Monroe elementary parents are concerned about Northcutt.
The parents worry that their children, who are housed at the Northcutt campus at 11303 Sandstone Ave. in Fountain Valley, don’t have enough space in the school, that the portables are not safe enough and that full assimilation with the other students may not go smoothly next year.
Monroe campus, at 16225 Newhope St. in Fountain Valley, is scheduled to become a transition campus for the next few years as the school district undergoes massive changes during modernization, paid for by the Measure A improvements bond approved in 2010.
The children that are currently attending Monroe are already housed at Northcutt Elementary in separate, portable, classrooms.
Next school year, however, the student population for Monroe will fully assimilate into the Northcutt campus and Monroe will be used solely for relocated schools in the district.
At Tuesday’s Garden Grove Unified School District Board of Education meeting Mao Le explained that she and other parents felt the Northcutt campus was too small.
“Really how much space is there? They only have about 238 spaces in the cafeteria. Kids on the rainy days or the cold days, those kids, they will have to eat outside. We are concerned about our kids getting cold, getting sick. It’s really, really crowded out there,” said Le.
Alan Trudell, GGUSD’s public information officer, said that there was in fact enough space in the cafeteria and that more tables will be bought in order to accommodate more students.
Trudell said that there have been two community meetings with parents where trustee and administrative staff had attended to personally talk with parents about their concerns.
“We are really trying to make this the best that we can. Part of what we do here is beyond education. We have to be good stewards of the taxpayer’s money and do the best that we can for the kids. They aren’t being split up, they are keeping their teachers,” said Trudell.
There are also year long planned events at Northcutt to build the campus community and ease the assimilation to make next year smoother for parents and students.
The current student population of Monroe is the smallest in the district, at around 280. The Northcutt student population is 278.
Parent Veronica Rojas voiced concerns that the portable classrooms might not be safe.
“My son will be in a portable classroom with one door, no windows,” said Rojas.
Another parent asked if closing Monroe was the best solution.
Trudell said that all portable classrooms in GGUSD are at state standards for health and safety. Trudell also said that for now, assimilating the two student populations makes the most sense for the district.
“Down the road, perhaps, perhaps, if enrollment in that area rebounds, Monroe could be open to a home neighborhood population. But for right now, it is costing the district more to keep it open for a small population,” said Trudell.
“It can serve the district as a perfect location to keep other large student populations together during construction rather than shuffling the kids around buildings on their campus and [being] disruptive to their learning.”