Clayton Valley High charter supporters are trying to persuade Mt. Diablo district trustees to reconsider conditions that could prevent them from converting the school to a charter in the fall.

"On Wednesday, we're meeting with the school district to see if we can work something out," said Pat Middendorf, one of the teachers leading the charter petition. "We will have a rally at 7 p.m. to discuss what comes out of the meeting with the school district."

Last week, the school board unanimously approved the charter, if petitioners satisfy numerous conditions by Feb. 1. Those conditions include providing more detailed plans for the educational program, budget and other matters, such as who would provide scoliosis screenings for students. The charter committee contends that many of the conditions go beyond what the law requires and that some are illegal.

"Machiavelli would be smiling," said Clayton Mayor David Shuey, who has endorsed the charter along with the rest of the City Council. "The district -- whether intentionally or not -- was able to give the appearance of approving the charter, while placing conditions on it that it knew could not be agreed to by the charter. Despite the board's actions, the charter committee will continue to attempt to work with the district in good faith to find a mutually agreed-upon set of conditions. We cannot accept the de-facto denial they have given us."

The committee met Monday with Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, who supports the charter.

"I believe that the Clayton Valley Charter High School Steering Committee proposal has the real potential to be one of the success stories of the public charter school efforts in California," Miller wrote in a letter of support to the board.

The committee plans to discuss a compromise Wednesday with Deb Cooksey, the district's attorney who drafted the conditions, Middendorf said. Trustee Cheryl Hansen said she would like the board to consider modifying the conditions, but trustee Linda Mayo said she wants to see the charter committee's proposal in writing before deciding whether to reconsider the board's decision.

Although charter supporters have said they may appeal to the county Board of Education, County Superintendent Joe Ovick said the charter committee cannot appeal unless the district denies the petition.

Information
  • The Clayton Valley High Charter Committee will hold a rally and information meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the school's multiuse room, 1101 Alberta Way, Concord.
  • More information about the Clayton Valley High charter petition is available by calling 925-682-8000 ext. 4000 or by visiting http://esbpublic.mdusd.k12.ca.us. Click on Sept. 13, item 13.4.
  • For more details, go to https://sites.google.com/site/claytonvalleycharterhighschool or the On Assignment blog at IBAbuzz.com/onassignment.