Posts Tagged ‘National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities’

The proposed timeline for closing Peebles is an April 30, 2013 vote with closure effective for the 2013/2014 school year. In contrast, the proposed timeline for Bradford Woods was outlined as follows in the Aug 17, 2011 school board minutes:

8.17.11 Meeting minutes excerpts

So, why is the proposed timeline for Peebles an April 30th, 2013 vote with closure effective for the 2013/2014 school year?

The National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities provides the following guidelines with respect to the decision to close a school:

  • Ideally, a decision to close a school should be made as early as possible in the school year, but no later than December.”

There are several reasons:

  • “It will permit parents and students adequate time to adjust to choose a new school or adjust to their new assignment”
  • “It will provide adequate time to plan and execute the actual closing of the building.”
  • “It will permit the financial impacts to be included in the annual school budget. There will be both additional costs and savings that need to be identified for that school.”

“When a district builds a new school or renovates an existing building, there is usually a comprehensive community involvement process used. Closing a school should also include a similar process.
Adequate time to conduct this process is important so that all relevant information can be examined and included in the deliberations. This process must have integrity above all else.”


SaveNASchools firmly believes that NO SCHOOL in the district should be closed and its mission is to illustrate

(1) the district’s position is incorrect, and

(2) the district’s process is incorrect.

1.  SaveNASchools believes the district DOES NOT have the ability to close a school without compromising its successful elementary education model. If Peebles is closed, the detrimental impact to the remaining buildings will include;

* an increase in class size (e.g. Ingomar would‘ve seen an increase of 7 students per class in 4th grade and 4 students per class in 5th grade)

* an increase in sections (e.g. Ingomar, Franklin, Hosack, and Bradford Woods would operate as four-round instead of three-round schools)

* use of non-classrooms as classrooms (e.g. large group instruction spaces at both Ingomar and Marshall would be used as spare classrooms; the space at Marshall requires accordion walls and the space at Ingomar has no windows)

2. SaveNASchools believes the district’s process for closing a school DOES NOT adhere to a best practices model. The California Department of Education, the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities, and the Council of Educational Facility Planners International encourages the following best practices for considering a school closure;

* form a district advisory committee before decisions are made about a school closure that includes a cross section of community members (the school board has not addressed a petition with 1,000+ signatures requesting a community task force)

* evaluate the condition, operating costs, transportation costs, and value of each building, which includes getting appraisals (the district has not performed a cost analysis per building nor has it gotten appraisals)

* ensure the process of gathering facts is as credible, transparent, and non-political as possible (the district has two reports-the first report recommends closing a school with $14 million in repairs and the second report recommends closing a school with $0 in repairs; the second report is from a consultant that was involved in a lawsuit with the district where a judge ruled he acted in “bad faith” and cost NA taxpayers over half a million dollars)

The district’s failure to adhere to a best practices model for closing a school DOES NOT mean that a school other than Peebles should be closed. It merely highlights the district’s failure to involve taxpayers, lack of due diligence and inconsistencies regarding the process for closing a school.