Life After Madera

Hi all- at last night’s meeting we had the privilege of meeting with special guests from two schools:

Denise Van Hook, Principal, and Joanna Pace, PTSA President, from Portola Middle School, and Julian Szot, Principal of Mira Vista.

Regarding Portola, we heard about plans for relocating their classrooms to the “lower pad,” the paved area below the current campus. Classes will be held on this site until the new building is complete, which is scheduled for the 2013/2014 school year. Sixth graders at Portola will have primary classrooms and teachers, with some elective options. Some sports or other activities may be held at the Community Center next door, as well as the El Cerrito Pool. Band, industrial arts, foreign languages, and drama are among the electives available. There were many questions regarding campus safety, which were discussed at length. Joanna Pace offered to meet or talk with Madera parents interested in learning more. She can be reached at for more information. She also strongly encouraged incoming Madera parents to get involved as officers in the Portola PTSA.

Mira Vista is transitioning to a K-8 campus, and has room for additional sixth graders next year who may be interested in a K-8 school for their middle school years. All middle school grades at Mira Vista will have primary classrooms, and the current plan is for their teachers to be multiple subject credentialed. Julian, who was previously the principal at Adams Middle School, talked about electives, after school enrichment opportunities, and plans for Mira Vista’s growth. He offered to meet or give campus tours to any interested parents. He can be reached at Although the transfer deadline has passed, Dr. Harter said yesterday that students will still be accepted to Mira Vista for next year’s sixth grade, as long as space remains available.


David Miller