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Concerned about local schools

My baby is off to kindergarten this year. I just learned that in the next few months our kids at Hatch will be moved into portables so that they can tear down old buildings and build new ones. I can't find anyone who knows details about what this will look like or involve and it seems crazy to me that they are spending so much money here when the school is full with huge classes and (as I have learned recently) every year they have to rebuild staff because salaries aren't competitive.

Are there other parents who are concerned that our local schools and district have forgotten that their biggest commitment is to our kids? Who works for the kids and not just continue the way things are? I'd love to hear about it.


Comments

Perhaps someone from AFOG could get information to Kinder Mom


There is currently a lively discussion regarding the school's hours, transportation problems re. getting children to school on time, school busing needs and Hatch's remodeling on Next Door Neighbor's site/neighborhood blog.


Are you committed to doing public school?


Yes, Boney Bills AFOG would be happy to pass on information we have to Kinder Mom. AFOG's email is

info@afogcoastside.org

This is most certainly a project we have been monitoring and would be happy to help answer what we can or get additional information if need be.

Pam


Yes, Boney Bills AFOG would be happy to pass on information we have to Kinder Mom. AFOG's email is

info@afogcoastside.org

This is most certainly a project we have been monitoring and would be happy to help answer what we can or get additional information if need be.

Pam


Here's another little tidbit in yesterday's San Mateo Daily Journal about the trouble with "lease lease-back" agreements with contractors. This is the route it appears that CUSD is taking to fund the Hatch project. Words of concern about the lack of transparency with no bidding process and the potential legal issues coming to the forefront were expressed to CUSD's CFO by a member of AFOG following the last CUSD board meeting.

Web Link

I do hope CUSD will reconsider, if they can, in light of this most recent court decision.

Pam


I would like to be committed to public schools very much.

My concern isn't really the legality of the Hatch project. It's more that the more I ask about the more I seem to hear about missed opportunities to do good for kids. Mostly I'm hoping there are other parents who would like to see the district (or whoever is in charge, not sure if that's superintendent, school board, principals, etc.) pay more attention to what's best for kids. I've asked neighbors but the consensus has been they've given up and they say get used to it. There has to be a better way.


Seal, I'm new to this. How does one get on the NextDoor thread? I'm not seeing it on mine.


Hi Kinder Mom goggle "next door neighbor sign in". That should walk you through the process.


"AFOG" does not have any information that most people do not already have. Sorry guys, but you are not that important.


Not kind thing say, make bad face.


Besides putting the building in the wrong spot on the property, what "legal" issues remain?


>>>I've asked neighbors but the consensus has been they've given up and they say get used to it. There has to be a better way. <<<

There is- and you are pursuing that better way by the very thread you started here. Get involved, stay involved, start and foster discussions and dialogue, and work to help the community represent the interests of all of us- instead of a select few privileged sorts who have (in the past) run the place without opposition.

The last four years on the coastside have seen a sea change in local government as people like you (and me- for me it was a bridge that got me involved) are waking up to the realization that it is on us to make it better.

Welcome to the jungle- thanks for standing for something you believe in, and I look forward to seeing you (and your friends and neighbors) get more involved in our community- making it better for each and every one of us!!

dce


Hi Kinder mom- I have s kinder and 3rd grader at Hatch also. All of our local schools are getting much needed upgrades, starting with Hatch. Work was supposed to begin in the summer but was delayed by something to do with PGandE, I believe. It will be a bit of a funky year with the kids in portables, but all worth it in the end- just look at how nice Cunha is now! I believe that there will be more info, including drawings available to parents very soon. Let me know your real name, or come find me at pick- up and I will help you find the answers- we are in A9. Also, our new superintendent is very open and approachable, you could contact her.

We will still have the great staff, kids and parents at school during this crazy time- and the kids will get to see close up how buildings are made :)


Welcome to parenthood in HMB, Kinder Mom. I remember my first's first day (and year) at Hatch Kindergarten. The wife was a mess, sort of.

It's not easy to hand your child over to someone or something else, but our kids need the education, scholastically, social and otherwise. It is just part of raising our kids and growing ourselves.

When our first started at Hatch, my wife wasn't working, which allowed her to spend a ton of time at the school helping in the classroom. She was there just about everyday helping not only the teacher for our little one, but all the teachers, in class, in the office, whatever and wherever there was a need; and there is always a need.

If I may, I'll make a few suggestions that might help smooth the first of many transitions you and your children might face.

First, it is important to have some level of knowledge about the District. You don't need to be an expert, but some fundamental knowledge might help. The CUSD has a Budge of roughly $27 Million. Out of that, roughly 89% is personnel cost. That doesn't leave a lot to work with for the kids, and it shows. Here is the 2013-2014 Adopted Budget: Web Link

The CUSD Board is made up of 5 elected individuals. There are multiple groups that support our schools (PTA, CES, etc). For an understanding of who is there to support the schools, you might scan at the CUSD website, Web Link This community has supported the District in a great many ways. One of those ways was the passage of an $81 Million bond measure 2 years ago for CIP (capital improvement projects); so the District is not broke. There are also parcel taxes and other bond measures that you may want to learn about.

Next, you may want to know that there has been a very high turnover in Administration (Superintendent, Principals and assistants, etc). There has been fair speculation as to why, but typically the cause for turnover is discontent.

The coastside is a very small community and as such, everybody knows just about everything. That can be a wonderful thing, but it can also make life difficult for some. I might suggest talking with teachers, other parents and perhaps attending a Board meeting or two to get a taste of conditions and interests.

Raising children is not easy, but in this community, particularly for those that appreciate some level of involvement, this is a great community to raise a family. There are drawdowns as there are anywhere, but my kids made it through and are productive and contributory adults in society. If they can do it, so can any other.

You've taken the first step (at least) by posting and exploring. May I suggest that you continue to pursue information that you are interested in through Hatch, other parents and the District itself. Find your comfort level. See what the needs are and maybe you can help. Just get involved and stay involved, at a level you feel comfortable with.

It'll al work out and before you know it, your little first year student will be asking you for the keys to the car for a date!

Good Luck.


George

Excellent response! I'm sorry Superficial Charm doesn't seem to understand how diverse a group of people AFOG is comprised of. I, for example, have actually spent decades as an education professional and two terms as a School Board member in another state. I have far more insight into a number of issue that seem to plague CUSD, like staff turnover or limiting the growth of successful programs... It's not all about salaries.

AFOG is not only about obeying municipal codes, Coastal laws, CDPs and CEQA. AFOG promotes Open Government laws and practice, issues of transparency and the public's right to know and participate in government processes. AFOG covers a lot of ground.

Pam


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