CONCORD -- After Clayton Valley High became a charter school this year, a tug of war began over who would run the KVHS radio station, which has operated on the Mt. Diablo school district campus for more than 40 years.

The Contra Costa County Office of Education, which offered a Regional Occupational Program radio course there, initially said too few students had signed up to continue the program in the fall. The charter, meanwhile, said it wanted to take over the radio course and offer it to Clayton Valley and district students.

Although the district had been considering moving the station to another campus, trustees on Monday expect to vote on a plan that could allow the charter to use the station for one year, unless the district sells the station. If no sale occurs, the district may move the station in 2014-15.

Public Broadcasting Station KQED in San Francisco has expressed an interest in purchasing the frequency, according to a staff report. Board President Sherry Whitmarsh said Friday that she wants to find out how much the district could get for the it before deciding whether to sell it.

"We are financially cash-strapped," she said. "So, if I could save teaching positions or clerical positions (with the revenues), it seems to me that it could make a better impact."

Whitmarsh said the radio course has not been very popular during the past few years. But Neil McChesney, a Clayton Valley Charter High teacher and governing board president, told Mt. Diablo trustees last week that he has recruited more than 15 students interested in taking the course and that the County Office of Education has agreed to pay for one section of the class.

"I want you know that Clayton Valley has both student and staff interest in not only keeping this program alive," he said, "but building it into something the school and this community can be proud of."

Alumni have created a Facebook campaign to save the station and some may show up Monday to trace the station's proud history at Clayton Valley. Diane Ascher, who participated in the radio program before graduating from Clayton Valley High in 1972, said the station is a valuable asset and that her experience there gave her the skills to start a successful software company.

"When you have an institution like KVHS," she said, "what you are actually teaching kids is not radio, it's about thinking outside the box -- about being responsible for getting stuff done."

IF YOU GO:
The Mt. Diablo school board will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the district office, 1936 Carlotta Drive in Concord. More information is available by calling 925-682-8000 ext. 4000 or by visiting http://esbpublic.mdusd.k12.ca.us. Click on Aug. 27. The meeting will be broadcast live on KVHS 90.5 FM and www.kvhs.com.
For additional details, including links to video clips of comments about KVHS at the last board meeting, visit the On Assignment blog at www.ibabuzz.com/onassignment.