Antioch School District ordered to postpone dependent charter deadlines for Dozier-Libbey, but permitted to move forward

District personnel set up table to register students for the dependent charter school at Dozier-Libbey Medical High School for 2014-15.

District personnel set up a table to register students for the dependent charter school at Dozier-Libbey Medical High School for 2014-15 on Tuesday, April 1, 2014. In the photo are Tim Forrester, Associate Superintendent for Business & Operations, third from right and Dr. Don Gill, Superintendent, far right. photo by Stacey Wickware

By Allen Payton

On Friday morning, April 4, 2014, Contra Costa Superior Court Judge Laurel Brady asked the Antioch Unified School District to postpone deadlines for the 2014-15 school year, under the district’s dependent charter.

Although the teachers in favor of the independent charter are claiming a minor victory, the judge’s decisions merely asked the district to postpone until April 28, the requirement that Dozier-Libbey teachers commit to employment at the district dependent charter by the close of business Friday. In addition, the deadline for parents to sign-up their students for the Fall was also postponed from Monday, April 7 to Monday, April 28.

A complete hearing of arguments from both sides and a ruling is scheduled for 9:00 A.M. on April 28.

The decisions were in response to a temporary restraining order filed by the attorneys for the organizers of the independent charter conversion to stop the district from moving forward with its dependent charter conversion.

However, the judge refused to hear that and the district was not prevented from moving forward and allowed to proceed with the dependent charter, as planned.

The case pending before the Contra Costa Superior Court is Dozier-Libbey Medical High School et al. v. Antioch Unified School District, et al. (Case No. CIVMSN14-0453).

This article was revised at 3:27 p.m., Saturday, April 5, 2014

the attachments to this post:

Dozier-Libbey dependent signups 04-01-14

7 Comments to “Antioch School District ordered to postpone dependent charter deadlines for Dozier-Libbey, but permitted to move forward”

  1. Clarification says:

    This is a bit misleading. The judge explained that the matter before her was complex, largely due to the district’s unprecedented action of countering the teachers’ conversion charter with a dependent “start up” charter creating mass confusion. The judge felt it unfair that the teachers and the students were given such a short timeframe to decide how to respond to to the ultimatums they were given and merely extended the deadline to the date of the hearing on the legality of the district’s actions. The dependent charter was a move on the part of the district to thwart the teachers’ legal petition. It is obvious that the district’s charter has no real intention to create a specialized program that is best for students. That could not have been done in a mere two days and the petition is only 20+ pages long. People must understand that the district’s claim to keep the same program and curriculum is false. The program was not developed by AUSD. The curriculum was not developed by AUSD. It was created by the teachers, much of it on their own time with their own funding. Simply having access to the course syllabi does not mean the new teachers that the district plans to place at their school does not mean that the program will even be remotely close to what is being offered now…and it won’t be able to hold a candle to what the teachers have proposed to close the achievement gap and strengthen the program under their independent charter. The people of Antioch need to fight the dependent charter. By the way, remember when the teachers expressed their concern about losing their principal? Take a look at the board agenda…they are voting to appoint a principal at the dependent charter. Nancie Castro was NOT given a letter asking her if she wanted to work for the dependent charter. Who will the board appoint? Nancie Castro is the backbone of that school. She was there well before the school even started, along with many of the teachers. There is no replacement for her. Maybe all the anticipated aggressive actions of the district that plagued the teachers with fear are coming true…look at their retaliatory actions so far. They are not interested in doing what is best for kids…the teachers are. I sure hope the voting public takes notice and I hope the judge can see fit to stop the district in their tracks. Write to the county board with your concerns. They need to be informed.

    • Publisher says:

      Thank you for reading the Herald and taking the time to comment on the article on our website, and provide more details as to what happened at the court hearing.
      The information in this brief article was gleaned from both a press release by the teachers organizing the independent charter conversion and district personnel. Neither I nor any of the reporters from the Herald attended the court hearing. So, we didn’t have any direct quotes from the judge. Nevertheless, I stand by what was published as accurate.
      What will be of most importance is how the judge will rule on April 28, once she has had the opportunity to read the material and hear from both sides. We will report on her decision, at that time.
      Allen Payton

  2. More Clarification says:

    Wait, there is more! Go to the district website and look at the board minutes for March 19th when the board approved the dependent charter. The district promised that they would actively seek parent and community input for their charter. THEIR FIRST MOVE IS TO APPOINT A PRINCIPAL WITH NO INPUT!!! The current principal had to interview with a large panel. Appointing a principal is unheard of! If this doesn’t wake up the people of Antioch to the underhanded district actions, I don’t know what will. Look at how many principals have been moved around over the years in this district. Then ask yourself why Mr. Rocha gets to stay at AHS, even when his school is failing dismally under his leadership! What if the district appoints him to the Dozier campus? Look at Deer Vally…how many principals have they had? Where are they now? One of them has been systematically moved from school to school and and it is not because his leadership is amazing. Principals should be held to a high standard and they should be interviewed! The current DLMHS principal has led this school well…better than well…it will be interesting to see what move the board makes.

  3. Chris says:

    I disagree on making DLMHS independent charter school. If the teachers want the best interest of the school they would have stopped after the district voted against it. Nancie Castro should go to another school like AHS to improve it. I feel the AUSD is doing the right thing by appointing somebody to lead the school. Time and money are being wasted for one thing teachers need to focus on educating students not fighting about dependent and In dependent charter school.

    • A question says:

      Why would anyone support a dependent charter that is on shakey legal ground and purports to do nothing to close the achievement gap or improve programs? The dependent charter gives a poorly run district even more control over the school. How is that something to support?

    • Another Dozier Parent says:

      The district should then stop wasting money on this dependent charter. The problem with the district appointing somebody to take over the school is that they said in their dependent charter that it would include the parents and community on these decisions. Well guess what? No one asked me!! The teachers do have the best interest of the school, that’s why the petition for an Independent Charter! I have a graduation senior so I know how things have changed over the years and it hasn’t been for the better.

      I fully support the Independent Charter Conversion.

  4. Kim says:

    It is time the leadership of the district stop the leadership shuffle. Keep the good people in the district. There has been a mass exodus of staff to other districts in the past few years. How many students are going to Brentwood schools? If it weren’t for Dozier-Libbey there would be a lot more families and good teachers leaving AUSD. If the district takes over as a dependent charter with its eon principal, and it’s own staff, it’s only a matter of time before they get what they wanted to begin with. Another Antioch or Deer Valley High.

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