Both the city of Clayton and Clayton Valley High School have embraced the theme “Do the Right Thing” as part of a character-building campaign.
Last month, the Clayton Business and Community Association (CBCA) overwhelmingly decided to support an effort to convert the school to a charter, which had already been unanimously endorsed by the Clayton City Council.
The association voted to allocate $8,500 to the effort, reimbursing the city for an unsecured loan, which council members approved in a 3-2 vote to help pay for upfront legal costs to draft the petition.
Mayor David Shuey told me in an e-mail today that the city had only spent $2,500 on the initial retainer before the CBCA voted and approved its contribution. So, the CBCA funding will reimburse the city’s payment, then the city will forward the rest to the Clayton Valley HS charter fund, he said.
“So we ‘did the right thing’ and took bold decisive action when necessary and it all works out in the end like we anticipated,” Shuey wrote. “As you know, I and the city took some heat for doing the unsecured loan so this is nice vindication.”
CBCA President Ed Hartley said in a phone interview that only three members voted against the expenditure, compared to more than 40 who were in favor of it.
Hartley said he and others voted for it, in part, because they feel it is worth a try to improve the school.
“I think that given the state of the school — how the teachers and students feel about it and how the parents feel about it — that there’s nothing to lose by trying this,” he said. “If it works, it could work well.”
If it doesn’t work, the school would revert back to the Mt. Diablo school district.
“So that it can turn it out good,” he said, “in enough members’ minds, it was a wise use of our money.”
Charter supporters will hold an informational meeting about the petition at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Clayton Library at 6125 Clayton Road in Clayton. Shuey invites those who can’t make it to e-mail questions to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The school board expects to hold a public hearing regarding the petition from 5:45-7 p.m. Aug. 9 at Monte Gardens Elementary in Concord. Trustees plan to approve or deny the petition at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 13 at the district office in Concord.
More information is at https://sites.google.com/site/claytonvalleycharterhighschool.
CVHS teacher Pat Middendorf said organizers are holding the meeting because some people in the community still don’t understand how the charter would operate.
“There’s still some confusion,” Middendorf said in a phone interview.
Some people, she said, believe the school might not be accredited or might refuse to serve special education students, she said. Those are both false rumors.
“So,” she said, “we thought, ‘Gee, if that (kind of rumor) is still out there, maybe we’d better go (back to the community) one more time.’”
Do you think the CBCA did the “right thing” by contributing $8,500 to the charter effort?