SCUSD Observer

Sacramento, California

Archive for the ‘Lisbon’ Category

Most of That Has Died Down

In today’s Bee, a story by Melody Gutierrez reports that SCUSD students who are having their school closed next fall get a choice about where to attend next year. A special open enrollment period for those students (which began on Monday) ends today.

Toward the end of the article, Associate Superintendent Mary Hardin-Young is quoted.

District trustees voted April 16 to close the four schools because of budget cuts, which prompted anger among parents and concern from school site staff.

Hardin Young said most of that has died down.

Written by scusdobserver

May 6, 2009 at 1:22 pm

They would not listen, they’re not listening still. Perhaps they never will…

Regarding last night’s agenda and school closures, specifically, here’s how it went down: the decision to close Mark Hopkins Elementary will be put off for one year.

All of the other elementary schools slated for shut down; Thomas Jefferson, Alice Birney, Lisbon and the one high school, G.E.N.E.S.I.S., will close their doors to SCUSD students in mid-June, 2009.

Here are the votes:

Alice Birney closure: Bell (no), Grimes (no), Rodriguez (yes), Arroyo (yes), Kennedy (yes), Houseman (yes), Terry (yes)

G.E.N.E.S.I.S. closure: Bell (yes), Grimes (yes), Rodriguez (no), Arroyo (yes), Kennedy (yes), Houseman (yes), Terry (yes)

Lisbon closure: Bell (no), Grimes (no), Rodriguez (no), Arroyo (yes), Kennedy (yes), Houseman (yes), Terry (yes)

Jefferson closure: Bell (yes), Grimes (yes), Rodriguez (no), Arroyo (yes), Kennedy (yes), Houseman (yes), Terry (yes)

Written by scusdobserver

April 17, 2009 at 1:27 pm

Closing Lisbon Elementary: Why?

Taken from the district’s Website:

Lisbon Elementary School is located in the Pocket area of Sacramento, near Windbridge Drive. One of the newest schools in the district, Lisbon offers a variety of programs including K-1 classes, GATE classes, a Children’s Center (daycare) and an active PTA. The school has a full computer lab and the finest elementary school library in the district .

Lisbon serves a diversity of children through the regular program and through special needs services. There is one resource specialist teacher who serves RSP students and one Special Day Class for intermediate students. Students with academic or behavior problems are referred to a Special Student Study Team. This team may be composed of the RSP teacher, the child’s classroom teacher, the psychologist and one or two other classroom teachers. This team recommends interventions that might assist the child in making progress.

The Hawk Helper program allows students the opportunity to work for a teacher, plant manager or principal as a classroom helper, safety patrol member or conflict manager.

SCUSD management has recommended that Lisbon be included in the 2009-10 closure/consolidation plan. The district plans to parcel out Lisbon’s population to MLK, Jr. K-8 or Matsuyama Elementary.

What happens to the best elementary library in the district, the full computer lab, and more importantly, the RSP students when their neighborhood school shuts its doors?

How much money will be saved and what are the emotional and educational costs associated with depriving this community of its school?

Written by scusdobserver

April 8, 2009 at 2:30 pm

All the Little Ones…

At last night’s school board meeting, a heartbreaking parade of teachers, parents and students voiced their concerns about school closures. Thomas Jefferson, Lisbon, Old Marshall School, Genesis High School, Mark Hopkins, and Alice Birney are recommended to be shut down this fall.

Especially poignant were a group of parents dismayed at the plan to close Mark Hopkins Elementary. One father stated that his boy would not be able to go to school if he couldn’t walk across the street because the family had no other means of transportation and an elderly grandmother who takes care of the boy would not be able to walk the two miles required to fetch the child from nearby John Bidwell or John Sloate.

After waiting three hours to address the board, another parent informed the panel that she took a day off from work and had her pay docked as a result — all for a chance to speak her plight for one, timed minute.

A 6th grader said she valued her experience at Mark Hopkins because attending the school has been a tradition in her family. She explained that she and her graduating classmates are saddened this year, however, because they leave behind all the little ones.

Written by scusdobserver

April 3, 2009 at 2:09 pm

Have they just been wasting our time?

SCUSD Board Trustee Donald Terry raised an interesting question at last Thursday night’s board meeting. Specifically Terry wanted to know why “we are looking” at the Kit Carson Middle School/Sutter Middle school consolidation if that plan is “budget neutral.”

Like Terry, we would like to know what stands to be gained by merging Kit Carson and Sutter Middle Schools and why not even a hint of this proposal was put forth at recent community meetings. The first public mention of this plan was floated in a Sacramento Bee editorial last Sunday.

Additionally, why are Alice Birney, John Sloat, Lisbon and Thomas Jefferson Elementary schools on the chopping block for the first-round of closure? What do these schools have in common?

Except for Lisbon, all of these schools (including Kit Carson and Sutter) are mentioned for closing and/or consolidation in the original district-requested consultant report on “assets” –a report that was commissioned before the community engagement process began.

Which leads a thinking person to wonder if the board-initiated “listening” exercise was simply an elaborate sham. Was this yet another dishonest attempt to mockingly entertain “outside the box” thinking?

With all of the criteria (and added criteria) and matrices and drill downs and study areas and “looks” combined with the mountains and mountains of data, it STILL appears that the SCUSD Board is in danger of choosing the path of least resistance for budget remedies — school closure and teacher/staff layoffs.

So much for transparency.

One Size Does Not Fit All

Highlights for Wednesday evening’s community meeting at Martin Luther King Jr. K-8 School, West study area.
Board Members in attendance: Roy Grimes, Patrick Kennedy, Diana Rodriguez
The school’s auditorium was packed full of supporters for John Morse Waldorf , MLK (K-8) and Lisbon elementary schools.

Community comments

  • Many speakers voiced support for John Morse Elementary and its Waldorf methods programs of art, music and alternative learning environments. A suggestion was made to augment the John Morse program at Harkness Elementary School, thereby eliminating the problem of over-enrollment lottery while offering the Waldorf program a place to grow.
  • One community member expressed outrage at the ongoing construction of the Pocket-Greenhaven Library (in conjunction with the School of Engineering and Sciences). Deputy Superintendent Tom Barentson explained that the joint-use project has already been financed with voter-approved bond money and the costs associated with the construction do not affect SCUSD’s current budget woes.
  • A MLK parent suggested a joint-use proposal for SMUD to install solar rooftops across the district’s schools to begin the transition to renewable energy.
  • A neighbor mentioned that the district should consider more pre-school and kindergarten classes to keep schools open because of a growing number of young families with toddlers in the area.
  • The PTA president at MLK suggested that the district look into asking wealthy donors to give money to the schools. Other speakers proposed corporate advertising or partnerships with business as a way to sponsor the school system – a recurrent theme at many of the recent community meetings.
  • A schools’ psychologist asked the district to look at parent involvement when considering school closure.
  • Karen Young, former SCUSD board member, suggested that the current board needs to look at personnel costs, benefits, and retirement costs and ask employees to share the deficit with possible furloughs or re-negotiated contracts. When approached for reaction, a representative of the Sacramento City Teachers’ Association had no comment on Young’s remarks.