Updated at 9 p.m. Feb. 10, 2012
The Grossmont Union High School District announced Friday it will host a special board meeting Thursday, Feb. 16, at West Hills High School in Santee to “review its newly enacted policies regarding the new high school boundaries and open enrollment, as well as consider alternative options for the 2012-13 school year.”
This public meeting, which begins at 6 p.m., will be held in the theater at West Hills, 8756 Mast Blvd.
“The board will receive public comment with the possibility of taking specific action that evening,” the district said in a statement. “The Grossmont Union High School District encourages your voice to be heard.”
Original story posted Feb. 9, 2012:
Saying the staff screwed up, the school board of the Grossmont Union High School District ordered a special meeting at 6 p.m. Feb. 16 to hear options on how to deal with parent complaints over new attendance areas.
No site was announced, but the board said it expected a large turnout at a meeting where it will hear options on how to proceed with enrollment boundaries for its nine regular schools.
Their choices include scrapping the maps created by a Boundary Committee led by district staff, slowing the rollout of the attendance areas or proceeding as planned with the approved lines.
A half-dozen parents addressed the board during a two-hour discussion of the issue, including a lawyer/parent and others involved in a petition drive that collected names of 246 people calling for the district to start over again.
“I’m an awesome networker,” Claudia Erickson told the board. “I will do everything I can to get parents behind” efforts at Grossmont and Granite Hills high schools to become charter schools if community concerns aren’t addressed.
Board members Gary Woods and Priscilla Schreiber—both up for re-election in November—sided with the parents on revisiting the attendance boundaries meant to rebalance school populations.
But fellow members Dick Hoy, Jim Kelly and Robert Shield also backed a meeting to sort out the complex issue, leaving many of the 70 members of the audience pleased with their progress in fighting the new lines.
In a debate that took many turns, board members likened the boundary plan to an aircraft carrier that’s left port—and is hard to reverse.
Slamming district staff, Kelly said “I feel like I'm speaking to DMV employees ... no concern, no empathy and no action.”
But Shield said: “Simply put, my sense is there is no great solution now. Everything [being proposed] is mitigation. How do we resolve this with the least pain and damage?”
Said Woods: “We have to rebuild trust, and trust comes from knowledge.”
Schools Superintendent Ralf Swenson said the district will delay sending a letter to parents on the open-enrollment process. The letter was to have been mailed Feb. 15.
Gregory Kerrebrock, who led the petition drive to rescind the attendance boundaries, said outside the meeting that the board has a “good opportunity now. Everyone is aware now.”