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Complaints mount at Mt. Diablo High

By Theresa Harrington
Saturday, February 11th, 2012 at 1:03 am in Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

MDHS student Charles Campos posts sign on locked restroom.

Since a majority of teachers voted No Confidence in Mt. Diablo High Principal Kate McClatchy in December, some students and a parent have joined in a chorus of complaints about her leadership.

At Monday’s school board meeting, three current students, one former student, a parent and four teachers outlined their concerns. I am posting links to video clips of their comments below, along with excerpts.

Senior Savannah Ridgley: Video: http://qik.com/video/47936180

“Two weeks ago, I voiced some of my personal concerns. However, I’m not the only student at the high school. Nor am I the only student with concerns due to Ms. McClatchy’s actions and decisions. Over the course of the past month, we the students have compiled our major concerns. Tonight, we bring them to you with the hope of some action being taken. On Jan. 5th, 2012, we held a student-only meeting to acquire a better understanding of some of the concerns of the student body. The issues raised were: building and bathroom accessibility, or rather, lack of; poor bathroom sanitation; the intended layout of the all-academy structure; the lack of accessibility to AP classes; that student input isn’t valued and is even ignored; the lack of QEIA (Quality Education Investment Act) funding and resulting schedule changes; the method of punishing tardy students; the idea that actions are only taken by Ms. McClatchy under bad publicity; the fact that educational minorities are ignored; the fact that sports aren’t given adequate notice when they have forms to turn in; and the fact that students are no longer permitted to wear Rosaries.

We, the students of Mt. Diablo High School have needs, rights and concerns. And now, we the students of Mt. Diablo High School are using our voices. Several students are going to expand on a few of these issues. I hope that you take all of these problems into consideration. Thank you.”

Senior William Maldonado: Video: http://qik.com/video/47936252

Unfortunately, the first part of the video has a glitch in it, so it doesn’t start at the beginning of his comments. Complete audio of the meeting is at http://www.mdusd.org/boe/Documents/audio/2012/February%206%202012%20-%20amplified.mp3.

Maldonado said he was speaking about the district’s failed punishment policy, as well as the fact that only one restroom was open (until this week) and it was not near his classes. He said McClatchy requires students who are tardy to retrieve a tardy pass from an administrator, even if they are tardy because they had to wait to go to the restroom. When students obtain tardy passes, they are given a glove and instructed to pick up trash for about five minutes, he said. By the time they get to class, they are 10-15 minutes late, he said. They miss warm-up activities or the chance to go over homework, he said.

From video: “..When you miss the beginning of class, you no longer have the opportunity to participate in classroom activities, which I feel, at the beginning of the class period, is the most important. It sets it up for everyting that will be done the rest of the period. When you come in 15 minutes late to class because your principal wants to punish your tardiness, I feel it is unacceptable and is a waste of time. Why it makes sense to use taxpayer-funded school time to have students pick up trash is beyond me. This policy has not lowered substantially the rate of tardiness and it appears to cause a concern among many students and teachers. Many students take advantage of this policy simply to come more late to class. This policy punishes the students who wish to pursue their education further and provide the school with higher test scores and rewards the students who don’t want to go to class. We are the students of Mt. Diablo High School, but we are motivated.”

Vanessa Lopez: Video: http://qik.com/video/47936301

“I am a graduate of Mt. Diablo High School, class of 2011. I was enrolled in the ACME (Architecture, Construction, Manufacturing and Engineering) academy for three years. In all my years at Mt. Diablo, I never received referral or had any problems or any disciplinary actions taken against me. In January, 2011, my boyfriend Kevin Rojas was shot and killed in Bay Point. At the time of his tragic death, he was enrolled at Gateway (continuation) high school, but had spent freshman through the beginning of senior year at Mt. Diablo High. When he died, our principal, Ms. McClatchy, called me into the office and told me that I could no longer attend Mt. Diablo High, (Unfortunately, the video was cut short at this point.)

Lopez also said that her academy was not allowed to have a memorial service and that McClatchy accused her of being a gang member and tried to involunarily transfer her to Crossroads High. Lopez said she was not a gang member and that she and her family complained to the district. District officials allowed to return to Mt. Diablo High, she said.

“Ms. McClatchy disrespects students,” Lopez said. “She is the wrong principal for any school.”

Teacher Wendy Spencer: Video: http://qik.com/video/47936460

“I was here two weeks ago to express my concerns over what’s happening at Mt. Diablo High School. At that time, I used the analogy of a bus on the autobahn, filled with students and staff. From where we are, at the back of the bus, the road ahead is obscured by thick fog. We ask the driver, Ms. McClatchy, to slow down, to be careful. But she just says: ‘If there’s no speed limit on the autobahn, I can go as fast as I want!’ We’re trying to say: ‘We don’t think as fast as you’re going is warranted.’ This is the cycle I feel we’re in. Ms. McClatchy wants an all-academy school with only her approved academies. And 9 to 12th grades by the year after next at the latest. Many teachers and three of four academies have asked, ‘Why?’ and have not gotten an answser in the year we have been asking. I personally voted No Confidence because I thought she would be forced to explain her reasoning, at least. But, that has not happened. And I am afraid for the future of the students who do not fit the mold. Thank you for your time.”

English teacher Stephanie Sliwinski, who teaches in the Architecture, Construction, Manufacturing and Engineering (ACME) academy and is a district parent. Video: http://qik.com/video/47936528

“I’m here tonight not only to speak to you as someone who has taught in an academy at Mount, but has also taught in the general population and literally built the successful academy ACME from the ground up.” (Unfortunately, clip was cut off before she finished her comments.)

She said ACME is a California Partnership academy.

“When life gave me lemons at Mt. Diablo High School,” she said, “I made lemonade.”

She said the academy raised test scores and that McClatchy wanted to scale it up. She compared the academy to a pitcher of magic lemonade. But, when the academy gets larger, she said it would be like a baby pool and students would no longer be able to taste the lemonade.

AP Environmental Science teacher Patrick Oliver.
Video: http://qik.com/video/47936561
(Unfortunately, I only captured a portion of his comments on video.)

He said he gets along well with McClatchy personally, but that he and many other teachers object to her plan to scale up the four existing academies to create an all-academy school.

From video:
“And then, she said to the school faculty: ‘We are going to vote on whether the faculty thinks we should accept an all-academy model with freshmen this year or next year,’ which seemed kind of curious, because of the fact it’s a liege of these academies…(audio obscured). And in fact, a lot of people didn’t want to actually vote on that. They wanted to vote on: Should we have more academies? Or, should we look at other options? Whereas, many of us refrained from voting on that because it seemed to me like a transparent political move so that she could go to the board and public and say: ‘See, the faculty voted and they support my plan.’ When, in fact, a for a large number or a vast majority of the faculty, that was not the plan we were interested in. So, many of us didn’t vote. And I’m not sure how it’s going to turn out, because we haven’t been given that information.

I am excited about some of the changes that are happening. And, Friday, I had a meeting with the principal and a bunch of other people in regards to a new interest in a sustainability pathway through the IHTA (International Hospitality and Tourism Academy). And, I’m super excited to develop an agriculture class and a horticulture class and continue my environmental science in the context of the academy without the AP label. I do have an Ag degree and five years of horticulture experience. However, however, I’m being told we need to develop this as soon as possible, ie. basically next week, next month. Which means piloting new courses, new textbooks. No extra staff time. No staff development time. No money from the county, district, school. And so as a professional grant writer in years past and developing a nonprofit, I’m working with enough nonprofits to develop resources to bring to the school and I would love to develop that on the side. But, I have been basically told: ‘Good luck, you’re on your own, kid.’ So, I’m going to do whatever it takes and from what I understand, I would love to increase the support from the district to accomplish these goals. And I don’t feel like I can count on any.”

English teacher Dan Reynolds: Video: http://qik.com/video/47936630
(Unfortunately, I missed the beginning of his comments on video.)

He said he felt like the “listening process” developed by the district to respond to the vote of No Confidence was not working and that teachers need some intervention from the board. The district held listening meetings, in which administrators wrote down concerns expressed by teachers at the school, along with recommendations for improvement, he said.

“From video:
“We felt listened to. But, one of the problems is that when we finally saw the compiled list of what went on in those listening sessions, there was a glaring omission. When we were presented the list of our recommendations for improvement, one of the recommendations that came up time and time again was – as I am told and as I witnessed at the one session that I visited – was that one of the items was: replace Kate McClatchy. Each teacher in those sessions was given two green dots to put on the recommendation they felt was important. You could put it on two different recommendations or if something was so important, you could both your stickers on one. I put one of my stickers on: Replace Kate McClatchy, as did three of my other colleagues in that listening session. In the other listening sessions that reported to me from colleagues who were at them, nine stickers on “replace Kate McClatchy,” five stickers on “replace Kate McClatchy,” six stickers. When we got the list that was a report of those listening sessions, the item “replace Kate McClatchy” was left off. From the six listening sessions, we have no idea how many green dots were placed next to that because we’ve never been shown that information. However, things continue to move forward. Jan. 30th – Monday of last week – there was an opportunity for the administration to present to us the plan that they had written after reading that list. They didn’t include us in a conversation. They took those items on the list and made a new plan. And then they presented us with the plan….” (Video got cut short.)

He said the administrators are listening, “but what we get back is shallow.”

After hearing all these complaints, four trustees said nothing. Trustee Gary Eberhart said he had submitted a list of questions to Superintendent Steven Lawrence about the district’s reponse to the vote of No Confidence. He asked Lawrence to add to the list the question: How many restrooms are at the school and how many are available to students?

Later in the meeting, district resident Brian Lawrence addressed the board about a proposal to hold less formal community meetings where the public could ask questions and give feedback to the superintendent and community. Lawrence (who is no relation to the superintendent) said he supported the idea, adding that trustees sometimes resemble a Soviet Politburo — “stone-faced and nonresponsive,” even when faced with an issue involving basic human dignity.

Video: http://youtu.be/yUdrPlERN44

To bring attention to the restroom issue, Amnesty International students have launched a “Pissing is a Human Right” campaign highlighting the school’s failure to provide adequate facilities. Here is a link to restrooms requirements on the California Department of Education’s website: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/fa/sf/toiletrequire.asp

Based on these requirements, anyone in the community could file a Williams Act complaint, alleging the school is violating items p and q on this form: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/cr/documents/ucpchecklist1112.pdf#search=restroom%20toilet%20paper&view=FitH&pagemode=none

How do you think the district should respond to the teachers’ vote of No confidence and students’ concerns about locked restrooms and other issues?

FEB. 11 UPDATE: Due to technical difficulties, I have just recovered additional videos I shot at the meeting — one from an adult (whose name I didn’t get) supporting the teachers and students, one from a parent and one showing Trustee Gary Eberhart requesting more information.

Here is a link to parent Diane Ridgley’s comments: http://qik.com/video/48038264

Here is a link to comments made by a woman supporting the students and teachers: http://qik.com/video/48036090

Here is Eberhart’s question to the superintendent: http://qik.com/video/48041718

FEB. 13 UPDATE: Teacher Dan Reynolds told me that of 94 teachers, only 23 cast ballots when McClatchy asked them to vote on converting to an all-academy school next year or the following year.

“The fact that only 23 voted tells you right there what people want,” he said.

FEB. 14 UPDATE: The Mt. Diablo school district has given students at Mt. Diablo High a sweet Valentine’s Day gift — all the restrooms are open.

Teacher Dan Reynolds said Trustee Gary Eberhart walked the campus this morning, visiting every restroom to make sure it was open and stocked with toilet paper, soap and paper towels. Those that weren’t are being replenished this morning, Reynolds said.

Eberhart also met with the Amnesty International club to talk about what students need to do to keep the restrooms open, Reynolds said. Members of the club plan to reach out to the rest of the student body to stress the importance of keeping the restrooms clean.

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  • Doctor J

    I am looking at http://mdusdmeasurec.org/ and do not see it under Agendas or anyplace else.

  • Theresa Harrington

    It’s on the Oversight Committee page, labeled: CBOC Thursday February 16th 2012.

    I would post the link, but this site doesn’t give specific URLs for documents. (Somebody should fix that.)

  • Doctor J

    More hide the ball putting the agenda in the wrong section, not clearly labeled. And no attachment of the Audit ? When will that public record be made public ?

  • School Teacher

    @Doctor J #96

    I conceptually understand your point, but disagree from a practical perspective. The kind of person that causes this destruction will not be responsive to the methods you refer to. The last thing I would want is to have the students confronting each other. The people responsible for the vandalism I think would not think twice about physically threatening other students wanting to correct them. From what the students mentioned in another blog response, they already don’t feel very safe on campus. Those elements making them feel unsafe are the same ones they will most likely have to confront to stop the destruction. I hear teachers talk about having the leadership students getting involved and trying to do this. I don’t think the students causing the vandalism have any respect for the leadership students to begin with, and wouldn’t have a problem threatening them if they tried. At some point the adults have to step in, and I think this is one of those moments. How they step in can be open for discussion, but I think they will need to be the ones to come up with something.

  • g

    Theresa @98; I think I have McClatchy’s back on that one. The school is not the place to glamorize a child’s death with candles, flowers and stuffed animals, and if it was a gang death, that service would have invariably have culminated with another fight or payback.

  • Theresa Harrington

    I understand what you’re saying. But, it appeared that the student was concerned because there didn’t seem to be a consistent policy.
    I remember a Northgate student who died of heart failure and I don’t think there was an agenda item remembering him either.

  • Anon

    Our high school has lost students. Their friends spontaneously created remembrances for them such as posters and charity work. The parent club maintains a garden which has memorials. Everyone wants to grieve and memorialize those who died too young, whether from natural causes or otherwise. Las Lomas HS is creating an outdoor classroom as a memorial to the two boys who tragically drowned last year. It can be done tastefully and appropriately without glamorizing.

  • Doctor J

    Why is Supt Lawrence hiding the Measure C audits ? They have not been posted with the Agenda for tomorrow’s meeting and appear to be the major topic. Why does the public have to fight everytime to get “Public Records” from Lawrence ?

  • Theresa Harrington

    I have posted a link to the audit, as well as a link to Alicia Minyen’s Oct. 10, 2011 memo to the committee outlining “Questionable expenses paid for using 2010 Measure C bond proceeds” http://bit.ly/wJ71bq

  • MDHS Teacher

    It would be nice to memorialize every student and teacher we lose with some type of appropriate memorial, but since the student our school lost last year was a “gang member” his death was treated by Ms McClatchy as if it was not worth fussing about one bit at school. Children who lose friends (other children) need to mourn and heal, regardless of where they are. The child who was shot and killed was Mexican and in the Mexican culture one who dies is memorialized immediately, yes, with flowers and candles.

    The students and staff were not trying to make a large public display about his death during class time, they just wanted to do what they could as a community/academy at lunchtime inside a classroom and Ms.McClatchy wouldn’t allow it. So sad for everyone.

  • School Teacher

    @ G #68

    You mentioned a lawsuit involving a College Park vice principal and science teacher. Does someone know what this is about? I think I have some knowledge of this? Do you know anything Theresa?

  • Theresa Harrington

    Some time ago, someone posted a link to this lawsuit, which I believe involved a student shooting a potato gun in class and hitting another student in the eye. The student hit in the eye was injured and is suing the district, I believe.
    The lawsuit alleges the teacher was negligent for encouraging the first student to build the potato gun and for not supervising him well, which resulted in the classroom injury.
    I believe the plan was for the student to shoot the gun outside.

  • Realia

    Theresa, you are correct about the Roaldson lawsuit. I saved the PFD file of the lawsuit and can forward it to you if you like.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Yes, please forward it to me at tharrington@bayareanewsgroup.com.
    Last I checked, it was scheduled for a case management conference April 10. (But that could have changed by now.)

  • Theresa Harrington

    MDHS student Savannah Ridgley took second place in county “Poetry Out Loud” competition: http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_19990602/chris-treadway-richmond-high-school-poet-takes-top

  • g

    Way to go Savannah!

  • g

    I expect some of my taxes to pay for lawsuits against the district, but…Can someone enlighten us about the District taking the helm in getting a two year Restraining Order to keep a Mr. Katz (whomever that is) from harassing McClatchy on the job? Is that what we pay education taxes for?

  • Theresa Harrington

    Where did you see that?

    The district also paid to hire at attorney to get a restraining order against the father of a then-district student, who was asked to stay away from General Counsel Greg Rolen after a verbal confrontation in Safeway.

  • g

    The Online Case Info site at Contra Costa County Superior Court is a wealth of information.

    http://icms.cc-courts.org/tellme/tellme/tellmecasereport.asp?language=ENGLISH&courtcode=A&casenumber=MSN11-0173&casetype=CIV

  • g

    Now everyone is going to spend all night looking up every person they know.

    If you want to search the District, you have to look under Mt. Diablo Unified School District (both with the period and without; Mount Diablo Unified School District; MDUSD and Mt. Diablo School District (both with the period and without).

    Now you know why they need sooooo many Legal Firms!

  • http://none MT HS Graduate

    I personally went to Mt.Diablo High School, most of the Teachers were a joke! All you had to do was show up to class and you would pretty much get a passing grade. The bathroom were used to setup kids to get jumped. There were nothing but wannbe gang members there trying to throw around their “weight” to the student body, to the teachers. I’m glad that this principle is putting her foot down and making changes. When I was there, it was nothing but dickies, rosaries, and rags hanging from every other kid there. Change needs to happen now and these teachers need to get off their butts and back her play!!! Yes, Mt.Diablo teachers you are expected to TEACH!!! So sorry shes actually making you go to training and re-educate yourself!!! One thing is clear not many students at Mt. can even perform in AP classes. Most of the students from Mt. will end up in the lower workforce. An Academy might just be the answer for this school. Why don’t some of you research and analyze the effect of the technical inefficiency and schools poor performance and that effect it has on the high school dropout rates. The effect it has on the economy, the crime rate etc. Yes, it’s the parents responsibility to keep their kids in school, but it’s also the TEACHERS responsibility to teach. If their parents allow their children to go to school late then we can already see they are dealing with bigger issues than the alarm didn’t go off. If the same students are perpetually late, I’d send them to pick up trash too. They might as well get an early start on their future job! Why send them into the classroom where they are going to be disruptive??? A few years ago, I had sit in a class room at Mt.Diablo where a particular student was very disruptive. The teacher could not teach because of this one student! She was also too scare to send the fool to the office!The kids who are clearly not going to graduate are already marked, let them go to continuation or pickup trash! Before all you make judgements based on a few links, go and actually spend time on the schools campus and YOU CAN SEE FOR YOURSELF!!! Its a JOKE AND CHANGE NEEDS TO HAPPEN!!!

  • Doctor J

    CDE “conditional approval” of MDHS QEIA waiver. But when you read the “conditions” I don’t think Mount will be able to meet the “conditions” !!!! Why ? The District’s waiver application was not totally accurate nor forthcoming !! They have to meet the targets by the end of the ‘CURRENT YEAR’. Won’t happen. Read and decide for yourself: “The California Department of Education (CDE) supports Mt. Diablo USD’s request that the QEIA 27-student cap per core classroom be waived for four grade eleven classes and two grade twelve classes at Mt. Diablo HS for school year 2010–11. The CDE also supports Mt. Diablo’s similar request for waiver of the QEIA 27-student cap per core classroom CSR requirement for school year 2011–12, based on the district’s assertion that the school will meet its target by the end of the current year.

    The CDE recommends approval with the following conditions: (1) Applies only to four grade eleven classes and two grade twelve classes at Mt. Diablo HS for school year 2010–11; (2) Applies to grades nine through twelve at Mt. Diablo HS for school year 2011–12; (3) Within 30 days of approval of this waiver, Mt. Diablo HS USD must provide to the CDE a description, including costs covered by QEIA funds, of professional development activities and any other school improvement activities added to the school improvement plan as a result of the additional funding now available, if any, through this waiver of the CSR requirement.”

  • Doctor J

    Closer look at CDE “conditional approval” of MDHS QEIA waiver reveals that CDE got “additional commitments” from Mount NOT described in the “Waiver application”, but who gave the commitments ? Kate McClatchy ? Lorie O’Brien ? Steven Lawrence ?

    Problems with CDE summary of “facts”. 1. CDE says: “Mt. Diablo USD states that the high school has consistently had significant administrative and staff turnover, which made the training, scheduling, and execution of the master schedule difficult. ” NOT according to Dan Reynolds who begged Kate McClatchy to fix the schedule. 2. CDE says: “The district states that there was also simultaneous turnover of QEIA staff at the district level that affected the QEIA CSR calculation requirements.” NOT, Jen Sachs did not leave until June 30 and signed, along with Rose Lock, the “non-compliance” report sent to the County. 3. CDE says: “The district states that it has taken steps to ensure that there are no more than 27 students in each core class and will be compliant at the end of the current semester; further, the district anticipates full compliance with QEIA CSR requirements for 2011–12.” Really ??? Where does it say that in the Waiver application ? It doesn’t. Since we are in the final semester now, show us the numbers !!!! Who said that ? Kate McClatchy ? Lorie O’Brien ? Steven Lawrence ? When did they say it and is it in writing ?

    http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/ag/ag/yr12/documents/mar12w28a7.doc

  • Theresa Harrington

    You’re right. Both Dan Reynolds and Patrick Oliver have told the MDUSD board that Principal Kate McClatchy reported to the site council that she didn’t schedule for QEIA.
    Also, as you point out, Jen Sachs was the district’s QEIA administrator until the end of last school year — after the district completed its end of the year report. Certainly, her departure at the end of June could not have affected the 2010-11 QEIA CSR calculations. However, her departure definitely could have impacted the district’s ability to figure out that it could apply for a waiver. Sachs prepared documents for the Pittsburg district to apply for a QEIA waiver by its December board meeting. In contrast, MDUSD didn’t even realize it could apply for a waiver until December.
    And if the district is so sure that it will be fully compliant with QEIA by the end of this year, then why is it asking for a waiver for 2011-12? It will be interesting to see if the SBE questions this and decides to only grant the waiver for 2010-11. If the SBE grants the waiver for this year also, it will eliminate the incentive for the district to truly be compliant. There’s a big difference between ensuring compliance and merely “anticipating” that it might be compliant.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Tonight, the school board expects to approve extended leave of absence for SPI Tom Torlakson from his job as a science teacher at Mount: http://bit.ly/AdQEvs.

  • Anon

    Did the board approve this status before now, or has he been active?

  • Doctor J

    Just a year ago, Gary Eberhart said this about MDHS: ‘Mr. Eberhart shared that State Superintendent of Schools Tom Torlakson was sworn into office at Mt.
    Diablo High School on January 3. He commended the school for doing an amazing job representing the
    District.’ (Board Minutes Jan 11, 2011). How things deteriorated in just a year under Principal Kate McClatchy, going from “amazing” to “toiletgate”.

  • Theresa Harrington

    I believe Torlakson has been granted an extended leave annually since he left the district.

  • Doctor J

    Has Dan Reynolds or Kate McClatchy or anyone else confirmed that Mount can or cannot meet the ‘conditions of approval’ required by the CDE for granting of the QEIA waiver ?

  • Theresa Harrington

    In the waiver application, Lorie O’Brien states that the district has beefed up its monitoring and support to ensure that it will be compliant. The application also states that the school will convert to an all-academy model in the fall: .

    “By the fall of 2012, all 9th graders will also be placed in academies. An administrator is assigned to each academy and teachers share common preparatory periods for planning and collaboration. The flourishing academies offered to students further restricted the ability to manipulate the master schedule making it not feasible to add additional sections of Pre-Honors, Honors, or AP courses mid-year. Students in academies have a series of required classes at each grade level that they must complete. …With the growth of academies, rescheduling students or adding additional AP/Honors courses was made more difficult.”

    The application doesn’t state how the school plans to get around this difficult situation, which it admits is exacerbated by the all-academy plan.

  • Doctor J

    @TH #130: The QEIA Waiver also states, which appears to make compliance by the end of the semester somewhat “iffy” : “Mt. Diablo High Staff, in good faith, developed a master schedule that was QEIA compliant but has not monitored it closely for compliance. At the time of the submission of this waiver request, District staff is working with site staff to conduct a rigorous review of the current master schedule to ensure compliance with QEIA and to make any needed adjustments at the semester change to minimize any potential negative impacts on students.”

    Since we are now in the second semester, can Dan Reynolds, Kate McClatchy or Lorie O’Brien positively confirm that MDHS is in QEIA compliance, which is a condition of approval ?

  • Theresa Harrington

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the SBE asks the same question. In fact, as I previously stated, I would think the SBE would be tempted to grant the waiver only for 2010-11 and not for 2011-12, to compel the district to follow through on its word.

  • Doctor J

    If Dan Reynolds shows up at the State Board of Education and requests that, they may go along with him especially if he can show how poorly he was treated by Principal McClatchy.

  • Theresa Harrington

    It will be interesting to see how the district will change its improvement plan based on the grant money. The truth is, the district never changed its plan to reflect the fact that it wasn’t anticipating getting the money, since McClatchy didn’t tell the site council before it approved the plan.

    So, the district can just say it will follow through on its original plan, which was never altered.

    This, however, could raise a red flag with the SBE, which might wonder why there wasn’t more transparency and proactive planning going on at the site and district office.

  • Doctor J

    The CDE in its recommendation never talked about one tenth of the timeline of QEIA issues because the district misled them in the Waiver application.

  • Theresa Harrington

    The most glaring factual error is the statement that the turnover in QEIA staff at the district office affected the QEIA calculations. That is simply false.

    Interestingly, Jen Sachs may be at the SBE meeting to speak in favor of the Pittsburg waiver. Perhaps the SBE could ask her how her departure at the end of June affected the QEIA calculations that were turned in before she left.

  • Doctor J

    @TH#136 Jen Sachs ratting out Lawrence and McClatchy — I think she would enjoy that after the way she was treated or should I say disrespected. That would be worth watching the replay posted by the State Board of Education.

  • Theresa Harrington

    She was very tight-lipped with me. But, if the SBE asks her questions about her role in the school’s failure to meet grant requirements , I would think she would feel compelled to be more forthcoming.

  • MDHS Teacher

    This makes me so mad. Please note that there is a difference in TEACHING staff and ADMINISTRATIVE staff at MDHS. The ADMINISTRATION staff is the one referenced here:

    “Mt. Diablo High Staff, in good faith, developed a master schedule that was QEIA compliant but has not monitored it closely for compliance. At the time of the submission of this waiver request, District staff is working with site staff to conduct a rigorous review of the current master schedule to ensure compliance with QEIA and to make any needed adjustments at the semester change to minimize any potential negative impacts on students.”

    The ADMINISTRATORS at our school made the non-compliant QEIA schedule, not the TEACHING staff. I wish they would specify this so it doesn’t sound like the teachers had anything to do with the loss of QEIA; quite the opposite, however, teachers WARNED Kate McClatchy and ALL the admins at MDHS they would be out of compliance… (shaking my head).

  • Doctor J

    @MDHD Teacher #139 Maybe the Teachers “en masse” should show up at the State Board of Education meeting and set the record straight. Obviously Eberhart and Lawrence have influenced Torlakson.

  • School Teacher

    How many years has Tom Torlakson’s leave of absence been extended? I’m curious why this is such a big deal.