Seeking Common Ground for
Dozier-Libbey Medical High School
Statement by Superintendent Donald Gill
The effort to create an independent conversion charter at Dozier-Libbey Medical High School has been extremely divisive for the educational family in the Antioch Unified School District. It has caused uncertainty, anxiety, concern, and anger for parents, students, professional colleagues, and the citizens of Antioch. This needs to stop as it is tearing our community apart. There needs to be consensus around the best course of action for the future of this exceptional school as a continuing part of the AUSD family.
Now that the AUSD Board of Trustees and the County Board of Education have both denied the conversion petition, we need to move on. There is a window of opportunity to implement a new paradigm regarding the future of DLMHS as a continuing part of AUSD’s educational program. We would like to find common ground on a vision for the school that is not built on win-lose scenarios. Now is the time to come together.
As Superintendent, I am proposing that we assemble people from Dozier-Libbey community members, and the District who are willing to move forward in a positive fashion. In the coming days, the school district will seek out leaders of diverse perspectives and constituencies (parents, community leaders, student leaders, teachers, trustees, classified employees, union leaders, and administrators) to participate in a conversation about “Finding Common Ground.” This will be a working session, based on a Study Circles model, where we encourage small group interaction rather than a Town Hall format. This is a chance to really listen to each other and build bridges of understanding. This process is in keeping with our goal of fostering two-way communication on this important issue. No one perspective can dominate, all views will be respected, and legitimate voices will be heard. The Dozier-Libbey teachers that authored the conversion charter petition will be invited to participate. I hope the petitioners will choose to attend.
Dozier-Libbey, as part of the AUSD, is an exceptional school that was created through a consensus-building approach. Together, we can use that same spirit of collaboration to ensure we move forward in a positive direction.