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Proposed North Bay Academy's Next Steps

Looks like the battle will continue when it comes to efforts to bring a new charter school to Novato.

The North Bay Educational Foundation, whose charter petition was denied by Novato Unified School District in mid-December, has announced it is holding a public meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 22, to discuss its next steps.

Based on the announcement sent to its electronic newsletter list, it appears NBEF "plans to move forward to bring school choice and curriculum options to Novato families."

The announcement, signed by NBEF board members Robert Verhoeff, MJ Lonson, Cindy Hunter and Father Luke Palumbis, indicates a Q&A session will follow remarks. The meeting will be from 6:30-8 p.m. at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church. The meeting is open to the public and child care will be provided.

I've been waiting for the other shoe to drop ever since I read in the IJ's story about the NUSD board's denial that "charter school representatives say they will decide in early January whether to appeal the board's decision to the county education office." Looks like we won't be waiting much longer to hear what's in store. Even with all the bad blood spilled on both sides of the debate, I never once doubted that the NBEF folks would stop with an NUSD denial.

Did you?

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ConcernedNovatoan February 01, 2013 at 08:18 PM
MM: I believe the NUSD did not want an open dialogue with NBEF regarding Core Knowlege curriculum, not the other way around as you state. And really, the NUSD had no intention of bringing Core Knowlege curriculum to the students as evidenced by the findings and conclusions presented to the board by the school district. I find it interesting you find the NUSD and Board did their due diligence. Well, explain to me then how is that one side gets 4 hours to present their case for not having the charter and the proponent side gets only 10 minutes? I find this situation akin to the prosecution getting 4 hours of testimony and the defense getting ten minutes to cross examine the findings. You want to call that "fair?" In regards to the NBEF "backtracking," I think the NBEF is listening, slowing the process down, and reassessing what it needs to do to better serve the community.
Marys Mama February 01, 2013 at 08:39 PM
I couldn't disagree more. I believe NUSD dedicated more than enough time - in the public eye and behind the scenes - on this issue. NUSD does not exist for the sole purpose of entertaining the charter petition; it has an obligation to thousands of students and hundreds, if not thousands, of other - equally pressing - issues. NUSD is compromised of individuals who have spent decades upon decades in the education field, in a variety of capacities. NBEF is compromised of a career school volunteer and a bald man who runs a pawn shop, I believe it is. In sum, NBEF doesn't have the chops to create a new school and I believe seasoned ed folks within NUSD could very quickly see this, and acted in the best interest of the entire district. Bravo to NUSD for its sound choice. You will never be able to convince me that NUSD officials and board trustees are in cahoots to run the district into the ground. I choose to put my trust into our elected leaders to do the job we have charged them with; what educator, what teacher, what trustee would deliberately make choices that threaten his or her track record or legacy? In sum, NUSD may not have *all* the answers (who does?!) but I commend them for recognizing that NBEF's charter clearly was NOT the best answer for the district as a whole. Thank you, NUSD, for keeping the needs of ALL students in mind.
ConcernedNovatoan February 06, 2013 at 12:56 AM
MM, we can agree to disagree respectfully, but I still maintain the NUSD did not demonstrate "due diligence." I think they did a one sided job on it and didn't ask enough questions. I think most of us supporters are not here to convince anyone on the board or NUSD is trying to run the district into the ground. All of us want more choices for our children at the elementary school level. When you look at what is offered at the elementary school level, there really isn't much compared to the high school level. I feel the most important years in a child's education are preK and elementary school years. You give them the tools and foundation to build upon for the future. The one size fits all approach is not working as evidenced by the Hispanic students who fall further behind as they get to middle and high school. And certainly opponents can keep making excuses for the them as to why they don't sign up for the charter school. Perhaps they are content in the direction their children are going, falling further and further behind as they get into middle and high school? You ask "what educator, what teacher, what trustee would deliberately make choices that threaten his or her track record or legacy?" Well there are those teachers who are willing to sign up for the charter school. Talk about sticking their necks out. These are the teachers who believe in the curriculum enough to put the children's future ahead of their own agenda. Only time will tell...
Chip Tingle February 24, 2013 at 08:23 AM
Since the board's decision was made on the charter proposal, I've intentionally stayed away from this discussion, as it long ago became bitter, illogical, and disrespectful on multiple levels. Somehow I received a link by email, and I've ended up here again, begrudgingly. I write in response to being addressed directly above for somehow personally attacking Mr. McDonald. I actually cut and pasted his own words here for consideration and discussion, and asked anyone in the proponent community to reach out to him for his own further comment here directly. If this is somehow viewed as a personal or ad hominem attack, we have very definitions of such terms, and I strongly disagree with your definition. Why paste such commentary and political views of a single proponent? Because I believe this kind of thinking is at the heart of the entire charter proposal, one which only came to real fruition when Rancho was reclassified as a neighborhood school so that the school's demographics would gradually, over some 4-5 years of slow implementation, change to reflect the entire population served by the school district and all its schools, a population which is thankfully, hopefully proudly, diverse in ethnicity, native language, culture, religion, etc.... I've been told I'm misreading things....but I've yet to come close to being persuaded differently.
Chip Tingle February 24, 2013 at 08:41 AM
Since this article was referenced above, and since I may not be the only one whom missed it, here is a link to the entire M IJ piece: http://www.marinij.com/novato/ci_22453022/novato-charter-school-proponents-say-they-are-open

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