Dozier-Libbey parents write about concerns, support for independent charter conversion

This February 23, teachers (88% of the teaching staff) from Dozier-Libbey Medical High School submitted a petition to the Antioch Unified School District to convert that school from one under AUSD control to an independent charter school. Since that time, AUSD administrative personnel have been working to prevent this change. They have frequently employed misleading statements in order to bolster their position. They have recruited school district personnel to speak against the teachers, and for the alternative “dependent charter” they created in order to keep Dozier-Libbey under their control. We, the undersigned, all parents of current Dozier-Libbey students, are writing to express our support for the dedicated staff at Dozier-Libbey in their efforts to convert the school to an independent charter.

As parents, we are concerned with the quality of the education that our children receive. This is our sole concern, not the politics of the issue. We want our children to have a rigorous educational experience, one that will prepare them in such a way that they will have a wide range of options available to them upon graduation from high school.

Dozier-Libbey was created as a college preparatory school with a medical theme focus. Students apply to Dozier-Libbey because they have a desire to learn and want to succeed at a high level. They make the decision to tackle the rigorous and challenging curriculum that Dozier-Libbey provides. That curriculum was established by the teachers of Dozier-Libbey. Indeed, some of the courses were developed solely by the teaching staff. We support the independent charter because we want to see these innovative programs continue for the benefit of our students, and for those who, in the future, will follow them.

As parents, we are concerned that the school that our children attend has all of the resources needed in order for them to have the greatest possible chance of success. As Mr. Jeff Weber stated in a recent newspaper article, Dozier-Libbey has not been treated equitably with respect to the resources that have been provided to like-size schools within the AUSD system. Dozier-Libbey is the only high school in the AUSD system that must make do with a part-time librarian. Under the independent charter proposed by the teachers, they would be able to employ a full-time librarian. The school only has one person dedicated to school safety, and only one administrator assigned. When the administrator is called away to District business, which happens frequently, teachers must use time that should be devoted to teaching in order to cover her responsibilities. Dozier-Libbey also has the highest student-to-clerical ratio in the district and only a part-time employee handling the career center. It is, quite frankly, astonishing that the teachers at Dozier-Libbey have been able to accomplish all they have in spite of these, and other, inequities. We support the independent charter because it will allow for direct funding of the school that will provide needed resources for student success.

As parents, we want to be involved in the education of our children. Under the independent charter, Dozier-Libbey would be headed by a board of directors which will be made up of parents of Dozier-Libbey students as well as other community members who have experience in areas such as education, fund-raising or accounting. For parents to have a direct voice in the direction that the school will take is an exciting opportunity that many of us wish to take advantage of. In contrast, while the AUSD has stated that they are the ones who will listen to parental input they immediately discredited themselves by appointing a new principal for their dependent charter without a single community meeting. We support the independent charter because it will allow for meaningful parental involvement in the school, leaving the Dozier-Libbey teachers free to do what they do best – educating our students for college and careers by living the Dozier-Libbey vision: “Every student valued, every student challenged, every student prepared to succeed in a changing world”.

In summary, there are many parents who support the teachers converting Dozier-Libbey to an independent charter school because it will so clearly benefit the students. At the end of the day, that is what matters, not politics, but the quality of education that our children will be able to receive.

Lara Lindeman, Jeanne Stuart-Chilcote, Angela L. , Lisa Backlund, Julie C., Robin M., Michelle Adams, Silvia Huerta, Duane & April Padilla, Lori Bonwell , Carol Monaco, Anna Morris, Janet McDaid, Jean Ruelas, Christine Loomis, Arthur & Ifeoma Metu


11 Comments to “Dozier-Libbey parents write about concerns, support for independent charter conversion”

  1. Dozier Libbey parent says:

    It only makes sense for Dozier Libbey to become an independent charter in order too preserve the integrity of the outstanding educational program. Imagine what they can actually do with funding, move forward with innovative programs for the students and future students of Antioch.

    I support the independent charter because I trust the experienced teachers to know what is best for the students. have proved this time and time again. What one forgets the school still belongs to the citizens of Antioch and we have the right to choose who manages it. AUSD are managers of the schools and serve the citizens of Antioch. AUSD is not managing Dozier Libbey properly. Just like a manager you would hire for your rental property, if the manager takes the revenue that is generated by your property and gives it to another, you would immediately fire the manager and hire a new one.

  2. Jeanne Stuart-Chilcote says:

    I am proud to have met these parents from Dozier Libbey Medical High School. That, I now consider to be my friends! We have united, due to adversity with AUSD. Unfortunately, I have learned the hard way, not to trust AUSD. It is very sad, when you can’t trust people with authority and power over our schools in Antioch! I watch the news and day after day we see people abusing their authority. We should not turn away. We have to stand up for the schools in Antioch. We have to demand that the schools in Antioch are safe, for all the children and all the staff that work at these schools. Due to the teachers and staff DLMHS, our school is a incredible school. It makes me ill that AUSD is fighting to keep DLMHS, when they should provide safety to some many other schools in Antioch. I will never be able to thank the teacher enough for standing up to AUSD for our children’s school and taking the high road and most difficult road. WE STAND UNITED FOR DOZIER LIBBEY MEDICAL HIGH SCHOOL TO BECOME INDEPENDENT CHARTER SCHOOL!! I also was told that Doctor Libbey’s family stand with us! Which by the way delivery my Mother and Father in 1941 and 1943. Please support us, by comments and clicking Like!
    Thank you to the Antioch Herald for this forum!
    Jeanne Stuart-Chilcote

    • Jeanne says:

      Hello, I went to the meet and greet that, again AUSD has wasted our tax dollars on security guards deserts and drinks and other people that were invited by AUSD and wanted us to play Bingo by meeting and talking to other parents and a raffle ticket to win things. Things that we the tax payers pay for. THAT IS MONEY THAT ALL ANTIOCH SCHOOLS NEED! I personally would say, it did not look good for AUSD! Most people did not ever drink or eat the deserts. I do want to make one thing very clear, I did meet and shake hands with Principal Scott Burgerhouse and is very dedicated to the education of all kids. He is a nice man! AUSD has put Scott Burgerhouse in a very difficult position. Again, they are wasting money for Principal Burgerhouse and Principal Nancey Castro. AUSD needs show us how much money they have spent on this battle. AUSD needs to be held accountable to the Antioch tax payers. When DLMHS HAS OUR COURT DATE, WE WILL HIRE PRINCIPLE NANCEY CASTRO!
      Prayers to all, Jeanne Stuart-Chilcote

      • Jeanne says:

        Also the teacher’s and students are in a hostile work environment. AUSD pay people to go on our school and interrupt class and the teachers are constantly having to tell them what they are teaching the students. DLMHS is a elite school. There is no reason for them to question what our teachers are teachers are doing. I heard that Special Ed class was disrupted by Mr. Sanchez. The class lost 15 minutes to try and get focused for their college testing. That is horribly wrong for the children to have their classes disrupted. AUSD making our school a HOSTILE WORK ENVIROMENT! This could result in litigation. Triple digit, that again, at a cost from the Antioch tax dollars! Prayers for AUSD TO STOP THE FIGHT AND DECLARE WE ARE A INDEPENDENT CHARTER DLMHS. Jeanne

  3. Eric A says:

    I wish the Parents of some Dozier-Libbey students had more respect for Kaiser. I’ve gone into the facility after school has let out on more than one occasion, and the lobby had quiet a few of your children sitting in it. Also, in the cafeteria I have seen quiet a few students doing homework. Kaiser isn’t your babysitter or a library its a hospital please show some respect.

  4. Dylan Howell says:

    I appreciate the concern of the parents as expressed here. There a couple of mistakes however. 1. Dozier is treated equally – their teacher staffing ratio is exactly the same as at any other secondary school in the district, if not better. Their administrative staffing is budgeted the same as any secondary school. And Antioch High School has no librarian, so if Dozier has a half time librarian, they are doing better than AHS. 2. The AUSD school board can be held accountable for their actions because they are elected members of the Antioch community. Will the same be true of an independent Dozier Board of Directors, or will such a board be able to work without accountability once they are appointed? 3. Clerical staff, such as a career center technician can be hired independent of the AUSD through site funds as apportioned by the school site council. (This is the method AHS used at one time to employ four counselors instead of the three allotted by the district office.) If these things are so important to the Dozier staff, why haven’t they pursued their desires through the channels already provided instead of creating the havoc of trying to take the entire school into independent status which leaves them free from accountability?

    • Library Fan says:

      All high schools except DLHS have 2 full time library techs. Up until the last school year, DVHS had 2 full time library techs and the only real librarian. DLHS has one part time library tech. The district has been cutting all library services through out the district for over 10 years. I know because I was laid off as a library tech 1 in 2008. 6 elementaries have library every other week as a result of the 2008 layoff. That means the children get library visits only twice a month while other students with full time libraries get at least 4. If you would like the names of the schools with 50% library time, call the district or I can name them. There used to be library clerks at every middle and high school with a central library. That was all cut so now there is no centralized library and library techs are doing the job of 2 positions. Please get your facts straight before you publish erroneous information. Also, any one reading this, please support all libraries in the district. Thank you

    • Ann O'Nim says:

      Do you really think that Independent Charter schools are somehow free from accountability? Dozier-Libbey would be accountable to an elected school board comprised of parents and community members. Their current staffing level is no better or worse than other schools in the district. I am not a staff member but I can tell you this- many of the programs the Dozier-Libbey teachers wanted to start over the years were shot down by district administrators (who have come and gone, some are still there). The resistance to innovation when encountered time and time again can be a strong motivator. The AUSD created an environment that invited this petition for change. I wish the teachers continued success in their pursuits. They will prevail as they have truth on their side.

    • Alumni says:

      Mr. Howell,

      I think you are missing the basic premise of the charter conversion. The charter conversion is necessary in order for the school to be treated fairly. In this situation fairness is not the same as equality. To illustrate my point, imagine a group of five lions and a single giraffe in a zoo, and you are the zoo keeper with 6 pieces of steak. You decide to feed the animals by giving each of them a big slab of steak, including the giraffe. All the animals are being treated equally, but by no means is it fair to offer the giraffe meat when it does not feed its needs. DLMHS has attempted to go through the appropriate channels for their needs, but has been denied on multiple occasions because it wouldn’t be “fair”.

      Now in response to your straw man argument on accountability. You say that AUSD has accountability and that an independent charter high school would not. For the purpose of my counter argument I will prove you wrong by contradiction by initially accepting your argument as true and correct. Your argument has a premise that accountability ensures that improper actions are not taken by an organization. If this is the case then AUSD’s actions have been consistently checked by “accountability”, but as you can see from the situation at hand, AUSD has taken actions that the greater community does not agree with and has yet to be held accountable. I am sure that there are other actions that the district has taken or failed to take (such as the present situation at our middle schools) without any form of accountability despite being a group of elected officials. Looking at election data over the past few years it is apparent that we have had the same group of individuals cycle through various board positions either the district is running efficiently, or there is a lack of accountability. Based on the districts actions and its opposition to the will of the people I cannot conclude that the district is running efficiently. So thus your argument on accountability is invalid.

      Please remember that the argument at hand is whether DLMHS charter conversion is best for the community, not about the merits of conversion.

      I challenge you to respond with reasons why the dependent charter would be best for the community.

      Thank you.

  5. Karen says:

    The parents seem to have much more knowledge of what’s happening on the campus than Mr

  6. paula d says:

    Antioch high has had two librarians for MANY years. Now one is retiring. Do you really think they are not going to replace her? They have already posted her job as available. Not sure where you got your info.

    Plus, the accountability will rest with the state, whose chartering body is much stricter than any the district could put forth.

    The CSEA union would never stand for the site to hire an independent clerical staff should the school remain part of the district.

    Try again Mr. Howell.

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