Ocean View closes middle school, but elementary schools will stay – Orange County Register

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After months of discussion about the future of four Ocean View School District schools, the board voted to close Spring View Middle and consolidate its students to other schools in the district.

The three elementary schools that also faced closure, consolidation or repurposing — Circle View, Golden View and Village View elementary schools — will remain open, the OVSD board decided during its meeting Tuesday evening, Nov. 14.

The decisions for each of the elementary schools were unanimous, but the board split on closing Spring View at the end of this school year and sending those students to other middle schools in the district. Trustees Morgan Westmoreland, Jack Souders and Patricia Singer voted to close the school; Trustees Gina Clayton-Tarvin and Norm Westwell were against it.

Closing Spring View Middle was estimated to result in about $2.9 million in savings for the district over three years with a projected savings of approximately $5.8 million by 2030, according to a financial report.

Spring View’s campus will not be sold. The district will move its offices to the site; there was no date given during Tuesday’s meeting for when that will occur.

Although the agenda item recommended Golden View be closed, the board unanimously voted against the measure.

“We would be absolute imbeciles to close Golden View,” said Souders.

During the over two hours of public comment, most speakers, including children, advocated for Golden View to remain open. Some students even gifted board members with flowers and strawberries directly from the Golden View on-campus farm.

After the vote, cheers erupted from the crowd.

If Golden View was consolidated with other elementary schools, the school’s onsite farm would have been turned into a district “Environmental Science Center” where students from other schools in the district could utilize the facility. Closing Golden View would have estimated about $3.96 million in savings by 2030, according to a financial report.

This should have been discussed years ago so we could have had a better plan and a means to adapt,” said Golden View parent Amy Diaz ahead of the vote. “I love this school especially because we have the farm, a unique asset to our students.”

The OVSD board decided to, at a later date, consider relocating Village View’s special education program and Circle View’s GATE program, a district-wide program for advanced students.

The board’s decisions came after it was presented with a task force’s 19 recommendations to address dropping enrollment in the district. Those recommendations had been split into four categories — innovative, instructional, financial and property management — and included ideas like leasing out unused property, combining certain elementary schools or opening up Golden View’s farm as a field trip destination for other sites. The task force was convened earlier this year and made up of more than 40 members of the OVSD community, including parents and teachers.

“Seeing how this entire situation was handled is truly upsetting,” Richard Marrison, a Village View parent, said before the meeting. “All the parents here have fought to keep our students in this district and at their beloved schools, and that won’t stop, no matter what the vote is.”

“I just hope the board, and frankly the community members as well, have learned from this situation and we can turn to retaining students,” said Marrison.

OVSD — which serves parts of Huntington Beach, Westminster, Fountain Valley and Midway City — is home to more than 6,800 students across 15 schools.

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