Middle School Meeting Update

District Portola Relocation Meetings:
6:00pm – 8:00pm

Tuesday, January 12, 2010 / Kennedy HS
Wednesday, January 13, 2010 / Portola
Thursday, January 14, 2010 / Mira Vista

Mira Vista K-8 Information Meeting @ Madera / POSTPONED

Dear Parents:
Last week we scheduled a meeting at Madera this Wednesday to talk about middle school options at Mira Vista and how they may work for Madera families. After the surprising vote of the school board last week, though, and the other follow up meetings scheduled for this week regarding this issue, this meeting with Principal Julian Szot has been POSTPONED. I’ll send information later about possible rescheduling.

This week the District will hold three community meetings about the Portola relocation. (You should have received a recorded call from Dr. Harter about these meetings last night.) These meetings are scheduled for Tuesday at Kennedy HS, Wednesday at Portola, and Thursday at Mira Vista. All meetings are set for 6:30 to 8:00 pm. If you care about the future of a middle school in our community, please come to one of these meetings and let the board know your thoughts.

As you may have heard or read in the paper, last week the school board voted NOT to move Portola students to portables on the El Cerrito High School campus during reconstruction. Instead, they plan on voting on January 20th on one of two options: 1. close Portola permanently, don’t rebuild, and disburse students to existing or other middle schools (Helms, DeJean, and Mira Vista), or 2. continue with the rebuild, but disperse students for the next four-plus years in a vague program of two 7-12 high schools,  Helms and De Jean Middle Schools , and two elementary K-8’s.

There are serious questions about this second option regarding costs and timelines that were proposed- these were acknowledged by the board as they nonetheless proceeded to propose it as the only option under consideration.  Portola Middle School is the only middle school serving the Southern portion of the WCCUSD, including Richmond, Richmond Annex, Point Richmond, Kensington, El Cerrito and Richmond Heights. To break up this middle school community would eliminate programs such as band, wood shop, math club, leadership programs, and other electives.

Part of this plan may include expanding or redrawing the boundaries for Madera, as well. There are 145 students at Madera who have transferred in– and these transfers may be revoked to make this relocation plan work.

Please try to attend one of these community meetings this week to discuss this very important issue and to express your feelings about the matter. Next, on January 20th the school board will meet for a vote on this question- more information to follow about this meeting.

You can also contact school board representatives as a group or individually– your voice counts!

Bruce Harter, superintendant: , 231-1101
Linda Jackson, district executive director
Madeline Kronenberg, President School board, , 334-9646
Antonio Medrano, 223-0237, 222-9465
Audrey Miles, 307-4601
Charles Ramsey, 682-5600, 986-0455
Tony Thurmond, 223-4394, 681-4127

www.wccusd.net for the district information and proposition

David Miller