AUSD Issues Additional Q&A Letter on the Dozier-Libbey Charter Conversion

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Antioch School Foundation

On March 15, the Antioch Unified School District sent out a letter to further clarify information bout Dozier-Libbey Medical High School’s petition to become a Charter school and how it impacts the students of the Antioch Unified School District.

On March 10, they sent out an original set of Q&A which we posted (click here).

Here is a copy of the letter:

Date March 15

This letter is to clarify information about Dozier-Libbey Medical High School’s petition to become a Charter school and how it impacts the students of the Antioch Unified School District.

As Superintendent of the Antioch Unified School District it is my responsibility to ensure that all of our schools are accessible to all Antioch Unified School District students.  It is through the District that our community has an opportunity to monitor and ensure that all of our schools are accessible to all students.  If this charter petition is approved choices and options for our students would be severely restricted.  According to the charter petition on pages 87-88 if a random drawing for admissions is necessary the admission preferences shall be given to the following students in the following order:

  1. All students currently enrolled in the Charter School
  2. Siblings of enrolled students
  3. Children of Charter School teachers and staff
  4. Children who reside in the former attendance area
  5. Residents of the District
  6. All other applicants

Answers to questions raised about the conversion charter petition filed by 23 teachers at Dozier-Libbey Medical High School.

Q:  Why do some Dozier-Libbey Medical High School (DLMHS) staff want to break away from the District and convert the school into a charter school operated by a corporation?

A.  A small group of staff at DLMHS (“petitioners”) submitted a petition to the District to convert DLMHS to a charter school to be operated by a non-profit corporation.  According to their petition, the petitioners want “to gain autonomy and go back to the original vision of the school’s founding, and continue to build their program as originally intended.” The petition also claims the school’s vision was eroded when the District required Dozier-Libbey to follow Board grading policies applicable to all other District secondary schools.  The petitioners want to eliminate the D grade from their grading system.  Students earning a D for their work receive a grade of F for the course.  District policy requires students to receive the grade they earn and giving a student a grade of F when the student earned a D is an unfair practice.  This policy of not giving students the grade earned is bad for all students and has a disparate impact on certain groups of students served at the school. Additionally, the petitioners propose to require all students to take advanced courses that are not required for graduation at other District secondary schools, but that action may further exclude students interested in the medical curriculum offered at the school.

Q:  Was the District aware of or involved in this charter petition as it was being developed?

A:  No. The staff at DLMHS met privately behind closed doors to write this proposal and gather signatures from staff without the District’s knowledge or involvement. They never approached District leaders to see if their differences could be addressed without moving to a charter. Without any transparency in their process, it came as a complete surprise when it was delivered to the District on February 24, 2014.

Q.  If the conversion charter petition is approved, will Dozier-Libbey still be part of the Antioch Unified School District (AUSD)?

A.  No, the petitioners have filed to become a ‘conversion’ charter school operated by a non-profit corporation separate from the Antioch Unified School District. Additionally, if approved, the District will most likely be required to surrender use of its facility to the corporation.

Q.  If the conversion charter petition is approved, can my son/daughter still participate in AUSD extracurricular activities?

A.  No. Students of the conversion charter school would not be eligible to participate in the District’s athletic teams or other extracurricular activities.

Q:  It appears the charter application builds in an ongoing annual 3% pay raise for teachers.  Is that what the rest of AUSD teachers will be getting for the next five years?

A: All of their colleagues in other AUSD schools are not guaranteed a pay raise as the District and teachers negotiate pay according to the collective bargaining agreement. Additionally, building in a multi-year raise  is a fiscally unsound business practice as school funding changes are determined by enrollment and, specifically, the number of low income, foster, homeless, and English learners attending the school.

Q:  Is it true that nearly 85% of the staff that petitioned to become a charter are not residents of Antioch?

A.  Yes.

Q:  What is the District Administration’s position regarding the Dozier conversion charter petition?

A:  The District Administration does not believe that the petitioners’ effort to convert Dozier-Libbey to a charter school is good for the school and community.  The entire conversion process and the way it was conducted by a small group of petitioners who do not live in this community has divided teachers within the District and caused a substantial disruption to the educational environment at the school.  Dozier-Libbey is a California Distinguished school due to the leadership and vision exhibited by the Board of Trustees and District Administration in making the school a reality, the commitment to excellence exhibited by Dozier-Libbey’s teachers, and the exceptional efforts of its hard working students. The District Administration believes that maintaining an inclusive school environment at Dozier-Libbey benefits ALL students in the community.   

 Q:  When will we know if the charter petition is approved or denied?

A:  The District is currently preparing a legal analysis and will present its findings to the AUSD Board of Education at a special Board meeting on March 19, 2014, for approval or denial. This is also the date of the public hearing wherein parents, community members and staff can voice their support or opposition to the charter petition.


18 COMMENTS

  1. Small group? No, it is a large group. Teachers residing in the district has no bearing on their ability to teach. One of the best teachers Dozier-Libby has lives in Discovery Bay. We cannot by law require them to live in Antioch. As a resident of Antioch since before most of these folks were born I support the Charter school conversion 100%.

  2. Whatever they do, they need to make teachers and administrators accountable for their actions. If they are a bad teacher, it shouldn’t take the act of god to fire them. Good teachers should receive bonuses. Mediocre teachers need to step it up.

  3. Negative impact will be no sports or extracurricular activities for students because Dozier Libby does not offer any. That in itself could be huge for students! I believe students should have those activities to balance out their high school years.

    • The other academy’s have PE classes. That isn’t a game changer for me. There are plenty of sports to be played outside of school and for those who cannot afford them the city has a program.

  4. The other academy’s have PE. There are plenty of activities around and Dozier doesn’t offer them now so what would be different? That isn’t a deal breaker for me. Dozier deserves to be the school it was originally designed for and as an academy will do so. Thankfully Dr Gill is not the last word on this. I support taking it to the county and/or state.

  5. More competition in school performance and personnel is needed to stop the tenure protection by teacher unions. However it be done is important. Bad teachers are popping up everywhere after the damage has been done.Our schools are failing our kids miserably due to protectionism.

  6. I paid for this school with my taxes! My grandchildren have the right to go to Dozier Libbey and play sports in the AUSD Leagues! Why should a few teachers get to decide to play God so their children not living in our school district get to go to a school their parents never paid for! Dozier Libbey was part of a larger plan for specific education subject-focused schools to give students living in Antioch School District a better education. 23 “people” (teachers are still “people”) should not have the right to deprive my family of an equal right to an education at Dozier Libbey that their family paid for! I bet Dr Dozier and Dr Libbey, both doctors in Antioch for many, many, years, wouldn’t like it either! And I bet these “people” didn’t know both of them personally like I did!

  7. Sorry. made a typo!
    23 “people” (teachers are still “people”) should not have the right to deprive my family of an equal right to an education at Dozier Libbey that their family DID NOT PAY FOR!

    • At one of the meetings they mentioned at most it would be 2-3 spaces a year if all the teacher’s kids came to Dozier-Libbey . Their time and dedication teaching should count for something. All the other schools allow teacher parents to have their kids attend where they teach. It doesn’t seem like an unreasonable request.

    • Actually nothing changes. Ausd residence still have the right to go to the school. It’s still run on a lottery system. The only difference is that they finally step up and say that d grade is not passing. They are caring and nurturing teachers at dozier that are willing to work with all students and all capability. Their program is on mastery and not all about tests. If a student is willing to do the work there is a helping hand. it’s really disgusting that the ausd hides behind their propaganda. Let’s hold our students to higher standards and push them to achieve goals. Why fix something that works. Also if sports is that important then go to a school that has sports. news flash this is a medical pathway school….. Either do the work, try and want to succeed or get out. There are over 200 in line waiting to get an opportunity to get in.

  8. I support the DEPENDENT charter of AUSD. Dozier Libby does not need to become the elitist school that the elitist teachers of the independent charter want it to become. It is a PUBLIC school that needs to serve any student of AUSD should they aspire to attend. If those teachers want to serve a hand picked population, let them go work some private school. My tax paying dollars in the City of Antioch needs to stay with the school district and the City who built this school in a collaborative effort. Oh, and by the way, the priority in entrance for the INDEPENDENT charter is that their ( most of the teachers do not even LIVE in Antioch) children get admitted before my child who lives in Antioch and whose parents paid for DLMHS. NO WAY!! Go teach somewhere else! Anybody could be Teacher of the Year if set up as they want to continue…no D’s! They could teach the elite and ignore those children who might need a fragment of your attention. How dare you self serve and ignore our city’s youth-just when they need you the most. Shame on you!

    • What makes the teachers elitists? Is it because they set high standards for students? Is that wrong? Do you Have any idea how this school works? What kind of program they have? How their curriculum are developed and implemented? Do you know the different kinds of intervention they do to make sure that each student is successful? Or are you basing all your reasons from all the misinformation spread around about these teachers? Please visit the school and see for yourself what’s going on. Educate yourself. Investigate before you come to conclusions.

  9. Dozier was built with funding from the state. There were no local taxes used, no local bonds passed, and no Mello-Roos dollars spent on the school.

    The issue of teachers’ children being allowed to attend the school is a widely accepted practice in education. Even still, if every teacher sent their child to Dozier (an option many aren’t even planning to do for a variety of reasons), in any given year the number of staff members’ kids would make up less than half of a percent of the total student body.

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