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  • Continuing the Collaborative Work of Our District

    School boards must make tough decisions to accomplish goals and overcome adversity. The Ocean View School District has been faced with and resolved many difficult challenges over the past several years. It was not easy, but through an intentional focus by our Board of Trustees and our District’s Leadership Team, we have collaborated and improved communication with our families, staff, and community on important decisions. In just two years, we successfully modernized and reopened Hope View, Lake View, and Oak View Elementary Schools, passed a $169M school general obligation bond, settled a multi-year lawsuit with Republic Environmental Services, and created a comprehensive online Facilities Master Plan.

    This will be the same approach that will guide us as we begin discussing bond modernization projects, school consolidation, and fiscal stability, from now through the 2018-2019 school year. We are in the process of keeping our constituents informed and gathering information and input, with the support of District staff, as we move forward. Note that modernization projects will not begin until the fall of 2018.

    I want to provide some factual information that will help make sense of the important decisions we now face as a Board.

    • Like other school districts in California, OVSD has seen an overall student enrollment decline. OVSD has gone from 9,600 students in 2009 to a current enrollment of approximately 8,700 students. This significant decline impacts everything we do—from District income, staffing, facility usage, categorical funding, and class configurations in our schools.
    • Our District received positive certification from the county for its 2016-2017 budget and must project the same solvency for the upcoming two fiscal years, despite our declining enrollment. This decline negatively impacts District income and will now impact other practices, such as maintaining very small school sizes. As a result, we must analyze our overall efficiency, staffing ratios, school enrollments, and school sizes.
    • Sun View Elementary School currently enrolls only 250 students; Westmont Elementary School enrolls 330 students; and Ocean View Preparatory Preschool (OVPP)/Pleasant View enrolls 240 students—very small enrollments for a typical elementary school. However, these schools require the same level of teachers and support staffing that is often found at larger schools.

    The complexity of these issues requires a clear strategic solution. Our Board is committed to modernizing school sites in OVSD to the same level of quality found in the modernization projects at Hope, Lake, and Oak View Schools. Of course, changes of this scope may not be implemented quickly because they impact entire school communities, and some aspects are governed by collective bargaining agreements with our employees.

    Two School Consolidation Task Forces were formed to provide a forum for questions and concerns from families, employees, and community members as we move forward with the exploration of temporary housing and school consolidation. There is one task force for the Sun View Elementary School consolidation and another for the OVPP/Pleasant View consolidation. These groups will advise our Board and District administration prior to any school consolidation in 2018, and they will contribute to a comprehensive Board report prior to a public hearing on any formal action by our Board.

    As your Board President, I will continue to provide updates on the modernization projects and our fiscal responsibilities. Our recent District achievements reflect the support and collaborative work of our families, employees, and students throughout the District, and I intend to uphold that spirit.

 


Paid for By Gina Clayton-Tarvin
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
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