Monday, April 13, 2009

How Saddleback Valley Does it

How are other districts handling the economic crisis?

We know that nearby Saddleback Valley Unified opted to close McNeill and La Tierra. Their "rural" school, Trabuco Elementary, remains open, operating as an elementary school and also as destination for district field trips.

How did SVUSD come to this decision? SVUSD "found it vital to develop measurable, objective criteria. Any other method would produce potentially biased and invalid results."

Their criteria included: distances traveled; distances between schools; path of travel to schools; student residences and school locations; contiguous and non-contiguous school locations; transportation needs and neighborhood schools and schools of attendance - as well as enrollment, special programs and support space.

I was particularly impressed with the committee's work in terms of their evaluation of the projected impact on other schools, safe path of travel, distance traveled and busing costs.

Their decision-making appears to be one that is thoughtful and thorough and takes into consideration that the mission of the district is to meet the educational needs of all the children who live within the district. And their staff seems so confident in the process that they are willing to share it with the public. Impressive.

SVUSD has posted all this material and more online. To review it, click here.

Continue to communciate to the OUSD board. Ask them what criteria they used to determine the closure of Silverado Elementary.


Thanks for all support this weekend at the holiday pancake breakfasts!



  1. They didn't use any criteria - they just cut us loose. Irresponsible leadership in every way - I can't believe that some of these people think they're going to go on to bigger and better things than the school board.

  2. It's nice to see SVUSD treat parents and the public as if we can reason and think - unlike the approach of the OUSD board.

    I attended a board meeting and the attitude toward Silverado voiced by the staff and some of the trustees was insulting and short-sghted - especially so when you think that there were Silverado students in attendance.

    The only criteria I heard them note was $$$.

    I am also impressed by SVUSD.
    Their staff obviously understands what a challenge it is to close a school - it'a a bit more sophisticated than balancing your checkbook.

    Compare the info SVUSD gives with what is offerred on the OUSD site.

  3. Check out SVUSD's prioritized reduction list - it's online too.

    Also, the committee who came up with the recommendations for the SVUSD school closures had been meeting for years - the district saw something like this coming. That's foresight and leadership.

    I like how they looked at maps of the districts and residences, main cross streets, etc.

  4. Nice work here. Keep it up.

  5. Has anyone received a response from any board member regarding letters you sent?

    The only person who hes responded to me is Bill Campbell.

    I guess the others couldn't be bothered. They forget that our taxes pay their salaries and stipends.