Update: School Board Sets Santee Meeting on Attendance Boundaries

Grossmont Union High School District bows to parent concerns, will review options on Feb. 16.

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.”

Barbara February 10, 2012 at 04:24 PM
"Slamming district staff, Kelly said “I feel like I'm speaking to DMV employees ... no concern, no empathy and no action.” LOL. Sounds like a typical government bureaucrat...when the "s" hits the fan, blame staff for your directives!!!
ElCajonDad February 10, 2012 at 05:14 PM
The problem is simple. The Boundary Committee was flawed from the start as is wasn't balanced as majority was GUHSD staff and no community involvement/adequate disclosure from the beginning. It's all damage control now but sorry it's too late. Scrap the proposed boundaries and start new. There's too much at stake here GUHSD Board -- how would you like to lose Grossmont and Granite Hills to charter school status?
Komfort February 10, 2012 at 06:57 PM
We have to pass the boundary adjustments to find out what is in them. Is Nancy Pelosi running this mess?
Taxpayer February 10, 2012 at 07:37 PM
How about having some top down leadership and accept blame to ones self (eg The Board) for not having an adequate plan in advance for potential boundary changes not "the Staff screwed up." And now Grossmont High talking about becoming a charter school. Is it the teachers fault for doing that? How about lack of trust in this district by the community.
Caring Citizens February 10, 2012 at 11:07 PM
Nice leadership! Throw the employees under the bus. The elected officials should have a pulse on the community...they don't. Their hatchet man Swenson hasn't engaged the community at all, unlike his predecessor. He makes impulsive uninformed decisions without taking into account community needs. Just does the board's bidding. Time to clean house. Recall the board, get rid of their hatchet man, OccupyGUHSD! Take back our schools.
ElCajonDad February 11, 2012 at 03:05 AM
That's funny Things I Learned! @Caring citizens: Swenson is a salesman right now and it's not even funny. I honestly feel kind of sorry for him as he is backed in the corner. He tries to please everyone but he'd better appeal to the community NOW or this will get even uglier.
MakeMineAlpine February 11, 2012 at 05:58 AM
WOW. Saying "No" to Helix's community garden, calling out district employees unfairly, not giving Alpine a high school, keeping Steele Canyon from leaving GUHSD special ed services when state law says they can and now GUHSD runs the risk of getting sued and LOSING, Grossmont and "Granite Bros" High wanting out of the district by going charter... HORRIBLE. Look at Kelly the Puppet Master work his puppets! RECALL THOSE MORONS!!!!
Komfort February 11, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Jim Kelly? I thought he retired. Name ________Monthly______Annual__________Employer KELLY, JIM____$9,681.17_____$116,174.04____CSU http://www.californiansforpensionreform.com/database.asp?vtsearchname=kelly&vtsearchemploy=NONE&vtquery=1&vttable=calpers It could be someone else.
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