if the district lays off any teachers, because the Da Vinci core teachers are low on the seniority list. They are the young, innovative, exuberant and techno-savvy teachers our district needs so badly. They received special training as part of the Gates Foundation grant, are technological masters, and have spent four years developing the unique project-based curriculum that Da Vinci uses.

    These teachers have also created the culture that has taken and continues to take at-risk kids and turn them into the magnificent, poised, articulate speakers we watched last night at the School Board meeting — and into kids who love school and value education.

    It is unconscionable to allow these teachers to be bumped by more senior teachers who –while they may be fine in a traditional classroom — may not be particularly interested in project-based learning and may not be comfortable with or skilled in cutting-edge technology. If the 3 or 4 primary Da Vinci teachers are laid off, the school will cease to exist. This is not the same thing as laying off 3 foreign language teachers (which simply results in fewer foreign language classes) or laying off math teachers as a result of putting 30 kids in each 9th grade math class instead of 20 kids.

    Superintendent Hammond recognized this and brought the issue back to the School Board, recommending again that they exempt Da Vinci teachers from the cut list because of their special training and expertise. Once again, the School Board blew off the recommendation of the seasoned professional who we are paying top dollar because of his expertise and experience. And some of the Board members were downright rude to this professional, again, when they did so.

    The on-going costs of operating Da Vinci are the same as for operating our other schools. The Da Vinci Booster Club (parents) raises the money to repair and replace the laptops. What we have is great teachers and a cutting-edge, innovative, transformative program — a school kids love — for the same cost as the schools our kids hate.

    The School Board’s reassurance that it was not voting to close Da Vinci was disingenuous. That will be the effect of last night’s decision.

  54. Robin

    Da Vinci will, indeed, be destroyed if its core teachers are all laid off — which is likely if the district lays off any teachers, because the Da Vinci core teachers are low on the seniority list. They are the young, innovative, exuberant and techno-savvy teachers our district needs so badly. They received special training as part of the Gates Foundation grant, are technological masters, and have spent four years developing the unique project-based curriculum that Da Vinci uses.

    These teachers have also created the culture that has taken and continues to take at-risk kids and turn them into the magnificent, poised, articulate speakers we watched last night at the School Board meeting — and into kids who love school and value education.

    It is unconscionable to allow these teachers to be bumped by more senior teachers who –while they may be fine in a traditional classroom — may not be particularly interested in project-based learning and may not be comfortable with or skilled in cutting-edge technology. If the 3 or 4 primary Da Vinci teachers are laid off, the school will cease to exist. This is not the same thing as laying off 3 foreign language teachers (which simply results in fewer foreign language classes) or laying off math teachers as a result of putting 30 kids in each 9th grade math class instead of 20 kids.

    Superintendent Hammond recognized this and brought the issue back to the School Board, recommending again that they exempt Da Vinci teachers from the cut list because of their special training and expertise. Once again, the School Board blew off the recommendation of the seasoned professional who we are paying top dollar because of his expertise and experience. And some of the Board members were downright rude to this professional, again, when they did so.

    The on-going costs of operating Da Vinci are the same as for operating our other schools. The Da Vinci Booster Club (parents) raises the money to repair and replace the laptops. What we have is great teachers and a cutting-edge, innovative, transformative program — a school kids love — for the same cost as the schools our kids hate.

    The School Board’s reassurance that it was not voting to close Da Vinci was disingenuous. That will be the effect of last night’s decision.

  55. Robin

    Da Vinci will, indeed, be destroyed if its core teachers are all laid off — which is likely if the district lays off any teachers, because the Da Vinci core teachers are low on the seniority list. They are the young, innovative, exuberant and techno-savvy teachers our district needs so badly. They received special training as part of the Gates Foundation grant, are technological masters, and have spent four years developing the unique project-based curriculum that Da Vinci uses.

    These teachers have also created the culture that has taken and continues to take at-risk kids and turn them into the magnificent, poised, articulate speakers we watched last night at the School Board meeting — and into kids who love school and value education.

    It is unconscionable to allow these teachers to be bumped by more senior teachers who –while they may be fine in a traditional classroom — may not be particularly interested in project-based learning and may not be comfortable with or skilled in cutting-edge technology. If the 3 or 4 primary Da Vinci teachers are laid off, the school will cease to exist. This is not the same thing as laying off 3 foreign language teachers (which simply results in fewer foreign language classes) or laying off math teachers as a result of putting 30 kids in each 9th grade math class instead of 20 kids.

    Superintendent Hammond recognized this and brought the issue back to the School Board, recommending again that they exempt Da Vinci teachers from the cut list because of their special training and expertise. Once again, the School Board blew off the recommendation of the seasoned professional who we are paying top dollar because of his expertise and experience. And some of the Board members were downright rude to this professional, again, when they did so.

    The on-going costs of operating Da Vinci are the same as for operating our other schools. The Da Vinci Booster Club (parents) raises the money to repair and replace the laptops. What we have is great teachers and a cutting-edge, innovative, transformative program — a school kids love — for the same cost as the schools our kids hate.

    The School Board’s reassurance that it was not voting to close Da Vinci was disingenuous. That will be the effect of last night’s decision.

  56. Robin

    Da Vinci will, indeed, be destroyed if its core teachers are all laid off — which is likely if the district lays off any teachers, because the Da Vinci core teachers are low on the seniority list. They are the young, innovative, exuberant and techno-savvy teachers our district needs so badly. They received special training as part of the Gates Foundation grant, are technological masters, and have spent four years developing the unique project-based curriculum that Da Vinci uses.

    These teachers have also created the culture that has taken and continues to take at-risk kids and turn them into the magnificent, poised, articulate speakers we watched last night at the School Board meeting — and into kids who love school and value education.

    It is unconscionable to allow these teachers to be bumped by more senior teachers who –while they may be fine in a traditional classroom — may not be particularly interested in project-based learning and may not be comfortable with or skilled in cutting-edge technology. If the 3 or 4 primary Da Vinci teachers are laid off, the school will cease to exist. This is not the same thing as laying off 3 foreign language teachers (which simply results in fewer foreign language classes) or laying off math teachers as a result of putting 30 kids in each 9th grade math class instead of 20 kids.

    Superintendent Hammond recognized this and brought the issue back to the School Board, recommending again that they exempt Da Vinci teachers from the cut list because of their special training and expertise. Once again, the School Board blew off the recommendation of the seasoned professional who we are paying top dollar because of his expertise and experience. And some of the Board members were downright rude to this professional, again, when they did so.

    The on-going costs of operating Da Vinci are the same as for operating our other schools. The Da Vinci Booster Club (parents) raises the money to repair and replace the laptops. What we have is great teachers and a cutting-edge, innovative, transformative program — a school kids love — for the same cost as the schools our kids hate.

    The School Board’s reassurance that it was not voting to close Da Vinci was disingenuous. That will be the effect of last night’s decision.

  57. Robin

    Da Vinci will, indeed, be destroyed if its core teachers are all laid off — which is likely if the district lays off any teachers, because the Da Vinci core teachers are low on the seniority list. They are the young, innovative, exuberant and techno-savvy teachers our district needs so badly. They received special training as part of the Gates Foundation grant, are technological masters, and have spent four years developing the unique project-based curriculum that Da Vinci uses.

    These teachers have also created the culture that has taken and continues to take at-risk kids and turn them into the magnificent, poised, articulate speakers we watched last night at the School Board meeting — and into kids who love school and value education.

    It is unconscionable to allow these teachers to be bumped by more senior teachers who –while they may be fine in a traditional classroom — may not be particularly interested in project-based learning and may not be comfortable with or skilled in cutting-edge technology. If the 3 or 4 primary Da Vinci teachers are laid off, the school will cease to exist. This is not the same thing as laying off 3 foreign language teachers (which simply results in fewer foreign language classes) or laying off math teachers as a result of putting 30 kids in each 9th grade math class instead of 20 kids.

    Superintendent Hammond recognized this and brought the issue back to the School Board, recommending again that they exempt Da Vinci teachers from the cut list because of their special training and expertise. Once again, the School Board blew off the recommendation of the seasoned professional who we are paying top dollar because of his expertise and experience. And some of the Board members were downright rude to this professional, again, when they did so.

    The on-going costs of operating Da Vinci are the same as for operating our other schools. The Da Vinci Booster Club (parents) raises the money to repair and replace the laptops. What we have is great teachers and a cutting-edge, innovative, transformative program — a school kids love — for the same cost as the schools our kids hate.

    The School Board’s reassurance that it was not voting to close Da Vinci was disingenuous. That will be the effect of last night’s decision.

  58. Robin

    Da Vinci will, indeed, be destroyed if its core teachers are all laid off — which is likely if the district lays off any teachers, because the Da Vinci core teachers are low on the seniority list. They are the young, innovative, exuberant and techno-savvy teachers our district needs so badly. They received special training as part of the Gates Foundation grant, are technological masters, and have spent four years developing the unique project-based curriculum that Da Vinci uses.

    These teachers have also created the culture that has taken and continues to take at-risk kids and turn them into the magnificent, poised, articulate speakers we watched last night at the School Board meeting — and into kids who love school and value education.

    It is unconscionable to allow these teachers to be bumped by more senior teachers who –while they may be fine in a traditional classroom — may not be particularly interested in project-based learning and may not be comfortable with or skilled in cutting-edge technology. If the 3 or 4 primary Da Vinci teachers are laid off, the school will cease to exist. This is not the same thing as laying off 3 foreign language teachers (which simply results in fewer foreign language classes) or laying off math teachers as a result of putting 30 kids in each 9th grade math class instead of 20 kids.

    Superintendent Hammond recognized this and brought the issue back to the School Board, recommending again that they exempt Da Vinci teachers from the cut list because of their special training and expertise. Once again, the School Board blew off the recommendation of the seasoned professional who we are paying top dollar because of his expertise and experience. And some of the Board members were downright rude to this professional, again, when they did so.

    The on-going costs of operating Da Vinci are the same as for operating our other schools. The Da Vinci Booster Club (parents) raises the money to repair and replace the laptops. What we have is great teachers and a cutting-edge, innovative, transformative program — a school kids love — for the same cost as the schools our kids hate.

    The School Board’s reassurance that it was not voting to close Da Vinci was disingenuous. That will be the effect of last night’s decision.

  59. Robin

    Da Vinci will, indeed, be destroyed if its core teachers are all laid off — which is likely if the district lays off any teachers, because the Da Vinci core teachers are low on the seniority list. They are the young, innovative, exuberant and techno-savvy teachers our district needs so badly. They received special training as part of the Gates Foundation grant, are technological masters, and have spent four years developing the unique project-based curriculum that Da Vinci uses.

    These teachers have also created the culture that has taken and continues to take at-risk kids and turn them into the magnificent, poised, articulate speakers we watched last night at the School Board meeting — and into kids who love school and value education.

    It is unconscionable to allow these teachers to be bumped by more senior teachers who –while they may be fine in a traditional classroom — may not be particularly interested in project-based learning and may not be comfortable with or skilled in cutting-edge technology. If the 3 or 4 primary Da Vinci teachers are laid off, the school will cease to exist. This is not the same thing as laying off 3 foreign language teachers (which simply results in fewer foreign language classes) or laying off math teachers as a result of putting 30 kids in each 9th grade math class instead of 20 kids.

    Superintendent Hammond recognized this and brought the issue back to the School Board, recommending again that they exempt Da Vinci teachers from the cut list because of their special training and expertise. Once again, the School Board blew off the recommendation of the seasoned professional who we are paying top dollar because of his expertise and experience. And some of the Board members were downright rude to this professional, again, when they did so.

    The on-going costs of operating Da Vinci are the same as for operating our other schools. The Da Vinci Booster Club (parents) raises the money to repair and replace the laptops. What we have is great teachers and a cutting-edge, innovative, transformative program — a school kids love — for the same cost as the schools our kids hate.

    The School Board’s reassurance that it was not voting to close Da Vinci was disingenuous. That will be the effect of last night’s decision.

  60. Robin

    Da Vinci will, indeed, be destroyed if its core teachers are all laid off — which is likely if the district lays off any teachers, because the Da Vinci core teachers are low on the seniority list. They are the young, innovative, exuberant and techno-savvy teachers our district needs so badly. They received special training as part of the Gates Foundation grant, are technological masters, and have spent four years developing the unique project-based curriculum that Da Vinci uses.

    These teachers have also created the culture that has taken and continues to take at-risk kids and turn them into the magnificent, poised, articulate speakers we watched last night at the School Board meeting — and into kids who love school and value education.

    It is unconscionable to allow these teachers to be bumped by more senior teachers who –while they may be fine in a traditional classroom — may not be particularly interested in project-based learning and may not be comfortable with or skilled in cutting-edge technology. If the 3 or 4 primary Da Vinci teachers are laid off, the school will cease to exist. This is not the same thing as laying off 3 foreign language teachers (which simply results in fewer foreign language classes) or laying off math teachers as a result of putting 30 kids in each 9th grade math class instead of 20 kids.

    Superintendent Hammond recognized this and brought the issue back to the School Board, recommending again that they exempt Da Vinci teachers from the cut list because of their special training and expertise. Once again, the School Board blew off the recommendation of the seasoned professional who we are paying top dollar because of his expertise and experience. And some of the Board members were downright rude to this professional, again, when they did so.

    The on-going costs of operating Da Vinci are the same as for operating our other schools. The Da Vinci Booster Club (parents) raises the money to repair and replace the laptops. What we have is great teachers and a cutting-edge, innovative, transformative program — a school kids love — for the same cost as the schools our kids hate.

    The School Board’s reassurance that it was not voting to close Da Vinci was disingenuous. That will be the effect of last night’s decision.

  61. Anonymous

    Many of these comments apply to the Montessori program as well. Five of the seven Montessori teachers at Birch Lane will receive pink slips because of their lack of seniority but without regard to their special training. The Montessori program will not survive that kind of reduction, and the time and money that went into building this program will be lost. Like DaVinci, Montessori is about a different learning style that allows children who might not otherwise achieve in a traditional classroom environment to really shine.
    I’m reluctant to pit program against program in this crisis, but I can’t help but feel that the Montessori, DaVinci and DSIS teachers, who bring an invaluable skill and talent to their unique teaching positions deserve as much consideration as the Spanish Immersion teachers who’ve been taken “off the table.”

  62. Anonymous

    Many of these comments apply to the Montessori program as well. Five of the seven Montessori teachers at Birch Lane will receive pink slips because of their lack of seniority but without regard to their special training. The Montessori program will not survive that kind of reduction, and the time and money that went into building this program will be lost. Like DaVinci, Montessori is about a different learning style that allows children who might not otherwise achieve in a traditional classroom environment to really shine.
    I’m reluctant to pit program against program in this crisis, but I can’t help but feel that the Montessori, DaVinci and DSIS teachers, who bring an invaluable skill and talent to their unique teaching positions deserve as much consideration as the Spanish Immersion teachers who’ve been taken “off the table.”

  63. Anonymous

    Many of these comments apply to the Montessori program as well. Five of the seven Montessori teachers at Birch Lane will receive pink slips because of their lack of seniority but without regard to their special training. The Montessori program will not survive that kind of reduction, and the time and money that went into building this program will be lost. Like DaVinci, Montessori is about a different learning style that allows children who might not otherwise achieve in a traditional classroom environment to really shine.
    I’m reluctant to pit program against program in this crisis, but I can’t help but feel that the Montessori, DaVinci and DSIS teachers, who bring an invaluable skill and talent to their unique teaching positions deserve as much consideration as the Spanish Immersion teachers who’ve been taken “off the table.”

  64. Anonymous

    Many of these comments apply to the Montessori program as well. Five of the seven Montessori teachers at Birch Lane will receive pink slips because of their lack of seniority but without regard to their special training. The Montessori program will not survive that kind of reduction, and the time and money that went into building this program will be lost. Like DaVinci, Montessori is about a different learning style that allows children who might not otherwise achieve in a traditional classroom environment to really shine.
    I’m reluctant to pit program against program in this crisis, but I can’t help but feel that the Montessori, DaVinci and DSIS teachers, who bring an invaluable skill and talent to their unique teaching positions deserve as much consideration as the Spanish Immersion teachers who’ve been taken “off the table.”

  65. music parent

    “Da Vinci will, indeed, be destroyed if its core teachers are all laid off — which is likely if the district lays off any teachers, because the Da Vinci core teachers are low on the seniority list. They are the young, innovative, exuberant and”

    and

    “Many of these comments apply to the Montessori program as well. Five of the seven Montessori teachers at Birch Lane will receive pink slips because of their lack of seniority but without regard to their special training. The Montessori”

    At this point there’s only one solution I can think of right now. Fundraise like hell. The time for handwringing is over. There are at least half a dozen other programs that can say the same thing, including my favorite program.

  66. music parent

    “Da Vinci will, indeed, be destroyed if its core teachers are all laid off — which is likely if the district lays off any teachers, because the Da Vinci core teachers are low on the seniority list. They are the young, innovative, exuberant and”

    and

    “Many of these comments apply to the Montessori program as well. Five of the seven Montessori teachers at Birch Lane will receive pink slips because of their lack of seniority but without regard to their special training. The Montessori”

    At this point there’s only one solution I can think of right now. Fundraise like hell. The time for handwringing is over. There are at least half a dozen other programs that can say the same thing, including my favorite program.

  67. music parent

    “Da Vinci will, indeed, be destroyed if its core teachers are all laid off — which is likely if the district lays off any teachers, because the Da Vinci core teachers are low on the seniority list. They are the young, innovative, exuberant and”

    and

    “Many of these comments apply to the Montessori program as well. Five of the seven Montessori teachers at Birch Lane will receive pink slips because of their lack of seniority but without regard to their special training. The Montessori”

    At this point there’s only one solution I can think of right now. Fundraise like hell. The time for handwringing is over. There are at least half a dozen other programs that can say the same thing, including my favorite program.

  68. music parent

    “Da Vinci will, indeed, be destroyed if its core teachers are all laid off — which is likely if the district lays off any teachers, because the Da Vinci core teachers are low on the seniority list. They are the young, innovative, exuberant and”

    and

    “Many of these comments apply to the Montessori program as well. Five of the seven Montessori teachers at Birch Lane will receive pink slips because of their lack of seniority but without regard to their special training. The Montessori”

    At this point there’s only one solution I can think of right now. Fundraise like hell. The time for handwringing is over. There are at least half a dozen other programs that can say the same thing, including my favorite program.

  69. Anonymous

    Is Da Vinci going the way of GATE? The way I understand Da Vinci is that it is a school for “at risk” children (as someone above noted), those who cannot function as well in a traditional classroom environment (which is, apparently, the original intent of GATE).

    The only students I personally know who attend Da Vinci are rather pampered, privileged, capable, high achievers who would do well no matter what type of educational environment they were in–and who would excel in a traditional classroom.

    Are there really enough “at risk” kids in this community to warrant a separate high school? I’m just curious, because (as mentioned above) my experience is that it is more of a prestige program (as I understand GATE has become).

  70. Anonymous

    Is Da Vinci going the way of GATE? The way I understand Da Vinci is that it is a school for “at risk” children (as someone above noted), those who cannot function as well in a traditional classroom environment (which is, apparently, the original intent of GATE).

    The only students I personally know who attend Da Vinci are rather pampered, privileged, capable, high achievers who would do well no matter what type of educational environment they were in–and who would excel in a traditional classroom.

    Are there really enough “at risk” kids in this community to warrant a separate high school? I’m just curious, because (as mentioned above) my experience is that it is more of a prestige program (as I understand GATE has become).

  71. Anonymous

    Is Da Vinci going the way of GATE? The way I understand Da Vinci is that it is a school for “at risk” children (as someone above noted), those who cannot function as well in a traditional classroom environment (which is, apparently, the original intent of GATE).

    The only students I personally know who attend Da Vinci are rather pampered, privileged, capable, high achievers who would do well no matter what type of educational environment they were in–and who would excel in a traditional classroom.

    Are there really enough “at risk” kids in this community to warrant a separate high school? I’m just curious, because (as mentioned above) my experience is that it is more of a prestige program (as I understand GATE has become).

  72. Anonymous

    Is Da Vinci going the way of GATE? The way I understand Da Vinci is that it is a school for “at risk” children (as someone above noted), those who cannot function as well in a traditional classroom environment (which is, apparently, the original intent of GATE).

    The only students I personally know who attend Da Vinci are rather pampered, privileged, capable, high achievers who would do well no matter what type of educational environment they were in–and who would excel in a traditional classroom.

    Are there really enough “at risk” kids in this community to warrant a separate high school? I’m just curious, because (as mentioned above) my experience is that it is more of a prestige program (as I understand GATE has become).

  73. Anon

    Thank you, Music Parent, for adding a voice of reason. Look at this thread and see how it has degenerated. We need to stop saying “my program is better than yours” or “cut their program but not my program.” Denigrating other programs/schools is not helpful at this point. Let’s get beyond this! Everyone is now facing cuts so everyone must work together to raise money. Look at the list and see that every school–and every child–is affected. No one is, or should be, exempt from the cuts. And that means no one will be, or should be, left out of the fundraising. I think that was the gist of the Davis School Foundation’s presentation–and I support that.

  74. Anon

    Thank you, Music Parent, for adding a voice of reason. Look at this thread and see how it has degenerated. We need to stop saying “my program is better than yours” or “cut their program but not my program.” Denigrating other programs/schools is not helpful at this point. Let’s get beyond this! Everyone is now facing cuts so everyone must work together to raise money. Look at the list and see that every school–and every child–is affected. No one is, or should be, exempt from the cuts. And that means no one will be, or should be, left out of the fundraising. I think that was the gist of the Davis School Foundation’s presentation–and I support that.

  75. Anon

    Thank you, Music Parent, for adding a voice of reason. Look at this thread and see how it has degenerated. We need to stop saying “my program is better than yours” or “cut their program but not my program.” Denigrating other programs/schools is not helpful at this point. Let’s get beyond this! Everyone is now facing cuts so everyone must work together to raise money. Look at the list and see that every school–and every child–is affected. No one is, or should be, exempt from the cuts. And that means no one will be, or should be, left out of the fundraising. I think that was the gist of the Davis School Foundation’s presentation–and I support that.

  76. Anon

    Thank you, Music Parent, for adding a voice of reason. Look at this thread and see how it has degenerated. We need to stop saying “my program is better than yours” or “cut their program but not my program.” Denigrating other programs/schools is not helpful at this point. Let’s get beyond this! Everyone is now facing cuts so everyone must work together to raise money. Look at the list and see that every school–and every child–is affected. No one is, or should be, exempt from the cuts. And that means no one will be, or should be, left out of the fundraising. I think that was the gist of the Davis School Foundation’s presentation–and I support that.

  77. Anonymous

    Da Vinci will, indeed, be destroyed if its core teachers are all laid off — which is likely if the district lays off any teachers, because the Da Vinci core teachers are low on the seniority list. They are the young, innovative, exuberant and techno-savvy teachers our district needs so badly. They received special training as part of the Gates Foundation grant, are technological masters, and have spent four years developing the unique project-based curriculum that Da Vinci uses.

    Valley Oak has been destroyed… Da Vinci will just have to find other teachers to fill the empty positions. As a teacher, it is an insult to say that no other teacher in the district is capable of the same philosophy or methodology. As a parent I recently went to an orientation and was extremely impressed with the program. It is NOT for at risk students. It is a program that provides cooperative learning at its best for students who can work and think outside of the box. I am certain there are other teachers in the district who could carry on
    and foster students who may one day be able to solve such problems we currently face.

  78. Anonymous

    Da Vinci will, indeed, be destroyed if its core teachers are all laid off — which is likely if the district lays off any teachers, because the Da Vinci core teachers are low on the seniority list. They are the young, innovative, exuberant and techno-savvy teachers our district needs so badly. They received special training as part of the Gates Foundation grant, are technological masters, and have spent four years developing the unique project-based curriculum that Da Vinci uses.

    Valley Oak has been destroyed… Da Vinci will just have to find other teachers to fill the empty positions. As a teacher, it is an insult to say that no other teacher in the district is capable of the same philosophy or methodology. As a parent I recently went to an orientation and was extremely impressed with the program. It is NOT for at risk students. It is a program that provides cooperative learning at its best for students who can work and think outside of the box. I am certain there are other teachers in the district who could carry on
    and foster students who may one day be able to solve such problems we currently face.

  79. Anonymous

    Da Vinci will, indeed, be destroyed if its core teachers are all laid off — which is likely if the district lays off any teachers, because the Da Vinci core teachers are low on the seniority list. They are the young, innovative, exuberant and techno-savvy teachers our district needs so badly. They received special training as part of the Gates Foundation grant, are technological masters, and have spent four years developing the unique project-based curriculum that Da Vinci uses.

    Valley Oak has been destroyed… Da Vinci will just have to find other teachers to fill the empty positions. As a teacher, it is an insult to say that no other teacher in the district is capable of the same philosophy or methodology. As a parent I recently went to an orientation and was extremely impressed with the program. It is NOT for at risk students. It is a program that provides cooperative learning at its best for students who can work and think outside of the box. I am certain there are other teachers in the district who could carry on
    and foster students who may one day be able to solve such problems we currently face.

  80. Anonymous

    Da Vinci will, indeed, be destroyed if its core teachers are all laid off — which is likely if the district lays off any teachers, because the Da Vinci core teachers are low on the seniority list. They are the young, innovative, exuberant and techno-savvy teachers our district needs so badly. They received special training as part of the Gates Foundation grant, are technological masters, and have spent four years developing the unique project-based curriculum that Da Vinci uses.

    Valley Oak has been destroyed… Da Vinci will just have to find other teachers to fill the empty positions. As a teacher, it is an insult to say that no other teacher in the district is capable of the same philosophy or methodology. As a parent I recently went to an orientation and was extremely impressed with the program. It is NOT for at risk students. It is a program that provides cooperative learning at its best for students who can work and think outside of the box. I am certain there are other teachers in the district who could carry on
    and foster students who may one day be able to solve such problems we currently face.

  81. Anonymous

    Looks to me, based on the photographs alone, like the Da Vinci hearing was where the action was. The charter school hearing? Well, not so much.

  82. Anonymous

    Looks to me, based on the photographs alone, like the Da Vinci hearing was where the action was. The charter school hearing? Well, not so much.

  83. Anonymous

    Looks to me, based on the photographs alone, like the Da Vinci hearing was where the action was. The charter school hearing? Well, not so much.

  84. Anonymous

    Looks to me, based on the photographs alone, like the Da Vinci hearing was where the action was. The charter school hearing? Well, not so much.

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