Frequently Asked Questions
Updated January 21, 2020
We are providing answers to frequently asked questions during this phase of the process. Please note that this information will be continually updated throughout each phase of the school consolidation process, so please revisit this webpage for updates. We will also post updates on our social media pages (Facebook and Twitter) and through district communications.
Why are schools being closed?
Evergreen School District has a $12 million deficit that is the result of rising costs and declining enrollment. Enrollment in the Evergreen School District has been in significant decline over the last five years and this trend will continue for the next five years. Specifically, over the past six years, the total enrollment has fallen by more than 2,500 students. The district also faces a projected enrollment decline of 1,500 students over the next five years, totaling a 10-year loss of more than 4,000 students. Over the next two years, the district is projected to lose over 750 students due to families moving out of the Bay Area to more affordable communities. This trend is not limited to Evergreen School District, as other Bay Area districts are facing similar situations.
By closing a $12 million deficit and addressing decline in enrollment, we can ensure that our schools maintain the level of excellence that our families expect for our students and support innovative learning in the classroom so that our students are prepared for a highly competitive global society.
How many schools will be closed and when will they close?
Two schools are scheduled to close by the end of the 2019-20 school year, and one more school by the end of the 2020-21 school year.
Which schools are being consolidated?
At this time, the Board of Trustees has not determined which schools are closing. At the December 19 Community Information Meeting, Dr. Flores announced that four schools will not be included for consideration for closure due to factors that would create additional expenses that would outweigh the benefits of closing the schools:
Middle Schools - Chaboya, LeyVa, and Quimby Oak: Closing these middle schools would be considered too disruptive, as there are many elementary schools that feed into each middle school. If we closed any middle school, we would have to incur a high cost of transporting students to the two remaining middle schools. The amount of transportation (busing) that would need to be added if a middle school were closed would also create a need for bus drivers that cannot be filled due to a shortage of bus drivers (which is also a statewide problem).
Schools with Dual Language Immersion programs - Holly Oak: Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten restroom spaces were required to be constructed at the Holly Oak Elementary School, which houses these programs. Making these facilities improvements at another school is a $500,000 additional expense.
Decisions will not be made without full consideration of current enrollment and school boundary data.
What will be the process and timelines for the school closures/consolidations?
At its November 14, 2019 meeting, the Evergreen School District Board of Trustees approved the process and timelines for the district’s school closures/consolidations, which incorporates various stakeholder engagement opportunities, including the appointment of a Superintendent's School Consolidation Advisory Committee (SSCAC) and subcommittees. The Board of Trustees will be holding two public hearings scheduled on January 27, 2020 and February 3, 2020 at 6 p.m. Both public hearings will be held in the Quimby Oak Middle School Gymnasium. The following is a summary of the approved process and timelines, and the full text of the approved process and timelines can be found here: www.eesd.org/scprocess
At its January 22, 2020 meeting, the SSCAC will determine which specific school closures/consolidations will be recommended to the Superintendent. The Board of Trustees will take action on the recommended school closures/consolidations at its February 13, 2020 meeting.
What is the composition of the Superintendent's School Consolidation Advisory Committee, and what is its responsibility?
Superintendent, Dr. Emy Flores recently appointed the Superintendent's School Consolidation Advisory Committee (SCCAC), an advisory committee that is comprised of parents, community partners, principals, teachers, and support staff. The committee is charged with the responsibility of ultimately recommending which schools to close--including boundaries and potential transportation approaches--to the Superintendent by the end of January 2020. The committee will work alongside the subcommittees (listed below) on developing specific transition support plans for the schools recommended for closure.
Three subcommittees--Education Services, Human Resources, and Business--will meet concurrently and provide information and updates to the SSCAC throughout the process, and will be comprised of community representatives, parents, and staff members:
- Education Services: The Educational Services Committee will focus on anything related to teaching and learning, instructional materials, school libraries, educational programs, etc.
- Human Resources: The Human Resources Committee will focus on anything related to staffing, contract agreements, transfers, layoffs, etc.
- Business: The Business Committee will focus on anything related to budget, facilities, space, technology, nutrition services, maintenance and operations of school facilities, transportation, etc.
How were people chosen to serve on this committee?
The district conducted an application process and invited parents, community members, and staff members to apply for the committee. Over 50 applications were received and 23 people were selected by the Superintendent based on a balance of cultural, ethnic, and school representation on the committee.
What impacts will be considered by the Superintendent's School Consolidation Advisory Committee (SSCAC)?
The approved process outlines a number of impacts that will be considered-- including financial, community, programmatic, enrollment, and demographic factors--and examined by the committee and its subcommittees.
When will the Superintendent's School Consolidation Advisory Committee (SSCAC) meet?
The committee will begin meeting on November 20 and will meet through April 2020. The first 30 minutes of the meetings the community is invited to provide input and comment. This will be followed by a closed session by the SSCAC. Please note that due to the advisory nature of this committee, SSCAC closed session meetings are not open to the public. Meeting notes and agendas will be posted on the committee's webpage for informational purposes. The dates of these meetings are listed as part of the Board of Trustee's approved process and timelines, and the committee may choose to hold additional meetings which are not listed.
How and when can I provide input in the process?
- Community Information Meetings - The approved timeline includes three Community Information Meetings, open to the public, hosted by Superintendent Dr. Emy Flores, to provide updates, answer questions, and listen to concerns community members may have. The community information meeting dates are as follows, beginning at 6 p.m.:
- December 19, 2019 - Quimby Oak Gym - 3190 Quimby Rd., San Jose
- January 16, 2020 - Quimby Oak Gym - 3190 Quimby Rd., San Jose
- February 25, 2020 - Quimby Oak Middle School Library - 3190 Quimby Rd., San Jose.
- Community Input Sessions - In order to increase transparency and engagement in the school consolidation process, the Evergreen School District Superintendent's School Consolidation Advisory Committee is inviting the community to participate in community input sessions from 4 - 4:30 p.m in the Evergreen School District Board Room. During these input sessions, committee members will listen and take notes. These input sessions are offered in addition to the Community Information Meetings. Following these input sessions, the Superintendent's School Consolidation Advisory Committee will then adjourn to its regularly scheduled meeting in the Quimby Oak Middle School Library.
- Email - Input and questions can also be sent to email@example.com.
If my child's school is listed as one of the ones with the lowest enrollment, does that mean that it will be closed?
The demographer/enrollment data only shows enrollment trends and does not include other factors that the Superintendent's School Consolidation Advisory Committee will be considering when recommending schools to consolidate, including programs, boundaries, transportation, demographics, financial and other factors.
Will consolidating schools increase the amount of money a school district spends per student? Consolidating schools is addressing a $12 million deficit and addressing declines in school enrollment, and will prevent the district from having to make budget reductions through other means, such as cutting programs. Consolidating schools will not increase the amount of money a school district spends per student.
What considerations will be made regarding the proximity of neighboring schools in relation to the schools being closed?
One of the priorities being considered by the Superintendent’s School Consolidation Advisory Committee is considering the proximity of neighboring schools that have room to accept students from schools that are closed, so that students are not required to travel a significant distance from their neighborhood to their school.
What will happen with the programs (social-emotional, behavioral, special needs, character education, before/after school child care, etc.) of the closed schools?
Our Evergreen schools’ employees have specialized training and education to support students who have special needs and these needs will continue to be addressed at the schools where students are transitioned after their schools are closed. Before/after school child care capacity will be adjusted based on the number of students who will be transitioning into the accepting school. As schools transition, special attention will be taken to address transitioning specific school programs, as necessary.
The Superintendent’s School Consolidation Advisory is taking careful measures to reduce the impacts that closures will have on affected students and their families, including minimizing the potential of splitting up students among multiple schools.
Are the conditions of the facilities at a school site being considered?
The ongoing and future costs of each facility are being examined as part of the consolidation process. Some school sites require more extensive improvements than others, and the costs for these improvements are being considered as one of the factors by the Superintendent’s School Consolidation Advisory Committee, the Superintendent and ultimately the Board of Trustees.
Boundaries for schools not affected by consolidation: Students currently living in those schools’ boundaries will not be affected.
Boundaries for schools affected by consolidation (closing or accepting additional students): Boundaries will expand or change for students affected by the consolidated schools, in order to allow additional students to attend the existing schools following the consolidation of district schools.
Will students retain school choice?
Students will continue to remain at their school of choice. If students are attending a school of choice that is closed, then they will be reassigned to the receiving school.
Specifically, how many students are each school losing to declining enrollment each year?
Specifically, over the past six years, the total enrollment has fallen by more than 2,500 students. The district also faces a projected enrollment decline of 1,500 students over the next five years, totaling a 10-year loss of more than 4,000 students. Over the next two years, the district is projected to lose over 750 students due to families moving out of the Bay Area to more affordable communities. This trend is not limited to Evergreen School District, as other Bay Area districts are facing similar situations. The most recent enrollment analysis prepared by the district’s demographer can be found here.
What will happen to the staff members at the schools that will be closed?
The District’s Human Resources department will work closely with bargaining units, the Evergreen Teachers Association (ETA) and the California Schools Employee Association (CSEA) leadership to establish a process to transfer staff that follows both contractual language, as written in the respective collective bargaining agreements, as well as any applicable education codes to ensure a smooth and transparent process.
Will teachers go to the new schools with their students, and will any teachers be laid off?
There is a process through the teachers' contractual agreements and with our Human Resources department with regards to moving schools, and teacher at affected schools will have a choice of which school to which they will be transferred.
What impact will closing schools have on students?
Consolidating schools will ensure that the district will not need to cut important programs, increase class sizes or make other cuts that would reduce the quality of educational offerings in Evergreen School District. By consolidating schools, we can retain the same student to staff ratios, excellent instruction and educational programs. School principals will be responsible for working with district staff on a transition plan that ensures that new and existing students feel welcome and positive about the changes that they will be encountering.
The Superintendent’s School Consolidation Advisory Committee is considering transportation impacts in its recommendations and district staff will develop new transportation plans for impacted students.
How will the district support students and families with school transitions?
One of the greatest strengths of the Evergreen School District community is that we are a family, and when students and staff members are moved to a new school they will be welcomed into the family of that school. The Superintendent's School Consolidation Advisory Committee’s charge also includes developing specific transition support plans for any schools recommended for closure/consolidation. While working with our District support teams, each school site will determine how they will welcome new students and staff members, and school principals will be responsible for working with district staff on a transition plan that ensures that new and existing students feel welcome and positive about the changes that they will be encountering.
If one or more Title I schools close how are those Title I students relocated?
The district will continue to provide individual Title I services to children who are failing, or most at risk of failing, to meet state academic standards. Schools enrolling at least 40 percent of children from low-income families are eligible to use Title I funds for schoolwide programs designed to upgrade their entire educational programs to improve achievement for all students, particularly the lowest-achieving students.
Will the board consider reversing its decision to consolidate schools?
The board will not be reversing its decision to consolidate schools because this decision addresses the district’s $12 million deficit that is the result of rising costs and declining enrollment. Consolidating schools will ensure that the district will not need to cut important programs, increase class sizes or make other reductions that would reduce the quality of educational offerings in Evergreen School District. By closing a $12 million deficit and addressing declining enrollment, we can ensure that our schools maintain the level of excellence that our families expect for our students and support innovative learning in the classroom so that our students are prepared for a highly competitive global society.
Didn’t the district already go through this process and select schools that will be closed, so why is the district going through this process again?
Three years ago, the district conducted a school consolidation process that included the recommendation of two schools that would be closed. However, action was not taken to close schools at that time. Because the demography, fiscal and other data are at least two or more years old, the district is embarking on this process with the most up-to-date data and information so that the Superintendent’s School Consolidation Advisory Committee, and ultimately the Superintendent, can make the most informed and thoughtful recommendations to the Board of Trustees regarding the school consolidations/closures.
What impacts will school closures have on programs, including PTA-funded
The principals of the schools that will be closed will work with the principals and PTAs of the accepting schools on how programs will move or change at the new schools, including program equipment and supplies.
What is the timeline and when will the key decisions be made?
Dr. Flores provided an overview of the School Consolidation timeline.
Will the superintendent make a final recommendation to close schools that differ from those recommended by the Superintendent's School Consolidation Advisory Committee?
The superintendent is working closely with the School Consolidation Advisory Committee, and will be supporting their recommendation of which schools to close.
Where can I find the data that is being reviewed by the Superintendent's School Consolidation Advisory Committee?
This information can be found on the Superintendent's School Consolidation Advisory Committee webpage.
Will teachers at schools being closed be given priority for selecting open positions at other schools?
The Human Resources sub-committee (includes CSEA and ETA bargaining units representation, principals, and HR director) is looking into this and the contractual language for each bargaining unit, and will also be looking at other factors, such as retirements and non-renewal of contracts.
Will co-principals occur at school sites, or what will happen with principals of sites that are closed? The district will be moving away from the co-principal model at the elementary schools as part of addressing the district's $12 million deficit.
Will families of schools being closed have priority with school choice?
The district will look at each school choice application on a case by case basis. Also, the district cannot provide transportation for students attending a school outside of their attendance area for school choice.
Which students are transported by bus? Transportation services are provided to students with special needs as well as students whose assigned school of attendance is a larger distance away from where they live.
What will happen with the district's Corporation Yard?
This facility houses the buses, along with maintenance and other equipment, so the Corporation Yard will remain as one of the district's facilities.
What will the district do with the land/facilities of closed school sites?
Once the schools are identified and approved by the Board of Trustees for closure, then the Board will appoint a 7-11 committee to identify the ways that the closed facilities will be used, which could include leasing the property. However, the district will not be selling the property. The California Education Code 17463 outlines requirements for districts to follow regarding the use of school properties that are closed, which can be found here.
How will the district use schools that will be closed? When will the district decide what to do with empty schools. Moving forward, how can this decision be made more quickly?
A previous Facilities Advisory Committee—as a 7-11 committee—made recommendations for schools to close and how the properties will be used. If those same schools are approved for closure, then the approved uses of those properties will move forward. However, if different schools are approved for closure, then a new 7-11 committee will be appointed to determine how the facilities and properties of those closed schools will be used. The exact use of empty schools will be determined
at a later time.
Will additional grade levels/classes be added to schools accepting students from closed schools?
Student to teacher ratios will be maintained, how schools may be split up to different schools may impact which grades/classrooms will be at the accepting
When the school closures are announced in January, will parents and staff also be informed which schools the students will be moved to?
Yes, this information will also be provided.
How will school communities be brought together and transitioned?
Kim Kianidehkian, Director, Educational Services is the co-facilitator of the Superintendent's School Consolidation Advisory Committee, and has prior experience with school closures, including leading the school transitions, including shadow days, school tours, open houses, parent opportunities to see school activities, carnivals, and worked closely with the PTAs on events to welcome the students and celebrate the merging of the schools. She also worked with the schools on closing events, to help students, families and staff to transition to the next step, so that on the first day of school the following school year, everyone felt comfortable and excited about going to their new school. This helped to create an environment of inclusiveness of all students and a stronger school community. The district will be seeking parent volunteers to assist with this process.
Pushing off the naming of the third school would create another wave of transition, could the board consider approving the third school (to close at the end of 2020-21) at the same time it is considering the other two?
The consideration of multiple transitions for students and staff is important. The Board of Trustees asked for two schools to recommend for closure, but if the process leads the committee to recommend three, then the Superintendent may determine to recommend all three schools for closure at the February 20 board meeting.
How can I provide feedback now?
Please send your input and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org