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Mt. Helix Families Fuming Over High School Boundary Changes

Aired 1/12/12 on KPBS News.

One Mt. Helix parent is challenging new boundaries for Grossmont high schools.

— 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.

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Avatar for user 'jlee'

jlee | January 12, 2012 at 8:35 a.m. ― 5 years, 2 months ago

As a charter school, despite the Grossmont Union High School District changing its boundaries, Steele Canyon's boundaries remain the same. In other words, Steele Canyon is very happy to have your student come here. We are currently taking applications for the 2012-13 school year and would love to have you make Steele Canyon your school of choice. For all who are interested in attending Steele Canyon, please check out our website:

Also, come to our Open House on Thursday, Feb. 2nd from 6-8 P.M. or Saturday, Feb. 4th from 10 A.M. - noon.

Your welcome here at Steele Canyon!

Jason Lee
SCHS Governing Board Member

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Avatar for user 'JEBJR'

JEBJR | January 12, 2012 at 11:43 a.m. ― 5 years, 2 months ago

As a Blossom Valley parent of two kids, we are VERY disappointed with GUHSD Board and the Boundary Committee's decision in our community. For about the past 10 years, we have had the choice of attending either Granite Hills or El Capitan. Unless this is overturned, our only choice is El Capitan. Blossom Valley did not have any representation on Boundary Committee and of course we had no say in this. Alpine, which is very close to Blossom Valley, had two members on the Boundary Committee and naturally they can still choose either El Capitan or Granite Hills.

Our family and many other Blossom Valley residents attended several GUHSD Board Meetings and town meetings voicing our concerns. Sure the Board and Superintdent listened but it was almost a formality - just listen but no action on behalf of the families affected.

Blossom Valley residents have been very aware of GUHSD Board over the past few years unlike Mt Helix because of Alpine High School. The Alpine High School bond measure was voted and approved for Alpine and Blossom Valley students. Unfortunately it has been delayed. Even if it was built timely, it wouldnt be built big enough for Blossom Valley students even though bond measure said it would because of GUHSD Board. We are very frustrasted by GUHSD Board and may consider sending our kids to a private school.

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Avatar for user 'Mom2'

Mom2 | January 12, 2012 at 12:11 p.m. ― 5 years, 2 months ago

Meeting is TONIGHT!
The Board wants to hear your comments...

Grossmont Union High School District
Thursday, January 12, 6pm at the Board Room
East County Regional Education Center (ECREC)
924 East Main Street, El Cajon, CA 92020.

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