CONCORD -- Students at Clayton Valley Charter High could be back on the airwaves, now that the Mt. Diablo school board unanimously agreed to allow the campus to operate its long-standing radio station through June.

But there are hurdles: the school still needs to attract more students, find a properly credentialed radio teacher and work out other details with the Contra Costa County Office of Education's Regional Occupational Program before it's a done deal.

Still, the decision Monday gave the school some breathing room to get a new radio program up and running and find ways to make it thrive.

Although Public station KQED had expressed interest in purchasing the station and its radio frequency -- 90.5, trustees agreed not to consider selling or leasing the station until the school year is over. Three former students who got broadcast experience at KVHS many years ago urged the board not to give up the station, saying they gained valuable life skills at the station.

"I learned at KVHS how to improvise and overcome (obstacles)," said former student Matthew Boggs. "I don't care what somebody offers you. I guarantee you, if you give it up, you'll never get it back."

KQED issued a statement Tuesday saying would make an offer unless the district put the station up for sale.

"If and when the Mt. Diablo school board decides to officially put the station on the market, we will consider a possible purchase," according to the prepared statement. "We have heard from our KQED public radio listeners for years that we need to improve our broadcast signal in parts Contra Costa County. We have taken a number of steps to improve reception over the years with some success, but we still hear regularly from listeners who have continuing issues with the signal strength of 88.5 FM. Our potential interest in KVHS would be to improve our service to KQED listeners in Contra Costa."

Trustees asked staff to try to find out how much the station is worth, before discussing whether or not to sell it.

The board also voted 4-1 to appoint Kerry Mills interim superintendent of pupil services and special education. Trustee Cheryl Hansen voted against the appointment because she did not agree with the contract language, which would allow Mills to assume the position permanently in June, if she receives a positive evaluation.

And, trustees unanimously agreed to eliminate busing for some "overflow" students who must attend schools outside their neighborhoods, if their schools do not receive Title 1 low-income federal funding and are less than five miles from their home schools. Students who attend Title 1 schools would continue to receive busing, if their new schools are 1.5 miles or farther from their homes.

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Additional information about the meeting are available by calling 925-682-8000 ext. 4000 or by visiting http://esbpublic.mdusd.k12.ca.us. Click on Aug. 27.
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