More scenarios but no answers

The Raccoons were restless Tuesday night.

Before a standing-room-only crowd made up mostly of concerned parents and teachers from Rosedale Elementary School, the CUSD-appointed Campus Consolidation Committee met again Nov. 30 to sift through more scenarios of possible campus closures.

Cheryl and Jamie King of Jack Schreder & Associates, a firm hired by the district to perform demographic analysis, presented a list of 11 scenarios to the committee, seven of which included Rosedale. And once again committee Chairman Paul Moore made it clear to the restless crowd that they were only scenarios and not final decisions.

Many in the crowd sported red-and-black Rosedale shirts bearing the school’s raccoon mascot with the words “Fifty years of excellence” on the sleeve. A translator was also brought in to accommodate the several Spanish-speaking members of the crowd.

The evening’s topic centered mainly around ethnic diversity because of Rosedale’s nearly 50-50 ethnic makeup of whites and non-whites and the fact that one of the committee’s criteria is to promote ethnic balance.

Committee member Gloria Bevers said she simply didn’t want to “pay lip service” when discussing ethnic balance, referring to the 11 proposed scenarios. Her comment received one of several rounds of applause from the capacity crowd.

Susan Schrader, a sixth-grade teacher at Rosedale, said after the meeting that it sounded more like a “class issue” than an ethnic one.

“If you put Rosedale kids into Chapman and Parkview, you’ve ghettoized all the poor kids,” she said.

The committee discussed six of the 11 scenarios, excluding the ones dealing with opening K-8 Open-Structure programs. The committee will discuss K-8 options at its next meeting scheduled for Dec. 14.

One of the scenarios mentioned at the previous two meetings involved closing Rosedale and Nord elementary schools, which would save the district nearly $600,000 annually but fall short of the million-dollar void in the budget.

Some of the other options discussed included closing Rosedale, Jay Partridge and Nord, which would save about $850,000 annually, and closing Jay Partridge, Forest Ranch, Cohasset and Nord, which would bring a savings of more than $900,000 to the district.

Schreder & Associates will bring in a new set of scenarios to the next meeting in two weeks that will include every school in the district. The initial list of possible school closures excluded some campuses, including Emma Wilson and Little Chico Creek.

Cindy Kampf, the district official serving as liaison to the committee, said the committee members have done the right thing in making all the information available to the public and that things should get interesting with new schools being added to the scenarios.

“The more names we throw out there, the more people will show up,” Kampf said.

The committee, which was scheduled to make a recommendation to the CSUD Board of Trustees by Dec. 15, will meet at least two more times, with a tentative final meeting set for Jan. 11.