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Fwd: RE: Follow up to Redistricting Meeting

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  • Kevin Rivard
    I goofed. It was not George who brought up the Modesto schools at the redistricting meeting it was Vince. George and Vince were sitting next to each other and
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 22, 2003
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      I goofed. It was not George who brought up the Modesto schools at the
      redistricting meeting it was Vince. George and Vince were sitting next to
      each other and they look so much alike I mixed them up (It's a joke ok, give
      me a break). Sorry George. George also had some other comments about my
      review of the Redistricting Meeting and I thought that it would be good for
      everyone to read them because as some of you know I carry a little bias
      around and thought it is good to share for a more balanced view.


      Kevin


      >From: "George A. Harris III" <gah_iii@...>
      >To: "'Kevin Rivard'" <kfrivard@...>
      >Subject: RE: Follow up to Redistricting Meeting
      >Date: Sat, 22 Nov 2003 06:15:34 -0800
      >
      >Kevin,
      >
      >Two points:
      >
      >It was not me, but Vince who brought up Modesto schools.
      >
      >Second, if you have been following statements I have made in public
      >meetings before, you would find that on several occasions I have
      >questioned the wisdom of maintaining so many schools with populations of
      >less than 400. In fact, one of my observations of the Measure M program
      >at the time we were adopting the order of school
      >modernization/construction was that of the nine schools in phase IA,
      >two-thirds have student populations of less than 400. Almost none of
      >the schools are located in geographic locations expected to increase in
      >population and virtually all of the schools were being reconstructed to
      >house the same number of students they are currently serving.
      >
      >From the Powerpoint presentation, Kevin, you saw that there are at least
      >5 and as many as 10 elementary schools where the neighborhood generates
      >less than half of the school's population. I realize that the issue of
      >school closure is controversial and unpleasant, but I think it is a
      >stretch to suggest that I have some hidden agenda toward that end.
      >Further, I am confident that if you were to ask the parent
      >representatives present at the meeting for their opinion of my comments
      >on the matter, their interpretation would be that the issue should
      >rightfully be a discussion item.
      >
      >It is interesting to compare the email you wrote immediately after the
      >meeting (which I thought captured the tone of the meeting well) and your
      >message one day later (suggesting some sinister hidden agenda between
      >staff and the board). Kevin, you are certainly entitled to your
      >opinions and to be cynical, but I also hope you feel the freedom to ask
      >questions about matters before jumping to (or publicly speculating
      >about) conclusions.
      >
      >Feel free to share this message with whomever you wish.
      >
      >George A. Harris III
      >Board Member, West Contra Costa Unified School District
      >
      >-----Original Message-----
      >From: Kevin Rivard [mailto:kfrivard@...]
      >Sent: Friday, November 21, 2003 10:15 AM
      >To: Mswizbiz@...; wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com;
      >Vince.Kilmartin@...; vkilmartin@...;
      >Tammycampbell@...; spricco@...; rcs101@...;
      >kfenton@...; kfenton@...; glensprice@...;
      >glen@...; gjohnston@...; gah_iii@...;
      >cramsey@...; c_cowens@...; Playeredu@...
      >Subject: Follow up to Redistricting Meeting
      >
      >Great retort Marsha. I agree if this meeting was meant to be parent
      >friendly
      >it would not be at 9am on a weekday. But, after awhile those of us that
      >have
      >been around say hey, if the parents don't mind being (fill in the blank)
      >on
      >this is what they get. I am to the point where I am waiting for some
      >other
      >parents to step up to the plate and say no more disrespect but
      >apparently
      >most parents love that type of behavior from this district. You know,
      >kind
      >of like an abused husband or wife, who stays in the situation and says
      >they
      >are doing it for the kids, when in reality you take kids out of the
      >equation
      >and they would still be there. Same thing here take the kids out of the
      >equation and they would still be there at 9 am. Anyway, so much for my
      >therapy session.
      >
      >There are some of us who, believe it or not, are somewhat skeptical of
      >this
      >district. I know it is hard to believe but there are a few and if you
      >have
      >not figured it out I am one. So those of us who are in that ilk have
      >asked
      >why is the District reopening the redistricting on such a large scale
      >again
      >when there are only a few immediate problems that could be taken care of
      >
      >with a little tweaking of the boundaries? Why are they doing the
      >redistricting when they have no Facilities Master Plan to go by and they
      >
      >still don't even know which schools will be able to be rebuilt or
      >rehabbed
      >thus knowing the load capacity of the schools or the areas. That is not
      >the
      >charge of the redistricting committee. First the Facilities Master Plan
      >has
      >to be in place so the redistricting committee can know what the district
      >has
      >in mind for future sites and load capacities.
      >
      >The public was also told at board meetings that time was of the essence
      >for
      >February transfers and for teachers to know by next March where there
      >would
      >be openings. Now at Thursdays redistricting meeting it was said that the
      >new
      >boundaries need not be implemented until 2005-06 so we should take the
      >time
      >to do this redistricting correctly.
      >
      >So I am looking over my notes from the meeting and I am slipping into my
      >
      >cynical mode and wondering what is going on here. What is the real
      >agenda
      >behind this process. Those of us that have been through this before know
      >
      >that once the board vote is taken and the plan is set in sandstone (the
      >easiest to destroy and start over) we can use our hindsight and see what
      >the
      >real reasons were. Well, using that history and two key references from
      >the
      >meeting I believe I have at least one component of what is wanted from
      >the
      >board and administration. Vince Kilmartin stated during the power point
      >presentation that there were school boundaries that had less than 200
      >neighborhood students going to their neighborhood school, the other
      >students
      >were from outside the neighborhood. The power point was able to show all
      >the
      >neighborhood schools that had low neighborhood populations with great
      >accuracy. George Harris came in late and missed that part of Vince's
      >talk.
      >However, when another slide of the presentation came up with similar
      >demographics George was quick to point out almost to the word the same
      >conclusions that Vince raised. Both Vince and George mentioned the
      >words,
      >School Closure, at different times and in different parts of the
      >presentation but almost with the exact verbiage as if this discussion
      >had
      >occurred before. Now this is not to say perhaps school closure should
      >not be
      >an option but if this was to be the charge of this committee why not
      >have
      >brought it out at the board meetings in the open rather than at a
      >meeting
      >with five selected parents in a 9am meeting where there was to be no
      >media
      >or lookie lous like me. Also, it was brought up by George that Modesto
      >has a
      >like population in student numbers as our district yet they have
      >something
      >like 14 less schools. I bring this up because it appears to me that
      >staff
      >and board have had some discussion prior to bringing parents into the
      >discussion as to what the board and administration want out of this
      >committee and I wanted you to be aware of this as I truly doubt this
      >would
      >have been brought to light without my presence there. Also, by subtly
      >dropping this issue into the minds of the parents at the meeting the
      >seed
      >has been planted and I think it is about to sprout so just be aware.
      >
      >Kevin
      >
      > >From: Mswizbiz@...
      > >To: kfrivard@..., wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com,
      > >Vince.Kilmartin@..., vkilmartin@...,
      >
      > >Tammycampbell@..., spricco@..., rcs101@...,
      > >kfenton@..., kfenton@..., glensprice@...,
      >
      > >glen@..., gjohnston@..., gah_iii@...,
      >
      > >cramsey@..., c_cowens@..., Playeredu@...
      > >Subject: Re: Redistricting Meeting
      > >Date: Fri, 21 Nov 2003 01:41:50 EST
      > >
      > >Kevin and All,
      > >Great review of what happened at the redistricting meeting today, but
      >it
      > >was
      > >my understanding that the board directed Mr. Kilmartin and Ms.Kosel to
      >put
      > >the
      > >whole process on hold at last night's board meeting. The board did not
      > >approve the redistricting committee timeline presented at last night's
      > >meeting. In
      > >my opinion, based on what I heard last night at the School Board
      >meeting,
      > >today's redistricting should have been canceled. Additionally, if the
      > >purpose of
      > >this committee is ultimately to involve the community in the
      >redistricting
      > >process, then the meeting time and place should not be at the
      >convenience
      > >of
      > >district employees and consultants. Rather meetings should be held at a
      >
      > >time
      > >outside of standard working hours, at the very least, no earlier than
      >5PM.
      > >Marsha Williamson
      >
      >_________________________________________________________________
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