Mt. Diablo board met over school closures

January 20, 2011 12:52:29 AM PST
There are some tough choices facing educators in the East Bay over a plan to close three of seven schools in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District in order to save $1.5 million a year. Parents, students, and teachers are worried sick about the whole thing.

On Wednesday night, it was standing room only because over 200 parents, teachers and students crammed into the theater hall at Northgate High School in Walnut Creek to find out if there school would close next year. On Wednesday night, the school closure advisory committee presented their recommendations on what schools in the district should close next year.

"I know you will base your decision on the information and we are simply an advisory committee, but we are invested and we do take this process very seriously," said Mt. Diablo School board member Gary Eberhart.

The seven schools being considered are in Concord: Glenbrook Middle School, Holbrook Elementary, Monte Gardens Elementary, Silverwood Elementary, and Wren Elementary. In Pleasant Hill, Sequoia elementary and Sequoia Middle School could also close. The committee based their recommendations on a criteria that looked at the age of the school buildings, academic performance, maintenance costs and student populations.

"This is not a meeting for the board to take a vote, but we do have the ability to provide consensus," said Eberhart.

For those attending, the meeting was another opportunity to fight for their school.

"I bet nobody ever asked what the kids thought. Well, this is what I think...closing Silverwood would be one of the worst ideas ever," said Vennesa Chenna, a student from Silverwood Elementary.

"When my 10-year-old son came home today saying, 'I'm going to have to go to another school.' I'm ready to cry right now because he's scared," said Stepahnie Dado, a parent.

The board says they will continue to review the data that was presented on Wednesday night and expect to make an announcement on what schools will close on Feb. 8.