Accelerated Achievement Academy could move to Maze

Students board a bus to Maze Middle School at Calaveras Elementary School on the first day August 18.

Students at the Accelerated Achievement Academy could be commuting to a new campus as soon as the 2016-17 school year.
A Hollister School District staff official asked the board to consider moving the academy from its current location at Calaveras School to Marguerite Maze Middle School to allow the program to expand and have the science labs and multi-purpose rooms needed for upper grades.
Trustees voted unanimously in favor of allowing the district’s facilities committee to continue investigating this move during a board meeting Tuesday. But Trustee Elizabeth Martinez suggested the district hold special meetings to seek community members’ opinions before making a decision. Other trustees emphasized the importance of involving community members in the decision.
“There’s no perfect answer so we do need to get the parents involved, I think,” said Trustee Pat Moore. “And then some will be happy and some will not be happy.”
The district’s facilities committee met in June, September and October to review the issue. Members considered relocating the academy to another school site; decreasing the number of grades served by Calaveras or the academy at the current shared campus; adding additional portable classrooms; relocating transitional kindergarten and preschool programs; and reconfiguring attendance boundaries.
The group decided the best options to explore were relocating the academy and reconfiguring attendance boundaries.  
“The school that came out the most favorable was the Marguerite Maze Middle School,” Teliha told trustees. “The question was then, ‘When would the change need to take place?’ And the answer was, ‘Next school year due to the fact that they have no space at AAA or Calaveras.’ ”
Concerns with moving the fourth through eighth grade AAA to the middle school include increased traffic congestion; the logistics of separating lower and upper grades; and long-term growth in the area.
Enrollment at Maze is projected to decrease now that the nearby Hollister Dual Language Academy—a former feeder school—has been allowed to expand to a K-8 site. But Maze is expected to get a burst of growth with the new housing construction settling in that area of town in the next few years.
New Trustee Mike Baldwin, sworn in during the same meeting, highlighted the importance of school identities. He cautioned against moving the academy from Calaveras to Maze and possibly later back to its original site.  
“I don’t believe the intent would be to ever move them again,” explained Teliha, the Hollister district’s director of facilities.
The director added that the eventual solution would be that the district would need another school. Trustee Peter Hernandez added the district might need more than one.
The next Hollister School District facilities committee meeting is Nov. 9. Teliha will bring forward an update to the board meeting Nov. 17 and then trustees can decide whether to hold community meetings, the director of facilities said. Hernandez asked for more information about the reconfiguration of boundaries, too. Trustees and staff tentatively scheduled Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 as possible dates for related community meetings.


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