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New American Canyon Middle School Update
Posted 6/4/19

español

Dear NVUSD American Canyon Schools’ Staff and Families,

I wanted to begin by thanking both staff and families who have been engaged around the reconsideration of the new American Canyon Middle School over the last couple of weeks. As you may know, we held meetings over the last couple of weeks with the goal of engaging all stakeholders and hearing voices across the community. These included:

  • Meeting with the principals of all American Canyon NVUSD schools

  • Meeting with teachers’ union representatives and American Canyon teacher leaders who represented the various American Canyon schools

  • Meeting with a parent leadership group

  • Community meeting with approximately 80 attendees, including parents, staff, elected officials and other community members

  • Meeting with the current ACMS staff

These engagements reaffirmed the passion and commitment that the American Canyon community has for its schools, instructional programs and of course students. We are grateful for the extensive input and feedback we received as we surfaced, shared and discussed the facilities and finance challenges we are facing.

After looking at the data, we determined that without confirmed, increased enrollment in the next 5-8 years, building a second middle school in the region could have devastating financial impacts on today’s students -- including dramatic program reductions that would potentially eliminate academic and performing arts programs. These program reductions would adversely impact our students’ educational experience over the course of the next few years. For this reason, my team and I are making thoughtful, fiscally responsible and data-driven decisions around this new potential facility. Typically, school districts build new schools when enrollment is growing. Without the enrollment growth, the additional cost of operating a school will be at the expense of programs and services for students and even class sizes. Of course, we understand the high degree of disappointment and frustration this reconsideration process brings to stakeholders. It’s a challenging set of circumstances to say the least.

Our goal is to keep staff and the community informed as this reconsideration process of the construction project unfolds. After listening and learning from the community about the impact of our decision to either continue with the proposed project or to suspend the construction, here are our proposed immediate next steps and timeline:

June- August 2019

  1. NVUSD will confirm enrollment data through a deeper demographic analysis for the board’s review and consideration.

  2. NVUSD will facilitate discussions with developers in the region and with city representatives to address concerns about declining enrollment, to develop clear and realistic timelines, and to more deeply examine the impact of future development on the overall population of American Canyon.

  3. NVUSD will utilize the additional information and data points to make a recommendation to the school board regarding the new school’s status on August 8. This timeframe will allow substantial time to properly assess any additional data gathered.

The following steps would be implemented if the school board takes action not to build the school based on enrollment and financial data.

September 2019

  1. The district commits to engaging in a community input process around the following facilities issues: 1) overcrowding on the current American Canyon Middle School campus , 2) campus improvements at Donaldson Way, and 3) a redesign of the proposed Watson Ranch school site to potentially include a K-8 future option; this will require discussions with the developer. We understand that a primary concern is to ensure that our current ACMS feels less crowded. We look forward to exploring campus improvements with the staff and parent community that address this critical concern.

October 2019

  1. Based on input, the NVUSD facilities team would present a proposed, revised Measure H implementation plan to the board that would include the newly defined projects at ACMS, Donaldson Way, and the future Watson Ranch School.

November 2019-January 2020

  1. During this timeframe, the district facilities team will work with our partners to design the project specifics that would guide the selected facilities improvements. Based on design, the district would then proceed with an appropriate construction timeline.

I hope that by actively sharing our proposed work plan and engaging with parents, guardians, and grandparents for this reconsideration process is helpful. We look forward to scheduling future meetings in American Canyon regarding the topic as the phases of the work unfold. I want to sincerely thank the American Canyon students, staff and community in advance for your patience, understanding, and collaboration as we aim to make the very best decision for the educational experiences of our students that considers the information now available to us. Please be on the lookout for invitations to future meetings for ongoing discussions and updates.

We wish everyone a restful summer break.

Thanks Again,

Dr. Rosanna Mucetti
Superintendent
Napa Valley Unified School District