Monday, October 29, 2012

Election Support


As you know the election is coming close upon us.  Please remember to get out the word that we are recommending Yes on Prop. 30 and No on Prop. 32!  We also would like to support Liz Phillips during this last week of campaigning.  We have 2 events that OEA needs your help with:

1.  On Saturday (Nov. 3) and Sunday (Nov. 4) we working to get teams of 4 to stand and hold a Liz Phillips sign on the corners of Clark and Bradley.  We would like to run 1 hour shifts starting at 9 am.  Please let your OEA Site Rep. know if you are willing to give an hour of your time to support Liz Phillips.

2.  On Monday, November 5th we will be passing our flyers again after school.  Please note that you cannot be in the parking lot or on campus.  Your OEA Site Rep. will have all flyers and signs to use for this event.

Please let your site rep. know how you can help or you can always contact me for details.  I thank you in advance for all your support!


Thursday, October 18, 2012

OUSD Board Votes for Exclusive High School

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free

So the poem goes. Or in education parlance, give me your sub-groups, your minorities, your socioeconomically disadvantaged.  This was the spirit of Orcutt Academy at its conception; if you believed and had the will, you were welcome.  That’s been the narrative for the past five years—largely a true one—until now. The Orcutt school board’s recent decision to exclude outlying communities from its high school has demonstrated the board’s disregard for those who put their faith in OAHS, believed in its promise, and built it into the success we see today.   

Orcutt Union School District is a K-8 district.  They wanted a high school of their own, but the challenges of building a high school exclusively for Orcutt residents were nearly insurmountable.  A solution presented itself in the form of a dependent charter high school.  Dependent, because OUSD wanted to control it; charter, because they needed students from beyond the Orcutt boundary to attend it.  But it was a risk.  It required the bravery and bold faith of a small group of visionaries who would walk away from St. Joe’s, Righetti, Santa Maria, and other local high schools and take a chance on OAHS.  The Orcutt community alone did not have so many brave souls. Thankfully, since anyone in California could attend, enrollment was achieved by relying on the courage of families from Santa Maria, Guadalupe, Los Alamos, Lompoc, and Vandenberg.  Like America itself, the bond that held OAHS together was ideology, not race, religion, or region.  And it flourished.  In fact, it did so well, that those who once lacked conviction were given the courage to send their kids to OAHS based on its growing reputation and continued success.  Whereas in the beginning filling seats was difficult, today it is necessary to hold a lottery for enrollment.  Or, rather, it was until the school board decided to abandon those outlying communities—those sub-groups—who not only gave the school its diversity and fulfilled its promise, but who helped to build it in the first place.  Once they were used for their purpose, they were discarded.  They will have to return to yearning to be free because four board members decided OAHS is no longer for them.

The Orcutt Academy’s mission statement includes the promotion of “intercultural understanding” and its Single School Plan reminds us that “because the charter accommodates students who live outside of the Orcutt community, the school enjoys a greater ethnic diversity than that of the community of Orcutt.”  While the school may enjoy its ethnic diversity, not all board members do.  As one of them said publicly at the last board meeting, “People live in a community to either have diversity or to not have diversity, that’s why they live there.”  Sadly, in a modern example of taxation without representation, the communities who are affected by this decision have no recourse; they don’t vote in Orcutt elections.  The wall of the board room where this vote took place announces that in Orcutt “kids come first.”  If some members of the board would rather protect votes than kids, then I suggest they revise that statement.  In the board room, maybe votes come first, but in the classroom, kids still do.  As teachers at Orcutt Academy, it is our responsibility to protect our kids and our school, and that means representing the communities from which they come, and representing those who have no voice.  It means putting our kids first.  All of our kids.

Orcutt Academy High School Teachers:  Scott Gelotti, Vickie Gill, Ricardo Gabaldon , Patti Garcia, Jenny Hubbard, and Jan Brown.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

OEA Needs Your Help

YES on 30, NO on 32, LIZ PHILLIPS for OUSD School Board
  1. Thursday, October 18th your Site Rep. will have flyers to pass out afterschool across the street. 
  2. Saturday, October 20th Precinct Walking (LUNCH PROVIDED) 11:00-4:00 PM.  Please meet at the CTA office (2325 Skyway Dr. Suite A).  Please email or call Monique L. Segura   ( so she can make sure there is enough food for all participants.
  3. Monday, November 5th your Site Rep. will have flyers to pass out after school across the street.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Pre-Election Festival

Just in case you need one more reason to come out and walk precincts, the North County Coalition is hosting a “Pre-election festival” on Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. (see link below). There will be speakers on 32 and 30, a raffle, food and a bounce house for the kids.

Click here for the flyer with more information.