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Re: [wccusdtalk] school closure proposals

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  • c slamon
    I can only reply for Portola and the answer is YES we provide all of those items: Advanced classes in English, Math, Science and History. We also have drama,
    Message 1 of 42 , Jan 11, 2009
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      I can only reply for Portola and the answer is YES we provide all of those
      items:
      Advanced classes in English, Math, Science and History. We also have drama,
      leadership, music, woodshop, Spanish, computer and several different
      art classes as electives.

      On Sun, Jan 11, 2009 at 5:08 PM, jim cowen <jimcowen@...> wrote:

      > --- On Sun, 1/11/09, Cathy Travlos <cbt@...<cbt%40triplering.net>>
      > wrote:
      > It should be noted that Stewart, which is a K-8, does not have any advanced
      > sections in English, math, science or social science. It also does not have
      > middle school level music or drama or leadership.
      > ================================
      > Can anyone fill in the following chart?
      >
      > Stewart Hercules PMS Crespi Adams
      > Helms Portola
      > Adv English
      > Adv Math
      > Adv Science
      > Adv Soc Sc
      > Music
      > Drama
      > Leadership
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Ralph Bedwell
      You could solve this problem by having some teachers work at more than one school. Elementary prep and music teachers do this now.
      Message 42 of 42 , Mar 14, 2009
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        You could solve this problem by having some teachers work at more than one school. Elementary prep and music teachers do this now.

        --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Tammera Campbell <tammeracampbell@...> wrote:
        >
        > We can all talk about K-8 this and K-8 that, but if you do not have the multi-credentialled teachers to teach the small population, then you don't have a K-8 option at all.  Given NCLB and all its requirements and the lack of science and math teachers, what truly makes us think we could have a multitude of K-8s in this district?
        > Tammy
        >
        >
        > --- On Sat, 1/17/09, c_travlos <cbt@...> wrote:
        >
        > From: c_travlos <cbt@...>
        > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: 40% Drop-out Rate and School Restructuring
        > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
        > Date: Saturday, January 17, 2009, 8:55 AM
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > The reduced number of electives is a reality of a small population. If
        > you only have 100 students in 7th and 8th grade, you can't have 2
        > bands and 2 levels of art and both Spanish 1 and Spanish 2, not
        > because you don't want to but because you can't fill them up.You won't
        > have advanced English if you also have to have intervention English,
        > just because you won't have enough students.
        >
        > As to Crespi, my personal opinion is that the biggest problem with
        > Crespi has been De Anza High School. The vast majority of people in
        > the neighborhood don't send their kids to De Anza - they either
        > transfer to Pinole or Hercules or go to Orinda.
        >
        > Cathy
        >
        > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogro ups.com, "annpalmer8" <annpalmer8@ ...> wrote:,
        > >
        > > Hi Cathy,
        > >
        > > While I'm not sure if a cost-neutral K8 is an option - feel like
        > > we're being told we can only have a cost neutral middle school with
        > > reduced electives so we won't vote for it; I want to talk about the
        > > information that was presented to the Board 2 years ago. Please be
        > > open, I'm not arguing for K8, just looking for more data/facts than
        > > what we've been fed by those that want to close schools.
        > >
        > > It is interesting to me that we've not been given data as far as
        > > where we're bleeding. How can an EMT triage someone if they don't
        > > now where the patient is really hurting? We're told our district
        > > has lost 4-5 thousand students due to birth rate decline. Yet 2
        > > years ago, when the UCB Goldman School of Public Policy was
        > > commissioned by the Board to look into K8, they found the population
        > > of K8 age in our district increasing. What they found is despite
        > > more eligible attendees in our district, they are not going to our
        > > middle and high schools. Our district lost $2,000,000 in ADA funds
        > > in 2005 due to the elementary to middle transition. How many
        > > schools can $2,000,000 save? If you look at Crespi for example.
        > > They are down 47% in student population vs just 2001. In order to
        > > make it back to the cost-effective minimum enrollment of 900 that
        > > Dr. Harter had presented, they need 63% more of their current
        > > enrollment or 348 students. I don't think Crespi can blame their
        > > decline on redrawing of boundaries but please let me know if I'm
        > > wrong.
        > >
        > > I've also heard people argue that our district has been shorting
        > > middle and high schools at the expense of elementary schools. I
        > > can't speak to things that were done before that we might not have
        > > done knowing what we know today. However, in this closure crisis,
        > > we cannot ignore that our revenue is coming in from elementary
        > > schools. In this financially difficult time, the decision to ignore
        > > the choices of our revenue generating stream (i.e., elementary
        > > parents) and keep open our under-enrolled middle and high schools is
        > > like cutting off our nose to spite our face. We as a district
        > > cannot win like this.
        > >
        > > Which is why I feel IF we had to pick one more school from the
        > > DeAnza HSAA, closing Crespi is a more logical choice than either
        > > Olinda or Valley View. Why do I think it's more logical:
        > > (1) The district saves $500,000 more with closing Crespi (part can
        > > be reinvested to make remaining middle schools better or bigger).
        > > (2) Crespi has a larger chunk of land than either Olinda or VV, and
        > > I think it may have a view making it more valuable to developers.
        > > (3) Crespi has been rated seismically unsafe (not Olinda or VV);
        > > seismic safety was given to me as part of the reason why Portola has
        > > such low enrollment now.
        > > (4) Crespi has a declining enrollment trend regardless of birth
        > > rate, while Olinda and Valley View have increasing trend.
        > > (5) There is a successful example of 7-12 in our district called
        > > Hercules Middle-High. Even if you may not consider it first rate, I
        > > believe their statistics (discipline and test scores) are better
        > > than Crespi.
        > > (6) DeAnza has over 40 acres of land, large enough to have
        > > separate "campuses" for middle vs. high schools. The cost to redraw
        > > the architecture design is probably less than the loss in ADA the
        > > district will have from closing either Olinda or Valley View.
        > > (7) Having a 7-8 with 8-12 may make families who go to our middle
        > > schools more vested and not leave our district by high school (hence
        > > more ADA funding again). If Crespi is with DeAnza, the student
        > > families will have a better sense of what DeAnza is like vs. coming
        > > from another campus, and may choose to stay with DeAnza than leaving
        > > for private or other high schools.
        > >
        > > I think many parents lobby K8 to prevent students leaving our
        > > district after elementary school. While many argue if we made our
        > > elementaries K-5, the 6th graders would make a middle school
        > > enrollment higher, I think for areas with high performing
        > > elementaries but not middle schools, our district will only see
        > > faster and earlier exodus than what we have today. K8 could also
        > > have been proposed simply to help absorb closed middle schools.
        > >
        > > I also don't take for granted that we can ONLY have cost neutral K8
        > > with limited electives. It takes parents, district, city and
        > > teachers coming together to make this work better. Maybe we have to
        > > do our own fundraising. Maybe schools that want K8 with electives
        > > have to do cost share. Maybe teachers have to be willing to travel
        > > to other nearby middle schools so ALL our students can have
        > > enriching curriculum. Maybe cities have to help with funding
        > > schools like what Pinole have done. It only bothers me that we're
        > > not willing to try.
        > >
        > > Finally, I need to say I did not grow up in this country so in my
        > > middle school, I had a home room that I hardly left (except recess &
        > > lunch). My teachers for multiple subjects came to my home room (we
        > > had English, Math, World Geography, History, Social Studies, Second
        > > Language, English Literature in the same room), the only time I left
        > > my home room is for science, PE or home economics (and weekly
        > > assembly) since those classes require special set up. Computer
        > > wasn't big then so it was only an after school activity, but most
        > > schools now have computer labs so it's not an issue.
        > >
        > > The only time I was exposed to going to different rooms for
        > > different subjects was at high school and college. I don't think I
        > > was "lost" by being exposed at a later stage to such "freedom". In
        > > fact, I wonder if it's a wiser choice not to give so much free rein
        > > to young adolescents with raging hormones (i.e., 7th & 8th grade).
        > > By keeping them in a specific room, you lessen the chance they will
        > > get busy with hallway conversations and skip class. Hopefully, that
        > > also provides them with a greater sense that they are in school to
        > > learn. Socializing happens at recess, lunch and after school
        > > programs.
        > >
        > > I also don't know if we should provide adult ed near Contra Costa
        > > College. Would it be a better solution to partner with them to
        > > provide some adult ed? What would be our obstacles in doing that?
        > >
        > > I don't believe I have the best solution, just trying to provide
        > > different perspectives and stimulate new thoughts and ideas.
        > > However, I do believe we need to take another serious look at why
        > > Crespi is not being closed, but suggested as a K8 that few will
        > > attend.
        > >
        > > Ann
        > >
        > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogro ups.com, Cathy Travlos <cbt@> wrote:
        > > >
        > > > Mark,
        > > >
        > > > I'm curious where you got your dropout rate numbers. If you look
        > > at the
        > > > actual numbers on the CDE website they are much different and much
        > > > lower. The highest number of dropouts definitely does not occur at
        > > > seventh or ninth grade. The seventh grade numbers are actually
        > > among the
        > > > lowest and the ninth grade number are definitely not among the
        > > highest.
        > > >
        > > > I find it interesting that the schools with the highest dropout
        > > rates
        > > > are the alternative/ continuation schools, schools that have a
        > > population
        > > > that moves in and out and usually only attends school part time:
        > > Delta,
        > > > Gompers, Kappa, North Campus, Omega, Transition Learning Center,
        > > and
        > > > Vista. However, those dropout numbers are unreliable, according to
        > > CDE,
        > > > because many of the students attend for only a short time and then
        > > move
        > > > back to their comprehensive high school. The comprehensive high
        > > school
        > > > with the highest dropout rates are Kennedy and Richmond, though I
        > > wonder
        > > > if many of those students are getting counted as dropping out
        > > because
        > > > they moved to one of the alternative high schools. I've also heard
        > > that
        > > > at both schools the most recent numbers are improved but don't
        > > have that
        > > > data.
        > > >
        > > > If one of the goals of your plan is to lower the dropout rate, I
        > > fail to
        > > > see how creating K-8 schools at Kensington, Olinda, Washington,
        > > Stege
        > > > and Crespi helps these students. None of those schools currently
        > > feeds
        > > > into the schools with the highest dropout rates. Neither of your
        > > > "middle/high schools" at EC or De Anza feeds into them. You would
        > > close
        > > > Coronado (as do the other strategies) which is one of the shining
        > > stars
        > > > of this district. I don't see how your plan has anything to do
        > > with
        > > > reducing the dropout rate.
        > > >
        > > > Cathy
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Mark Wood wrote:
        > > > >
        > > > > I forgot to address one other issue in my plan. The District has
        > > a
        > > > > drop-out rate of 40% according to the most recent State figures.
        > > The
        > > > > highest number of drop-outs occur in 7th and 9th grades.
        > > > >
        > > > > 7th=471
        > > > > 8th=200
        > > > > 9th=732
        > > > > 10th=361
        > > > > 11th=292
        > > > > 12th=423
        > > > >
        > > > > Education researchers have found that school transitions (e.g.
        > > from
        > > > > elementary to middle school) result in multiple problems for the
        > > > > youth. This is why my plan calls for reducing the number of
        > > > > transitions by creating adding 5 K-8 schools (in addition to
        > > Stewart)
        > > > > and 2 7th-12th grade schools (in addition to Hercules) to try
        > > and
        > > > > reduce the number of drop-outs, which is second highest in the
        > > Bay Area.
        > > > >
        > > > > Mark Woo
        > > > >
        > > > > --- On Sun, 1/11/09, Cathy Travlos <cbt@
        > > > > <mailto:cbt% 40triplering. net>> wrote:
        > > > >
        > > > > From: Cathy Travlos <cbt@ <mailto:cbt% 40triplering. net>>
        > > > > Subject: [wccusdtalk] school closure proposals
        > > > > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogro ups.com <mailto:wccusdtalk%
        > > 40yahoogroups. com>
        > > > > Date: Sunday, January 11, 2009, 3:44 PM
        > > > >
        > > > > I've uploaded Mark Woo's proposal to the files section of the
        > > wccusdtalk
        > > > > web page:
        > > > > http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/wccusdtalk /files/
        > > > >
        > > > > I've read Mark's proposal and have some concerns about it. I
        > > don't agree
        > > > > with closing Portola and Crespi, but leaving Adams open,
        > > especially
        > > > > given the recent seismic reports, and then creating 5 K-8
        > > schools. I'm
        > > > > also concerned about the resegregation, whether intentional or
        > > not, of
        > > > > the Kensington and El Cerrito schools.
        > > > >
        > > > > This proposal creates K-8 schools at Kensington, Washington,
        > > Stege,
        > > > > Bayview, and Olinda. None of these schools currently has room
        > > for more
        > > > > students without either expenditure of bond funds to add
        > > buildings or
        > > > > portables or redistricting to reduce or eliminate transfers. It
        > > also
        > > > > creates "mini middle schools" on both the El Cerrito and De Anza
        > > > > campuses. El Cerrito High will be at capacity next fall so this
        > > proposal
        > > > > would make room for the middle school students by redistricting
        > > the
        > > > > Stege students away from ECHS. You would have a Kensington K-8
        > > school
        > > > > only for Kensington residents and a middle/high school only for
        > > > > Kensington and El Cerrito residents. Then you have a K-8 at
        > > Stege, only
        > > > > for Richmond residents. Whether this was the intention or not,
        > > it feels
        > > > > like separate but equal education.
        > > > >
        > > > > If the district does create any K-8 schools, it's important to
        > > realize
        > > > > that middle school curriculum counts. It counts in preparation
        > > for high
        > > > > school and it counts in fulfillment of college application
        > > requirements.
        > > > > The middle schools are currently working closely with the high
        > > schools
        > > > > to articulate the curriculum at all levels. Students are
        > > entering high
        > > > > school much better prepared for success. It's also important for
        > > > > students who are already working at grade level or above to have
        > > the
        > > > > advanced/accelerate d sections of the core subjects available.
        > > This
        > > > > rigorous curriculum prepares them to take AP and honors classes
        > > in high
        > > > > school. The middle schools are doing a good job of looking for
        > > students
        > > > > who should be taking these classes but didn't self-select and
        > > giving
        > > > > them the encouragement and support to be successful. It's paying
        > > off
        > > > > since for the last 2 years the number of students graduating
        > > with honors
        > > > > has increased in both number and diversity. It's also crucial to
        > > realize
        > > > > that middle school classes can fulfill the UC a-g requirements.
        > > Classes
        > > > > in world language and math count if they are taught with the UC-
        > > approved
        > > > > curriculum. Students who take French 1 or Spanish 1 in middle
        > > school
        > > > > then move directly into the next class in high school and that
        > > year of
        > > > > language counts as a year of language on the UC application. The
        > > same
        > > > > goes for Algebra 1. These classes, however, need to be taught
        > > with the
        > > > > same curriculum as at the high schools. This is being done now
        > > at all of
        > > > > the district middle schools. It's difficult to do this with a
        > > small
        > > > > population, such as at a K-8. It should be noted that Stewart,
        > > which is
        > > > > a K-8, does not have any advanced sections in English, math,
        > > science or
        > > > > social science. It also does not have middle school level music
        > > or drama
        > > > > or leadership.
        > > > >
        > > > > If the district moves toward K-8 people need to be aware of the
        > > impact
        > > > > it will have on the education of the students.
        > > > > Cathy
        > > > >
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