Tag Archives: Diane Bailey

Did Dave Linzey receive CVCHS Board approval for financial assistance to fund his new charter?

The CVCHS Board is governed by the state open meeting laws, meaning any decisions have to be discussed and voted on in open public meetings.

Why has the Board not discussed the financial assistance for David Linzey’s new charter in an open board meeting?

cvchs-funding

And why is it not on the agenda for this Wednesday’s meeting seeing as the charter petition is being presented to the county on October 19?

See the agenda here:

cvchs-board-agenda-10-12-16

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

https://www.suggestionox.com/r/cvchs

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. *****

9/14/16 CVCHS Governing Board Meeting Narrative

Clayton Valley Charter High School
September 14, 2016
Governing Board Meeting Narrative

The CVCHS board meeting started shortly after 6:00pm. The audience appeared to be made up of 150+ unhappy students, teachers, parents, and community members. There also appeared to be several happy Executive Director Linzey supporters in the front row. The meeting began with Chairperson Ted Meriam giving the audience instructions on proper behavior at a board meeting. He then called on members of the audience who had filled out a speaking card to come up and speak for their exact allotted speaking time of either 2 or 3 minutes. There were over a dozen speakers with all but one expressing their concerns about the executive director, the school board, the flight of teachers and staff, and the unexplained budget.

While memorializing the teachers that had touched their lives so profoundly, teachers who had each in turn fled the charter, the emotionally charged students begged the board members to listen to them. It appeared as though the entire leadership class of the school was in attendance. One after another they went to the speaking podium and poured out their feelings of frustration at the disappearance of their teachers, their counselors, and the staff that supported and mentored them. Some of those students were not only saddened by loss, but were also angry that nothing was being done to stop the landslide of disappearing staff. Another teacher had resigned that week, following dozens before her. Each student was loudly cheered by the audience for their heartfelt speeches, and as the room became more on edge, one very brave student stood up and with an air of confidence and resolve called on the board to wake up and solve the problem. Over and over again she pointed out that the problems at the school lead back to the executive director. She then looked at Executive Director Dave Linzey and asked him to resign. Of course the room erupted in cheers. The audience was with her.

One notable speaker pointed out the strange shifting of money in the budget from last year and the 11 million dollar surplus that could be used for students, but it appeared that it was being stockpiled for some unknown future use. Another speaker also pointed to the lack of detail in the budget and stated that she has tried numerous times to request explanations from the administration. This person is a respected, hard working elected board member of the Athletic Booster Board and was recently asked to resign by the athletic director, noting her unwelcome inquiries and negative comments about the administration. He told her if she didn’t resign the athletic booster club would be effectively shut down and kept from operating on campus.

After the students finished their impassioned speeches, but before any agenda “business” began, the executive director showed how much he cared by condescendingly giving the students “permission” to leave the meeting to go do their homework. The students looked around incredulously and stayed in their seats.

The board chair then gave a lengthy speech about how the Board has no say in, and cannot address personnel issues. He left out, however, the fact the Board does in fact have one personnel responsibility—to oversee, hire, and fire the Executive Director.

The board continued and as usual there were no comments about anything, no questions to the executive director, no promise to look into the issues, no questioning of the budget that no one in the room appeared to have a copy of. The board gave the appearance of puppets on a string bobbing their heads yes to everything the executive director proposed. There was no discussion of any item and no board business conducted at any time. A seemingly endless list of new hires was announced, some very obviously causing a controversy afterwards. Not one of the new staff, not even the new administrators were at the meeting to be introduced. Mr. Linzey stated that he would be visiting the leadership class the next day. The meeting was adjourned by 7:30pm.

Many people milled around talking after the meeting was over. A board member came down and chastised the students for their behavior. Another staff member from the school did the same. The parents also seemed incredulous that not even a single word was uttered by board members that gave them any indication that they recognized the problem and they would look into it. Parents wondered what they could do next. What can they do? This is a charter run by one person with no apparent oversight by anyone. One group already tried and where are they now? Retaliation is an often repeated word. Speaking up can have life time consequences. Good luck to the amazing students who spoke at the meeting and to all the students and parents who came to support them. Hopefully they will find the answer.

 

A Tale of Two Clayton Valley High Schools. What a difference a charter school makes!

A Tale of Two Charter Schools - Clayton Valley Charter High School -Then and NowA Tale of Two Charter Schools – Clayton Valley Charter High School -Then and Now

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).

 

Barnidge: Discontent turns to investigations at Clayton Valley Charter High

http://www.contracostatimes.com/barnidge/ci_27507638/barnidge-discontent-turns-investigations-at-clayton-valley-charter

If you subscribe to the notion that smoke is a telltale sign of fire, things must be getting uncomfortably warm for the leadership at Clayton Valley Charter High School, where cinders are floating in the air.

The Contra Costa District Attorney is investigating the school’s governing body for possible Brown Act violations — secret meetings and backroom deals. The county Office of Education has launched a 13-point investigation spanning governance, personnel, financial and conflict-of-interest issues.

This comes on the heels of an online petition, supported by more than 500 signatures, calling for the removal of Executive Director David Linzey. The only way this looks any worse is if the state attorney general shows up alongside FBI agents.

If third-party scrutiny comes as a mild surprise, the accusations of wrongdoing do not. A group calling itself Stakeholders for Transparency — made up of Clayton Valley teachers, parents and community members — has questioned the school’s leadership, decision-making and direction for nearly a year.

They say Linzey routinely berates and disrespects teachers, which may explain why three of them quit in the middle of this school year. They say he’s played fast and loose with finances, which beg to be reviewed by an independent auditor. They say the school board, led by President Ted Meriam, has been molded to do the executive director’s bidding, any dissidents weeded out. Among those was former administrator Pat Middendorf, who was fired last year.

One especially curious coincidence: At the same time 27 of 40 full-time, permanent teachers signed a vote of no-confidence in the administration, the board awarded Linzey a three-year contract at an annual salary of $204,000. So teachers’ opinions don’t matter?

Through it all, Linzey has defended himself, denying any malfeasance. He and Meriam cite the findings of a third-party investigator exonerating him of all accusations.

To this point, Linzey and the board also have received support from Clayton city leaders. That may be wavering after Monday night’s Council meeting — an informal session with trustees of the Mount Diablo Unified School District — during which Clayton Valley stakeholders vented their displeasure.

One parent said flatly that the charter is “imploding,” explaining that the collaborative effort so reliant on teacher buy-in has been “hijacked” by people in power. Another parent asserted that teachers who initially made the charter effort successful are being forced out for cheaper hires. A mother said that when her son turns high-school age, he will not attend Clayton Valley unless the board and executive director are changed. And a Clayton Valley student, who thanked council members for listening to her worries about teachers fleeing, said, “You guys have shown more compassion in paying attention to me in one night that I’ve seen from the entire Clayton Valley Charter board.”

But the strongest words came from MDUSD board President Cheryl Hansen, after listening quietly to parents’ and students’ concerns.

“This charter is suffering from exactly what Mt. Diablo Unified suffered from several years ago,” she said, “and that was malicious, ineffective, bad, divisive leadership. As a decades-long educator and former high school principal, I am devastated by this. It cannot continue. It’s dysfunctional.”

Though she said she doesn’t necessarily support blowing everything up, Clayton Councilwoman Julie Pierce said of Hansen’s words, “I couldn’t agree with you more. There are big problems.”

The smoke keeps billowing.

By Tom Barnidge Contra Costa Times Columnist

Contact Tom Barnidge at tbarnidge@bayareanewsgoup.com.

Clayton Valley Charter High Under Investigation

Clayton Valley Charter High Under Investigation

Clayton Valley Charter High under investigation

By Theresa Harrington tharrington@bayareanewsgroup

POSTED:   02/09/2015 05:10:28 PM PST0 COMMENTS| UPDATED:   ABOUT 17 HOURS AGO

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 Meeting Summary by Shannon Brandt

Shan Man is seriously disappointed in the Governing Board at Clayton Valley Charter High School. What a complete embarrassment. First they do not allow interested parents to run for a board position so Megan Kommer can stay on, then they fire Matt Rosso the Wednesday before Thanksgiving so that he cannot run against and take Diane Bailey seat, so she stays on.

Keep in mind Diane did NOT want to be on the board until recently changing her mind. I wonder why? President Ted Meriam decides he would like to stay on the board so he votes for himself along with Megan, Diane, and April Winship at tonight’s meeting. You would think he wouldn’t get to vote right? There were over 110 people at the meeting tonight, 3 spoke positive of the board and Dave Linzey. Only 3. One was Kevin King, who used to be on the board and whose wife was hired by the charter with no prior experience. At tonight’s meeting the board voted to hire Kevin King. Continue reading

CVCHS Board proposes bylaw changes to further consolidate its power and to exclude stakeholder input

There is a new bylaw amendment proposed on Wednesday’s Board agenda.  It removes the provisions in the bylaws that require the elected Board members (teachers, staff, parents, administrative) to be recalled by their constituents before being removed from the Board.  The change will now allow the Board, by a 2/3 vote, to remove any Board member.

If this bylaw change passes, the teachers, staff, parents, administration can elect their representatives, but just 6 people on the Board can remove them.  Clearly, the Board has wanted Amber Lineweaver gone for months.  But they could not do it without a recall by the teachers who elected her.  This bylaw eliminates the constituents’ power and consolidates it in the Board. Why should 6 Board members be able to overrule a group of constituents–whether it be parents, teachers, or staff? Continue reading