NUSD Approves Community Day School For Hight Campus, Area Residents Voice Concern

Here is a FAQ sheet released today by the Natomas Unified School District to answer questions posed since the district’s board of trustees approved placement of a Community Day School at H. Allen Hight.

THE BUZZ has been contacted by several parties, namely Creekside neighborhood leadership, dismayed by the NUSD trustee’s actions last week.

NATOMAS BUZZ readers in Creekside and Natomas Park question why the community was not included in the decision-making process and the long-term implications of placing a Community Day School on the brand-new Hight Learning Center campus.

More reporting to come…

Why the children of the Natomas Unified School District need a Community Day School
source: Natomas Unified School District


June 25, 2008

What is the Natomas Community Day School?
The Natomas Community Day School is an alternative education program that will serve up to 22 students in grades 6-8 who will receive specialized services in a small-group setting with the goal of returning them to their regular schools. These students will receive academic, social and psychological services designed to help them be successful in school and in life.

Who are the prospective students of the Community Day School?
The students of the Natomas Community Day School are students from our middle schools who have been referred to this program because of low attendance and poor academic performance. Some but not all of the stu-dents may have been expelled from their regular school but are eligible to return to their regular schools upon successful completion of this program.

Why does the Natomas Unified School District need a Community Day School?
Normally students who have been expelled from their regular school or referred to an alternative education program are transferred to a county-operated Community Day School outside of the community. Our Board of Trustees’ preference is that we serve our students in our home community and return them as quickly as possible to their regular school. This keeps their education accountable to the community and to parents, which is not the case in a county-run school in another community.

Why was the H. Allen Hight Middle School chosen as the site?
After surveying existing facilities, the unused middle-school portion of the H. Allen Hight Learning Center was determined to be the most financially and educationally suitable location. Students will be located in a classroom on the west side of the school on the first floor.

How will the Community Day School impact the neighborhood?
Students will be either dropped off and picked up by their parents or by a district school bus. Students will re-main on-site for the entire school day.

What about the flier I received stating that this program will bring increased crime, gang activity and drug use to the area?
Our goal is to serve Natomas students in their home community. Students will be supervised at all times by staff members and will not be allowed off campus. Community Day Schools have a higher student-staff ratio than traditional schools. It is regrettable that “scare tactics” such as those used in the flier are being used against efforts to help our children.

How was this program approved?
The Natomas Unified School District Board of Trustees has been discussing a proposed Community Day School for more than a year. At the April 9, 2008, board meeting, trustees received for first reading a new Board Policy 6185 establishing a Community Day School and approval was given on May 14. At the June 11, 2008, board meeting, trustees approved the establishment of the Community Day School at the H. Allen Hight Learning Center.

What are the next steps?
The Natomas Community Day School is scheduled to open Monday, August 11, 2008 (the same day our modified traditional schools open), with an estimated 22 students in grades 6-8. We look forward to working with our community and parents to help them understand the need for the Natomas Community Day School.

How can I get more information about the Community Day School?
Please see our district website at http://www.natomas.k12.ca.us for program information and to download the official proposal for the Natomas Community Day School. We also plan to host a community Open House and look forward to working with our community, parents and neighbors in helping the students of the Natomas Community Day School be a success in school and in life. For further information on the Natomas Community Day School, please contact David Hunt, Coordinator of Educational Operations, at 567.5414 or email him at [email protected]. If you’d like to be added to our contact list for the Natomas Community Day School, please email Public Information Officer Heidi Van Zant at hvanzant[email protected].

Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    Well, well, well.

    Convenient that it HAD to be approved this month, with no notice to residents within the area. This is the sort of “secret” behavior we do not need in a school board. I wonder if it was mentioned at any of the MANY meetings they have held regarding enrollment at H. Allen Hight? Doubtful. Why would people want to leave a school they are already attending knowing that their is a potential risk for them at this new school. Have any of these at risk students been expelled (not suspended mind you) from their home school for violence towards staff or students? Sexual offenses (towards other children)? I am interested to see how they will manage to contain those 22 students on a basically empty middle school campus.

    Are we planning on any action? When do we start the Robert’s For School Board! campaign?

    Trixie

  2. I find this stunning:
    “Students will be supervised at all times by staff members and will not be allowed off campus.”

    Really? How exactly do they propose to keep them on campus at all times? Kind of like how they keep the Inderkum kids from shoplifting at Raley’s, picking fights and causing a commotion in the parking lot?

    Having worked in the district for many years I can tell you personally- a child who is in 6th grade must do something truly terrible to get expelled. Weapons on campus, assaulting a staff member, multiple drug possessions…

    I’m sure they’ll be upping our police presence to deal with the added influence….

  3. Anonymous says

    Agree. We have no confidence in this district to run programs correctly and with adequate notice to the community. Who is bothering to hold the district accountable for these poor practices? Where is the board oversight for that matter? How many more foul ups can we allow? These people have no business starting up this school at a new elementary school. Truly outrageous.

  4. Anonymous says

    With all of the recent crime in Natomas being commited by an increasingly violent presence of juveniles, why do we want to invite more into our area. They have not even proven that we can deal with the problem juveniles we already have let alone inviting in more! What additional protections are going to be offered to homeowners for agreeing to this plan?? Why would we think for one minute that this plan is fail proof?? Troubled teens are the name of our problem at the moment and how would we not be expected to oppose this insane idea AND allow it in the presence of our kids?? Deal with the problems Natomas already has before inviting in more!!

Speak Your Mind