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Small Elementary Schools Update
Posted 6/4/19


Hello Alta Heights, Mt. George, West Park, and Yountville school communities,

We know there have been several interested parents and community members at some of our schools discussing their concerns and worry about schools being closed. This discussion is surfacing as the district engages in topics that relate to our financial condition, and we mention the cost of operating small schools. As you may have heard, the Napa Valley Unified School District has been experiencing a steady enrollment decline over the last decade and is anticipated to experience more.

enrollment decline

Figure shows NVUSD 10 year enrollment trend.

To combat this trend, and plan for projected/potential future declines, our team has proactively put strategies in place to minimize the budget shortfall resulting from the declining enrollment. We will be sending out a global communication from the superintendent’s office updating NVUSD staff and families on the district’s financial condition and our deliberate financial stabilization plan. Before we send this global communication out district wide, we wanted to provide the staff and parents of students who attend small elementary schools a heads up.

As you will learn, the district will have to consider closing some of its small elementary schools for the 2020-2021 school year. You are receiving this message because your child currently attends a small elementary school in NVUSD, which we define as schools with an attendance of approximately 300 students or less. We know this topic can cause alarm and concern, which is why we want to provide as much notice and transparency as possible regarding the pending decision. No small elementary schools have been chosen for closure at this time, and we want to reassure staff and parents that no schools will be affected in the upcoming 2019-2020 school year. 

There will be a fact finding process via a committee formed by district staff that must be implemented before any particular school will be chosen for closure. However, the process of considering school closures and studying the impact of operating small elementary schools on the budget will be launched this summer in anticipation of decisions for the following school year.

We understand this topic brings up many questions and concerns. Thus, we are launching direct communication forums with staff and families as soon as possible. We will hold an informational meeting on this topic on Monday, 6/17 at 6:00 pm at the district office in the Board Room at 2425 Jefferson Street. Given summer vacation schedules, we will be live streaming the meeting and archiving the video recording via the district’s YouTube channel in order ensure access to the meeting and the information shared. In this meeting, we will discuss the following:

  • the district’s overall financial condition
  • the impact of small schools on the budget, particularly with declining enrollment trends
  • the school closure committee process (referred to as the 7-11 advisory committee)
  • our proposed timeline for decision making
  • our plan for community engagement and how parents will be kept informed as the committee work unfolds; we plan to hold meetings at potentially impacted schools in the fall

We hope you can attend the meeting to receive first hand information regarding this complex issue. We look forward to answering your questions and responding to your concerns. 

Thank You,

Dr. Rosanna Mucetti
Napa Valley Unified School District