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Tri-Valley Learning Corp. Requests Portola Elementary as Charter High School Site

Portola Elementary Site (Livermore, California)

Portola Elementary (Livermore, California) - Preferred Site for Livermore Valley Charter Preparatory High School 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 (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. 

Nielsen Elementary - Dublin's only unoccupied school site

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).

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Kirsten Fisher permalink
    May 5, 2010 2:04 pm

    “It doesn’t matter to me, East or West.” Strange quote for someone who is pushing an East Dublin High School and sending unsolicited e-mails to Dublin Parents whose students go to East Dublin schools.

    I would like a copy of the e-mail you received. Thanks. Great job.

  2. Amy Jones permalink
    May 5, 2010 6:24 pm

    This is the copy of the email…I would like to know how email addresses were obtained.

    Greetings Fallon MS Parents/Guardians-

    Let me introduce myself: I am Dr. Jeff Watkins, new Principal of Livermore Valley Charter Prep High School. We’ll begin this year with 110 freshman. As an open charter school, we can advertise outside our city boundaries to areas such as Dublin. Our new location is 2541 Portola Ave, which is just off N. Livermore exit from 580 E—only a few miles from Dublin with a reverse commute.

    As you may know, Tassajara Prep HS will open in 2012-2013. In the meantime, if you would like another quality school for your 8th grade children, we can help.

    I have attached a flyer, a program tri-fold, and an enrollment form.

    Please review at your leisure.

    In this unprecedented educational climate, we know that students will feel the impact. We are poised to provide a rigorous, relevant education to students who are achievement-oriented. If you believe in choice, please consider LVCP.

    Thanks for your time-


    Jeff Watkins, Ed.D.
    Principal, Livermore Valley Charter Prep High School
    925-443-1690 office
    330-634-6773 cell

  3. Kirsten Fisher permalink
    May 6, 2010 4:04 pm

    Amy- Tassajara Prep sent me an unsolicited e-mail approx a week ago. It was to an e-mail address that is in my son’s school directory. My son goes to Dougherty. I also gave this e-mail address to the room parent and my son’s little league.

    I would hate to think that the home parent or team parent violated my trust and gave my e-mail address to these people.

    If these parents did not give my e-mail address, then Tassajara Prep has the school directories for Dougherty, Fallon and Green and are using these directories to send SPAM.

    My view is that if you do not have a student in one of the above schools, you have no right to that directory much less send unsolicited e-mails to unsuspecting parents.

    I wish there were some laws broken and we can call Tassajara Prep out for this but unfortunately there are not. We just have to be more careful about allowing our e-mails to be published.

    I know I will not have my address or e-mail in the school directory next year because of this.


  1. A Tale of Two Charter Initiatives: Tassajara Prep and Livermore Valley Charter School «
  2. Tassajara Prep Charter High School Update «

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