H-ORCUTT

Dec 16, 2010 10:45 PM by Ariel Wesler

District discusses next steps for May Grisham students and staff

The decision to close May Grisham Elementary School in Orcutt at the end of the school year leaves many parents, students, and staff wondering what the district plans to do next.

The Orcutt Union School District made the decision during a packed meeting last night. The school plans to transfer students and teachers to Pine Grove and Patterson elementary schools. Still, for many in the community, the fight to save the school is not over

For some parents, the three month fight to save May Grisham isn't over.

"The community members have asked us to start the process for a recall," said Danielle Rivera, a parent and one of the leaders of the "Save May Grisham" campaign.

But superintendent Bob Bush reassures anyone concerned about the changes to the school district.

"We keep saying all of our schools are good schools. they're safe schools. They have caring staff. They have dedicated staff. They have professional staff. The kids from May Grisham will feel that when they go on those campuses," Bush said.

He says some of the students may even get to keep their same teachers when they transfer to Patterson or Pine Grove Elementary.

"Nobody is losing their jobs as far as the teaching staff goes and we hope even the classified staff," Bush said.

The district's tentative plan is to use Clark Avenue as the divider. Those students living on the northside of the street would go to Patterson Elementary. Those living on the southside would go to Pine Grove.

"The fact that they're splitting us down the middle, dividing us, we're not the lowest enrolled school. We've addressed the money issues. It's down to they wanted Grisham's facility," Rivera said.

The school district says this is the first time its had to make major changes like these in more than 30 years.

"I think it's time we just accept it and move on," said Jan Hertfelder, a noon supervisor at the school.

But just how to move on smoothly is still in question.

Administrators say they will notify parents and staff of their school assignments by the end of January.

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