May 22, 2017 Letter to OVPP/Pleasant View Families
Dear OVPP/Pleasant View Staff and Families,
The OVPP/Pleasant View School Consolidation Task Force was created this spring to help address and plan for the proposed school consolidation project at OVPP/Pleasant View Schools and assist in developing informed recommendations for the Board of Trustees to consider as it makes critical decisions about Measure R bond modernization projects and fiscal efficiency. The Task Force convened in April and again May 18, and discussed important issues related to special education and general education preschool students, staff and families. Both meetings were interactive, productive and collaborative in nature. I am incredibly proud of the work that was done by these OVPP/Pleasant View parents and staff, union leaders, District and school administrators, and community members. Myself, Deputy Superintendent Michael Conroy, and Special Education Executive Director Melissa Hurd were also members of the Task Force, and it was moderated by an outside third-party education expert, Dr. Joseph Farley.
As a result of the Task Force’s deliberations, I am writing to tell you what the recommendations to the Board and the “Next Steps” will be as they relate to OVPP/Pleasant View’s school consolidation process. We listened to the input of Task Force members and refined our plans based upon the constructive feedback from our first meeting. We value the voices of our staff and families, and we believe this is reflected in the following recommendations as we move forward.
● Slow down the consolidation process at OVPP/Pleasant View Schools and begin instead during the 2019-2020 school year, so we can best accommodate the unique needs of our special education and general education preschool students.
● Consolidate OVPP/Pleasant View Schools into two elementary campuses beginning in the 2019-2020 school year – Westmont and College View.
● Begin Measure R bond modernization projects during the 2018-2019 school year at Westmont and College View, so that OVPP/Pleasant View Schools need move only once into two modernized elementary campuses with preschool-appropriate facilities.
● Provide safe interim housing at OVPP/Pleasant View Schools for College View Elementary School during the modernization process (2018-2019 school year) by bringing in modern portable classrooms and other portable facilities, such as restrooms, onto the expansive OVPP/Pleasant View campus.
● Once the consolidation is complete, the OVPP/Pleasant View campus will be used as interim school housing for other elementary schools during the remaining Measure R bond modernization projects.
● Provide extended “Next Steps” planning for OVPP/Pleasant View consolidation process.
These recommendations will be presented to our Board of Trustees in an agenda item at a special Board Meeting on June 6 at 6 p.m. The meeting will include a Public Hearing, which will allow members of the Task Force, the public, staff, and families to speak on the recommendations.
It is anticipated that Board approval of the recommendations will be sought at the next regular Board meeting on June 13, 2017.
I want to reassure you as we journey together through the school consolidation process. The members of this Task Force raised many important concerns, voiced varying opinions, sought answers, listened to our responses, and then collaborated in a constructive and positive manner, for which I am very proud. Special facilities for preschoolers and special education students, the need for families and staff to transition smoothly and effectively, and the particularly collaborative nature of the OVPP/Pleasant View staff with its families – these ideas were all considered when recommendations were refined and finalized.
Beyond the recommendations listed above, there will be many important decisions to be made prior to the consolidation in September 2019. These include meeting the needs of special education students, Extended Learning programs, school start times, and school transition activities to aid in the consolidation process for students, staff and families. Ms. Hurd made a special note of concerns raised by our Task Force related to the topics of health and safety, programming and services, and employment (both classified and certificated). The District will continue to work in a collaborative, transparent manner with our OVPP/Pleasant View Schools, as well as those at Westmont and College View, as we discuss these “Next Steps” in the process.
Again, I am thrilled to report these recommendations to you today with the knowledge that our OVPP/Pleasant View staff and families, as well as our community, was welcomed into the decision-making process and their input was heard and incorporated into the final product, as seen in the final recommendation to extend the planning and implementation process to two years, instead of one year. They are to be congratulated for setting such a wonderful example and for truly speaking out on behalf of all students and stakeholders.
We encourage you to speak with your principal, Mr. Paul James, if you have more questions. I will send out further communications as we finalize plans and discuss our “Next Steps” prior to consolidation in September 2019.
Carol Hansen, Ed.D.