Susan Astarita, assistant superintendent of elementary education, presented four types of magnet schools, along with many options for what they could offer, but those two stood out for many board members
“The numbers clearly show two of them way ahead,” member Judith Franco said. “These options combine the greatest amount of positive numbers.”
Two other options were presented, but board members mostly ruled them out because of less interest from parents.
Parents didn’t respond as enthusiastically to a “back to basics” curriculum full of memorization, the three Rs, high discipline and required parental involvement, nor to a language-immersion school where 50% of classes would be in Spanish, according to surveys.
But several board members said they did like the idea from “back to basics” or “fundamentals” schools of having parents sign a contract to be more involved in campus life. School staff said that could work in any situation.
“There’s no reason you couldn’t ask parents to get involved,” Supt. Jeffrey Hubbard said. “That’s not solely limited to the ‘fundamentals’ schools.”
Next, the district plans to take the most talked about options and put them out to community focus groups near Davis to see which elements are most popular, Astarita said. That will happen as soon as possible, within the next couple of weeks, she added.
The whole process is exciting, board President Martha Fluor said.
“It’s evident that the sky’s the limit,” she said. “The bottom line is, it’s up to us to creatively think outside the box, and it’s all about the community making the magnet what they desire it to be.”
The district is still looking for feedback on a possible magnet school, which can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
MICHAEL ALEXANDER may be reached at (714) 966-4618 or at email@example.com.