Ralf Swenson

TOPPING OUT CEREMONY CELEBRATES $13 MILLION STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES AND ARTS BUILDINGS AT GROSSMONT HIGH

 
 
By Miriam Raftery 
 

December 16, 2015 (El Cajon)--Students and school officials held a “Topping Out” Ceremony Tuesday for the new student support services and arts classroom buildings under construction at Grossmont High School.

 

RESULTS OF NEW STATE TEST SHOW GROSSMONT TOPS STATE AVERAGE IN MATH

 

East County News Service

September 11, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--The new Smarter Balanced (SBAC) State test scores are now out.  The tests are meant as a positive step forward in helping to ensure that students are prepared to enter the 21st century with the critical thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills required for success in college and careers, providing a benchmark for measuring progress in future years.

JUDGE SETS TRIAL DATE FOR DEC. 4 ON ALPINE SUIT AGAINST GROSSMONT OVER HIGH SCHOOL

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 11, 2015 (Alpine) – Alpine residents seeking to force the Grossmont Union High School District to turn over $70 million in bond funds and land acquired for construction of an Alpine High School will finally have their day in court.  Judge Joel Pressman ruled against Grossmont on Friday, refusing to dismiss the case and requiring that the money be set aside pending outcome of the trial.

The proceeding will be an administrative trial before Judge Pressman set for December 4th with the Alpine Union School District and the Alpine Taxpayers for Bond Accountability squaring off against the GUHSD. A 3-judge appellate court panel previously denied Grossmont’s request for a stay to stop the proceedings, a move affirmed Friday by Pressman. The County Grand Jury also found that the district did not live up to its obligation to Alpine taxpayers and recommended that the district build the high school or turn over the money to the Alpine Union High School District to build the school.  The district's board majority defied the Grand Jury and did neither.

The plaintiffs contend that Grossmont misallocated millions of dollars from Propositions U and H,  spending much of the $700 million measures approved by voters for projects not listed in the bond while refusing to build the Alpine High School that was a priority project in the bond measures.

GUHSD SUPERINTENDENT ISSUES STATEMENT ON UNIFICATION; ALPINE EDUCATION LEADER RESPONDS WITH REBUTTAL

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: GUHSD Superintendent Ralf Swenson

September 18, 2014 (Alpine)—The Grossmont Union High School District Board (GUHSD) has passed a resolution opposing the proposed Alpine unification initiative.  Now, Superintendent Ralf Swenson has issued a statement to media voicing disappointment that a County committee has approved the unification measure and sent it on to the State Board of Education to take action. He wants to see all voters in the district have a say on unification, not just voters in Alpine. 

In his letter, Swenson claims a unified Alpine district won’t be able to afford to build and operate a high school offering programs comparable to those in the Grossmont district but insists that the GUHSD can’t afford to build the school, either.  Moreover, he  claims that the GUHSD remains 2,400 students below the “trigger” that the district has set for enrollment and that further declines are projected, making the likelihood that the district would ever build the promised 12th high school for Alpine appear to be virtually zero.

His letter has sparked a heated response, including a rebuttal from education leader Bill Weaver debunking dubious claims made by the Superintendent. Weaver has previously co-chaired education and business commitees for both the East County and Mountain Empire Chambers of Commerce.

GRAND JURY INVESTIGATION OF GUHSD BOARD ACTIONS LAUNCHED, TRUSTEE REVEALS

By Miriam Raftery

An ECM  Special Report

October 13, 2012 (El Cajon)—The San Diego Grand Jury has launched an investigation into possible misuse of bond funds by the Grossmont Union High School District’s board majority, muliple sources have confirmed to East County Magazine.  

“We’re in a Grand Jury investigation about Alpine,” GUHSD board trustee Priscilla Schreiber told ECM. Schreiber said she learned of the probe “by accident” while in the District’s office.  Schreiber has been a vocal critic of the Board majority (Trustees Gary Woods, Jim Kelly, and Robert Shields) for blocking construction of a high school for Alpine while allowing diversion of school bond funds for costly new projects not mandated in two bond measures, Prop H and Prop U. Both measures were approved by voters and specifically called for a new high school in Alpine.

GUHSD TAKES HEAT FOR FAILING TO SEND MAILERS ON BOUNDARY CHANGES

Take our poll: Should the GUHSD have notified all residents by mail before changing school district boundaries? 

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 21, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – At a Grossmont Union High School District board of trustees meeting on October 13, trustee Priscilla Schreiber asked Superintendent Ralf Swenson how workshops on proposed district boundary changes would be publicized. Swenson replied, “We are sending out mailers, putting things on websites, and we are working with our feeder districts to get the word out through their schools…”

But no mailers were ever sent to district residents. Nor did feeder schools (middle and elementary) notify parents of future high school students. Yet the district approved boundary changes November 10 that will affect thousands of students. Now a clamor has arisen among parents who had no idea such changes were in the works—and want the action reversed.

BROWN BAG “LUNCH AND LEARN” ON GUHSD BOUNDARY CHANGES JAN. 25


By   Charlotte Reed
 
January 21, 2012 (El Cajon) -- After several Boundary Committee meetings and public forums, the Grossmont Unified High School District board of trustees voted in September to approve recommendations for school boundary changes. Of course, not all were in a position to attend the public forums and many questions still remain unanswered. 
 
One question we in the Real Estate business are asked most frequently is, “How does this affect our home values?”

DID SCHOOL DISTRICT VIOLATE CONSTITUTION BY HOLDING EVENT AT CHURCH?

Multiple locations on district campuses were available, but GUHSD chose to use church instead, ECM research reveals

 

By Miriam Raftery

Jeremy Los contributed research for this report

February 18, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, a national nonprofit organization, says that it’s “problematic” and likely unconstitutional for the Grossmont Union High School District to host a school event at Sonrise Church, a fundamentalist place of worship in Santee.

GUHSD BOARD SELECTS RALF SWENSON AS NEW SUPERINTENDENT TO LEAD DISTRICT

 

 

July 1, 2010 (San Diego's East County) -- Ralf Swenson has been tentatively selected as the next superintendent of the Grossmont Union High School District contingent on successful contract negotiation, a positive community visit by the Governing Board to his current school district and further routine background checks.