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February 10, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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February 10, 2010
 

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Feather River Bulletin Wednesday, Feb• 10, 2010 9A Crisis at GHS prompts talk of rural school viability Mona Hill comments, as well as grades, were slipping through the GHS was 121:23 seventh- have all left Greenville. The with its fiscal resources, even Staff Writer or returned at all. They felt cracks and not being resolved, graders, 15 eighth-graders, 23 community has a sense of with its reserve allocation, mhill@plumasnews•com that the lack of feedback He said teachers whose ninth-graders, 3010th graders, pride, represented by stu- then it is chasing a model contributed to the sense of prep times coincided with 13jmliors and 17 seniors, dents' participation in sports that will not suffice in the re- Plumas Unified School Dis- separation, times Blesse was on a par- As of the beginning of and other activities, and a ality of the revenues that our trict Trustee Jonathan Kusel In general, students wanted ticular campus had easier January, Weber said there real, physical school still school district is dealing with placed the subject of rural more diversity in course access to her, while others were 100 students at GHS, in- means something--it's part for the next decade." school viability on the Janu- offerings, activities, career whose prep time did not cluding 15 seniors. The per- of the fabric of the commu- Harris said any discussion ary agenda to bring attention and college planning. They coincide struggled to have ception is that most of those nity. He said it means, needed to be about the out- to the situation in Greenville. wanted more exposure to all time with her. students have begun attend- "There's a there there." comes for students when they Opening the discussion, he opportunities available to Weber and Rubke did not ing Plumas Charter School. He said it was not a failure graduate from high school. said it was not only about them, whether career fairs or fault Blesse; they acknowl- Figures obtained from of the teachers, but of the dis- In a follow-up interview, Greenville High School but college applications, edged it was just physically Janet Wolcott, director at trict failing t(~ meet students' Harris was asked about the also about all the district's Sue Weber, the APOLLO impossible to meet multiple PCS, indicate there is some needs whether academic or perception in Indian Valley schools. While he doubted a program manager who ad- and sometimes-simultaneous truth to that belief. In Janu- social, among faculty, parents and decision would be made on dressed the board as a com- demands for time at the ary 2009, PCS had 35 students Kusel said the problem was students, that student needs the heels of the evening's dis- munity member, was also different school sites, from GHS for a total of 44 not just Greenville's, but that are not being met. cussion, he wanted to include concerned about Greenville Rubke said courses were students at its Greenville all the high schools had suf- He said, "One of the issues, many of the issues facing the schools. Weber wanted to bare bones and there were site. By January 2010, PCS feted cutbacks in resources in part to high schools, we high school in the discussion, know how a school main- not many choices in the way high school enrollment in- that they could ill afford, have to look and go, 'how are In part, his purpose was tained viability without of electives, creased to 44 students, for a On the subject of school we going to provide these also to elicit the board's view sufficient sections (courses) Rubke also questioned the total of 61 students, closure and the trustees' com- things?' We have an obliga- of a viable school. He said and no full-time principal or high level of reserves the PCS records for the last mitment--specifically about Lion to provide the core in- there are many questions in counselor at each school site. district is building when GHS four years indicate more GHS--when asked if his struction a-g requirements the Indian Valley community When board president Brad is struggling and whether the elementary students are en- fellow trustees would vote (for state college and univer- about the district and board's Baker asked her if the choice reserves should be at the ex- rolling in PCS in 2010 than with him, Kusel said, "The sity admission). Above and commitment to maintain a were between a full-time pense of a school. He cited the was previously the case. board I was part of prior to beyond, there's not an obliga- viable school in Greenville. administrator who provided loss of approximately$50,0~ While slightly more high going off the board all had Lion, but there's a commit- Kusel told the board he met consistent leadership or addi- this year out o,~ an estimated school students have enrolled said they were committed to ment; our schools have corn- with 20-25 high school stu- tional sections, which would $80,000 earmarked for the third at PCS, the most dramatic the viability of high schools mitment to want to provide dents in December and again be the higher priority, year of the natural resources increase this year is in ele- in each community. Not engaging and interesting in January, and he provided Weber responded that program's grant money to the mentarystudents• having heard any change in electives that can make notes from those session to sections were crucial to stu- district.~ Wolcott cautioned it was their commitment, they the students competitive in fellow trustees, dents, but it was even more Last year, when the state hard to give reasons for the would need to give adequate " either, hopefully, a job Those notes reflected stu- crucial to have a powerful made drastic cuts to educa- increased enrollment at PCS: notice." market or competitive in dent concerns with lack of full-time administrator, tion funds, it granted dis- The school tends to attract Kusel said the problem was terms of their entrance to on-site leadership, perceived Later in the meeting, Baker tricts permission to "sweep" independent and remedial not twofold (referencing colleges or universities. faculty resignation and said that in his eight years restricted accounts dedicated students for a number of Baker's comments in the "So our struggle, like any frustration, lack of college on the board the transitory na- to specialized school services reasons, earlier board discussion), rural district, is to try to preparatory courses, poor Lure of administration in such as the naturalresources Kusel believes students that itwas a false choice. He provide those; if enrollment school morale and student Greenville seemed to be a program, Regional Occupa- and their parents are "voting said the necessity for the dis- goes down in schools then we motivation, and needed primary factor and GHS had tional Program and special with their feet"--they are go- trict to address the problems have less students to serve, facility repairs, berne the brunt for some time. education into the districts' ing elsewhere to obtain the of its rural location and to meaning eventually less staff With regard to college prep Baker said it was a twofold general funds, corn prehensive education deliver the necessary services to serve those students." classes, students felt the issue: In the short term was Rubke was also doubtful of they believe they are not wereinextricablylinked. "Most of the district re- classes did not appear early the question of what could be the efficacy of distance and gettingat GHS. Superintendent Glenn sources and allocations are enough in their high school done for the rural district online learning, whether Kusel cited problems with Harris' remarks at the put into personnel so when careers--currently llth and and in the long term was the Polycom or compUter-based seventh- and eighth-grade January meeting seemed to you've trimmed most things 12th grades--to be effective, question of how to deliver via the Internet, for remedial students who were "failing" indicate a belief that defining youcan trim in a budget and They believed college plan- services and protect students, students. He believed those because of inadequate viability of schools to mean ,you're still taking hits, at ning should begin in the Travis Rubke, a GHS were the students most support at GHS for the some- having schools in each com- some point you're going to 10th grade to provide better teacher, said a crucial corn- likely to take those courses, times-difficult transition to munity might no longer be have to go to personnel." preparation, ponent for school success is believing they would be highschool• applicable, that it pitted Moving on to discuss Students at the December strong leadership that is easier. Rubke said what they In a telephone interview, people against eachother, declining enrollment, Harris meeting struggled to describe available all the time, inde- neededwas smaller classes to Kusel said the town has He said in the meeting that indicated student numbers the distance between faculty pendent ofthe size ofa school, allow for more one-on-one nothing left for a sense of if"we believe that the physi- drive teacher numbers: and students. Students recog- Weber and Rubke, in later attention, community the mills, the cal model that exists is going nized most teachers have a telephone conversations, said Weber and Rubke said Indi- hospital, the Forest Service to achieve those outcomes, See Crisis, page 10A genuine interest in students, that principal Laura Blesse an Valley residents worry the but students felt a lack of could not meet the demands district is withholding re- PAIO POLITICAL ADVERTISEMENT connection, at each site specifically sources in an effort to make a Dick Lundy Students also cited the because other sites claimed case for closing the school, absence of feedback about so much of her attention, and that they are not willing their coursework. 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