music in the park san jose

With less than two weeks before school starts, about 70 sixth
graders within the Hollister School District are being notified
that they will be attending a different school.
Because of state law, the Hollister School District voted
Thursday to move all sixth graders from Ladd Lane Elementary School
to a middle school. Most of the students will go to Rancho San
Justo Middle School with a few attending Marguerite Maze Middle
School.
With less than two weeks before school starts, about 70 sixth graders within the Hollister School District are being notified that they will be attending a different school.

Because of state law, the Hollister School District voted Thursday to move all sixth graders from Ladd Lane Elementary School to a middle school. Most of the students will go to Rancho San Justo Middle School with a few attending Marguerite Maze Middle School.

State Education Code 37202 states, “… the governing board of any school district shall maintain all of the elementary day schools established by it for an equal length of time during the school year …” Sixth graders at the district’s two middle schools have been receiving 50 more minutes of instructional time than sixth graders at Ladd Lane. Of the district’s six elementary schools, Ladd Lane was the only one that had sixth graders.

“This was so hard to do so late in the year,” said Carol Cochran, HSD Board president. “This is very short notice.”

With a 5-0 vote, the Board “regrettably” approved the move at a special Board meeting Thursday afternoon.

A letter was sent out Friday informing parents of the change and why it was made. Parent John Robrock found out about the move Thursday and said many parents were very upset.

“We’re all just shell-shocked,” Robrock said. “It shows incompetence. It’s insulting to the parents. They broke our trust.”

Parent Lisa Jelinek found out about the Board’s decision Friday.

“I thought that it was a pitiful use of an educators ability,” she said. “It seems that there’s a lack of concern for how this would effect the children.”

Some parents are upset because they don’t know anything about the middle schools with school starting in less than two weeks.

“There’s just no preparation (for parents and students). What can you do?” Robrock said.

Board members asked about the consequences of violating the Ed Code. Superintendent Judith Barranti said there could be financial fines the district couldn’t afford in light of the state’s budget shortage.

“For them, for their books, it solves it. I don’t think they should punish the students for this,” Robrock said.

Another issue confronting affected parents and students is the lack of knowledge with the middle schools and their campuses.

“We know nothing of Rancho,” Robrock said.

Both middle schools will hold orientation activities for new students. Maze’s will be Thursday at 6:30 p.m. and Rancho’s Friday from 10:30 to noon.

The Ed Code violation was brought to the attention of the Board and district administrators over the summer, Cochran said. The idea of keeping sixth graders at Ladd Lane longer each day was suggested to solve the difference in instructional time, but that scenario would bring up issues of keeping teachers at school longer than what their contract stated and having different student schedules.

Since Rancho is getting most of the students, two sixth-grade classes and teachers will be added.

While some people prefer the elementary-school setting for sixth graders, attending a middle school allows students to participate in activities like band and a broader range of sports teams.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.

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