FAIRFIELD — A projected 284 sixth-graders will move to Green Valley Middle School in the 2015-16 school year as part of a proposal that won unanimous approval Thursday from Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees.
The decision came after several parents said they wanted to keep Nelda Mundy Elementary a K-6 school and raised questions about how well the school district publicized the new plan.
“Eleven-year-olds don’t belong with 14-year-olds,” Marilyn Sweeney, a Nelda Mundy parent, told trustees.
Greg Peterson, parent of two children at the elementary school, said the change seemed unnecessary and that he only learned of the proposal Thursday.
“I’m not sure how this slipped under the radar,” he said.
Parent Susan Valdes asked for proof of the benefits of the change and said the community concerns should be recognized.
“We pay a lot of taxes,” she said. “It would nice to have our voices heard.”
Trustee Kathleen Marianno said the school board conducted a two-hour study session in November about the proposal.
“I don’t know why the surprise,” she said of concerns about adequate notice by the school district.
The move to Green Valley Middle School, said Trustee Perry Polk, will involve students going to a new site but attending classes with others they know. Trustee John Silva said the school board has to consider the entire Fairfield-Suisun School District.
“What we look at,” he said, “is the overall picture.”
Projected transfers to Green Valley include 131 children from Nelda Mundy and 109 from Cordelia Hills Elementary.
Parent Laura Kurtz, who told trustees she opposed the proposal and that “it seems your concern is an issue of size and money,” said after the school board vote that almost 300 people signed a petition opposing the change. Students, parents and teachers are pawns in a game, she said.
District Superintendent Kris Corey has said the recommendation to convert Oakbrook Elementary to a K-8 elementary and change Cordelia Hills and Nelda Mundy into K-5 schools came to trustees after a great deal of consideration. The initial discussion on this change started more than four years ago, Corey said.
“Everything from traffic to educational performance was considered in our recommendation,” the superintendent said. “We also reviewed various school districts throughout the county and neighboring counties to see what configurations exist. Ours is the only district with both K-5 and K-6 schools.”
Advantages include mirroring how Common Core State Standards are organized as well as better balancing populations of elementary and middle schools, the superintendent had said.
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.