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If Dozier Libbey isn't broken, why do teachers want to fix it?

By Tom Barnidge Contra Costa Times Columnist

Posted: 03/23/2014 07:39:36 PM PDT

Wednesday night's Antioch Unified School District meeting ...more

District Letter

Friday, March 21, 2014

As you may be aware, the Board of Education approved the Dozier Libbey Medical High School (DLMHS) Dependent charter petition at its Board of Education Meeting March 19, 2014. ...more

Dozier-Libbey Charter School Information

Dozier Libbey Medical High School, Dependent Charter Petition   versión en español  

Differences Between the Private Conversion Charter Petition and the Dependent Charter Petition

 

 

As many of you may be aware, on February 24th , a group of teachers at Dozier Libbey Medical High School (DLMHS) presented the District with a petition to convert the school to an independent conversion charter. The petitioners stated that they were petitioning to become a charter school independent of the Antioch Unified School District as they believed that the original vision of the school was being eroded by District policy. If the charter petition is approved, the new independent Dozier Libbey Medical High School charter would claim rights to the Dozier Libbey facility and program and would no longer be a part of the Antioch Unified School District.

 

Since receiving the DLMHS independent conversion petition, the District has received numerous parent, community, and staff concerns regarding the process and the contents of the petition. Parents and community members are concerned that the petition was filed without any of their input or involvement. Parents are also concerned about what this means for their children who are currently attending and/or are slated to attend next year. Parents  were upset to learn that their children will be ineligible to participate on AUSD athletic teams and other extracurricular activities if the school is no longer a part of the Antioch Unified School District. Classified staff employed at DLMHS –many of whom still have not been approached by the petitioners,  have voiced concerns about their jobs should the conversion petition be approved. Additionally, all but two site administrators in the District have signed a petition in opposition of the independent conversion charter. Needless to say, the scores of concerns the District has received from parents, community members, and staff are numerous and justified.

 

In addressing these concerns, and in acknowledgement that the petitioners can appeal to the county and state should the District deny the independent charter conversion, a dependent charter petition was presented to the District on March 14, 2014. The lead petitioners, Stephanie Anello, Associate Superintendent, Louie Rocha, Principal of Antioch High School, and Ken Gardner, Principal of Deer Valley High School, have been joined by numerous teachers throughout the District in support of this dependent charter. Should the Dozier Libbey dependent charter be approved, it will be a part of the Antioch Unified School District. Attached is a PowerPoint presented to DLMHS parents Monday night along with a fact sheet about the differences between an independent and dependent charter. Both petitions are also posted on our website.

 

Both the independent conversion charter petition and the dependent charter petition will be presented at the Board of Education Meeting this evening where the public can voice their support and opposition. The Board of Education is expected to approve or deny the  petitions this evening. The meeting will take place at John Muir Elementary School at 6:00 pm in the Multi-use room. The school is located at 615 Greystone Drive.

 

Please note that per Ed Code that as a start-up,  the dependent charter school may admit all students who want to attend and must give preference to current students at DLMHS and students residing within the District. Although the District may not require any current District student to attend the dependent charter school, or any District employee to work there, there is no legal obligation requiring the dependent charter school to replace its students, teachers, and staff.  Rather, the dependent charter school may continue to serve DLMHS’ current students who choose to attend, and the dependent charter school may continue to employee all current DLMHS employees who choose to work there. If approved, it is the District’s hope and intent to maintain all current DLMHS students and staff should they express a desire to continue attending and working there.

 

Thank you, as always, for your continued support of our unified District.

Donald Gill,

Superintendent

Visits reveal great teaching and skills

 

I’ve had the pleasure this school year to visit a number of classrooms throughout the District.  Regardless of the grade level of the classrooms I enter, I am always impressed by the wonderful teaching that I observe and experience throughout the various grades.  I see teachers who are experts at engaging students in meaningful Common Core Standards based lessons.  It’s invigorating to see students respond to these lessons at levels that push their critical thinking skills to new heights. 

What is most exciting is to see our teachers utilizing instructional technology with tools that were not available to the teaching profession when I started my first job as a teacher way back in l978.  Yes, that’s right, I said it, 1978!  Many of you reading this message were youngsters back in those days or not even born yet!

Speaking of technology and its availability in today’s classroom, it is so different than when I was a young teacher back in the day.  High tech then was an IBM Selectric typewriter, a TRS-80 computer from Radio Shack, a 16 millimeter film projector, a film strip projector, or a Kodak Carousel slide projector. Thank goodness we have come so far since those days when I first started as a teacher.

I applaud all teachers who have courageously incorporated technology into the classroom.  I enjoy observing our teachers utilizing their computers, Elmo projectors, and computer technology in the classroom. 

As we hopefully say farewell to the economic recession, I look forward to the District responding to the needs expressed by our teachers for more and better technology in our classrooms.  District administrators have been working closely with teachers at all of our school sites to receive input to help guide the decision making process.  We want these tools to be available to you as we prepare for the Smarter Balance Assessments and the Common Core Based Standards. 

I want to thank you for your diligent effort to ease the transition to new rigorous standards and to a new and challenging assessment system.  I appreciate the warm welcome that you extend to me and other visitors whom you welcome into your classrooms to observe your expert teaching which produces higher levels of learning for the benefit of all of our students.

 

Don Gill,

AUSD Superintendent

Donald Gill, Ed.D. Superintendent of Schools

Donald Gill.jpg

Superintendent's Office Contact Information

 

Donald Gill, Ed.D., Superintendent

Nancy Billeci, Senior Executive Assistant

Lisa Gillem, Office Assistant

510 G Street, Antioch, CA  94509

925.779.7500 Extension 51000

Fax: 925.779.7509

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