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Clements School set to close doors

Moving students to Lockeford Elementary among LUSD's cost-saving options

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Posted: Thursday, March 11, 2010 12:00 am

For the second time in as many years, Clements Elementary School parents have been told the rural school will likely close to save money.

The Lodi Unified School District board told staff Tuesday to move forward with the closure. A community input meeting will be held before the issue returns to the board for a vote next month, according to Superintendent Cathy Nichols-Washer.

The small school currently houses approximately 80 kindergartners and first-graders. They will be moved to Lockeford Elementary School where many of their siblings already attend. The move will save close to $93,000 in the 2010-11 school year, according to the school board.

Unlike last year, trustee Bonnie Cassel said parents have indicated to her that they would be just as happy to have their students at one school. She represents both Lockeford and Clements.

"I did not hear from any parents that are upset about it closing," she said. "I'm still waiting for the community meeting."

Parents must receive notice three months before the school is closed, Nichols-Washer said.

Other consolidation options discussed Tuesday included:

  • Closing Tokay Colony Elementary and moving its 100 students to Victor Elementary, a cost savings of $90,111.
  • Researching how much could be saved by closing Henderson Community Day School. The success of the alternative program ultimately outweighed the half-million dollar figure.
  • Closing the 259-student Needham Elementary and moving students to Heritage Elementary and Washington Elementary, a cost savings of $308,295. That was quickly dismissed by trustees when they were told there would be state-imposed fines due to the construction currently underway.

Tokay Colony parent Nancy Davis is happy her student's school was spared — for now.

"They placed in the balance the cost to the community that you can't evaluate on paper. I appreciate their careful consideration of the big picture," she said Wednesday.

"I know the board is faced with incredibly difficult decisions to reduce the budget. There are no easy answers to this crisis."

Last year, the district started looking at consolidating schools with less than 250 students for budgetary reasons.

In February 2009, the board voted to close Turner Elementary at an estimated annual savings of $215,000, a portion of which went to treating on-campus well water. Most of its students now attend Lakewood.

Trustees, however, spared closing Clements after dozens and parents and students rallied hard against it.

Parent Gary Reiff provided what trustee Ken Davis termed a "compelling argument" comparing the cost to move to actual savings.

Reiff went one step further when he held up a check from the Clements-Lockeford Parent Teacher Association to cover the shortfall. "If you leave our school alone, we have a $4,000 check for you. I actually have it right here," he said at the time.

The campus on Highway 88 has been a part of the community for more than 100 years, and many of its students have parents who attended it. The current school was built 20 years ago on the same site as the original 1879 two-story school building, and before that the town had a different school.

Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at jenniferb@lodinews.com.

District bus service: What's next?

Also on Tuesday, trustees gave staff direction to continue looking into transportation changes.

Those could include charging students to ride buses, reducing current kindergarten service to one way only and creating route changes through a hub system. Instead of individual stops, students would be picked up at a centralized location set by the district.

Officials are expected to also begin enforcing district policy on walking distances which will eliminate some bus stops.

For elementary schools, those living within 1 1/2 miles will be forced to walk to school, while the distance is 2 1/2 miles for middle schoolers and 3 1/2 miles for high school students.

The changes would save approximately $2 million, but an estimated 25 employees could lose their jobs. A board decision is likely next month.

News-Sentinel staff

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  • posted at 4:32 am on Thu, Mar 18, 2010.


    I think I should clarify - I do think there needs to be levels. Even the best teacher is going to have a difficult time delivering a lesson that will challenge advanced students while meeting the needs of remedial students. Not everyone has the same talents, and there's nothing wrong with having different levels to meet different students needs.What I don't agree with is the district throwing around the "Pre-AP" designation the way they do. On one hand, they talk about increasing the number of students taking AP (especially in certain demographics), and then on the other they create this class that will essentially limit who will take AP later on. For the district, its about elitism - if you're not in "Pre-AP" or "AP", you're not going to be successful. It is definitely possible for a student to be remedial early on in their education, and work their way to being successful in an advanced class. If you stick a student in a level (CP or AP) that they are not ready for, they will become discouraged. The district doesn't get that.

  • posted at 2:49 am on Thu, Mar 18, 2010.


    Yes Lodian, it is GATE kids in the classes - and a few others who aren't necessarily identified as GATE, but are strong students. It goes against the whole Pre-AP philosophy. College Board started Pre-AP trainings to help get ALL kids ready for AP classes. Now, I don't agree that all kids should take AP or go to college - but they should all have the opportunity if that is the course they want to take. Pre - AP strategies are just good teaching, and should be a part of every class - remedial, grade level, and advanced.

  • posted at 8:51 pm on Wed, Mar 17, 2010.


    Cutting back and now only having a CP or AP class for the high school students is one of the worst things they've done in this district. Bad bad idea.... and bad results.

  • posted at 8:50 pm on Wed, Mar 17, 2010.


    teach247365: Do you know if the GATE kids at the middle schools are still clustered and are these kids in the Pre-AP classes?

  • posted at 8:47 pm on Wed, Mar 17, 2010.


    teach247365 wrote "LMS does NOT offer AP classes. They offer what they call "Pre-AP" classes..."teach247365: You are absolutely right and I stand corrected. They are Pre-AP classes, not AP classes at the middle schools. Thank you for your detailed and informative comments. I appreciate your input and knowledge on the subject.

  • posted at 3:23 am on Wed, Mar 17, 2010.


    cont'd: Yes, we got rid of "levels" at the high schools (we have to be all CP now), and brought them back at the middle schools.The funny thing about these "Pre-AP" classes at the middle schools - they will still have to take whatever pre-reqs are required in the high schools. For example, the district's original idea was that once a student has taken a "Pre-AP" science class, they could just jump into AP Biology in 9th grade. The high school teachers had to educate Dr. Douglas that this was not the case. High school biology and Chemistry are pre-reqs for AP Biology - as designated by the College Board. 9th grade students just don't have the content knowledge that they need to be successful in AP Biology.Read this link on College Board's stance on Pre-AP: http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/public/preap/index.html

  • posted at 3:15 am on Wed, Mar 17, 2010.


    Lodian - LMS does NOT offer AP classes. They offer what they call "Pre-AP" classes - which is a term that LUSD misuses. Pre-AP is supposed to be a set of strategies used in ALL classes, to help students prepare for higher level thinking skills.From AP Central: The College Board does not, however, design, develop, or assess courses labeled "Pre-AP." Courses labeled "Pre-AP" that inappropriately restrict access to AP and other college-level work are inconsistent with the fundamental purpose of the Pre-AP initiatives of the College Board.Teachers from Millswood, Lodi Middle, Elkhorn, Christa McAuliffe, and Morada have all attended Summer Institutes on Pre-AP strategies. As a result, the district made up classes that they designated as Pre-AP without any authority from College Board to do so.Ask a teacher who teaches a "Pre-AP" class - they use the same strategies in their other classes. The difference in the classes is that the "smart" kids are in one, therefore they are able to move through the curriculum slightly faster. Everyone else is in another class.

  • posted at 7:08 pm on Tue, Mar 16, 2010.


    Close Elkhorn. The LUSD cannot afford it.

  • posted at 7:07 pm on Tue, Mar 16, 2010.


    Someone here mentioned Ms. Wu the 2009 valedictorian. She attended Vinewood's GATE program. This is how all students should attend their GATE classes, through a neighborhood school. This is proof that Elkhorn is not a necessity and that a neighborhood school GATE program works.

  • posted at 6:57 pm on Tue, Mar 16, 2010.


    wujek: We seem to have a fundamental disagreement here. I do not believe that Elkhorn, as it operates today, is actually set up for the truly highly gifted student. I do not believe that high achievers should be awarded an entire school while their intellectual superiors suffer due to the fact that Elkhorn is not set up for highly gifted children. These high achievers (and they're not all high achievers at Elklhorn) take up the seats. If the district is going to maintain an entire school site for a special ed program, like GATE, then it should be for the high end gifted students. Personally, I think it's time to close Elkhorn as it does not serve it's true purpose and the district simply cannot afford to keep this school open when the students can, and will, do very well elsewhere.

  • posted at 6:41 pm on Tue, Mar 16, 2010.


    mom of 2(Mar 11th 6:42am): I believe that Elkhorn students should be at their neighborhood schools, in a GATE program if needed.The middle schools should all offer AP classes. LMS has AP classes right now. This is what you parents, with GATE students, should be fighting to keep in the LUSD and leave Elkhorn to the truly highly gifted. In my opinion, and I'm definitely not alone in this, is that Elkhorn is not set up for the truly highly gifted child. Elkhorn is mostly made up of high achievers that would do well at their neighborhood schools.The Elkhorn of today is in no way like old Henderson. The district has changed the criteria so much that we now simply have some bright kids at Elkhorn. If the district is to have an entire school dedicated to special education then those kids should indeed be on the extreme end of the need. They are not. In fact, there are many very highly gifted kids failing, yes failing, because Elkhorn is not designed, nor do they have the teachers with the ability/training, to educate such students.

  • posted at 11:35 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    Mom of 2 if you like Millswoods teachers just wait until you get to Lodi High, the AP teachers are FANTASTIC!

  • posted at 11:24 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    Mom of 2 I agree with you I'm not talking teachers I'm talking the administration mainly the principal. The teachers make that school not the poor leadership.

  • posted at 11:22 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    Seriously Lodi, I agree with you with one exception. Millswood has strong and consistent leadership. The teachers challenge the kids, and seem to enjoy their students.Wujek, If you think the pre-ap classes in middle schools do not challenge students, then you need to spend some time in them. They are challenging.

  • posted at 11:12 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    No we should send them to Elkhorn so they could be superior too. After all with a smaller class size that is a real possibility.

  • posted at 10:52 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    So after all that, Lodian, why would I accept putting MORE kids into that system?Reg ed isn't the devil's spawn, but poor leadership and teacher apathy, like that at LMS, are.I was thinking about it and IF one of the schools is closed than I would be for re-opening it as the opposite of Elkhorn. A school where kids with difficulty learning can go for special attention (4-8grade). Teachrs there would make a bit more than normal (higher stress). There would be a required after school study session with pull-out times where kids can have small group sessions to learn study stratigies. This would be a time when papers can be looked at and helped along. Math and history explained. This would also be a time to learn study methods and orgizational skills. There would also be a reg-ed class for all subjects because some kids may only be suffering in one or two subjects that bring them way down. The entire goal of this school would be to transition kids back to their home schools.

  • posted at 10:30 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    wujek: You seem to think that a regular ed student is the devil's spawn. I'll have you know that there are some bad behavior problems at Elkhorn too. It's a kid thing (a parent thing), not a regular ed thing. You can take some of those trouble makers at Lodi Middle and put them in a small school and see them flourish. Tell them they can be successful too and they will rise. They don't get that at LMS, for the most part. Many fall through the cracks. Kids are not getting the attention they need at Lodi Middle. Too many kids. Class sizes too large. Teachers not equipped to handle so many kids. Burned out teachers that should retire. And a LUSD system that has quickly become a nightmare.

  • posted at 10:20 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    Some of you are talking about Elkhorn again, but were any of you around when the GATE class/school was at Henderson? It was the best back then and for a couple of years after that, but now it is a former shell of what it once was as a GATE program...unfortunately. Now it's simply a school to try to get into so as to avoid Lodi Middle.

  • posted at 9:55 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    Again, makes me wonder what is behind this school remaining open. Could it be the almighty $$$ speaks? Just a question to ponder.

  • posted at 9:49 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    Trust me in my opinion Millswood Middle has terrible leadership and it is not among those listed as lowest performing schools. Now Lodi Middle is not either.

  • posted at 9:42 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    I looked at this site and don't know what you are trying to explain. I see there is a push to allow more under represented students into the program. This is great!! Has it happened? Like I said all bright children should have access to a great education, not just white, and wealthy. It remains that Elkhorn's cost to the district could be utilized by other schools and then all bright children could get access to a great education. Why should Elkhorn remain opened..it is not in Lodi? Where are the 30% asian students coming from if Lodi's demographics show 3%-4% of the population and why aren't there more hispanic students? Why shouldn't these children be moved to the GATE programs in the other public schools? This is not a program for the truly gifted and talented. If these students were moved to Lodi Middle it would help the test scores of that school. This would be a win win for the MAJORITY. If your child is really that motivated he/she should do well anywhere.

  • posted at 9:21 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    Seriously,Click on the site below and then the AP pathways link and read through the slide show. AP/pre-AP classes, which is what Elkhorn is benefits students.http://www.lodiusd.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=215&Itemid=83

  • posted at 9:10 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    Better than sending the kids to Elkhorn, why not the admin. Have then study why Elkhorn is successful then implement it in their own school. That way success is available to all the kids.Someone on one of the other boards comments how the past three principles have been worse and worse for LMS. So why punish kids by sending them to a school with bad leadership?IF LMS had good leadership, did something about the gang problems (got friends whose kids went there and had several run ins with pre-teen thugs-in-training), established a continuing GATE program then I wouldn't have as much problem with the closing of Elkhorn. But the fact remains that Elkhorn7-8 classes challenge our GATE kids more than any other school does. Until that changes I will fight for Elkhorn.

  • posted at 9:01 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    How much affect do you think that 20ish kids will have on LMS scoring? There are 186 Middle school kids at Elkhorn. Close it and they all don't go to LMS, they go to their respective schools. 20-30 kids might actually go to LMS. Out of a school of 938 those 30 would add an insignificant bump to the numbers. Probably even lower since LMS is a low performing school.We both agree on one thing, successful programs should be available to all kids. So why CLOSE a successful program and put those kids in a failing program? Wouldn't emulating the successful program at LMS be smarter than making Elkhorn be like LMS?

  • posted at 8:58 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    On second thought let's send those Lodi Middle students to Elkhorn so more children can excel. After all when the school closes we will need to find a place to put those children.

  • posted at 8:56 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    Wujek...she was part of GATE...Vinewood's GATE

  • posted at 8:53 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    According to your city demographics Elkhorn should have a representation that mimics the city. Therefore, we should see more hispanics, and fewer asians. And the parents should not be a majority of doctors, lawyers, from the wine industry and the likes. It should mimic the average Joe as they are the ones paying the majority of the taxes when you really add up the population. Doctors, lawyers, etc are not the majority of Lodi.

  • posted at 8:52 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    "And BTW Tokay's valedictorian in 2009 shared your last name WU and she never attended Elk Horn."Actually Wujek is my title, not my name. Except for my family there are no other _______ in Lodi.I bet you thought that she was part of the GATE program along the way.

  • posted at 8:50 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    Again google the other schools. Much more diverse. Your demographics add up to more than 100% how is that possible? Now you have to ask yourself is you child really so superior and so much more motivated or does a school that offers different demographics, student to teacher ratios and the likes offer an opportunity of a better education? Why shouldn't all children have that opportunity? Now place those brilliant minds at Lodi Middle and help them improve their failing statistics!

  • posted at 8:46 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    Thanks Seriously, you illustrated two ppints fo me in one post. First, my 45 percent is taken right from the LUSD website http://www.lodiusd.net/images/stories/IS/SARCS/Elkhorn.pdf for the 2008-09 school year. You are using older numbers to support your position. Second, even using your numbers the percent of white students at Elkhorn is below the Lodi city population percents. If the popluation at Elkhorn was really represented as a function of the City then there would be MORE whites at Elkhorn than there are. So your argument that Elkhorn is for white kids is false.Races in Lodi:White Non-Hispanic (63.5%) Hispanic (27.1%) Other race (14.0%) Two or more races (4.9%) American Indian (1.8%) Asian Indian (1.3%) Other Asian (1.2%) Japanese (1.0%) Filipino (0.9%) Black (0.6%) (Total can be greater than 100 http://www.city-data.com/city/Lodi-California.html#ixzz0huW16m2D

  • posted at 8:35 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    I have nothing agains an award winning school just the politics that play a part in who is allowed into that school. I think there should be more opportunities for children in all the schools. But I do see your point...if a school is failing why should your tax dollars go to support it. The administration and the system are failing our children.

  • posted at 8:22 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    Let's round that up to 53% white. Not really very diverse is it? Taken right off the web.

  • posted at 8:19 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    Do these books mention grade point average, high school attended, college attended? Nope the common thread is attitude. Don't be so hard on Lodi Middle School...some of their children just rode in a limo! I'm sure there are motivated students that excel at Lodi Middle. And BTW Tokay's valedictorian in 2009 shared your last name WU and she never attended Elk Horn. Vinewood. Now google the demographics of the other schools. Grade Sizes & Demographics279 students attended Elkhorn (elem) in the 2006-2007 school year.There were 13 teachers on staff, giving Elkhorn (elem) a student-teacher ratio of 22.7.4th Grade - 31 Students5th Grade - 31 Students6th Grade - 31 Students7th Grade - 93 Students8th Grade - 93 StudentsLatino - 13.6%White - 52.7%Black - 3.2%Asian - 29.7%Native American - 0.7%Education featuresActually 52% now google the other schools.

  • posted at 8:11 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    I'll see your "What Makes the Great Great" and up you University of success, How to win friends and influence people, Power and confidence in dealing with people, 7 habits of highly successful people, Strength finder2.0, and Purpose Driven life. What do all these have in common? It is all about attitude. Elkhorn has a success attitude, Lodi Middle does not. Individuals may excell at LMS, but they are the exceptions working in a faulty system.Why should my tax dollars be spent building up a failing school while closing a succeeding school? What do you have against an award winning school?BTY Elkhorns demos put the white population at 45%.

  • posted at 7:37 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    BTW Jackson Hewitt did my taxes for the last two years and I got more money back than I did when I went to the accountant in Brookside. Your argument is really not a statistically proven one. College, test scores and arrogance does not make one a better doctor, mechanic, nurse, pizza delivery boy, carpenter, or any other trade or profession. Passion, leadership, work ethic, motivation, desire to be the best at one does..makes a person great. Maybe read a few books on the matter. One I would suggest for you would be "What Makes the Great Great." None of the books that I have read mentions test scores in high school, or college. Hmmm I wonder why? And Elkhorn's demographics are available for you to access as well.

  • posted at 7:30 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    You all talk too much.

  • posted at 7:25 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    WujekTake a poll...and you will find that Elkhorn's student's demographics do not mirror the public schools. Mostly white, upper income. Why should my taxes go to pay for that? I'm paying for your child's education when I would like my money to go to the masses not just the above. If you want your children to have such a secluded education PAY for it on your dime. Why should sports be dropped at my child's school, and teachers be laid off to support your arrogance? I agree expand the AP courses in high school and middle school and let more children benefit not just yours.

  • posted at 7:22 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    Wujec...it appears that you think book smart is the only smart. I would much rather an individual that is motivated, works hard, learns a little about life not just from a book cut into my family member. Have you ever gone to a doctor that is just book smart? If book smarts was the answer to everything then more companies would hire from online colleges. Book smart does not make one superior and again show me those statistics? I think you will be surprised to find that bedside manner, ability to care, ability to think outside the box and ability to take pride in ones work makes a doctor (not a test score or daddy's money). You act as if your child is superior for going to Elkhorn and that children from other schools are inferior. If you are pro test than you should look at the students that are scoring the highest this year on the SAT's, not your Elk Horn alumni. Again your princess or prince will be in school with the masses in high school then as chicken little will you run around saying the sky is falling?

  • posted at 6:34 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    seriously lodi, you have yet to post proof as to how you know it is only wealthy kids that get into Elkhorn, other than your assumption.So when you are looking for someone who will be cutting into your loved ones you look for the ones who just passed, doing just what was needed? Well, we have a difference of opinion here. I'd rather have the docs who excelled in their studies, at least then I know they are willing to do more than the least needed.How about your taxes (for this time of year), do you want the account who does the basics and nothing more or one that studies hard and pushes to exceed the expectations? I know businesses that have gone out because of thinking like yours and I know businesses that have been saved because they ditched their reg-ed thinking accountant and went with ones that pushed to be the best.It is all about attitude. Elkhorn promotes an attitude of success, Lodi MS promotes failure, otherwise they wouldn't be the bottom of the list for successful schools.

  • posted at 6:27 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    mom of 2:Really, you can id GATE kids just by driving by a play ground? WOW! Have you ever thought about showing off on Americas got Talent?Fact is you drive by and see kids separated and you ASSUME they are GATE kids. Maybe your reg ed kids want to talk about the latest band while the GATE kids are discussing the up coming test. Sorry, I will always prefer my kids to hang out with those that strive for excellence over those that accept mediocrity.And another thought, maybe the GATE kids are separated at these schools because the reg ed kids tease and mock them for being smarter than everyone else. And you want to provide more kids to be ridiculed and tormented by your reg ed kids?

  • posted at 5:36 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    Great comments from all. Kudos to you Central Valley Diva. If we had more like you everywhere society would be better. I agree with the other's comments as well. Every child deserves to be placed in a class that offers a challenging and rewarding learning environment. Elkhorn carters to a few (yes the wealthy) not the masses. I have nothing against wealth. And as fare as Wujek's comment about doctors, I know plenty of doctors that graduated number one in their class and I wouldn't want them to operate on me. I would rather have number 50 in his class. There is no statistical data to suggest that a doc graduating number one makes him/her the best doc. If there is please post it. Furthermore, many physicians that are the best docs here in town graduated from colleges in Mexico and the Philippines not from Berkeley and the likes.

  • posted at 5:27 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    Wujek, There are a lot of successful professionals that do not do well in school. I know someone who is in the top of his field and his teachers asked him to be retained each year of elementary school. Our schools are not for out of the box thinkers. That is why the out of the box teaching from Elkhorn should be shared at schools that are not performing.Also, drive by any playground, and if you know which of the kids were GATE identified, you would notice they do not mix with the "regular ed" kids. That concerns me. Too much emphases is put on the identification by parents and schools. They just scored well on a test~ we are not looking at the whole child in most cases.

  • posted at 5:24 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    Also, when a child is in 6th grade, NO MATTER if it is GATE or regular schooling, you take an AP test to see where you will be placed for science, math, and reading for middle school. This is where it's not about the GATE kids. It's about all children and where they rank and getting them prepared for the next step.

  • posted at 5:15 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    I have 3 children and my oldest is in the GATE program at Vinewood, which is the only full GATE class you can get besides going to ElkHorn. No, we are not rich, me and my husband both work fulltime and my son is like any other average kid, but he has straight 4's. My other 2 did not make the program but my middle child just got 100% on his STARS test and he is going to a normal school. It's parents' involvement. You can't let teacher do it all because it's not enough. I think many do that including those who don't know English as a 1st language. Just drop the kids off and have fun. It's not enough. My first language was not English and I had to take extra classes AFTER school to learn English. That was done so it did not interrupt the daily class. We need to reevaluate what is happening and do it so it's not effecting those who have earned their place. Everyone wants their child to do well no matter where you go to school.

  • posted at 3:37 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    My comments are based on my experience having three children go through Henderson, graduate from Tokay and have graduated from very good universities. All transitioned to and received wonderful educations at Tokay. They participated in sports and extra curricular activities. Parents at Henderson at the time were from different ethnic backgrounds, single, unemployed, both employed and impaired. It couldn't have been a more mixed bag. I know for a fact it is no different today. If there are children who are being turned away....expand the program.

  • posted at 3:24 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    I'm sorry, I just can't get over the implication that GATE kids would have trouble with "grocery shop, get gas, go to work, etc". Do you really think kids who fail in school are better equipped to do these things? Do you really think an average student is better at getting gas than a smart student? You think an average student is going to get better jobs than a smart student?That is just a mind-blowing statement of tolerance of why try mentality if I have ever heard one. Mom of 2, would you rather have the doc who was average in his class operate on your loved ones or the one who was top of the class? Would you rather have an average mechanic fix yur car or the best? Would you rather have an employee who does just what is needed or the one that goed above and beyond?Face it, the above average people ARE the ones we all want, why train our kids not to be above average in school?

  • posted at 3:14 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    mom of 2:It sounds like you think Elkhorn is filled with high functioning autistic children.Do you think the students will be more able to deal with the "real" world coming from an environment where excellence is rewarded or where failure is accepted? What jobs do you know of would rather have people who perform below standards over those that perform above average? Elkhorn IS the real world. It teaches that effort, planning and achievements, while uncomfortable at times, are rewarding. These schools that accept failure tell kids why try when someone else can bail you out.Lodi middle has pre-Ap, fat lot of good it seems to be doing since they are still listed as a low performing school. It isn't the classes, it is the environment. Lodi has an environment of failure, Elkhorn success. Why would any parent want their kid to be surrounded by failure? It sounds like Lodi MS has been going down hill for a few years now. Garbage in, Garbage out. A failing school WON'T get better by closing a successful school.

  • posted at 2:42 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    All of you bring some valuable points to consider. My suggestion was not clear, I can see.I think that Elkhorn is too expensive to operate, and that self contained GATE classes are not the best setting for students. Someday those GATE kids will need to be able to operate in the world with the rest of us. (grocery shop, get gas, go to work, etc.)If the gate school were to be moved, and the programs at Lodi Middle for example that are pre_AP would be made up of Lodi middle high achievers and Elkhorn GATE students. In other words, more pre-AP classes at Lodi Middle, filled with more high achieving students. Millswood proves Elkhorn is a luxury we can not afford. Millswood has classes of 40, Elkhorn is at 30. The students who are high achievers are achieving in both schools.

  • posted at 2:27 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    Wlujek...there are accelerated learning courses in the middle schools for children that come over from gate. We must not try to pretend that there is not an option to challenge these students at this level. Some parents from Elkhorn opt to enroll their children in these classes rather than continue at Elkhorn. And your student will end up with the average, bright, students at Lodi High, Tokay, and the likes when he/she reaches high school if she/he is indeed bright. BTW the students getting the highest scores on their SATs this year are not from Elkhorn. He/she has been educated in the other school and he/she did just fine. Take a poll and see what the parents do for a living at Elkhorn. I know. Yes there are a few handful whose parents are average hard working Joe's and their children just happened to get in because they were either truly gifted or their friend's parents had money; therefore, they were offered a spot. Again, you and your child are really not more important than the masses in Lodi.

  • posted at 2:17 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    I would like anyone to produce an ounce of factual information that Elkhorn parents are wealthy. That is simply not true! If anything, Elkhorn should be expanded. I haven't had children in LUSD for over ten years and have absolutely nothing to gain but the elimination of this school would be one more nail in the education coffin. Why in the world would you eliminate the most successful academic program in the District?

  • posted at 2:12 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    I can see the arguement that there are elementary schools that can deal with GATE kids. But the fact remains that there is NO middle school with GATE courses set up. So we will have kids going through and accelerating their learning, challenging themselves to do better in a tougher enviroment, then they hit middle school and come to a screetching halt for two years before going back into GATE programs. Momentum in education is very important, lose it and you risk losing the kids. Take GATE away from the kids as the enter middle school and for two years they will be twiddling their thumbs waiting for some kind of challenge, then they go on to HS where the GATE program resumes and expects they have been in GATE for the past two years. It's like trying to get on a moving bus. Some will be successful, others will get crushed under the wheels.

  • posted at 2:07 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    seriously lodi: I think I asked this question before but how do you know that all the kids at Elkhorn come from rich families. All of my kid's friends come from average, hard working families. Yeah, there are a few nicer cars at pick up time, but no more than you see at any school parking lot. Do you want Elkhorn closed because of your phantom "rich kids" that go there or for some other reason?The fact remains that Lodi Middle has NO GATE program. Elkhorn is the ONLY school that challenges the kids targeted as GATE. The classes at LMS would be remedial for those kids, but you want to send them there so that the school looks better? Why not just institute busing policies where if you test high enough then you can be sent to a low performing school so they all perform at the same dismal level?

  • posted at 2:00 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    Wujek...I agree Elkhorn's model should be emulated at other schools. But why should just a few benefit? You and I know that the majority of students at Elkhorn are not truly gifted. Bright and hard working is not the same as a truly gifted student. If these students can't perform in an average school environment, how are they going to perform in the real world.

  • posted at 1:56 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    I agree with mom of 2. Everything you said is true. Why should our tax dollars go to pay for the rich parent's children to attend that school. Those students should be sent to the elementary schools and enrolled in their gate program. Those that are truly gifted, the small handful (not more than10) well, their parents will need to look for other options just as parents whose children are flunking school have to look for other options. Online college courses would be an option. Again, Elkhorn is not even in Lodi. Who is getting paid at the district level to keep this school open?

  • posted at 1:51 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    Mom of 2, so you want to take kids from an environment that is high performing and bury them in a low performing environment? Does that make any sense?Rather than punishing the kids who are working hard why not try to emulate the environment that allows for high performance? I guess that makes too much sense.

  • posted at 12:42 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    Educator, you have a good point, but they should actually close the school and get rid of the secretary.Why isn't Elkhorn on the list? If those students were dispersed to the 4 low performing schools, then the scores would be improved. We can not afford to indulge the Elkhorn parents anymore.

  • posted at 12:28 am on Thu, Mar 11, 2010.


    If the district is going to close a school, and it would save less than $100,000 there must be better options.Why don't they get rid of one secretary at the district Office? Remember the article that showed what they make? I am sure that with benefits plus the salary, it would be pretty close.



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