School board meets to finalize school closures
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Wednesday night, members of the district school board met with representatives of a special committee at the Cultural Arts Center to determine the fate of CVA and Buena Vista Elementary for the upcoming school year.
Despite the similarity of the situation of the two schools, the outcomes couldn’t have been more different. After hearing the committee’s analysis and a few open speeches from the community, it was decided by a 5-0 vote that CVA will be condensed onto the Carlsbad High campus.
Several people voiced concerns about the closure of CVA in the upcoming school year. Chief among these was the fear that the CVA credit recovery program would fall short with a reduced staff and smaller learning environment.
“The vast majority of CVA students are there for academic or credit recovery reasons,” Assistant Superintendent Dr. Vodicka said.
However, the committee succeeded in convincing the board that not only can the credit recovery be maintained, but so can the entire school’s culture and identity. This would mean the continuation of CVA’s trimester system and alternative learning styles.
“We think it’s possible to run a trimester system at CHS as a school within a school,” Vodicka said.
In addition, the schedule of CVA students day to day will probably not interfere with the regular CHS system. The program being implemented will be aimed at making CVA students’ academic lives as similar to their current schedules as possible, including a completely different bell schedule.
“It’s going to be housed on our campus, but they will have a different setup,” Principal Dr. Matthew Steitz said.
As the next order of business, the board ruled on keeping open Buena Vista Elementary. The safety issue and the loss of preschool and special ed programs were a concern to all in attendance. In addition, the capacity of Magnolia Elementary would have been tested by such an issue. Unlike with CVA, the committee recommended to keep the school open, which the board voted in favor of 4-1.
At the conclusion of the meeting, most were satisfied with the outcome and relieved at the decision to keep BV open. It is estimated that the district could save millions over a five year period for the CVA move.
In the end, both student populations should not fear massive upsets or culture clashes: the transitions will be smooth and the students are some of Carlsbad’s own.
“Everyone of these kids was from CHS,” Steitz said. “It’s not bringing a group of students that we’re not familiar with at all.”