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Ravenswood board votes to close Willow Oaks and Brentwood elementary schools

Original post made on Jan 10, 2020

After a lengthy debate, the Ravenswood school board voted to move Willow Oaks Elementary students to Belle Haven Elementary and Brentwood Academy students to CostaƱo School this fall.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, January 9, 2020, 9:23 PM

Comments (2)

a resident of another community
on Jan 10, 2020 at 7:24 pm

So sad to see that this districs' leaders (board members and administrators) have done nothing to improve the district's scores and because of that people avoid to enroll their children and send them to privates, charters and others transfer them to other public schools who have better scores and more discipline. This district will disintegrate in few years due to the past leadership, and if they keep Ms. Sudaria things will only get worst as she does not have any experience as a super. She will be learning as she goes while making mistakes and learning from them (hopefully) while the district sinks down deeper. They need to hire someone experienced ASAP if they really want to save this district otherwise GOOD BYE RAVENSWOOD. I feel bad for those students who have no other choice but to attend this district. I know every parent want the best for there children and many of them do not have the means to pay for private, or are not lucky enough to qualify for the Tinsley Transfer, or charters (they have long waiting list.

Posted by Mutti
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jan 10, 2020 at 9:49 pm

I've been volunteering and working in Ravenswood for over 20 years, so know the district well. At its largest, Belle Haven had over 800 students. It is now below 300. And other schools in the district have shrunk in similar amounts. This is what has forced the mergers. Ravenswood Schools are also better now than they were when the schools were larger. The reduction has much more to do with the price of housing and the gentrification of the neighborhoods than with the quality of the schools. Even Palo Alto is going through reductions in enrollment. The cost of housing has simply made it impossible for families to live here -- especially lower income families. EPA used to house all our service workers, construction workers, gardeners, house cleaners, etc. Now it is full of young, single professionals working for Facebook and Google and other tech companies. Three or four of them can rent a house and pay far more than a working-class family with children.

Gina Sudaria is one of the best things to happen to Ravenswood in a long time. She started as a teacher in the district, so understands the needs of the students. She has lots of experience in the District Office. She came in as interim Superintendent and within weeks was able to solve the contract impasse with both teacher and workers unions. She has made the budget and school mergers open and transparent with many community meetings around these issues. The other members of the school administration are comfortable with her leadership and hopes she is hired as the permanent superintendent. Recent hires of superintendents from outside the district have not proven to be what Ravenswood needed.

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