SCUSD Observer

Sacramento, California

Archive for the ‘PS7’ Category

Has anybody seen the facilities use agreement?

A tonight’s school board meeting, Item 9.1 is to include a presentation and discussion of the facilities use agreement that SCUSD has with St. Hope Public Schools.

On the agenda, Item 9.1 is clearly labelled as an action item. Local education activists who have contacted board members and administration have been told that the item is for discussion only. So which is it? Or is it more likely that the agreement was scheduled for confirmation until activists raised the questions that so urgently need to be asked?

The Observer hates to sound cyncial but the above scenario has played out in the past with regard to the former Sacramento High School facility.

The updated SCUSD website does not have current/available copies of the actual text of the agreements. The public was promised these agreements at the end of July after their placement on the June 4th agenda.

How can SCUSD justify leasing a comprehensive high school facility to a charter program that is operating well-below enrollment capacity? Given the recent school closings can SCUSD afford the underutilization of the historic Sacramento High School campus?

Should SCUSD reauthorize again a facility use agreement in a location which does not seem to achieve the diverse student population called for in district policy and the charter agreement?

In the interest of keeping this posting short, we’ll temporarily sidestep the questions regarding St. Hope’s money problems, its co-location of an elementary school and an adult education center on the campus, and a myriad of other questions that beg for answers…

…questions that our board members need to be asking before they start ratifying anything. Maybe they’ll ponder these queries while they’re hanging out with Kevin Johnson and Dinger at today’s photo opportunity with Arne Duncan and Jack O’Connell.
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Written by scusdobserver

September 3, 2009 at 2:28 pm

Why St. Hope is so important?

Today’s Sacramento Bee editorial page features an opinion about Sacramento Charter High School and PS7’s astounding academic performance gains.

Some of the positions stated in the editorial have merit but one glaring omission makes the entire read irrelevant: the students that these charter schools reject for behavior and academic problems get shipped out to Hiram Johnson and other SCUSD public schools — the district has no special charter rules to impose on these students and the district is mandated by law to educate everyone. St. Hope is not bound by the same rules.

The handpicking and “old guard possessiveness” that the editorial decries of St. Hope leadership doesn’t just stop at the administrative level and it’s inexcusable that the Bee’s writers miss that point.
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Written by scusdobserver

June 3, 2009 at 12:27 pm

Send Your Kids to School

Highlights from Tuesday evening’s community meeting at Sacramento Charter High School in the North Study Area.

Board Members in attendance: Roy Grimes, Ellyne Bell, Patrick Kennedy, Gustavo Arroyo and Diana Rodriguez

The large audience included parents, students, teachers and neighbors representing The Met Sacramento, Sacramento Charter High, PS-7, Sutter Middle,West campus, Theodore Judah and Father Keith B. Kenney, among others.

Staff comments:

  • The district has experienced declining enrollment over the last 8-10 years
  • SCUSD must cut $30 million from its budget in the next 18 months
  • “We’re not going to serve any less lunches, we’re just going to serve them in less places”
  • Budget decisions will be made on or around March 15
  • If schools are closed they won’t be shuttered…the district is working with the city to to provide partnerships with other entities (health clinics, preschools, child care, etc)
  • The Serna Center has cut back its capacity by 10,000 square feet in order to rent or lease that space
  • The school board is committed to a transparent, thoughtful process
  • Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures and new ideas.
  • Marketing has been the weak link and the staff is working on promotion, recruitment and showcasing.
  • Staff is also working to put together a plan that makes sense — one that balances the budget and stays away from the classroom.

Community concerns:

  • Sacramento Charter High should be fully utilized for its capacity and considered as a site for co-location
  • The large contingent of attendees representing the Met voiced their concerns about possible “blending” with another campus. Many spoke of wanting to save their small school environment
  • Small high schools have a specific focus but lack a balanced education — look at the big picture and include art, music and sports into the curricula
  • Neighborhoods that have struggled for decades will deteriorate if schools close and urban blight will take over
  • SCUSD needs to make its programs attractive to retain enrollment. Make schools a shining light and people will want to go there
  • Oak Park has been lacking a middle school for over 40 years
  • Co-locating Sac Charter HS with another school will upset the program and the solution is not to create more havoc
  • PS-7 has worked hard to establish a culture and consolidation is not the answer, investment in what’s working is the solution
  • The zero tolerance policy the board established for truancy in its last meeting is going to further burden children in poverty-stricken areas

Ideas:

  • consolidate administration to a 4-day work week
  • expand programs that are successful
  • return to the K-6 elementary, 7-9 junior high, and 10-12 senior high model
  • consider that small programs limit the need for special education services
  • consider instituting the block system on more high school campuses
  • offer fee-based pre-school, child care, language education and martial arts at schools to increase revenue
  • partner with churches to lease space
  • take a regionalized approach by establishing empowerment zones for local businesses to sponsor schools — work with legislation to provide tax incentives
  • set up suggestion boxes around the city to gather input on an ongoing basis
  • expand waiting lists for popular programs and make it easier for students in other districts to transfer to SCUSD

Board Meeting, Thursday September 4

Agenda here

Excerpt:
8:35 p.m. Item 11.3 Approve the Facilities Use Agreements between Sacramento City Unified School District and the Language Academy, St. HOPE PS7 Charter School and St. HOPE Sacramento Charter High School (Priority #8) (Tom Barentson)
Action Item
10 minute presentation
15 minute discussion

Written by scusdobserver

September 3, 2008 at 12:33 pm

Thursday Night’s Board Meeting at 8:03 p.m.

Item # 9.3
Update Regarding the Facilities Use Agreements Between the Sacramento City Unified School District and the Language Academy, St. Hope PS 7 Charter School, and St. Hope Sacramento Charter High School (Priority #8) Tom Barentson
Conference
10 minute presentation
10 minute discussion

Written by scusdobserver

August 19, 2008 at 10:44 pm

School Board approves modifications to St. Hope’s charter

6th, 7th and 8th graders to be at Sacramento Charter High School for a year…

In a special meeting last week, Sacramento City Unified School District trustees voted to allow the move of sixth-graders from PS7 to the Sacramento Charter High School campus.

Seventh- and eighth-graders from PS7, a kindergarten-through-eighth-grade charter school, were moved to the high school campus because of limited space.

Commentary:
What is still wrong with this picture?

  • $24 million of taxpayer bond money has been spent to completely refurbish the facility at Sacramento Charter High School
  • Sacramento Charter High School remains in program improvement after 5+ years in operation
  • St. Hope is currently under federal investigation…

Written by scusdobserver

August 4, 2008 at 5:20 pm