Madera / Portola / WCCUSD contd.

WCCUSD School Board Meeting
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
De Jean Middle School

Dear Parents–

Many thanks to everyone who attended this past week’s community meetings, and emailed their feedback/opinions to the board and superintendent. Thanks, as well, for completing and turning in all of the parent surveys on such short notice– much appreciated! It’s very gratifying to see all of the feedback, including many thoughtful comments on the surveys, regarding the plans for Portola and for Madera– I’ll see that these are delivered to the board.

Next Wednesday, January 20th, the board has agendized this issue as a discussion item (it had been proposed for a vote, but now it looks like a vote will be at a subsequent meeting). I know there will be a big turnout for this meeting- I hope to see you there. The meeting is at DeJean Middle School. Details are here.

During the past few weeks, it’s become surprisingly clear that a sixth grade may be added at Madera starting next year– though we’ve been told for years that this is physically impossible given the size of the campus. To accomodate this, portables may be added or transfers may be revoked. I’ve told the board that in my view the transfer students at Madera truly represent the “parent choice” that they have promoted, and the rich  diversity of our school community that these families bring is a large reason for our success. To revoke transfers would undermine this model of success for our school. A decision regarding this question will be made in the next few weeks.

I also heard on Friday that ALL transfer students MUST complete an application for transfer to continue at Madera for next year. Forms, which are not yet available, must be turned in by January 26. This was news to me and I’m asking for more details. I spoke with Ms. Holland on Friday and have followed up with the district for more information. I will post an update when I learn more.

We had scheduled a meeting at Madera with Julian Szot, the principal of Mira Vista, to talk about their conversion to a K-8 campus, and opportunties that might create for Madera familes. We agreed last week that with so much in flux we need to postpone this meeting- we will reschedule when appropriate.

Lastly, I confirmed yesterday that our Principal, Ms. Holland, will be retiring at the end of this year. She’s worked tirelessly on behalf of our school and our kids for many years– we’ll plan an appropriate farewell for her toward the end of the school year. Meanwhile, please join me in thanking her for all that she’s done for Madera and wishing her well in the future.

Thanks, again, for all that you do for our kids and our school- I’m proud to be a part of such an engaged, passionate community!


David Miller
PTA President