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Kids Deserve Adequate School Facilities

Kids Deserve

School funding in California depends on both state funding and local tax dollars. State funding can only be used for operational expenses like teacher salaries, supplies, and other materials directly related to student instruction. For facilities maintenance and construction, schools depend on local tax dollars.

In 2016, Kelseyville voters passed Measure U by a significant margin, allowing us to make essential upgrades and repairs to our schools. We kept the community informed of our progress along the way, so people knew we respected and appreciated their support. Thanks to sensible planning from our school board and careful execution from our staff and community partners, we were able to complete projects at every single school, even in the midst of a pandemic. 

Some of the highlights included a new multi-use room (MUR) at Kelseyville Elementary that now serves as both a cafeteria and a gymnasium. Before we had a MUR, kids didn’t have a covered space where they could eat lunch. At Riviera Elementary, we upgraded the parking lot to make it safer and enhance the flow of traffic. At Mountain Vista Middle School, we renovated classrooms and bathrooms and added shade covers over ADA-compliant walkways. At Kelseyville High School, we built a state-of-the-art shop building and installed air conditioning in the gym.

These enhancements continue to make a big difference for our students. However, our work isn’t finished. Due to increased enrollment and the normal wear and tear of so many students on our campuses, we need to invest in our schools again. This should be the last time we request a bond measure for many years.

To figure out exactly what we needed, we hired a company to objectively assess our school campuses. Here’s what they said:

Original and historic buildings throughout the district are especially in urgent need of modernizing in order to meet current safety and accessibility standards, as well as access to the digital education tools necessary for our 21st century learning environment…Given increasing construction, maintenance, and utility costs, as well as the need for facilities to serve as an important community resource for emergency shelter in extreme weather and disaster events, this Needs Assessment focuses on safety, accessibility, durability, and cost containment/mitigation.

Right now, Kelseyville Elementary is bursting at the seams. For the 2023-24 school year, we had to deny requests from several families who wanted to transfer in, and still, we are at 600 students (which is significantly beyond the population the school was built for). With Measure Q funding, we would be able to update and build more classrooms, modernize the playground, replace non-operable windows, repair and repaint walls, and more.

At Riviera Elementary, we are also planning for a future with more students. This creates the need for more classrooms, an updated HVAC (heating and air conditioning) system, and replacing floors, cabinets, and data infrastructure.

At Mountain Vista Middle School, we’re planning on more classrooms, an upgrade to the irrigation system, replacing and repainting damaged walls and ceiling tiles, and more. I was principal at MVMS when the last round of updates occurred. After that, the new classrooms and bathrooms were never hit by vandals, only older parts of the campus. Students took pride in the parts of their school that were in good repair.

At Kelseyville High School, the pipe that carries sewage is half as big as it should be. This results in back-ups and problems that none of us wants to think about, but that our janitors and maintenance folks cannot avoid. Roofs and exterior siding are in need of phased replacement, and the remaining portable buildings on campus are more than 30 years old, which is far past their expiration date.

The point is, we are not asking for fancy upgrades. We are asking for essential maintenance and additional space to meet our growing student population. A new apartment building is under construction in the Kelseyville Elementary area, which will only increase our need for more room.

We're happy to welcome more families to our Kelseyville community, but we need enough funding to provide adequate school facilities. Kelseyville Unified is proud of our good reputation, and we are dedicated to maintaining it.

We know that when a school district has a good reputation, it's easier for businesses to recruit employees to the area. There’s a lot of research that says well-maintained schools contribute to a positive campus culture, which increases student attendance and therefore, performance. Also, great facilities attract great teachers and we are competing for staff because of the nationwide teacher shortage.

The bottom line is that our kids deserve a safe and comfortable place to learn. They need classrooms where air conditioning works in the summer and heaters work in the winter, allowing them to concentrate on their studies rather than the temperature. They need doors and windows that seal properly, furniture that isn’t broken, and walls where the paint isn’t peeling off. They need brightly lit classrooms and safe playground equipment.

Investing in schools is about the biggest bang for your buck you can hope for. These students are our future doctors, lawyers, teachers, and law enforcement officers. They will be taking care of us eventually. Let’s take care of them now.

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May 20

Early Dismissal Monday

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May 20

State Testing

Start: May 20, 2024 End: May 31, 2024

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May 21

Regular Board Meeting

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