Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Redistricting and Olinda

Expand Messages
  • Cathy Travlos
    Article from today s West County Times on the redistricting hearing. Now that I ve read what Kilmartin said, why on earth didn t they figure this out before
    Message 1 of 12 , Dec 1, 2004
    • 0 Attachment
      Article from today's West County Times on the redistricting hearing. Now
      that I've read what Kilmartin said, why on earth didn't they figure this
      out before they made that slick report at ECHS? Shouldn't they have
      realized that Valley View would be overcrowded? Shouldn't they have figured
      out the cost of portables? And shouldn't they have realized that Harding
      and Madera aren't going to be ready in the fall? We paid these consultants
      and administrators a ridiculous amount of money for a report that seems to
      have been incomplete and poorly researched.
      Cathy

      Posted on Wed, Dec. 01, 2004

      School will go on at Olinda Elementary

      By Shirley Dang

      CONTRA COSTA TIMES

      Olinda Elementary School parents fretting over the school's fate can rest
      easy, at least for another year.

      After nearly two months of parent protest over a proposed closure, West
      Contra Costa school district administrators told the school board Monday
      that the El Sobrante school should remain open in 2005-06.

      Associate Superintendent Vince Kilmartin also hinted that two other schools
      may fall off the four-campus hit list as well.

      The announcements drew applause from the audience at Richmond High.

      "I'm really happy about it," said Rodger Eva, parent of an Olinda
      kindergartner and second-grader. "I see this as a very constructive thing."

      In November, administrators recommended the school board close four
      elementary schools as part of redrawing boundaries to adjust for falling
      enrollment districtwide. If the board approves, 19 boundary lines will
      shift, affecting 3,362 students, said demography consultant Jamie King.

      Closing one campus saves about $250,000 a year. The 33,000-student district
      has a budget shortfall of approximately $7 million or 2.8 percent of the
      $248 million general fund budget, said Superintendent Gloria Johnston.

      Closed campuses could house a charter school or be used for staff training.
      The district also is seeking new sites for Gompers and North Campus
      continuation schools.

      As part of the proposed consolidations, Olinda students would attend Valley
      View elementary in El Sobrante. Fairmont Elementary in El Cerrito would
      send its students to Harding Elementary, also in El Cerrito.

      El Sobrante Elementary students would go to Murphy Elementary in El
      Sobrante. Seaview Elementary in San Pablo would split kids among Collins
      and Shannon schools in Pinole.

      Kilmartin suggested Monday that transfer students be allowed to stay at
      their current school until graduating the highest grade, which is the
      district's current transfer policy.

      However, Kilmartin said, bringing all Olinda students -- including
      transfers -- to Valley View would overcrowd that campus.

      The two schools combined would have an estimated 660 students, 169 more
      than capacity, King said at a Nov. 15 parent advisory committee meeting.

      That would require renting six portable classrooms at a cost of about
      $30,000 total, Kilmartin said.

      After reviewing figures with the board's facilities subcommittee last week,
      Kilmartin said staff fell in favor of keeping the school open.

      "We were convinced that putting Olinda at Valley View was not doable,"
      Kilmartin said.

      In addition, Kilmartin said, the district may need to delay plans to shut
      Fairmont and El Sobrante due to reconstruction delays at Harding and
      Murphy. The buildings may not be ready to accept more students in the fall,
      Kilmartin said.

      Johnston said the district could combine the schools but house higher
      grades at one campus and younger students at another until renovations are
      complete. Remaining students could move to the new school midyear.

      Board president Charles Ramsey dismissed the idea.

      "No. 1, the savings aren't there. Two, it doesn't seem necessary. Three,
      it's an inconvenience to everybody," Ramsey said.

      Administrators still recommend closing Seaview.

      The board is expected to vote on closures and new boundary lines later this
      month.
      Reach Shirley Dang at 510-262-2798 or sdang@...
    • Sue Mertens
      The article talks about construction delays at Harding and MURPHY, I haven t heard anything about delays (that would impact us in the fall) at Madera. Sue
      Message 2 of 12 , Dec 1, 2004
      • 0 Attachment
        The article talks about construction delays at Harding
        and MURPHY, I haven't heard anything about delays
        (that would impact us in the fall) at Madera.

        Sue Mertens
        Madera Parent

        --- Cathy Travlos <cbt@...> wrote:

        > Article from today's West County Times on the
        > redistricting hearing. Now
        > that I've read what Kilmartin said, why on earth
        > didn't they figure this
        > out before they made that slick report at ECHS?
        > Shouldn't they have
        > realized that Valley View would be overcrowded?
        > Shouldn't they have figured
        > out the cost of portables? And shouldn't they have
        > realized that Harding
        > and Madera aren't going to be ready in the fall? We
        > paid these consultants
        > and administrators a ridiculous amount of money for
        > a report that seems to
        > have been incomplete and poorly researched.
        > Cathy
        >
        > Posted on Wed, Dec. 01, 2004
        >
        > School will go on at Olinda Elementary
        >
        > By Shirley Dang
        >
        > CONTRA COSTA TIMES
        >
        > Olinda Elementary School parents fretting over the
        > school's fate can rest
        > easy, at least for another year.
        >
        > After nearly two months of parent protest over a
        > proposed closure, West
        > Contra Costa school district administrators told the
        > school board Monday
        > that the El Sobrante school should remain open in
        > 2005-06.
        >
        > Associate Superintendent Vince Kilmartin also hinted
        > that two other schools
        > may fall off the four-campus hit list as well.
        >
        > The announcements drew applause from the audience at
        > Richmond High.
        >
        > "I'm really happy about it," said Rodger Eva, parent
        > of an Olinda
        > kindergartner and second-grader. "I see this as a
        > very constructive thing."
        >
        > In November, administrators recommended the school
        > board close four
        > elementary schools as part of redrawing boundaries
        > to adjust for falling
        > enrollment districtwide. If the board approves, 19
        > boundary lines will
        > shift, affecting 3,362 students, said demography
        > consultant Jamie King.
        >
        > Closing one campus saves about $250,000 a year. The
        > 33,000-student district
        > has a budget shortfall of approximately $7 million
        > or 2.8 percent of the
        > $248 million general fund budget, said
        > Superintendent Gloria Johnston.
        >
        > Closed campuses could house a charter school or be
        > used for staff training.
        > The district also is seeking new sites for Gompers
        > and North Campus
        > continuation schools.
        >
        > As part of the proposed consolidations, Olinda
        > students would attend Valley
        > View elementary in El Sobrante. Fairmont Elementary
        > in El Cerrito would
        > send its students to Harding Elementary, also in El
        > Cerrito.
        >
        > El Sobrante Elementary students would go to Murphy
        > Elementary in El
        > Sobrante. Seaview Elementary in San Pablo would
        > split kids among Collins
        > and Shannon schools in Pinole.
        >
        > Kilmartin suggested Monday that transfer students be
        > allowed to stay at
        > their current school until graduating the highest
        > grade, which is the
        > district's current transfer policy.
        >
        > However, Kilmartin said, bringing all Olinda
        > students -- including
        > transfers -- to Valley View would overcrowd that
        > campus.
        >
        > The two schools combined would have an estimated 660
        > students, 169 more
        > than capacity, King said at a Nov. 15 parent
        > advisory committee meeting.
        >
        > That would require renting six portable classrooms
        > at a cost of about
        > $30,000 total, Kilmartin said.
        >
        > After reviewing figures with the board's facilities
        > subcommittee last week,
        > Kilmartin said staff fell in favor of keeping the
        > school open.
        >
        > "We were convinced that putting Olinda at Valley
        > View was not doable,"
        > Kilmartin said.
        >
        > In addition, Kilmartin said, the district may need
        > to delay plans to shut
        > Fairmont and El Sobrante due to reconstruction
        > delays at Harding and
        > Murphy. The buildings may not be ready to accept
        > more students in the fall,
        > Kilmartin said.
        >
        > Johnston said the district could combine the schools
        > but house higher
        > grades at one campus and younger students at another
        > until renovations are
        > complete. Remaining students could move to the new
        > school midyear.
        >
        > Board president Charles Ramsey dismissed the idea.
        >
        > "No. 1, the savings aren't there. Two, it doesn't
        > seem necessary. Three,
        > it's an inconvenience to everybody," Ramsey said.
        >
        > Administrators still recommend closing Seaview.
        >
        > The board is expected to vote on closures and new
        > boundary lines later this
        > month.
        > Reach Shirley Dang at 510-262-2798 or
        > sdang@...
        >
        >
        >


        __________________________________________________
        Do You Yahoo!?
        Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
        http://mail.yahoo.com
      • Cathy Travlos
        You re right. I was typing before my second cup of coffee. The delays at Murphy impact the closure of El Sobrante. Cathy
        Message 3 of 12 , Dec 1, 2004
        • 0 Attachment
          You're right. I was typing before my second cup of coffee. The delays at
          Murphy impact the closure of El Sobrante.
          Cathy

          At 09:58 AM 12/1/2004, you wrote:

          >The article talks about construction delays at Harding
          >and MURPHY, I haven't heard anything about delays
          >(that would impact us in the fall) at Madera.
          >
          >Sue Mertens
          >Madera Parent
          >
          >--- Cathy Travlos <cbt@...> wrote:
          >
          > > Article from today's West County Times on the
          > > redistricting hearing. Now
          > > that I've read what Kilmartin said, why on earth
          > > didn't they figure this
          > > out before they made that slick report at ECHS?
          > > Shouldn't they have
          > > realized that Valley View would be overcrowded?
          > > Shouldn't they have figured
          > > out the cost of portables? And shouldn't they have
          > > realized that Harding
          > > and Madera aren't going to be ready in the fall? We
          > > paid these consultants
          > > and administrators a ridiculous amount of money for
          > > a report that seems to
          > > have been incomplete and poorly researched.
          > > Cathy
          > >
          > > Posted on Wed, Dec. 01, 2004
          > >
          > > School will go on at Olinda Elementary
          > >
          > > By Shirley Dang
          > >
          > > CONTRA COSTA TIMES
          > >
          > > Olinda Elementary School parents fretting over the
          > > school's fate can rest
          > > easy, at least for another year.
          > >
          > > After nearly two months of parent protest over a
          > > proposed closure, West
          > > Contra Costa school district administrators told the
          > > school board Monday
          > > that the El Sobrante school should remain open in
          > > 2005-06.
          > >
          > > Associate Superintendent Vince Kilmartin also hinted
          > > that two other schools
          > > may fall off the four-campus hit list as well.
          > >
          > > The announcements drew applause from the audience at
          > > Richmond High.
          > >
          > > "I'm really happy about it," said Rodger Eva, parent
          > > of an Olinda
          > > kindergartner and second-grader. "I see this as a
          > > very constructive thing."
          > >
          > > In November, administrators recommended the school
          > > board close four
          > > elementary schools as part of redrawing boundaries
          > > to adjust for falling
          > > enrollment districtwide. If the board approves, 19
          > > boundary lines will
          > > shift, affecting 3,362 students, said demography
          > > consultant Jamie King.
          > >
          > > Closing one campus saves about $250,000 a year. The
          > > 33,000-student district
          > > has a budget shortfall of approximately $7 million
          > > or 2.8 percent of the
          > > $248 million general fund budget, said
          > > Superintendent Gloria Johnston.
          > >
          > > Closed campuses could house a charter school or be
          > > used for staff training.
          > > The district also is seeking new sites for Gompers
          > > and North Campus
          > > continuation schools.
          > >
          > > As part of the proposed consolidations, Olinda
          > > students would attend Valley
          > > View elementary in El Sobrante. Fairmont Elementary
          > > in El Cerrito would
          > > send its students to Harding Elementary, also in El
          > > Cerrito.
          > >
          > > El Sobrante Elementary students would go to Murphy
          > > Elementary in El
          > > Sobrante. Seaview Elementary in San Pablo would
          > > split kids among Collins
          > > and Shannon schools in Pinole.
          > >
          > > Kilmartin suggested Monday that transfer students be
          > > allowed to stay at
          > > their current school until graduating the highest
          > > grade, which is the
          > > district's current transfer policy.
          > >
          > > However, Kilmartin said, bringing all Olinda
          > > students -- including
          > > transfers -- to Valley View would overcrowd that
          > > campus.
          > >
          > > The two schools combined would have an estimated 660
          > > students, 169 more
          > > than capacity, King said at a Nov. 15 parent
          > > advisory committee meeting.
          > >
          > > That would require renting six portable classrooms
          > > at a cost of about
          > > $30,000 total, Kilmartin said.
          > >
          > > After reviewing figures with the board's facilities
          > > subcommittee last week,
          > > Kilmartin said staff fell in favor of keeping the
          > > school open.
          > >
          > > "We were convinced that putting Olinda at Valley
          > > View was not doable,"
          > > Kilmartin said.
          > >
          > > In addition, Kilmartin said, the district may need
          > > to delay plans to shut
          > > Fairmont and El Sobrante due to reconstruction
          > > delays at Harding and
          > > Murphy. The buildings may not be ready to accept
          > > more students in the fall,
          > > Kilmartin said.
          > >
          > > Johnston said the district could combine the schools
          > > but house higher
          > > grades at one campus and younger students at another
          > > until renovations are
          > > complete. Remaining students could move to the new
          > > school midyear.
          > >
          > > Board president Charles Ramsey dismissed the idea.
          > >
          > > "No. 1, the savings aren't there. Two, it doesn't
          > > seem necessary. Three,
          > > it's an inconvenience to everybody," Ramsey said.
          > >
          > > Administrators still recommend closing Seaview.
          > >
          > > The board is expected to vote on closures and new
          > > boundary lines later this
          > > month.
          > > Reach Shirley Dang at 510-262-2798 or
          > > sdang@...
          > >
          > >
          > >
          >
          >
          >__________________________________________________
          >Do You Yahoo!?
          >Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
          >http://mail.yahoo.com
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >
        • Sharon J.
          Regarding today s West County Times article. This is one of many negative story I ve read about our district recently and, speaking as an elementary school
          Message 4 of 12 , Dec 1, 2004
          • 0 Attachment
            Regarding today's West County Times article. This is one of many
            negative story I've read about our district recently and, speaking as
            an elementary school parent, I'm tired of reading that my son's school
            district is heartless or incompetent or both, which is the impression
            I have from these articles.

            I have over 14 years experience in marketing/PR and the recent
            coverage of this district has been overwhelmingly negative. I agree
            with some of the board's decisions and disagree with others but would
            like to see more of a balance of negative and positive stories.

            The papers are very good at announcing events and putting in little
            blurbs about school activities and I realize negative stories will
            always get more coverage but I wish occasionally we would read some
            in-depth positive stories about the students, teachers, parents, and
            schools in our district.

            Here are five stories you won't be reading about this year (at least
            not in any depth)--

            (1) We have a volunteer at Harding who taught for 22 years, retired,
            and then comes back to the school almost every day to help kids with
            their reading. She also helped co-write a grant for our school garden.
            She is amazing.

            (2) We started the year with a "Back to School" Community Picnic. Over
            100 parents and community members came out. There were kids' game and
            local merchants donated food: Restaurants and grocery stores all said
            yes to supporting a school in their community when parents asked for
            donations. Beyond that, many of them told us to be sure to come back
            again with additional requests. They like supporting local schools. We
            invited the media and they did come and the El Cerrito Journal ran a
            photo with a caption so we were grateful for that.

            (3) We conducted a tour for prospective parents this November because
            we figured that if people are checking out private schools in the
            Fall, they might appreciate the opportunity to take a public school
            tour too. Eighteen parents showed up on a weekday morning to see what
            we have to offer. Merchants donated food, parents took time off work
            to speak about their experiences at the school, teachers let us
            disrupt their classrooms by accommodating our tours, and the principal
            took time out of her busy schedule to patiently answer parent
            questions. Everyone had very positive things to say. We invited the
            media but as far as I know, they didn't come. I guess a school working
            hard to improve community relations isn't newsworthy enough.

            (4) We recently launched a website and it's gorgeous. It was a team
            effort. One parent programs all day at work and goes home to do more
            programming because he wants to support his kid's school. Parents were
            also responsible for writing the content and researching the host. The
            PTA pays the hosting fees. We did it because we care.

            (5) When the district re-assigned our principal to another school, a
            group of parents petitioned the board to get her re-instated. We also
            spoke at numerous board meetings pleading for her return. They
            listened to us and asked her to come back. This will be her fifth year
            at Harding and she has consistenly striven to provide a safe and
            nurturing environment for students. I feel totally confident
            entrusting my son to her care.

            In essence, I think we have a real renaissance going on at our school
            and I'm sure there are other schools in this district with equally
            positive/inspiring stories to tell.

            Again, I don't agree with everything this district does or how they do
            it but I'm tired of hearing about all the problems all the time. Isn't
            there anything going on that people are proud of? Are we the only
            school doing great/wonderful things?

            I want some inspiration!





            --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Cathy Travlos <cbt@t...> wrote:
            > You're right. I was typing before my second cup of coffee. The
            delays at
            > Murphy impact the closure of El Sobrante.
            > Cathy
            >
            > At 09:58 AM 12/1/2004, you wrote:
            >
            > >The article talks about construction delays at Harding
            > >and MURPHY, I haven't heard anything about delays
            > >(that would impact us in the fall) at Madera.
            > >
            > >Sue Mertens
            > >Madera Parent
            > >
            > >--- Cathy Travlos <cbt@t...> wrote:
            > >
            > > > Article from today's West County Times on the
            > > > redistricting hearing. Now
            > > > that I've read what Kilmartin said, why on earth
            > > > didn't they figure this
            > > > out before they made that slick report at ECHS?
            > > > Shouldn't they have
            > > > realized that Valley View would be overcrowded?
            > > > Shouldn't they have figured
            > > > out the cost of portables? And shouldn't they have
            > > > realized that Harding
            > > > and Madera aren't going to be ready in the fall? We
            > > > paid these consultants
            > > > and administrators a ridiculous amount of money for
            > > > a report that seems to
            > > > have been incomplete and poorly researched.
            > > > Cathy
            > > >
            > > > Posted on Wed, Dec. 01, 2004
            > > >
            > > > School will go on at Olinda Elementary
            > > >
            > > > By Shirley Dang
            > > >
            > > > CONTRA COSTA TIMES
            > > >
            > > > Olinda Elementary School parents fretting over the
            > > > school's fate can rest
            > > > easy, at least for another year.
            > > >
            > > > After nearly two months of parent protest over a
            > > > proposed closure, West
            > > > Contra Costa school district administrators told the
            > > > school board Monday
            > > > that the El Sobrante school should remain open in
            > > > 2005-06.
            > > >
            > > > Associate Superintendent Vince Kilmartin also hinted
            > > > that two other schools
            > > > may fall off the four-campus hit list as well.
            > > >
            > > > The announcements drew applause from the audience at
            > > > Richmond High.
            > > >
            > > > "I'm really happy about it," said Rodger Eva, parent
            > > > of an Olinda
            > > > kindergartner and second-grader. "I see this as a
            > > > very constructive thing."
            > > >
            > > > In November, administrators recommended the school
            > > > board close four
            > > > elementary schools as part of redrawing boundaries
            > > > to adjust for falling
            > > > enrollment districtwide. If the board approves, 19
            > > > boundary lines will
            > > > shift, affecting 3,362 students, said demography
            > > > consultant Jamie King.
            > > >
            > > > Closing one campus saves about $250,000 a year. The
            > > > 33,000-student district
            > > > has a budget shortfall of approximately $7 million
            > > > or 2.8 percent of the
            > > > $248 million general fund budget, said
            > > > Superintendent Gloria Johnston.
            > > >
            > > > Closed campuses could house a charter school or be
            > > > used for staff training.
            > > > The district also is seeking new sites for Gompers
            > > > and North Campus
            > > > continuation schools.
            > > >
            > > > As part of the proposed consolidations, Olinda
            > > > students would attend Valley
            > > > View elementary in El Sobrante. Fairmont Elementary
            > > > in El Cerrito would
            > > > send its students to Harding Elementary, also in El
            > > > Cerrito.
            > > >
            > > > El Sobrante Elementary students would go to Murphy
            > > > Elementary in El
            > > > Sobrante. Seaview Elementary in San Pablo would
            > > > split kids among Collins
            > > > and Shannon schools in Pinole.
            > > >
            > > > Kilmartin suggested Monday that transfer students be
            > > > allowed to stay at
            > > > their current school until graduating the highest
            > > > grade, which is the
            > > > district's current transfer policy.
            > > >
            > > > However, Kilmartin said, bringing all Olinda
            > > > students -- including
            > > > transfers -- to Valley View would overcrowd that
            > > > campus.
            > > >
            > > > The two schools combined would have an estimated 660
            > > > students, 169 more
            > > > than capacity, King said at a Nov. 15 parent
            > > > advisory committee meeting.
            > > >
            > > > That would require renting six portable classrooms
            > > > at a cost of about
            > > > $30,000 total, Kilmartin said.
            > > >
            > > > After reviewing figures with the board's facilities
            > > > subcommittee last week,
            > > > Kilmartin said staff fell in favor of keeping the
            > > > school open.
            > > >
            > > > "We were convinced that putting Olinda at Valley
            > > > View was not doable,"
            > > > Kilmartin said.
            > > >
            > > > In addition, Kilmartin said, the district may need
            > > > to delay plans to shut
            > > > Fairmont and El Sobrante due to reconstruction
            > > > delays at Harding and
            > > > Murphy. The buildings may not be ready to accept
            > > > more students in the fall,
            > > > Kilmartin said.
            > > >
            > > > Johnston said the district could combine the schools
            > > > but house higher
            > > > grades at one campus and younger students at another
            > > > until renovations are
            > > > complete. Remaining students could move to the new
            > > > school midyear.
            > > >
            > > > Board president Charles Ramsey dismissed the idea.
            > > >
            > > > "No. 1, the savings aren't there. Two, it doesn't
            > > > seem necessary. Three,
            > > > it's an inconvenience to everybody," Ramsey said.
            > > >
            > > > Administrators still recommend closing Seaview.
            > > >
            > > > The board is expected to vote on closures and new
            > > > boundary lines later this
            > > > month.
            > > > Reach Shirley Dang at 510-262-2798 or
            > > > sdang@c...
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > >
            > >
            > >__________________________________________________
            > >Do You Yahoo!?
            > >Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
            > >http://mail.yahoo.com
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >Yahoo! Groups Links
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
          • akstkgtr
            Is there any way these great news can be shared in the school newsletter or on the school s web site? The West County Times is not the best forum for positive
            Message 5 of 12 , Dec 1, 2004
            • 0 Attachment
              Is there any way these great news can be shared in the school
              newsletter or on the school's web site? The West County Times is not
              the best forum for positive news, I agree. We must rely on ourselves,
              as school communities. I have often asked the Times to have a
              one-pager per week, or bi-weekly, for school news. But to no avail.
              Roger

              --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "Sharon J." <sj_jpm@u...> wrote:
              >
              > Regarding today's West County Times article. This is one of many
              > negative story I've read about our district recently and, speaking as
              > an elementary school parent, I'm tired of reading that my son's school
              > district is heartless or incompetent or both, which is the impression
              > I have from these articles.
              >
              > I have over 14 years experience in marketing/PR and the recent
              > coverage of this district has been overwhelmingly negative. I agree
              > with some of the board's decisions and disagree with others but would
              > like to see more of a balance of negative and positive stories.
              >
              > The papers are very good at announcing events and putting in little
              > blurbs about school activities and I realize negative stories will
              > always get more coverage but I wish occasionally we would read some
              > in-depth positive stories about the students, teachers, parents, and
              > schools in our district.
              >
              > Here are five stories you won't be reading about this year (at least
              > not in any depth)--
              >
              > (1) We have a volunteer at Harding who taught for 22 years, retired,
              > and then comes back to the school almost every day to help kids with
              > their reading. She also helped co-write a grant for our school garden.
              > She is amazing.
              >
              > (2) We started the year with a "Back to School" Community Picnic. Over
              > 100 parents and community members came out. There were kids' game and
              > local merchants donated food: Restaurants and grocery stores all said
              > yes to supporting a school in their community when parents asked for
              > donations. Beyond that, many of them told us to be sure to come back
              > again with additional requests. They like supporting local schools. We
              > invited the media and they did come and the El Cerrito Journal ran a
              > photo with a caption so we were grateful for that.
              >
              > (3) We conducted a tour for prospective parents this November because
              > we figured that if people are checking out private schools in the
              > Fall, they might appreciate the opportunity to take a public school
              > tour too. Eighteen parents showed up on a weekday morning to see what
              > we have to offer. Merchants donated food, parents took time off work
              > to speak about their experiences at the school, teachers let us
              > disrupt their classrooms by accommodating our tours, and the principal
              > took time out of her busy schedule to patiently answer parent
              > questions. Everyone had very positive things to say. We invited the
              > media but as far as I know, they didn't come. I guess a school working
              > hard to improve community relations isn't newsworthy enough.
              >
              > (4) We recently launched a website and it's gorgeous. It was a team
              > effort. One parent programs all day at work and goes home to do more
              > programming because he wants to support his kid's school. Parents were
              > also responsible for writing the content and researching the host. The
              > PTA pays the hosting fees. We did it because we care.
              >
              > (5) When the district re-assigned our principal to another school, a
              > group of parents petitioned the board to get her re-instated. We also
              > spoke at numerous board meetings pleading for her return. They
              > listened to us and asked her to come back. This will be her fifth year
              > at Harding and she has consistenly striven to provide a safe and
              > nurturing environment for students. I feel totally confident
              > entrusting my son to her care.
              >
              > In essence, I think we have a real renaissance going on at our school
              > and I'm sure there are other schools in this district with equally
              > positive/inspiring stories to tell.
              >
              > Again, I don't agree with everything this district does or how they do
              > it but I'm tired of hearing about all the problems all the time. Isn't
              > there anything going on that people are proud of? Are we the only
              > school doing great/wonderful things?
              >
              > I want some inspiration!
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Cathy Travlos <cbt@t...> wrote:
              > > You're right. I was typing before my second cup of coffee. The
              > delays at
              > > Murphy impact the closure of El Sobrante.
              > > Cathy
              > >
              > > At 09:58 AM 12/1/2004, you wrote:
              > >
              > > >The article talks about construction delays at Harding
              > > >and MURPHY, I haven't heard anything about delays
              > > >(that would impact us in the fall) at Madera.
              > > >
              > > >Sue Mertens
              > > >Madera Parent
              > > >
              > > >--- Cathy Travlos <cbt@t...> wrote:
              > > >
              > > > > Article from today's West County Times on the
              > > > > redistricting hearing. Now
              > > > > that I've read what Kilmartin said, why on earth
              > > > > didn't they figure this
              > > > > out before they made that slick report at ECHS?
              > > > > Shouldn't they have
              > > > > realized that Valley View would be overcrowded?
              > > > > Shouldn't they have figured
              > > > > out the cost of portables? And shouldn't they have
              > > > > realized that Harding
              > > > > and Madera aren't going to be ready in the fall? We
              > > > > paid these consultants
              > > > > and administrators a ridiculous amount of money for
              > > > > a report that seems to
              > > > > have been incomplete and poorly researched.
              > > > > Cathy
              > > > >
              > > > > Posted on Wed, Dec. 01, 2004
              > > > >
              > > > > School will go on at Olinda Elementary
              > > > >
              > > > > By Shirley Dang
              > > > >
              > > > > CONTRA COSTA TIMES
              > > > >
              > > > > Olinda Elementary School parents fretting over the
              > > > > school's fate can rest
              > > > > easy, at least for another year.
              > > > >
              > > > > After nearly two months of parent protest over a
              > > > > proposed closure, West
              > > > > Contra Costa school district administrators told the
              > > > > school board Monday
              > > > > that the El Sobrante school should remain open in
              > > > > 2005-06.
              > > > >
              > > > > Associate Superintendent Vince Kilmartin also hinted
              > > > > that two other schools
              > > > > may fall off the four-campus hit list as well.
              > > > >
              > > > > The announcements drew applause from the audience at
              > > > > Richmond High.
              > > > >
              > > > > "I'm really happy about it," said Rodger Eva, parent
              > > > > of an Olinda
              > > > > kindergartner and second-grader. "I see this as a
              > > > > very constructive thing."
              > > > >
              > > > > In November, administrators recommended the school
              > > > > board close four
              > > > > elementary schools as part of redrawing boundaries
              > > > > to adjust for falling
              > > > > enrollment districtwide. If the board approves, 19
              > > > > boundary lines will
              > > > > shift, affecting 3,362 students, said demography
              > > > > consultant Jamie King.
              > > > >
              > > > > Closing one campus saves about $250,000 a year. The
              > > > > 33,000-student district
              > > > > has a budget shortfall of approximately $7 million
              > > > > or 2.8 percent of the
              > > > > $248 million general fund budget, said
              > > > > Superintendent Gloria Johnston.
              > > > >
              > > > > Closed campuses could house a charter school or be
              > > > > used for staff training.
              > > > > The district also is seeking new sites for Gompers
              > > > > and North Campus
              > > > > continuation schools.
              > > > >
              > > > > As part of the proposed consolidations, Olinda
              > > > > students would attend Valley
              > > > > View elementary in El Sobrante. Fairmont Elementary
              > > > > in El Cerrito would
              > > > > send its students to Harding Elementary, also in El
              > > > > Cerrito.
              > > > >
              > > > > El Sobrante Elementary students would go to Murphy
              > > > > Elementary in El
              > > > > Sobrante. Seaview Elementary in San Pablo would
              > > > > split kids among Collins
              > > > > and Shannon schools in Pinole.
              > > > >
              > > > > Kilmartin suggested Monday that transfer students be
              > > > > allowed to stay at
              > > > > their current school until graduating the highest
              > > > > grade, which is the
              > > > > district's current transfer policy.
              > > > >
              > > > > However, Kilmartin said, bringing all Olinda
              > > > > students -- including
              > > > > transfers -- to Valley View would overcrowd that
              > > > > campus.
              > > > >
              > > > > The two schools combined would have an estimated 660
              > > > > students, 169 more
              > > > > than capacity, King said at a Nov. 15 parent
              > > > > advisory committee meeting.
              > > > >
              > > > > That would require renting six portable classrooms
              > > > > at a cost of about
              > > > > $30,000 total, Kilmartin said.
              > > > >
              > > > > After reviewing figures with the board's facilities
              > > > > subcommittee last week,
              > > > > Kilmartin said staff fell in favor of keeping the
              > > > > school open.
              > > > >
              > > > > "We were convinced that putting Olinda at Valley
              > > > > View was not doable,"
              > > > > Kilmartin said.
              > > > >
              > > > > In addition, Kilmartin said, the district may need
              > > > > to delay plans to shut
              > > > > Fairmont and El Sobrante due to reconstruction
              > > > > delays at Harding and
              > > > > Murphy. The buildings may not be ready to accept
              > > > > more students in the fall,
              > > > > Kilmartin said.
              > > > >
              > > > > Johnston said the district could combine the schools
              > > > > but house higher
              > > > > grades at one campus and younger students at another
              > > > > until renovations are
              > > > > complete. Remaining students could move to the new
              > > > > school midyear.
              > > > >
              > > > > Board president Charles Ramsey dismissed the idea.
              > > > >
              > > > > "No. 1, the savings aren't there. Two, it doesn't
              > > > > seem necessary. Three,
              > > > > it's an inconvenience to everybody," Ramsey said.
              > > > >
              > > > > Administrators still recommend closing Seaview.
              > > > >
              > > > > The board is expected to vote on closures and new
              > > > > boundary lines later this
              > > > > month.
              > > > > Reach Shirley Dang at 510-262-2798 or
              > > > > sdang@c...
              > > > >
              > > > >
              > > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >__________________________________________________
              > > >Do You Yahoo!?
              > > >Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
              > > >http://mail.yahoo.com
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >Yahoo! Groups Links
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
            • Sharon J.
              It would be a good idea to post things like this on the school s website, however, when I have suggested in the past that we might want to profile or highlight
              Message 6 of 12 , Dec 1, 2004
              • 0 Attachment
                It would be a good idea to post things like this on the school's
                website, however, when I have suggested in the past that we might want
                to profile or highlight some of the unsung heroes in our schools, the
                individuals who are most deserving of recognition don't really want to
                be singled out. They feel like they are just doing their job. So we've
                kept the website mostly informational.

                I have been told by at least one teacher that she would rather not be
                recognized as an individual. If it's something to help the school that
                would be acceptable but she loves what she does and doesn't need to be
                singled out.

                Which, in my mind, makes her even more heroic.
              • Kevin Rivard
                Roger and Sharon, When Richmond High dedicated a couple of portables in the name of a parent they called Mary Reiley who has an article in today s paper on
                Message 7 of 12 , Dec 1, 2004
                • 0 Attachment
                  Roger and Sharon,

                  When Richmond High dedicated a couple of portables in the name of a parent
                  they called Mary Reiley who has an article in today's paper on Page A3. She
                  is the good news reporter for the Times and would likely be receptive to
                  community people in our schools who deserve recognition. Look for other good
                  news stories in the Times, Chron and Trib and note the reporters names and
                  call or e-mail them and their editors and thank both for the stories. Then
                  contact those reporters when you have a good story.

                  Also on Cable their is that segment at the end of every half hour sponsored
                  by Comcast. It is done by a local person who has been on Bay Area TV for
                  years. Contact him and Comcast and ask to have your good news put on in that
                  segment. You cannot expect good news to be spread without that news getting
                  to the media outlets and it is up to us to recognize and thank those people
                  and outlets that allow it to be heard.

                  Just somes ideas.

                  Mary Reiley I think would be a good start.

                  Kevin

                  >From: "akstkgtr" <akstkgtr@...>
                  >Reply-To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                  >To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                  >Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: Redistricting and Olinda
                  >Date: Thu, 02 Dec 2004 01:54:11 -0000
                  >
                  >
                  >Is there any way these great news can be shared in the school
                  >newsletter or on the school's web site? The West County Times is not
                  >the best forum for positive news, I agree. We must rely on ourselves,
                  >as school communities. I have often asked the Times to have a
                  >one-pager per week, or bi-weekly, for school news. But to no avail.
                  >Roger
                  >
                  >--- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "Sharon J." <sj_jpm@u...> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Regarding today's West County Times article. This is one of many
                  > > negative story I've read about our district recently and, speaking as
                  > > an elementary school parent, I'm tired of reading that my son's school
                  > > district is heartless or incompetent or both, which is the impression
                  > > I have from these articles.
                  > >
                  > > I have over 14 years experience in marketing/PR and the recent
                  > > coverage of this district has been overwhelmingly negative. I agree
                  > > with some of the board's decisions and disagree with others but would
                  > > like to see more of a balance of negative and positive stories.
                  > >
                  > > The papers are very good at announcing events and putting in little
                  > > blurbs about school activities and I realize negative stories will
                  > > always get more coverage but I wish occasionally we would read some
                  > > in-depth positive stories about the students, teachers, parents, and
                  > > schools in our district.
                  > >
                  > > Here are five stories you won't be reading about this year (at least
                  > > not in any depth)--
                  > >
                  > > (1) We have a volunteer at Harding who taught for 22 years, retired,
                  > > and then comes back to the school almost every day to help kids with
                  > > their reading. She also helped co-write a grant for our school garden.
                  > > She is amazing.
                  > >
                  > > (2) We started the year with a "Back to School" Community Picnic. Over
                  > > 100 parents and community members came out. There were kids' game and
                  > > local merchants donated food: Restaurants and grocery stores all said
                  > > yes to supporting a school in their community when parents asked for
                  > > donations. Beyond that, many of them told us to be sure to come back
                  > > again with additional requests. They like supporting local schools. We
                  > > invited the media and they did come and the El Cerrito Journal ran a
                  > > photo with a caption so we were grateful for that.
                  > >
                  > > (3) We conducted a tour for prospective parents this November because
                  > > we figured that if people are checking out private schools in the
                  > > Fall, they might appreciate the opportunity to take a public school
                  > > tour too. Eighteen parents showed up on a weekday morning to see what
                  > > we have to offer. Merchants donated food, parents took time off work
                  > > to speak about their experiences at the school, teachers let us
                  > > disrupt their classrooms by accommodating our tours, and the principal
                  > > took time out of her busy schedule to patiently answer parent
                  > > questions. Everyone had very positive things to say. We invited the
                  > > media but as far as I know, they didn't come. I guess a school working
                  > > hard to improve community relations isn't newsworthy enough.
                  > >
                  > > (4) We recently launched a website and it's gorgeous. It was a team
                  > > effort. One parent programs all day at work and goes home to do more
                  > > programming because he wants to support his kid's school. Parents were
                  > > also responsible for writing the content and researching the host. The
                  > > PTA pays the hosting fees. We did it because we care.
                  > >
                  > > (5) When the district re-assigned our principal to another school, a
                  > > group of parents petitioned the board to get her re-instated. We also
                  > > spoke at numerous board meetings pleading for her return. They
                  > > listened to us and asked her to come back. This will be her fifth year
                  > > at Harding and she has consistenly striven to provide a safe and
                  > > nurturing environment for students. I feel totally confident
                  > > entrusting my son to her care.
                  > >
                  > > In essence, I think we have a real renaissance going on at our school
                  > > and I'm sure there are other schools in this district with equally
                  > > positive/inspiring stories to tell.
                  > >
                  > > Again, I don't agree with everything this district does or how they do
                  > > it but I'm tired of hearing about all the problems all the time. Isn't
                  > > there anything going on that people are proud of? Are we the only
                  > > school doing great/wonderful things?
                  > >
                  > > I want some inspiration!
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Cathy Travlos <cbt@t...> wrote:
                  > > > You're right. I was typing before my second cup of coffee. The
                  > > delays at
                  > > > Murphy impact the closure of El Sobrante.
                  > > > Cathy
                  > > >
                  > > > At 09:58 AM 12/1/2004, you wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > > >The article talks about construction delays at Harding
                  > > > >and MURPHY, I haven't heard anything about delays
                  > > > >(that would impact us in the fall) at Madera.
                  > > > >
                  > > > >Sue Mertens
                  > > > >Madera Parent
                  > > > >
                  > > > >--- Cathy Travlos <cbt@t...> wrote:
                  > > > >
                  > > > > > Article from today's West County Times on the
                  > > > > > redistricting hearing. Now
                  > > > > > that I've read what Kilmartin said, why on earth
                  > > > > > didn't they figure this
                  > > > > > out before they made that slick report at ECHS?
                  > > > > > Shouldn't they have
                  > > > > > realized that Valley View would be overcrowded?
                  > > > > > Shouldn't they have figured
                  > > > > > out the cost of portables? And shouldn't they have
                  > > > > > realized that Harding
                  > > > > > and Madera aren't going to be ready in the fall? We
                  > > > > > paid these consultants
                  > > > > > and administrators a ridiculous amount of money for
                  > > > > > a report that seems to
                  > > > > > have been incomplete and poorly researched.
                  > > > > > Cathy
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Posted on Wed, Dec. 01, 2004
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > School will go on at Olinda Elementary
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > By Shirley Dang
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > CONTRA COSTA TIMES
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Olinda Elementary School parents fretting over the
                  > > > > > school's fate can rest
                  > > > > > easy, at least for another year.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > After nearly two months of parent protest over a
                  > > > > > proposed closure, West
                  > > > > > Contra Costa school district administrators told the
                  > > > > > school board Monday
                  > > > > > that the El Sobrante school should remain open in
                  > > > > > 2005-06.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Associate Superintendent Vince Kilmartin also hinted
                  > > > > > that two other schools
                  > > > > > may fall off the four-campus hit list as well.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > The announcements drew applause from the audience at
                  > > > > > Richmond High.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > "I'm really happy about it," said Rodger Eva, parent
                  > > > > > of an Olinda
                  > > > > > kindergartner and second-grader. "I see this as a
                  > > > > > very constructive thing."
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > In November, administrators recommended the school
                  > > > > > board close four
                  > > > > > elementary schools as part of redrawing boundaries
                  > > > > > to adjust for falling
                  > > > > > enrollment districtwide. If the board approves, 19
                  > > > > > boundary lines will
                  > > > > > shift, affecting 3,362 students, said demography
                  > > > > > consultant Jamie King.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Closing one campus saves about $250,000 a year. The
                  > > > > > 33,000-student district
                  > > > > > has a budget shortfall of approximately $7 million
                  > > > > > or 2.8 percent of the
                  > > > > > $248 million general fund budget, said
                  > > > > > Superintendent Gloria Johnston.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Closed campuses could house a charter school or be
                  > > > > > used for staff training.
                  > > > > > The district also is seeking new sites for Gompers
                  > > > > > and North Campus
                  > > > > > continuation schools.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > As part of the proposed consolidations, Olinda
                  > > > > > students would attend Valley
                  > > > > > View elementary in El Sobrante. Fairmont Elementary
                  > > > > > in El Cerrito would
                  > > > > > send its students to Harding Elementary, also in El
                  > > > > > Cerrito.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > El Sobrante Elementary students would go to Murphy
                  > > > > > Elementary in El
                  > > > > > Sobrante. Seaview Elementary in San Pablo would
                  > > > > > split kids among Collins
                  > > > > > and Shannon schools in Pinole.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Kilmartin suggested Monday that transfer students be
                  > > > > > allowed to stay at
                  > > > > > their current school until graduating the highest
                  > > > > > grade, which is the
                  > > > > > district's current transfer policy.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > However, Kilmartin said, bringing all Olinda
                  > > > > > students -- including
                  > > > > > transfers -- to Valley View would overcrowd that
                  > > > > > campus.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > The two schools combined would have an estimated 660
                  > > > > > students, 169 more
                  > > > > > than capacity, King said at a Nov. 15 parent
                  > > > > > advisory committee meeting.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > That would require renting six portable classrooms
                  > > > > > at a cost of about
                  > > > > > $30,000 total, Kilmartin said.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > After reviewing figures with the board's facilities
                  > > > > > subcommittee last week,
                  > > > > > Kilmartin said staff fell in favor of keeping the
                  > > > > > school open.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > "We were convinced that putting Olinda at Valley
                  > > > > > View was not doable,"
                  > > > > > Kilmartin said.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > In addition, Kilmartin said, the district may need
                  > > > > > to delay plans to shut
                  > > > > > Fairmont and El Sobrante due to reconstruction
                  > > > > > delays at Harding and
                  > > > > > Murphy. The buildings may not be ready to accept
                  > > > > > more students in the fall,
                  > > > > > Kilmartin said.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Johnston said the district could combine the schools
                  > > > > > but house higher
                  > > > > > grades at one campus and younger students at another
                  > > > > > until renovations are
                  > > > > > complete. Remaining students could move to the new
                  > > > > > school midyear.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Board president Charles Ramsey dismissed the idea.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > "No. 1, the savings aren't there. Two, it doesn't
                  > > > > > seem necessary. Three,
                  > > > > > it's an inconvenience to everybody," Ramsey said.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Administrators still recommend closing Seaview.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > The board is expected to vote on closures and new
                  > > > > > boundary lines later this
                  > > > > > month.
                  > > > > > Reach Shirley Dang at 510-262-2798 or
                  > > > > > sdang@c...
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >__________________________________________________
                  > > > >Do You Yahoo!?
                  > > > >Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
                  > > > >http://mail.yahoo.com
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >Yahoo! Groups Links
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                • garzacathy
                  Yours is a good suggestion Kevin, and we should pursue Mary s coverage. But Mary s column is inside the front cover of the paper. I, like Sharon, want more
                  Message 8 of 12 , Dec 2, 2004
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Yours is a good suggestion Kevin, and we should pursue Mary's
                    coverage. But Mary's column is inside the front cover of the
                    paper. I, like Sharon, want more positive press coverage and have
                    had no luck when contacting West County Times to run a story on
                    our "principal appreciation" Day, as an example. I'd like to see
                    these good stories on the front page of the paper. The West County
                    Times is quick to print the negative stories (like the PTA ban) on
                    the front cover...why can't they do the same with the positive
                    stories?

                    As a parent in the district, I would have loved to read about the
                    goings on at Harding. It would (and now has) inspire(d) me to
                    connect with their PTA to possibly do similar programs at Kensington
                    Hilltop.

                    Maybe it's true...if it bleeds, it leads. How sad.
                    Cathy
                    --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "Kevin Rivard" <kfrivard@h...>
                    wrote:
                    > Roger and Sharon,
                    >
                    > When Richmond High dedicated a couple of portables in the name of
                    a parent
                    > they called Mary Reiley who has an article in today's paper on
                    Page A3. She
                    > is the good news reporter for the Times and would likely be
                    receptive to
                    > community people in our schools who deserve recognition. Look for
                    other good
                    > news stories in the Times, Chron and Trib and note the reporters
                    names and
                    > call or e-mail them and their editors and thank both for the
                    stories. Then
                    > contact those reporters when you have a good story.
                    >
                    > Also on Cable their is that segment at the end of every half hour
                    sponsored
                    > by Comcast. It is done by a local person who has been on Bay Area
                    TV for
                    > years. Contact him and Comcast and ask to have your good news put
                    on in that
                    > segment. You cannot expect good news to be spread without that
                    news getting
                    > to the media outlets and it is up to us to recognize and thank
                    those people
                    > and outlets that allow it to be heard.
                    >
                    > Just somes ideas.
                    >
                    > Mary Reiley I think would be a good start.
                    >
                    > Kevin
                    >
                    > >From: "akstkgtr" <akstkgtr@y...>
                    > >Reply-To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                    > >To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                    > >Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: Redistricting and Olinda
                    > >Date: Thu, 02 Dec 2004 01:54:11 -0000
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >Is there any way these great news can be shared in the school
                    > >newsletter or on the school's web site? The West County Times is
                    not
                    > >the best forum for positive news, I agree. We must rely on
                    ourselves,
                    > >as school communities. I have often asked the Times to have a
                    > >one-pager per week, or bi-weekly, for school news. But to no
                    avail.
                    > >Roger
                    > >
                    > >--- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "Sharon J." <sj_jpm@u...>
                    wrote:
                    > > >
                    > > > Regarding today's West County Times article. This is one of
                    many
                    > > > negative story I've read about our district recently and,
                    speaking as
                    > > > an elementary school parent, I'm tired of reading that my
                    son's school
                    > > > district is heartless or incompetent or both, which is the
                    impression
                    > > > I have from these articles.
                    > > >
                    > > > I have over 14 years experience in marketing/PR and the recent
                    > > > coverage of this district has been overwhelmingly negative. I
                    agree
                    > > > with some of the board's decisions and disagree with others
                    but would
                    > > > like to see more of a balance of negative and positive stories.
                    > > >
                    > > > The papers are very good at announcing events and putting in
                    little
                    > > > blurbs about school activities and I realize negative stories
                    will
                    > > > always get more coverage but I wish occasionally we would read
                    some
                    > > > in-depth positive stories about the students, teachers,
                    parents, and
                    > > > schools in our district.
                    > > >
                    > > > Here are five stories you won't be reading about this year (at
                    least
                    > > > not in any depth)--
                    > > >
                    > > > (1) We have a volunteer at Harding who taught for 22 years,
                    retired,
                    > > > and then comes back to the school almost every day to help
                    kids with
                    > > > their reading. She also helped co-write a grant for our school
                    garden.
                    > > > She is amazing.
                    > > >
                    > > > (2) We started the year with a "Back to School" Community
                    Picnic. Over
                    > > > 100 parents and community members came out. There were kids'
                    game and
                    > > > local merchants donated food: Restaurants and grocery stores
                    all said
                    > > > yes to supporting a school in their community when parents
                    asked for
                    > > > donations. Beyond that, many of them told us to be sure to
                    come back
                    > > > again with additional requests. They like supporting local
                    schools. We
                    > > > invited the media and they did come and the El Cerrito Journal
                    ran a
                    > > > photo with a caption so we were grateful for that.
                    > > >
                    > > > (3) We conducted a tour for prospective parents this November
                    because
                    > > > we figured that if people are checking out private schools in
                    the
                    > > > Fall, they might appreciate the opportunity to take a public
                    school
                    > > > tour too. Eighteen parents showed up on a weekday morning to
                    see what
                    > > > we have to offer. Merchants donated food, parents took time
                    off work
                    > > > to speak about their experiences at the school, teachers let us
                    > > > disrupt their classrooms by accommodating our tours, and the
                    principal
                    > > > took time out of her busy schedule to patiently answer parent
                    > > > questions. Everyone had very positive things to say. We
                    invited the
                    > > > media but as far as I know, they didn't come. I guess a school
                    working
                    > > > hard to improve community relations isn't newsworthy enough.
                    > > >
                    > > > (4) We recently launched a website and it's gorgeous. It was a
                    team
                    > > > effort. One parent programs all day at work and goes home to
                    do more
                    > > > programming because he wants to support his kid's school.
                    Parents were
                    > > > also responsible for writing the content and researching the
                    host. The
                    > > > PTA pays the hosting fees. We did it because we care.
                    > > >
                    > > > (5) When the district re-assigned our principal to another
                    school, a
                    > > > group of parents petitioned the board to get her re-instated.
                    We also
                    > > > spoke at numerous board meetings pleading for her return. They
                    > > > listened to us and asked her to come back. This will be her
                    fifth year
                    > > > at Harding and she has consistenly striven to provide a safe
                    and
                    > > > nurturing environment for students. I feel totally confident
                    > > > entrusting my son to her care.
                    > > >
                    > > > In essence, I think we have a real renaissance going on at our
                    school
                    > > > and I'm sure there are other schools in this district with
                    equally
                    > > > positive/inspiring stories to tell.
                    > > >
                    > > > Again, I don't agree with everything this district does or how
                    they do
                    > > > it but I'm tired of hearing about all the problems all the
                    time. Isn't
                    > > > there anything going on that people are proud of? Are we the
                    only
                    > > > school doing great/wonderful things?
                    > > >
                    > > > I want some inspiration!
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Cathy Travlos <cbt@t...>
                    wrote:
                    > > > > You're right. I was typing before my second cup of coffee.
                    The
                    > > > delays at
                    > > > > Murphy impact the closure of El Sobrante.
                    > > > > Cathy
                    > > > >
                    > > > > At 09:58 AM 12/1/2004, you wrote:
                    > > > >
                    > > > > >The article talks about construction delays at Harding
                    > > > > >and MURPHY, I haven't heard anything about delays
                    > > > > >(that would impact us in the fall) at Madera.
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > >Sue Mertens
                    > > > > >Madera Parent
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > >--- Cathy Travlos <cbt@t...> wrote:
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > > Article from today's West County Times on the
                    > > > > > > redistricting hearing. Now
                    > > > > > > that I've read what Kilmartin said, why on earth
                    > > > > > > didn't they figure this
                    > > > > > > out before they made that slick report at ECHS?
                    > > > > > > Shouldn't they have
                    > > > > > > realized that Valley View would be overcrowded?
                    > > > > > > Shouldn't they have figured
                    > > > > > > out the cost of portables? And shouldn't they have
                    > > > > > > realized that Harding
                    > > > > > > and Madera aren't going to be ready in the fall? We
                    > > > > > > paid these consultants
                    > > > > > > and administrators a ridiculous amount of money for
                    > > > > > > a report that seems to
                    > > > > > > have been incomplete and poorly researched.
                    > > > > > > Cathy
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > Posted on Wed, Dec. 01, 2004
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > School will go on at Olinda Elementary
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > By Shirley Dang
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > CONTRA COSTA TIMES
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > Olinda Elementary School parents fretting over the
                    > > > > > > school's fate can rest
                    > > > > > > easy, at least for another year.
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > After nearly two months of parent protest over a
                    > > > > > > proposed closure, West
                    > > > > > > Contra Costa school district administrators told the
                    > > > > > > school board Monday
                    > > > > > > that the El Sobrante school should remain open in
                    > > > > > > 2005-06.
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > Associate Superintendent Vince Kilmartin also hinted
                    > > > > > > that two other schools
                    > > > > > > may fall off the four-campus hit list as well.
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > The announcements drew applause from the audience at
                    > > > > > > Richmond High.
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > "I'm really happy about it," said Rodger Eva, parent
                    > > > > > > of an Olinda
                    > > > > > > kindergartner and second-grader. "I see this as a
                    > > > > > > very constructive thing."
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > In November, administrators recommended the school
                    > > > > > > board close four
                    > > > > > > elementary schools as part of redrawing boundaries
                    > > > > > > to adjust for falling
                    > > > > > > enrollment districtwide. If the board approves, 19
                    > > > > > > boundary lines will
                    > > > > > > shift, affecting 3,362 students, said demography
                    > > > > > > consultant Jamie King.
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > Closing one campus saves about $250,000 a year. The
                    > > > > > > 33,000-student district
                    > > > > > > has a budget shortfall of approximately $7 million
                    > > > > > > or 2.8 percent of the
                    > > > > > > $248 million general fund budget, said
                    > > > > > > Superintendent Gloria Johnston.
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > Closed campuses could house a charter school or be
                    > > > > > > used for staff training.
                    > > > > > > The district also is seeking new sites for Gompers
                    > > > > > > and North Campus
                    > > > > > > continuation schools.
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > As part of the proposed consolidations, Olinda
                    > > > > > > students would attend Valley
                    > > > > > > View elementary in El Sobrante. Fairmont Elementary
                    > > > > > > in El Cerrito would
                    > > > > > > send its students to Harding Elementary, also in El
                    > > > > > > Cerrito.
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > El Sobrante Elementary students would go to Murphy
                    > > > > > > Elementary in El
                    > > > > > > Sobrante. Seaview Elementary in San Pablo would
                    > > > > > > split kids among Collins
                    > > > > > > and Shannon schools in Pinole.
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > Kilmartin suggested Monday that transfer students be
                    > > > > > > allowed to stay at
                    > > > > > > their current school until graduating the highest
                    > > > > > > grade, which is the
                    > > > > > > district's current transfer policy.
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > However, Kilmartin said, bringing all Olinda
                    > > > > > > students -- including
                    > > > > > > transfers -- to Valley View would overcrowd that
                    > > > > > > campus.
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > The two schools combined would have an estimated 660
                    > > > > > > students, 169 more
                    > > > > > > than capacity, King said at a Nov. 15 parent
                    > > > > > > advisory committee meeting.
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > That would require renting six portable classrooms
                    > > > > > > at a cost of about
                    > > > > > > $30,000 total, Kilmartin said.
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > After reviewing figures with the board's facilities
                    > > > > > > subcommittee last week,
                    > > > > > > Kilmartin said staff fell in favor of keeping the
                    > > > > > > school open.
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > "We were convinced that putting Olinda at Valley
                    > > > > > > View was not doable,"
                    > > > > > > Kilmartin said.
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > In addition, Kilmartin said, the district may need
                    > > > > > > to delay plans to shut
                    > > > > > > Fairmont and El Sobrante due to reconstruction
                    > > > > > > delays at Harding and
                    > > > > > > Murphy. The buildings may not be ready to accept
                    > > > > > > more students in the fall,
                    > > > > > > Kilmartin said.
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > Johnston said the district could combine the schools
                    > > > > > > but house higher
                    > > > > > > grades at one campus and younger students at another
                    > > > > > > until renovations are
                    > > > > > > complete. Remaining students could move to the new
                    > > > > > > school midyear.
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > Board president Charles Ramsey dismissed the idea.
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > "No. 1, the savings aren't there. Two, it doesn't
                    > > > > > > seem necessary. Three,
                    > > > > > > it's an inconvenience to everybody," Ramsey said.
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > Administrators still recommend closing Seaview.
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > The board is expected to vote on closures and new
                    > > > > > > boundary lines later this
                    > > > > > > month.
                    > > > > > > Reach Shirley Dang at 510-262-2798 or
                    > > > > > > sdang@c...
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > >__________________________________________________
                    > > > > >Do You Yahoo!?
                    > > > > >Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection
                    around
                    > > > > >http://mail.yahoo.com
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > >Yahoo! Groups Links
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                  • Kevin Rivard
                    Another way to pursue positive press on the front page is subscriber pressure. Newsprint subscriptions are down. A concerted effort by all of us who subscribe
                    Message 9 of 12 , Dec 2, 2004
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Another way to pursue positive press on the front page is subscriber
                      pressure. Newsprint subscriptions are down. A concerted effort by all of us
                      who subscribe to West County Times calling the Publisher, Editors and the
                      advertisers demanding positive front page coverage of not only our schools
                      but our neighborhoods would get some reaction. But it would have to be
                      organized and sincere. If there was not a positive response those that
                      wanted to participate could all call in on one day and cancel our
                      subscriptions. If this happened on one day with everyone who participated
                      stating the reason why they cancelled along with what it would take to get
                      us to subscribe again then there would be power in our protest. Once the
                      paper conceded to our demands then we would all on the same day subscribe
                      again. It is a simple and effective tool and with this e-tree it would be
                      easy to coordinate.

                      Ideas, thoughts.?

                      Kevin

                      >From: "garzacathy" <cathygarza@...>
                      >Reply-To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                      >To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                      >Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: Redistricting and Olinda
                      >Date: Thu, 02 Dec 2004 14:04:10 -0000
                      >
                      >
                      >Yours is a good suggestion Kevin, and we should pursue Mary's
                      >coverage. But Mary's column is inside the front cover of the
                      >paper. I, like Sharon, want more positive press coverage and have
                      >had no luck when contacting West County Times to run a story on
                      >our "principal appreciation" Day, as an example. I'd like to see
                      >these good stories on the front page of the paper. The West County
                      >Times is quick to print the negative stories (like the PTA ban) on
                      >the front cover...why can't they do the same with the positive
                      >stories?
                      >
                      >As a parent in the district, I would have loved to read about the
                      >goings on at Harding. It would (and now has) inspire(d) me to
                      >connect with their PTA to possibly do similar programs at Kensington
                      >Hilltop.
                      >
                      >Maybe it's true...if it bleeds, it leads. How sad.
                      >Cathy
                      >--- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "Kevin Rivard" <kfrivard@h...>
                      >wrote:
                      > > Roger and Sharon,
                      > >
                      > > When Richmond High dedicated a couple of portables in the name of
                      >a parent
                      > > they called Mary Reiley who has an article in today's paper on
                      >Page A3. She
                      > > is the good news reporter for the Times and would likely be
                      >receptive to
                      > > community people in our schools who deserve recognition. Look for
                      >other good
                      > > news stories in the Times, Chron and Trib and note the reporters
                      >names and
                      > > call or e-mail them and their editors and thank both for the
                      >stories. Then
                      > > contact those reporters when you have a good story.
                      > >
                      > > Also on Cable their is that segment at the end of every half hour
                      >sponsored
                      > > by Comcast. It is done by a local person who has been on Bay Area
                      >TV for
                      > > years. Contact him and Comcast and ask to have your good news put
                      >on in that
                      > > segment. You cannot expect good news to be spread without that
                      >news getting
                      > > to the media outlets and it is up to us to recognize and thank
                      >those people
                      > > and outlets that allow it to be heard.
                      > >
                      > > Just somes ideas.
                      > >
                      > > Mary Reiley I think would be a good start.
                      > >
                      > > Kevin
                      > >
                      > > >From: "akstkgtr" <akstkgtr@y...>
                      > > >Reply-To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                      > > >To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                      > > >Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: Redistricting and Olinda
                      > > >Date: Thu, 02 Dec 2004 01:54:11 -0000
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >Is there any way these great news can be shared in the school
                      > > >newsletter or on the school's web site? The West County Times is
                      >not
                      > > >the best forum for positive news, I agree. We must rely on
                      >ourselves,
                      > > >as school communities. I have often asked the Times to have a
                      > > >one-pager per week, or bi-weekly, for school news. But to no
                      >avail.
                      > > >Roger
                      > > >
                      > > >--- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "Sharon J." <sj_jpm@u...>
                      >wrote:
                      > > > >
                      > > > > Regarding today's West County Times article. This is one of
                      >many
                      > > > > negative story I've read about our district recently and,
                      >speaking as
                      > > > > an elementary school parent, I'm tired of reading that my
                      >son's school
                      > > > > district is heartless or incompetent or both, which is the
                      >impression
                      > > > > I have from these articles.
                      > > > >
                      > > > > I have over 14 years experience in marketing/PR and the recent
                      > > > > coverage of this district has been overwhelmingly negative. I
                      >agree
                      > > > > with some of the board's decisions and disagree with others
                      >but would
                      > > > > like to see more of a balance of negative and positive stories.
                      > > > >
                      > > > > The papers are very good at announcing events and putting in
                      >little
                      > > > > blurbs about school activities and I realize negative stories
                      >will
                      > > > > always get more coverage but I wish occasionally we would read
                      >some
                      > > > > in-depth positive stories about the students, teachers,
                      >parents, and
                      > > > > schools in our district.
                      > > > >
                      > > > > Here are five stories you won't be reading about this year (at
                      >least
                      > > > > not in any depth)--
                      > > > >
                      > > > > (1) We have a volunteer at Harding who taught for 22 years,
                      >retired,
                      > > > > and then comes back to the school almost every day to help
                      >kids with
                      > > > > their reading. She also helped co-write a grant for our school
                      >garden.
                      > > > > She is amazing.
                      > > > >
                      > > > > (2) We started the year with a "Back to School" Community
                      >Picnic. Over
                      > > > > 100 parents and community members came out. There were kids'
                      >game and
                      > > > > local merchants donated food: Restaurants and grocery stores
                      >all said
                      > > > > yes to supporting a school in their community when parents
                      >asked for
                      > > > > donations. Beyond that, many of them told us to be sure to
                      >come back
                      > > > > again with additional requests. They like supporting local
                      >schools. We
                      > > > > invited the media and they did come and the El Cerrito Journal
                      >ran a
                      > > > > photo with a caption so we were grateful for that.
                      > > > >
                      > > > > (3) We conducted a tour for prospective parents this November
                      >because
                      > > > > we figured that if people are checking out private schools in
                      >the
                      > > > > Fall, they might appreciate the opportunity to take a public
                      >school
                      > > > > tour too. Eighteen parents showed up on a weekday morning to
                      >see what
                      > > > > we have to offer. Merchants donated food, parents took time
                      >off work
                      > > > > to speak about their experiences at the school, teachers let us
                      > > > > disrupt their classrooms by accommodating our tours, and the
                      >principal
                      > > > > took time out of her busy schedule to patiently answer parent
                      > > > > questions. Everyone had very positive things to say. We
                      >invited the
                      > > > > media but as far as I know, they didn't come. I guess a school
                      >working
                      > > > > hard to improve community relations isn't newsworthy enough.
                      > > > >
                      > > > > (4) We recently launched a website and it's gorgeous. It was a
                      >team
                      > > > > effort. One parent programs all day at work and goes home to
                      >do more
                      > > > > programming because he wants to support his kid's school.
                      >Parents were
                      > > > > also responsible for writing the content and researching the
                      >host. The
                      > > > > PTA pays the hosting fees. We did it because we care.
                      > > > >
                      > > > > (5) When the district re-assigned our principal to another
                      >school, a
                      > > > > group of parents petitioned the board to get her re-instated.
                      >We also
                      > > > > spoke at numerous board meetings pleading for her return. They
                      > > > > listened to us and asked her to come back. This will be her
                      >fifth year
                      > > > > at Harding and she has consistenly striven to provide a safe
                      >and
                      > > > > nurturing environment for students. I feel totally confident
                      > > > > entrusting my son to her care.
                      > > > >
                      > > > > In essence, I think we have a real renaissance going on at our
                      >school
                      > > > > and I'm sure there are other schools in this district with
                      >equally
                      > > > > positive/inspiring stories to tell.
                      > > > >
                      > > > > Again, I don't agree with everything this district does or how
                      >they do
                      > > > > it but I'm tired of hearing about all the problems all the
                      >time. Isn't
                      > > > > there anything going on that people are proud of? Are we the
                      >only
                      > > > > school doing great/wonderful things?
                      > > > >
                      > > > > I want some inspiration!
                      > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Cathy Travlos <cbt@t...>
                      >wrote:
                      > > > > > You're right. I was typing before my second cup of coffee.
                      >The
                      > > > > delays at
                      > > > > > Murphy impact the closure of El Sobrante.
                      > > > > > Cathy
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > At 09:58 AM 12/1/2004, you wrote:
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > >The article talks about construction delays at Harding
                      > > > > > >and MURPHY, I haven't heard anything about delays
                      > > > > > >(that would impact us in the fall) at Madera.
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > >Sue Mertens
                      > > > > > >Madera Parent
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > >--- Cathy Travlos <cbt@t...> wrote:
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > Article from today's West County Times on the
                      > > > > > > > redistricting hearing. Now
                      > > > > > > > that I've read what Kilmartin said, why on earth
                      > > > > > > > didn't they figure this
                      > > > > > > > out before they made that slick report at ECHS?
                      > > > > > > > Shouldn't they have
                      > > > > > > > realized that Valley View would be overcrowded?
                      > > > > > > > Shouldn't they have figured
                      > > > > > > > out the cost of portables? And shouldn't they have
                      > > > > > > > realized that Harding
                      > > > > > > > and Madera aren't going to be ready in the fall? We
                      > > > > > > > paid these consultants
                      > > > > > > > and administrators a ridiculous amount of money for
                      > > > > > > > a report that seems to
                      > > > > > > > have been incomplete and poorly researched.
                      > > > > > > > Cathy
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > Posted on Wed, Dec. 01, 2004
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > School will go on at Olinda Elementary
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > By Shirley Dang
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > CONTRA COSTA TIMES
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > Olinda Elementary School parents fretting over the
                      > > > > > > > school's fate can rest
                      > > > > > > > easy, at least for another year.
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > After nearly two months of parent protest over a
                      > > > > > > > proposed closure, West
                      > > > > > > > Contra Costa school district administrators told the
                      > > > > > > > school board Monday
                      > > > > > > > that the El Sobrante school should remain open in
                      > > > > > > > 2005-06.
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > Associate Superintendent Vince Kilmartin also hinted
                      > > > > > > > that two other schools
                      > > > > > > > may fall off the four-campus hit list as well.
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > The announcements drew applause from the audience at
                      > > > > > > > Richmond High.
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > "I'm really happy about it," said Rodger Eva, parent
                      > > > > > > > of an Olinda
                      > > > > > > > kindergartner and second-grader. "I see this as a
                      > > > > > > > very constructive thing."
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > In November, administrators recommended the school
                      > > > > > > > board close four
                      > > > > > > > elementary schools as part of redrawing boundaries
                      > > > > > > > to adjust for falling
                      > > > > > > > enrollment districtwide. If the board approves, 19
                      > > > > > > > boundary lines will
                      > > > > > > > shift, affecting 3,362 students, said demography
                      > > > > > > > consultant Jamie King.
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > Closing one campus saves about $250,000 a year. The
                      > > > > > > > 33,000-student district
                      > > > > > > > has a budget shortfall of approximately $7 million
                      > > > > > > > or 2.8 percent of the
                      > > > > > > > $248 million general fund budget, said
                      > > > > > > > Superintendent Gloria Johnston.
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > Closed campuses could house a charter school or be
                      > > > > > > > used for staff training.
                      > > > > > > > The district also is seeking new sites for Gompers
                      > > > > > > > and North Campus
                      > > > > > > > continuation schools.
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > As part of the proposed consolidations, Olinda
                      > > > > > > > students would attend Valley
                      > > > > > > > View elementary in El Sobrante. Fairmont Elementary
                      > > > > > > > in El Cerrito would
                      > > > > > > > send its students to Harding Elementary, also in El
                      > > > > > > > Cerrito.
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > El Sobrante Elementary students would go to Murphy
                      > > > > > > > Elementary in El
                      > > > > > > > Sobrante. Seaview Elementary in San Pablo would
                      > > > > > > > split kids among Collins
                      > > > > > > > and Shannon schools in Pinole.
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > Kilmartin suggested Monday that transfer students be
                      > > > > > > > allowed to stay at
                      > > > > > > > their current school until graduating the highest
                      > > > > > > > grade, which is the
                      > > > > > > > district's current transfer policy.
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > However, Kilmartin said, bringing all Olinda
                      > > > > > > > students -- including
                      > > > > > > > transfers -- to Valley View would overcrowd that
                      > > > > > > > campus.
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > The two schools combined would have an estimated 660
                      > > > > > > > students, 169 more
                      > > > > > > > than capacity, King said at a Nov. 15 parent
                      > > > > > > > advisory committee meeting.
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > That would require renting six portable classrooms
                      > > > > > > > at a cost of about
                      > > > > > > > $30,000 total, Kilmartin said.
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > After reviewing figures with the board's facilities
                      > > > > > > > subcommittee last week,
                      > > > > > > > Kilmartin said staff fell in favor of keeping the
                      > > > > > > > school open.
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > "We were convinced that putting Olinda at Valley
                      > > > > > > > View was not doable,"
                      > > > > > > > Kilmartin said.
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > In addition, Kilmartin said, the district may need
                      > > > > > > > to delay plans to shut
                      > > > > > > > Fairmont and El Sobrante due to reconstruction
                      > > > > > > > delays at Harding and
                      > > > > > > > Murphy. The buildings may not be ready to accept
                      > > > > > > > more students in the fall,
                      > > > > > > > Kilmartin said.
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > Johnston said the district could combine the schools
                      > > > > > > > but house higher
                      > > > > > > > grades at one campus and younger students at another
                      > > > > > > > until renovations are
                      > > > > > > > complete. Remaining students could move to the new
                      > > > > > > > school midyear.
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > Board president Charles Ramsey dismissed the idea.
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > "No. 1, the savings aren't there. Two, it doesn't
                      > > > > > > > seem necessary. Three,
                      > > > > > > > it's an inconvenience to everybody," Ramsey said.
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > Administrators still recommend closing Seaview.
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > The board is expected to vote on closures and new
                      > > > > > > > boundary lines later this
                      > > > > > > > month.
                      > > > > > > > Reach Shirley Dang at 510-262-2798 or
                      > > > > > > > sdang@c...
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > >__________________________________________________
                      > > > > > >Do You Yahoo!?
                      > > > > > >Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection
                      >around
                      > > > > > >http://mail.yahoo.com
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > >Yahoo! Groups Links
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                    • akstkgtr
                      Some us received an e-mail from the West County Times Editor, inviting us to meet with him and provide input on what we d like to see in the paper. Shall we
                      Message 10 of 12 , Dec 2, 2004
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Some us received an e-mail from the West County Times Editor, inviting
                        us to meet with him and provide input on what we'd like to see in the
                        paper. Shall we get our heads together, or contact him individually?

                        --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "Kevin Rivard" <kfrivard@h...> wrote:
                        > Another way to pursue positive press on the front page is subscriber
                        > pressure. Newsprint subscriptions are down. A concerted effort by
                        all of us
                        > who subscribe to West County Times calling the Publisher, Editors
                        and the
                        > advertisers demanding positive front page coverage of not only our
                        schools
                        > but our neighborhoods would get some reaction. But it would have to be
                        > organized and sincere. If there was not a positive response those that
                        > wanted to participate could all call in on one day and cancel our
                        > subscriptions. If this happened on one day with everyone who
                        participated
                        > stating the reason why they cancelled along with what it would take
                        to get
                        > us to subscribe again then there would be power in our protest. Once
                        the
                        > paper conceded to our demands then we would all on the same day
                        subscribe
                        > again. It is a simple and effective tool and with this e-tree it
                        would be
                        > easy to coordinate.
                        >
                        > Ideas, thoughts.?
                        >
                        > Kevin
                        >
                        > >From: "garzacathy" <cathygarza@s...>
                        > >Reply-To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                        > >To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                        > >Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: Redistricting and Olinda
                        > >Date: Thu, 02 Dec 2004 14:04:10 -0000
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >Yours is a good suggestion Kevin, and we should pursue Mary's
                        > >coverage. But Mary's column is inside the front cover of the
                        > >paper. I, like Sharon, want more positive press coverage and have
                        > >had no luck when contacting West County Times to run a story on
                        > >our "principal appreciation" Day, as an example. I'd like to see
                        > >these good stories on the front page of the paper. The West County
                        > >Times is quick to print the negative stories (like the PTA ban) on
                        > >the front cover...why can't they do the same with the positive
                        > >stories?
                        > >
                        > >As a parent in the district, I would have loved to read about the
                        > >goings on at Harding. It would (and now has) inspire(d) me to
                        > >connect with their PTA to possibly do similar programs at Kensington
                        > >Hilltop.
                        > >
                        > >Maybe it's true...if it bleeds, it leads. How sad.
                        > >Cathy
                        > >--- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "Kevin Rivard" <kfrivard@h...>
                        > >wrote:
                        > > > Roger and Sharon,
                        > > >
                        > > > When Richmond High dedicated a couple of portables in the name of
                        > >a parent
                        > > > they called Mary Reiley who has an article in today's paper on
                        > >Page A3. She
                        > > > is the good news reporter for the Times and would likely be
                        > >receptive to
                        > > > community people in our schools who deserve recognition. Look for
                        > >other good
                        > > > news stories in the Times, Chron and Trib and note the reporters
                        > >names and
                        > > > call or e-mail them and their editors and thank both for the
                        > >stories. Then
                        > > > contact those reporters when you have a good story.
                        > > >
                        > > > Also on Cable their is that segment at the end of every half hour
                        > >sponsored
                        > > > by Comcast. It is done by a local person who has been on Bay Area
                        > >TV for
                        > > > years. Contact him and Comcast and ask to have your good news put
                        > >on in that
                        > > > segment. You cannot expect good news to be spread without that
                        > >news getting
                        > > > to the media outlets and it is up to us to recognize and thank
                        > >those people
                        > > > and outlets that allow it to be heard.
                        > > >
                        > > > Just somes ideas.
                        > > >
                        > > > Mary Reiley I think would be a good start.
                        > > >
                        > > > Kevin
                        > > >
                        > > > >From: "akstkgtr" <akstkgtr@y...>
                        > > > >Reply-To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                        > > > >To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                        > > > >Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: Redistricting and Olinda
                        > > > >Date: Thu, 02 Dec 2004 01:54:11 -0000
                        > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > >Is there any way these great news can be shared in the school
                        > > > >newsletter or on the school's web site? The West County Times is
                        > >not
                        > > > >the best forum for positive news, I agree. We must rely on
                        > >ourselves,
                        > > > >as school communities. I have often asked the Times to have a
                        > > > >one-pager per week, or bi-weekly, for school news. But to no
                        > >avail.
                        > > > >Roger
                        > > > >
                        > > > >--- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "Sharon J." <sj_jpm@u...>
                        > >wrote:
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > Regarding today's West County Times article. This is one of
                        > >many
                        > > > > > negative story I've read about our district recently and,
                        > >speaking as
                        > > > > > an elementary school parent, I'm tired of reading that my
                        > >son's school
                        > > > > > district is heartless or incompetent or both, which is the
                        > >impression
                        > > > > > I have from these articles.
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > I have over 14 years experience in marketing/PR and the recent
                        > > > > > coverage of this district has been overwhelmingly negative. I
                        > >agree
                        > > > > > with some of the board's decisions and disagree with others
                        > >but would
                        > > > > > like to see more of a balance of negative and positive stories.
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > The papers are very good at announcing events and putting in
                        > >little
                        > > > > > blurbs about school activities and I realize negative stories
                        > >will
                        > > > > > always get more coverage but I wish occasionally we would read
                        > >some
                        > > > > > in-depth positive stories about the students, teachers,
                        > >parents, and
                        > > > > > schools in our district.
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > Here are five stories you won't be reading about this year (at
                        > >least
                        > > > > > not in any depth)--
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > (1) We have a volunteer at Harding who taught for 22 years,
                        > >retired,
                        > > > > > and then comes back to the school almost every day to help
                        > >kids with
                        > > > > > their reading. She also helped co-write a grant for our school
                        > >garden.
                        > > > > > She is amazing.
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > (2) We started the year with a "Back to School" Community
                        > >Picnic. Over
                        > > > > > 100 parents and community members came out. There were kids'
                        > >game and
                        > > > > > local merchants donated food: Restaurants and grocery stores
                        > >all said
                        > > > > > yes to supporting a school in their community when parents
                        > >asked for
                        > > > > > donations. Beyond that, many of them told us to be sure to
                        > >come back
                        > > > > > again with additional requests. They like supporting local
                        > >schools. We
                        > > > > > invited the media and they did come and the El Cerrito Journal
                        > >ran a
                        > > > > > photo with a caption so we were grateful for that.
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > (3) We conducted a tour for prospective parents this November
                        > >because
                        > > > > > we figured that if people are checking out private schools in
                        > >the
                        > > > > > Fall, they might appreciate the opportunity to take a public
                        > >school
                        > > > > > tour too. Eighteen parents showed up on a weekday morning to
                        > >see what
                        > > > > > we have to offer. Merchants donated food, parents took time
                        > >off work
                        > > > > > to speak about their experiences at the school, teachers let us
                        > > > > > disrupt their classrooms by accommodating our tours, and the
                        > >principal
                        > > > > > took time out of her busy schedule to patiently answer parent
                        > > > > > questions. Everyone had very positive things to say. We
                        > >invited the
                        > > > > > media but as far as I know, they didn't come. I guess a school
                        > >working
                        > > > > > hard to improve community relations isn't newsworthy enough.
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > (4) We recently launched a website and it's gorgeous. It was a
                        > >team
                        > > > > > effort. One parent programs all day at work and goes home to
                        > >do more
                        > > > > > programming because he wants to support his kid's school.
                        > >Parents were
                        > > > > > also responsible for writing the content and researching the
                        > >host. The
                        > > > > > PTA pays the hosting fees. We did it because we care.
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > (5) When the district re-assigned our principal to another
                        > >school, a
                        > > > > > group of parents petitioned the board to get her re-instated.
                        > >We also
                        > > > > > spoke at numerous board meetings pleading for her return. They
                        > > > > > listened to us and asked her to come back. This will be her
                        > >fifth year
                        > > > > > at Harding and she has consistenly striven to provide a safe
                        > >and
                        > > > > > nurturing environment for students. I feel totally confident
                        > > > > > entrusting my son to her care.
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > In essence, I think we have a real renaissance going on at our
                        > >school
                        > > > > > and I'm sure there are other schools in this district with
                        > >equally
                        > > > > > positive/inspiring stories to tell.
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > Again, I don't agree with everything this district does or how
                        > >they do
                        > > > > > it but I'm tired of hearing about all the problems all the
                        > >time. Isn't
                        > > > > > there anything going on that people are proud of? Are we the
                        > >only
                        > > > > > school doing great/wonderful things?
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > I want some inspiration!
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Cathy Travlos <cbt@t...>
                        > >wrote:
                        > > > > > > You're right. I was typing before my second cup of coffee.
                        > >The
                        > > > > > delays at
                        > > > > > > Murphy impact the closure of El Sobrante.
                        > > > > > > Cathy
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > At 09:58 AM 12/1/2004, you wrote:
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > >The article talks about construction delays at Harding
                        > > > > > > >and MURPHY, I haven't heard anything about delays
                        > > > > > > >(that would impact us in the fall) at Madera.
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > >Sue Mertens
                        > > > > > > >Madera Parent
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > >--- Cathy Travlos <cbt@t...> wrote:
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > Article from today's West County Times on the
                        > > > > > > > > redistricting hearing. Now
                        > > > > > > > > that I've read what Kilmartin said, why on earth
                        > > > > > > > > didn't they figure this
                        > > > > > > > > out before they made that slick report at ECHS?
                        > > > > > > > > Shouldn't they have
                        > > > > > > > > realized that Valley View would be overcrowded?
                        > > > > > > > > Shouldn't they have figured
                        > > > > > > > > out the cost of portables? And shouldn't they have
                        > > > > > > > > realized that Harding
                        > > > > > > > > and Madera aren't going to be ready in the fall? We
                        > > > > > > > > paid these consultants
                        > > > > > > > > and administrators a ridiculous amount of money for
                        > > > > > > > > a report that seems to
                        > > > > > > > > have been incomplete and poorly researched.
                        > > > > > > > > Cathy
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > Posted on Wed, Dec. 01, 2004
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > School will go on at Olinda Elementary
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > By Shirley Dang
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > CONTRA COSTA TIMES
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > Olinda Elementary School parents fretting over the
                        > > > > > > > > school's fate can rest
                        > > > > > > > > easy, at least for another year.
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > After nearly two months of parent protest over a
                        > > > > > > > > proposed closure, West
                        > > > > > > > > Contra Costa school district administrators told the
                        > > > > > > > > school board Monday
                        > > > > > > > > that the El Sobrante school should remain open in
                        > > > > > > > > 2005-06.
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > Associate Superintendent Vince Kilmartin also hinted
                        > > > > > > > > that two other schools
                        > > > > > > > > may fall off the four-campus hit list as well.
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > The announcements drew applause from the audience at
                        > > > > > > > > Richmond High.
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > "I'm really happy about it," said Rodger Eva, parent
                        > > > > > > > > of an Olinda
                        > > > > > > > > kindergartner and second-grader. "I see this as a
                        > > > > > > > > very constructive thing."
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > In November, administrators recommended the school
                        > > > > > > > > board close four
                        > > > > > > > > elementary schools as part of redrawing boundaries
                        > > > > > > > > to adjust for falling
                        > > > > > > > > enrollment districtwide. If the board approves, 19
                        > > > > > > > > boundary lines will
                        > > > > > > > > shift, affecting 3,362 students, said demography
                        > > > > > > > > consultant Jamie King.
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > Closing one campus saves about $250,000 a year. The
                        > > > > > > > > 33,000-student district
                        > > > > > > > > has a budget shortfall of approximately $7 million
                        > > > > > > > > or 2.8 percent of the
                        > > > > > > > > $248 million general fund budget, said
                        > > > > > > > > Superintendent Gloria Johnston.
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > Closed campuses could house a charter school or be
                        > > > > > > > > used for staff training.
                        > > > > > > > > The district also is seeking new sites for Gompers
                        > > > > > > > > and North Campus
                        > > > > > > > > continuation schools.
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > As part of the proposed consolidations, Olinda
                        > > > > > > > > students would attend Valley
                        > > > > > > > > View elementary in El Sobrante. Fairmont Elementary
                        > > > > > > > > in El Cerrito would
                        > > > > > > > > send its students to Harding Elementary, also in El
                        > > > > > > > > Cerrito.
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > El Sobrante Elementary students would go to Murphy
                        > > > > > > > > Elementary in El
                        > > > > > > > > Sobrante. Seaview Elementary in San Pablo would
                        > > > > > > > > split kids among Collins
                        > > > > > > > > and Shannon schools in Pinole.
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > Kilmartin suggested Monday that transfer students be
                        > > > > > > > > allowed to stay at
                        > > > > > > > > their current school until graduating the highest
                        > > > > > > > > grade, which is the
                        > > > > > > > > district's current transfer policy.
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > However, Kilmartin said, bringing all Olinda
                        > > > > > > > > students -- including
                        > > > > > > > > transfers -- to Valley View would overcrowd that
                        > > > > > > > > campus.
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > The two schools combined would have an estimated 660
                        > > > > > > > > students, 169 more
                        > > > > > > > > than capacity, King said at a Nov. 15 parent
                        > > > > > > > > advisory committee meeting.
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > That would require renting six portable classrooms
                        > > > > > > > > at a cost of about
                        > > > > > > > > $30,000 total, Kilmartin said.
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > After reviewing figures with the board's facilities
                        > > > > > > > > subcommittee last week,
                        > > > > > > > > Kilmartin said staff fell in favor of keeping the
                        > > > > > > > > school open.
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > "We were convinced that putting Olinda at Valley
                        > > > > > > > > View was not doable,"
                        > > > > > > > > Kilmartin said.
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > In addition, Kilmartin said, the district may need
                        > > > > > > > > to delay plans to shut
                        > > > > > > > > Fairmont and El Sobrante due to reconstruction
                        > > > > > > > > delays at Harding and
                        > > > > > > > > Murphy. The buildings may not be ready to accept
                        > > > > > > > > more students in the fall,
                        > > > > > > > > Kilmartin said.
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > Johnston said the district could combine the schools
                        > > > > > > > > but house higher
                        > > > > > > > > grades at one campus and younger students at another
                        > > > > > > > > until renovations are
                        > > > > > > > > complete. Remaining students could move to the new
                        > > > > > > > > school midyear.
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > Board president Charles Ramsey dismissed the idea.
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > "No. 1, the savings aren't there. Two, it doesn't
                        > > > > > > > > seem necessary. Three,
                        > > > > > > > > it's an inconvenience to everybody," Ramsey said.
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > Administrators still recommend closing Seaview.
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > The board is expected to vote on closures and new
                        > > > > > > > > boundary lines later this
                        > > > > > > > > month.
                        > > > > > > > > Reach Shirley Dang at 510-262-2798 or
                        > > > > > > > > sdang@c...
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > >__________________________________________________
                        > > > > > > >Do You Yahoo!?
                        > > > > > > >Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection
                        > >around
                        > > > > > > >http://mail.yahoo.com
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > >Yahoo! Groups Links
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                      • Eduardo Martinez
                        Thank you for the inspirational newsflash. But as I read the items, I realized that they were about the parents and the community. The only reference to the
                        Message 11 of 12 , Dec 3, 2004
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Thank you for the inspirational newsflash. But as I
                          read the items, I realized that they were about the
                          parents and the community. The only reference to the
                          District was in response to the actions of the
                          parents. I do agree that the newspapers need to write
                          more positive articles about the school district. If
                          only the district could provide them the material by
                          serving the public better than they have!

                          Eduardo

                          --- "Sharon J." <sj_jpm@...> wrote:

                          >
                          > Regarding today's West County Times article. This is
                          > one of many
                          > negative story I've read about our district recently
                          > and, speaking as
                          > an elementary school parent, I'm tired of reading
                          > that my son's school
                          > district is heartless or incompetent or both, which
                          > is the impression
                          > I have from these articles.
                          >
                          > I have over 14 years experience in marketing/PR and
                          > the recent
                          > coverage of this district has been overwhelmingly
                          > negative. I agree
                          > with some of the board's decisions and disagree with
                          > others but would
                          > like to see more of a balance of negative and
                          > positive stories.
                          >
                          > The papers are very good at announcing events and
                          > putting in little
                          > blurbs about school activities and I realize
                          > negative stories will
                          > always get more coverage but I wish occasionally we
                          > would read some
                          > in-depth positive stories about the students,
                          > teachers, parents, and
                          > schools in our district.
                          >
                          > Here are five stories you won't be reading about
                          > this year (at least
                          > not in any depth)--
                          >
                          > (1) We have a volunteer at Harding who taught for 22
                          > years, retired,
                          > and then comes back to the school almost every day
                          > to help kids with
                          > their reading. She also helped co-write a grant for
                          > our school garden.
                          > She is amazing.
                          >
                          > (2) We started the year with a "Back to School"
                          > Community Picnic. Over
                          > 100 parents and community members came out. There
                          > were kids' game and
                          > local merchants donated food: Restaurants and
                          > grocery stores all said
                          > yes to supporting a school in their community when
                          > parents asked for
                          > donations. Beyond that, many of them told us to be
                          > sure to come back
                          > again with additional requests. They like supporting
                          > local schools. We
                          > invited the media and they did come and the El
                          > Cerrito Journal ran a
                          > photo with a caption so we were grateful for that.
                          >
                          > (3) We conducted a tour for prospective parents this
                          > November because
                          > we figured that if people are checking out private
                          > schools in the
                          > Fall, they might appreciate the opportunity to take
                          > a public school
                          > tour too. Eighteen parents showed up on a weekday
                          > morning to see what
                          > we have to offer. Merchants donated food, parents
                          > took time off work
                          > to speak about their experiences at the school,
                          > teachers let us
                          > disrupt their classrooms by accommodating our tours,
                          > and the principal
                          > took time out of her busy schedule to patiently
                          > answer parent
                          > questions. Everyone had very positive things to say.
                          > We invited the
                          > media but as far as I know, they didn't come. I
                          > guess a school working
                          > hard to improve community relations isn't newsworthy
                          > enough.
                          >
                          > (4) We recently launched a website and it's
                          > gorgeous. It was a team
                          > effort. One parent programs all day at work and goes
                          > home to do more
                          > programming because he wants to support his kid's
                          > school. Parents were
                          > also responsible for writing the content and
                          > researching the host. The
                          > PTA pays the hosting fees. We did it because we
                          > care.
                          >
                          > (5) When the district re-assigned our principal to
                          > another school, a
                          > group of parents petitioned the board to get her
                          > re-instated. We also
                          > spoke at numerous board meetings pleading for her
                          > return. They
                          > listened to us and asked her to come back. This will
                          > be her fifth year
                          > at Harding and she has consistenly striven to
                          > provide a safe and
                          > nurturing environment for students. I feel totally
                          > confident
                          > entrusting my son to her care.
                          >
                          > In essence, I think we have a real renaissance going
                          > on at our school
                          > and I'm sure there are other schools in this
                          > district with equally
                          > positive/inspiring stories to tell.
                          >
                          > Again, I don't agree with everything this district
                          > does or how they do
                          > it but I'm tired of hearing about all the problems
                          > all the time. Isn't
                          > there anything going on that people are proud of?
                          > Are we the only
                          > school doing great/wonderful things?
                          >
                          > I want some inspiration!
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Cathy Travlos
                          > <cbt@t...> wrote:
                          > > You're right. I was typing before my second cup of
                          > coffee. The
                          > delays at
                          > > Murphy impact the closure of El Sobrante.
                          > > Cathy
                          > >
                          > > At 09:58 AM 12/1/2004, you wrote:
                          > >
                          > > >The article talks about construction delays at
                          > Harding
                          > > >and MURPHY, I haven't heard anything about delays
                          > > >(that would impact us in the fall) at Madera.
                          > > >
                          > > >Sue Mertens
                          > > >Madera Parent
                          > > >
                          > > >--- Cathy Travlos <cbt@t...> wrote:
                          > > >
                          > > > > Article from today's West County Times on the
                          > > > > redistricting hearing. Now
                          > > > > that I've read what Kilmartin said, why on
                          > earth
                          > > > > didn't they figure this
                          > > > > out before they made that slick report at
                          > ECHS?
                          > > > > Shouldn't they have
                          > > > > realized that Valley View would be
                          > overcrowded?
                          > > > > Shouldn't they have figured
                          > > > > out the cost of portables? And shouldn't they
                          > have
                          > > > > realized that Harding
                          > > > > and Madera aren't going to be ready in the
                          > fall? We
                          > > > > paid these consultants
                          > > > > and administrators a ridiculous amount of
                          > money for
                          > > > > a report that seems to
                          > > > > have been incomplete and poorly researched.
                          > > > > Cathy
                          > > > >
                          > > > > Posted on Wed, Dec. 01, 2004
                          > > > >
                          > > > > School will go on at Olinda Elementary
                          > > > >
                          > > > > By Shirley Dang
                          > > > >
                          > > > > CONTRA COSTA TIMES
                          > > > >
                          > > > > Olinda Elementary School parents fretting over
                          > the
                          > > > > school's fate can rest
                          > > > > easy, at least for another year.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > After nearly two months of parent protest over
                          > a
                          > > > > proposed closure, West
                          > > > > Contra Costa school district administrators
                          > told the
                          > > > > school board Monday
                          > > > > that the El Sobrante school should remain open
                          > in
                          > > > > 2005-06.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > Associate Superintendent Vince Kilmartin also
                          > hinted
                          > > > > that two other schools
                          > > > > may fall off the four-campus hit list as well.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > The announcements drew applause from the
                          > audience at
                          > > > > Richmond High.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > "I'm really happy about it," said Rodger Eva,
                          > parent
                          > > > > of an Olinda
                          > > > > kindergartner and second-grader. "I see this
                          > as a
                          > > > > very constructive thing."
                          > > > >
                          > > > > In November, administrators recommended the
                          > school
                          > > > > board close four
                          > > > > elementary schools as part of redrawing
                          > boundaries
                          > > > > to adjust for falling
                          > > > > enrollment districtwide. If the board
                          > approves, 19
                          > > > > boundary lines will
                          > > > > shift, affecting 3,362 students, said
                          > demography
                          > > > > consultant Jamie King.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > Closing one campus saves about $250,000 a
                          > year. The
                          > > > > 33,000-student district
                          > > > > has a budget shortfall of approximately $7
                          > million
                          > > > > or 2.8 percent of the
                          > > > > $248 million general fund budget, said
                          > > > > Superintendent Gloria Johnston.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > Closed campuses could house a charter school
                          > or be
                          > > > > used for staff training.
                          > > > > The district also is seeking new sites for
                          > Gompers
                          > > > > and North Campus
                          > > > > continuation schools.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > As part of the proposed consolidations, Olinda
                          > > > > students would attend Valley
                          > > > > View elementary in El Sobrante. Fairmont
                          > Elementary
                          > > > > in El Cerrito would
                          > > > > send its students to Harding Elementary, also
                          > in El
                          > > > > Cerrito.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > El Sobrante Elementary students would go to
                          > Murphy
                          > > > > Elementary in El
                          > > > > Sobrante. Seaview Elementary in San Pablo
                          > would
                          > > > > split kids among Collins
                          > > > > and Shannon schools in Pinole.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > Kilmartin suggested Monday that transfer
                          > students be
                          > > > > allowed to stay at
                          > > > > their current school until graduating the
                          > highest
                          > > > > grade, which is the
                          > > > > district's current transfer policy.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > However, Kilmartin said, bringing all Olinda
                          > > > > students -- including
                          > > > > transfers -- to Valley View would overcrowd
                          > that
                          > > > > campus.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > The two schools combined would have an
                          > estimated 660
                          > > > > students, 169 more
                          > > > > than capacity, King said at a Nov. 15 parent
                          > > > > advisory committee meeting.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > That would require renting six portable
                          > classrooms
                          > > > > at a cost of about
                          > > > > $30,000 total, Kilmartin said.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > After reviewing figures with the board's
                          > facilities
                          > > > > subcommittee last week,
                          > > > > Kilmartin said staff fell in favor of keeping
                          > the
                          > > > > school open.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > "We were convinced that putting Olinda at
                          > Valley
                          > > > > View was not doable,"
                          > > > > Kilmartin said.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > In addition, Kilmartin said, the district may
                          > need
                          > > > > to delay plans to shut
                          > > > > Fairmont and El Sobrante due to reconstruction
                          > > > > delays at Harding and
                          > > > > Murphy. The buildings may not be ready to
                          > accept
                          > > > > more students in the fall,
                          > > > > Kilmartin said.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > Johnston said the district could combine the
                          > schools
                          > > > > but house higher
                          > > > > grades at one campus and younger students at
                          > another
                          > > > > until renovations are
                          > > > > complete. Remaining students could move to the
                          > new
                          > > > > school midyear.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > Board president Charles Ramsey dismissed the
                          > idea.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > "No. 1, the savings aren't there. Two, it
                          > doesn't
                          > > > > seem necessary. Three,
                          > > > > it's an inconvenience to everybody," Ramsey
                          > said.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > Administrators still recommend closing
                          > Seaview.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > The board is expected to vote on closures and
                          > new
                          > > > > boundary lines later this
                          > > > > month.
                          > > > > Reach Shirley Dang at 510-262-2798 or
                          > > > > sdang@c...
                          > > > >
                          > > > >
                          > > > >
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > >
                          > >__________________________________________________
                          > > >Do You Yahoo!?
                          > > >Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam
                          > protection around
                          > > >http://mail.yahoo.com
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > > >Yahoo! Groups Links
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >


                          __________________________________________________
                          Do You Yahoo!?
                          Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
                          http://mail.yahoo.com
                        • Sharon J.
                          Yep, no doubt about it. Community relations and the decision-making process need improvement in the WCCUSD, at SF Unified, and Oakland Unified. Every time I
                          Message 12 of 12 , Dec 3, 2004
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Yep, no doubt about it. Community relations and the decision-making
                            process need improvement in the WCCUSD, at SF Unified, and Oakland
                            Unified.

                            Every time I pick up a paper, teachers or parents are outraged by
                            what's going on in most of our urban school districts. Also, given the
                            lack of state funding, declining enrollment, and the increased
                            emphasis on "accountability", I can predict that there will always be
                            bad news to report for districts like ours.

                            My point is that it's easy to find bad news to report. You have to dig
                            a little deeper and be more creative to find good news because most
                            teachers, principals, and parent volunteers won't seek out the media
                            to share good news--they are just doing their jobs because they care
                            and don't have much interest in getting their stories told. And if we
                            don't tell their stories on the front page too, we are doing a
                            disservice to the community.




                            --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Eduardo Martinez <ezedmartin@y...>
                            wrote:
                            > Thank you for the inspirational newsflash. But as I
                            > read the items, I realized that they were about the
                            > parents and the community. The only reference to the
                            > District was in response to the actions of the
                            > parents. I do agree that the newspapers need to write
                            > more positive articles about the school district. If
                            > only the district could provide them the material by
                            > serving the public better than they have!
                            >
                            > Eduardo
                            >
                            > --- "Sharon J." <sj_jpm@u...> wrote:
                            >
                            > >
                            > > Regarding today's West County Times article. This is
                            > > one of many
                            > > negative story I've read about our district recently
                            > > and, speaking as
                            > > an elementary school parent, I'm tired of reading
                            > > that my son's school
                            > > district is heartless or incompetent or both, which
                            > > is the impression
                            > > I have from these articles.
                            > >
                            > > I have over 14 years experience in marketing/PR and
                            > > the recent
                            > > coverage of this district has been overwhelmingly
                            > > negative. I agree
                            > > with some of the board's decisions and disagree with
                            > > others but would
                            > > like to see more of a balance of negative and
                            > > positive stories.
                            > >
                            > > The papers are very good at announcing events and
                            > > putting in little
                            > > blurbs about school activities and I realize
                            > > negative stories will
                            > > always get more coverage but I wish occasionally we
                            > > would read some
                            > > in-depth positive stories about the students,
                            > > teachers, parents, and
                            > > schools in our district.
                            > >
                            > > Here are five stories you won't be reading about
                            > > this year (at least
                            > > not in any depth)--
                            > >
                            > > (1) We have a volunteer at Harding who taught for 22
                            > > years, retired,
                            > > and then comes back to the school almost every day
                            > > to help kids with
                            > > their reading. She also helped co-write a grant for
                            > > our school garden.
                            > > She is amazing.
                            > >
                            > > (2) We started the year with a "Back to School"
                            > > Community Picnic. Over
                            > > 100 parents and community members came out. There
                            > > were kids' game and
                            > > local merchants donated food: Restaurants and
                            > > grocery stores all said
                            > > yes to supporting a school in their community when
                            > > parents asked for
                            > > donations. Beyond that, many of them told us to be
                            > > sure to come back
                            > > again with additional requests. They like supporting
                            > > local schools. We
                            > > invited the media and they did come and the El
                            > > Cerrito Journal ran a
                            > > photo with a caption so we were grateful for that.
                            > >
                            > > (3) We conducted a tour for prospective parents this
                            > > November because
                            > > we figured that if people are checking out private
                            > > schools in the
                            > > Fall, they might appreciate the opportunity to take
                            > > a public school
                            > > tour too. Eighteen parents showed up on a weekday
                            > > morning to see what
                            > > we have to offer. Merchants donated food, parents
                            > > took time off work
                            > > to speak about their experiences at the school,
                            > > teachers let us
                            > > disrupt their classrooms by accommodating our tours,
                            > > and the principal
                            > > took time out of her busy schedule to patiently
                            > > answer parent
                            > > questions. Everyone had very positive things to say.
                            > > We invited the
                            > > media but as far as I know, they didn't come. I
                            > > guess a school working
                            > > hard to improve community relations isn't newsworthy
                            > > enough.
                            > >
                            > > (4) We recently launched a website and it's
                            > > gorgeous. It was a team
                            > > effort. One parent programs all day at work and goes
                            > > home to do more
                            > > programming because he wants to support his kid's
                            > > school. Parents were
                            > > also responsible for writing the content and
                            > > researching the host. The
                            > > PTA pays the hosting fees. We did it because we
                            > > care.
                            > >
                            > > (5) When the district re-assigned our principal to
                            > > another school, a
                            > > group of parents petitioned the board to get her
                            > > re-instated. We also
                            > > spoke at numerous board meetings pleading for her
                            > > return. They
                            > > listened to us and asked her to come back. This will
                            > > be her fifth year
                            > > at Harding and she has consistenly striven to
                            > > provide a safe and
                            > > nurturing environment for students. I feel totally
                            > > confident
                            > > entrusting my son to her care.
                            > >
                            > > In essence, I think we have a real renaissance going
                            > > on at our school
                            > > and I'm sure there are other schools in this
                            > > district with equally
                            > > positive/inspiring stories to tell.
                            > >
                            > > Again, I don't agree with everything this district
                            > > does or how they do
                            > > it but I'm tired of hearing about all the problems
                            > > all the time. Isn't
                            > > there anything going on that people are proud of?
                            > > Are we the only
                            > > school doing great/wonderful things?
                            > >
                            > > I want some inspiration!
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Cathy Travlos
                            > > <cbt@t...> wrote:
                            > > > You're right. I was typing before my second cup of
                            > > coffee. The
                            > > delays at
                            > > > Murphy impact the closure of El Sobrante.
                            > > > Cathy
                            > > >
                            > > > At 09:58 AM 12/1/2004, you wrote:
                            > > >
                            > > > >The article talks about construction delays at
                            > > Harding
                            > > > >and MURPHY, I haven't heard anything about delays
                            > > > >(that would impact us in the fall) at Madera.
                            > > > >
                            > > > >Sue Mertens
                            > > > >Madera Parent
                            > > > >
                            > > > >--- Cathy Travlos <cbt@t...> wrote:
                            > > > >
                            > > > > > Article from today's West County Times on the
                            > > > > > redistricting hearing. Now
                            > > > > > that I've read what Kilmartin said, why on
                            > > earth
                            > > > > > didn't they figure this
                            > > > > > out before they made that slick report at
                            > > ECHS?
                            > > > > > Shouldn't they have
                            > > > > > realized that Valley View would be
                            > > overcrowded?
                            > > > > > Shouldn't they have figured
                            > > > > > out the cost of portables? And shouldn't they
                            > > have
                            > > > > > realized that Harding
                            > > > > > and Madera aren't going to be ready in the
                            > > fall? We
                            > > > > > paid these consultants
                            > > > > > and administrators a ridiculous amount of
                            > > money for
                            > > > > > a report that seems to
                            > > > > > have been incomplete and poorly researched.
                            > > > > > Cathy
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > Posted on Wed, Dec. 01, 2004
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > School will go on at Olinda Elementary
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > By Shirley Dang
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > CONTRA COSTA TIMES
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > Olinda Elementary School parents fretting over
                            > > the
                            > > > > > school's fate can rest
                            > > > > > easy, at least for another year.
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > After nearly two months of parent protest over
                            > > a
                            > > > > > proposed closure, West
                            > > > > > Contra Costa school district administrators
                            > > told the
                            > > > > > school board Monday
                            > > > > > that the El Sobrante school should remain open
                            > > in
                            > > > > > 2005-06.
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > Associate Superintendent Vince Kilmartin also
                            > > hinted
                            > > > > > that two other schools
                            > > > > > may fall off the four-campus hit list as well.
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > The announcements drew applause from the
                            > > audience at
                            > > > > > Richmond High.
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > "I'm really happy about it," said Rodger Eva,
                            > > parent
                            > > > > > of an Olinda
                            > > > > > kindergartner and second-grader. "I see this
                            > > as a
                            > > > > > very constructive thing."
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > In November, administrators recommended the
                            > > school
                            > > > > > board close four
                            > > > > > elementary schools as part of redrawing
                            > > boundaries
                            > > > > > to adjust for falling
                            > > > > > enrollment districtwide. If the board
                            > > approves, 19
                            > > > > > boundary lines will
                            > > > > > shift, affecting 3,362 students, said
                            > > demography
                            > > > > > consultant Jamie King.
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > Closing one campus saves about $250,000 a
                            > > year. The
                            > > > > > 33,000-student district
                            > > > > > has a budget shortfall of approximately $7
                            > > million
                            > > > > > or 2.8 percent of the
                            > > > > > $248 million general fund budget, said
                            > > > > > Superintendent Gloria Johnston.
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > Closed campuses could house a charter school
                            > > or be
                            > > > > > used for staff training.
                            > > > > > The district also is seeking new sites for
                            > > Gompers
                            > > > > > and North Campus
                            > > > > > continuation schools.
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > As part of the proposed consolidations, Olinda
                            > > > > > students would attend Valley
                            > > > > > View elementary in El Sobrante. Fairmont
                            > > Elementary
                            > > > > > in El Cerrito would
                            > > > > > send its students to Harding Elementary, also
                            > > in El
                            > > > > > Cerrito.
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > El Sobrante Elementary students would go to
                            > > Murphy
                            > > > > > Elementary in El
                            > > > > > Sobrante. Seaview Elementary in San Pablo
                            > > would
                            > > > > > split kids among Collins
                            > > > > > and Shannon schools in Pinole.
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > Kilmartin suggested Monday that transfer
                            > > students be
                            > > > > > allowed to stay at
                            > > > > > their current school until graduating the
                            > > highest
                            > > > > > grade, which is the
                            > > > > > district's current transfer policy.
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > However, Kilmartin said, bringing all Olinda
                            > > > > > students -- including
                            > > > > > transfers -- to Valley View would overcrowd
                            > > that
                            > > > > > campus.
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > The two schools combined would have an
                            > > estimated 660
                            > > > > > students, 169 more
                            > > > > > than capacity, King said at a Nov. 15 parent
                            > > > > > advisory committee meeting.
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > That would require renting six portable
                            > > classrooms
                            > > > > > at a cost of about
                            > > > > > $30,000 total, Kilmartin said.
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > After reviewing figures with the board's
                            > > facilities
                            > > > > > subcommittee last week,
                            > > > > > Kilmartin said staff fell in favor of keeping
                            > > the
                            > > > > > school open.
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > "We were convinced that putting Olinda at
                            > > Valley
                            > > > > > View was not doable,"
                            > > > > > Kilmartin said.
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > In addition, Kilmartin said, the district may
                            > > need
                            > > > > > to delay plans to shut
                            > > > > > Fairmont and El Sobrante due to reconstruction
                            > > > > > delays at Harding and
                            > > > > > Murphy. The buildings may not be ready to
                            > > accept
                            > > > > > more students in the fall,
                            > > > > > Kilmartin said.
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > Johnston said the district could combine the
                            > > schools
                            > > > > > but house higher
                            > > > > > grades at one campus and younger students at
                            > > another
                            > > > > > until renovations are
                            > > > > > complete. Remaining students could move to the
                            > > new
                            > > > > > school midyear.
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > Board president Charles Ramsey dismissed the
                            > > idea.
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > "No. 1, the savings aren't there. Two, it
                            > > doesn't
                            > > > > > seem necessary. Three,
                            > > > > > it's an inconvenience to everybody," Ramsey
                            > > said.
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > Administrators still recommend closing
                            > > Seaview.
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > The board is expected to vote on closures and
                            > > new
                            > > > > > boundary lines later this
                            > > > > > month.
                            > > > > > Reach Shirley Dang at 510-262-2798 or
                            > > > > > sdang@c...
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > >
                            > > > >
                            > > > >
                            > > >
                            > > >__________________________________________________
                            > > > >Do You Yahoo!?
                            > > > >Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam
                            > > protection around
                            > > > >http://mail.yahoo.com
                            > > > >
                            > > > >
                            > > > >
                            > > > >
                            > > > >Yahoo! Groups Links
                            > > > >
                            > > > >
                            > > > >
                            > > > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            >
                            >
                            > __________________________________________________
                            > Do You Yahoo!?
                            > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
                            > http://mail.yahoo.com
                          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.