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MT. DIABLO DIVORCE? Walnut Creek families petition to opt out

By Jackie Burrell
Saturday, December 8th, 2007 at 12:56 pm in Schools.

PetitionSome Walnut Creek families are seeking a divorce from the Mt. Diablo school district. More than 100 families are circulating a petition to withdraw six Walnut Creek schools – including Bancroft, Valle Verde and Walnut Acres schools, Eagle Peak Montessori, Foothill Middle and Northgate High – and transfer them to the Walnut Creek and Acalanes districts instead. They need 2,900 signatures – 10 percent of Walnut Creek’s voters – to put the measure before county trustees. (We don’t know where they’re gathering signatures, but frankly, all they need do is set up a table at Broadway Plaza during the holiday crush. If you have information on where they’re passing the petition, let us know by clicking “comments.”)

School district withdrawal is certainly a topic that’s been raised before in Walnut Creek, where some neighborhoods are part of the massive, 36,000-student, 56-school Mt. Diablo district, while others reside in the small Walnut Creek elementary and Acalanes high school districts. But a concerted petition drive spearheaded by that many families, that aims to keep kids in their home schools but transfer school leadership to Walnut Creek and Acalanes trustees? This could be very, very interesting.

Are you a Walnut Creek voter? Will you sign?

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No Responses to “MT. DIABLO DIVORCE? Walnut Creek families petition to opt out”

  1. concernedmom Says:

    What the articles like this don’t mention is the group of kids who currently go to Foothill and Northgate who will not attend those schools if this passes. It’s important to us and our kids that they go to school with the same group of kids throughout their childhood. If this passes, our kids will be uprooted from their schools and friends and sent to Pine Hollow & Clayton Valley. I have nothing against those schools. However, I don’t want our kids to have to start all over again and make new friends during the already difficult teenage years. Yes, we could transfer, but what if there isn’t room and our kids get bounced? My real question is: Why not spend this energy on fixing MDUSD? Work with what we have now to make it better! Why leave just because you don’t like how it’s working? Is that what we’re teaching our kids?

  2. Parent for transfer Says:

    The petition attempts to address this concern by proposing that students who are attending either Foothill or Northgate HS at the time of the transfer to be grandfathered in or receive priority for inter-district transfers. There is no perfect solution because the boundries for the MDUSD are drawn in a fashion that has students living in one city attending schools in another city. These boundries do not make sense as currently drawn. We feel that our city should have unified schools. MDUSD is too large and is just going to get bigger with the development of the Naval Weapons Station land. The inclusion of some Walnut Creek schools in this district does not make sense. The transfer would correct a bad decision made long ago that does not make sense, and that is positive message to send to our kids.

  3. Opposed to Transfer Says:

    Let’s face it. This is a design for residents of affluent WC to escape to school districts with more money (bond funding). In addition, there are a bunch of WC residents who are steamed because they asked that their assigned high school be changed from YV to Northgate. The MDUSD Board refused, and these residents became irate at the prospect that Crystyl Ranch’s assigned high school could be changed from Clayton Valley to Northgate. At that time the message being sent to the MDUSD Board was that the WC residents lived in WC; therefore, they should have the right to attend Northgate.

    That is what this is about.

  4. Concerned Student Says:

    And so what if it is about the money? It’s January, almost halfway through the school year, and I’m on my twelvth math substitute. Twelvth. My education is suffering because the MDUSD district can’t match the salaries and benefits of other districts. Teachers are going elsewhere, and even more budget cuts are coming. If the problem can be fixed, why shouldn’t it be?

  5. Opposed to Transfer Says:

    While MDUSD isn’t perfect along with many others, it does serve the students. I have a 2007 NHS graduate, and we had a terrific experience

    The NPFT’s vanity is showing. They’re assuming that WCSD and AUHSD can integrate or even want these schools.

    I attended much lower-performing, working class schools, and must say that I learned a great deal. By the fourth grade, my language arts test scores were at the 13+ year (higher than a college freshman). School performance is as much about the student learning as it is about the teacher teaching. I know that in fourth grade, I could spell the word “twelfth.” I wouldn’t be too worried about your education suffering.

    As some WC residents have said now. “So what if it is about the money.” “Walnut Creek children bring in 23 million in ADA funding. “If Northgate students bring in 23 million in ADA money. Then spend 23 million on Northgate students.”

    AUHSD is truly a gem. Just read this CC Times article dated January 9, 2008. “Two Acalanes High School students have been arrested after one brought an unloaded 9mm handgun to school and gave it to the other, police said.” Yep, no problems in this district!!!!

    Young Mr K….Your mom shouldn’t be having you post for her.

  6. Janet Dickinson Says:

    the MDUSD does not serve the students of the WC 94598 club $$$$
    The parents want out because the MDUSD is broken.
    These same parent’s living in multi million dollar homes with college educations and bank want their kids to have the best. Fair or not that’s it. Hey, it’s their kid’s let them transfer. They pay on average at the start of each school year $800.00 for each child to supplement academic programs they pretty much fund all sports activities. So, it’s only fair for them to go to join their peeps $$$$$ in the WC 94596 school district. Crazy thing Walnut Creek parents wanting to be included in WC School District. Nufff said! Oh, except if you think the WC parents are including Crystal Ranch folks there not. It drives them crazy the MDUSD gave the extension on those kids coming over the hill a few years ago!!!!

  7. Not a fair option Says:

    What about those who purchased their homes based on the current district lines? Is it fair to just kick out students? Are students who don’t live in Walnut Creek bad? From the anger I am reading, it seems that the Northgate Parents for Transfer assume that their needs are more important than others. As the NPFT website states,”Don’t waste your time with MDUS parents.” They don’t want their children going to school with those bad kids that don’t live in Walnut Creek. Who cares about homes in Concord that have property values based on the current district lines. By the way, it is not just Crytal Ranch. What about the Crossings and Lime Ridge? While the proposal includes these neighborhoods, what is to stop their exclusion as well?

    Dare I say that those who want to attend WCSD or AUHSD move? That is what they are proposing to the families that will be excluded from their current schools. Why don’t the Northgate parents transfer to AUHSD? That is because transfers are a cop out. They will be denied and not guarenteed.

    If it is not about the out of Walnut Creek students, and purely about the education of their children, why not work to improve their current school? $800 a year to supplement academdic and sports activities is not unheard of. What do you think families in Alamo and Danville spend? Children in year round sports pay more than that for outside activities.

    Obviously the teacher situation is awful. To not have a Math Teacher is unacceptable. Yet, the only solution is to leave the district? The solution lies in many baskets. The MDUSD teachers union, MDUSD and the teachers themselves who voted for a pay increase and no benefits are all to blame for their current woes. I am not a teacher but when I read that they voted for such a ridiculous reduction in benefits I knew they would soon regret their vote. Even grocery store employees know better than that.

    Let’s face it, all of the anger and finger pointing is not working to improve the situation. Why not work with MDUSD to bring Northgate back to its original glory? It is not the students who live outside Walnut Creek who should bear the burden for the sake of other students to improve their own education. Why not work to improve all of these students education?

  8. Walnut Creek Parents Says:

    The MDUSD is obviously showing signs of completely imploding. This has been coming to a head for years. It does not seem so, unreasonable that the parents of Walnut Creek would want this transfer. The Walnut Creek School District and AUSD have declining enrollment. Who better to fill this void but, Walnut Creek students. This ultimately should be the discussion between the residence and the city of WALNUT CREEK. Collectively they will need to come to agreement on the best way to handle this situation for their community. I believe this is the reasoning behind the two petitions currently being circulated. The first logical step would be to have the support of those living in and currently attending the WCSD boundaries (petition #1). The MDUSD (petition #2) will come into the equation in time as needed. Northgate Parents for Transfer seem to have hit a nerve. The MDUSD sees dollars and high API scores going out the door… well what did you think the parents were going to do crash and burn with you to save the district? The homeowners of Crystal Ranch are all in a dither for unknown reasons to anyone. Their schools Highlands Elementary & Pine Hollow Middle School are not involved, Norhtgate is and has only been on a temporary basis their designated high school due to the fact Clayton Valley was impacted. Each time the temporary situation came up it has been extended. Now Northgates been impacted for years so, the extension needs to have a drop date, which the disrtict had for 2005. Before they extended it again. (The Crossings & Limeridge have always been Valle Verde/ Foothill/ Northgate.)

  9. Opposed to Transfer Says:

    These folks couldn’t afford Lafayette and now they want it for free. And, there has been a history of the more affluent in diverse districts wanting out. All this stuff about uniting Walnut Creek is BS. They’re not trying to get the folks in WC who live in San Ramon or Lafayette school districts. I reiterate, it is NOT about uniting Walnut Creek. Ms. Carver said herself “school district boundaries don’t follow city boundaries.” And, before you go around shifting boundaries, you need to consider ALL potentially affected residents. Oh my, I forgot…The NPFT has made an allowance for the Concord residents ASSIGNED to NHS to apply for priority inter-district transfers. I’m just overcome by the NPFT’s generosity.

    Geez…..Have we all heard enough about “Me, me, me?”

  10. Opposed to Transfer Says:

    Not a Fair Option,

    Don’t blame the teachers too much for trading benefits for $$. I believe at the time there were quite a few teachers who had healthcare insurance thru their spouses. I don’t know why it was set up this way, but they took $$ and gave up their insurance. I’m not sure why it was set up this way, most agencies offer benefits or a % in lieu of benefits, i.e., if your bennies are $1,000/month, then the district might offer 50% in lieu of benefits ($500 in lieu) if you have spouse coverage.

    The Crossings IS NOT included in their proposal; only Limeridge. I think they added Limeridge because it helps them get MDUSD voters’ support — it gives the impression that they aren’t discriminating against Concord kids. They know full well that the other districts don’t want another city with which to contend.

  11. Not a fair option Says:

    The following is an excerpt straight from the NPFT:
    The Crossings: Northgate and Foothill Middle also includes the older (1976) and more middle class Crossings development, and the Crossings is not included in my proposal but I have no objection if a school district or the County would like to add it to a resolution. The Crossings already attends Northgate and Foothill Middle, and does not want to leave. One advantage to including the Crossings is that MDUSD would not have to absorb these students into CVHS and YVHS which currently are impacted

  12. Opposed to Transfer Says:

    Let’s read the excerpt. Concord IS NOT included in the NPFT’s proposal. Also, NO city or district is going to adopt a resolution if MDUSD does not consent to the transfer.

    ….. the Crossings is not included in my proposal but I have no objection if a school district or the County would like to add it to a resolution….

    I’m glad Ruth has no objection. Concord still isn’t going. Actually, I don’t think that YV is impacted. The last I heard it had low enrollment, and I don’t imagine that’s changed unless something happened since 2005. That’s when there were discussions about folks in the “grey area” of Walnut Creek attending there and not having priority transfers to College Park.

    This is NOT in Concord’s best interest.

  13. Opposed to Transfer Says:

    For the sake of argument, let’s say that one (or two) Concord neighborhoods went. It’s OK for Concord to be split by multiple districts but not Walnut Creek? Where is the logic?

  14. Teacher in another district Says:

    I think the communities need to do what Lafayette did years ago…pass a bond measure so that everyone invests in the educational system.

    I like how everyone is quick to point a finger, when, why doesn’t everyone cough up some dough?

    AUHSD is one of the lowest state funded districts in California…because they make up the money through the residents who are willing to invest in the future.

    I live in Concord and would happily pay more to get the school district in a place where we can be proud.

    I think the petition should be a bond measure for more money out of our pockets, not a squabble over property lines!

  15. Not a fair option Says:

    I think you are on to something…

  16. Opposed to Transfer Says:

    I agree. Initially, I believe MDUSD was discussing a $500/year parcel tax. I would support it, and my guess is that most MDUSD parents would support it, but not all MDUSD registered voters supported it.

    Paul Strange did a comparison of the unrestricted funding of schools, and I thought that MDUSD was the lowest. I couldn’t find the excel file, so I can’t be sure. When a school district gets special funding or grants for special programs, those funds are set aside because they’re committed to those special programs.

    Remember that WCSD and AUHSD got their parcel tax by having a special election with parents doing a tremendous amount of campaigning. They wouldn’t have parcel tax otherwise.

    I figure $300 or $500/year is probably the equivalent of a few dinners out each year.

    I doubt if this issue is only about a parcel tax.

  17. get it on the ballot Says:

    Concerned mom says “My real question is: Why not spend this energy on fixing MDUSD? Work with what we have now to make it better!”

    This question infers that this energy has not been used to fix MDUSD before. THis is not the case. We have been working, and paying, and spending “this energy” to make what we have better, for the years our kids have been in school. The results can be seen. The fact remains that our considerable efforts are no longer enough.

    There comes a time when the amount of energy expended no longer brings the desired results. Its also called diminishing returns. Spreading that energy over a bigger area isnt going to help. Finding a new direction is needed.

    When your car demands more repairs than its worth, or spends more time in the shop than it does on the road, its time to get a new car. Or a new repair shop.

    That is something to teach our kids as well.

  18. Opposed to Transfer Says:

    “There comes a time when the amount of energy expended no longer brings the desired results.” Maybe the time has come for the NPFT folks to move into their desired school district(s). That’s what the rest of us do.

    Just so many folks know that while some of these parents’ complaints are legitimate, many of these parents complaints are about issues such as conflicting schedules for Girl Scouts (between WCSD and MDUSD schedules), and that a child taking AP French is being taught by a teacher who has…gasp…only taught French III. Such a sad state of affairs.

    From what I understand, WCSD parents do not want MDUSD children in their schools. They don’t want to double the district’s enrollment. The NPFT person in charge is oversimplifying the process of district growth.

    Even though I have personally heard an NPFT parent imply that AUHSD and WCSDs were in support of the petition (among other things). AUHSD and WCSD have asserted that they are taking no position on this matter, and the AUHSD Superintendent has gone on record stating that AUHSD doesn’t intend to take territory away from another district.

    What happens when you have all three districts opposed?

  19. No Confidence - time for a change of leadership Says:

    The issue is long standing and far to complicated for simple answers – BUT – the fact that so many of us in the Northgate area want OUT (even if it is unlikely) is a very clear VOTE of NO CONFIDENCE for our SCHOOL BOARD and the current administration of the district and frankly, the old boy (and girl) network that keeps inadequate administration in many of the school in the district. This disaster took a “village” to create and it’s time the village went out and found us a new “chief”. I don’t think there is much reality in moving but the petition is very important to let everyone know that we want a CHANGE.

  20. Opposed to Transfer Says:

    I agree that it’s highly unlikely. Unfortunately, some people choose to be decisive rather than moving for real change.

    And, the primary problem the NPFT has is that this is about what the NPFT wants and not what the other districts want/need. WCSD/AUHSD parents already have what the NPFT is proposing. There is still no benefit to them. Distinguished schools? So what. They’ve got ‘em. They don’t need yours. Good luck getting the WCSD/AUHSD parcel taxes extended. The NPFT can blow smoke all they want about how WC MDUSD will support those parcel taxes, but the REAL information– the REAL numbers speak volumes. Maybe PARENTS support the parcel taxes but registered voters do not. If someone really believes that even with switching districts, that support will increase from 1/2 for a $26/year parcel tax to 2/3 support for $360 or so? I think we need to order a reality check here. WCSD/AUHSD parcel taxes were a huge effort that still required a special election. The addition of this area will have a negative impact on these districts’ ability to extend their current parcel taxes.

    Now with the projected state budget reductions, they have more to worry about that WC MDUSD needs. What happens if there is no parcel tax extension and these districts still must provide resources for the NPFT schools.

    Watch for the opposition to mount when these districts realize what they have to lose.

  21. Is it for "the children, or their children" Says:

    As a previous poster has stated, in the NW part of WC, the children attend Pleasant Hill schools from elementary school through high school. They make up a large part of the population of the elementary school and a good part of the middle school. Most children in that part of WC do their recreational activities in PH. Stories in the Times last year read that they worked together as a community to get the MDUSD to allow them to choose College Park High School as their HS choice because that’s where they wanted to go to stay with their children’s friends. What has changed? Are these people now saying they belong in WC just because that is their address?

    A recent NPFT email stated that a WC parent at PH schools felt no connection when the Mayor of PH spoke at his school because he couldn’t vote for him. If those children are pulled out of MDUSD, they may go to Buena Vista Elementary, WCI and then probably to Acalanes because Las Lomas is overcrowded. Those children would be leaving their schoolmates from kindergarten to 8th grade behind to attend school in Lafayette.

    Wouldn’t the WC resident who wrote about the Mayor of PH have to feel the same way if the Mayor of Lafayette spoke to the Acalanes community?

    His neighbors in the NW area of WC who are in the WCSD/AUHSD would still go to Las Lomas, while the children who might be newly absorbed into the WCSD/AUHSD will go to Acalanes. That doesn’t solve his problem of a neighborhood school, unless the AUHSD realigns that whole area for the children to attend Acalanes and I don’t think the people in the WCSD/AUHSD would want to do that.

    What about the potential of closing Pleasant Hill schools if NW WC residents are moved out of the district? Do the PH children left behind matter, or does the NPFT care only about their children? Home prices in the NW part of WC reflect the school district assignments. Homes one block away in the WCSD/AUHSD are generally more money. Is it fair for those WC residents in the MDUSD to gain that benefit under the banner of a 50 year mistake?

    The Concord communities that are currently in WC schools would definitely be affected in a similar way, as well. The NPFT keeps saying it is for “the children”. Just not all of them.

    As understandable as this movement is because of how great our WCSD/AUHSD’s are, it is just not fair. WC is not the only city that has two school districts.

    Nobody slipped a fast one by these people. The schools have been part of MDUSD for 50 years, and the proposed reorganization sounds like it WILL significantly disrupt the educational programs in the districts affected by the proposed reorganization.

  22. Is it for "the children, or their children" Says:

    As a previous poster has stated, in the NW part of WC, the children attend Pleasant Hill schools from elementary school through high school. They make up a large part of the population of the elementary school and a good part of the middle school. Most children in that part of WC do their recreational activities in PH. Stories in the Times last year read that they worked together as a community to get the MDUSD to allow them to choose College Park High School as their HS choice because that’s where they wanted to go to stay with their children’s friends. What has changed? Are these people now saying they belong in WC just because that is their address?

    A recent NPFT email stated that a WC parent at PH schools felt no connection when the Mayor of PH spoke at his school because he couldn’t vote for him. If those children are pulled out of MDUSD, they may go to Buena Vista Elementary, WCI and then probably to Acalanes because Las Lomas is overcrowded. Those children would be leaving their schoolmates from kindergarten to 8th grade behind to attend school in Lafayette.

    Wouldn’t the WC resident who wrote about the Mayor of PH have to feel the same way if the Mayor of Lafayette spoke to the Acalanes community?

    His neighbors in the NW area of WC who are in the WCSD/AUHSD would still go to Las Lomas, while the children who might be newly absorbed into the WCSD/AUHSD will go to Acalanes. That doesn’t solve his problem of a neighborhood school, unless the AUHSD realigns that whole area for the children to attend Acalanes and I don’t think the people in the WCSD/AUHSD would want to do that.

    What about the potential of closing Pleasant Hill schools if NW WC residents are moved out of the district? Do those PH children left behind matter, or does the NPFT care only about their children? Home prices in the NW part of WC reflect the school district assignments. Homes one block away in the WCSD/AUHSD are generally more money. Is it fair for those WC residents in the MDUSD to gain that benefit under the banner of a 50 year mistake?

    The Concord communities that are currently in WC schools would definitely be affected in a similar way, as well. The NPFT keeps saying it is for “the children”. Just not all of them.

    As understandable as this movement is because of how great our WCSD/AUHSD’s are, it is just not fair. WC is not the only city that has two school districts.

    Nobody slipped a fast one by these people. The schools have been part of MDUSD for 50 years, and the proposed reorganization sounds like it WILL significantly disrupt the educational programs in the districts affected by the proposed reorganization.

  23. Opposed to Transfer Says:

    CORRECTION: Walnut Creek has FOUR districts! FOUR! They’re not trying to get all districts together. THIS IS NOT ABOUT UNIFYING WALNUT CREEK. It’s a smokescreen. WC children attend: San Ramon, Lafayette, Walnut Creek, and MDUSD school districts. Quote from Ruth Carver: “School district boundaries don’t follow city boundaries.”

    It’s about the age-old issue of the “haves” wanting to have more and not wanting to share with the “have-nots.” Really. They don’t care what your children have. They only want for their children.

    Check the decisions at the County Board of Education: Hidden Pond in Martinez wanting out of Martinez Unified and into Lafayette and Acalanes School Districts. Hercules folks wanting wanting out of West Contra Costa and into John Swett School Districts. Guess what? It didn’t happen.

    I disagree that it’s understandable. Those people who live in WCSD moved there because they researched and knew what they wanted. There are NPFT folks who admit that they made a mistake in not performing good research and are depending on their “neighbors in Walnut Creek” to want them. It’s not understandable that they want to shift a HUGE burden to WCSD. It’s self-centered. A few hundred people want to negatively affect the lives of thousands. That is not understandable.

    If you want WCSD, then move.

  24. David Says:

    This is nothing more than an attempt to get away from the issues that other MDUSD schools have. Those who live in Eastern Walnut Creek have wanted to get away from the reputations of the other MDUSD schools in other cities for years. I remember about 4 years ago when a group of families who live in the area around Treat Blvd. and Bancroft Roads petitioned to the MDUSD school board to have the middle and high school boundaries changed from Oak Grove Middle and Ygnacio Valley High to Foothill Middle and Northgate High. They did so simply because OGMS and YVHS are just outside the Walnut Creek city limits, and are known to supposedly be troubled schools since OG and YV are the middle and high schools for most of Concord’s low income Hispanic Monument Blvd. area.

  25. Opposed to Transfer Says:

    And, folks — Limeridge, listen up. If the NPFT is telling you that AUHSD has no right to a position, they’re wrong. First WCSD isn’t going to take a position without consulting with AUHSD. If the NPFT thinks the County Board of Education won’t listen to AUHSD, they’re wrong. If they’re telling you that Lamoraga residents will allow Concord into their schools, they’re wrong.

    If you think that Walnut Creek is trying to get away from Concord, wait until you see Lafayette, Orinda and Moraga!

  26. Dave R. Says:

    I am a home owner in Northgate, I have three kids, and I am not rich. I live paycheck to paycheck just like most everyone else around here. I lived in Concord for 20 years, I went to Mt. Diablo High School (and dropped out at age 17) and am successful today despite of the poor education I received there.

    I moved from Concord to Northgate because of the high performing schools and now find that I have to pay more and more in order to have music programs, air conditioning in the class rooms, a decent football field, updated computers, etc, etc..

    What my added dollars and effort can’t change is the MDUSD administration, the teachers leaving, the rotating substitutes, the lack of college prep courses, etc.

    The parents work very hard around here to supplement the services that the MDUSD provides. We vote for bond measures and parcel taxes, but they don’t pass because the rest of the MDUSD doesn’t vote for them, and our voice is too small.

    I (and everyone I know) have no issues with Crystal Ranch, the Crossings, or others coming to the schools here (I am not trying to get away from those Concord people). That was a district decision. What I do have an issue with is when my neighbors buy a house next door to mine and cannot send their children to the local school because it is impacted (this is also a district problem). The problem in my mind is that MSUSD is too large to focus on our little bit of the world, especially because we are high performing without their help.

    Does everyone think that MDUSD schools up Ygnacio will all of a sudden be able to absorb all those students? My guess is that nothing would change for these families except the need to fill out an inter-district transfer form. If you want to be included start a petition drive……… Lobby the county after ours is in…… I’m sure there are other options.

    I want good (permanent) teachers, good classes, proper facilities, and fiscally responsible management. MDUSD cannot seem to provide these things.

    I am offended by the insinuations of have vs. have not and that we are Concord haters. We all want what is best for our kids no matter where we live. We are using one of the options available to us to affect change. I also have friends who choose to engage the district and others that start and/or support fund raising. All in an effort to improve out children’s education.

    Maybe if we leave the MDUSD will no longer be able to hold us up as an example of their good work and will be forced to address the real problems they have. Maybe just our actions and desire to leave will help to shed light on a broken system. Whatever the outcome, we are all trying to do what we feel is right.

    Dave R.

  27. Is it for "the children, or their children" Says:

    For Fifty years WC has been split by two districts, but they are not unique. Martinez is also served by two districts; the MDUSD and the Martinez Unified School District.

    The NPFT has made this about “correcting a 50 year mistake” to keep the city together within the same school district. They have also said that they want to include the parts of Concord that attend Northgate schools in their petition. Concord is not a part of Walnut Creek.

    Including Concord dilutes their reasoning, but they need to show the WCSD and the AUHSD that their schools have enough attendance to sustain themselves financially. It may also eliminate potential opposition by including those Concord neighborhoods. You can’t blame the Concord residents for not wanting their communities to disintegrate overnight.

    The same argument can be made for parts of Pleasant Hill and Lafayette that border the NW part of WC. Once the WC children leave MDUSD schools, their communities will be hugely impacted. Does it matter that those children’s situation will change–and not for the better?

    I wonder what the NPFT would do if the Martinez families in the MDUSD had tried to use this same argument to leave the district, first. Would they support them, and be left behind? Or would they be sorry that they didn’t think of it first? How would the NPFT feel to hear the Martinez families say that once they took their high performing schools out of MDUSD that the district could then focus on their “real problems”?

    This is not about the haves vs. the have nots. Everyone wants what’s best for their children. But please consider that your success means other children lose in the way of disruptions to their education and community. There is a sense of entitlement to that.

  28. David Says:

    I agree. If the county office of education allows this to take place, those who live in other cities which are served by more than one school district could easily do the same. The people who live in the MDUSD portion of Martinez could do the same to get into the Martinez Unified. That would obviuosly not work because there is only one MDUSD school in Martinez, Hidden Valley Elementary in the Hidden Lakes area. Those kids go onto attend Valley View Middle and College Park High in Pleasant Hill in their teen years. And then there is the Virginia Hills area of Martinez where the kids spend all of their K-12 schooling in Pleasant Hill. That would not work because there would not be enough room at Martinez Junior High and Alhambra High for all of Martinez’s teens, and there wouldn’t be enough room in any of the Martinez elementary schools to bring in Virginia Hills.
    The same is true for the portions of Walnut Creek which are in the boundaries for MDUSD schools in Pleasant Hill and Concord. Those areas of Walnut Creek are too large to be moved into any of the Walnut Creek schools. Not to mention, it makes perfect sense for the teens who live in the Carriage Square area around Treat and Bancroft to be assigned to Oak Grove Middle and Ygnacio Valley High. OGMS and YVHS are within walking distance from those Walnut Creek homes and are miles away from Foothill and Northgate. Sometimes OG and YV are even mistaken as being Walnut Creek schools because both campuses are right on the Walnut Creek city limits. If the parents who live in those areas of Walnut Creek don’t like OG and YV, they can move to neighborhoods where the kids attend Foothill/Northgate or WCI/Las Lomas. The same for Northate area families who don’t like the MDUSD. They can simply move across the hill to the Walnut Creek and Acalanes Districts if they want to.

  29. Concord Northgate Schools Parent (aka Opposed to Transfer) Says:

    “I want good (permanent) teachers, good classes, proper facilities, and fiscally responsible management. MDUSD cannot seem to provide these things.”

    I can accept that you want something else for your children. Just don’t sacrifice thousands for yours. If you want something different, then move. It’s a great time to buy a home. Low interest rates…and you can be in the district of your choosing. Just be careful the door doesn’t hit you on the way out.

  30. Kelly Says:

    Hello,

    I was trying to look at the Northgate Parents For Transfer website http://www.npft.org

    I can’t seem to get it to come up. Did they shut it down since the petition has been submitted? Or do I have the website wrong?. Thanks!

  31. Jackie Burrell Says:

    I haven’t been able to get on that site for a couple of days. It just churns. Anyone know what the scoop is?

  32. Beth Says:

    I think that the aren’t keeping the website up because the petition has been submitted.

  33. Beth Says:

    Now it’s Walnut School Together Now, which is more divisive than the NPFT.

  34. David Says:

    It is just now being realized that they want to kick The Crossings and Crystal Ranch neighborhoods out of Foothill and Northgate to bring in the areas of Walnut Creek where the kids attend Concord’s Oak Grove Middle and Ygnacio Valley High schools. Many WC families don’t want Concord kids in their schools, especially Concord kids who don’t attend WC elementary and middle schools before going to Foothill and Nortgate. The only reason why Limeridge is being allowed to come along is simply because they attend elementary school in WC at Valle Verde before Foothill and Northgate, and they supposedly believe that therefore they are not influenced by kids from other Concord neighborhoods. It’s just plain ignorant!!

  35. Michele Says:

    In reading the 34 comments I am left with these thoughts:

    1. I moved to a home in Concord based on compiling a spreadsheet of SAT scores and, the home we purchased had all 3 schools on my list. School was our #1 requirement. We passed up homes in Walnut Creek because they did not meet our school requirements – 12 years later I should not be penalized for my research and diligence.
    2. IF this passes (I’m hoping it doesn’t) I would expect the money, hours, materials, labor, etc. – that we personally donated – be reallocated and/or reimbursed to whatever ‘new’ schools my children would attend(I am talking in excess of thousands of dollars contributed over the past 8 years.)
    3. As this has all appearances to be a very Walnut Creek-centric issue. Why not just change the Walnut Creek Boundaries line to say Wiget. We Concord residents and MDUSD families would happily embrace our new neighbors. Those in the ‘gray change zone’ can choose a dual city-ship.
    4. Final thought. Divorce, in this case, does not resolve issues it avoids them. I am not convinced a ‘district divorce’ would solve the issues – quite frankly – I still don’t think I have a clear understanding OF the issues. My sense is some personal grievance has escalated to grand proportions with fear and real concerns feeding the beast.

    Thank you for the opportunity to provide comment.

  36. opposed to transfer Says:

    Michele,

    Ruth Carver has made this her personal crusade. Many of her followers have jumped on the bandwagon for various reasons, including but not limited to: They will leave a school district with a LARGE lower socioeconomic component (primarily Hispanics), and their property values WILL increase (10% plus is the estimate that I have been given). Realtors have confirmed this, and there was even a quote in the most recent CC Times article regarding this matter.

  37. MDUSD Mom Says:

    You know what is SAD? Its sad that all this strife in Northgate and hardley any of the Northgate parents have paid one iota of attention the push for change at MDUSD. Do they love the way MDUSD? NO or they wouldn’t be trying to leave? But guys, not helping with the effort to out McHenry or change the board majority is very short sighted don’t you think? Why not work concurrently? Maybe if instead of escaping MDUSD you can make it better. There is strength in numbers and for the first time in YEARS I see hope for change. Hope for a change in the board majority with an excellent board candidate to replace April Treece, and a huge effort of teachers, parents and trustees to oust the Superintendent. Northgate, please join our efforts. You will never regret it. Sign the petition, come to meetings, tell McHenry how you feel at the next board meeting. Really.. I know you feel like you’ve been there , done that.. but the momentum is growing please look outside yourselves and do the right thing. You are in MDUSD now like it or not, help make it better.

  38. David Says:

    The people who live in Walnut Creek’s Northgate area need to realize that the MDUSD has controlled that area for over half a century, before the city of Walnut Creek actually annexed the land out in that area. As dissatisfied as they are with the MDUSD, they should also be greatful to them for deciding to build the schools in that area, including Northgate High.
    Between the Fall of 1962 through the Fall of 1974, that part of Walnut Creek was assigned to Ygnacio Valley High School. However in the early 70′s YVHS was severly overcrowded, and the MDUSD had Northgate built to relieve overcrowding at YV.
    Several years later, Pleasant Hill High School was loosing enrollment, and in 1980, the MDUSD decided to shut down PHHS as it no longer had enough students to keep it open, and some of PH went over to YV, while others went over to College Park. Many believe that if Northgate had not been built, then PH which was a really good school probaly would not have had to close down, as it might have only been necessary to move some YV kids over to PH to relieve YV’s crowding issues. I don’t believe that the area around Northgate would have been among those areas to be moved over to PH, and I can guarantee that most people in the Northgate area would not like having YV as their high school today, as one person put it, having kids from Eastern WC mixed with kids from Concord’s Monument Blvd. area would be like mixing Corgi’s and Pit bulls with the Northgate area kids being the Corgis’s!!

  39. d Says:

    I feel like I am about to poke a hornets nest, but can someone point me to a bit of background on this? We are considering moving to WC where our son currently attends preschool and I know that Walnut Acres is supposedly a “good school” but where does that feed and is that part of this whole discussion here? How do Concord and Crystal Ranch fit into the WC schools? Is Northgate suppposed high school nirvana? Thanks — and again apologies for any nest poking. :)

  40. David Says:

    You have a good question there D!! You are not poking a hornets nest at all!! What is happening is, that the city of Walnut Creek is served by more than one school district. Some areas of the city are served by the Walnut Creek School District which has about 5 elementary schools (Buena Vista, Indian Valley, Murwood, Parkmead, and Walnut Heights) and 1 intermediate school (Walnut Creek Intermediate or WCI as it is known as for short), and then after attending any of those 5 elementaries and WCI, the kids then all move on to attend Las Lomas High School in the Acalanes Union High School District. Both the Walnut Creek School District and Acalanes Union High School District are both uniformly high performing districts where the demographics are all the same across much of them.
    Much of the rest of Walnut Creek is a part of the very large multi city, demographically diverse Mt. Diablo Unified School District. The Mt. Diablo District runs 5 schools in Walnut Creek (Bancroft Elemenatary, Valle Verde Elementary, Walnut Acres Elementary, Foothill Middle and Northgate High schools). Those 5 schools are among the top performing schools in the Mt. Diablo District. Some of the families from those schools want the elementary schools and Foothill to be moved into the Walnut Creek School District, and the high school, Northgate to be moved into the Acalanes Union High School District, since those districts are smaller and have overall higher academic ratings than the Mt. Diablo School District.
    All of the kids at Walnut Acres move onto attend Foothill Middle and Northgate High in their teen years, as do all Valle Verde students. Bancroft Elementary however, splits its students into 2 different sets of secondary schools. Some Bancorft students are assigned to go onto Foothill and Northgate while others are assigned to move onto attend Oak Grove Middle and Ygnacio Valley High schools just across the Concord city limits, and both Oak Grove and Ygnacio Valley are known as “bad schools” with lower test scores and many minority immigrant students from low income families who mostly live in Concord’s very unreputable Monument Blvd. area.
    Some other areas of Walnut Creek are also assigned to schools in Pleasant Hill, and they want all Walnut Creek kids going to Walnut Creek schools in the same districts for the same city.
    Some parts of Concord are assigned to attend Foothill Middle and Northgate High schools, and those neighborhoods are called The Crossings and Crystyl Ranch. The Crossings attends Concord’s Highlands Elementary School, before going to Foothill and Northgate, and Crystyl Ranch also attends Highlands Elementary as well as Pine Hollow Middle School in Concord before going to Walnut Creek’s Northgate High School. Some WC families are ignorantly saying that those Concord kids are not as prepared academically for Walnut Creek’s secondary schools as those who come out of WC elemenatary schools, and supposedly also cause more trouble in Walnut Creek schools.
    So basically they want to make it where only kids who attend Walnut Creek elementary schools can go to Walnut Creek’s middle and high schools including Concord’s Limeridge neighborhood which attends Valle Verde Elementary before going to Foothill and Northgate. And basically, Northgate High is known as the crown jewel of the Mt. Diablo district high schools, known for high academic standards, families with high educational expectations, no gang issues like those found in Mt. Diablo schools in the neighboring cities ect. Hope that helps you.

  41. Northate High Student Says:

    Concerned Mom,

    What you are not taking into consideration is that when we do reset the boundaries and put Northgate, Foothill, Walnut Acres, etc. into the Walnut Creek and Acalanes School Districts we are helping MDUSD. This way MDUSD will have a more manageable amount of schools to work with and put more emphasis on making them better. It doesn’t make any sense why Northgate is in MDUSD because of its location anyways. It is in Walnut Creek, so it should be a part of the Walnut Creek School district. I don’t know why it was ever put into MDUSD but it should be changed. I don’t mean to sound obnoxious or rude but Northgate students do not typically fit in with other schools of MDUSD and typicaly have more friends from Las Lomas, Campolindo, Acalanes, Miramonte, etc. then at Mt. Diablo, Concord, Clayton Valley, etc. It is a must that Northgate be switched districts to help better all of the students.

    Thanks for listening,
    Northgate Student

  42. David Says:

    Northgate student, you should feel lucky that the MDUSD decided to build Northgate for that part of Walnut Creek 35 years ago!!
    From the Fall of 1962 through the Spring of 1974, that area of Walnut Creek did attend Ygnacio Valley High School. YVHS became severly overcrowded in the early 1970′s, and MDUSD then built Northgate to relieve that overcrowding. Then in the late 1970′s Pleasant Hill High School’s enrollment began to rapidly decline, and the enrollment was so low at PHHS that in the Winter of 1980, the MDUSD decided to close PHHS, and then PH students were then diverted over to Ygnacio Valley and College Park.
    Many people believe that it was a mistake to build Northgate, because maybe if Northgate hadn’t been built, Pleasant Hill probably wouldn’t have had to close, as they could have just done a boundary shift instead of building a You say Northgate students don’t fit in with students from the other MDUSD high schools. I would guess you would diagree then that building Northgate was a mistake, as your part of WC would definately not like having Ygnacio Valley High as your community high school today, and with the major demographic and cultural changes in the YVHS attendance zone, especially in the Monument Blvd. area, I can guarantee that your part of WC would not fit in with YVHS, and am therefore certain that you would not think of building Northgate as a huge mistake like many other people do. If you feel more connected with students in the Acalanes schools, move into their school district.

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