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CBCA backs Clayton Valley HS charter petition

By Theresa Harrington
Monday, July 18th, 2011 at 4:32 pm in Clayton, Concord, Education, Mt. Diablo school district, Theresa Harrington.

Members of the Clayton Valley HS "800 club" celebrate the school's participation in the Clayton "Do the Right Thing" campaign

Members of the Clayton Valley HS "800 club" celebrate the school's participation in the Clayton "Do the Right Thing" campaign

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 shuey@rankinlaw.com.

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?

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  • Just J

    Yes the CBCA did the right thing! I am in complete support of the Charter and am very proud of the City of Clayton and CBCA members.

  • g

    Yes, they did the right thing. It is refreshing to see the local community sticking together.

    The biggest complainers are swinging in the dark, looking for any and every discrepancy, hoping to hit on something more solid than their weak complaints. If they don’t hit on something, they’ll do their best to manufacture it to create doubt of the entire process. Rarely will you see them mention their area of residence.

    This contingent of complainers does not live in the area. They are the parents of “transfer” students that fear they may not have a spot in the Charter. No matter how they try to disguise it, that is their true and entire complaint.

  • Clayton Squirrel

    Thank you CBCA!

    As a Clayton parent of high school age students, I am very excited for the opportunities that the Clayton Valley Charter High School will bring to the families of our community.

  • CV Parent

    G, do you have any evidence to back up your contention that the “complainers” don’t live in the CV attendance area?

    I DO live in the CV attendance area. I, along with many other parents, have serious concerns about the charter conversion. As parents, we are very aware of the current policies and conditions at the school and are able to evaluate what’s in the teachers’ charter petition. I can tell you, as the parent of CV students, that the teachers have not come up with anything new educationally. Nor have they come up with anything to change the atmosphere on campus. I wish I could say the teachers have come up with a solid plan to improve CVHS, but they haven’t. Nor have they come up with a solid financial plan to show that they actually have the financial resources to implement any of their ideas. Without that, they really have nothing to show us except a lot of wishful thinking.

    On top of that, only the school employees elect any representatives to the governing board. The rest are appointed by the governing board members. Anyone who thinks this school will be run by the parents or the community should read the section on governance and get a reality check.

  • Doctor J

    @CV Parent, While I appreciate your concerns, your facts are wrong. If you don’t like the conversion, you can have your child attend a MDUSD High School of your choosing. Please read the post of Mayor Shuey where the proposed by-laws will be corrected.

  • anon

    I think part of the problem with the current atmosphere is that some of the students have no regard for following the rules that are supposed to be enforced by the school and district. If the student and parents have to sign a behavior contract, much like private school families sign, the atmosphere might have a chance to improve. I also live in the CV attendance area and appreciate all the hard work the steering committee has put into this effort.