Monday, March 16, 2009

All Hands on Deck: Thursday March 26

The OUSD board of trustees will meet again on Thursday March 26 and we'll be there to greet employees in the morning and meeting attendees in the evening with our message:



OUSD headquarters is at 1401 N. Handy Orange.

BEFORE the meeting, write letters to the Superintendent and the Board of Trustees. See the sidebar to the right for more information and guidance. See the comments section to read letters others have sent -and do post your own!

Remember to bookmark this site and visit daily. Send a link and pass the word to neighbors, friends and family.

Don't forget to vote in the poll on the sidebar!


  1. Here's a letter that I sent:

    Dear Trustee Deligianni,

    I was present last Thursday evening for the OUSD board meeting and I want to thank you for your support of Silverado Elementary School. My son is a first grader at Silverado.

    I appreciate your ability to recognize not only the value of our school to our canyon community but also the value of Silverado to the district - as a charter elementary school with an environmental focus we could actually help sustain OUSD during this time of crisis in public education; such a school could be a long-term solution to this short-term problem.

    I hope you will use your influence to persuade your colleagues to vote to reconsider the closure of Silverado Elementary School at the next board meeting. If the campus can remain open for one more year, we can continue to secure the funding necessary for its transformation to a charter.

    Thank you again for your leadership on this issue. If you have any questions for me, please do not hesitate to contact me. I can be reached at home: XXXXXXXXX or at my college office: XXXXXXXXXX.

  2. The news on public radio is that newspapers are downsizing or going out of business across the country, leaving fewer reporters to cover the news. i fear that eventually there will be no one to cover and report on stories such as ours, which will allow the mechanizations of administrators to operate out of the public awareness, serving their own agenda. We can't let this happen. the school board is an elected body put in place by us to coordinate the schooling of our children. they need to be responsive to us, not dictating to us. We have to let their actions be known, and gain public support since more schools will be on the chopping block soon. Let's have a real turnout at the board meeting on the 26th!
    Silverado Dad

  3. I sent this letter to all 7 board members. To the 3 that voted no on closure, the last paragraph was amended to :Thank you so much for your vote. Please continue to say NO to closing Silverado Elementary School.


    My son is attending Silverado Elementary School through an inter-district transfer because I have been so impressed with this great, tight-knit community and we have had many great years with both this elementary school and the adjoining Silverado Children’s Center (since 2003).

    This school is very special because of its prime location in the wonderful nature setting of Silverado. It is the perfect place to have a charter school with environmental focus in my opinion. The parents in this community are very committed to the school and our kids, wanting them to receive the best education in this great environment.

    All that is asked is to keep the school open for another year while the charter school concept is realized. Surely this would also be of interest to the district in terms of the property itself with the maintenance issues that would arise were the buildings to be abandoned.

    I think the amount of less than 200K is so miniscule in the big picture that it does not seem to warrant the drastic measure of closing Silverado Elementary School, which would be such a devastating blow to the entire community.

    I urge you to reconsider your vote in this matter and say NO to closing Silverado Elementary School.

    Silverado(at heart) Mom ;)

  4. I sent emails (variations of the following letter) to: Supervisor Campbell, Gary Miller, Jeff Miller, and Mimi Walters. I also sent OUSD Board of Trustees and Superintendent Drier emails thanking the Board Members who voted no on closure; and asking those who voted yes to reconsider. Suellen Cox
    P.O. Box 471
    Silverado Canyon,
    CA 92676-0471
    March 22, 2009

    Congressman Miller,

    As you may know, the Orange Unified School Board of Trustees voted to close Silverado Elementary School at their last meeting on March 12, 2009, despite protests from children, families along with numerous letters, emails and verbal testimonies asking the board for one year to create the charter school.

    Please join Orange County Supervisor Bill Campbell, California State University Fullerton's Tucker Sanctuary, the O.C. Department of Education's "Inside the Outdoors" as well as many others in support of our school, especially the plan to transform Silverado Elementary School into a charter school with an environmental science and technology focus. We know that the plan for a charter school will not only sustain our community but will provide a long term solution to the crisis the district faces today as well as ready our children to face the challenges of tomorrow.

    Being a librarian and on the faculty at CSU Fullerton, I see firsthand the challenges that our students face in trying to be academically successful, and a difference that can be made by schools such as Silverado Elementary. I am also a long time---30 year---resident of Silverado Canyon and a parent. My daughters attended Silverado Elementary School in the 1970s and 1980s, and both received an excellent education there. Both went on to Santiago Middle School and El Modena High School as gate students. Ultimately both graduated from college, my oldest from San Francisco State with a double major in French and Art History; my youngest from Mills College with a double major in Creative Writing and Book Arts.

    The closure of Silverado Elementary School would be not only a tremendous loss to the children of Silverado, Ladd, Blackstar, Williams, and Modjeska Canyon, but it would also be a huge loss to the close-knit canyon communities. For many new parents Silverado Elementary School, offers an avenue for parents to meet other parents; but more importantly to actively participate in their children’s education as volunteers in the classroom, lunchroom, the playground, and at the PTA level. The relative proximity of Silverado Elementary School to our canyon communities helps facilitate this participatory opportunity and experience.

    Silverado Elementary School has a long history of not only educating and serving the children and families of the canyons, but also functioning as a community resource---a centralized location if you will----for the canyons to meet, greet, and get to know one another. This closure will have a very negative impact on all our canyon communities. The closing and inability to function as a charter school and environmental resource for other schools in the Orange Unified School District will be a loss across the district. In addition, the closing will lower our property values and leave the school property vacant, and an easy target for vandalism.

    We in the canyons hope to persuade OUSD trustees to reconsider the mistake to close the school at the upcoming meeting on Thursday March 26th. We also hope that OUSD will be known throughout the state as the district which was able to put children above all and the one that was able to ride out this to7ugh year without having to close a single school.

    We hope that you clearly see the same potential for our school as we do and understand the vital role a local school plays in a community, especially one like ours. A year and half ago, when our canyon communities were threatened by wildfire, we appreciated the support we received from elected officials like you. We now face a similar threat. The school that survived that fire may not survive this one. We need your leadership on this critical issue.

    Please communicate your support to the trustees of the OUSD and Superintendent Dreier.


    Suellen Cox
    Faculty Librarian and Head of Instruction and Information Services
    Pollak Library, PL-322
    California State University Fullerton

  5. Fight... or ...close!
    The OUSD Trustee vote was 4-3... not... 7-0

    Having the Silverado children/students sitting on a bus for 45 minutes...x2 times a day...x5 days a week...x10 times a month... IS NOT... a viable or a democratic solution being imposed by the OUSD Trustees upon the Silverado-Modjeska-Williams-Blackstar Canyon Communities.

    The x4 Trustees that voted to close Silverado have lost sight of their elected responsibilities & first priorities, to place the Canyons/taxpayers children/students educational needs... over & before... the financial distributions to the Districts adults/employees.

    It's students/children ages 5-11 educational needs,
    Administration/teachers/counselors/clerks/coaches/janitors...vans/administrative retreats/printing of awards of "certificates of accomplishments".

    The OUSD 2010 budget is $244,597,788.00
    From this amount...the x4 Trustees that voted to close the oldest school in the entire district, in the most remote & isolated community, cannot find a way to address a $151,000 negative impact on their budget? This is leadership? This is prioritizing fiscal expenditures?

    The x4 OUSD "Trustee's" need to be reminded & asked to reconsider their vote this Thursday 3/26... that of all the budgets cuts they are considering to implement, closing Silverado is the least fiscally beneficial, and by far the most damaging to both The Silverado students/children & the OUSD.

    The Silverado students & the Canyon communities...should not be the sole recipients of the OUSD fiscal budget reconfigurations. Close a small school of 75-80 students...or...prioritize the $151,000 expenditure somewhere else?

    It ain't over...fight!
    Fight for what is right!

    Be there! Be heard!

    Captain Greybeard