Friday, April 18, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Charter school closes its doors

DSC_9288

GOLD OAK UNION SCHOOL DISTRICT Principal Sylvia Shannon, right, talks with Gold Oak Union District Superintendent/Principal Wendy La Due as they look at a mural on the wall at Gold Oak Charter School. The school closed its doors as of May 31 due to budget cuts. Democrat photo by Shelly Thorene

By
From page A1 | June 04, 2012 | 3 Comments

Low enrollment, budget cuts doom Gold Oak Arts Charter School

Until recently, El Dorado County had 12 charter schools. But on May 31, one of them closed its doors.

A victim of declining enrollment and funding cuts to the district’s budget, the Gold Oak Union School District Board of Trustees voted to close its charter school after eight years of operation.

Wendy LaDue, Superintendent and Principal of the district, explained that 120 students were needed to make the arts-oriented program financially viable but that enrollment had been less than 60 for the last several years.

LaDue said one reason for fewer students signing up for the charter school was a general decline in the number of school age children in the district. Currently it enrolls 486 students.

“People are moving,” LaDue said. “They are leaving rural areas and leaving California as property becomes too expensive and as people seek greater economic opportunities elsewhere.”

In addition the district has experienced more than $2.5 million in budget cuts over the past three years and had been relying on funding from Gold Oak Elementary and Pleasant Valley Middle Schools to partially subsidize the charter school program.

Faced with possible cuts to its library, sports and music programs, the Board of Trustees made the decision to shut down the charter school.

According to LaDue, as with other school districts throughout the state, Gold Oak Union is being asked to keep the same programs going but with less money. “We’ve had no new money in five years, now going into our sixth year. We’re being asked to do more with less money,” she said.

“If the tax measure doesn’t pass in November, it could mean more cuts in the future. Our ultimate goal is to keep providing the best education we can with the resources we have for all our kids and do what’s best for everyone,” said LaDue.

Sylvia Shannon, the principal of both the charter school and the elementary school, said the charter school was using art as a medium to reach students in grades six through eight. “It was set up as an alternative to a traditional school because a lot of students out here are involved in the arts and theater,” she said.

“We used a lot of visiting artists and project-based learning,” she said. “It was a hands on approach with a lot of student projects. But we still met state academic standards. Every year we enrolled  over 100 students but in the last several years it’s been down to 50 or 60.”

One of the last projects the students took on was creating gifts for the teachers who worked directly with them. Those gifts consisted of hand-painted benches, stools and a small bridge that everyone had a hand in decorating. Sponsored by the school’s parent-teacher club, the May 30 event was called Dragon Days in honor of the school’s mascot.

Despite the charter school closing, LaDue said the district plans to provide similar opportunities to students in the Gold Oak Elementary and Pleasant Valley Middle School.

“A lot of the best practices in the charter school can be used in the regular program and we will provide those to all our students,” she said.

Dr. Vicki Barber, Superintendent of the El Dorado County Office of Education, said the county has lost about $22 million in school funding over the last three years and if the tax measure doesn’t pass in November, local schools could lose an additional $12 million.

Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or dhodson@mtdemocrat.net. Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.

Dawn Hodson

Last Login | Fri Apr 18 13:37:04 2014
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 3 comments

  • hairyJune 06, 2012 - 4:18 pm

    Sad.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • TweakedJune 06, 2012 - 4:50 pm

    Regardless of the economy, the closing of the Gold Oak Arts Charter is nothing but a blight on an already struggling, tiny school district. Charter schools need abundant community support, and unfortunately the Gold Oak Union community has lost the one thing that would've attracted new families and students to the area. The future of education in California is in charter schools.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • MoriahJune 07, 2012 - 3:05 pm

    This was my school, i love this school, the day we found out was such a bad day, almost everyone was crying. i was in the last graduating class and the last student council president. i will miss it so much.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

News

Goodbye LUPPU, hello LRPU

By Chris Daley | From Page: A1, 2 Comments

 
Past due state taxes bring arrest

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1, 5 Comments

 
Sanford trial: Prosecution, defense rest

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Woman, dog back from Oso

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1, 7 Comments | Gallery

 
 
 
DA candidate to remain on ballot

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A9

Dog talk with Uncle Matty: Benji and the Bickersons

By Matthew Margolis | From Page: A10

 
CPCSD seat unfilled

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

Lew Uhler backs Ranalli

By News Release | From Page: A14, 2 Comments

 
.

Letters

District 4 candidate

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 5 Comments

 
Open meetings

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 5 Comments

Volunteers and homeless camps

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 10 Comments

 
Bicycle events and traffic control

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

Evacuation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 3 Comments

 
.

Sports

Jennings wins national title

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A11, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Savannah Stephens can swing the bat

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A11 | Gallery

King of the West roars into Placerville

By Gary Thomas | From Page: A11

 
First and goal: Bunt etiquette

By Mike Bush | From Page: A11

Oak Ridge suffers tough 2-1 setback

By Mike Bush | From Page: A11

 
Roundup: April 17, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

.

Prospecting

Plantastic sale this Saturday

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Spring art brightens government center

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Things to do: April 18, 2014

By Democrat Calendar | From Page: B2

 
Time out: A grand time at Grand China

By Earle Camembert | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Temple Kol Shalom hosts Passover Seder

By News Release | From Page: B3

 
Student art featured for Third Saturday

By News Release | From Page: B3

Promenade in high style

By Historic Old Sacramento | From Page: B4

 
Sac State Presents ‘Gypsy’

By California State Unversity, Sacramento | From Page: B4

Friday nights are engaging at the de Young

By Fine Arts | From Page: B5

 
Hats On For the Kids raises money for children

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B6

See what is inside the vault

By Center For Sacramento History | From Page: B6

 
Eggstravaganza

By Fairytale Town | From Page: B6

Gallery tips a hat to Dr. Seuss

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B7

 
Museum presents ‘Diesel Days’

By California State Railroad Museum | From Page: B7

Engagement: Adam Frega and Wednesday Bienusa

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

 
Duty: Air Force Airman Brian Polk

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

Cal Stage presents a season of challenging productions

By California Stage | From Page: B8

 
Duty: Army Pfc. Kyle W. Beasy

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

KVIE calls for artists

By Kvie | From Page: B9

 
A Couple of Blaguards tell tales

By Harris Center for the Arts | From Page: B9

America’s ClayFest II celebrates a rich history

By Blue Line Arts | From Page: B14

 
Fine Arts Museums feature two shows

By Fine Arts | From Page: B15

See wildflowers on train ride

By Railtown | From Page: B15

 
Easter at Northstar is family friendly

By Northstar California | From Page: B15

.

Essentials

Crime Log: March 28-30

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

Frederick Wilbur Heymann

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Arthur W. Cornell

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Frank “Bud” Kraus Jr.

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Roy Cluness Chaix

By Contributor | From Page: A2

.

Real Estate

Faster sales with spring staging

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

 
Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

Press Release | From Page: HS7

Handsome Redmond suits modern families

Press Release | From Page: HS11

 
Growing your own

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

 
Fraud workshop scheduled

Press Release | From Page: HS21

HCD launches assistance program

Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

 
EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

By News Release | From Page: HS22, 2 Comments

.

Comics

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A14

Horoscope, Sunday, April 20, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A14

 
Horoscope, Saturday, April 19, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A14

Horoscope, Friday, April 18, 2104

By Contributor | From Page: A14

 
.

Home Source

Faster sales with spring staging

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

Press Release | From Page: HS7

Handsome Redmond suits modern families

Press Release | From Page: HS11

Growing your own

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

Fraud workshop scheduled

Press Release | From Page: HS21

HCD launches assistance program

Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

By News Release | From Page: HS22, 2 Comments