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Three-Quarters of Charter Petition Signers from NUSD Schools

Math at work: 382 charter petition signatures submitted; one-half of the charter petition signatures represent Rancho students; three-quarters are currently enrolled in an NUSD school.

About three-quarters of the students with a meaningful intent to attend North Bay Academy, the new charter hoping to open for the 2013-14 school year, currently attend a Novato Unified School District school, according to a press release from the charter school creators.

In total, the parents of 382 students signed the charter school petition submitted to the district Oct. 11 by the North Bay Educational Foundation.

The release also noted that half of the 382 students are attending Rancho Elementary. The petition also included 17 signatures from teachers with a meaningful intent to teach at the proposed North Bay Academy.

The release notes the number of signatures overall "significantly exceed[s] the required number to show viability of the school and its operating budget for the inaugural 2013/14 school year."

NBEF board members Robert Verhoeff and MJ Lonson are both quoted, with Verhoeff noting that their focus now turns to furthering NBEF's community outreach and education.

Lonson is quoted as saying, "Support for a Core Knowledge public charter school here in Novato has been tremendous to date. In addition to a significant number of signatures from Rancho parents, who have previously demonstrated a preference for educational alternatives and schools of choice, we are pleased to see broad-based support from families in 23 schools throughout Marin and Sonoma counties."

So now we know where half of the students come from. Is the fact that half come from Rancho surprising? Personally, I thought the Rancho contingent would represent a greater percentage. I don't know, yet, how it breaks down by pre-K, elementary and middle. More information will be coming out, likely on a daily basis.

Meanwhile, the district has just a couple more days to verify the completeness of the petition, and to answer the question of when the 30-day clock in which to hold a public meeting starts and stops.

Stay tuned. 

[Note: I received the press release as part of an email last night, and I've created and uploaded a PDF of the release in its entirety.]

[Another note: I received word from NBEF at about 9:45 a.m. Oct. 16 that NUSD has requested additional information. At this time, NBEF is planning to provide the additional information and resubmit the petition later today, Oct. 16.]

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Patty Maher October 17, 2012 at 06:23 PM
I don't have the actual numbers. I, too, am only going by what the press release email said. I'll do my best to get a breakdown to share. I know from the district that I can't access through them until the five-day review of the charter is completed. It will then be made public. I don't know if that five-day review clock restarted yesterday when NBEF resubmitted to address two points requested by the district or if it is now public. It's an ever-evolving process, certainly.
Carra R-J October 17, 2012 at 10:06 PM
I think we're all making much ado about nothing, when it comes to the "how many Rancho parents?!" question ... because ALL this is ... is MEANINGFUL INTENT. In my humble opinion, devious Rancho parents are smart enough to leave their names OFF this "meaningful intent" list ... so as to not make clear to the community what's going on ... (i.e. making this charter another exclusive Rancho school). The truly telling numbers will be how many Rancho parents drop their kids off on the first day of school at the new charter ....
Great Kids, Great Schools October 17, 2012 at 10:28 PM
The behavior exhibited around this issue remains troubling to an admitted outsider. Whether charter is the correct course or not and whether CK is the proper curriculum or not has not been properly researched. There has been no gap analysis of the current curriculum offered by the NUSD. There has been no evaluation of the multiple pedagogic choices available. Proper buy in by all constituents has not been achieved. This has been rushed and is not good for the kids or community. I hope the District makes the right choice for the long term success of all the children and schools in Novato. Meanwhile we will remain with our choice of economic sacrifice and stay in Private.
Suzanne October 19, 2012 at 08:07 AM
Going private has greater negative impact than charter on the district
Suzanne October 19, 2012 at 08:26 AM
As engaged parents looking for the best possible education for their children move out of Novato, it isn't good for our schools, our local businesses or our local economy. Strong public schools, high test scores and education options can attract and retain familes to Novato and keep the community strong. There may be some cost to the district for this charter school, however, there may be a far greater cost to the community long term if we keep losing families who are moving further south in search of better schools.

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