Information regarding the closure of Summit Rainier.
On February 14, 2020, Unite Summit and Summit came to an agreement about the impact of the closure of Rainier on teachers. You can read the full agreement here.
The agreement does the following:
- All Rainier teachers will have health insurance through the end of July 2020.
- All Rainier teachers who applied for transfer to other Summit schools will automatically be offered a position for which they have a credential if one becomes open at a school they listed for transfer (unless they have a documented professional conduct concern).
- If a Rainier teacher declines the first position offered to them, they will not automatically receive another offer, if one becomes available. For example, if a teacher indicated they were willing to transfer to Tahoma or Shasta, but then declined a job offer from Shasta, they would not then automatically be offered a position at Tahoma if one opened up.
While Summit has agreed to provide free public transportation to all Rainier students who transfer to other Summit schools for the remainder of their time with Summit, we do not believe that is sufficient for our community. We will continue to fight for a private bus between the Mt. Pleasant campus and Tahoma.
Decision to Close Rainier
On February 5, 2020, we filed a complaint with the Santa Clara County Board of Education, which included evidence that leads us to believe that Summit’s Board did not follow the Brown Act in its decision to close Rainier. You can read the full complaint here.
Following a public records request, we have documentation that deliberate decisions were made to keep discussions of Rainier’s impending closure off public board agendas and to avoid informing the Rainier community of the ongoing discussions related to San Jose facilities.
From the complaint:
After ESUHSD Superintendent Chris Funk sent an email to Summit CEO Diane Tavenner asking if real estate negotiations should be disclosed on the September 12, 2019 ESUHSD Board agenda, Tavenner wrote in an August 20 email to executives from Summit and KIPP:
“My instinct is that we want to start discussions in September and that we do not want to make a formal request of the [ESUHSD] board (this would be a very bad strategy for managing the Summit community).”
Josh Lotstein, COO of Summit, responded to Tavenner:
“My instinct is similar and my wondering if whether a memo to the board is public. If it is, I think that would be very bad for the same reason a formal request would be unless we had a strategy for engaging the Rainier community between now and September 12. I don’t think we would want them to find out about this from a ESUHSD board meeting. If we think starting in September is best for the success of the swap and this will be public at the September board meeting, then I think we would want to prepare the Rainier community accordingly…”
This apparently deliberate decision to keep the Rainier community in the dark about the closure of their school in an effort to “manage” them shows a lack of respect for the law and for an important part of our Summit community. We want to ensure increased transparency for future board discussions on all important issues that affect our students, families, and teachers.