After months of discussion and numerous meetings, the Ocean View School District Board of Trustees took its first votes in a school consolidation plan aimed at dealing with the district’s declining student enrollment.
At its meeting on Nov. 14, the board voted 3-2 to consolidate Spring View Middle School next school year. Spring View students will be relocated to one of the district’s other three middle schools in the 2024-25 school year.
Board President Patricia Singer, clerk Jack Souders and trustee Morgan Westmoreland voted to close Spring View. Vice President Gina Clayton-Tarvin and trustee Norm Westwell voted against closing the school.
The plan is to turn the Spring View campus into the new district office but an exact timeline for that transition was not presented. The consolidation is projected to save the district an estimated $5.8 million by the year 2030, according to the report from the superintendent on Tuesday’s agenda.
Once under consideration for closure, Golden View Elementary, Village View Elementary, and Circle View Elementary will not close after trustees decided in three unanimous votes to keep the campuses open.
Ocean View School District currently serves just under 7,000 students at 14 campuses located in Huntington Beach, Westminster, and Midway City. It has faced declining enrollment for years. It lost around 2,600 students in the last ten years and has already shuttered or repurposed 11 school sites since the 1980s, according to the district.
The latest consolidation plans were first discussed last school year and were met with resistance from the community. In response, leaders launched the Superintendent’s Schools Task Force made up of parents, school staff, community members, and others. The task force had been meeting regularly since April to come up with ideas for dealing with declining enrollment.
Golden View families beg school board to keep their campus open
At Tuesday's meeting before the board voted, around 50 speakers addressed the trustees during the public comment period. The vast majority of them were students, parents, and staff members from Golden View Elementary School which had 350 students enrolled last school year.
Even someone dressed up as the school's mascot named Goldie, a baby goat (also known as a kid) was at the meeting.
The speakers all pleaded with the board to keep their school open arguing that it was the most unique campus in OVSD.
One mother wiped away tears as she implored the board to keep the campus open.
"I moved from Norwalk to Huntington Beach just to go to Golden View. And I have three boys in school now and they love the school. And I mean, it just shows, you know, it's like everyone said, we're a family," she said.
One fifth grader named Jonah outlined ten reasons why the campus should stay open. Number two on his list? The farm.
"Golden View has an amazing farm," Jonah said. "The farm makes the school even better than it already is. We take care of sheep, goats, pigs, chickens, and turkeys ... and an 18-year-old tortoise."
Bobby Guillen is the president of Golden View's Parent Teacher Organization and the father of one student at the school. He was also among the speakers at Tuesday's meeting. In a phone interview on Friday, Guillen said he was proud of the students and families for coming out and supporting the school.
When asked to describe how he felt after the vote Guillen said he was: “Ecstatic, overjoyed, relieved.”
Guillen shared that the morning after the vote, the joy was palpable on the Golden View campus. "It was all cheers and smiles and tears and joy and hugs," he said adding that he could hear kids screaming in the classrooms after teachers shared the news that the campus would remain open.
"There were lots of high fives and fist bumps from the kids," Guillen said.
Are you a student, parent, or staff member in the Ocean View School District interested in sharing your perspective on the school consolidation plan? Email us at email@example.com.