Support for Rainier

In this newsletter, you will find:
Context for the decision to close Rainier 
Support requested for the Rainier community
Schedule of upcoming board meetings

Context for the decision to close Rainier

If you want more information about the decision to close Summit Rainier, here are a few sources of additional context:
Mercury News coverage
San Jose Spotlight coverage
Summit News (student-led journalism – this piece features video footage of the school assembly at which SPS leadership announced the upcoming closure, as well as links to additional articles)

Support requested for Rainier community

We are continuing to advocate for the needs of the Rainier students, teachers, and other community members who have been affected by Summit’s decision to close their school. Specifically, we are advocating for the following:

  • Current students of Rainier should be guaranteed a place at Summit Tahoma with best efforts put forth to maintain mentor groups. This would require changing the enrollment cap at Tahoma. 
  • Transportation should be provided for students for the remaining three years of their time at Summit.
  • Guaranteed right to employment at Summit for next year for all Rainier teachers and staff, or right to refusal for open positions at Tahoma.
  • All Tahoma and Rainier staff, including operations, teachers, and school leaders, should be included in the development of the “consolidation process” and plan in order to have input on the future of these students.
  • All remaining money in Rainier’s budget should be allocated to Tahoma and used to respond to the needs listed above.

Survey data to support the Rainier demands:

Rainier teachers put together surveys for parents and students in order to  best support them with their transition plans. Below are the results of overall data: 

Student Survey DataParent Survey Data
Of 9-11th grade students who responded (209):46.7% would consider Tahoma a first choice in terms of schools to transfer to. 
The survey also asked if Tahoma would be a first transfer choice if certain conditions were met:
62.9% would transfer if their mentor group was kept together 
66% would transfer if their mentor/Rainier staff was a mentor next year 
64.5% would transfer if a teacher from Rainier is on campus
72.1% would transfer if transportation was provided
Of parents of 9-11th grade students who responded (68)58.8% would consider Tahoma a first choice in terms of schools to transfer to. 
The survey also asked if Tahoma would be a first transfer choice for their family if certain conditions were met:
66.2% would transfer if their mentor group was kept together 
72.1% would transfer if their mentor/Rainier staff was a mentor next year 
76.5% would transfer if a teacher from Rainier is on campus
82.4% would transfer if transportation was provided

Currently, Anson Jackson has stated that transportation will not be provided for Rainier students. Current funds in Rainier’s reserve will be allocated towards building out Tahoma’s campus. Summit has not petitioned with Santa Clara County to increase the enrollment cap of 405 at Tahoma. 

Unite Summit reached out to our CEO to request to bargain over the closure of Rainier. In response to a request to bargain over these issues, our CEO sent the following: 

Dear Unite Summit,
Summit has received Unite Summit’s request to “bargain over the impact of Rainier’s closure”.  Please be advised that the Summit Public Schools Board has not yet taken an official action in accordance with the California Code of Regulations to close Rainier. Given that your request concerns a proposed decision, I understand there is no duty to bargain at this time.  Additionally, I must point out that the decision of whether to close a school site is within Summit’s sole discretion.
Thank you,
Diane

Our response is listed below; we are still awaiting a reply:

Even if Summit’s publicly announced decision to close Rainier could truly be called a mere proposal, it is not relevant to Summit’s obligation to bargain over the effects of the closure.  An employer must provide the exclusive representative with notice and an opportunity to bargain any reasonably foreseeable effects of a non-negotiable decision before implementing that decision.  Cal. State Univ. (2012) PERB Dec. No. 2287-H.
Please let us know no later than December 11, 2019 when Summit is available to meet for negotiations.

Summit leadership has clearly already made the decision to close Rainier; the closure has been announced publicly and authorizers have been notified. While it is true that the Summit Board hasn’t taken official action to close Rainier (which is a violation of both Rainier’s charter petition and California’s open meetings laws), to say that this is merely a proposed decision is disingenuous. The Rainier community deserves the opportunity to negotiate the smoothest transition possible. 

Schedule of upcoming board meetings

Below is information about when the relevant authorizers are meeting, as many elements of this decision have not yet been finalized and require further votes. Please contact your site union reps if you’d like to join us at these meetings. 

*The SPS Board of Directors are scheduled to have their next public meeting on Dec. 12 from 1p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Home Office in Redwood City. 

*The East Side Union High School District is scheduled to have their board meeting on Dec. 12 at 4 p.m (there is also public comment at 6:30pm) at the district office (830 N. Capitol Avenue San Jose, CA 95133).  ESUHSD controls the facilities use agreement between the district, Rainier, Tahoma, and KIPP. 

*The Santa Clara County Office of Education is having their next board meeting on Dec. 11 at 5 p.m. (there is also public comment at 7pm) at their offices (1290 Ridder Park Dr., San Jose). SCCOE controls the charter authorization for Tahoma, which includes Tahoma’s enrollment cap. 

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close