Clayton Valley Charter High School Will Not Increase Enrollment for 2014-2015 School Year

March 24, 2014 13:12 pm · 67 comments

Clayton Valley Charter High School (CVCHS) in Concord had plans to increase enrollment for the 2014-2015 school year, but those plans have been placed on hold for at least another year.

CVCHS Executive Director David Linzey says their plan to add portable classrooms in the back of the school where the Clayton Valley Little League baseball fields are located has not been approved by the Mt. Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD). The plan would increase enrollment by about 300 students.

“We do not have the approval from the MDUSD to add portable classrooms on our campus. This is very disheartening to say the least, as there are so many deserving students who desire to attend our great high school”, Linzey said.

MDUSD School Board Member Brian Lawrence says he can’t speak for the rest of board, but can say he’s personally committed to working with the charter school.

“At our March 12th meeting the MDUSD Board unanimously approved 4 items regarding the improvement of CVCHS facilities.

The improvement of the athletic facilities has been a long time need and MDUSD and CVCHS staff are working together in a very productive manner. Pat Mittendorf, Director of Operations and Special Ed at CVCHS, was at the March 12th meeting and graciously praised the collaboration.

Regarding the portable classrooms, the charter school director and its attorney met with District staff. District staff raised some practical and legal concerns. The Board has not yet been presented with a comprehensive plan or the design of the relocatable classrooms. The Board would need that before it could even be placed on the agenda for consideration. At this point, no decision or vote has occurred.”

Linzey says CVCHS will move forward with plans to increase enrollment and add additional classrooms for the 2015-2016 school year. “They (the MDUSD) do not control enrollment but do control our ability to add classrooms. Yes we will push forward with our efforts to gain additional classrooms.”

RELATED STORY: Clayton Community Park, Boatwright Field to Temporarily House Clayton Valley Little League

{ 67 comments }

1 rkt88 March 24, 2014 at 1:21 PM

hmmmm…what does this mean for the baseball fields and CV little league?

2 anon March 24, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Am I right in thinking that this is still a “home” school to those in the area and then they run a lottery for the rest of the spaces?

3 CLAYCORD.com March 24, 2014 at 1:28 PM

CVLL will no longer play there, despite the change in plans for CVCHS. CVLL has secured temporary spots for this year, and they are looking for permanent spots for the following year.

Please see this story: http://claycord.com/2014/02/13/clayton-community-park-boatwright-field-to-temporarily-house-clayton-valley-little-league/

4 CVCHS Parent March 24, 2014 at 1:38 PM

@ anon #2 – yes this is my understanding although there has been an uptick in transfer requests to our school which they have been able to accommodate.

Personally, I am fine with this as the school shouldn’t be in too much of a rush to grow the student body without studying the impact on neighborhoods, traffic and most importantly existing student resources. I understand the leadership wanting to open it up and make it available to students who will actually take advantage of the curriculum and WANT to learn but let’s take our time and do it right.

5 Crankcord Doug March 24, 2014 at 1:45 PM

What is it about the Mt. Diablo Unified School District? Why are they so content on denying high-quality education to the students of this area?

6 Waiting patiently March 24, 2014 at 1:51 PM

My thoughts are if MDUSD has over 350 kids that don’t want to be part of their school distrcit and want to be at CV what does that say about them. They need to do something!!!!!!!

7 David March 24, 2014 at 1:51 PM

Think about the change in these 300 students lives… better education leads to better college, better college leads to better jobs, better jobs lead to better lives… all of this denied by the pettiness of Mount Diablo Unified School District.

8 also March 24, 2014 at 2:22 PM

@6
They do not necessarily live in the district as CVCHS did not become a charter school through the district.

9 MDUSD Grad March 24, 2014 at 2:39 PM

Why does CVCHS need MDUSD approval? I thought he benefit of going charter was that they wouldn’t need to go through this whole process with the district

10 ANNONeeemoose March 24, 2014 at 2:44 PM

MDUSD Grad, they don’t necessarily need approval from MDUSD for more students, but they are “leasing” the campus, therefore they need approval to build more buildings and to change the site. Just like if you rented a house and wanted to build an addition or add a shed. YOu’d need landlord approval. That’s why MDUSD is involved.

11 Maestra March 24, 2014 at 2:58 PM

MDUSD still owns the property and the school rents the buildings from them. So CVCHS can’t make any changes to the campus without approval from Mt Diablo district.

12 Just Some Guy March 24, 2014 at 3:23 PM

Man this Linzey guy seems like a total whiner.

“We’re so upset that the MDUSD Board didn’t approve this request when we didn’t actually file a plan or provide designs for the relocation. Why can’t you just trust us man!”

Is this is the level of personal accountability and critical thinking they’re teaching at CVCHS?

13 Michelle March 24, 2014 at 3:40 PM

The district still owns the property, but it seems like CVCHS it pushig towards the lottery system. This is a good thing, to weed out all of the bad seeds. But, Yes, many parents want their students to go there–but the students are not sure of the overall outcomee. Still some just go there just to say they went, but others will take the chance on it being just the best thing for them.

14 Time to replace the entire March 24, 2014 at 3:54 PM

school board with people not bound hand in glove to the current top heavy administration and teachers union.

Get out and vote. Vote the current people out.

15 Nobody Else March 24, 2014 at 3:57 PM

CVCHS doesn’t have enough parking for anymore students at the school, kids are parking on streets where they shouldn’t be parking. This area is not the place for more traffic. Thanks to the city who would not open Academy road to Ayers road when they had the chance to years age when a housing project was built at the far end of Academy road. The city thought it was more advantages to close Academy Road and box in the neighborhood so we could not get in or out when the school let out, and thanks to the school district for creating this mess by doing away with school buses so now we have hundreds of cars dropping of and picking up students in the morning and afternoon.

16 Lari March 24, 2014 at 4:18 PM

@Nobody Else: we live in the neighborhood and while we supported the move to a charter school, I was nervous when I first read about the expansion because traffic has become more intense in the mornings (I’m not there in the afternoons, but know it’s just as bad). So many cars are now driving into our development/causing more congestion just to pull U-turns and it takes so long to get out onto Alberta every morning. I’ve often wondered why they don’t have another way in (Ayers), so thanks for that bit of history.

17 ANNONeeemoose March 24, 2014 at 5:24 PM

Nobody Else, please quote me a city code or ordinance that says students “shouldn’t be” parking on a public street. Please.

18 Another CVCHS Parent March 24, 2014 at 5:26 PM

I used to live next to an elementary school, I sympathize with the school neighbors getting boxed in and stuck on their street. The traffic at drop off and pick up is a zoo. The right turn only signs are largely ignored. Traffic would flow better if everyone calmed down and read the traffic signs.

I wonder if the traffic flow problem could be a project for the CVCHS Engineering Acadamy….

19 CVCHS Parent Too March 24, 2014 at 5:59 PM

I have to say that I agree with MDUSD at this point. I attended a CVCHS Board study session regarding expansion. I didn’t feel like they had much of a plan at all. I was shocked to realize that the charter wanted to accommodate kids from a growing wait list of 300+ freshman (not counting the 500+ community students already enrolled) to have a giant class of incoming freshman. Yes, they want to grow, but in my opinion, they still have room for improvement with their current student body before they should even consider growing. Not once during the study session did I hear what positive things for the current study body would come from adding this many students all at once. They briefly talked about staggering arrival and dismissal times, holding multiple lunch periods and having three school rallies (vs. two they already have). To me, this doesn’t speak of a school community, but a mega school, which they don’t have space for, parking for, not to mention safety for. When I asked my child currently at CVCHS about her opinion regarding adding more students, her reply “it’s already so crowded at school”. I’m beginning to re-think sending my younger children to their “home” school, which is unfortunate, especially since the charter is doing some great things. School size and community is an important piece of the decision process for me as a parent.

20 ANNONeeemoose March 24, 2014 at 6:15 PM

CV needs to stop, slow down, review what is working now, and not just amongst themselves but with school families involved. I don’t recall being asked about expansion and how I feel with 3 kids there now. I don’t recall being asked if we’re even happy there. Has anyone been asked by an administrator if they’re happy? In fact, have you tried to get in touch with a counselor or other administrator and get any sort of timely response? They are too busy as it is. They need to go back to basics, and concentrate on refining and perfecting the great thing they could have without careful study and launching on an expansion that isn’t assured of providing a more quality education. Quantity does not equal quality.

21 LauraS March 24, 2014 at 6:20 PM

CVCHS Parent Too, MDUSD was letting parents in the CVCHS attendance area enroll their children in any MDUSD high school they want as long as there is room. You might be able to place your children at Northgate HS if that’s still the policy. That’s a better school than CVCHS. Score!

I haven’t heard anything that makes me think increasing the CVCHS enrollment will provide any benefit to the students who live in the CV attendence area. I’d be very curious to know where those extra kids are coming from. My guess is that some are from YVHS. I bet a lot of others are from Pittsburg. CVHS always had a lot of kids from Pittsburg who used relatives addresses to cheat the system and get in when they didn’t belong there.

22 @ANNONeeemoose March 24, 2014 at 6:47 PM

It’s and easy process to have the neighborhood homeowners request that parking be by permit. Several streets around the HS are that way now. You can only get a permit if you live there.

23 RunDogRun March 24, 2014 at 7:10 PM

“better education leads to better college, better college leads to better jobs, better jobs lead to better lives…”

You have based your conclusion “better lives”
on a faulty premise “better education …” In fact,
much of what qualifies a student for admission
to better colleges has very little to do with
their education and everything to do with their
personal motivation, participation in extra-curricular
activities, volunteer activities, etc., etc., ad nauseum.
What you have stated is an overworked and passe
fallacy.

24 claycordian March 24, 2014 at 7:39 PM

There is a rumor going around the school district that the main reason that CV wants to increase their enrollment by another 300 students is that this will put them over a threshold which will allow them to steal even more money from the rest of the MDSUD schools. This appears to be the motivation behind the enrollment increase. Will this lead to even more miscreants hanging out at Luckys after school?

25 ANNONeeemoose March 24, 2014 at 8:15 PM

Yah #22 I’d have to believe it was that “easy” that they would’ve done it by now as that neighborhood has been complaining about the same thing for years. SO far nothing is different. Sooooooo, other than the fact enrollment “might” be increased in the future, nothing is different now and they are still complaining> I guess they better get on that “easy” process.

26 Lari March 24, 2014 at 9:31 PM

@ANNONeeemoose: as someone else just replied, our neighborhood requires permits to park in the street during the day. You’ll see all the No parking signs in the area. From what I understand, before they did that the street parking was a mess from the school and then kids would eat, smoke, drink in their cars during lunch, etc. and throw all their litter around. I’m glad I never had to experience that.

27 @CVCHS Parent Too #19 March 24, 2014 at 11:04 PM

They wanted to add an additional 300 FRESHMEN????? That means that in 4 years they will have increased the enrollment by 1200. That’s CRAZY!!!! There’s no way that neighborhood can accommodate that many more kids being dropped off and picked up or parking for that many more teachers and kids. Imagine how many more portables they would have to bring in. They will have destroyed a perfectly fine neighborhood school by turning it into some megaschool bringing in students from God knows where. For what purpose???? A school that big is not good for students.

28 LauraS March 24, 2014 at 11:13 PM

Putting parking restrictions in more neighborhoods around the school won’t solve the problem. It just pushes the problem into other neighborhoods that don’t have the restrictions.

If CVCHS increases enrollment, the parking and traffic problems will be much worse because all of those students will come from outside CVCHS’s boundaries. They’ll all be either driven by their parents or drive themselves and park in the surrounding neighborhoods because the school doesn’t have enough parking as it is.

Don’t blame MDUSD for CV not having school buses. They’re no longer part of MDUSD. CVCHS could have school buses if it wanted to. They make their own decisions now.

29 Waiting list Parent March 25, 2014 at 12:10 AM

I agree with the comment from #6. MDUSD does need to look at the education they are providing and why so many people want there kids elsewhere. The first 300 people are students who are in the MDUSD. Any number after 300 is ouside the school district. What that tells me is there are at least 300 parents saying Mt. Diablo we don’t want you to provide a education to our kids for the most formidable time of their life prior to becoming an adult…Just a though.

30 Poon March 25, 2014 at 5:52 AM

I’m gonna do you all a solid…I’m sending my kids to DLS.

31 Get Real March 25, 2014 at 10:18 AM

Parents are willing to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars more for a house to get their children into a particular MDUSD school: Northgate HS. I live in the CVCHS boundaries. A house practically identical to mine sells for hundreds of thousands more if it’s in the Northgate HS boundaries. It’s not about CVCHS providing a better education than MDUSD schools. It doesn’t. It’s about getting your child into a school with a higher socioeconomic class of families. That’s what defines “better” in the educational world. That’s why the WC families who live in the Oak Grove/YVHS boundaries periodically argue to get their neighborhoods put into the Northgate attendance area. They don’t want their children going to school with the poor Hispanics from the Monument Blvd area. CVCHS will never be as good as Northgate unless it kicks out all the low income families that live in the apartments that line Clayton Rd and the crappy old subdivisions that feed into it.

32 @ANNONeemoose March 25, 2014 at 10:50 AM

The people in charge at CVCHS don’t care what parents think. Why do you think there are only two parent seats on the nine member governing board? Why do school employees have twice as many seats? More than twice as many if you count the seat reserved for a former school employee.

33 Another CVCHS Parent too March 25, 2014 at 10:56 AM

I agree with #20. My child is currently enrolled at CVCHS, it is our home school. My child is a junior and has never met with his counselor. Emails to counselors go unanswered. Certain staff members are extremely condescending to the students. This I have witnessed. I think staff needs to step back and ask the CVCHS community what is working and what is not. Then if you want to expand, take over Mt Diablo High School and rename it CVCHS #2.

34 Silva March 25, 2014 at 11:01 AM

@Poon; I LOVE your handle!

35 Northgate Resident March 25, 2014 at 1:23 PM

@ Get Real
I’m pulling my two children out of Northgate and Foothill because they are not getting a good education. My daughter’s teachers at Northgate go through the motions – she has written one essay the entire year in her junior English class and her history teacher doesn’t teach history. My younger daughter at Foothill is terribly frustrated. She tells us that they spend a lot of time watching movies.

There was a movement at Northgate for a charter which interested us but but wheb we’ve found that it was the brainchild of a small group of parents, the former supt of MDUSD, and the current principal we lost interest Ironically, the same superintendent and principal vehemently opposed the CVCHS conversion. They need to worry about what is going on now at NHS rather than about some pie in the sky charter scheme

Add to this the NHS principal has been getting payments from the parent’s club to run a student club – what a racket! Finally, under the principal’s watch the school’s scores have dropped significantly.

Next stop – Carondelet or Berean Christian

36 Anon March 25, 2014 at 1:44 PM

at #27:
You need to account for the outgoing senior class so it would NOT be 1200 additional students over 4hrs.

37 @anon 36 March 25, 2014 at 2:32 PM

Yes it would be an additional 1200 students at CVCHS after four years if they increase the freshmen class by 300. The first year it would only be 300 additional students at the school. The second year those additional students would still be there as sophomores, plus the new freshman class would again take 300 more than it has today, for a grand total of 600 more kids than the school has today. By the end of 4 years, the school will have 1200 more students than it does today because there will be 300 more students in each of the four classes.

38 fritzer March 25, 2014 at 2:43 PM

It’s not worth it to increase the enrollment size. If there are too many kids, the number of administrators would have to be increase and costs would accrue all around. Out the yang yang.

39 MDUSD Parent March 25, 2014 at 2:43 PM

It sounds like there are some unhappy parents at CVCHS. Have you gone to a governing board meeting and let them know what you think? Maybe you can get together and find some parent who agrees with you to run for a seat on the governing board. I bet there are a lot of parents who aren’t in favor of expanding it and are just as frustrated as you are. Same thing applies to the neighbors of the school. Go to a governing board meeting and tell them how you feel about expanding the school. You don’t have any way to elect anyone to the board, but you can let your opinions be known. Your taxes pay for it and it’s your neighborhood school. Speak up!

40 Really?!? March 25, 2014 at 3:50 PM

To those complaining about traffic.
Don’t live near a school!!!

Let’s compromise kids futures just because it’s inconvenient for you.
Self centered jerks.

41 MDUSD Parent March 25, 2014 at 5:04 PM

#40, the people complaining bought houses near a neighborhood school. But now it’s a charter school bringing in many students from outside the school’s attendance boundaries. The school wants to expand even more and bring in hundreds more from outside the school’s traditional attendance area. All of those kids will have to be driven to school because they don’t live near the school. It’s no longer the neighborhood high school it was when these people bought their houses. It’s now a charter school with aspirations of becoming a much larger school. The neighbors have every reason to be annoyed and concerned.

No child’s future is being compromised if the school doesn’t expand to bring in students from outside the attendance area. They all have a place in another school. If a parent really feels that their child’s future will be compromised if they don’t attend CVCHS, they are free to move into the school’s attendance area.

42 anon March 25, 2014 at 7:07 PM

Someone earlier said it best. 300 freshman equals 1200 more kids in 4 years. That could be 1200 more cars at 8am. Is that being a good neighbor or is there some other motive going on?

43 Lari March 25, 2014 at 7:25 PM

@Really?!? – as @MDUSD Parent just wrote, we are concerned about CVCHS expanding to a much larger school. And it’s not just the traffic I’m concerned about; it’s the students. Some have already opined on this board that there are too many students as is. If CVCHS wants to maintain the great scores they are boasting now, they need to reel in what seems to me to be premature aspirations. Take care of students (and the grounds) that are there now.

44 VOUCHERS YES UNIONS NO March 25, 2014 at 9:08 PM

Government indoctrination centers aka: union public schools can’t stand the thought of people having a choice! Those 350 interdistrict tranfer students would have cost the other government indoctrination center aka union run public schools $35 per student who left their local school and came to CV. Heaven forbid those union teachers don’t get their fat penions! Public schools are a joke. So many of us pay property tax and still send our kids to private school because we find the public school system so unacceptable.

Those 350 students were genuinely looking for a better school. CV is improving under its charter. The dictators at MDUSD don’t want to see a charter school succeed.

My suggestion to the 350 families who won’t be able to have their kid at CV is to stop voting for democrats who are owned by the teachers union. Democrats claim they look out for the little guy but really they look out for their union pals! And of course MDUSD doesn’t want anyone to have a better school. They would much rather prefer “equality.” Of course here the definition of equality is everyone is sentenced to the same low quality education of government indoctrination centers aka union run public schools. If ever there was a case for vouchers this is it folks!!! Stop voting for democrat politicians who not pro-school choice!!!

45 MDUSD Parent March 25, 2014 at 10:55 PM

#44, CVCHS teachers are unionized, too. In fact it was the unionized teachers who converted CVHS to a charter school. State law allows teachers to convert their school to a charter if the majority of them sign a petition stating that they want to do it. One of their stated reasons for converting to a charter was to give themselves better salaries and benefits than they were receiving as MDUSD employees. One of their other stated reasons was to be able to run the school as they, the teachers, saw fit, without having any interference from district or site administrators.

The unionized teachers were responsible for writing the charter documents that govern the operation of the school. The teachers decided on the composion of the governing board. They chose to create a nine member board with four seats reserved for school employees and one seat reserved for a retired teacher, giving employee interests a majority on the board. CVCHS parents have only two seats on the board. The board members select two people from the community at large to fill the remaining two seats.

If you, an MDUSD parent, don’t like the way the school board is running MDUSD, you can campaign and vote against every one of the board members and get new people on the board to run the school district. If you, the taxpayer and community member, don’t like the way the MDUSD board is running the district, you can campaign and vote against every one of the board members and elect new people to run the district.

But if you are a a CVCHS parent who doesn’t like the way the CVCHS board is running the school, you can only vote for or against two out of the nine board members. You can’t touch the other seven. If you don’t have any children at the school but are concerned as a taxpayer and community member, you are out of luck. You don’t get to vote for any of the CVCHS board members, even though it’s your neighborhood public school funded by tax dollars.

No vouchers are required to attend CVCHS or any other charter school. They are funded by taxes. The don’t charge tuition. They are free to attend.

46 Naenae March 25, 2014 at 11:11 PM

CV Charter High School is cutting out Wood shop class next year. Due to many reasons that seem logical. But I still disagree. A lot of the engineering and computer and writing skills in todays business age is sent to cheaper labor over seas. You can’t hire a carpenter from over seas. They have to be in the neighborhood.

47 Naenae March 25, 2014 at 11:12 PM

CV eyes are bigger than their stomach. They better focus on the kids that are struggling with their current academics now! Not take on more than they can handle.

48 Naenae March 25, 2014 at 11:13 PM

Kids in the CV Charter School boundary can opt to attend Northgate and other schools.

49 Littlebit March 25, 2014 at 11:21 PM

@Naenae #47
I think that’s the whole point.

50 Suzanne March 25, 2014 at 11:22 PM

@Naenae #47
I’m sure that’s the whole point.

51 Waiting list Parent March 25, 2014 at 11:23 PM

#41 you say move into the school area. It’s not that easy. CVCHS offers something a lot of schools don’t and that is the academies. In the south we called them magnet schools. These type of programs offer students the opportunity to “test the waters” of what may be further career opportunities. Example you have a student who thinks they want to be a doctor. Well if that child is granted the chance to be part of the medical academy they may determine this isn’t the career choice I thought I wanted. This can potentially avoid a lot of wasted time in college. So you avoid that student after 3 years of college deciding to change their major. I know this may seem like a stretch but the academies are one of the reasons I want my student at CVCHS.

52 @Waiting List Parent #51 March 26, 2014 at 12:50 AM

Waiting List Parent, All MDUSD high schools have academies and pathway programs that allow students to explore different career options. There is nothing unique about CVCHS’s programs. Check out this list from MDUSD, then go to each school’s website for more information.

http://www.mdusd.org/Departments/Pages/career-integrated-academics.aspx

53 Come On March 26, 2014 at 8:06 AM

THE ACADEMICS ARE NOT ANY BETTER THAN BEFORE the conversion. Now the school has the freedom to boot low performing students so their test results don’t reflect poorly on the charter. With little to no special ed and no form of continuation school, outside of the cyber high reserved mostly for student athletes, students struggling are just dropped to another local school. Let any school cut the botom 15% of their scores and lets see if they too can “break records and set standards”

54 Denise March 26, 2014 at 8:49 AM

@MDUSD Parent #41

“No child’s future is being compromised if the school doesn’t expand to bring in students from outside the attendance area. They all have a place in another school.”

I don’t agree with this. Many parents who live in the school boundaries of MDHS, YVHS, or possibly Concord High don’t feel like these school provide a good education. These parents can apply for a transfer to Northgate or College Park, but many of the applicants for these transfers are denied and many parents are not left with any good options.

Also, although Northgate students generally score well on standardized tests due to the high socioeconomic status of the students, it is not necessarily a great idea to transfer into that school, as it is part of the dysfunctional district. Last year, the district miscalculated and let in too many transfer students to Northgate, and they were not able to provide any science classes to many of the students as the science classrooms were all full.

Personally, I think it would benefit many transfer students if CVCHS could expand. The school is very well run, and they would hire new teachers so I don’t think the existing students education would be compromised in any way. However, I am very concerned about the effect on traffic in the area, as it is already quite bad.

55 Denise March 26, 2014 at 8:55 AM

@53

“Now the school has the freedom to boot low performing students so their test results don’t reflect poorly on the charter. ”

CVCHS has not been booting low performing students, and it is outrageous to suggest they have been booting 15% of their students when you have no evidence whatsoever of this. It is simply untrue.

Not every low performing student is succeeding at CVCHS. However, there are many things they are doing to try and help low performing students succeed, including Saturday school for students who are not passing, as well as extra school during the breaks. The biggest difference that I see between CVCHS and the district schools is that the CVCHS are no longer discouraged by the dysfunctional district, and are trying very hard to make the school successful.

56 Former CV Parent March 26, 2014 at 9:42 AM

My daughter was in an a academy before CVHS converted to a charter. It was a worthless experience and she dropped out of the academy after two years. There was almost no differentiation of curriculum from the rest of the school except for one elective class that they could take if they wanted. All they did in that class was do service projects like serving food to rhe teachers at a teacher appreciation lunch. Total waste of time. There was an application process to get into the academy so the teachers running it selected only the “good” kids. The academy classes were English and one other class each year that the kids took together. That meant you had to take those classes the only periods they were offered. What happened if you wanted to take a band class that was only offered that period or an AP or honors class that was only offered that period? You couldn’t take it. There was so little benefit to being in the academy that it didn’t overcome the negatives, so she dropped out of it after her sophomore year, as did quite a few other students. They wanted to be able to take the classes they needed/wanted for college without being constrained by having to schedule around the academy classes. It became a real problem for juniors and seniors because a lot of the more advanced classes are offered only one or two periods during the day.

I’ve talked to parents who are currently at CVCHS and they’ve told me the academies aren’t any better than they were when my kids were there. The Arts Academy has a long history at Clayton Valley. At one time it was considered a real jewel. But I hear it’s not that good anymore. Programs like that are only as good as the teachers leading them, so when the original teachers that had a real passion for them leave, the programs go down hill.

To the parent who wants to get her child into CVCHS because of the academies, they’re not what you think they are. They are nothing like the magnet schools you are familiar with. The same types of programs are available at all high schools in MDUSD. There’s nothing special about CVCHS in regards to academies and pathways.

57 Come On March 26, 2014 at 10:03 AM

yes they are booting low performing kids yes I know it for a fact, my brother teaches at another high school and started mentioning it at the beginning of the year.

58 @Denise March 26, 2014 at 10:11 AM

CVHS had Saturday school before it became a charter.

I agree that the school made more of an effort to help low performing students after it became a charter. Some of that was an altruistic attempt by some teachers to do the right thing. However, from talking to staff members, I know that part of it was because they were afraid of losing those students and the ADA dollars that came with them. This was before they had a waiting list. Now that they have a waiting list they are changing their policies to make it easier to kick out the low performers because they can be replaced with students from the waiting list. For example, they have changed their policies to make it easier to kick out students who skip school a lot.

As far as that big improvement in test scores, anyone who has had a child at Clayton Valley knows that the school had a big problem with students not taking the STAR tests seriously because the results didn’t affect them. The big rise in test scores the first year was due to the fact that as charter school it is freer to motivate students by bribery and threats to take the test seriously. For example, they offered trips to Santa Cruz for high scoring classes.

STAR/ API scores are not the only methods used to measure how well a school is educating students. Another measure is based on an analysis of data from the high school exit exam. That is a test students have always taken seriously and is therefore less able to be manipulated. By that measure, there was no improvement in student achievement at the school. But the school administration isn’t publicizing those results.

59 Tell The Truth March 26, 2014 at 11:14 AM

@ come on #57 -
You and your brother are both liars. Probably come from a long line of liars too.
Come back when you have more than “hear-say”, liar.

60 @MDUSD Parent #41 March 26, 2014 at 11:26 AM

It is hard to take your statement seriously “No child’s future is being compromised if the school doesn’t expand to bring in students from outside the attendance area. They all have a place in another school.” For Walnut Creeker’s who live in the Oak Grove/YV area, being offered Title 1 schools is completely unacceptable. Our middle class family has gladly sacrificed for tuition to excellent private lower schools, and guess this will have to continue at the high school level, if CVCHS not allowed to expand. Rumor has it you can’t get AP classes at Northgate, essential for top university placement.

61 Denise March 26, 2014 at 11:50 AM

@57
I have a child at CVCHS, and I personally know some very low performing students. I have not heard of a single student being booted from the school. However, if they are regularly skipping school, in my opinion, they should be booted.

@58
My child attends CVCHS. He says the biggest difference between CVCHS and the district schools he previously attended is that all of his teachers at CVCHS actually are trying and actually care.

@60
I agree. If a student transfers to Northgate and is unable to get placed in a science class because of overcrowding, that could put them at a disadvantage when applying for college. Being able to get into the right classes is so vital for college applications.

62 Come On March 26, 2014 at 11:52 AM

its cool just blast the person telling the truth…close your eyes…it will all be better,

ps they do take low performing kids that play sports so I guess it all balances out

63 MDUSD Parent March 26, 2014 at 12:14 PM

#60, you made the choice to live in the attendance area for YVHS knowing that it pulls from a low income area in Concord as well as a middle class WC neighborhood. Nobody forced you to do that. You are free to move to another neighborhood if you don’t like the school there. For what you probably paid for your house in WC, you could have bought a house in the Concord HS or CVHS boundaries. There are many relatively inexpensive houses and condos in those areas, as well as many relatively inexpensive apartments to rent.

I know families whose children attended Northgate and had no problem taking AP classes. Maybe they were slammed this year by families taking the opportunity to transfer out of CVCHS and into higher rated Northgate. If that’s the case, they’ll probably alter their class mix next year to provide more AP sections.

64 @MDUSD Parent #63 March 26, 2014 at 12:45 PM

@MDUSD Parent #63

“Maybe they were slammed this year by families taking the opportunity to transfer out of CVCHS and into higher rated Northgate”

That is not what happened. There were at most 25 students who chose to attend Northgate but lived in the CVCHS school boundaries, and these students were all let in to attend Northgate. On top of that, the district decided to let in at least 45 additional students from other attendance areas. Due to a lack of proper planning, they let in more students than they could properly accommodate.

Hopefully they will not make the same mistake again at Northgate and let in too many students, but fixing the problem is not just a matter of altering the class mix next year. Laboratory science classes are limited by the amount of lab space at a school. Each lab can only accommodate so many students, and they can’t just crowd more students into a lab. I have not heard of any plans to build more labs on the site.

65 Tippi March 26, 2014 at 1:23 PM

@Another CVCHS Parent too… I agree, I know of a few parents who have had to be in touch with councelors because of teacher issues and there has been improvement which is great, but why the need for so many complaints? I don’t think CVCHS is aware of how many parents/students are unhappy with the teaching staff, especially freshman teachers. One of the program differences I do see is the much larger discussion of college directly to students, the academic plan that is individually worked out with each student starting freshman year.
However parking and driving is a joke here, my child has almost been hit once, I have witnessed a car full of teens/young adults pick up a student the drive about 35 mph through the crosswalks almost taking down students crossing,
there should be a police officer here at all drop off and pick up times period!!!

66 MDUSD Parent March 26, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Interesting #64, I wonder if CVCHS took things like that into consideration when the decided to increase enrollment by 300. If increasing enrollment by 70 caused such problems at Northgate, imagine what 300 could do. It seemed to be a spur of the moment decision at CVCHS. The fact that they didn’t have detailed facility plans to present to MDUSD is a bad sign. Perhaps MDUSD did CVCHS a favor by turning down their request. Judging by some of the comments posted here by CVCHS parents, they’re having some issues handling the number of students they have today.

67 @MDUSD Parent March 26, 2014 at 1:33 PM

“No child’s future is being compromised if the school doesn’t expand to bring in students from outside the attendance area.” How about the future of a child from a low income family that can not afford to move outside the boundaries of YVHS or MDHS, is on the wait-list for CVCHS, and has been denied a transfer to the other district high schools?

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