Tag Archives: CVCHS School Board

Contra Costa County Board of Education to add Clayton Valley Charter HS to their agenda at their next meeting


The leadership at CVCHS has caused many highly qualified teachers to leave. The following chart* depicts the extent of teacher turnover since the school went charter, and was presented at the Contra Costa County Board of Education (CCCBOE) on Wednesday night (9/21/16).  In addition to this presentation, several students also expressed how they have been negatively impacted. The CCCBOE plans to add Clayton Valley to their agenda next month.

*This only includes teachers, not support staff and administrators who have also experienced high turnover.




CVCHS Administration and Board have no interest in collaborating with concerned students or community members.


Contrary to their claims, the CV administration and Board really have no interest in collaborating with concerned students or community members. At the Board meeting ex-Board member Mike Fine set up, at his own expense, an anonymous suggestion website to help facilitate better communication between the school and the community. Less than 24 hours later, Mike Fine posted this:

Clayton Valley Charter High School Anonymous Suggestion Box

***** IMPORTANT NOTE: At 7:58am Thursday, September 15, 2016, after only five suggestions had been submitted via this site (four of which were serious, one of which was not), I received the following email from a support rep at Suggestion Ox: “We had a request from some folks at Clayton Valley Charter School not to receive emails via Suggestion Ox. To honor their request, we’ve removed those email addresses from the Additional Recipients section for your box.” Because of this, submissions will no longer go directly to the Executive Director, Principal, and Governing Board. Frankly, I find it appalling that someone at the school or on the Board actively decided to REJECT hearing from administrators, teachers, students and others. At this point, I personally will forward suggestions to these people and others as I see fit. *****

Neil McChesney Bills CVCHS For Consulting Work

Neil McChesney Resignation Letter 3-2-15

FINAL CVCHS Closeout Report-Conflicts of Interest

According to a declaration made by Neil McChesney in a letter addressed to CVCHS, “I left (CVCHS) on or about March 2, 2015 to pursue other interests, notably creation of a performing arts charter school”.  Mr. McChesney continued to receive monthly payments, totaling $9,600.00 from Clayton Valley Charter High School between April 1, 2015 and August 1, 2015 for “consulting work.”

What exactly is Mr. McChesney doing for Clayton Valley Charter High School, besides receiving money that could be spent on the students’ education?  Stakeholders for Transparency has requested a contract describing his duties, but have been told that the school needs extra time to “search for and collect” the requested information.

We are especially concerned because McChesney has been working to open the School of Performing Arts (SPA), and in the Contra Cost County Board of Education’s final report, “CVCHS provided the requested written confirmation that no funds were provided to the SPA Charter” and “provided the requested copy of its annual budget, showing no funds have or will be transferred from CVCHS to the SPA Charter.”  (Final CCCBOE Report, page 4 –   presented at the Jan. 13, 2016 Board Meeting).


CVCHS Speech Pathologist Laurie Arbour Letter re: the Board of Trustees and Director intent to reduce her hours to 40%

Arbour appeal to the Board

Members of the Board:

My name is Laurie Arbour and I would like to address the agenda item regarding the reduction of hours for my employment time at Clayton Valley Charter High School.   I am a founding member of the Charter.  I suppose at this juncture, it should be reason enough for Dave Linzey to want to eliminate me from his staff.  I do fully acknowledge that I have spent the past year pointing out the failings of our Executive Director and our Board which I hold fully responsible for the problems that we now have on our school site.  All that being said, I would like to tell my story and this is it.

I entered the profession of Speech Pathology some 16 years ago.  I began my practice at Stanford Medical Center and then determined that the commute from Concord to Stanford was too arduous when trying to raise two sons.  One of my sons has a learning disability.  I have devoted the past 16 years to working with students with disabilities.  Yet, I have never limited myself to just that population.  I will help any student who comes through my door.  And there have been many. Speech pathology is a huge field which serves everything from stroke victims to stuttering to reading issues to memory failure.   I have helped many students pass the High School Exit Exam, finish senior projects or just cope with communication in school.  I believe that this is the purpose of my profession and my practice.   I believe that just because you cannot speak does not mean that you don’t have something to say.

To that end, I played an integral part in writing the special education portion of the charter and working to build a program.  I am the person who was able to enlist the El Dorado County Charter SELPA to take us on as a teacher conversion charter- easily touted as the best SELPA in the state for Special Education Local Plan Agencies.   I am highly trained in special education law and the resulting paperwork.  For the Charter I am the Special Education Information Systems (SEIS) manager and take care of the reporting to both the SELPA and the State.   I take this job seriously and will tell you that we have a near perfect record.  Yes, there are a few errors because, as our own District, we inherit the paperwork from MDUSD or a student who comes from a private school who has not had a current IEP in many years.  When this record comes to us, it will show up as an error of “overdue.”  But these are to be expected and the resulting reports are easily explained and subsequently dismissed by the State.  And yes, there are a few Case managers who, for whatever reason cannot enlist the parent to come to a meeting on time, which will also show as an error.  None of these errors are the result of my job as the SEIS manager.  But I digress.

The most important part of this email stems from a reduction in my hours as a member of the Special Education Department.   I believe much of this Reduction in Force (RIF) is retaliation for my vocal dissent and a direct attack on the Special Education Department at Clayton Valley Charter High School.   Currently, the number of service hours on my speech pathology caseload adds to 2.56 days.  I am diligent about exiting students as the record will show.  I do not keep kids on my caseload so I will have a caseload.    We have approximately 25 students coming on with IEP’s.  Of those 25, we have no way of knowing how many have speech services as you cannot upload and assume the record until early August when their District releases them or when their parents show up with the paperwork.  It is a guess.  So, I have to wonder why Dave Linzey arbitrarily chose 40% because what I have now is 50% and we have unknown incoming freshmen.    I have spent the rest of my full time employment as SEIS manager, Compliance Liason with CAL PADS, Medi-Cal Program and LEA billing, Severely Handicapped Program advocate, Testing Coordinator and Proctor for Materials and Accommodations per IEP and Transportation Coordinator.    I cannot emphasize enough that the work that I do on any given day blankets the campus and contributes to the overall success of the special education program.  I am the girl Friday who assists the school psychologist, the counselor or the student services employee who just has a kid show up who is in distress or needs help.  I am the person who runs to a classroom if there is a special education student who is having a problem.  I am one of the front line staff they call if there is an autistic child or handicapped child who needs extra help.   I am the person they call to help with transportation, the need for an interpreter or some other issue. I am the person who helps that Athlete pass a course so they can play sports.  I am exactly what the Charter envisioned.  And yes, I am sure that even with the shortage of speech pathologists running around, Dave Linzey can find a contract agency to send him a speech path who will just deliver speech therapy, but they will not do what I do.     This RIF is a direct retaliation for my voice at public meetings which this Board and Dave Linzey have more than earned.

So, I am appealing to you because I believe that the Board’s decisions are ultimately responsible for the success of the Charter.  If the Charter fails, it is because the Board has failed.  Historically, this Board has done exactly Dave’s bidding without question or research (you can always call the SELPA to get more information) and that is why we are in the present predicament.  I am an integral part of the Special Education Program and as a Charter you should know that if this program fails, the Charter can be revoked.  So, if you do nothing else, share the concern of this email and be the voice of conversation.  That is all any of us have ever asked for and that is why people have been vocal- because we wanted to be heard.   I will say to you again,  my unique ability to cross the “job description” line and get the job done for all students,  regardless of their station in life, is the embodiment of what we thought this charter could be.

Respectfully submitted,

Laurie C. Arbour

A letter from CV’s most recent staff resignation

Jennifer Ferrari Letter

“A letter from CV’s most recent staff resignation”

I worked for the MDUSD for 20+years. 4 years ago, I started working at Clayton Valley knowing the school was trying to go Charter. It was a very exciting time. It was also scary leaving a place I’ve known for so long but I took a leap of faith and went with the Charter.

Things changed for me once the office staff was reorganized. We were being micro managed and a once happy staff working together was now divided and unhappy. I’m not going to speak about Mr. Linzey, although I could. Working outside his office I have seen and heard a lot. I work in a TOXIC work environment. I felt I was harassed and bullied out of that school. My co-work/member of our Board posted on Facebook, “if you don’t like it then leave”. I can tell you it was very hard for me to make this decision to leave CVCHS. I kept hoping things would get better. Unfortunately, for me it only got worse. Working in the front office where it was known I was on the side of the teachers, the students and wasn’t going to give in, was painful to go to work. I felt I was being harassed. I didn’t know when the next time I would get written up or accused of doing something wrong. There were a lot of anonymous things being reported about me. A he said/ she said with no names. I felt I had to watch what I did all day long. I had to keep a log of what and when I was doing things. I had anxiety of what I was going to get accused of next. To keep my sanity and health I had to leave.

It angers me and saddens me that people on the “I support Clayton valley charter” page and other community members don’t believe us… The staff that work there. (I was even blocked from their page.) We know what kind of environment it is. WE ARE LEAVING. It shouldn’t be if you don’t like it leave. It shouldn’t be teachers are a dime a dozen. It shouldn’t be a handful of disgruntled employees or this is all because of Pat Middendorf. People commenting on these sites don’t even attend the board meetings. Although at this point, I don’t know if it matters. The 15 members from the I support Clayton Valley Charter page come to the last 2 board meetings and they don’t listen or see what’s going on. They are blinded by Mr. Linzey. They are not listening to the teachers who signed the no vote in confidence against Mr. Linzey. They are not listening to the almost 600 people who signed the petition asking Mr. Linzey to resign.

It’s unbelievable to me what goes on at the board meetings. I don’t understand why they won’t do the right thing. How do they fire Matthew Rosso before Thanksgiving in a special election in which was put together so quietly over break most couldn’t attend, how are the elections mishandled, how the F was Bud Beemer not seated on the board. And now it’s all the Board Members against Amber Lineweaver. WE THE STAFF SHOULD HAVE A VOICE. WE THE COMMUNITY AS PARENTS SHOULD HAVE A VOICE.

I welcome the CCCOE and DA. It’s too late for me and the ones that have already left. Not sure how long others can hold out in this unhealthy work environment. I feel bad for the kids who lose their teacher mid-year but as a parent, could you imagine your child growing up and working in this environment? Surely you can listen to the teachers and staff who are imploring everyone to do the right thing. I can tell you working in the education field for 24 years, it is NOT normal for this many teachers and staff to leave mid-year…

The next Board meeting is March 11. I hope to see you there.

# savecvchs .

Jennifer Ferrari
February 15, 2015

Allison Wintery: I’m so sorry Jenn. CVCHS’ loss is MDUSD’s gain. #SaveCVCHS indeed.
15 February at 13:25 · Like · 3

Maria Bekakis: Thank you Jenn for stating correct facts. I am truly sorry you are leaving.
15 February at 13:31 · Like · 3

Kristi Ramey Buchholz: So thankful for your words here Jenn, we will miss you so much!!!!!
15 February at 13:44 · Like · 2

Shannon Brandt: Thanks for posting Jenn. The “I support” page blocking employees of the school like yourself says all you need to know about that page.
15 February at 13:59 · Like · 5

Karley Bohner: I’m so sorry.
15 February at 14:04 · Like · 1

Sharon Garcia Degener: Jenn, thank you. I hope that your honesty and perspective will help open up our community’s eyes. You will be missed.
15 February at 14:36 · Like · 4

Jaime Jimno-Lynch: Such a bummer! I will miss knowing you are working where my kiddos go to school. Good luck on your new adventure!
15 February at 14:40 · Like · 1

Becky Feeney Heindel: Sorry you had to leave a job that you once loved and hoped to stay at for a long time. Welcome back to MDUSD where you won’t get bullied and written up every day!
15 February at 15:09 · Like · 5

Amber Lineweaver: Love you Jenn.
15 February at 15:43 · Like · 4

Lisa Hamilton: Sorry you’ve had to go through all this Jenn. 
15 February at 17:11 · Like · 1

Pat Middendorf: So sorry Jenn. I really hate this!
15 February at 18:43 · Like · 3

Michele Neys Hill: Thank you Jenn for stating the facts. I can’t understand why some people don’t believe what’s going on. Good luck at your new job, I know you will be loved and appreciated there.
15 February at 19:21 · Like · 5

Maggie Wise: Wow, wow, wow!
15 February at 19:23 · Like

Jeanne Klenow Costello: I admire your courage to speak about your experience. No one should have to go through that. We’ll miss you!!!
15 February at 19:34 · Like · 3

Cheryl Schaefer: BRAVO, brave friend!
15 February at 22:36 · Like

Debra Elizabeth Gonsalves: Spoken like a true soldier!! You did the right thing. Best of luck. We DO believe you.
22 hrs · Like · 1

Susan Oksenendler: Jenn, you will be missed! I always enjoyed working with you.
2 hrs · Like

Clayton Valley Charter High Under Investigation

Clayton Valley Charter High Under Investigation

Clayton Valley Charter High under investigation

By Theresa Harrington tharrington@bayareanewsgroup


CONCORD — The Contra Costa County district attorney and the County Office of Education are investigating allegations that the Clayton Valley Charter High school board violated the state’s open meeting law.

In a December 22 letter to the chairman of the charter school’s governing board, District Attorney Mark Peterson revealed that he was investigating complaints related to potential violations of the Brown Act, or open meeting law, by the board of trustees.

The district attorney asked how the board disclosed to the public what it planned to discuss at meetings; and how particular discussions were handled by the board, including an investigation of two board members that allegedly led one to resign, a meeting regarding the extension of the executive director’s contract, and a closed session regarding an employee’s termination.

Steve Moawad, senior deputy district attorney, confirmed in an email that his office sent the Brown Act inquiry.

“The school has provided a response which my office is evaluating,” he said. “I cannot discuss the inquiry in further detail.”

Also, Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Karen Sakata sent a letter last week to David Linzey, executive director of Clayton Valley High, seeking public records related to 13 areas of the school and board’s operations. These included board agendas and minutes, complaint procedures, investigative reports, settlement agreements, employment agreements, vendor contracts, board member documents, government agency filings, and conflict of interest statements from the school staff and board. Sakata said Monday that her office, which authorizes the school’s charter, has asked legal counsel from Dannis Woliver Kelly to investigate more than two dozen complaints received over the past few months.

“We’re waiting to see the results of the investigation and we’ll act upon it depending on what the recommendation is,” she said. “There might be suggestions for corrections so they can improve their process. But at this point, it’s too early to know.”

Linzey said Monday that the school’s “attorneys assure us that we haven’t done anything inappropriate.”

Ted Meriam, chairman of Clayton Valley’s governing board, said the school was cooperating with both agencies and that it complied with the Brown Act.

The letters come on the heels of a Change.org petition posted by a group calling itself Stakeholders for Transparency, which has gathered more than 500 supporters seeking Linzey’s ouster. In addition, some members of the school’s faculty have voted no confidence in Linzey.

“I believe what is happening at Clayton Valley has escalated into an investigation-worthy situation because the governing board and Dave Linzey refuse to listen to teachers, parents, students and community members,” teacher board representative Amber Lineweaver said in an e-mail. “Our charter was created and written in such a way as to avoid unilateral decision-making and top-down management. The investigation gives me hope that a resolution is in sight.”

But Meriam said the board stands behind Linzey’s leadership and has extended his contract for three years. He alleged that the stakeholder’s group has exaggerated issues at the school.

“I see this more as a public relations concern than a governance concern,” he said. “There are wonderful things we’re doing on a daily basis for our students.”

To improve communications, Meriam said Linzey and his administrators have begun meeting with teachers during “lunch and learn” discussions. The school has also created a Charting the Future for our Children Facebook page providing opportunities for questions and answers, he said.

MORE INFORMATION: Copies of the letters from the district attorney and county superintendent are available at www.contracostatimes.com/education.
Information regarding the “Stakeholders for Transparency” group is available atwww.facebook.com/CVCHSStakeholders.
The Clayton Valley Charter High governing board will meet at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the school’s multiuse room at 1101 Alberta Way, Concord. More information is at www.claytonvalley.org. Click on Governance, then select Agendas and Minutes, then 2015, then Feb. 11.

CVCHS Legal Expenses Increase Over 70% from 2012-13; Expenses Increase over 75% in 6 Month Period 2014-15

Through a Public Records Act request to Clayton Valley Charter HS, we have obtained invoices for services rendered by Middleton, Young and Minney, LLP, legal counsel to Clayton Valley Charter High School.

Attached are invoices from 7/2/2012 through 1/5/15.  Also attached is a summary of all charges by school fiscal year.
Legal Fees from 7/2/12 to 6/4/13:      $85,686.34  (11 month period)
Legal Fees from 7/01/13 to 6/2/14:    $141,081.47 (11 month period)
Legal Fees from 7/02/14 to 1/05/15:  $252,332.66 (6 month period)
There appears to be a significant increase in billings in the 7/02/14 – 1/05/15 period in comparison to the two previous years.
In addition, the invoices do not reflect detail, only billing summaries.
 Invoices from July 2012 through June 2013_Page_01 Invoices from July 2012 through June 2013_Page_02 Invoices from July 2012 through June 2013_Page_03 Invoices from July 2012 through June 2013_Page_04 Invoices from July 2012 through June 2013_Page_05 Invoices from July 2012 through June 2013_Page_06 Invoices from July 2012 through June 2013_Page_07 Invoices from July 2012 through June 2013_Page_08 Invoices from July 2012 through June 2013_Page_09 Invoices from July 2012 through June 2013_Page_10 Invoices from July 2012 through June 2013_Page_11 Invoices from July 2012 through June 2013_Page_12 Summary of Invoices 2013-2014

CVCHS Board Looks To Seat Richard Asadoorian for Retired Teacher Governing Board Post

Apparently the CVCHS Board wants Asadoorian on their Board, even though he was clearly unprofessional and aggressive while on the Contra Costa Board of Education Board. Who confronts the legendary Mr Ovick? He’s an icon, especially in special education.

Further, after the CV Director angrily confronted a CVCHS Parent at the Thanksgiving-Eve meeting (when they fired Matt Rosso?), do we really need another bully who has so little education and social skills?


Office Of The District Attorney – Contra Costa County Investigates Possible Brown Act Violations at CVCHS

Clayton Valley Charter High School is IMPLODING!

  • The Contra Costa County District Attorney is Investigating Executive Director David Linzey and the CVCHS Executive Governing Board.
  • Teachers and staff are leaving with students being taught by substitutes and un-credentialed teachers.
  • And to make matters WORSE the Contra Costa County Board of Education has become so ALARMED they are conducting their own investigation.

Letter From CCC District Attorney to CVCHS Jan 2015 Continue reading

NCS Denies Request For Reduced Probation. An Appeal Was Never Filed By CVCHS.

Clayton Valley Charter High School – probation response 1-8-14 Edited

January 9, 2015

David Linzey, Executive Director
Clayton Valley Charter High School
1101 Alberta Way
Clayton Valley, CA 94530

RE: Request by Clayton Valley Charter High School to reduce the October 29, 2014 penalty of a two-year probation to one year.

Dear Mr. Linzey, Continue reading