Tri-Valley Learning Corp. Requests Portola Elementary as Charter High School Site
OneDublin.org has received a copy of the Livermore-based Tri-Valley Learning Corporation’s Prop. 39 Facilities Request letter to the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District. The letter requests Portola Elementary as the site for the planned Livermore Valley Charter Preparatory High School (approved to open this Fall as a 9th grade only high school). Tri-Valley Learning Corp. currently operates a K-8 school (Livermore Valley Charter School) that was recently profiled by OneDublin.org (available here). Prop. 39 provides a mechanism for charter schools to gain access to district facilities. Tri-Valley Learning Corp. is currently in negotiations with the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District regarding the Prop. 39 facilities request, with a final decision expected this Spring. (Note: since this article was published Portola Elementary has been confirmed as the site for Livermore Valley Charter Preparatory School.)
[UPDATED 8-10-2010: The Portola Elementary School site is confirmed for Livermore Valley Charter Preparatory High School (LVCPHS) for the 2010-11 school year. A permanent location for both Livermore Valley Charter School (LVCS - K-8) and KVCPHS (9-12) has been secured by Tri-Valley Learning Corp. (TVLC) according to an email sent to parents on 8-10-2010: "On Sunday, August 8, 2010, the TVLC Board of Directors approved the Agreement of Purchase and Sale and Joint Escrow Instruction for Montevina Site One and Montevina Site Two. Construction of Montevina Site One has been completed for some time, but Montevina Site Two is not yet developed. In addition to the Montevina deal, the TVLC Board of Directors also approved the Letter of Intent for a Lease Purchase Agreement for the Independence Plaza building located at 3090 Independence Drive, adjacent to the Montevina Sites."]
If Livermore-based Tri-Valley Learning Corp.’s Tassajara Prep charter petition is ultimately approved, one option for Tassajara Prep is requesting access to a Dublin Unified School District facility using Prop. 39. Nielsen Elementary (closed during consolidation) is currently the only vacant facility available in the Dublin Unified School District. It is unlikely that will change in the coming years. Bill Batchelor, COO of Tri-Valley Learning Corp., stated at a Tassajara Prep town hall meeting in the fall of 2009 that co-locating with an existing school (such as Dublin High School), is not the preferred option. John Zukoski of Tassajara Prep has stated in writing that co-locating at Fallon School is off the table.
Given that an elementary school site is the preferred option for Tri-Valley Learning Corp. for their Livermore high school campus it is possible Nielsen Elementary will be the preferred location of Tassajara Prep if the school is approved and opens. Nielsen Elementary would likely need upgrades to be suitable. In a ContraCostaTimes article published last Fall, Rully Kusuma of Tassajara Prep stated “It doesn’t matter to me, east or west,” regarding the location of Tassajara Prep.
The lack of east-side options has been the elephant in the room since the beginning of the Tassajara Prep charter high school debate. Other ideas that have been suggested include starting the school in an unused strip mall or renting a vacant floor of an office building. City of Dublin zoning changes would likely be necessary for building a new school within Dublin. According to Tassajara Prep’s published plans, the earliest date for a new facility is 2015, making it unlikely Tassajara Prep can open in 2012 without finding an existing facility.
In the Dublin Unified School District’s Findings of Fact regarding the Tri-Valley Learning Corp. Tassajara Prep charter petition, DUSD states:
- “it should be noted that the Dublin Unified School District is a single high school site school district and thus it has been confirmed with Petitioners that the proposed Charter School will be located on the campus of the existing high school inasmuch as it is the only facility that is reasonably equivalent and grade level appropriate for the location of a high school charter school.”
The ultimate location of Tassajara Prep has been a contentious issue since the start of the charter debate. If the Tassajara Prep charter petition is approved the location question is unlikely to be resolved until the spring of 2012 (according to statements made by Bill Batchelor at a Tassajara Prep Town Hall meeting, and consistent with the Prop. 39 experience in Livermore).