Frequently Asked Questions
Updated January 28, 2020
We are providing answers to frequently asked questions during each phase of the school consolidation process. Please note that this information will be continually updated throughout, 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 financial shortfall 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. The most recent enrollment analysis prepared by the district’s demographer can be found here. This trend is not limited to Evergreen School District, as other Bay Area districts are facing similar situations. By closing a $12 million financial shortfall 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?
Evergreen School District Superintendent Dr. Emy Flores announced on January 22 the two schools that she will be recommending to the Board of Trustees for closure/consolidation at the end of the 2019-20 school year, based on the recommendation of Evergreen School District Superintendent's School Consolidation Advisory Committee Laurelwood and Dove Hill Elementary Schools. The Board of Trustees will not take action on this matter until the February 13, 2020 Board of Trustees Meeting. Also, 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.
Will consolidating schools increase the amount of money a school district spends per student?
Consolidating schools is addressing a $12 million financial shortfall 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.
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 financial shortfall 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 financial shortfall 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 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.
What is the process and timelines for the school closures/consolidations?
The process and timelines for the district’s school closures/consolidations, 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 (at Quimby Oak Middle School Gymnasium) and February 3, 2020 (at Chaboya Middle School Gymnasium) at 6 p.m. 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 determined which specific school closures/consolidations to recommend 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 timeline and when will the key decisions be made?
The timeline can be found here: School Consolidation timeline.
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.
Additional community meetings will be held as needed. In order to ensure that all community members have access to these community meetings, the district will provide childcare, transportation and translations for individuals upon request. Requests can be sent to email@example.com., and community members should send requests at least three days prior to the meetings in order to ensure that these accommodations can be provided.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
If my child's school is listed as one of the ones with the lowest enrollment, is that the reason why it was recommended for closure?
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.
What considerations will be made regarding the proximity of neighboring schools in relation to the schools being closed?
One of the priorities that was considered by the Superintendent’s School Consolidation Advisory Committee was 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.
Will students from a closed school be split up to other schools?
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.
What is the composition of the Superintendent's School Consolidation Advisory Committee, and what is its responsibility?
In November 2019, Evergreen Superintendent Dr. Emy Flores 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 was 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 worked 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--have also been meeting concurrently and provided information and updates to the SSCAC throughout the process, and are comprised of community representatives, parents, and staff members:
- Education Services: The Educational Services Committee focused on anything related to teaching and learning, instructional materials, school libraries, educational programs, etc.
- Human Resources: The Human Resources Committee focuses on anything related to staffing, contract agreements, transfers, layoffs, etc.
- Business: The Business Committee focuses 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 were 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--examined by the committee and its subcommittees.
When will the Superintendent's School Consolidation Advisory Committee (SSCAC) meet?
The committee began 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 approved process and timelines, and the committee may choose to hold additional meetings which are not listed.
Where can I find the data that was reviewed by the Superintendent's School Consolidation Advisory Committee?
This information can be found on the Superintendent's School Consolidation Advisory Committee webpage.
Which school will my child attend?
Students currently in the Laurelwood attendance boundaries:
- Families in the immediate vicinity of Laurelwood will attend Cadwallader Elementary School.
- Families in the “Estates” area will attend Matsumoto Elementary School.
- Families living in the “Pacific Rim Way” area and the side of San Felipe opposite of the “Estates” will attend J. F. Smith Elementary School.
- Special Education program sites will be determined at a later date as we are determining which sites that can best fit a Special Education continuum to minimize the transitional impacts on students with special needs.
Students currently in the Dove Hill attendance boundaries:
- Families in the immediate vicinity of Dove Hill will attend Montgomery Elementary School.
- Families currently in “Meadowfair” area will attend Katherine Smith Elementary School. Families will be given the option to attend OB Whaley if they wish.
- Families in the “Valley Oak Loop” area will attend J.F. Smith.
What are the new boundaries?
- Final boundaries will be approved by the Board of Trustees at the February 13 Board meeting.
- Alternate School Locator 2020-21: Please click on Alternate School Locator to see proposed boundary changes for 2020-21 due to School Consolidation.
Is my child required to attend their newly assigned school? Can I choose a different school?
- All families living in the boundaries of Laurelwood and Dove Hill Schools will be assigned a new home school that will be consistent with the new school boundaries. However, for the 2020-21 year only, there will be an opportunity for a request of Re-Assignment prior to the School Choice Lottery window.
- All students will be assigned to a home school that is consistent with new school boundaries. Families wishing to request a different school should follow the School Choice transfer process.
What if my child is currently on an interdistrict or school choice permit at Laurelwood and Dove Hill?
Evergreen School District believes that it is important for students to maintain consistent enrollment. Interdistrict students in good standing will automatically be placed. All interdistrict students attending Laurelwood Elementary School will be placed at Cadwallader Elementary School. All interdistrict students attending Dove Hill Elementary School will be placed at Montgomery Elementary School.
What will happen with siblings of students attending a closed/consolidated school through school choice?
All students will be assigned to the home school consistent with the new school boundaries. Students wishing to attend a different school must apply for School Choice. While there are no guarantees of school placement, siblings are given higher priority.
Will someone be available to help my child should he or she experience anxiety about this move? What will you do to help my child make the transition? Will there be any counseling support for students who are upset about their school closing?
Our district is fortunate to have social workers and counselors on staff who will work with any students who are experiencing anxiety or stress due to the transition to a new school. Teachers and staff will be ready to discuss the feelings the students are experiencing as well.
When will I be able to visit my new school and meet with the principal and teachers?
There will be a transition committee comprised of school staff (veteran and new staff joining the school campus), current parents and newly entering parents, upper grade student reps (current and newly entering), and district staff that will plan multiple opportunities to interact on the new campuses. Once staffing has been affirmed, joint activities will be planned so that new families can see the campus and classrooms and will begin to feel familiar and included. The receiving school principals will start including new families in their communications so that new families are aware of things that are happening and can participate. Parents will be encouraged to attend any and all parent meetings at the new school. Any planned events will occur in the spring, as soon as the students, teachers, and staff have been placed.
Will you be holding an open house meeting for new parents?
Principals will hold a Meet and Greet event to provide new families an opportunity to meet them and tour the campus once all student and staff assignments have been made. This will occur in the spring, and principals will provide additional information on their school’s Meet and Greet event in the future.
Will there be closing ceremonies for our school?
There will be a transition committee comprised of school staff, parents, upper grade students, and district staff that will plan activities that will honor the history of the school that is closing. Former staff members and alumni families will be invited back to attend and participate in the activities.
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 schools.
What impacts will school closures have on programs, including PTA-funded programs?
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 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.
Any teacher layoffs that might be deemed necessary would be the result of declining enrollment and not the school closure process itself.
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.
The district will be moving away from the co-principal model at the elementary schools as part of addressing the district's $12 million financial shortfall.
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.