Proposal that could halt Alpine high school construction will also be heard by board
July 11, 2011 (El Cajon) – The Boundary Committee for the Grossmont Union High School District has adopted recommendations for shifting high school boundaries throughout the distirct. The recommendations will be presented Thursday, to the GUHSD Boardat 6 p.m. in the East County Regional Education Center, 924 East Main Street in El Cajon.
Lines will be changing across East County. For example, on Mt. Helix many students now in the Grossmont High School district are proposed to shift to Monte Vista, a school with a far poorer academic record, to ease overcrowding at Grossmont. In Blossom Valley, proposed new lines would similarly shift some students to a poorer performing school, in Lakeside sparking protests from parents.
The Blossom Valley Network has published an open letter from Lin Moody and Rhonda Turvey voicing concerns about the impact on their community. According to their letter, the recommendations would terminate an “option area” for Blossom Valley. Students from Blossom Valley would not be allowed to attend Granite Hills High and would instead be routed solely to El Capitan High School. Moreover, Blossom Valley students would be excluded from attending the new high school in Alpine, if it is built. Inter-district transfers would be limited, with just five openings at Granite Hills for inter-district transfers.
Doug Deane, who chairs the Boundary Committee, has previously indicated that shifts were needed to adjust for changing enrollment levels, since El Capitan has fewer students than Granite Hills. Deane has also indicated that the new Alpine school, if built, would be full in its initial year with students from Alpine alone.
But the GUHSD board will also be considering a proposal to not build the 12th high school in Alpine unless ADA (average daily attendance) funds are restored to 2008 levels--levels experts privately concede are unlikely to be met.
The Boundary Committee considered the following criteria in making its recommendations:
Safety and Convenience: To minimize the time spent each day by students and transportation staff, traveling to and from school.
Diversity: To maximize academic, economic, social and cultural diversity at each school.
Neighborhood Integrity: To the maximum extent possible, allow neighbors to attend the same school.
Local Needs: To listen to the voice of each community with respect to the education of their children.
Responsible Management: To maximize the use the District’s human resources and facilities and to respect the District’s fiscal constraints with respect to transportation costs, infrastructure impact, staffing and administration
Foresight and Flexibility: To consider what the District’s future needs may be with respect to changing demographics and educational trends.
Parents with concerns or questions about proposed district boundary changes are encouraged to attend the GUHSD governing board meeting July 14. “This will be our last opportunity to express objections to all or part of the Boundary Committee’s recommendations,” Moody and Turvey emphasized.