School Consolidation & Interim Housing Reports

  • Background Information

    In November 2016, the Ocean View School District passed a $169M school general obligation bond.

    On February 1 and 15, Special Board Meetings were held to begin discussions with the Board regarding Facilities Master Plan, project priorities, and interim housing. Staff recommended that school consolidation be explored at Sun View and the OVPP/Pleasant View campuses and these respective campuses be utilized as interim school housing.

    Interim school housing allows students and staff to be relocated to an alternative site, providing a safe, consistent environment for student learning while a school’s buildings are being modernized.

    Staff recommended and the Board agreed that School Consolidation Task Forces be created to provide a forum for questions and concerns of families, employees, and community members as our District moves forward with the exploration of temporary housing and school consolidation.  There was one task force created for the Sun View School consolidation and another for the OVPP/Pleasant View School consolidation.

    The Ocean View School District has resolved many significant challenges over the past two years by collaborating with families and staff, and keeping everyone informed about important decisions.  The District adhered to the same approach to address important decisions regarding Facilities Master Plan, bond modernization projects, and fiscal stability.

    Members of the Sun View School Consolidation Task Force included Claudia Martinez (parent); Debbie Debow (City of HB rep); Elaine Burney (Principal); Irena Rivera (parent); Jason Bozarth (CSEA President); Jennifer Kurth (parent); Kari Grace (classified staff); Kris Serven (certificated staff); Linda Brooks (classified staff); Margaret Friedmann (OVTA President); Marsha Sipkovich (OVTA Rep); Melissa Hurd (Executive Director of Special Education); Sharon Campbell (certificated staff); Michelle Vellanoweth (Classified Personnel Director); Felix Avila (Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources); Dr. Michael Conroy (Deputy Superintendent of Administrative Services); and Dr. Carol Hansen (Superintendent).

    Sun View School Consolidation Task Force meetings were held on April 10, 2017, and May 15, 2017.

    Members of the OVPP/Pleasant View School Consolidation Task Force included Angelique St. Jean (parent); Ann Kilker (parent); Bryan Leipper (OVTA Rep); Catherine Opperud (classified staff); Chileen Spaulding (Coordinator of Special Education); Christina Llata (certificated staff); Debbie Debow, (City of HB rep); Jason Bozarth (CSEA President); Kathie Favazza (certificated staff); Kim Hunter (certificated staff); Mary Clayton (classified staff); Melissa Hurd (Executive Director of Special Education); Margaret Friedmann (OVTA President); Nicole Baitx-Kennedy (Coordinator of Child Care Programs); Paul James (Principal); Sarah Tapia (parent); Shea Nolan (parent); Theresa Crockett (certificated staff); Monica Mora (OVTA/CTA Teachers’ Advocate); Michelle Vellanoweth (Classified Personnel Director); Felix Avila (Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources); Dr. Michael Conroy (Deputy Superintendent of Administrative Services); and Dr. Carol Hansen (Superintendent).

    OVPP/Pleasant View School Consolidation Task Force meetings were held on April 13, 2017, and May 18, 2017.

    A Districtwide communication plan was implemented, including meetings with those school communities that were directly impacted and written communications to stakeholders to keep them informed of the progress on school consolidation and interim housing. The communications included background information on the issues and dates of public hearing:


    SUN VIEW SCHOOL CONSOLIDATION TASK FORCE

    • February 1, 2017 – Special Board Meeting – Information on Project Priorities and Interim Housing
    • February 2, 2017 – Board Connections – Special Edition #1,  summarizing February 1 Board meeting
    • February 6, 2017 – Sun View Staff Meeting
    • February 15, 2017 – Special Board Meeting – Information on Project Priorities and Interim Housing
    • February 16, 2017 – Board Connections – Special Edition #2 summarizing, February 15 Board meeting
    • March 3, 2017 – Sun View PTO Meeting
    • March 14, 2017 – Sun View Parent Night Meeting
    • March 23, 2017 – Letter via Blackboard Connect message to Sun View Families and staff, updating on process
    • March 26, 2017 – Letter via Blackboard Connect message to all OVSD Families regarding Measure R Modernization and School Consolidation; also on website
    • April 2017 – OVSD Current (families/community newsletter) and Making Waves (staff newsletter)
    • April 3, 2017 – Email sent to Sun View Task Force with Introductory Letter  
    • April 10, 2017 – Sun View Task Force Meeting
    • May 15, 2017 – Sun View Task Force Meeting
    • May 16, 2017 – Letter sent to Sun View Task Force regarding recommendations, public hearings before Board on June 6, and final Board approval on June 13; also on website
    • May 25, 2017 – Letter via Blackboard Connect message sent to OVSD families, staff, community leaders regarding recommendations, public hearing before Board on June 6, and final Board approval on June 13; also on website
    • June 6, 2017 – Special Board Meeting – Information/Public Hearing
    • June 13, 2017 – Regular Board Meeting – Approval of recommendations


    OVPP/PLEASANT VIEW SCHOOL CONSOLIDATION TASK FORCE

    • February 1, 2017 – Special Board Meeting – Information on Project Priorities and Interim Housing
    • February 2, 2017 – Board Connections – Special Edition #1,  summarizing February 1 Board meeting
    • February 6, 2017 –OVPP/Pleasant View Staff Meetings (2)
    • February 15, 2017 – Special Board Meeting – Information on Project Priorities and Interim Housing
    • February 16, 2017 – Board Connections – Special Edition #2 summarizing, February 15 Board meeting
    • March 15, 2017 – OVPP/Pleasant View Parent Night Meeting
    • March 23, 2017 – Letter via Blackboard Connect message to OVPP/Pleasant View Families and staff, updating on process
    • March 26, 2017 – Letter via Blackboard Connect message to all OVSD Families regarding Measure R Modernization and School Consolidation; also on website
    • April 2017 – OVSD Current (families/community newsletter) and Making Waves (staff newsletter)
    • April 3, 2017 – Email sent to OVPP/Pleasant View Task Force with Introductory Letter
    • April 13, 2017 – OVPP/Pleasant View Task Force Meeting
    • May 18, 2017 – OVPP/Pleasant View Task Force Meeting
    • May 22, 2017 – Letter sent to OVPP/Pleasant View Task Force regarding recommendations, public hearings before Board on June 6, and final Board approval on June 13; also on website
    • May 25, 2017 – Letter via Blackboard Connect message sent to OVSD families, staff, community leaders regarding recommendations, public hearing before Board on June 6, and final Board approval on June 13; also on website
    • June 6, 2017 – Special Board Meeting – Information/Public Hearing
    • June 13, 2017 – Regular Board Meeting – Approval of recommendations


    Summary of School Consolidation Task Force Meetings:

    The following is a summary of the information staff presented during the School Consolidation Task Force Meetings:

    Our overall student enrollment has declined from 9,600 students in 2009 to a current enrollment of approximately 8,700 students. This significant decline impacts everything we do, from District income, staffing, facility usage, categorical funding, and class configurations in our schools.

    Our District received positive certification from the County for its 2016-2017 budget and must project the same solvency for the upcoming two fiscal years, despite continued enrollment declines that negatively impact District income. We have implemented many budget cuts to maintain a balanced budget and to improve employee salaries, some of the lowest in the County. Upcoming changes in District income will now impact other practices, such as maintaining very small school sizes.

    The need for fiscal solvency, coupled with projections of reduced income, require our District to analyze overall efficiency, staffing ratios, school enrollments, and school sizes.

    The following statistical information was provided in written form to all Task Force members and reviewed during the meetings:  Enrollment trends for all OVSD schools, small school statistics for Orange County, school closure history in Orange County, financial impact to operate small schools, impact of declining enrollment on school district operations and programs, and sample cost estimates to prepare interim school housing.

    Sun View Elementary School currently enrolls only 250 students; Westmont Elementary School enrolls 330 students; and Ocean View Preparatory Preschool (OVPP)/Pleasant View enrolls 240 students—very small enrollments for a typical elementary school. However, these schools require the same level of teachers and support staffing that is often found at larger schools.

    The Board’s recommended Measure R Bond project priorities included modernizing all school sites in OVSD to the same level of quality found in the modernization projects at Hope, Lake, and Oak View Elementary Schools.  The Board noted that additional modernization work should be considered at Golden View to address wall partitions to provide versatility in classroom layout and improvements to the outdoor learning environment (farm facility).  In addition, fencing should be provided at all open school sites, with input received from the community, parents, and staff on fencing options. 

    The Board’s recommendation is to utilize interim school housing in order to provide a safe, consistent environment for student learning while a schools building are being modernized.

    School consolidation may not be implemented quickly because this impacts virtually everyone in the school community, and some aspects are governed by collective bargaining agreements with our employees.

    The following is a summary of the key issues/concerns that were shared by the members of the School Consolidation Task Forces:


    Key Issues/Concerns from Sun View:

    • Transportation
    • Walkers (families with no car) not able to go to local school
    • Busing cost to parents
    • Traffic impact at both Sun and Westmont
    • Extra staff both certificated and classified
    • Multiple movement of students
    • Sun to Westmont, then again when Westmont refurbished
    • Modernize Westmont first (or last) to reduce movement of students
    • Impact at Westmont
    • Increase Special Ed classes from 3 to 5
    • Is Westmont best facility layout/space to service needs
    • Impact on Sun with decreased enrollment for 2017/2018
    • Kinder students 2017/2018 will be moved after only one year
    • Different school start times (Sun & Westmont)
    • Prefer Westmont stay late start at 8:30 a.m.
    • Kid’s Club different start times
    • Sun open at 6:00 a.m., Westmont at 6:30 a.m.
    • Need Communication Plan for new enrolling students advising of closure within next year and providing options
    • Need collaboration with teachers at Sun & Westmont prior to transition


    Key Issues/Concerns from OVPP/Pleasant View:

    • Special Education issues not as adequately addressed when on elementary campus
    • Elementary campus facility accommodations are not designed to meet preschool needs, restrooms, etc.
    • Special Education enrollment is increasing yet concerned that services will be decreased
    • How will Special Education students be integrated into elementary sites -demographically or by need?
    • Isolation if only one preschool class on a campus
    • Parents will pull students from program
    • Licensing of Special Ed and General Ed preschools on elementary campuses
    • Concerned that classified employees will be laid off
    • Loss of student collaboration – General Ed and Special Ed
    • Transition difficult for special needs children
    • Security on campuses – liability, elopers
    • Pleasant View/OVPP isn’t large enough to provide interim school housing for middle schools
    • Health Techs at elementary site stay in office and students come to them.  Preschoolers often not capable of going to the office, Health Tech has to come to them
    • OVPP is a 12 month program, all day 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., year-long 
    • Concern General Ed OVPP might be eliminated.
    • Recommend relocating entire OVPP/Pleasant View to one other site rather than disperse
    • Review enrollment
    • Present a comprehensive plan to reduce anxiety in staff and parents
    • Sustain imbedded model.  Ensure collaboration of preschool teachers on campus and Districtwide.
    • Place students in a permanent location immediately rather than transitioning more than once 
    • Training for all staff at sites where Pleasant View students are integrated
    • More than one preschool class per site to provide age and need appropriate classroom options


    School Consolidation Task Force Recommendations:

    Sun View

    • Consolidate Sun View and Westmont Elementary Schools into one Westmont Elementary School beginning in the 2018-2019 school year.
    • Modernize Westmont as one of the first schools in the Measure R bond modernization process during the 2018-2019 school year.
    • Provide safe interim housing at Sun View Elementary School for the newly combined Westmont Elementary School during the modernization process (2018-2019 school year). The Sun View campus will be used to provide interim housing during the Measure R bond modernization projects due to its large size and location.
    • Provide transportation for Westmont students to the Sun View campus for the 2018-2019 school year (to be provided by OVSD).
    • Continue to utilize an inclusive forum such as the task force to address issues, i.e., special education students, Kids’ Club afterschool programs, school start times, and school transition activities for students, staff, and families.


    OVPP/Pleasant View

    • Slow down the consolidation process at OVPP/Pleasant View School and begin instead during the 2019-2020 school year, so we can best accommodate the unique needs of our special education and general education students.
    • Consolidate OVPP/Pleasant View School 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 School need move only once into two modernized campuses with preschool-appropriate facilities.
    • Provide safe interim housing at OVPP/Pleasant View School 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.
    • The OVPP/Pleasant View campus will continue to be used as interim housing for future phases of the Measure R bond modernization projects.
    • Provide two years of “Next Steps” planning, instead of one, for the OVPP/Pleasant View consolidation process.
    • Continue to utilize an inclusive forum such as the task force to address issues, i.e., unique needs of pre-school age children, Extended School Year for special education students, afterschool programs, school start times, and school transition activities for students, staff and families.


    Staff Recommendations:

    • Prepare for Interim School Housing at Sun View and the OVPP/Pleasant View School
    • Consolidate Sun View and Westmont Elementary Schools into one Westmont Elementary School beginning in the 2018-2019 school year.  Provide safe interim housing for newly consolidated Westmont Elementary School on the Sun View campus.
    • Consolidate OVPP/Pleasant View School 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 School need move only once into two modernized campuses with preschool-appropriate facilities.
    • Provide safe interim housing at OVPP/Pleasant View School 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.


    Address recommendations of the Sun View and OVPP/Pleasant View School Consolidation Task Forces to the extent possible.