CONCORD -- Although the Mt. Diablo superintendent has said he wanted to narrow down school closure options from three scenarios to one recommendation, trustees expect to look at four scenarios when they vote next month.

"What I would like to see us do is to discuss the merits of each of the options and look at the recommendation of the superintendent and see if there is something other board members have considered that would be a hybrid of them," trustee Sherry Whitmarsh said Thursday. "And who knows what new information may come forward."

Superintendent Steven Lawrence told trustees Jan. 19 that he wanted to bring one recommendation to them for a vote Feb. 8. At the Jan. 19 meeting, a school closure advisory committee recommended three possible scenarios for closing three schools to save $1.5 million a year due to state budget cuts and declining enrollment.

They were: close Glenbrook Middle School, Silverwood Elementary and Wren Avenue Elementary in Concord; close Glenbrook Middle School, Silverwood Elementary and Holbrook Elementary in Concord; or close Monte Gardens Elementary in Concord and Sequoia Elementary and Sequoia Middle School in Pleasant Hill.

At Tuesday's meeting, Lawrence recommended closing Glenbrook Middle School and either Wren Avenue or Holbrook Elementary in Concord and combining several small high schools on the closed elementary site. In addition, he recommended locating a special-education program on the closed Glenbrook site, along with a staff working on the Measure C bond expenditures.

Finally, he recommended redrawing boundaries around Meadow Homes Elementary to eliminate the need to bus "overflow" students to other sites. The money saved through consolidation, relocation of programs and staff, and reduced busing costs would eliminate the need to close a third school, he said.

Since trustees didn't comment on the recommendation, it was unclear whether they agreed with his original plan to bring forward only one scenario for a vote Feb. 8. Whitmarsh said she and other trustees are still asking for more information to help make their decisions.

"I did ask the district to look at the Coast Guard," she said, referring to comments some Holbrook parents have made regarding an expected influx of Coast Guard families in their neighborhood.

It is possible trustees won't make their final decision Feb. 8 after all, Whitmarsh said.

"I'm personally feeling like we may be little rushed and might want a little more time," she said. "But I'm very much cognizant of not wanting to leave families up in arms."

SCHOOL CLOSURES
  • Details about Mt. Diablo district school closure recommendations are available by calling 925-682-8000, ext. 4010, or by going to http://esbpublic.mdusd.k12.ca.us. Click on "Jan. 25" and select item 17.5.
  • Additional information about the school closure process is on the On Assignment blog at IBABuzz.com/onassignment and on the district's website at www.mdusd.org/Community. Click on "School Closure Advisory Committee."