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A Holbrook teacher speaks out against school closure

By Theresa Harrington
Monday, June 6th, 2011 at 6:58 pm in Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

Carol Wallis, a teacher at Holbrook Elementary in North Concord, sent me the following opinion piece today about the Mt. Diablo school board’s decision to close the campus on Thursday:


It’s June 1st, another school year ends. It’s not business as usual at Holbrook Elementary School, where teachers pack professional books and papers and stamp them for delivery to their next site. Students attend BBQ’s and Open Houses at new schools. OK, we stopped crying, stopped fighting and march on to our professional fate. We lost our battle, however, the war in education is raging and Mt. Diablo’s board and administration are examples of why. Holbrook’s closing is a casualty in a system where uninformed leadership causes harm.

The district’s failure to teach second language students became public. At Holbrook, with the help of a knowledgeable ESL teacher, and guidance of an exceptional principal, second language students made gains on state testing. Teachers used strategies for promoting academic language. Parents attended English language learning classes on campus. I bet the board never looked at that.

At a recent board meeting, it was suggested that faculty from “failing schools” attend workshops to hear experts talk about creating learning environments insuring learning. Almost every teacher at Holbrook attended a Defour Conference, where professionals are instructed in building learning communities, and analyzing data insuring student progress. I bet the board had no idea that Holbrook became a professional Learning Community because teachers attended this conference.

Holbrook still sends students to Camp Silver Spur for four days. Under the guidance of staff, retired faculty, and hand picked counselors (college students, graduates, and other Holbrook alumni) students gain unforgettable experiences. Is there any other school in the district that runs a program with this kind of loyalty? I bet the Board can’t name one.

Holbrook elementary school has a partnership with the Techbridge Science program, a non-profit group, largely funded by Chevron. Fifth-grade girls learn about science and engineering through projects, field trips and meeting role models. I bet the Board had no idea of this partnership. Holbrook has a powerful partnership with the Jewish Coalition for Literacy. Tutors are trained and provided with materials helping students read and write. Student/tutor relationships are symbiotic, creating powerful learning experiences. I bet the board gave no thought to the strength of such a program.

Holbrook’s teachers are outstanding. They‘ve been district leaders, implementing programs supported by Kevin Feldman, Maureen Avery (Step Up To Writing) and the UC Berkeley History and Social Science Project. We have a Warren Eukel Award winner and a Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year nominee. I bet the Board doesn’t know that.

Some administrators saw the treasure in Holbrook. None spoke for us. I believe that Mr. Lawrence had no idea what was happening there. He probably didn’t really care which school closed, as long as several hundred thousand dollars could be cut.

Anyone involved in education would tell you that the war can’t be won by changing what works well. So, to answer my original question as to what closing Holbrook proves? It proves the board is ignorant about running an elementary school. It proves the board is blind to what happens on their campuses. It proves administrators are mute when it comes to supporting the Mt. Diablo school district community. It proves the board and administrators are deaf to the voices of one Concord community. I bet we all expect better.

Carol Wallis
Teacher, Mt. Diablo Unified Schools”

Do you think the board was aware of all of these programs and accomplishments when it voted to close Holbrook?

JUNE 7 UPDATE: I asked Wallis who the school’s Warren Eukel Award winner and Teacher of the Year nominee were. She responded that Stephen Slater won the Warren Eukel award she was the Teacher of the Year nominee in 2008.

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54 Responses to “A Holbrook teacher speaks out against school closure”

  1. Flippin' Tired Says:

    I think the Board doesn’t care that Holbrook has such great programs and accomplishments. They were simply too cowardly to close the snooty “choice” schools and send the pampered little darlings back to their home schools. A true Home School suffers, and the snarling Tiger Parents get their way.

  2. g Says:

    So sad. Of course Lawrence didn’t know anything about the school. Until he went looking for a lamb to slaughter, Lawrence didn’t even know where Holbrook school was. He certainly had never visited the campus!

    I would love to find out when, prior to deciding to close it, any of the Board even once visited or encouraged Holbrook or participated in any activity there. (maybe Mayo–once?)

    The committee and Schreder just looked at some books and some numbers; neither looked at the actual schools or the neighborhoods. Neither looked at all the kids being born and raised in Holbrook in the last 3-4 years. The Lawrence and the Board didn’t bother to look either! Shame on them!

    Holbrook has the staff, the families and the heart!

    Holbrook and its big sister Glenbrook needed a Board that was fully impartial, and who would use common sense, and not after months of studies, end up at the last minute rushing to just flip some mental coin for the sole purpose of getting the vote done in one night.

    Holbrook should have been converted BACK to K-6. Problem solved for low attendance and problem solved for transportation of half of Glenbrook’s kids.

  3. 4Students Says:

    It is excellent that “Parents attended English language learning classes on campus.” How and who organized, and is this being done at other MDUSD schools?

  4. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Principal Sara Dieli told me she hired a “Parent liaison” based on advice she received from El Monte Elementary Principal Christina Boman.
    I will do another blog post with information from my interviews with Dieli and Glenbrook Principal April Bush. Both said their schools don’t understand the board’s decision to close their schools.
    It seems that the School Closure Committee and the board didn’t evaluate the effectiveness of the programs at the schools. Instead, they looked at API scores, without appearing to dig deeper.
    Many studies I’ve read and workshops I’ve attended have stressed the importance of making budget cut decisions based on an evaluation of whether or not programs are working effectively. Holbrook gained 50 points on its API last year and is hoping for another 50 points this year, Dieli said. School pride lives on, even as the campus is closing.

  5. g Says:

    Theresa, “School Closure Committee and the board didn’t evaluate the effectiveness of the programs at the schools.”

    The Committee had actual feeder pattern commitment everywhere but Holbrook and Glenbrook–Their representation came from “over the hill” at schools that cared nothing for Holbrook or Glenbrook!

    The Board never put boots to the ground to make their decision. Before a penny was ever spent or a meeting ever held, GarySherry already had their own “short list” and 4 of the five feeder patterns were “safe”. Ask them! Ask who/what they were concerned with saving and especially why only North Concord was really considered. You won’t get an answer.

    The “why” would lose Federal Funding!

  6. Theresa Harrington Says:

    In looking at the School Closure Committee’s “Facility Capacity Analysis,” it’s interesting that none of the four elementary schools projected to be at less than 65 percent capacity in 2014-15 were considered for closure.
    These were: Bel Air (with the lowest enrollment, projected to drop from 451 now to 343);
    El Monte (with enrollment projected to drop from 469 now to 399);
    Mountain View (with enrollment projected to drop from 408 to 353); and
    Sun Terrace (with enrollment projected to drop from 543 to 436).
    Holbrook’s projected drop in enrollment is much smaller, going from 393 to 383, retaininig nearly 75 percent capacity, according to projections.

  7. g Says:

    One of my points exactly! And the projections are skewed if you don’t get your boots on the ground and look at the houses and yards and strollers and momma’s bellies and … There are lots of new babies and kids in Holbrook Heights.

    Many parents have little English, and were not notified that the school district they moved into was in jeopardy! Who knows to look for some “legal notification” of something like this. If you don’t currently have a kid in a school that is in jeopardy you hear “NOTHING” until it is too late to do anything!

    North Concord had NO representation! Holbrook/Glenbrooks’s “committee” was a person who lives across the street from his Bay Point School, and two Bay Point school employees! When the one from Holbrook moved, before talks even began, he was not replaced even though there were “standbys” available.

    The Board ignored school scores, and ignored growth projections and ignored school history, and ignored both Schreder’s and the Committee’s requirement that no one neighborhood should be negatively impacted by closing two schools in the same neighborhood!

  8. MDUSD Board Watcher Says:


    Spot on analysis.

    Earlier this year when I suggested the committee was stacked to get a particular result I was routinely lambasted.

    Maybe I know more than y’all are giving me credit for.

  9. g Says:

    MDUSD Board Watcher: It seemed to me, after some careful analysis at the time, the Schreder Report was either incompetent or “orchestrated”; using mix and match sets of numbers spanning different year’s of data “as-needed” to meet the results they were told to reach.

    There is no question the Committee was, if not fully orchestrated, then certainly chosen and geared to be no less Nimby than the average citizen committee!

    When neither the Study nor the Committee pinpointed the exact result they had strived so hard to attain, Gary arbitrarily quashed the one “fair” scenario, and Sherry tossed in the Supervisor’s coin, and “viola”!

  10. Theresa Harrington Says:

    One thing that I never understood was why Wren Avenue Elementary was dropped from consideration.
    I don’t recall hearing any discussion about that, yet it just disappeared from the list, even though it had more School Closure Committee votes than Holbrook, the lowest elementary enrollment, scored lower on the API than Holbrook, was in a different neighborhood than Glenbrook and scored 58 on the School Closure Committee rubric, compared to 66 for Holbrook.

  11. g Says:

    Theresa, that’s where my comment of Sherry tossing Lawrence’s coin into the decision process fits the “plan”.

    Schreder studies indicated that to do it right, both Holbrook and Wren would require 3-4 schools to properly receive all of roughly 400 students at one time. Lawrence (who had not been to the schools) looked at a map and said well, Holbrook “could” fit into just Sun Terrace and Wren. Why did he so desperately want to influence the decision? Maybe because closing Wren would mean integrating some Wren kids up into it’s close neighbor; a happy little campus much too close to Dent for the Supervisor’s liking!

    Then, Sherry, finding the opening she was determined to find, used his input as living gospel to totally disregard both the Study and the Committee, swearing that closing Holbrook would cause the least student disruptions, and that was her “one and only” reason, direct from her mouth in writing, for why she nominated Holbrook to close.

    One only has to look at the difference in how far kids from North Concord, and Holbrook Heights specifically, will have to travel versus distances other possible closures would have meant to see the biased and unbalanced discrepancies.

  12. Doctor J Says:

    Steve and Sue = Steue; Gary and Sherry = Gaerry. This is only meant in alignment on school issues and no other connotation is suggested.

  13. Wait a minute Says:

    I hope someone made a discrimination complaint about the MDUSD “leadership”‘s handling of these matters to the Federal Office of Civil Rights (OCR) right here in SF.

    If someone does this, the OCR will come in and look very hard to see if there are inconsistencies in the districts processes and rational for closing these two schools from the same feeder pattern.

    Sounds like from what the various good people have posted here that that the whole process stinks to high heaven. Invite the OCR in folks, its what their mission is!

  14. Anon Says:

    Why is the board so silent on these issues? What are they trying to hide?

  15. g Says:

    Wait a minute: While the result is obvious, and the methods seem blatant, actual evidence of a prejudicial or segregationist intent is more elusive. There is a long standing history of making sure absolutely nothing done outside of a formal meeting is ever written down! No calendar note, no memo, nada! Remember Gary’s lightning fast admonishment to Dennler to never write anything down because “It can be subpoenaed”?

  16. Holbrook Dad Says:

    I believe the only reason Lawrence was so high on closing Holbrook was the school’s proximity to public transportation. His only goal was to free up a site to combine the Small Necessary High Schools. He didn’t really care which one it was and Holbrook was the easiest choice. The Sup. and the Board chose the path of least resistance and that path led them to N. Concord.

    School has not even ended for the year and there were people from the SNHS’s circling like vultures and taking pictures of Holbrook last week. The body isn’t even cold yet and they are already planning on how to divvy up the remains.

  17. g Says:

    Theresa, can you find out what is going on with that.

    How can their intent be seen as anything other than discrimination?

    It all just makes no sense—except— to even further segregate the “undesirables”!

    Let’s see; several years ago they closed Hillcrest and turned it into the County’s “Prison” School Campus. Now they plan to put the disadvantaged into Glenbrook, and the troubled into Holbrook all on one end of town within a half mile of each other!

    Aren’t they really going to run afoul of Federal and State Education mandates if they start pushing virtually all of the “special” kids off to “special” schools on the “other” side of town? Isn’t integration and inclusion supposed to be the goal?

  18. g Says:

    I also meant to say, if they are bound and determined to segregate all problems to the North of Willow Pass, it seems that all of the SNHSs could fit easily at Glenbrook right along with Special Ed. Why just use a tiny percentage of each campus? How is any of this saving money????

  19. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I know that one Glenbrook parent said she intended to file an OCR complaint, but I don’t know if she did. I’ll try to find out.
    Regarding small necessary high schools, Superintendent Steven Lawrence told me last month that he was holding off on his original plan to convene a task force to look at consolidating high schools, because he felt that would be included in the strategic planning and Equity Advisory Team discussions.
    Who was leading the group that was looking at Holbrook?

  20. Holbrook Dad Says:

    I need to amend my comment about the people taking photos of Holbrook. While there was a group on campus, it was not known exactly who they were and the assumption was they were from the SNHS’s.

    Regardless of who they were, it’s still very clear what the intentions are for Holbrook. I need only to look in the power points attached to several meeting agendas to know what they are. The Sup. can say they are holding off on a decision because of future strategic planning and Equity Advisory Team discussions, but I don’t buy that load for a second.

    The truth is they are holding off making anymore decisions until the school year has ended. When they will assume people are too busy with summer activities to pay attention. I would not be surprised at all if the topic of more school closures heats up during the summer break.

    G, I completely agree with you. It’s very easy to see what is happening. They are cleansing their other campuses of the “undesirables” and pushing them all to one side of town. Why let a few bad apples spoil the bunch, just put them in their own bunch and let them spoil each other, right in the middle of a small neighborhood. And when this happens, they better make a deal with CPD for extra patrols because we are going to need it. Oh hell, what am I saying? The district doesn’t give a damn about that. Just like they don’t give a damn about the students, parents or faculty of Holbrook and Glenbrook.

  21. g Says:

    We’ll just rename them the Glenbrook Center for the Hard to Teach, and the Holbrook Center for the Hard to Reach!

    The Federal Government still allows the corralling of wild horses, so maybe there is some little know Grant money Lawrence can tap into to fund the corralling of his “problem students”.

  22. Hell Freezing Over Says:

    Holbrook Dad,
    Your previous post has been nagging at me, and now your amended statement “While there was a group on campus, it was not known exactly who they were and the assumption was they were from the SNHS’s.” has me worried.

    The question to be asked is why would there be a group of people on an elementary school campus while school is in session, taking pictures?

    Do you know if anyone asked the Pricipal or office staff pn site who these people were? Didn’t they have visitor passes or MDUSD IDs?

  23. Anononous Says:

    Rumor has it Measure C will be using Holbrook office as base for Solar panel. and a few wings for storage of materials.

    Sooo Sad

  24. Holbrook Dad Says:

    Hell Freezing Over,
    From what I have been told that since the closure was announced visits to the school have become fairly common by school district types. But rest assured, because I was also told that all the visitors wore badges. I’m told that it was assumed people from the SNHS’s were there because they were taking pictures of classrooms and were overheard discussing placement of desks and the like.

    What disturbs me the most is the utter lack of sympathy and compassion coming from the district. Not once have any of them(save for Hansen)visited or offered any words expressing even the slightest amount of sorrow for the situation they put us in. Their attitude has been, “Our decision has been made, you all need to deal with it and take your medicine”.

    They claimed this choice affected the least amount of students, but not once have they actually stopped and thought about the students it did affect.

    The real shame is they know they made a rash and uninformed decision, but are too stubborn to admit it.
    Instead they are concentrating on how to piece this together after the fact so it will fit the claims they have made, just to save face.

    I know there are some on the board that do not agree with the choices they have made, but for some reason they are unwilling to try and undo what has been done. These people are smart and well educated and were elected to do what is best for students. I dare any of them to try and defend to me that what has been done is best for anyone involved.

  25. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Anonymous: Superintendent Steven Lawrence said that some Measure C staff might move to a closed school site, to save money on leasing office space elsewhere. Lawrence hasn’t given the board an estimate for how much would be saved, however. Also, this hasn’t shown up yet on the School Closure Transition plan.
    I notice the district has removed “utilities” from its school closure savings cost estimates, which could indicate that someone will continue to use utilities on the sites.

  26. Anon Says:

    Lawrence sending in district personnel to measure classrooms for other uses while the school year is still in progress smacks of the the old, ” don’t let the door hit you in the rear on the way out”. Tells you how he really feels about it all, doesn’t it?

  27. Kelly VB Says:

    #13, I filed a complaint with the OCR. What the Board did does not fall into any of the categories of discrimination that OCR covers which is discrimination against age, sex, race, sexual orientation, or disability.

    The biggest issue we have is that the only people who have made a direct stand against the Board are people directly connected with Holbrook. While I understand that people were worried about speaking up and then being “next” on the list, I don’t think people are realizing it’s their silence that will make their school “next”.
    The Board thinks the only people that care are the families at Holbrook. They don’t care about us, so they don’t care what our opinion is. If others in the district stood up and questioned this decision and pushed this issue, we’d have a chance to change it.
    But until the people of the District stand up as a whole, the MDUSD Regime will simply keep steam rolling its agenda right over all of us.

  28. g Says:

    Kelly, it is unfortunate, but others in the district proved during the closure debates on here and every other local blog that they only cared about “their” school. Two or three may have said,”oh what a shame”, but that’s all.

    As I said earlier, discrimination against heritage doesn’t seem to be against the law yet, and proving discrimination against an immigrant block of people, who are not considered to be of “other” race is not only going to be very difficult, it has no precedent in American Law as far as I know.

    But thanks for trying!

  29. KellyVB Says:

    I wonder if there’s anyone else who’s interested in impeaching the MDUSD Regime?

  30. Kelly VB Says:

    I wonder if anyone else inside the boundaries of MDUSD is interested in recalling the MDUSD Regime.

  31. Anon Says:

    Kelly VB,

    I am ready and willing to recall them.

  32. Flippin' Tired Says:

    I’ll be in on the recall…only if “Doctor J” promises give us his/her real name and run for the board. I will campaign day and night on his/her behalf, and then I want “Doctor J” to solve all the problems he/she continuously complains about. If “Doctor J” is an employee, he/she will have to resign his/her job to run, of course. But I’m sure that won’t be an issue, as “Doctor J” has all the knowledge needed to save the district.

  33. Doctor J Says:

    Check out the SIG Grant application on the agenda for Tuesday — last attachment. Another $98,000 person to “monitor” the SIG grant to be hired — we just hired one for the first SIG grants. Can’t that person also monitor the second round of SIG grants ? A tax dollar is a tax dollar. The new applications look just like a block and copy with a few minor changes from the applications for the first four schools. I don’t think the full applications have been attached — instead they are going to dazzle the Board with “powerpoints” that don’t tell the details. The dsitrict has known about these application deadlines for months — why wait until after they are submitted to seek approval ? Obviously when they decided months ago to remove the two principals, it was for the purpose of applying for the SIG grants. Where are the full applications ? Remember how they dazzled the Board with powerpoints on the Measure C instead of providing the details ? I get the same feeling now.

  34. Doctor J Says:

    Another SIG application anomoly: $2000 per year for unspecified “conferences” for SASS personnel. Didn’t they already have that in last year’s grant ? Its not much money but another example of padding the grant with non-specific expenditures. Have a great vacation in Carmel or Las Vegas or Seattle or Colorado.

  35. mad mom Says:

    Such a sad commentary on our education situation. As for not closing the “choice” schools, I was amazed at how close they wee to closing Monte Gardens. The MDUSD really seems to dislike their close proximity to the school. Too much traffic and parents have too easy access to admin.
    Charter schools are looking better all the time. I want the teachers to be treated fairly but I would also like to see the district have a looser grip on how our schools are run. Grrr

  36. anon Says:

    It’s been hard to read these posts as I feel for the parents of Holbrook and Glenbrook because their schools are closing.

    There was a very long School Closure Process that the public could attend. Theresa wasn’t there until the decision was about to be made. Same with most parents.

    If you would have attended, you would see that it was not a stacked deck. There is no way that everyone would agree on one school to close. That’s just human nature, but there were multiple factors that were considered. Not just API and not just enrollment figures. There were considerations about if kids had to cross another boundary to get to their new school, facility questions, etc.

    The reality is that even though I think the process was fair (enough) I doubt that the school closure process will save the money that is worth all the pain it’s causing.

    I also want to add to Flippin’ Tired’s post. Doctor J- Why don’t you come out from the shadows? You seem to have specific knowledge of things that you want to fix but no one is taking you seriously because you choose to do this all on blogs. If you believe as strongly as you do about these things, then come on out. If you are retaliated against, you will have people on your side.

  37. g Says:

    I’m far more bothered about increasing the YVHS ARRA contract to Martha Jane Moore, a private individual, operating out of her home as Innovations Consulting. On what appears to be the bright side, Mrs. Moore and her family also run a charity collecting donations to build classrooms in Tanzania, and she works as a personnel consultant for Nuview School District in SoCal. She doesn’t seem to be a IECA Associate Member, however, and that always makes me wonder how just about anybody can get all these big money consulting deals.

    Unfortunately, I don’t see how MDUSD can take this “Use It Or Lose It attitude” over and over. There really is NO MoneyTtree (nor any others thanks to solar) growing on Dent property. Every penny they use from one grant is unavailable to use or add to another Grant. I think this action, while small, is just another example of their outrageous waste of funds!

    Can’t help but wonder how(Martha) Jane Moore got hold of our ARRA funds. Is she related to anyone we should know about?

  38. Another MDUSD Mom Says:

    Help me understand –

    MDUSD reorganizes the District office to save $200,000+/- and uses $40,000 for administrator raises including $27,000 to Greg Rolen.

    They eliminate the Superintendent of Secondary Education position and the Superintendent says he will do the job and create a high school plan. Is there a plan?

    They create SASS with the intent to save money and improve student acheivement. Then they hire “test blubblers” and more administrators. Are they over their original budget? Have they used all of the cost savings? Is the program working?

    And now we see that a consultant has been hired last year for $24,900 ($100 below the amount that must be publicly approved by the Board…hmmm) and whose job is to improve student acheivement at just one school.

    Do I have this right?

  39. g Says:

    Another MDUSD Mom: That’s not the best part of it if you are talking about the Jane Moore Consulting job that they want to give another $3K+ to.

    Her contract, as I recall, breaks down to just about $1,000.00 per school day! That initial $24,900.00 was for one person for 17 full days and two half days, spread out “at her discretion” over an entire school year, plus roughly an extra $5K for travel and expenses! NONE of this was classroom time with kids! NONE! All of it is to “coach” other school employees. All ARRA funds that could have been spent on someone to actually help out the kids in a classroom.

    Now, the new Principal also needs to go to a conference in Oregon to be “coached”. By the way, isn’t it about time for him to be moving on? He’s already been here a year.

    If anyone can find her credentials let me know.

  40. Another MDUSD Mom Says:


    SASS is supposed to be training Principals, aren’t they? Isn’t that the whole point behind bringing Principals into administrative roles at Dent?
    At the very least aren’t there local training programs?

    What about New Leaders for New Schools in San Francisco? Is there something special in Oregon?

  41. Theresa Harrington Says:

    The meeting regarding Response to Intervention (RTI) in Oregon may be somewhat moot, if the board agrees to lay-off 15.25 special education assistants:
    “This may impact the teachers’ ability to provide additional RTI support,” according to the memo from Mary-Ann Tucker.

  42. g Says:

    I was speaking of the “training” jaunt for (only) the Principals in the Ygnacio Valley High feeder pattern. It would seem SIG funds, SASS funds, and a $1K a day consultant/trainer, a new principal; and that’s the tip of the berg—not helping YVHS students to improve enough. Maybe some money needs to be spent “in the classroom”, with the kids–(novel idea)–not more teacher/principal/contractor talking sessions.

  43. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Yes, but the training is to learn about a program called “Response to Intervention.” However, as the Tucker memo points out, this program depends partially on special education assistants to be implemented effectively.
    If the administrators go on a trip and learn about a program they may not have the staff to implement effectively, is it worth sending them on the trip?

  44. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Another MDUSD Mom, Yes, the consultant contract is to help the staff become more effective, which is what the principal is supposed to be doing, according to the SASS emphasis on “instructional leadership.”
    It is surprising there is no consultant in the Bay Area who can do this. According to the contract, $5,900 of the $24,900 is for expenses such as airfare, hotels, meals, car rental, tips, parking and unanticipated copying of materials:
    The $3,530 contract extension includes $1,730 for expenses such as airfare, hotels and meals:

  45. Billy Bob Says:

    The piece you are all missing is the fact that if we don’t let these YV admins go, we will be taking away a very nice ALL expenses paid trip/vacation from them.

    This is one of the ways that particular board members “reward” members of their feeder patterns.

  46. Doctor J Says:

    @Another MDUSD Mom #38: You are so wrong. Lawrence never agreed to that — that was an idea from Strange-Eberhart before Lawrence arrived which Lawrence rejected and formed the SASS instead. Lawrence says he will save $50K on SASS vs. C&I and cites figures that are incorrect for the persons hired. There was no significant savings because they all got their longevity salaries which are intentionally not included in his salary estimates. They hired two consultants, not one. Region IV and a Lynne ? for over $70,000. In additional they have now hired more and will hire more. All with tax money they say is not “general fund” — its still tax money. And who pays tax money ? Tax payers. And what do we have to show for it ? Nothing.

  47. Doctor J Says:

    Every cut proposed by Lawrence is about someone else other than district personnel: No cuts to the Gang of Five, no cuts to the Board’s freebies of medical & dental; no cuts to the inflated salaries of the Supt and Assist Supts, and the Directors.

  48. Doctor J Says:

    Theresa #44 Isn’t this the lady from Las Vegas that lists a Corona CA address ? What is wrong with this picture ?

  49. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Why do you say she is from Las Vegas?
    I believe she led the Response to Intervention (RtI) training I previously mentioned at the district leadership conference a few years ago (the district paid her to come to the district instead of paying administrators to go somewhere else to hear her).
    I quoted her in a story I did about suspensions and expulsions. Here’s an excerpt of that story:
    “…Students who feel connected to schools take pride in both their campuses and their work, education experts say.
    A principal in the El Monte school district in Southern California turned around disrespectful behavior and academic slovenliness in some failing students by making them school leaders, said consultant Jane Moore, who is training Mt. Diablo educators in student intervention.
    With the students’ permission, the El Monte principal referred to the former campus troublemakers as the ‘F Troop’ and asked them to help out on campus. F Troop kids introduced speakers at school assemblies and started to feel a sense of belonging, Moore said.
    ‘Pretty soon, their self-confidence improved, because someone at the school cared for them,’ she said. ‘Behavior and instruction go hand in hand.'”

  50. Another MDUSD Mom Says:

    Doctor J,
    Trust me I am perfectly clear on the fact that tax money comes right out of my pocket. I am also well aware of the District’s blatant disregard for that fact. In the words of Paul Strange, “the solar project has no debt service so therefore it is a good deal.”

    So are you saying I am wrong about Lawrence agreeing to take on the responsibilities of the Asst Superintendent of Secondary Education?

  51. Doctor J Says:

    Sorry, I had her mixed up with Mary Bacon. So many consultants, its hard to keep them straight.

  52. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Another MDUSD Mom: I also remember a discussion about Lawrence taking on the duties of the Assistant Superintendent for Secondary instruction, based on his previous experience. This was part of the rationale for eliminating the position, as I recall.
    However, after SASS was formed, a director of secondary instruction position was created. So, it seems that Lawrence has not been tasked with carrying out those duties.

  53. Doctor J Says:

    @Another MDUSD Mom #50: If my recollection is correct, I believe that after Lawrence was hired, but before his arrivial, the Board said he had “secondary experience” and could take over Alan’s job — well that never really happened, as Lawrence proposed soon after he arrived that C&I be elimintated and that Rose Lock become the Assistant Supt over SASS, with a Secondary director, Denise Rugani and an elementary director Susan Peterson [which previously had been an Assistant Supt [Rose Lock]. What is really interesting is that Denise Rugani got a walnut paneled massive office reserved for Asst Supt’s and Sue Peterson got a Wing C small junky office — no walnut paneling — but she is hardly ever there anyways.

  54. 4Students Says:

    I clearly recall Supt Lawrence was going to present a high school plan in April, that was two months ago. In the meantime Cheryl and Sherry organized the strategic plan and perhaps Lawrence is waiting for that to be finalized. Perhaps the high school plan will be incorporated in the strategic plan discussion tonight, that can be viewed only by those in the room, or perhaps Lawrence will explain in one of his biweekly newsletters. Did high school graduation rates improve this year?

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