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School Closure Committee Ranks Schools For Potential Closure

Based on the established criteria, Moiola was at the top of the list.

In an attempt to save the district much-needed money and after voting to establish the final criteria by which to evaluate each school in its meeting tonight, the Fountain Valley School District's School Boundaries and Closure Committee discussed the final points on its decided weights, and tallied points to generate a recommendation for school closure.

At its last meeting on June 7, the committee established a pool of potential factors that could be used to evaluate each school and then narrowed the pool down even further since that decision to tonight's final weight criteria:

  1. Potential to lose students to neighboring districts if school is closed
  2. Projected declining enrollment
  3. Current enrollment
  4. Intra-district transfer percentage
  5. Proximity to closest school
  6. Size of campus
  7. Students/neighborhoods impacted by previous school closures
  8. Proximity to major intersection/freeway

The total points per section were calculated based on set weights and the school with the most points would be the first considered in the closure process as follows:

Moiola - 238
Oka - 197
Gisler - 174
Plavan - 173
Courreges - 143
Newland - 128
Tamura - 127
Cox - 114

Assistant Superintendent Stephen McMahon made mention that "there were many steps that led to this point and that each point was discussed in meetings that began back in March so as to be as fair as possible in the proceedings." McMahon plans to send the findings to the assembled committee for final comments in a first draft, then based on comments will send the final or second draft to the Board. If needed, another meeting is on the calendar for August 30th.

The 20-member committee will now report its recommendation to the Board of Trustees, which will then make the ultimate decision on whether a school should be closed and, if so, which campus would be eliminated.

Once a decision has been reached, the school and its attendees will be contacted, giving adjustment time. The estimation for the communication to be sent out will be before Christmas at its earliest but most optimistically notice will be given shortly thereafter, in the January or February time frame.

SAS August 17, 2011 at 05:27 PM
I am so tired of buracratic agencies taking money from our children! They are this country's future! I know its an "easy" take, but class over-crowding, limited resources for the teachers, over-encumbered teachers, is getting out of hand. What happened to the California Lottery Money that was supposed to supplement schools' fundings? Why aren't our children's teachers making millions of dollars and basketball players making tens of thousands? Pushing 40-50 children into 1 classroom will not allow for quality education, which this City "used" to promote? This is a shame and other options should be looked at before any schools close. Its bad enough all-important music and art has been taken away, now you want to take the entire school away. This MUST STOP. Shelah Spiegel Fountain Valley
Greene Wood August 18, 2011 at 05:26 AM
thank you, Howard Jarvis.
Justin Petruccelli August 18, 2011 at 03:14 PM
Thanks so much for your input, Shelah. Please let us know how we can cover this issue in the best possible way for you so that you and other parents can be best informed.
Shannon Kelly August 18, 2011 at 06:16 PM
Why are we not surprised by this? Because everyone already knew that they picked Moiola School to be closed before they ever formed a committee. The FVSD wants everyone to think it was a fair decision but when a large number of people know that the district chose to close Moiola PRIOR to a committe being formed should be a red flag to all of us who live in Fountain Valley. Congratulations Mr. McMahon on skillfully setting up the criteria for Moiola School to be closed. But when tactics like these are used to get one's way, then Fountain Valley no longer is a "nice place to live"!
Justin Petruccelli August 19, 2011 at 04:16 AM
Shannon, I've been trying to get to the heart of why everyone thinks Moiola was chosen before the process. I'm not naive enough to think it's not possible, but I'm just wondering if there's some particular circumstances that have parents convinced it was a done deal from the start.
Shannon Kelly August 22, 2011 at 11:58 PM
Well, I believe that everyone thinks Moiola was chosen because prior to any talk of a committee word was reaching parents of Moiola students that the school had been selected for closure. My close friend is a Moiola parent and she told me that she actually received a phone call from another friend of hers who happens to teach in another Orange County school district and that friend told her that Moiola was going to be closing at the end of the 2012 school year. Apparantly there were quite a few parents that were getting this information from other people prior to the school district proposing a committee or even acknowleding that it was going to happen. And I was told that the information was leaked out of the FVSD itself by some of those other parents at one of the "town hall" meetings. By the way, did they have "town hall meetings" at any of ther other FV elementary schools? I admit that I am in not in agreement that we need to close a school. But I think that they should have decided in a "fair" way if one school truly needed to be closed. The committee was chosen by people who report to the superintendent of the district. I asked my friend if they announced to the Moiola parents about the opportunity to be on the committee and she said "No". And the superintendent "guided" the committee during the entire process. How convenient. I am glad I found this information out now because we were looking at homes in FV and now we will not be doing so. Nor shopping here either.
Shannon Kelly August 23, 2011 at 12:02 AM
By the way I hope that you will post this article on the main page again where Fountain Valley residents can see that there school district is going to be closing a school and the questionable "criteria" used to determine which school to close.
Justin Petruccelli August 23, 2011 at 04:27 PM
The original story was posted in the top spot after the meeting occurred, but it's since moved off the homepage. Once again, I appreciate your insight on this issue because I'm relatively new to it. I'd very much like to talk with other parents who might help shed more light on it. So feel free to pass along my contact information to them. Thanks again for your interest in our site.
Jen Miller November 09, 2011 at 06:59 AM
I am grateful to FVSD for offering the option of a K-8 educational experience. It's options such as these that define the uniqueness of this community and school district. Very few Orange County school districts, in fact only 6 out of 28, according to FVSD Board Member Sandra Crandall, operate K-8 schools anymore. Those that continue the practice despite the sacrifice it represents should be commended. Hopefully the value of offering choice and options to ALL students and families will remain a critical part of determining budget cuts and that concept can be preserved. In Fountain Valley, all students benefit from having the opportunity to be able to go to schools that fit their individual needs and that is why we are blessed to live here.

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