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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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February 17, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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February 17, 2010
 

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6A Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010 Feather River Bulletin Face-off: Parents want help now, Harris says wait Alicia Knadler Indian Valley Editor aknadler@plumasnews.corn Parents of current and up- and-coming Greenville High School students want action now, not next year or the year after. They showed up in large numbers, some to be heard clearly by Plumas Unified School District officials, in- cluding Superintendent Glenn Harris and Assistant Superintendent Bruce Williams. Harris stated he came to Greenville to find out what the questions were that maybe he or one of the other district employees at the meeting could answer. He also said he had not had one phone call from a parent or an e-mail from anyone in Indian Valley un- til Taylorsville Elementary School principal Tori Willits notified him about some- thing she read on Face- book--the rumor about the closure of Greenville High School next year. "I try not to go on Face- book," he said. "You can hear too many things there." Because he felt that the level of anxiety among the community was "not good," he organized a meeting as soon as possible. "I will tell you this right now," Harris began. "We have not had any conversa- tion about closing Greenville, Portola, Quincy or Chester--not one." He repeated himself before a parent spoke up and said she read about it in the Wednesday, Nov. 25, issue of the newspaper. Another resident spoke up and quoted from that article, where a viable school popu- lation was seen for only two to three years out. Harris proceeded to lay the blame on the newspaper reporter. The resident tried to re- take the floor, saying that it was in the board meeting minutes as well. Harris continued without hesitation, saying that the reporter's interpretation was inaccurate and that she took his comment out of con- text. "Read the minutes," the parent insisted softly from her seat. "Pieces were missing from that conversation," Harris said after that. Harris said the issue was a district-wide one for all ju- nior and senior high.school grade levels. "There's no way to know exactly what will happen three to five years out," he said. He launched a discussion about the need to take time to talk about what students and schools need and what the community wants. Then "looks" at the vision and resources would be fol- lowed by more conversa- tions, and those would be fol- lowed by looks at programs already available--all in all, a process that could take the district well into 2011. "Whether we close a school or not is not what we should be talking about right now," he said. That Retired coach and Greenville Junior Senior High School teacher John Holland asks Plumas" Unified School District Superintendent Glenn Harris if there will be more sections at the school, and the answer he received was "no." Readers with access to YouTube may watch this conversation by searching for Holland-Harris or the ajgraphix channel. Photo by Alicia Knadler would narrow the focus of conversations to just that-- closure of a school. Other parent concerns fo- cused on two main issues: the lack of committed, full- time administration at the placement courses to pre- pare students for college. Those topics have been brought to his attention on more than one occasion in the past few months, con- trary to his claims at the be- campus and the perceived ginning of the meeting. lack of classes and advanced Watch,he _ _ _ Excitement i -$ 3)- X:La-;g- "- i Here! : off IS i Ji #bZ, Open 7 days I I K?-F'---') 11am- 10pm ,, off Large L000000TJointhe00 .. , .... .. . .... ,.;q;;,, Wall of  ., r=i E ' l  r In,,I, " i *1 off Med,um Flame!  ,10  ! __. .... . ;m:s;Tn:::;pTn; Center. Quincy 283-2320 The residents and staff of ........... Country Wdla Quincy would like to thank the Pink Ladies Organization for commissioning Jim Battagin to build us a beautiful cabinet for our dining room and donating it to our facility. Thanks to Jim for the hard work and beautiful craftsmanship. We will all enjoy the cabinet for years to come. Special thanks to the Pink Ladies for all the wonderful events and programs they sponsor for our folks and the multiple donations they provide throughout the year. Concerns were brought to him and the board during the November district meet- ing in Greenville, by a teacher who is also a parent, and at more recent board meetings by now trustee Jonathan Kusel and Mike Chelotti, former Greenville administrator, teacher, coach and district superin- tendent. Although Harris opened the meeting with parents by "Since I've started physical therapy I've gotten back much of the mobility and, strength in, my knee. It is improving with each visit." Sthanie Tolen PLUMAS PHYSICAL THERAPY dy% Kory Felker, MPT " '') 78 Central Ave., Quincy 283-2202 saying no one had brought their concerns to him, Har- ris later apologized to one student during the board meeting Tuesday, Feb. 9. Greenville senior Haley Fox brought concerns, mainly the same two concerns as parents, to him in person along with several other stu- dents who did the same. Teacher and parent Lisa Balbiani shared at the No- vember meeting her con- cerns about the school, in- cluding "oftentimes" when there is no administrator at the school and classified teaching staff have to deal with issues that should be handled by a principal or vice principal She also spoke about the lack of advanced placement and remedial classes, as well as too few sections to allow for flexibility in scheduling, and other concerns regard- ing meeting the needs of stu- dents with individualized education plans. "She noted that they (GHS) are losing an average of one student per week who is transferring, mostly to Plumas Charter School and some to Chester High School," read the approved board minutes. "When asked by board member Baker what it would take to get stu- dents to return, Ms: Balbiani advised that more sections for students are the primary need." Principal Laura Blesse, during the same November meeting, also talked about students who have left for charter school, though in different terms. She is noted in the min- utes as believing "there are some valid reasons for a charter school for students who have a lot of absences, who are failing classes and are credit deficient," though she would like to see those students who have left for charter schools return. Harris responded to Bal- biani's remarks during that meeting, and said the situa- tion with declining enroll- ment in the district has been ongoing for some time, that the impact is felfi all areas, not just Indian Valley, though Greenville schools have been impacted "more so than the other schools in our district at this time." At that same meeting, the amount of funds held in re- serve by PUSD was ques- tioned by Faith Strailey, president of the Plumas County Teachers Associa- tion. She said there was con- flicting information between the 30 percent reserves claimed by the district and See Face-off, page 8A SHADETREE AUTO SALES & REPAIRS 2140 E. Main Street, East Quincy Call Bruce Repair 283-2235  FREE medium pizza* with the purchase of any extra large pizza *cheese only /--. ' Pizza Facto ry Quirt o/ ( (: 490 West Main St. 283-4545 - WE DELIVER - PILOTS Plumas Christian School Hosts A special dramatic presentation of: "Old Time Radio Theatre" at the Springs of Hope Christian Fellowship 59 Bell Lane, Quincy Friday, Feb. 19 Spaghetti dinner begins at 5:30pm Show starts at 7:00pm RSVP at 283-0415 Folks are encouraged to wear 1940's attire l)roceeds to help t'und I)CS students trip to Washington I).C. Drawing for hand-made quilt: tickets $1 ca or 6/5