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At Silver Wing Elementary School on February 18, parents crowded into an auditorium to hear about Chula Vista Elementary School District’s plans to build a two-story high school charter on the elementary campus.

Many Silver Wing parents expressed frustration and one asked the presenters: “If you’ve already decided to do this, then what are we doing here? Why are you wasting our time with this meeting?”

Silver Wing is a traditional K–6 school located on the western edge of the city. For the past three years, Chula Vista Learning Community Charter high school students have been housed in portable classrooms on the Silver Wing campus. A chain-link fence separates the students.

Silver Wing parents say they were told in 2012–’13 that the high school needed a place to temporarily house students — and that was the last they heard from the district.

At the February 11 board meeting, trustees were asked to approve $3,431,011 for the charter high school.

Francisco Tamayo

Newly elected trustees Leslie Bunker, Francisco Tamayo, and Eduardo Reyes voted to postpone the decision until the district received input from the Silver Wing community.

Chula Vista Elementary executive director Matthew Tessier and Silver Wing principal Ruth Diaz De Leon addressed the Silver Wing parents. They apologized several times for having “dropped the ball” and not communicated since 2013.

In his presentation, Tessier reminded parents that Silver Wing Elementary has a dual-immersion (Spanish/English) program and noted that in 2013 some parents had asked how they could get their children into the dual-immersion high school. Tessier went on to point out that it's not possible at this time.

“There’s really a big difference between a zone [public] school and a charter school that’s been authorized by the Chula Vista board. Silver Wing is a zone school. If a child moves into the Silver Wing zip code, then the district has an obligation to accept that child into the school. So, if I move in across the street, my child has a right to come here to Silver Wing.

“A charter school is different. Charter schools are typically run on a lottery. So, just because you move into a specific area doesn’t mean you have a right to go to that charter school.”

In addition to the temporary high school, Chula Vista Learning Community Charter has elementary and middle-school components in Chula Vista.

A Silver Wing mother pointed out that “the charter already selects their own students and the high school has a cap on the number of students that will be accepted, so there won’t be room for all Silver Wing students.”

Tessier told the parents in order to get their children into the high school “you would have to petition the board of education to have some sort of relationship. So, an example might be 20 percent of dual-language students at Silver Wing have a special lottery to attend [Chula Vista Learning Community Charter] high school. It’s not currently part of the charter, so I can’t say.”

Parents also raised concerns about having high-school students in close proximity to elementary students. Several speakers worried that children had witnessed “public displays of affection” through the fence.

Kindergarten teacher Brenda Maldonado shared her observation that the high-school students are “extremely well-mannered and respectful.”

Ruby Baker, a first-grade teacher, said she and principal De Leon had witnessed a display together. Baker, drawing on her child-development background, commented, “It’s inappropriate to have high-school and grade-school students share the grounds.”

Another parent identified as Mr. Pulido asked how much square footage was being taken from Silver Wing. Neither of the presenters was able to respond.

Another parent asked the date of the next board meeting. Tessier said he would get back to the parents with that information.

Concerns were also expressed about two campuses sharing the same parking structure.

Principal De Leon said there are several advantages to having the high school, including a successful cross-age tutoring program. She also said that Silver Wing currently has a play area that is “unsafe,” but that would be turned into a soccer field specifically for the elementary school with funds from both Silver Wing and the charter high school.

Parent Rosa Surber received a round of applause when she stated, “I am very disappointed that the board decided to go forward with this project without even consulting with the community.”

When asked for comment on February 19, trustee Francisco Tamayo said, “We are not opposed to the high school having a place. We just want to ensure that all the stakeholders have an opportunity to weigh in and have confidence in the board’s transparency.”

Tamayo also said trustees are seeking a legal opinion about land use.

Trustee Leslie Bunker could not be reached in time for comment.

Disclosure: The author has a daughter who teaches in Chula Vista Elementary School District and is also a member of the bargaining team.

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Comments

anniej Feb. 20, 2015 @ 5:24 p.m.

There is a reason that children ages Pre School - 6 are separated. If they want a High School Charter - BUILD IT!

9

joepublic Feb. 20, 2015 @ 6:26 p.m.

Why should taxpayers be expected to pay for this charter high school building, especially since the kids that attend the neighborhood grade school will more than likely not be able to attend it?
According to the principal, it would be worth it because, then the elementary children would have a playground that wasn't unsafe! Question: Why has the district allowed this unsafe play area to exist in the first place?

6

Bvavsvavev Feb. 20, 2015 @ 6:49 p.m.

Not sure why this charter is so selective with its students. Other charters in the district allow neighborhood students to attend. I thought charters were about giving the community choice - apparently this charter in CVESD is not giving the families of Silver Wing a choice. Glad to hear that the 3 trustees are putting a halt to this. Pushing this through the way CVESD has so far looks and smells too much like "The Sweetwater Way" that has caused so much distrust with that district and the community.

7

anniej Feb. 20, 2015 @ 10:35 p.m.

WHERE WOULD THIS COMMUNITY BE WITHOUT SUSAN LUZZARO AND The READER???????

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eastlaker Feb. 21, 2015 @ 6:34 a.m.

So can anyone tell me why Chula Vista Elementary School District is n the business of creating a high school? Shouldn't things be worked out between Sweetwater Union High School District and CVESD, so that no one needs to "poach" anyone's students?

Isn't it time for reasonable people to prevail?

Why should the elementary school have to give up anything to a high school?

None of this makes sense.

If these parents really want a charter school for their high school students, why should an elementary school district be running it?

6

Susan Luzzaro Feb. 21, 2015 @ 7:31 a.m.

Robert Dean,

As I hoped I had explained ... the school board had a different make up until December when three new members were elected. A lot of the preparation for the high school had been going on at the district level, getting bids, taking designs to the state. As Mr. Tessier described it meetings had been going on, "back end" meetings, but none of them included the community. The community, as the picture shows, cares and is involved. This was Ash Wednesday and barely publicized, but there they are--involved.

6

Susan Luzzaro Feb. 21, 2015 @ 7:37 a.m.

Taya Santiago, Thank you for reading and commenting. There are never enough words to tell stories like these and it gives more depth to the coverage when people who are involved contribute.

We always here stories about how parents don't care, but when I went to this meeting I was impressed by how many parents cared passionately about what kind of education their children are geting, or will be getting.

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Susan Luzzaro Feb. 21, 2015 @ 7:44 a.m.

Eastlaker, it does make sense not to reinvent the wheel. If one district gathers educators and invests in training for educators for students of a certain age...that is to say cultivating expertise would be the best for the students.

To quote the young Bob Dylan, The times they are a changin'. One hopes that Sweetwater is getting on the right track, and educating students well will be the priority.

And it appears that the mania for testing, and taking so much class time away from prepping for tests may be waning. Dare we hope?

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eastlaker Feb. 21, 2015 @ 10:19 a.m.

I would still love to know how Ed Brand and pals can avoid being investigated for their iPAD purchase of several years ago when LA launched a very strong investigation.

I hope that all the Brandian schemes (charter schools begun merely to take students from Chula Vista Elementary School District; shutting down ROP so that students could be forced into paying for similar programs; real estate deals put together in such a complicated way that Brand's pals seem to be guaranteed vast payouts any way things go; and on and on and on) can be halted.

I hope that all the crooked administrators who helped Brand and Russo along the way will be called out and forced to hear exactly what taxpayers, students, parents and teachers think of them. I hope that they do not get away with the 'only following orders' defense.

I hope that selling out public schools will be seen as deeply shameful--and those who would sell out our public schools will be publicly shamed.

5

Bvavsvavev Feb. 22, 2015 @ 4:32 p.m.

Susan, sometimes I worry that Sweetwater, with its years of controversy, conflict and sometimes illegal activity, is not prepared to keep up with the needs of K-6 students and the education they are receiving in many of the CVESD schools. This is why CVESD is creating these charters - not only to poach students but to give parents a choice other than the SUHSD schools. They see the weakness prior SUHSD administrators and board members have created, and to fill that vacuum they created the charters.

I just worry that CVESD is now too full of itself with its successful charters and now thinks they can act without transparency. Matthew Tessiers excuses are weak. They never should have moved so far along without community input and support! Again, this sounds and smells too much like the "Sweetwater Way". Matt and other CVESD administrators need to be careful with this type of secretive process. It wont take much to turn the community against them.

6

erupting Feb. 21, 2015 @ 7:57 a.m.

Brand is gone along with his grandiose ideas. Maybe we should ask the new Sweetwater Board and the Chula Board to have a mtg behind closed doors. It appears that Mr. Tamayo is pushing transparency for the community. Thank God! Maybe it's time to join forces (not unification) Lets remove the middle men and ask the boards to communicate with each other,then have a huge public mtg and see what the voters think. Thanks again for keeping the people in the know Susan. How else would we know what goes on behind closed doors. That alone is pretty scary when you think about it. It appears CV elem.does things like SUSHD did in the past.

5

Visduh Feb. 21, 2015 @ 10:28 a.m.

eastlaker, when you said "None of this makes sense", you said it all. Indeed, why is a K-6 district even considering chartering a high school? Even though most charters are allowed to run freely, unsupervised by their chartering districts, the laws of the state "require" oversight by the district. How does a K-6 district know how to provide that scrutiny of an independently-operating high school? Answer: it doesn't.

But this presentation comes across as utterly half-baked. A simple question about the relevant square footage could not be answered. Can we say "unprepared", boys and girls? Then there were the profuse apologies for the failure to communicate and solicit opinions from the concerned members of the community. Unprepared again. With all the shortcomings of what went on, the board was absolutely correct to delay a decision. In fact, the appropriate step would have been for the board to tell these clowns to go back to the beginning, and start over.

As to whom can attend the proposed school, it would use a lottery only if it had more students wanting to attend that it could accommodate. There's no solid reason to think that it would be oversubscribed. A charter is NOT permitted to "select [its} own students." Part of the charter concept in California is that charters cannot turn anyone away if it has space. And if it is full or oversubscribed, must have a blind lottery. That is not to say that charters are not breaking the law daily by manipulating the composition of their student bodies. Here in No County we have some that are enabling white flight out of the regular public schools, and their chicanery is going unchallenged, for now.

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Susan Luzzaro Feb. 21, 2015 @ 10:43 a.m.

Visduh, the knowledge packed into your comments always amazes me.

As anniej says above , the high school students deserve their own campus.

Parents at the meeting made this point as well. They said the high school students should get to be on baseball teams and such. Mr. Tessier did say they would get their PE across the street and through an agreement with the Y,

but it made me think that some kids, though not many, get scholarships through high school team sports...and, when possible, students should have that opportunity....

8

shirleyberan Feb. 21, 2015 @ 11:52 a.m.

Robert Dean - the people in these communities are constantly bamboozled by unscrupulous liars who manage and manipulate the school system and that's where blame belongs! Your comment is simplistically lacking.

5

ronh Feb. 21, 2015 @ 9:51 p.m.

A minor nit but Silver Wing is actually in south San Diego, not "the western edge of the city (presumably Chula Vista)." I realize that the school districts in San Diego are geographically challenged but the media ought to get it right. It is also blocks from Montgomery middle and high schools. The latter at one time the supposed site of Brand's Sweetwater U. Quite the educational complex.

1

AlexClarke Feb. 22, 2015 @ 6:23 a.m.

All this is proof that school boards are corrupt to the core and that the problem with education is not teachers but school board and administrator. School districts should be redrawn and should be limited to city limits and county geographical areas. For instance the La Mesa Spring Valley school district covers two different areas that have little in common.

4

anniej Feb. 22, 2015 @ 7:34 a.m.

AlexClarke - I am of the opinion that it is NOT the 'School Board' that is corrupt but certain School Board members. While SUHSD was known for years as corrupt there were a couple of members who actually fought for our children and we taxpayers - Mr. Mercado and Ms. Lopez.

We can all put the blame on those that used their position vs. serve in their position however that is taking the easy way out. Focusing on our So Bay community - APATHY is the culprit. While more seats are now taken at Board meetings, one would think, with our large populace - there would be an overflowing crowd at each and every meeting. But alas, the masses would prefer to sit back and complain vs. engaging in action that brings about change. We must all be the stakeholders in education -after all, WE FUND IT.

7

Susan Luzzaro Feb. 22, 2015 @ 8:37 a.m.

Jessica, thank you for responding. You ask if I interviewed someone from CVLCC and you suggest the article is one-sided.

The two presenters represented CVLCC and half the article is given to their quotes. The principal was clearly in favor of the construction of the high school and her ideas are in the article. Mr. Tessier was specifically was there to represent a project that he and the administration have supported for several years.

In addition, several people have emailed me through the Reader website and told me that Tessier's wife is a CVLCC administrator, one can also find that information on a CVLCC website. So I think we can safely assume that CVLCC was represented in the point of view imparted by Mr. Tessier.

More importantly, the article was not really about CVLCC. It was about the meeting that took place with the Silver Wing parents and community. The subject of this article is the that meeting which was called because the school board felt that the district had not allowed for public input on a development that would have an immediate effect on Silver Wing families and their children’s education or their built environment.

I also have to assume that if three board members want to hear from the Silver Wing community, a community that has not been allowed input until late in the process, then the emphasis should obviously on their words.

7

Susan Luzzaro Feb. 22, 2015 @ 8:40 a.m.

ronh,

Thanks for the correction. The difficulty in portraying for the reader the location of the school is that it is part of the Chula Vista School District.

6

Susan Luzzaro Feb. 22, 2015 @ 8:51 a.m.

Rosa Surber, thank you for weighing in. If a picture can tell a story, the picture that goes with this article tells the story of the determination of the Silver Wing families to have their voices heard.

There was a large group of people even though it was short notice and, for some, a religious holiday. I tried to find a notice for the meeting on the district website or on the school website or on the district twitter site, but there was none.

7

Susan Luzzaro Feb. 22, 2015 @ 8:54 a.m.

Alex, district elections appear to have been a boon to Sweetwater. The city of Chula Vista is in the process of drawing up boundaries. There are arguments for and against district elections, but it's one approach to dealing with intransigent problems.

6

Visduh Feb. 23, 2015 @ 8:11 a.m.

Susan, I think you have misunderstood Clarke's comment. He wasn't talking about voting "districts" for board and council seats. What he wants is to have the school district boundaries coincide with city limits, generally, and proposes they be redrawn. While that's not a bad notion, we need to remember that those school district boundaries predate most of the cities, and that it isn't a simple matter to change them. His example of La Mesa-Spring Valley may be telling in that there is a big difference between the city of La Mesa and unincorporated Spring Valley; there are other examples. The Poway district encompasses more than just the city of Poway, covering a large swath of San Diego in the Penasquitos, Carmel Mountain Ranch and Rancho Bernardo areas. One reason for the appeal of those parts of the city is that they are NOT in the San Diego Unified district. Any attempt to change that, and place them in the slobberin' city schools would provoke a hell of a fight, and likely a movement toward secession from the city of SD. Then there are the questions of schools being required to locate within district boundaries, payment of taxes for bonded indebtedness, and a host of technical issues. The devil is in the details, and there are many, many of them. His proposal will not happen. It is more likely that school districts are eventually abolished and the schools run by the county, or even the state.

5

VigilantinCV Feb. 22, 2015 @ 6:14 p.m.

I think that the 3-2 vote on the charter high school at Silver Wing is fascinating.  I suspect the hidden hand of Cheryl Cox.  The two Board members who supported the charter high school have interesting backgrounds.  David Barajeno was tapped to fill the seat that Cheryl Cox had to vacate when she became Mayor in 2006.  Later, David Bejarano stepped down and his daughter was tapped to fill his seat.  When Franky Escabedo made his bid to become the Superintendent of the Chula Vista Elementary School District, he was supported by Russell Coronado who had a seat on the CVESD Board and Glendora Tremper, who was then tapped to fill Russell’s seat when he resigned.  Both worked for Franky Escabedo when they worked for the South Bay Union School District.  Now, Escabedo with the support of Tremper and Bejarano are trying to sideline the newly elected Board members.  We have to support the new Board members, Bunker, Tamayo, and Reyes, to defeat the insider cabal.  
Dare we to hope that there is, indeed, a new Sheriff in town?
10

eastlaker Feb. 22, 2015 @ 6:32 p.m.

Some really great insights here. Yes, it is looking like there is something of a cabal who would like to keep control of things.

Could be connected to some other deep-seated problems in this part of the county?

5

eastlaker Feb. 22, 2015 @ 11:14 p.m.

So there may be tie-ins with South Bay in all this? I have heard that there are some charter schools in South Bay that have taken over neighborhood schools. Makes me wonder just a bit.

5

anniej Feb. 23, 2015 @ 11:27 a.m.

Visduh: I live in the So. San Diego area (Montogmery High & Middle). I would NOT be in favor of being part of San Diego County Schools - as we are So Bay in every way but zip code!

7

eastlaker Feb. 23, 2015 @ 12:04 p.m.

Schools should not be revenue streams for outside interests, and I fear that has been happening here in south San Diego county, and is still happening.

That is a big part of the problem with Common Core, and it is also a problem with some charter schools.

I have even heard that some after school programs could use some oversight...people in the educational field used to go into it because they felt a need to foster learning and opportunities for young people.

There is a reason we pay taxes and fees to support schools, and that reason is NOT to hand over funds to greedy administrators and their best buddies.

We all want Truth In Lending Laws. We should also have Truth in Public Spending Laws.

(We have heard many times that Mello-Roos fees have been badly exploited by Sweetwater. Apparently there is an effort to clean up 27 years of files, but how could things be so out of control for 27 years? Because of back-scratching, complicity and "understandings".

What would it look like if every student who did not get what they should have from their "educational dollar" at Sweetwater would show up and ask why? What about all of us parents and taxpayers who were so understanding through all the years of budget cuts--meanwhile, are students were not getting the benefit of the money we were paying into Mello-Roos.

Isn't it wonderful. I would like to have a full explanation from Sweetwater on this. Somehow I am pretty sure that Ed Brand and Dianne Russo would be mentioned, along with a few names who are still employed by the district.)

And now we see that Chula Vista Elementary School District appears to be boarding that runaway train. Let us hope that the three new CVESD board members can contain and control those who would like to run that school district like a private fund-raising entity, benefitting persons unknown. We have seen this pattern, and it does not bode well.

7

Visduh Feb. 23, 2015 @ 4:49 p.m.

Based on the fact that this charter school has been operating for a number of years already, it's too late to talk about shutting it down. The "fatal" step was taken when the board voted to approve the charter. But that doesn't mean that the district now has to roll over to every desire or whim of the charter school's administration. If, in fact, the current location is only temporary, it can be relocated, instead of being accommodated permanently at Silver Wing. The district is, by law, required to attempt to house/host its charter schools in surplus space that is suitable. Well, the story here is that Silver Wing is not suitable for a permanent high school. The district can and should make it very clear to CVLCC that it is being watched closely, and if there are any screw-ups, the charter could be revoked. Then, the school could be encouraged to seek its charter, not from CVESD, but from a high school district. Since there's only one of those in the area, the choice would be obvious. Exactly what the CVESD board members were thinking--assuming that any real thought went into it--when they voted to charter a middle/high school is a mystery to me. But there's no reason to just keep piling one bad decision onto another one. CVESD should do everything it can to cut its ties to this charter operation, and get back to running a K-6 district. Let someone else handle oversight of a secondary charter school.

7

conamara0515 March 2, 2015 @ 12:52 p.m.

Well said, Silver Wing campus is not suitable for any High School. CVESD in other words "Mr. Escobedo", wanted this to happen. Why? What is he getting in return? He believes he can do as he pleases with district land, not he first time I've heard this. I believe he has overstepped his authority and hope community leaders get involved. Him not having Silver Wing student's best interest, is incomprehensible.

2

Sjtorres Feb. 24, 2015 @ 8:45 a.m.

We all know the only reason there is an article about this is Ms Luzzaro and the union bosses don't like charter schools because they are hard to get kickbacks from. That's what this is all about.

0

eastlaker Feb. 24, 2015 @ 8:59 a.m.

Keep telling yourself that, and maybe even you will believe it.

7

cvlancer Feb. 25, 2015 @ 9:42 a.m.

Wrong! Susan Luzzaro has been of a beacon of light for all those who have fought for years to have open government and educational fairness for all. Charter schools are a problem as they receive public money with very little or no accountability. Education that receives public money should go toward public schools. Having attending schools of the Chula Vista Elementary School District and Sweetwater Union High School District, the structure is just fine while the governance has been rotten. If people want a K-12 unified school district approach, they can begin the very lengthy process of combining elementary and secondary schools.. Hopefully it would be based on non geographical boundaries as those based on geographical boundaries can be and have been vehicles for politicians power grabs.

6

anniej Feb. 24, 2015 @ 6:01 p.m.

You ever get the feeling Sjtorres sounds an awful lot like a bitter Edbrand?

Wondering if he has written that reimbursement check yet? Maybe he and Russo could carpool to the post office together and send those monies back at the same time.

And,,,,,,, what was John McCann doing when several members in the community questioned the Brand and Russo contracts - well voting for them of course. Chula Vista taxpayers be careful................

11

Bvavsvavev Feb. 24, 2015 @ 8:04 p.m.

The whole notion of a k-12 charter the way CVLCC is set up is just not making sense. Their k-6 school is near Broadway and K St in Southwest Chula Vista. The middle 7-8 school is on Third Ave in downtown Chula Vista, and the 9-12 high school is in Otay Mesa in the City of San Diego.

Not sure if this is empire building by CVLCC, or just taking space where it is available.

Either way, i worry about the oversight at this school. Who is on their board, and is this what is best for the families and community of Chula Vista/South San Diego?

8

Susan Luzzaro Feb. 25, 2015 @ 8:51 a.m.

Ruby Zamora-Baker,

I looked on CVESD's website and did not see an announcement of a February 26 board meeting. Can you tell me where to find the announcement?

If it's true, I hope Mr. Tessier has notified the parents from Silver Wing, as he said he would. I notice on CVLCC's website they cancelled their board meeting so everyone would attend the last board meeting that was to consider approving the high school demolition/construction fees.

7

mystyinsandiego Feb. 25, 2015 @ 7:38 p.m.

http://www.cvesd.org/DISTRICT/Pages/Meetings.aspx

Here is the agenda for Thursday, February 26. It came out at about 3 pm yesterday. Today parents received flyers that said, "Topic: Regarding the future of CVLCC High School at Silver Wing" instead of just "CVLCC High School." What a difference wording makes, right? Parents are organizing, going around the neighborhood with petitions, and making plans to go that board meeting tomorrow. WE will welcome any support from the community. We are the underdog.

6

mystyinsandiego Feb. 25, 2015 @ 7:58 p.m.

Here is something interesting. The district is most likely using Prop 39 as their support to put the charter high school on the elementary school site. BUT there is some interesting language under SECTION SIX (b) Each school district shall make available, to each charter school operating in the school district, facilities sufficient for the charter school to accommodate all of the charter school's {in-district} students in conditions reasonably equivalent to those in which the students would be accommodated if they were attending other public schools of the district. Facilities provided shall be contiguous, furnished, and equipped, and shall remain the property of the school district. The school district shall make reasonable efforts to provide the charter school with facilities near to where the charter school wishes to locate, and shall not move the charter school unnecessarily. Look at the part in brackets { } that says in-district. In fact, it is written all over that section. I believe those CVLCC students are not in-district so the district can say no. On top of that, how is squeezing high school kids on a campus that really can't accommodate them fair. They have permits to do PE (physical education) in the YMCA down the block and use the park.

6

eastlaker Feb. 26, 2015 @ 8:20 a.m.

In the way I read this, you are absolutely correct, in that secondary school students cannot be "in district" in an elementary (primary) school district. It is a logical impossibility.

5

CVsincethe70s Feb. 25, 2015 @ 10:29 a.m.

How does the construction of a High School that has been in the works for 3 years, with documented community meetings dating back till then, suddenly become a referendum on Charter Schools? Has anyone looked at the demographics of the school? 90% + latino, 50%+ English language learners. Has anyone here looked at the performance of the 1,300 plus students? There are already students living in that area attending that High School so there is nothing to do with exclusivity. As far as the money, the school receives the same reimbursement rate as other schools, there is just something more "efficient" about how it is managed.

Lets not try to cloud the issue here. The school did everything in the open, look at the minutes of the CVESD Board meetings and the letters sent home from the Silver Wing Principal. The school has been there for 3 years and the spot was chosen because of Silver Wing's enrollment numbers. This school, it's parents and, especially its students, have done nothing except worked really hard to represent their community and district. There are parents that even moved into the area to be part of the community.

To suddenly realize this school appeared over night and make it about Charter Schools is unfortunate and smacks of Board Members supported by the Union, Board Members who work for Sweetwater and are losing money because these students do not attend their schools and, unfortunately, an author who disclosed, thankfully, her connection to the "bargaining team", another term for Union. To suggest that the two members at the meeting were representing CVLCC is indicative of the bias. Both representatives were there on behalf of the CVESD District and were there to explain the process. Not having a dog in the fight would seem to be the first, and most important, prerequisite to reporting information like this. It's unfortunate that the educational future of students has become politicized.

0

Susan Luzzaro Feb. 25, 2015 @ 12:27 p.m.

CVsincethe70s --

Nasty personal attacks written under assumed names immediately discredit arguments, you should refrain from that practice.

I guess you're suggesting that the people who attended this Silver Wing meeting are lying and they were informed of the progress of the high school plans? And the principal and Tessier apologized for "dropping the ball" because the Silver Wing community had been involved in the process -- that's just a union fabrication?

What's up with putting unions down or union supported candidates down? (You might recall Tamayo was not supported by the union.) As I have commented before, thousands of people belong to unions by choice. Prior to being elected as state assemblywoman, Lorena Gonzalez was the CEO and secretary-treasurer of the San Diego-Imperial County Labor Council. People voted for her because of that, not in spite of that.

Finally, unions don't bargain the existence of charter schools in districts nor their locations. Please no red herrings in your arguments.

7

CVsincethe70s Feb. 25, 2015 @ 1:05 p.m.

I did not think I made any personal attacks. I simply stated facts. The "assumed" name was to make it clear I have lived in Chula Vista since the '70s and to take personalities out of this. I have no doubt the people at the meeting were not lying about not knowing; however, that does not mean the information was not given out. This district can provide copies of sign-in sheets and dates of meetings and copies of memos. As far as Mr. Tamayo not being supported by the union, I don't disagree. However, when you read who endorsed him, people like Lorena Gonzalez and other Union supporters, which is not a bad thing, come up. I am not against unions at all. Having taught in the district for a few years and paid my union dues. What I take issue with is declaring "student based decision making" and then making decisions don't take students in to account. There have been no complaints about the high school in the 3 years it has been there. Not one. There has only been collaboration in tutoring between the high school and elementary school. I find it hard to believe that the "community" has been holding its collective tongue for all these years or did not notice the school. Please keep in mind the drop off and pick up for many parents is in the High School parking lot.

I agree, unions don't bargain the existence of charter schools…but, why then does the CVE Facebook (Chula Vista Educators) announce the meeting at Silver Wing and encourage members to "voice their concerns". Why is it even an issue CVE would be involved with.

I have no problem with an open and frank discussion. However, that starts with objectivity and ends with evidence. CVESD.org has the Board Minutes dating back to 2012 where a high school was announced. The district has the memos and logs of community meetings. I don't disagree that people didn't know, but I cannot accept this being characterized as a covert, under the table, back room operation. It has been right out in the open. As far as the credibility of the "argument", I don't worry about it because I'm not arguing. I'm simply relating facts that can be independently verified.

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dbdriver Feb. 25, 2015 @ 2:57 p.m.

The link, as you have posted, did not seem to work. It looks like www. needs to be entered in front of the address to work.

I started checking some of the board agendas to look for verification. (Wow, 200+ page pdfs take a bit of time to download, but they are so much more detailed than Sweetwater board agendas.) I searched a couple of them, but did not see any reference to creating a high school.

Could you point out a specific meeting that you found such a reference in 2012? (Don't need the very first, but at least a meeting where they discussed would help me find a reference)

Also, unless I've missed a comment (possibly made and removed?) I don't see what I would consider a personal attack.

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CVsincethe70s Feb. 25, 2015 @ 3:24 p.m.

<p>www.cvesd.org Sorry about that. My browser fills it in. These are just some: (I copied and pasted from an agenda item)

On April 10, 2013 the Director announced to the CVESD Board that he intended on adding a High School. On May 8, 2012, the Board approved the Chula Vista Learning Community Charter (CVLCC) petition for the period of July 2012 through June 2017. Included in the charter petition was the integration of Grades 9 through 12. CVLCC Grade 9 students were housed in facilities at Silver Wing Elementary for the 2012-13 school year as District staff and CVLCC administration discussed options for a permanent location for the charter high school. With planning and discussions continuing and the need to accommodate students in Grades 9 and 10 for the 2013-14 school year, the Board adopted Resolution No. 2012-13.58 for the purchase of two 48' x 40' relocatable classroom buildings and one 12' x 40' relocatable restroom building to be placed at Silver Wing for CVLCC paid by CVLCC. Subsequently, based on parent and charter school community support, the decision was made to permanently house CVLCC High at Silver Wing. Also in 2013-14, CVLCC decided to proceed with plans to purchase a 132' x 40' two-story facility that would consist of seven additional classrooms, a multipurpose room, food service area, and restrooms. Installation of solid fencing is planned around the perimeter of CVLCC High to separate the high school campus from the elementary school campus. May 22, 2013, the district authorized the Execution and Delivery of the Chula Vista Elementary School District 2013 Certificates of Participation in an amount not to exceed $7,500,000. This would allow for the addition of infrastructure to develop expansion projects at CVLCC High School. Agenda Item 4.JJ, June 18, 2014 clearly outlines the intentions to house CVLCC High School at Silver Wing.

After a six-month review process (this involved District architect Ruhnau Ruhnau Clarke; the Division of the State Architect; and reviews for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, safety, and structural requirements), a bid was prepared for the manufacture, delivery, and installation of the two-story building and advertised December 11 and 18, 2014, in the San Diego Daily Transcript. Bid documents were requested by and provided to nine contractors. On December 22, 2014, the District held a pre-bid conference that was attended by six of these contractors. One contractor responded to the bid opening on January 21, 2015, as reflected in the following chart.

There are more and I will look for them as I have been sifting through the agendas and minutes. For the logs of the community meetings you would have to contact the district directly, as those are not on the web site.

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CVsincethe70s Feb. 25, 2015 @ 6:33 p.m.

Thank you for asking and for not seeing this as a personal attack. There were no posts deleted.

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mystyinsandiego Feb. 25, 2015 @ 8:22 p.m.

Parents asked for documentation of items at the meeting. Nothing was present. There was no blue prints, no handouts of historical timelines, nothing...just an aerial view and a power point of the historical timelines. The first year the High School was present temporarily there was cross-age tutoring after school. The second year a handful of tutors from CVLCC tutored but this year there has been no cross-age tutoring. There has been no true benefit to the elementary school. In fact, I have witness students for CVLCC hugging and kissing several times. It is not my job to be policing high school students. When we were told they were using the first grade classrooms, I was a very pregnant teacher in one of the bungalows they currently use now and I had to relocate everything to another room. I did not receive any help from the district aside from a few hours possibly from a custodian to move my items. My husband moved 90% of all my items. Our site will not have space to grow. I'd love a science lab or a music room at our school. We have now empty classrooms. I still would like to see transparency. We shouldn't have to keep asking for documents or blue prints.

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mystyinsandiego Feb. 25, 2015 @ 9:57 p.m.

Ops, I meant no empty classrooms. Sorry for the error.

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bbq Feb. 25, 2015 @ 1:11 p.m.

CVsincethe70s, I look at the record and see this is the first time you have ever commented to the reader, welcome, if it really is not the first time just a new Nom de plume, Pen Name, shame on you.

Before calling the author and others names, review their other work before condeming them to shoddy journalism and or bias. You certainly leave no doubt about your bias, yet, I do not know who you represent

Susan has been a major contributor to the changes at Sweetwater, weather you like her politics and style or not, she at least gets people to look into what's going on and hopefully acting out to find and make their own opinions on the issues. For this I am grateful that we have the alternate information site.

As for Charter Schools, I am sure there are many with fine rational for their existance, specialized ESL for one or specialized STEM, however I do believe that their is a darker side to some Charters and that is GREED. I am not aware of SilverWings Charter and will not comment on where it sits in the continum of Need to Greed, however there seem to be issues with its location and possibly with its communication, only based on this article.

I have issue with the need for a school to be completely separate from the district which I pay taxes and currently Mello-Roos (Charter). I also have issue with a union that will not properly vet teachers and programs to provide what is needed by the community a school building resides in, ie variable class sizes and or teaching hours to provide the necessary skills to our students for their success.

However, If a community wants specifics in their local school, there are School site councils and other avenues other than the paneca of Charter Schools, which can often have limited public oversight. I like to have an opportunity to see where my taxes go and elect the people in charge of over seeing the spending, which is one reason SUHSD has a completely new Board!!!

BBQ, CAVE

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Susan Luzzaro Feb. 25, 2015 @ 8:25 p.m.

mystyinsandiego,

thanks for the notice of the meeting. I just looked up the agenda and there are several cvlcc/silver wing items on the agenda for tomorrow evening. One section looks just like the posting earlier today from cv70s:

BACKGROUND INFORMATION: On May 8, 2012, the Board approved the Chula Vista Learning Community Charter (CVLCC) petition for the period of July 2012 through June 2017. Included in the charter petition was the integration of Grades 9 through 12. CVLCC Grade 9 students were housed in facilities at Silver Wing Elementary for the 2012-13 school year as District staff and CVLCC administration discussed options for a permanent location for the charter high school. With planning and discussions continuing and the need to accommodate students in Grades 9 and 10 for the 2013-14 school year, the Board adopted Resolution No. 2012-13.58 for the purchase of two 48' x 40' relocatable classroom buildings and one 12' x 40' relocatable restroom building to be placed at Silver Wing for CVLCC paid by CVLCC. Subsequently, based on parent and charter school community support, the decision was made to permanently house CVLCC High at Silver Wing. Also in 2013-14, CVLCC decided to proceed with plans to purchase a 132' x 40' two-story facility that would consist of seven additional classrooms, a multipurpose room, food service area, and restrooms. Installation of solid fencing is planned around the perimeter of CVLCC High to separate the high school campus from the elementary school campus. After a six-month review process (this involved District architect Ruhnau Ruhnau Clarke; the Division of....

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mystyinsandiego Feb. 25, 2015 @ 10:05 p.m.

Well, Silver Wing parents didn't get any forums or meetings of any sort at that time. Thank you Susan Luzarro for posting. We have some serious disequilibrium happening at our site. A representative visited from David Alvarez's office visited today, parents are petitioning in the neighborhood, and some profanity occurred from CVLCC students. It's not a fun situation. I think tomorrow's board meeting is not going to be Pleasantville.

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CVsincethe70s Feb. 26, 2015 @ 8:43 a.m.

Yes, as I stated in the post, I copied and pasted the information from an agenda item.

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anniej Feb. 25, 2015 @ 10:53 p.m.

CVsincethe70s - well, I have been here since the 60's ( see being old does count for something ). The area they are looking to put the high school charter in is MY COMMUNITY. I had NO knowledge of this happening and consider myself pretty well informed.

It is obvious this proposal was NOT well advertised to the community, say what you may about sign in sheets and records. We have seen what another local school district did with their charter list and meetings (SUHSD) - I was in attendance at that fiasco.

On the subject of Mr. Tamayo - while historically I was not a fan of his I have been MORE THAN IMPRESSED with his actions as a CV Board member.

As stated above if C.V. wants a high school Charter - then buy the land and build it. While our community may not be considered wealthy - hard working does not equate to being ignorant. Unfortunately I will be in attendance at a SUHSD meeting or I would be there to stand against the Charter.

Regarding Ms. Luzzaro, well, all I can say is she got the ball rolling on the 'questionable dealings' in a couple other Districts in the So Bay mainly Sweetwater, with Southwestern running a close second and San Ysidro pulling up the rear - 18 indictments later SUHSD has an entire new Board.

For the record - 'we are sick and tired and simply not going to take being taken advantage of - our children's education and safety are far too important to us'. Say what you may about us but bottom line WE WILL BE RESPECTED!!!!!!!

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CVsincethe70s Feb. 26, 2015 @ 9:08 a.m.

Anniej, I appreciate your active role in your community and you are exactly the kind of member of the community I thought I was hearing from when I attended the meetings at the school during this process. I guess that's what's troubling for me. For the last three years I thought the High School had been a positive for the community. I understood from teachers at Silver Wing there were no problems with the students. They were respectful and helpful. Parents that came in to the office seemed up beat and wanted to know how to enroll their student in High School. I had not heard anything negative about PDAs, profanity or anything of the like. I remember one parent at a meeting commenting that it was about time they used the field for something. It was not until the last Board meeting when one teacher stood up and voiced concerns. This was even more confusing because that teacher was one that had participated in the cross age tutoring. So, in all fairness, the students, parents and staff of CVLCC High School understood everything to be positive. After 3 years of being there, you kind of think you'd know if you were not wanted. It's unfortunate that it's gotten to this point and I can't help feel that it is less about the construction of the High School and more about charter schools as a concept. As you said in your post, you "would be there to stand against the Charter." Any way, I hope the meeting is productive tonight and not full of politics.

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dbdriver Feb. 26, 2015 @ 10:08 a.m.

Looking online at API scores shows the schools are doing well. CVLCC dropped a bit since this last year, but it still had a score of 849. By comparison, only 2 of Sweetwater's high schools have done better.

The elementary school's scores have risen in that time as well, so the students don't appear to be affected negatively at all, education-wise.

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CVsincethe70s Feb. 26, 2015 @ 10:42 a.m.

And if you look at the scores when it started, when it was on the parking lot at Rice Elementary. It's impressive that the school is still around. Parents got letters every year saying the school might be closed down because of performance. It took a while, but the philosophy worked. With 50%+ English Language learners and a 90%+ latino population, the students worked super hard. Even the Governator came down to visit them and tell them what a great job they did!

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anniej Feb. 26, 2015 @ 11:17 a.m.

CVsincethe 70s - unfortunately I was not aware of the plan to put a high school on an elementary campus.

Please know, while I believe alternative education has a right to be offered I take exception to my tax dollars being used to support 'Charters' for a variety of reasons

  • IF a Charter is going to be placed in a community, then THAT communities children should be the students.

  • while some Charters reportedly are doing well and the students are benefiting what about the others that are reportedly failing.

  • Why are some Districts resources being used by Charters? Now I understand that they are paying for the services, but if they want to operate as an educational alternative, then they need to be prepared to carry the load of responsibilities on their own dime.

  • I am emphatically against an elementary school being on the same grounds (even if separated by a fence) as a high school.

I encourage members of my community to attend the meeting and share their views. We, after all, are the stewards of those who come after us.

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CVsincethe70s Feb. 26, 2015 @ 2:28 p.m.

This is exactly my point, this is not about the construction of a High School on the campus of Silver Wing Elementary, this is a referendum on Charter Schools. I appreciate you being clear about this. I can understand it much better like that. Thank you.

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anniej Feb. 26, 2015 @ 11:21 a.m.

CVsincethe70s - the governor you say? Not meaning to be a smart ass - however the Secretary of Education visited CPM and???????????? The SUHSD leadership was all on board with converting the entire campus into a Charter - and where is that Board now - gone, out of here, hasta la vista.

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mystyinsandiego Feb. 27, 2015 @ 3:41 a.m.

The motion was approved. I could see 2 maybe 3 board members were not happy. That was clear in their expressions. They were reluctant to second any motion. The community found out why. The district basically co-signed for a 5 million loan that CVLCC took out. On top of that taxpayers found out they get the land rent free. The only pay for utilities. Parents had a representative from David Alvarez's office reminding them to share information and that they will be watched. Others also spoke on their behalf. My parents aren't done. The saw how one sided this is. They will be reminded every day when they deal with traffic and issues that continue to come up. High schoolers do not belong with elementary students.

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anniej Feb. 27, 2015 @ 9:02 a.m.

mystyinsandiego - Documents that can found online at San Diego Registrar of Voters website provided by Ms. Tremper indicates her employer as a SLP Lead at the River Springs CHARTER - ah, hello, yes you did read that right.

This is exactly why voters need to do their homework. Why would ANY voter darken in that circle?????

If the parents of this community want change in the manner in which the Chula Vista Elementary School Board conducts business - YOU NEED TO START NOW IN WORKING TO VOTE THOSE WHO ARE NOT LISTENING TO THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE OUT!!! You may have lost this battle but that does not mean you have lost the war. CHANGE REQUIRES HARD WORK!!!

Based on the votes I have researched in the past couple of days, there are three, 3, tres (how is that as an example of how ridiculous Common Core is) current members who seem to consistently vote as a block - but,,,,,, I guess that is better than the 5 cluster votes we use to see -

Who voted yes?

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Sjtorres Feb. 27, 2015 @ 9:19 a.m.

The author of this article fails to disclose the fact she has many family members that are current or former schools union officers & members and their whole gang has been fighting against charter schools for years.

This (like most of Luzzaro's hit pieces) is laughable in that the source/idea comes straight from the union bosses.

ZERO credibility as a 'journalist'.

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eastlaker Feb. 27, 2015 @ 9:56 a.m.

bogosity--rhymes with atrocity, neologism for verbiage that doesn't pass the sniff test. E.g., the above.

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eastlaker Feb. 27, 2015 @ 9:48 a.m.

I would advise all concerned with what is taking place in with this school site to listen to what anniej says.

Communities need to show up in numbers and be prepared to speak up. Study everything your school board has on the agenda. Call the superintendent. Call your principals, Call your trustees. Email them, use snail mail. Make sure your voices are heard.

The special interest groups are on the march, and they know how to manipulate the system.

If you care at all about public education, get involved!

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shirleyberan Feb. 27, 2015 @ 9:55 a.m.

Sjtorres - Ms Luzzarro is widely respected and on the side of right, not might. You'd be hard pressed to find she has any boss but her own wisdom and conscience. Not surprising to think there is union consciousness since collective bargaining and community input are positives. Half-truths and outright lies are continually fed to the parents and public. If charter schools take funding away from certain neighborhood children somebody has to explain that, patiently and over and over. Ms. Luzzaro is one great journalist who speaks for the voiceless. You have twisted political beliefs and enjoy being an Ed-type-bully so, shut up and sit down.

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anniej Feb. 27, 2015 @ 10:04 a.m.

Sjtorres - your comments appear to reflect your disdain for hard working Americans who were forced to come together and join forces against owner greed and total lack of regard for those who built this Nation and continue to make us great.

Case in point - when a School District Board such as SUHSD's 'WAS' able to allegedly be bought that Sir is proof enough UNIONS ARE NECESSARY.

No average worker is able to write their own contract and then approve it as was done at SUHSD by a certain alleged 'double dipper'.

So tell us, WHO ARE YOU REALLY? An overpaid District employee suit, a past poor choice of a Super or perhaps one of our past Board members?

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Susan Luzzaro Feb. 27, 2015 @ 2:40 p.m.

Mr Hides Behind the Mask Torres,

Your post is inaccurate, love to count the ways but gotta run and spend the kickback my union bosses gave me...

Your epithets are curiously archaic, are you from the 1920's?

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Ensenadamaria Feb. 27, 2015 @ 4:24 p.m.

annie the suits you refer to would they be Brosz or Leyba? You obviously know the key players of the good old boy club.

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eastlaker March 6, 2015 @ 2:30 p.m.

I haven't been able to determine who, of those remaining from the Brand/Gandara/Brand administrations, is still working for the Departed. Or, I should say, I don't know all of them. I have my suspicions on some, and it seems clear that a couple of them consider themselves "above the law" in the best Sweetwater traditions. I think there are some who are trying to play both sides at this point, because they aren't certain which side will emerge victorious.

I would say watch Huezo like a hawk.

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oskidoll March 7, 2015 @ 10:44 a.m.

We DO know that some, such as Calhoun, need to gone, gone, gone. March 15 is just a week away. Wonder if the new board can get their schedules together enough to take care of at least one of the rats.

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