Second of two parts.
COSTA MESA — Many nights she sipped tea and listened to other parents complain.
They questioned the academic rigor of Adams Elementary, the school just down the block. Some told rumors of Spanish speakers slowing down instruction, and students from the city's Westside interrupting teachers and classmates.
Her goal those nights was to sway them, to convince her neighbors that the place she sent her children to every day was safe and enriching. Many were already convinced, though, that Adams was a threat to their children's education.
Jennifer Knapp and a handful of other parents have kept their children at public schools that serve Costa Mesa's Mesa Verde neighborhood, despite many families fleeing to private schools and public schools in neighboring Huntington Beach. They remain, they say, because the teachers are talented, their children benefit from diverse classmates, and they believe in the concept of neighborhood schools.