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Community Rummage Sale at Alpine Elementary School – March 18, 2018

Community Rummage Sale – Children & Adult Clothes, Gently Used Toys & Books Sunday, March 18th from 1 – 3 pm in the Alpine Elementary School Auditorium, located at 1850 Alpine Blvd., Alpine. Girl Scout troops from around Alpine are hosting a community rummage sale as a fundraiser to help the girls fund scout activities.  Join us to get great deals on clothes, gently used toys, books, movies, and more.  Come early for the best selection of items.  The girls will offer tea and baked goods from around the world until these treats run out.  Cash only, please!

For more info please contact Jennifer Hamilton at 858-354-7038 or EMAIL HERE

 

GUHSD Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee (CBOC) Meeting – January 31, 2018

Grossmont Union High School District Proposition H/U Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee Meeting (CBOC)

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Grossmont Union High School District Office Conference Room

5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

 

VIEW AGENDA HERE

CBOC Agenda January 2018

*Submitted by: Louis Russo louisfrusso@gmail.com

Joan MacQueen Middle School (JMMS) New School Hours Effective August 2018

Joan MacQueen Middle School (JMMS) in Alpine school hours will be changing for the 2018-2019 school year. The new hours will be 8am to 2:25pm.Joan MacQueen Missle School is located at 2001 Tavern Rd. Alpine Ca 91901. For more info please contact Mary Ann Alvarez, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent, Alpine Union School District at 619-445-3236 or email malvarez@alpineschools.net

GUHSD School Choice Application (Open Enrollment / School Transfer) Deadline is March 2, 2018

Dear GUHSD Parents,

 

This notice is for parent/guardians of students wishing to request a school transfer for the 2018-19 school year.   The window of opportunity to submit a School Choice application, once called Open Enrollment is currently open and will close on March 2, 2018 at 4:00 PM.  To be considered for a School Choice transfer we must receive your application by this deadline.

To submit your request(s), log into your Infinite Campus Portal account, click on the School Choice tab located to the left of the screen and make your selection(s).  You may submit up to 4 requests.  Once you are finished, click on the Submit Applications button and log out of your Portal account.

If you have any questions about the School Choice process or need assistance, please visit the district website or call Application Support at (619) 956 – HELP (4357).  Due to high call volume we may be unable to answer your call right away.  Please leave a detailed voicemail and we will get back to you the next day or sooner.

Thank you.

Application Support, ETS
Grossmont Union High School District

Letter to the EDITOR: To All the Alpiners That Want an Alpine High School, “DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED”!

By George Barnett

To all you Alpiners that want an Alpine high school, “Do not be discouraged”! 26 of your friends and neighbors and children traveled to Sacramento last week (read story here) to present our case before the State Board of Education (SBE),  The SBE had much sympathy and support for Alpine having its own high school.  It also harshly admonished Grossmont, and told Grossmont it had to repair a breech of trust Grossmont caused with Alpine.

Much more important, the State Board of Education suggested two clear and viable alternate routes to an Alpine high school; both of which it would support.

More on that later…..But keep your chins up!  I believe we will have an Alpine high school sooner than one might think.

 

Submitted By George Barnett 619-659-0345

EMAIL ME HERE

 

 

DOUBLE BLOW: Court Ruling and State Decision AGAINST UNIFICATION Knock Down Hopes for ALPINE HIGH SCHOOL

(Shared from East County Magazine) http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/double-blow-court-ruling-bond-funds-and-state-decision-against-unification-knock-down-hopes-alpine

By Paul Kruze; Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report

January 21, 2018 (Alpine) — Just as students returned to school after winter break last week, lawyers for the Alpine Union School District (AUSD), Alpine Taxpayers for Bond Accountability and Grossmont Union High School District returned to court in front of a three-judge tribunal headed by Associate Justice Patricia D. Benke of the 4th District California Superior Court of Appeals.

But a week later, the court panel upheld an earlier ruling by Judge Pressman against Alpine, agreeing that the GUHSD need not keep millions of dollars set aside for an Alpine High School that now may never be built, despite previous bond measures approved by voters that included funds for the school. Then on Friday, the State Board of Education denied Alpine’s unification petition that would have enabled the AUSD to build the high school. The double losses may prove to be knock-out blows for the hard-fought effort to bring a high school to Alpine.

The appeal was filed last spring after a trial judge ruled that the GUHSD was under no obligation to build a high school as it had promised to the Alpine School District (AUSD) because an enrollment trigger of 23,245 students in the Grossmont district had technically not been reached “at the time of release of request for construction bids,” according to Grossmont’s argument.

At a hearing where cameras and audio recording devices were not allowed, attorneys for the AUSD and a local taxpayers group, Alpine Taxpaters for Bond Accountability (ATBA), argued that Judge Joel Pressman had erred in his decision. (See official recording obtained from the court above.)

Attorney Jon R. Williams from the law firm Williams Lagmin LLP, representing AUSD, said that the meaning and intention of Proposition U, a ballot measure which was supposed to fund the measure, had never been tried in court. They said that the GUHSD had effectively started construction by purchasing six parcels of real property, leveling and demolishing homes where the high school was to be built on former ranch lands.

“We’re talking here about heavy machinery out there at the site actually knocking down homes, moving earth, doing work which is typically referred to as ‘construction,’ hiring contractors to do that kind of work,” Williams said. “And notably at that time, they received bids to do that work — that demolition work, that scraping of the land. The enrollment trigger had been satisfied — that was in 2010.” Williams continued. He added that there was work at the site far beyond just site development.

*Continue reading here…..

Local Conservation Lands Provide a ‘Living Classroom’ for Students in East County

The Back Country Land Trust, in partnership with the Alpine Education Foundation, are once again offering our Living Classroom program free of charge to local teachers in two East County school districts – Alpine Union School District (AUSD) and Mountain Empire Unified School District (MEUSD) for the remainder of the 2017-2018 school year. Teachers from either district are encouraged to contact us to subscribe individual classrooms, or blocks of classes, to participate in this grant-funded program for East County K-8 students.

With generous funding from individual donors and our program sponsors at San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), the Captain Planet Foundation, and KEEN Footwear, this program is fully funded for the remainder of the 2017-2018 school year and is offered at no-cost to teachers or school districts. All program instruction and school bus transportation is covered by these grants, and includes docent-guided field trips on BCLT-owned ecological preserves, as well as introductory classroom presentations from program instructors.

This year’s program will include 750 elementary and middle school students in East County, a record high number of participants in this program over the last five years. Students will gain knowledge and understanding of nature through an established environmental education curriculum based on Next Generation Science Standards, and will participate in hands-on service learning projects such as planting native plants.

BCLT and AEF are currently seeking teachers interested in participating in the Living Classroom program to schedule site visits and field trip dates for this school year. Any K-8 teachers in Alpine Union School District or Mountain Empire Unified School District are eligible to enroll in this program, and there is no cost to participate. Interested teachers should contact Jessica Manning at Alpine Education Foundation for more information or to enroll in this program. – jmanning9261@hotmail.com

For 2017-18, this program is generously sponsored by grants from the Captain Planet Foundation, Keen Footwear and Sempra/SDGE.

STING Program Informational Meeting at Granite Hills High School – January 27, 2018

STING is open to all 6-8 grade students regardless of their high school choice! A day for Middle School Students to take fun classes from High School Students!

Attention all middle school parents! STING (Student Teachers Igniting the Next Generation) is coming up! Join the students of Granite Hills High school on January 27, as we create a day full of untraditional learning designed to excite children about their education! STING is open to all 6-8 grade students regardless of their high school choice! Visit https://granite.learningu.org to register. Hurry, classes are filling fast!

 

Alpine Takes its Bid for a High School to Sacramento

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/communities/east-county/sd-se-alpine-school-20180111-story.html

 

Alpine has never had a high school of its own. That’s not for want of trying.

For nearly two decades, the tiny mountain community has tried to create an independent educational district, one that unifies a high school with its elementary schools and lone middle school.

Each time, it has been met with disappointment.

That outcome looks to repeat itself this week if the state Board of Education accepts the recommendation of its staff to deny Alpine’s latest bid to add a high school to its K-8 lineup.  A public hearing on the application is set for Jan. 19 and there will be plenty of local representation on hand.

Personnel from the Alpine Union and Grossmont Union High school districts, including Grossmont Superintendent Tim Glover and Alpine Superintendent Rich Newman and members of their school boards, will be in Sacramento for the public hearing.

The California Department of Education earlier this month recommended the board reject Alpine’s plan to add a high school. If the board agrees, Alpine will continue to send its kids to other parts of the Grossmont district after middle school.

Grossmont Union High School District schools currently serve about 22,000 students. After finishing eighth grade at Joan MacQueen Middle School, students in Alpine typically go to Granite Hills High School in El Cajon or Steele Canyon High School in Jamul. Getting to both involves long drives along the freeway or winding local roads. That remains frustrating to parents like Wendy Gilbert, who want their kids to stay local. Gilbert and her husband, Chad, moved to Alpine in 2004 with hopes that by the time their son was born in September of that year, there would be a high school for him to attend.

“We were always thinking, ‘If they build it, the people will come,’” Gilbert said. “We loved the community and when we heard they were getting a high school, we thought, ‘Great! Awesome!’ My son’s now 13, in eighth grade… and here we are. It’s horrible.” Gilbert’s son and about 150 other students will graduate from MacQueen this year.

San Diego County’s most recent district to unify was Bonsall, which began proceedings to do so in 2004. Its high school opened in the 2014-15 school year with 65 students. It now has 330 students and will graduate its first senior class this year.

Alpine has been trying to form a unified district since 2002, and has wanted to give residents an opportunity to vote on unification. In November 2004, the state board disapproved a previous Alpine unification proposal.

As for Alpine, the state board has two other options besides denial. One is to determine that the proposal has merit and send it back to the local level for further action. The other is to delay action until more information is received.

Some of the reasons the state believes unification should not be granted are:

  • Declining student enrollment in Alpine
  • School facility costs and the likelihood that a new Alpine unified school district would be unable to obtain sufficient funding to construct a new high school
  • Fewer academic and extracurricular opportunities of a smaller Alpine high school compared to options available at schools in the Grossmont district

Newman said that he would be speaking in depth to the state board members about what a high school in Alpine might look like, and explain that it would not be traditional, but rather “something innovative.”

“What we are looking at in the development of a school is something state-of-the-art in what it would offer,” Newman said. “It would be personalized in nature and offer unique opportunities, very different than a traditional high school. Our world is changing dramatically every day and schools need to be able to adapt.”

The County Board of Education in August 2014 voted to back unification for Alpine. Last year, the San Diego County Committee on School District Organization held public hearings and determined that Alpine met the necessary requirements in the California Education Code for approval of its petition to unify.

Alpine petitioners decided to give it a go again because residents in the area became frustrated that two successful general obligation bond measures that Grossmont Union High School District area voters passed haven’t resulted in the building of a high school for Alpine-area high school students

The bonds totaling nearly $700 million — Proposition H in 2004 and Proposition U in 2008 — included language about the plan to construct a high school in Alpine.

The district did purchase land for the school and has obtained some permits and approvals for construction, and developed some designs, but has not moved any further on it.

Petitioners also said they want a unified Alpine school district for several other reasons, including being more responsive to the unique needs of the Alpine community and geographically isolated high school students, increased collaboration among elementary school staff, high school staff and the community and a school that will provide a shorter and safer commute.

Grossmont district Superintendent Glover said he agrees with the state’s finding that Alpine be denied its request.

“It’s clear that the state spent a significant amount of time conducting a careful review of the facts before making their recommendation,” Glover said via email.

In documentation shared with the public about the coming meeting, the Grossmont district said it believes that if unification occurs, it would “result in harm to our students, teachers and community” and that it is unclear if an Alpine Unified School District “could pass the size of a school bond necessary to build a high school” or could fund the operational costs of a comprehensive high school program.

The state board of education report said that Grossmont believes that a new district “would be at risk of financial failure, threatening the elementary programs of the district.”

 

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Community Park / Surrounding Issues – By Mary Harris

Letter to the Editor – Submitted By Mary Harris

I was re-reading Lori Bledsoe’s September 2017 article in the Alpine Sun about Park Land Dedication Ordinance (PLDO) funds and how Joan MacQueen Middle School (JMMS) wants to use, the now $950,000, in the fund for athletic field upgrades. Not long ago, George Barnett, of the Alpine Community Planning Group (ACPG), wrote in the Alpine Community Network (ACN), that he envisioned a 9 Acre Sports Complex at JMMS. Lori’s article was thorough, and included that many Alpiner’s wanted a community park built here with the PLDO money. She also covered the land offer made by El Cajon developer, Daryl Priest, and the (alleged) problems that the County found with it.

Fast forward nearly four months as we approach the new year. Things have changed in the last few months that have put Alpine in the running, at long last, to FINALLY obtain a County Park! I have made it to most of the meetings regarding the issues and have learned that, according to Bill Saumier of the San Diego County Parks and Recreation, that “the floodgates are open”, meaning that millions of dollars are now available for building new county parks.

The issue that Lori Bledsoe brought up in her article concerning a problem with the county not paying for maintenance of a park once it has been built, has been resolved. As of June 2017, the county will pay for park maintenance.

Meanwhile, members of our community have had an opportunity to express themselves about these issues through a Surveymonkey survey created by a concerned resident. Over 300 locals have taken the survey to date. Questions are asked of Alpiner’s as to what THEY want to see as far as amenities in a community park, and how THEY would like to see the PLDO funds used. The overwhelming majority are responding that they want the PLDO money used for a community park vs. a sports complex or field upgrades at JMMS.

The most important amenities sought by locals? A dog park and plenty of shaded areas.

Alpiners have been misled by the ACPG to believe that there is no land available in Alpine suitable for a county park. Not so! We have also been led to believe that the County Board of Representatives has already given the green light for either the athletic field upgrades at JMMS, or the “Sports Complex” idea outlined in articles by ACPG member, George Barnett. While the ACPG apparently did meet with Diane Jacob, our County Supervisor, NO DECISION has been made regarding proposed projects at JMMS.

I have criticized the ACPG and the Alpine Unified School District (AUSD), as well as the ACPG Parks and Trails Subcommittee for not doing a good enough job announcing their meetings, not announcing their meetings early enough, and not providing basic signage to facilitate people in being able to locate the meetings.

While the AUSD and the ACPG are good with spending approximately $5,000 to make a preliminary plan for their proposed project, they can’t part with less than $100 to provide signage or flyers. What would it take to make a few flyers and post them (more than a couple of days prior to the meeting), or place a basic sign or two ?

I have also criticized the above mentioned boards for not doing enough to connect with the community they represent. How can they represent Alpine if they don’t connect with the people of Alpine? I call it Community Outreach. This is essential in order that not just a few (who happen to sit on the boards) voice their opinions, but that the community itself, rich or poor, landowners or not, Americans with white,brown, black,or any other variation of skin color, highly educated or not, and of any religious background, and of any age whereby they be old enough to vote, may be actively welcomed to participate.

When I talk to people, I often hear that they don’t think that it matters what they think because those on the boards always get what they want anyway, so what’s the point ? This leads to apathy, and undermines community spirit.

And when a board member states that the public are “warmly welcomed” at ACPG meetings, they didn’t say, unless they disagree with the board, then they may be “welcomed” as I feel was, with rudeness, being talked down to, and with intimidating physical gestures.

It’s nothing new to me, and other single women may agree, to be treated with disrespect. A woman who may be a widow, divorced, having no grown children nearby, or other family who may care what happens to her, I feel are seen as prey by predators. The reputations of some planning group members, have become tarnished in my eyes, after I feel that I have been repeatedly treated like someone that doesn’t matter.

I lived here in the mid 70’s. I helped raise my nephew here. I became a single parent in the 80’s, and moved to where the quality schools were located. I coached and supported my daughter, from her preschool years to college, and attended her graduation, where she earned her Master’s Degree. I am retirement age now, and volunteer teaching the ESL program. I attend adult school, participate in a writer’s group, and help my “older than me” neighbors who are without family and/or money.

When the ACPG and the AUSD and Alpine Education Foundation (AEF) said they all voted unanimously to prioritize the spending of the PLDO money on sports related projects at JMMS,instead of making a community park for all to use, I asked what made sports agendas the priority when there are so many other needs of students being neglected? I didn’t get an answer.

Mainly, and I finish with this, Alpine is LONG overdue in getting a community park. A recreational facility at JMMS is designed for the school community, not the community at large. The school can find its own funding for sports projects and leave the PLDO money alone. It was originally designated for a park. Just because the PLDO fund was dipped into before, approx. ($400,000) for sports fields at JMMS, does not mean that it should be permitted again.

Concerned Resident – Mary Harris