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Oxford to Grow, Barcelona Hills to Close

Capistrano Unified trustees made the emotional decisions that affect hundreds of families.

A new charter school will add more students next year, and the elementary school with which it has been  will close.

The ’s Board of Trustees made the separate decisions Wednesday night before hundreds of parents who packed the trustee chambers and took advantage of a “spillover” room.

Afterward, parents and teachers from Mission Viejo-based hugged and cried and encouraged each other to hold their heads high.

“Even if we did not choose to increase enrollment [at Oxford Preparatory Academy], we would still be obligated to provide 21 of the 27 classrooms at Barcelona Hills,” said Julie Hatchel, assistant superintendent of education services.

By allowing Oxford to grow from its already approved maximum enrollment of 628 to 772 students – 100 of whom are in the charter school’s independent study program and come to campus only a couple times a week. The charter now needs 25 of those classrooms, Hatchel said.

Under voter-approved Proposition 39, school districts must make classrooms available to charters that serve district students. Charter schools are public schools, but are freed from many of the restrictions that apply to regular public schools.

Sue Roche, executive director of Oxford, which runs a similar program in Chino Valley, said the school needs to expand to accommodate the many siblings who are split among schools because families could not enroll all their children in Oxford.

Shelby Barone’s family is one of them.

“My child in the independent study program wants so badly to have a full-time spot in Oxford prep. She wants to have a desk to hold her pencils, a wall to hang up her artwork and a teacher to greet her every day,” Barone said.

Others, like Lauren Tran’s children, would go to Oxford if only they could get in, she said.

“Please make our signatures count,” she said. “Please give parents like me the opportunity to choose.”

Meanwhile, several parents from Barcelona Hills spoke against the expansion. Michael Nemic called the proposal “reckless” and not made in a spirit of cooperation with Barcelona Hills. Barcelona dad Patrick Mallon said the school district was engaging in the time-honored tradition of “divide and conquer.”

Trustee Ellen Addonizio said the district did bring the upon itself when it decided last year that Oxford and Barcelona would share a campus.

“It did become a turf war,” she said. “We did that. Maybe it could’ve been handled a little bit differently.”

Trustee Lynn Hatton was the only trustee to vote against the expansion. She said Oxford’s five-month history in Capo Unified was not enough history to establish that the program is successful.

“We just don’t have the data to prove that yet,” she said.

In tackling the issue of facilities, Hatton pleaded for families from both schools to carry on with the rest of this school year respectfully.

“Please, be kind to each other,” she said.

The two sides have had their since the beginning of the school year.

By the time the trustees broached the subject of facilities, few wanted to speak. Only Adrian Montgomery, a mom from Barcelona Hills, took the microphone.

“I’m extremely disappointed,” she said. She added she hopes her son’s teachers can follow him to his next school.

Hatchel said Barcelona’s about 220 students would have preferential enrollment into either  or .

The trustees voted unanimously to allow Oxford to have all but two classrooms of the Barcelona campus. The trustees also looked at several proposed changes to how Oxford runs its own board meetings but decided against making any changes from its current policy of monthly meetings that alternate between Orange County and Chino Valley.

Capo Parent February 03, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Shelly Stating the obvious is not an insult, and sometimes reality is painful. As for what is a regular school child, its the child who is not at the bottom (Title 1, Special Ed.) and not at the top (AP, IB). Basically it means all the kids in the middle. Though they are the majority, they are the least served. All you have to do is look at the resources provided to Title 1, Special Ed., AP, IB, etc.
shelly February 03, 2012 at 03:23 PM
Capo parent, Why is the truth painful? Why would you say Title 1 kids and special ed kids are at the bottom? I am sure their parents do not view them as at the bottom. Children are children. We need to get past the labeling of children as "regular" and "normal". All children are unique and have different needs. In America we choose to educate all. I think that is why people start charter schools like Journey and OPA. They are looking for something different for their children. It does not mean that it is better or worse but it suits their child. In America we try to meet the needs of all children. Whatever that need be. Some people feel resentment about this. From some of these posts they feel the poor should just be the poor and deal with it. I don't agree. These are children. They cannot help if they were born poor or rich. They are just born. And it is the job of the adults around them to raise them. Some are able to turn the other way and care only how it effects their own but what kind of society would we have if we all did this?
Capo mom February 03, 2012 at 03:26 PM
It is arrogant to assume that because you are satisfied, everyone else should be too. If someone is a single parent, has a spouse or family member who is disabled or terminally ill, if someone is the sole wage earner in their family, they have no choice about public schools. What about people object to the curriculum on a moral or religious basis? Is real choice is only for the rich? Lots of parents are in denial about problems in CUSD. They have no choice about where their kids go to school. If they scratch the surface and find a problem, what can they do? Particularly in a down economy. It's easier to turn a blind eye and hope that kissing the posterior of their kid's teacher will help out. Sadly, it helps a lot. Many teachers play favorites- just human nature. Someone said a while ago CUSD parents suffer from Stockholm syndrome , what a perfect description. I agree. As for the teachers being the union, it's a catchy little slogan, but hogwash. Teachers are individuals and should be judged as such. Most join the union only because they think they have to. When they make the union rather than the classroom their focus, I have a problem with it. I certainly do blame the union for increased class sizes, furlough days, lower standards in the classroom and increased costs that mean virtually every program is under pressure or gone. These cuts have real meaning to every child in the district, including yours. You may like it. I don't.
Capo Parent February 03, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Shelly You are the master of asking multiple, never ending, redundant questions (if you got a dollar for every question you posted on the Patch you'd be a rich lady) and misstating the obvious. There is an old adage, "you can bring the horse to the water, but you can't make it drink the water." This adage applies to you. People can present you with the facts and the truth, but they can't make you understand or accept the facts and the truth. Title 1 schools are at the bottom of the education ladder, that's why they're designated Title 1 schools! Duh! A large number of students in Title 1 schools come from families that are on the low end of the socio-economic ladder, where English is a second language, and education is not emphasized. That's why the gov't pours funding, resources and programs into Title 1 schools that non Title 1 schools can only dream of getting. It appears you have confused (once again) my comments into somehow believing I was commenting on their worth as human beings. Not so. I'll let you deal with the confusion you have created. As for America trying to meet the needs of all kids, that's not simply not true. Unless a kid is in a specialized class, kids have to conform to the class as it is taught, the class is not taught to conform to all students in it, Why do you think so many families uses tutors in CUSD? Have you ever seen the lists of tutors at schools, especially the middle and high schools? Tutoring is the underground education in CUSD.
thadius r. February 04, 2012 at 05:17 AM
wow, if you ladies were paid $5 an hour working, then donatiny that salary for the amount of time you spent posting to this board, we could have bought another campus site and all parents would have been happy.
shelly February 04, 2012 at 09:17 AM
capo parent, Title 1 is designated by the economice status of a family. You designated these children and special needs children as being on the bottom of the education ladder. These children are not on the bottom. They just do not have enough money to afford lunch or for after school activities or many other things. Special needs children are not at the bottom.
Capo Parent February 05, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Shelly Statistically, Title 1 and special ed kids are at the bottom of the education ladder. (Since you seem to have a problem understanding what an education ladder is, it is basically a ranking based on statistical performannce.) Look at their test scores. Isn't that why Title 1 and special ed kids get more money than other students. Whether you like it or not, there are always going to be kids at the top (AP & IB), high middle (honors), middle to low (regular classes) & bottom (Title 1 & special ed).
Pam Sunderman February 05, 2012 at 07:24 PM
Please cite your source using the term "education ladder" to rank schools. This is a new one on me and one of the most offensive I have heard. As for those rankings, they were envisioned by those who can't think in terms other than "best" or "worst" when attempting to evaluate schools. They are statistically derived using standardized testing and other statistics such as school attendance figures. Newspapers come up with their own rankings. Unfortunately these rankings are used by uninformed people to make statements such as some on these boards that students at one school are at the "bottom of the barrel," thus making it a less than desirable place for their own student to learn. If you visit those schools you will find many successful, and even gifted students, who would outscore their counterparts at the higher scoring school every day of the week on the same standardized test. Judging individual students based on the composite scores of a school will lead to such ridiculous starements as "the bottom of the barrel.". As for special Ed...your ignorance of what this means is an embarrassment to you. Special Ed students require extra help for a variety of learning challenges...and intelligence has nothing to do with most of them. They may, or may not, score well on a test. This has little or nothing to do with future academic and/or life success.
OC Mom February 05, 2012 at 08:39 PM
JG, Special Ed and lower Socio Economic level kids usually are at lower testing levels. You are citing rare anomolies. How you feel is subjective. Test results and data are objective. How would you advise parents to rank and select a public school? OPA Chino actually succeeded in raising Special Ed and lower Socio Economic level students scores last year to well above CA State Averages. This is due to the Multiple Intelligences, structure, discipline and homework to reinforce what is learned that day. This is the very program that you deride as failing to do anything different that regular CUSD schools. http://www.greatschools.org/modperl/achievement/ca/25262#from..HeaderLink
shelly February 05, 2012 at 08:48 PM
Understanding the Basics of Title 1 Funds Sarah Malburg • Edited by: Trent Lorcher Updated Oct 5, 2011 • Related Guides: U.S. Department Of Education "Title 1 funds aim to bridge the gap between low-income students and other students. The U.S. Department of Education provides supplemental funding to local school districts to meet the needs of at-risk and low-income students. What's it All About? Most educators, parents and community members have heard the term Title 1 School thrown loosely around, but what is it? Title 1 is the nation’s oldest and largest federally funded program, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Annually, it provides over $14 billion to school systems across the country for students at risk of failure and living at or near poverty. In fact, over the course of the 2009-2010 school year, federal funding through this program was used by over 56,000 public schools nationwide in order for struggling students to meet state standards in a variety of subject areas. Originally, the idea of Title 1 was enacted in 1965 under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. This policy committed to closing the achievement gap between low-income students and other students. The policy was rewritten in 1994 to improve fundamental goals of helping at-risk students. With the implementation of No Child Left Behind, schools must make adequate yearly progress on state testing and focus on best teaching practices in order to continue receiving funds."
shelly February 05, 2012 at 08:50 PM
What is the Purpose of Title 1 Funding? According to the U.S. Department of Education, the purpose of Title 1 funding, “is to ensure that all children have a fair, equal, and significant opportunity to obtain a high quality education and reach, at minimum, proficiency on challenging state academic achievement standards and state academic assessments.” The basic principles of Title 1 state that schools with large concentrations of low-income students will receive supplemental funds to assist in meeting student’s educational goals. Low-income students are determined by the number of students enrolled in the free and reduced lunch program. For an entire school to qualify for Title 1 funds, at least 40% of students must enroll in the free and reduced lunch program.
shelly February 05, 2012 at 08:50 PM
How are Title 1 Funds Used? How to use Title 1 funds rests with each school. Title 1 funds can be used to improve curriculum, instructional activities, counseling, parental involvement, increase staff and program improvement. The funding should assist schools in meeting the educational goals of low-income students. According to the U.S. Department of Education, Title 1 funds typically support supplemental instruction in reading and math. Annually, this program reaches over six million students, primarily in the elementary grades. Types of students that might be served by Title 1 funds include migrant students, students with limited English proficiency, homeless students, students with disabilities, neglected students, delinquent students, at-risk students or any student in need. Students can be classified as at-risk for numerous reasons. A few reasons they might be classified as at-risk students include: high number of absences, single-parent home, low academic performance or low-income family.
shelly February 05, 2012 at 08:55 PM
My comments above are supposed to be in quote marks. They were from an article written by Sarah Malburg.
shelly February 05, 2012 at 09:06 PM
Capo parent, The public has decided that it is in our best interest to help children who worry about having enough to eat, if they have clothing, if they have a place to sleep, if they have to work to make enough for the necessities of life. We have decided that it is in the best interest of everyone to help these children. The desingation has nothing to do with the level of ability or intelligence of these children. It is about economics.
Pam Sunderman February 05, 2012 at 09:53 PM
OK OC Mom, Let's follow your line of reasoning and rank children according to their test scores only. How does yours rank? Are you willing to let your child's success be based solely on that score? Test results and data can be manipulated in a million different ways. You do it all the time.
OC Mom February 05, 2012 at 10:08 PM
JG, I don't recall ever manipulating any test data. When you run out of arguments you twist people's words and continue in attack mode as usual. Yes, I think my children will most likely score higher than they ever have before due to some of multiple intelligence tools they were given. Information they were taught went to long term memory and I'm confident that they will be able to retrieve that information on the test. Of course I urge and model learning all of the time with my children who are avid readers. They do have areas where they need to improve and I've seen improvement since they began attending OPA. Ironically, lack of STAR test data was the reason cited by Trustee Hatton for denying OPA's request for more students. She was the sole dissenting Trustee due to the voter approved debacle that split up our district into Trustee areas. Voter's were deceived into giving away control of their district and having only one Trustee to look out for their interests vs. seven. You can't have it both ways Jolly. As Trustee Hatton said she needed data as proof that OPA's program works. We have already seen no matter how much money the local or Federal Governments throw at schools if the students aren't motivated to learn and the parent's aren't involved there is limited success. I guess that's why even with small class sizes, nicer facilities, food, clothing etc. Kinoshita is on program improvement. The Government shouldn't be raising parent's children for them.
OC Mom February 05, 2012 at 10:18 PM
I agree with you Capo Parent. The success in regular CUSD schools cannot soley by attributed to the teachers, although they do play an important part. After all of the class size increases and program cuts the success of a large number of students has more to do with private tutors, parents paying for afterschool enrichment activities and spending countless hours tutoring and helping their own children with homework. The education level of the student's parents as well as the importance that those parents place on education is also a factor. The sad thing is that many families who are lower middle class or even middle class can't afford a lot of these enrichment activities and tutors. This is one of the reasons many families in CUSD are opting for online schools, Charters and homeschooling.
shelly February 05, 2012 at 10:21 PM
OC mom, Out of the 682 students tested there were 2 economically disadvantaged students at Oxford Prep. in Chino. The 2 took the test but were not classified as proficient or above. Can you please let us know where you got your information because test results and data are objective for the test? I posted the link to the data below. http://star.cde.ca.gov/star2011/ViewReport.aspx?ps=true&lstTestYear=2011&lstTestType=C&lstCounty=36&lstDistrict=67678-1178&lstSchool=0121590&lstGroup=3&lstSubGroup=31
Pam Sunderman February 05, 2012 at 10:22 PM
OC Mom, The only way I want it is for every child to have the best opportunity to succeed. No child is more important than any other...no matter where they are on your ladder. I doubt very much if the majority of parents at OPA would agree with your posts on these boards. You want the best for your child. That doesn't mean that your child is the best...or even better than any other child. Every parent wants and deserves the best for their child. And every parent has the opportunity to participate in the education of their child in CUSD. That is true of OPA, other district charters and every other school. You seem to feel the need to justify your preference for OPA by putting other schools and students down. That isn't necessary for the success of your child.
OC Mom February 05, 2012 at 10:34 PM
Jolly, I'm not the parent who mentioned a ladder. Why don't you just admit that you're Vicki Soderberg? No other older, former teacher has as much vested interest in the failure of a large academic based Charter than yourself! I never said that my children are better than others. I said that "I" am resonsible for making sure that my children receive the best education they can so that they can become productive members of society. Would you wish for them to grow up and work minimum wage jobs, have children they can't afford to feed and become dependent on the Federal Government? I have never touted my children as being better than anyone else. I'm not speaking for other parents at OPA however, I'm sure many would agree that their reason for seeking out alternatives were because of experiences they had at regular CUSD schools. I also stated that I know many parents who are seeking out educational alternatives for their children. You advocate for the Teacher's Union Members, I advocate for my children. We are both doing our jobs. You need to stop trying to deny others a choice. The Government looks out for the children in Title 1 schools. Who's looking out for Middle Class and Lower Middle Class families and their children who can't afford to attend private schools, pay for tutoring or have one spouse stay home and homeschool their children?
shelly February 05, 2012 at 10:45 PM
OC mom, There are 21 students out of 686 who are ESL at Oxford Prep (OPA) in Chino. The percentage of proficent or above for this group was 0. Can you show me the data where the test scores for the current students has improved? Out of the 686 only 2 of the parents did not have a high school education. 38 had high school diplomas. 131 has some college. 265 had a college degree (BA) and 131 had a post graduate degree. 114 of the 686 were classified as gifted and talented. I do not believe that you can state that OPA in Chino has raised test scores until next year because they have only existed for 1.5 years. And if the kids entered OPA already having high test scores with proficient or above and they attended other public schools how do you put all the emphasis on the high test scores on OPA. Where were these kids before and how did they get the knowledge to be proficient or above?
shelly February 05, 2012 at 10:48 PM
OC mom, The link for the data above is posted on my earlier comment about OPA in Chino only having 2 economically disadvantaged students out of 686 students.
shelly February 05, 2012 at 10:52 PM
OC mom, The children at Kinoshita improve every year. The government is not raising these children. Is OPA raising your children? Actually your child could attend Kinoshita if you want your child to go to the nicer facility. So if children do not have food to eat you do not feel we should help them out?
Capo Parent February 05, 2012 at 11:19 PM
I didn't think it would take the CUSD/union attack dogs to respond, and boy was I right. OC Mom, save you time, logic and reason for those who are truly open minded and who truly appreciate logic, reason and common sense. You can glean that from their coordinated attack on my "education ladder" comments. Reality is tough for them, especially when it comes to education. By the way, I never thought of Jollygirl as Vicki Soderberg, but given her responses and the amount of posts she has on her I think you're right. Who do you think Shelly is? Hard to believe she is simply a mom given the number and breadth of her posts. Heck, she probably post more than JG, and that's saying a lot.
shelly February 05, 2012 at 11:30 PM
Capo parent, I am simply a mom. I post under my own name. My 4 children attend 3 CUSD schools. I am not a union member. I think Penny knows me. I find it interesting that anytime anybody disagrees with you they are union. I am a parent who is involved and I volunteer. I care about my children's schools. I am tired of the anti-teacher posts because the majority of teachers that my children have had great. I am thankful for the choices that were afforded me in CUSD. I am thankful to have been born in a country that educates all and looks beyond their own personal needs. The reality of this is not tough for me. I agree with it. I have no idea who you are Capo parent. But why put down others for what you do yourself which is to post your opinions? You are welcome to your opinion and I will not label you. I do not agree with your logic or common sense or "reason" and that is okay. I don't have to. The reality of someone not agreeing with you and the commo
Penny Arévalo February 05, 2012 at 11:42 PM
Hi Shelly, I don't think we've ever met face-to-face, but we travel in the same circles, as our kids go to the same schools. CP, Shelly is" just a mom." Can't say I'm in love with that phrase, though. :-) Patch obviously extends anonymity as an option, so I don't think there's much productivity in trying to figure out who is who unless someone chooses to use his or her own name.
OC Mom February 05, 2012 at 11:54 PM
http://library.constantcontact.com/download/get/file/1103629101788-820/OPA+Performance+Data.pdf Please read the attached reports that compare OPA Chino with other Chino Valley Schools and with the average CA State scores. As you can see regardless of race or Special needs the majority of kids scored Proficient or Advanced. The program works, but requires parental involvement and a lot of hardwork from the students.
shelly February 06, 2012 at 04:10 AM
OC Mom, "OPA Chino actually succeeded in raising Special Ed and lower Socio Economic level students scores last year to well above CA State Averages." Where is the data to back up this statement? There were only 2 out of 686 students who were designated as economically disadvantaged and they were not designated as proficienct or advanced. OPA scores in Chino are great but there is no proof that OPA did this alone because OPA has only existed for 1.5 years and all of the students came from other schools. These students could have very well had high test scores before coming to )OPA. I am not against OPA. I am not against charters. I agree that there should be choice in schools. I just do not agree with mistatements and putting down others for their choices. "We have already seen no matter how much money the local or Federal Governments throw at schools if the students aren't motivated to learn and the parent's aren't involved there is limited success. I guess that's why even with small class sizes, nicer facilities, food, clothing etc. Kinoshita is on program improvement. The Government shouldn't be raising parent's children for them." How can you possibly make this statement about the motivation of these children who you do not know or have any experience with? How can you possibly know anything about their parents and their involvement? Just because a parent is a working parent and cannot volunteer does not mean they are not involved.
Capo Parent February 07, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Shelly OPA in Chino scored better than anyone (but OPA) thought they would. I would be surprised if OPA-OC didn't score as well or better. CTA fears real school choice, in particular, charter schools, because they dilute CTA's (and its affiliated unions, like CUEA) power, influence and money. That's why CTA basically wrote AB 1172 and is feverently backing it. CTA is ok with school choice by parents as long as it entails schools that CTA members can teach at and dominate which allows it control and influence. Yes Shelly, sometimes it really is about the unions, though you pretend otherwise. Also, stop pretending you're not against OPA, you are. How can one tell? Easy, count how many times you stated, in writing, you're not against OPA, but then turn around and slyly bash OPA. With friends like you, OPA needs no enimies.
shelly February 08, 2012 at 09:31 AM
Capo Parent, I am not against OPA. Please point out where I bashed them.

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