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School Board to Hear Reports on School Closures

The full San Bruno Park School Board will begin to discuss possible school closures for the first time at its meeting Wednesday.

Residents concerned about school closures will finally get a chance to address the San Bruno Park School Board about the issue at its , where discussions about reducing the number of elementary schools in the city will be high on the agenda.

For the last several months, the issue of whether the school district could possibly close a school has been hotly debated. But the discussions have been contained to a about which school should be closed if the school board decided to take a vote of its own.

The school district has maintained that closing a school would be necessary next year because of declining enrollment, inadequate state funding and a desire to reduce the number of combination classes at each school.

Now the issue lies in the hands of the five schools trustees, two of whom have publicly stated their opposition to school closures.

The school board will only be receiving the final report from the school closures committee and won't be making any decisions yet. But the presentation alone is expected to set off a long debate among the school board members and residents.

The consultants from Total School Solutions, the firm tasked with compiling a boundary study, will also be presenting its final report to the board. The boundary study has been been controversial ever since a that suggested different options for school closures.

Interestingly, the Total School Solutions study makes some recommendations that contradict the work of the district committee that developed its own recommendation about school closures.

Among the study's recommendations:

  • The number of elementary schools in the district would have to be reduced from seven to five to have fewer combination classes at each school.
  • Closing would balance enrollment the most and not substantially impact the walking distance of students at that school.

Part of the district committee's recommendation was to close because it would be left with the smallest school population next year.

The school board meeting will be at 7 p.m. at Rollingwood Elementary School.

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Henry Lowood April 22, 2012 at 11:14 PM
Chris, the difference is important -- that the Board is elected while the Superintendent serves "at the pleasure" of the Board. We can vote later, of course, but as a practical matter, the issue right now is the performance of the Superintendent. Also, I don't see that the Board had any hand in the Supt's recommendations; it wouldn't surprise me if they were as surprised as anyone. (Not that I have any evidence one way or the other on that.)
Joe Capote April 23, 2012 at 01:01 AM
Wasting taxpayer money doesn't stop with the TTS report. What about recent taxpayer investments to the school sites, such as solar panels, network infrastructure and interactive chalkboards? On the top of page 3 of the agenda, the superintendant makes a point that "researching and identifying the level of financial help that closing a school would have for the district after considering teaching staff, custodial staff, office staff, food service and administrative staff...". The mention of recent investments of infrastructure that will never be recouped is conspicuously absent. A more blatant waste of taxpayer money this could not be.
Edwin S April 23, 2012 at 03:21 AM
You are incorrect. The Schools do have their own individual cultures, their ethos'. You can not simply create that by planning for that to happen, paying for it to happen, even wishing it to happen. Once a positive and productive environment exists it can be dismantle in no time, but just ask those involved with failing school districts across the country how easily it is to develop a culture that values education.
Edwin S April 23, 2012 at 04:15 AM
This is a mess, and so many saw it comming, but nothing to be done about it. Mr Hutt is a political animal, he knows exactly how to thrive and retire successfully. 3 of the board-members fully support his leadership and will go with is recommendation. If anyone has either heard the man speak or spoken to him they know. The only way to move forward is to fire the man for “Cause”. Joe, I did vote for you in the last election. The next election needs to see some real quality leaders emerge from the San Bruno community. Mr Hutt is not ethical in his actions. To quote the Patch - In FPPC Stipulation, Decision and Order Number: 2011-252, the California Fair Political Practices Commission (CFPPC) found the San Bruno Park School District's (SBPSD) Superintendent David Hutt guilty on 4 counts of violating California Government Code Section 87300 for "FAILURE TO DISCLOSE REPORTABLE INTERESTS ON A STATEMENT OF ECONOMIC INTERESTS (Form 700)". Also there is the issue of Mr Hutt having an affair with a district employee. For some reason this has been covered up.
Chris Kiely April 23, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Edwin- I disagree with your point. My kids went to Crestmoor for three years. It is a great school. They had great teachers. But all of the teachers they had when they were there are gone. Crestmoor is on its third principal. yet it is still a great school. So in fact, they are recreating that ethos year after year. I think you are selling the kids, families and teachers short when you insist that they wouldn't be driven to excel (and suceed at it!) if they switched schools. On the other hand, I agree with you 100% that making that change will be difficult, and that it is much easier to screw it up than to do it right. I don't trust this Administration or Board to do this right.

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