Mt. Helix Families Fuming Over High School Boundary Changes
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Aired 1/12/12 on KPBS News.
One Mt. Helix parent is challenging new boundaries for Grossmont high schools.
SAN DIEGO When Gregory Kerrebrock learned, at a neighborhood Christmas party, that Grossmont Union high School District's new high school attendance boundaries would mean his sons will go to Monte Vista High School, the changes were already made, and he was angry.
Kerrebrock said he moved to the Mt. Helix area in part because its schools fed into two different Grossmont high schools - Steele Canyon and Valhalla -- schools he believes are higher performing.
The online petition Kerrebrock started after he heard the news states there wasn’t enough done to notify families in the district’s feeder schools of the pending changes or opportunities to oppose them. The petition has gathered more than 100 signatures and Kerrebrock will present them to Grossmont governing board members at their meeting Thursday night. He hopes they'll reconsider their November decision to adopt the new boundaries.
“Who is going to be affected by these changes?" Kerrebrock asked. "It’s not necessarily the students who are in the high schools – because they’re not going to move those kids. It’s not the families who have their children in the high schools or future kids who are coming up, because they’re going to grandfather those kids in. It’s all the feeder schools.”
Grossmont Superintendent Ralf Swenson said information about the changes has been on the district’s website and in his email newsletters since early last year and three community forums were held in October and November.
“We announced those forums in the Union-Tribune and the La Mesa Patch and other local media. We felt we were very transparent through this whole process going back over the past year. We didn’t send a mailer to every home in East County because that would have been prohibitively expensive,” he said.
Kerrerbock said the fact that the district wasn’t hearing from the Mt. Helix community should have been a sign that the message wasn’t getting out.