A View from Sierra County

Small town life and politics, lots of knitting, and travels with and without my five burros

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Location: In the Sierra Nevadas, United States

I blog about rural living and social issues, and the creativity that comes from knitting, as well as post random pictures of the Sierras and my burros. "In order to be an artist, one must be deeply rooted in the society" - Simone de Beauvoir


Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Decision to close Pliocene

My friends and family have been following the fight that students, staff, families and community of Pliocene Ridge have been mounting to keep the school open. There have been lots of meetings, and the last SPJUSD School Board meeting, in Downieville in December saw a big percentage of Ridge supporters in attendance and arguing against closure. We were able to get the School Board to postpone the decision till January and allow the Reconfiguration Committee to meet once more.

That meeting was held on Monday evening, and after two hours of discussion, some pretty heated, the committee agreed to recommend keeping the K-5 program open. This would allow the school to grow again, once there is a bigger population. I was grateful to hear District Superintendent Mike Fillipini acknowledge that information I and others had provided about the differences in home sales, commutable distance to Nevada City, etc. had influenced him to consider it important to keep a school open, even in a reduced configuration.

The School Board met last night in Loyalton, after some of the worst winter weather in recent years. Some of us were able to participate at Pliocene Ridge by teleconference. That was a rather stressful way to participate, straining to hear, trying to get the Chairman's attention if you wanted to speak, being unable to see what was going on at the other end, but it was far better than driving 70 miles on treacherous mountain roads.

In the end, the Board members who were not on the Reconfiguration Committee agreed to accept the concensus of the Committee to vote for the K-5 program next year. I was relieved to see people be able to listen and compromise, but it does mean that now I know for certain that I will have to look for another job. I would still be able to work at Downieville High part-time, but would no longer be eligible to get health benefits, which is really the deeper cut to our daily lives. Time to get creative and figure out what the next thing is.....


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