CONCORD -- In response to numerous questions and concerns expressed after the Mt. Diablo school board's decision to close two schools, one trustee is calling for comprehensive school closure plans.

"My concern is that it can fall between the cracks," Trustee Cheryl Hansen said Friday. "I'm getting a lot of e-mails from parents and community members with fundamental questions about, 'Where is my student going to go to school next year?' "

Hansen proposes two school closure plans: one that spells out procedures for students and staff transitioning from Holbrook Elementary and Glenbrook Middle School in Concord to other campuses, and one that looks at the possibility of more school closures or new campuses opening in the future.

When Superintendent Steven Lawrence recommended last month that no additional schools be closed, he did not provide trustees with detailed plans for shutting Holbrook and Glenbrook. He suggested creating a committee to look at high school enrollment, but did not suggest a long-term K-12 plan as wide-reaching as Hansen proposes.

Hansen expects trustees to discuss her plan Tuesday, along with at least $8.9 million in cuts to the district's 2011-12 budget of nearly $280.6 million. The board agreed to close Holbrook and Glenbrook, along with several other cost-cutting recommendations by Lawrence, to trim $1.5 million from next year's budget.

Additional cuts will be needed if Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed tax extensions don't make it onto a June ballot or are rejected by voters.


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In the short term, Hansen wants the district to redraw boundaries to show where students from closed campuses will go, and plan for student transition and support, staffing, transportation, redistribution of revenues, use of Measure C facilities bond funds, maintenance or future use of shuttered sites, and "explicit accounting of actual money saved from school closures, not just a best guess." Hansen also wants the district to establish a new school closure committee to help create a long-term plan.

Principals at Holbrook and Glenbrook said parents were hoping to find out where their students would be assigned by March 15. Berta Shatswell, Glenbrook's office manager, said she has advised parents to call the superintendent's office.

"If they're able to pull this off by the end of the year," she said, "it will be a miracle."

IF YOU GO
  • What: Mt. Diablo school board meeting
  • When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday
  • Where: District offices,
    1936 Carlotta Drive in Concord
  • More information: Call 925-682-8000 ext. 4000 or go to http://esbpublic.mdusd.k12.ca.us. Click on "March 8." More details on school closures are available at the On Assignment blog at IBAbuzz.com/onassignment and at www.mdusd.org/Community. Click on "School Closure Advisory Committee. "