CUSD recently cancelled the remaining Yosemite trips this year for all eighth grade students. Hundreds of parents were in disbelief and angry about the way the decision was made and handled. Here’s what happened:
On March 6th, the District called a Special Board meeting for 4 pm on March 7th. The only item on the agenda found here was an Information-Only topic – “Eighth Grade Yosemite Trip.” It seemed odd that the District would call a Special Board meeting for a topic that required no action from the Board, yet a few weeks earlier several board members protested that there was no time to schedule a budget review before approving layoffs by March 15th. News about the special board meeting circulated, and 100+ parents attended to learn that the (40-year tradition) Yosemite program had been cancelled for all eighth grade classes. Here’s a video of the Board meeting on March 7th.
Also on March 7th, the District sent an email (found here) to eighth grade parents notifying them that the “District decided to cancel the Yosemite Program scheduled for Kennedy Middle School” and announcing a parent meeting on March 8th to “clarify details for all middle schools that were scheduled to attend in March.” Mercury News covered the story here.
Over 700 parents attended Wednesday’s meeting to hear about the District’s decision from the trip coordinator and Associate Superintendent Diane Elia. As quoted in a second Mercury News story found here, Ms. Elia said the trip was cancelled because “We don’t feel safe about those trees.” Across social media and in a barrage of letters to the District, parents were upset and in disbelief that the long-awaited Yosemite trip could be abruptly cancelled without community input or providing alternative solutions.
Superintendent Gudalewicz was unable to deliver the message to parents herself because she was attending an NCAA basketball game in Las Vegas. She did, however, tweet a selfie from the event to let everyone know how much fun she was having.