By Mary O’KEEFE
Dr. John Garcia, deputy superintendent for Glendale Unified School District, presented information concerning the possible lunch closure of the Crescenta Valley High School campus to the school board at their Nov. 15 meeting.
Garcia gave a timeline that will lead to the board’s decision on whether to keep the open campus lunch policy or to close it. The discussion began in mid-September. Garcia has also spoken at PTSA and Crescenta Valley Town Council meetings.
On Nov. 29, Garcia will be at the Fire House youth center to discuss the issue with students. Both high school and middle school students are invited to come to the Fire House, questions in mind, for a youth discussion of the closure.
“This will be a student-only discussion. Adults can attend, however, the meeting’s focus is to give an opportunity to the students to speak on the issue,” said Jacob Magana, member of the Fire House discussion committee.
Garcia will begin the discussion at 7:30 p.m. The Fire House is at 2563 Foothill Blvd. in La Crescenta and is normally open for high school students on Tuesdays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and for Rosemont Middle School students from 7:15 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. on Thursdays. The Fire House is a community-supported center.
In early December, Garcia will speak with staff at CVHS and on Dec. 8 at 6 p.m. there will be a community forum to discuss the issue of campus lunch closure. The meeting is open to the community and will be held at the MacDonald Auditorium, 4400 Ramsdell.
In mid-September, Garcia began sharing data concerning unverified absences directly after fifth period, as opposed to a total of first-through-fourth period unverified absences.
According to the statistics presented by Garcia, in the 2010-11 school year there were 37.26 unverified absences in fifth period, compared to 18.61 in combined unverified absences in periods one through four.
The district cited safety concerns as their motivation for closing the campus at lunch. Vehicle accidents, speeding tickets and drug arrests that occur during the lunch break are a mounting concern for the administration.
Parents spoke at the Nov. 15 meeting in favor of leaving the campus open, explaining that it was a small amount of students that were tardy compared to the almost 3,000 students on campus.
One parent pointed out that if her daughter was putting herself at risk during lunch, she is probably doing the same at other times of the day as well.