A group founded in 1998 to seek an Alpine high school in the Grossmont district is taking the lead on efforts to create an Alpine Unified School District, organizers say.
Sal Casamassima of Alpine says he chairs the Alpine High School Citizens Committee, which has lobbied for a 12th high school in the Grossmont Union High School District.
The petition process for a unified school district began in in the middle of July, Casamassima said via email Wednesday.
“There are many folks gathering signatures, and because we’ve just started we’ve not yet put together a tally,” he said. “We will start doing so in upcoming meetings. Our drive will begin in earnest when folks are back from vacation and school starts back up.”
Casamassima said the committee will adopt a resolution in favor of unification at its next meeting.
“This resolution will be passed on to various organizations including the [Alpine Union School District] board and they will be asked to support the resolution and the unification effort. All AUSD board members and the superintendent are aware of the effort.”
He confirmed that Grossmont schools Superintendent Ralf Swenson has been informed of the unification effort and will meet with the group.
Casamassima said the 2,500 signatures being sought in the unification drive represents 25 percent of registered voters in the Alpine Union district. Petitions would be submitted to the county Board of Education.
“The state Board of Education reviews the petition only after county review is completed, so we have not been in contact with state BOE. If the State BOE approves unification, then an election is held.
Why launch a drive for a unified district?
“To give justice to this question would take volumes,” Casamassima said. “A very, very condensed version will appear in our resolution. We will also be setting up a website that will provide history and in-depth discussion of the WHY question.
“In a nutshell, GUHSD promised through two gigantic bonds and numerous other actions to build a new high school to serve the Alpine/Blossom Valley area. The GUHSD board has turned their back on that promise and will not be building the school but will be spending our bond dollars on other projects. We have no choice but to pursue unification to achieve our goal of a local high school.”
In a series of motions on June 11, 2009, the Grossmont school board approved a 12th district high school in Alpine. (See attached minutes as PDF.)
But later board votes halted progress on the campus on the Lazy A ranch at Alpine Boulevard and Willow Road amid a dispute over several board members wanting to name the school for Ronald Reagan.