October 4, 2018

Dear NUSD Community,

At the October 2 Board meeting, Assistant Superintendent Yancy Hawkins presented the 2017-18 Budget Advisory Committee’s recommendation to form an Elementary School Size Committee to determine if the District’s elementary school sizes are “ideal” fiscally and educationally.  The recommendation is related to the significant decrease of elementary enrollment of approximately 500 students over the last five years.  The Board approved the District to move forward with the committee on February 13, 2018.

This will be a Superintendent’s Advisory Committee and will be community and budget focused.  The Committee will be comprised of approximately 20 members and will be a parent-focused membership with all elementary schools being represented by a combination of parents, teachers, classified staff and administrators.

We have just begun the process of informing the community and forming this Committee and we will be working with a facilitator, Suzanne Speck of School Services of California. There will be five meetings starting in late October through late January with a recommendation from the Committee to the Board in February.

The process will include two phases:

Phase One:  Decide if NUSD needs to close a school based on the findings in the five goals below.  If the Next Steps include closing a school, Phase Two will be to determine the school to be closed

Phase One will include five goals:

  • Identify pros and cons of current NUSD elementary school size
  • Review comparable school districts
  • Determine the “ideal” NUSD elementary school size
  • Quantify savings or additional costs to transition to “ideal” NUSD elementary school size
  • Make recommendation to the Board for next steps

Phase Two (if necessary):

  • IF there is a recommendation to close an elementary school, the Committee will evaluate each school site.
  • Make a recommendation to the Board in the Spring of 2019.
  • Review potential new boundaries and student flows to the middle and high schools.
  • The closure of a school would not occur until the fall of 2020.

As I mentioned above, we are just beginning the process of informing the community and forming the Committee.  Elementary Principals will be providing me recommendations of potential parents to serve on the Committee.

We have also created an Elementary School Size Committee webpage on the NUSD website which can be found here and will be updated with current information.  The October 3 Board Report and Presentation can be found on the Elementary School Size Committee webpage.

Thank you.

Jim Hogeboom