Grossmont Union High School District

GROSSMONT SCHOOL BOARD PICKS LOCAL EDUCATOR AS SUPERINTENDENT

 

By Ken Stone

Photo:  Tim Glover, new Grossmont Union High School District superintendent via GUHSD

Originally published in Times of San Diego, a San Diego Online News Association member

April 26, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- With a court verdict looming in its fight with Alpine residents, the Grossmont Union High School District board has chosen a longtime East County resident as its new superintendent.

LAKESIDE RESIDENTS AND PARENTS SHOW CONCERN AND OPPOSITION OVER GUHSD REDISTRICTING

 

By Janis Russell

April 18, 2016 (Lakeside) - A public hearing was conducted April 11 in Lakeside to inform the public and let them voice their opinions for the by-trustee area election for GUHSD.  The hearing was held by the County Office of Education’s Committee on School District reorganization, which later approved the redistricting plan and map at its April 13 meeting. (http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/county-approves-guhsd-shift-trustee-districts)

HEATED TESTIMONY AT JAMUL HEARING ON GUHSD REDISTRICTING

 

By Janis Russell

Photo by Leon Thompson: ECM editor Miriam Raftery debunks slander by trustee Jim Kelly, far right

April 12, 2016 (Jamul) - At a hearing April 5 in Jamul held by the County Office of Education’s committee on school district reorganization, some speakers were in favor and some were against redistricting proposed by the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD).  The plan approved 4-1 by the GUHSD would break the district into 5 trustee districts for future elections.

STATE APPROVES ALPINE “DIVORCE” FROM GROSSMONT DISTRICT

 

Astonishing story rocks community and sends shockwaves across district

By Merry Parent

April 1, 2016 (Alpine) – Alpine residents are dancing in the streets in an impromptu town-wide celebration after the California Board of Education granted Alpine parents’ request to break off from the Grossmont Union High School and unify with the Alpine Union School District.  The move will require approval by district voters.  If approved, the AUSD announced today that it will finally build the long-promised high school in Alpine.

READER’S EDITORIAL: CALIFORNIA VOTING RIGHTS ACT (CVRA)

 

By Jim Stieringer, Member, Governing Board, Grossmont Union High School District

March 31, 2016 (San Diego’s East County)--Like my board colleagues I enthusiastically endorse the concept of the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) and our unanimous vote to implement it in the Grossmont Union High School District.

I recall that our board members’ decision to implement “area” election precincts was engendered solely by a desire to implement CVRA and to obviate a threatened lawsuit if we failed to do so. I believe that no one was motivated by a desire to deny a colleague an opportunity to compete in the 2016 election. Further I am unaware of any direction to our demographers other than to create a minority district that gave consideration to all communities of interest. Each of the three proposed maps accomplished those goals.

COUNTY CALLS FOR MORE INPUT ON GROSSMONT REDISTRICTING PLAN

 

Next meetings set for March 28, April 4, 5, and 11

By Leon Thompson

March 27, 2016 (La Mesa) – Turnout was light at the first of five county hearings March 17th on a controversial redistricting plan proposed by the Grossmont Union High School District.  Members of the San Diego County Office of Education ‘s Committee on School Reorganization emphasized that they hope to see more public turnout and hear from a broad cross-section of the community at the upcoming four hearings.

READERS EDITORIAL: STOP GROSSMONT'S GERRYMANDERING! SPEAK OUT AT COUNTY’S ALPINE FORUM APRIL 4

 

 

By George Barnett

March 19, 2016 (Alpine) – Grossmont Union High School District Trustees are in the process of gerrymandering its voter district. Grossmont intends to move from a process of electing trustees on an “at large” basis to a re-districting to a by-trustee basis.  This means that individual communities such as that across Alpine, Blossom Valley, Harbison Canyon – for example – could elect their own chosen representative on the Grossmont board.  Grossmont is being forced into re-districting by threat of separate law suits. 

Fundamentally, it is a sound idea.  However, Grossmont also decided to do this without voter input or approval.  The scheme of re-districting that Grossmont has selected is gerrymandering and results in:

COUNTY SETS HEARINGS ON REDISTRICTING PROPOSED BY GROSSMONT UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT

 



By Miriam Raftery

Updated March 31 with new info from the County Office of Education.

March 15, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – The County Committee on School District Organization will hold six hearings to get public input on the Grossmont Union High School District’s proposed shift to electing governing board trustees by districts.  The GUHSD board voted 4-1 to adopt a controversial map and seek a waiver of a public vote despite opposition from members of the public who spoke, some alleging gerrymandering to oust a dissenting board member and break up a vocal minority voting block, as ECM reported.

The six hearings are set for March 17 in La Mesa, March 28 in El Cajon,  April 4 in Alpine,  April 5 in Jamul, April 6 in Lemon Grove, and April 11 in Lakeside.  The public can testify at the meetings and also submit written comments up until April 7.  The County’s committee will vote to approve or disapprove the district’s request at its April 13 meeting. The Alpine hearing was added after ECM and community members asked that Alpine be added as a location due to the many controversies involving the Alpine area.

For the full schedule of meetings, rules and details, click "read more" and scroll down.

To view the San Diego County Office of Education hearings announcement in English, Spanish and Arabic, click here.

To view data on the GUHSD redistricting plan including demographic details and maps, click here.

HEAR OUR RADIO INTERVIEWS: OPPONENTS OF GUHSD REDISTRICTING PLANS SPEAK OUT

 

East County News Service

March 16, 2016 (San Diego's East County) --  The Grossmont Union High School District Board majority's proposed redistricting plan is among the most controversial actions taken by a board long mired in contention over a variety of issues -- many of which stand to be influenced by the outcome of redistricting.  East County Magazine's radio show on KNSJ sat down with several individuals who have voiced strong opposition to the plan approved by the board and now awaiting action by the County Department of Education's Committee on School District Organization.

Click the link above this story to listen online now to a podcast of  our interviews and comments from trustee Priscilla Schreiber, Diego Valley Charter Net principal Craig Beswick, former Citizens Bond Oversight Committee member Nick Marinovich, and Chaldean Chamber President Ben Kalasho on this important issue (originally aired on KNSJ 89.1 FM radio).

The County's committee plans five upcoming hearings to get public comment on the proposed redistricting plan, as well as the GUHSD's request to waive a public vote. The five hearings are set for March 17 in La Mesa, March 28 in El Cajon,  April 4 in Alpine,  April 5 in Jamul, and April 11 in Lakeside.  The public can testify at the meetings and also submit written comments up until April 7. 

Audio: 

BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO: GROSSMONT VOTES FOR TRUSTEE DISTRICTS, BYPASSING PUBLIC VOTE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Controversial plan outrages Alpine voters, Chaldeans and other district residents

Photo: Priscilla Schreiber will be forced off the board in November if the county approves the GUHSD's redistricting proposal.

February 25, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Grossmont Union High School District voted 4-1 to ditch district-wide elections and break up the district into five areas that will each elect its own trustee. (View map)  The board also voted to ask the San Diego County Committee on School Board Reorganization to waive a requirement that would ordinarily allow the public to vote on redistricting.

READER’S EDITORIAL: BROWN ACT REQUIREMENTS AND TIME LIMITS ON SPEAKING

 

 

An open letter to the Grossmont Union High School District Board regarding its ban on any public citizen speaking over 3 minutes total for all agenda items combined

By Nick Marinovich, former member, Citizens Bond Oversight Committee for the Grossmont Union High School District

February 20, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- As a Citizen who actively participates in the governance process, I have indicated at several board meetings my frustration with not being able to adequately make my points when there is a three minute total time any one Citizen can speak at a regular board meeting. Government Code Section 54954.3 states:

(a) Every agenda for regular meetings shall provide an opportunity for members of the public to directly address the legislative body on any item of interest to the public, before or during the legislative body’s consideration of the item, that is within the subject matter jurisdiction of the legislative body, provided that no action shall be taken on any item not appearing on the agenda unless the action is otherwise authorized by subdivision (b) of Section 54954.2.

 (b) The legislative body of a local agency may adopt reasonable regulations to ensure that the intent of subdivision (a) is carried out, including, but not limited to, regulations limiting the total amount of time allocated for public testimony on particular issues and for each individual speaker.

 (c) The legislative body of a local agency shall not prohibit public criticism of the policies, procedures, programs, or services of the agency, or of the acts or omissions of the legislative body. Nothing in this subdivision shall confer any privilege or protection for expression beyond that otherwise provided by law.

GUHSD TO HOST COMMUNITY FORUM ON MARCH 1 SEEKING INPUT ON SELECTION OF NEXT SUPERINTENDENT

 

GUHSD Superintendent Ralf Swenson to retire on July 1, 2016

Source:  Grossmont Union High School District

February 19, 2016 (El Cajon) – GUHSD Superintendent Ralf Swenson will retire on July 1, 2016. The Governing Board of the Grossmont Union High School District has selected Dr. William E. Diedrich and Dr. John L. Roach of Dave Long & Associates Executive Search Services, as its advisers to assist the Board in its search for a new superintendent.

GROSSMONT HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT AGREES TO REDISTRICTING

By Miriam Raftery

January 22, 2016 (El Cajon) – Grossmont Union High School District’s board voted unanimously last Thursday to shift from at-large elections to district elections in which each trustee will represent a specific portion of the district. The move comes after an attorney for Diego Valley Charter School sent the district a letter advising that it may be in violation of the Voting Rights Act and threatening legal action.

ALPINE HIGH SCHOOL CASE HEADS TO TRIAL: CASE HINGES ON WHETHER OR NOT ENROLLMENT TRIGGER WAS MET

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 23, 2015 (Alpine) – Just in time for Christmas,  Judge Joel Pressman issued a decision in the Alpine high school case that gives neither side what it wanted. 

The Judge denied the Grossmont Union High School District’s motions to dismiss the case but also denied a request from Alpine Union School District and Alpine Taxpayers to issue a summary judgment in their favor.

Judge Pressman did determine that the Appeals Court found Grossmont made a promise to build a high school that is binding. However, that promise hinges on whether or not the enrollment trigger was met or not.

PARENTS, STUDENTS PROTEST GROSSMONT DISTRICT LAWSUIT TO CLOSE CHARTER SCHOOLS

 

Board also votes to incur debt to fight Alpine lawsuit—and gets legal warning of CA Voting Rights Act violations

By Miriam Raftery

“You should be proud that a school like this is helping students out. Are you thinking of the students and our futures, or just yourselves and your money?”—Jackie Ramirez, 16, young mother and student at Diego Valley Charter

November 19, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) –Wearing green shirts reading “Defend School Choice”,  over 100 parents, students and teachers turned out to protest the Grossmont Union High School District’s litigation that seeks to shut down multiple charter schools.  Speaker after speaker gave emotional testimony tonight, pleading with the GUHSD board to save their schools.

A lawsuit filed by the district seeks to shut down Diego Valley Public Charter, which serves at-risk  students including many Chaldeans and other minorities, drop-outs , pregnant students, and students who have aged out of the public high school system, as well as Julian Charter School-Alpine Academy. A hearing on the case is scheduled for June 10, 2016 at 8:30 a.m. before Judge Joan M. Lewis in San Diego Superior Court.

RESULTS OF NEW STATE TEST SHOW GROSSMONT TOPS STATE AVERAGE IN MATH

 

East County News Service

September 11, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--The new Smarter Balanced (SBAC) State test scores are now out.  The tests are meant as a positive step forward in helping to ensure that students are prepared to enter the 21st century with the critical thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills required for success in college and careers, providing a benchmark for measuring progress in future years.

JUDGE SETS TRIAL DATE FOR DEC. 4 ON ALPINE SUIT AGAINST GROSSMONT OVER HIGH SCHOOL

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 11, 2015 (Alpine) – Alpine residents seeking to force the Grossmont Union High School District to turn over $70 million in bond funds and land acquired for construction of an Alpine High School will finally have their day in court.  Judge Joel Pressman ruled against Grossmont on Friday, refusing to dismiss the case and requiring that the money be set aside pending outcome of the trial.

The proceeding will be an administrative trial before Judge Pressman set for December 4th with the Alpine Union School District and the Alpine Taxpayers for Bond Accountability squaring off against the GUHSD. A 3-judge appellate court panel previously denied Grossmont’s request for a stay to stop the proceedings, a move affirmed Friday by Pressman. The County Grand Jury also found that the district did not live up to its obligation to Alpine taxpayers and recommended that the district build the high school or turn over the money to the Alpine Union High School District to build the school.  The district's board majority defied the Grand Jury and did neither.

The plaintiffs contend that Grossmont misallocated millions of dollars from Propositions U and H,  spending much of the $700 million measures approved by voters for projects not listed in the bond while refusing to build the Alpine High School that was a priority project in the bond measures.

COURT RULES FOR GROSSMONT DISTRICT IN ALPINE HIGH SCHOOL CASE

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 7, 2015 (Alpine) – Superior Court Judge Joel Pressman has issued a tentative ruling in the Alpine Union School District’s lawsuit against the Grossmont Union High School District over funding for an Alpine high school.

SDG&E WORKERS FIND HUMAN REMAINS AT ALPINE HS SITE

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 25, 2015 (Alpine) – Homicide detectives are investigating the discovery of human remains in Alpine, the Sheriff’s department reports. According to Lieutenant John Maryon, it appears the remains have been there for quite some time.

CUYAMACA COLLEGE PROFESSOR WINS STATEWIDE CIVIC EDUCATION AWARD

 

March 4, 2015 (El Cajon)-College economics professor Anthony “Tony” Zambelli  has won the Roy L. Erickson Civic Education Award from the California Council for the Social Studies, an annual honor given to educators, community leaders or legislators for promoting civic education in California schools. Zambelli will receive the award March 7 in Oakland at the council’s annual conference.

HIGH SCHOOL CUSTODIAN IN LAKESIDE ARRESTED FOR ARRANGING SEXUAL LIAISON WITH A 14-YEAR-OLD STUDENT

 

February 20, 2015 (Lakeside) – A 21-year-old substitute custodian with the Grossmont Union High School District was arrested yesterday after texting a 14-year-old female student to arrange an off-campus sexual liaison. Deputies from the Sheriff’s Sexual Assault Unit and Santee Sheriff’s station are continuing the investigation to determine if there are any additional victims.

JUDGE DENIES GROSSMONT DISTRICT REQUEST TO HALT INJUNCTION

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 31, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Superior Court Judge Joel Pressman this week denied a request by the Grossmont Union High School District, which sought a stay to halt a preliminary injunction issued to protect bond funds for construction of an Alpine high school.

JUDGE RULES IN ALPINE’S FAVOR ON HIGH SCHOOL FUNDING

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 23, 2015 (Alpine) – The Grossmont Union High School District must set aside $14 million in bond money immediately and another $28 million by January 2016 to fund building a high school in Alpine. Superior Court Judge Joel Pressman issued the ruling Thursday, granting an injunction sought by Alpine Taxpayers for Bond Accountability.

Priscilla Schreiber, the only member of the Grossmont Board who has consistently supported building the high school in Alpine, told East County Magazine, “I’m thrilled.” 

But a statement from the district claims that other schools in the district will not get needed improvements due to the court’s decision.  The district indicates it will be back in court January 28 filing for a stay in hopes of halting the injunction.

TENTATIVE VICTORY FOR ALPINE IN LAWSUIT OVER FUNDS FOR HIGH SCHOOL

 

East County News Service

January 21, 2015 (Alpine)—Superior Court Judge Joel Pressman has submitted a preliminary ruling ordering the Grossmont Union High School District to set aside bond funds for construction of a new high school in Alpine. 

The judge sent his ruling to attorneys for the district and to Alpine Taxpayers for Bond Accountability, which sought the injunction to protect taxpayer money approved for the high school.

SANTA BRINGS GIFTS TO HOMELESS KIDS-WITH HELP FROM FIREFIGHTERS AND MAYOR WELLS

 

December 22, 2014 (El Cajon) – Community members teamed up to bring joy to homeless children in a special Christmas party at the East County Transitional Living Center on Saturday. Santa made a special visit to pass out gifts, aided by CAL FIRE firefighters.

LEGAL WRANGLING CONTINUES IN ALPINE SUIT AGAINST GROSSMONT DISTRICT

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 7, 2014 (Alpine)—The Alpine Tavern & Grill hosts an “Injunction Function” last week, donating 20% of the evening’s proceeds to help fund a lawsuit against the Grossmont Union High School District over its failure to build an Alpine High School despite two bond measures approved by voters.

LAWSUIT AGAINST GUHSD OVER FUNDS FOR ALPINE HIGH SCHOOL TO BE HEARD IN COURT DEC. 5

 

East County News Service

November 22, 2014 Alpine) – Alpine Union School District (AUSD) and the Alpine Taxpayers for Bond Accountability are seeking an injunction to stop the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) from spending money that plaintiffs contend should be set aside to build a high school in Alpine.  The case will be heard on December 5 at 1:30 p.m. in San Diego Superior Court, Dept. C-66 by Judge Joel Pressman.   View the lawsuit here.

The suit contends that the Grossmont district is “unlawfully wasting school bond revenues approved by the voters for an Alpine high school” by spending the money from Prop H or U on other unauthorized projects.  However the Alpine plaintiffs seek only to block bond fund use on any new or future construction projects – not interrupt any pending or contracted for construction projects.

JIMMIE JOHNSON CHAMPIONS GRANTS AWARDED TO LOCAL SCHOOLS

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 20, 2014 (El Cajon)--Once again, six-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson has proven himself to be a hero for education in his hometown, El Cajon.

The Jimmie Johnson Foundation/Lowe’s Toolbox for Education has awarded $556,623 in grants for 2014—including grants to three schools in the Grossmont Union High School District.  The local grants include

  • Chaparral High School - $29,482 to create a computer lab that will augment the program at Chaparral through the use of online learning and digital arts instruction.
  • El Capitan High School - $23,000 to purchase new laptops for teachers so they can be better equipped to use digital/paperless resources and to teach students how to use the online resources and apps available to them.
  • Grossmont High School - $80,458 to integrate technology and foster collaboration and making connections between the arts and core academic classes.

Other grants went to schools in North Carolina, Okalahoma, and to Loma Portal Elementary School in San Diego.

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