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Mt. Diablo school closure committee narrows options

By Theresa Harrington
Sunday, December 12th, 2010 at 10:17 pm in Education, Mt. Diablo school district, Theresa Harrington.

By Theresa Harrington

The Mt. Diablo district’s school closure advisory committee has narrowed its list of options from 10 to eight by combining three scenarios that were similar, said Rose Lock, assistant superintendent for Student Achievement and School Support.

The committee also decided against recommending a scenario proposed by the Superintendent’s Council, because that option was not created through the public process, Lock told me.

The district hasn’t yet posted minutes from the Dec. 6 meeting. However, based on the discussion at the Nov. 29 meeting (which I attended), I believe the committee has combined options 1-1, 2-1 and 5-2 into one scenario, since they all recommended closing Glenbrook Middle School and Silverwood Elementary, along with Holbrook or Wren Avenue Elementary schools.

So, here are the options I believe the committee will decide between on Monday:

1 – 1 combined with 2-1 and 5-2:
GLENBROOK (to El Dorado, Oak Grove, Valley View);
SILVERWOOD (to Ayers, Mountain View, Highlands);
HOLBROOK OR WREN AVENUE (If Holbrook, to Wren, Sun Terrace, Monte Gardens, Westwood; If Wren Avenue, to El Monte, Holbrook, Monte Gardens, Westwood);
Savings: $1,504,453 – $1,615,613 (depending on which schools are closed)

1 – 2: SILVERWOOD (see above);
HOLBROOK (see above);
EL MONTE (to Wren, Westwood, Woodside);
GREGORY GARDENS (to Hidden Valley, Fair Oaks, Valhalla);
Savings: $1,738,320

2- 2: WREN AVENUE (to El Monte, Holbrook, Monte Gardens, Westwood);
SHORE ACRES (to Rio Vista, Bel Air and possibly Delta View);
SILVERWOOD (to Ayers, Mountain View, Highlands);
GREGORY GARDENS (to Sequoia Elem, which becomes partial neighborhood school like Monte Gardens; Hidden Valley, Valhalla);
Savings: $1,819,386

3-1: SEQUOIA ELEM. (to home schools);
SEQUOIA MIDDLE SCHOOL (to home schools);
WREN AVENUE (to El Monte, Holbrook, Monte Gardens, Westwood);
Savings: $1,607,769

3- 2: FAIR OAKS (to Bancroft, Cambridge, Strandwood);
SHORE ACRES (to Bel Air, Delta View, Riverview and Rio Vista, which all become K-8);
OAK GROVE (to Foothill, El Dorado, Pleasant Hill and other surrounding if necessary);
Savings: $1,543,916

4- 1: SEQUOIA ELEM. (to home schools);
AYERS ELEM. (to Silverwood, Highlands, Mountain View);
MONTE GARDENS (to home schools, residents to Westwood, Wren);
FAIR OAKS (to Pleasant Hill Elem., Gregory Gardens, Bancroft):
Savings: $,685,242

4- 2: SEQUOIA ELEM. (to home schools);
SEQUOIA MIDDLE (to home schools);
MONTE GARDENS ELEM. (to home schools, residents to Westwood, Wren Ave.);
Savings: $1,563,095

5- 1: WREN AVENUE (to El Monte, Westwood);
SILVERWOOD ELEM. (to Ayers, Highlands);
GREGORY GARDENS ELEM. (to Valhalla, Strandwood);
BANCROFT (to Fair Oaks, Walnut Acres, Woodside, Valle Verde);
HOLBROOK (to Sun Terrace);
RIO VISTA (to Shore Acres, Bel Air);
Savings: $2,761,978

Here’s the Superintendent’s Council recommendation:
OAK GROVE (to 6-12 campus at Ygnacio Valley HS);
GLENBROOK (to 6-12 campus at Mt. Diablo HS);
Convert Riverview Middle School to 6-12 campus;
Savings: approximately $1.5 million

Although the committee doesn’t intend to forward the Superintendent Council’s recommendation to the board, district staff could present it separately, Lock said.

Because of the school holiday break, the committee won’t present its recommendations until January, she said. Lock also clarified that the committee could recommend more than two scenarios, depending on how members vote.

She said the committee has decided not to release its school ratings at this time, because they might be misinterpreted. However, the ratings may be released as part of the committee presentation to the board, Lock said.

“At this point,” she said, “they don’t think it’s something for the public.”

The scenarios were supposed to have been developed based on the ratings. Committee members initially broke into seven groups, each focused on one criteria for school closure.

Each group rated schools based on their criteria, resulting in seven different sets of ratings, Lock said.

On Monday, committee members expect to vote on the eight scenarios using dot stickers. Each person will get four dots, which can be used to vote for one scenario, or could be spread out between a few scenarios.

The scenarios with the most dots will likely be recommended to the board, Lock said.

Do you agree with the committee’s decision to withhold the school ratings from the public?

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