There is an urgent matter that needs to be addressed before irreparable harm is done. Unless the charter’s founding teachers resign, RVSD may have to give some teachers “pink slip” notices of termination of employment on May 15.
Much of this could be avoided if the charter leadership would simply act in good faith by releasing their current enrollment numbers and formally hiring their teachers. There are 6 teachers, all former MAP teachers and founding members of the proposed charter, who currently work in the Ross Valley Elementary Schools, who have yet to tender their resignations to RVSD. Per the charter’s web page FAQ section:
“The six petitioning RVC teachers are long-term, tenured employees of RVSD. They will give notice of their resignations to RVSD when RVC’s site is confirmed and students are enrolled. As the District asserted in its February 2016 workshop, if the charter school does not open, the students that the District is currently projecting to leave for the charter school will not leave, so the District does not have to lay off teachers in March.”
Per charter school's Facebook post (here), "RVC today (April 12, 2017) officially accepted the District’s final offer. We are grateful that this issue has been resolved and will work to be good neighbors as well as minimize our impact on the middle school."
The conditions set to hire the MAP 6 appear to be met. Why the delay? Are there enough students for this program to be financially viable? Public Records Act requests over the last 5 months show a pattern of steadily declining enrollment, with only 120 children enrolled in late March - 100 children short of the 220 students the charter petitioners expected to enroll.
At an RVC board meeting in January 2017, Conn Hickey stated that the teachers wouldn't risk losing their tenure. Watch the video of Hickey and MAP 6 teacher and RVC Board Member Chris Lyons answering a question about teacher resignations here. If the teachers have so much to lose, why should families risk the education of their children? Will the charter actually open? Will it last the year? Will it have enough students? Is the charter financially viable with a shortfall of 100 students?
Charter supporters say they don’t want to cause any harm to the district schools. Yet the charter leadership is risking the livelihoods of many of our dedicated RVSD teachers and the the education of many RVSD students so the MAP 6 teachers can hedge their bets.
Out of consideration for all of the children and teachers in the district, we ask the RVC board to please hire the MAP 6 for the 2017-18 school year immediately so they may give their resignations to RVSD asap.