PLEASANT HILL -- The Clayton Valley Charter High School is moving forward with enthusiasm, but there are still many details to be worked out before it can open in the fall.

"I think all of us on the board are feeling pretty similar," said parent and charter trustee Alison Bacigalupo on Tuesday. "We're all so excited, and it's very difficult to rein in."

The Contra Costa County Board of Education will discuss Wednesday an amendment to its Memorandum of Understanding with the charter, which will extend time for finalizing special education details and require a fiscal review after the first year.

Meanwhile, the committee has been meeting with Mt. Diablo district officials to hammer out a facilities agreement for the Clayton Valley building and talk about recruiting current eighth-graders to attend the charter next year.

These discussions have had some glitches, Bacigalupo said. An attorney for the district has said that equipment purchased by booster clubs is legally the district's property and could be taken from the site.

But Mt. Diablo board President Gary Eberhart said he does not believe the district will do that.

"There's no move to take back stuff that was raised by the boosters," he said. "That's the school's."

Although the charter committee was hoping to go to middle schools to recruit eighth graders for next year, Bacigalupo said it will instead hold a meeting on its own campus. Still, she said, interest in the charter is high, with about 1,100 students having completed "intent to enroll" forms, including many from the Mt. Diablo and Ygnacio Valley high attendance areas.

Eberhart said he does not think it necessary to create a committee of city and district representatives, as suggested by two Clayton council members, to help mend fences after the contentious charter debate.

The district board occasionally holds joint meetings with city councils.

The district and city of Clayton are still wrangling over costs the city originally agreed to pay for joint use of a community gymnasium built by the district, he said. City officials dispute those costs.

"They just stopped paying the rent," Eberhart said. "It's fine and dandy to come to our meeting and talk about cooperativeness and all those things, but actions are a lot louder than words."

On the legislative front, a bill by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla to allow districts to deny charters based on financial impact has cleared the Assembly and is moving onto the Senate.

Bonilla hopes to add an amendment or author a separate bill that would address the inequity in funding between high school charter conversions and unified districts.

The district is continuing to explore options for seeking a waiver from the state Board of Education that could require the state to pay the difference in per student funding, which the district says it will lose as a result of the conversion.

IF YOU GO:
The Contra Costa County Board of Education will meet at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the County Office of Education, 77 Santa Barbara Road in Pleasant Hill. More information is available by calling 925-942-33809 or by visiting www.cccoe.k12.ca.us. Click on "School Board."
Additional details about the charter school are at http://claytonvalley.org or in the On Assignment blog at www.ibabuzz.com/onassignment.