Silicon Valley High Tech school to close

Here’s an email I got from a friend who’s an executive at a Silicon Valley company.

It’s sad that attempts to really improve our public school systems don’t get more attention.

UPDATE: turns out the school is going to close. I’m running the email late, just to show the excitement that one parent I know had for this school.

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The specific reason for this email is that I was hoping you might help publicize a plight that we are in with my son’s school. The name of the school is High Tech High School Bayshore, a charter school in Redwood City run by an organization called High Tech High. This is a public school not a private one.

The situation is this: the school was opened just 1.5 years ago. It is super modern, has a wonderful curriculum and is filled with teachers that we all wish we had had when we were in high school. Last week the parents were informed that the school would close in June and this after sending our kids there with assurances that High Tech High would invest 5 years in making the school successful. Furthermore, they told us there was no risk in sending kids there as they owned the building and could not be put out.

Now they are telling us that they do not have enough enrollment to make a go of it (it is hard to get high schoolers to move in the middle of their high school years) and they are selling the building off and closing the school.

The irony here is that the school is in the middle of Silicon Valley where Valley execs often bemoan the lack of quality secondary education and worry that the future will require more importing of engineers as a result. What is REALLY upsetting is that we were given one weeks notice. If we had been told that they needed a certain level of enrollment to continue, the parents would have gone door-to-door to make it happen (remember, this is a PUBLIC school, it costs nothing). And, a number of us who have had careers in the high tech world and connections could have likely dug up corporate funding to tide the school over until it caught on. The High Tech High schools in San Diego have wait lists 3,000 students long I have heard.

So at this point, I am just trying to drum up awareness and perhaps get to someone who might be a white knight. The model these schools follow has been hugely successful and there is no fundamental reason that this one can’t be. Plus it provides the kinds of modern, technical education so needed for the Bay Area to continue to thrive.

Take a look at the website and tell me this is not a school you would want to send your son to:

http://www.hightechhigh.org/

Some related news stories:

92 thoughts on “Silicon Valley High Tech school to close

  1. i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!
    i MiSS HTHB!=[

  2. i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!i MiSS HTHB!
    i MiSS HTHB!=[

  3. OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG
    iM FROM HTHB
    i WAS A SOPHOMORE
    WHEN i FOUND OUT iT WAS GOIn G TO BE CLOSED
    NOW iM A JUNiOR AT SEQUOiA
    iM ACTUALLY HERE RiGHT NOW
    iN THEiR LiBRARY BECAUSE i DONT HAVE A 1ST PERiOD CLASS!
    i MiSS HTHB SOOOOOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    iT SUCKS HERE
    i MiSS MS TUCCi & MS DALTON TOO =/
    UGH STUPiD SEQUOiA STOLE OUR BUiLDiNG
    OH N SOMEONE CROSSED OFF SUMMiT ON THE FRON OF THE BUiLDiNG
    & WROTE HTHB
    BUT THOSE WHORES TOOK iT OFF ALREADY =/
    LOL i KNO WHO IT WAS TOO!
    SO YEA i STiLL LOVE YU HTHB
    iLL NEVER FORGET THE TWO YEARS i SPENT THERE

  4. OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG
    iM FROM HTHB
    i WAS A SOPHOMORE
    WHEN i FOUND OUT iT WAS GOIn G TO BE CLOSED
    NOW iM A JUNiOR AT SEQUOiA
    iM ACTUALLY HERE RiGHT NOW
    iN THEiR LiBRARY BECAUSE i DONT HAVE A 1ST PERiOD CLASS!
    i MiSS HTHB SOOOOOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    iT SUCKS HERE
    i MiSS MS TUCCi & MS DALTON TOO =/
    UGH STUPiD SEQUOiA STOLE OUR BUiLDiNG
    OH N SOMEONE CROSSED OFF SUMMiT ON THE FRON OF THE BUiLDiNG
    & WROTE HTHB
    BUT THOSE WHORES TOOK iT OFF ALREADY =/
    LOL i KNO WHO IT WAS TOO!
    SO YEA i STiLL LOVE YU HTHB
    iLL NEVER FORGET THE TWO YEARS i SPENT THERE

  5. SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!

  6. SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!
    SAVE HIGH TECH HIGH BAYSHORE!

  7. Leslie, thanks for the additional insight. Seems like HTH has some internal management issues to address and some critical marketing to do before they can get the community to rally around them and see the value. Hiring a PR firm might be in order. The “losing money” issue is a huge thing to overcome. Now, I’m sure I came off as unsympathetic. It was not intentional and for that I apologize. I’m more than willing to help fund any initiative that improves education. However, for this particular issue, given the current circumstances surrounding HTH, ff I’m a citizen I might feel like my money is going to waste as I don’t see a plan for them being successful in the long run.

  8. Leslie, thanks for the additional insight. Seems like HTH has some internal management issues to address and some critical marketing to do before they can get the community to rally around them and see the value. Hiring a PR firm might be in order. The “losing money” issue is a huge thing to overcome. Now, I’m sure I came off as unsympathetic. It was not intentional and for that I apologize. I’m more than willing to help fund any initiative that improves education. However, for this particular issue, given the current circumstances surrounding HTH, ff I’m a citizen I might feel like my money is going to waste as I don’t see a plan for them being successful in the long run.

  9. LayZ It is great that you are continuing the conversation.

    1) Any student can go to HTHB it is a public school with NO tuition.

    2) The enrollment issue is really an excuse for HTH San Diego to get out of its promises to HTHB. I tried to explain this before, but the fact that we were attracting over 100 students for freshman this year and 100 freshman the year before shows that the interest is there and we would likely be fully enrolled in one more year. The applications in the office on the day we were told we were closing were 105 in February. Last year in February we had 40 applicants and 120 freshman started school in the fall. The goal for HTHB is to have 100 kids per grade. This is a business venture and the money should have been set aside to cover the costs of the low enrollment of the upper grades, THIS IS NOT A LONG TERM PROBLEM. Read my above post for reasons why the upper grades will not fill up.

    2) HTH San Diego, I believe, needed to get cash quickly to fund its two new schools in the San Diego area and decided to pull out of HTHB.

    3) HTH San Diego did not use their asset of satisfied customers at all and we are trying to get the word out now. They spent $70,000 dollars last summer putting billboards on buses in Redwood City (no joke) and wondered why they did not get any return for their money. Parents have settled on their children’s high schools by June. We as a parent community had no idea this was happening.

    4) They put the school up here and for whatever reasons did not commit the time, money or resources to start the school in a way that would help the school succeed to its fullest.They missed out on the biggest resource they had the parents!

    5) They still are an organization that has an excellent plan to educate kids and we are trying to get them to work with us even if the building is sold so we can keep our charter and keep the school alive.
    Leslie

  10. LayZ It is great that you are continuing the conversation.

    1) Any student can go to HTHB it is a public school with NO tuition.

    2) The enrollment issue is really an excuse for HTH San Diego to get out of its promises to HTHB. I tried to explain this before, but the fact that we were attracting over 100 students for freshman this year and 100 freshman the year before shows that the interest is there and we would likely be fully enrolled in one more year. The applications in the office on the day we were told we were closing were 105 in February. Last year in February we had 40 applicants and 120 freshman started school in the fall. The goal for HTHB is to have 100 kids per grade. This is a business venture and the money should have been set aside to cover the costs of the low enrollment of the upper grades, THIS IS NOT A LONG TERM PROBLEM. Read my above post for reasons why the upper grades will not fill up.

    2) HTH San Diego, I believe, needed to get cash quickly to fund its two new schools in the San Diego area and decided to pull out of HTHB.

    3) HTH San Diego did not use their asset of satisfied customers at all and we are trying to get the word out now. They spent $70,000 dollars last summer putting billboards on buses in Redwood City (no joke) and wondered why they did not get any return for their money. Parents have settled on their children’s high schools by June. We as a parent community had no idea this was happening.

    4) They put the school up here and for whatever reasons did not commit the time, money or resources to start the school in a way that would help the school succeed to its fullest.They missed out on the biggest resource they had the parents!

    5) They still are an organization that has an excellent plan to educate kids and we are trying to get them to work with us even if the building is sold so we can keep our charter and keep the school alive.
    Leslie

  11. @38 Then you have to show the benefits to the community today. How will the citizens benefit. People only have a certain amount of disposable income and they are being pulled and guilted into a plethora of charities and “good causes” to “invest” in. So, what is HTH doing to distinguish itself as a “good investment” against all the other people with their hand out? The parent that can’t afford to send their kids to HTH are hardly going to see the benefit if helping to send Johnny from down the street to the school.

    The arguments you make are based more on guilt than actual benefit. Sure, we all want good schools, lower taxes, cheaper healthcare, peace in the middle east, and a chicken in every pot. But most people are simply concerned with getting through life day by day, making sure the bills are paid, and making sure their own kids are getting a good education. As selfish as it sounds they don’t don’t really care about YOUR kids’ education. That’s YOUR problem to solve, not theirs. They have hard enough time dealing with their own issues. So, unless you can make a VERY COMPELLING case for society benefiting, it’s going to be a very hard sell to have the community to continue to support a school that loses a HALF MILLION DOLLARS a year, regardless of the quality of student they turn out.

    Liz points on the reasons the school is a money loser. So, it seems that there are bigger issues to solve beyond asking for more money and extolling the theoretical benefits of HTH. Is the school was so compelling one has to ask why they couldn’t easily meet their enrollment goals? So, again I ask: what is the plan to no longer be losing money? Continue to beg for more? According to Liz, that plan hasn’t been working to date.

  12. @38 Then you have to show the benefits to the community today. How will the citizens benefit. People only have a certain amount of disposable income and they are being pulled and guilted into a plethora of charities and “good causes” to “invest” in. So, what is HTH doing to distinguish itself as a “good investment” against all the other people with their hand out? The parent that can’t afford to send their kids to HTH are hardly going to see the benefit if helping to send Johnny from down the street to the school.

    The arguments you make are based more on guilt than actual benefit. Sure, we all want good schools, lower taxes, cheaper healthcare, peace in the middle east, and a chicken in every pot. But most people are simply concerned with getting through life day by day, making sure the bills are paid, and making sure their own kids are getting a good education. As selfish as it sounds they don’t don’t really care about YOUR kids’ education. That’s YOUR problem to solve, not theirs. They have hard enough time dealing with their own issues. So, unless you can make a VERY COMPELLING case for society benefiting, it’s going to be a very hard sell to have the community to continue to support a school that loses a HALF MILLION DOLLARS a year, regardless of the quality of student they turn out.

    Liz points on the reasons the school is a money loser. So, it seems that there are bigger issues to solve beyond asking for more money and extolling the theoretical benefits of HTH. Is the school was so compelling one has to ask why they couldn’t easily meet their enrollment goals? So, again I ask: what is the plan to no longer be losing money? Continue to beg for more? According to Liz, that plan hasn’t been working to date.

  13. According to the San Mateo Daily News on February 22, 2007

    Next year’s freshman class, for example, has 150 openings. Only 60 applications were filed. The school receives $6,300 per student per year. A shortage of 90 students is a $567,000 difference in the school’s budget.

    http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/northcounty/20070223-9999-1m23hightech.html

    San Diego’s High Tech High campuses had almost 3,000 applicants seeking 285 openings last year

    Parents at HTH-B are understandably upset about the HTH-B’s closing. I really feel for them, and especially for the kids who felt they had a place to be successful in school — and have been displaced. Nevertheless:

    The key difference between the Southern California HTH schools (which are thriving) and HTH-B is this:

    For every HTH seat in Southern Californa, there are 10 kids (read families) applying/in the lottery.

    For every HTH-B seat, there are .4 kids kids (read families) applying.

    Why? What is the difference? What did HTH do right in SoCal, and failed to do in Northern Califonia?

    Reading the previous comments, blaming the Silicon Valley for “a lack of interest”, or the chartering school district, or the “NEA cartel”, or the building’s owner,….

    Is a distraction from the two real issues here.

    Issue #1 — attracting students to a new school (charter or private) requires marketing.

    Issue #2 — starting a new school requires investment without the expectation of a financial return.

    One of the fundamental theories about charter schools is “bringing market forces to bear” on an assumed monopoly–public schooling.

    Well, gee, if you are going to bring market forces to bear, you have to act like an entrepreneur.

    Entrepreneurship, in k-12 education, has some features:

    1. starting a new school, even with a successful template from elsewhere, is hard work

    2. starting a new school (charter or private) requires philanthropic investment while in the growth phase. I am distinguishing philanthropic investment –meaning giving money without the expectation of return, from venture capital, where return on investment is demanded.

    3. all schools that are dependent upon elective enrollment require marketing–both for philanthropic investment and enrollment.

    4. Marketing means getting the word out

    Were I directly involved with HTH-B, I’d want to know the answers to at least these questions:

    The best referral is from a satisfied customer. What efforts did the HTH administration from Southern California make to bring satisfied SoCal parents to Northern California, to evangelize the HTH model?

    The best referral is from a satisfied customer. What efforts did the HTH-B make to have current parents host “get acquainted” meetings with the parents’ neighbors and friends?

    There are a lot of youth organizations in San Mateo and Santa Clara County (examples: 4-H, Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts, youth theater/performing arts groups, non-school sports leagues, Boys & Girls Clubs, home-school alliances, etc.) What efforts did the HTH-B administration make to build relationships with these groups?

    There are a lot of k-8 private schools in San Mateo and Santa Clara County. How many of those schools did the HTH-B administration visit, with an eye to attracting students?

    In San Mateo County and Santa Clara County, there are a number of small-circulation weekly papers. What press releases about the school did the school distribute?

    In San Mateo County and Santa Clara County, there are a number of small-circulation weekly papers Did HTH-B advertise in any of these papers? If no, why not? If yes, show me the ads, and show me the insertion schedule.

  14. According to the San Mateo Daily News on February 22, 2007

    Next year’s freshman class, for example, has 150 openings. Only 60 applications were filed. The school receives $6,300 per student per year. A shortage of 90 students is a $567,000 difference in the school’s budget.

    http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/northcounty/20070223-9999-1m23hightech.html

    San Diego’s High Tech High campuses had almost 3,000 applicants seeking 285 openings last year

    Parents at HTH-B are understandably upset about the HTH-B’s closing. I really feel for them, and especially for the kids who felt they had a place to be successful in school — and have been displaced. Nevertheless:

    The key difference between the Southern California HTH schools (which are thriving) and HTH-B is this:

    For every HTH seat in Southern Californa, there are 10 kids (read families) applying/in the lottery.

    For every HTH-B seat, there are .4 kids kids (read families) applying.

    Why? What is the difference? What did HTH do right in SoCal, and failed to do in Northern Califonia?

    Reading the previous comments, blaming the Silicon Valley for “a lack of interest”, or the chartering school district, or the “NEA cartel”, or the building’s owner,….

    Is a distraction from the two real issues here.

    Issue #1 — attracting students to a new school (charter or private) requires marketing.

    Issue #2 — starting a new school requires investment without the expectation of a financial return.

    One of the fundamental theories about charter schools is “bringing market forces to bear” on an assumed monopoly–public schooling.

    Well, gee, if you are going to bring market forces to bear, you have to act like an entrepreneur.

    Entrepreneurship, in k-12 education, has some features:

    1. starting a new school, even with a successful template from elsewhere, is hard work

    2. starting a new school (charter or private) requires philanthropic investment while in the growth phase. I am distinguishing philanthropic investment –meaning giving money without the expectation of return, from venture capital, where return on investment is demanded.

    3. all schools that are dependent upon elective enrollment require marketing–both for philanthropic investment and enrollment.

    4. Marketing means getting the word out

    Were I directly involved with HTH-B, I’d want to know the answers to at least these questions:

    The best referral is from a satisfied customer. What efforts did the HTH administration from Southern California make to bring satisfied SoCal parents to Northern California, to evangelize the HTH model?

    The best referral is from a satisfied customer. What efforts did the HTH-B make to have current parents host “get acquainted” meetings with the parents’ neighbors and friends?

    There are a lot of youth organizations in San Mateo and Santa Clara County (examples: 4-H, Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts, youth theater/performing arts groups, non-school sports leagues, Boys & Girls Clubs, home-school alliances, etc.) What efforts did the HTH-B administration make to build relationships with these groups?

    There are a lot of k-8 private schools in San Mateo and Santa Clara County. How many of those schools did the HTH-B administration visit, with an eye to attracting students?

    In San Mateo County and Santa Clara County, there are a number of small-circulation weekly papers. What press releases about the school did the school distribute?

    In San Mateo County and Santa Clara County, there are a number of small-circulation weekly papers Did HTH-B advertise in any of these papers? If no, why not? If yes, show me the ads, and show me the insertion schedule.

  15. An important point here is that once HTHB is fully enrolled, I estimate that it could be successful on a similar funding plan as Summit Prep with 80% of it’s revenues coming from the state.

    LayZ- I understand as a parent that you may want to give to your own child’s school. We are asking the community and the Silicon Valley about whether they want this school. Do Tech companies want well educated students? Do they want schools that look different than what their grand parents saw when they walked in their high schools over 75 to 100 years ago? Think of how society has changed? How have traditional schools changed? We need schools based on 21st century research and technology. Does this matter to our society? Charter schools also make for a more competitive public school arena and large public schools take notice and try and change to keep their students at their district schools. If the school districts cared as much about kids and education as they cared about their power, they would be cheering Charter schools on and trying to support them! Not suing them at every turn. HTHB had to endure false accusations, refusal to fund, refusal to charter and a very hostile environment was created for them by Sequoia Union High School District. I think that this was a factor in HTH San Diego’s decision to cut and run!

  16. An important point here is that once HTHB is fully enrolled, I estimate that it could be successful on a similar funding plan as Summit Prep with 80% of it’s revenues coming from the state.

    LayZ- I understand as a parent that you may want to give to your own child’s school. We are asking the community and the Silicon Valley about whether they want this school. Do Tech companies want well educated students? Do they want schools that look different than what their grand parents saw when they walked in their high schools over 75 to 100 years ago? Think of how society has changed? How have traditional schools changed? We need schools based on 21st century research and technology. Does this matter to our society? Charter schools also make for a more competitive public school arena and large public schools take notice and try and change to keep their students at their district schools. If the school districts cared as much about kids and education as they cared about their power, they would be cheering Charter schools on and trying to support them! Not suing them at every turn. HTHB had to endure false accusations, refusal to fund, refusal to charter and a very hostile environment was created for them by Sequoia Union High School District. I think that this was a factor in HTH San Diego’s decision to cut and run!

  17. I’m actually the IT Manager for a fundraising company that works with schools. And I will definitely backup the fact that the government funding does not cover the cost of schools (or I wouldn’t have a job ;-)). Often times it’s the core classes that are covered as well, groups like Music, Technology, etc. have to work hard to be able to continue to exist.

    @LayZ – That’s a point of view that you have, however I can tell you that a lot of people buy products/support other schools or other causes because it is something they believe in, that is important.

    Good luck on the process of trying to keep this school opened (and email me if I/my company can help james(at)scoolservices(dot)com

  18. I’m actually the IT Manager for a fundraising company that works with schools. And I will definitely backup the fact that the government funding does not cover the cost of schools (or I wouldn’t have a job ;-)). Often times it’s the core classes that are covered as well, groups like Music, Technology, etc. have to work hard to be able to continue to exist.

    @LayZ – That’s a point of view that you have, however I can tell you that a lot of people buy products/support other schools or other causes because it is something they believe in, that is important.

    Good luck on the process of trying to keep this school opened (and email me if I/my company can help james(at)scoolservices(dot)com

  19. LayZ — Most charter schools fundraise, as the remuneration to the state is inadequate. For that matter, most public school districts in CA fundraise.

    There were four sources of the deficit, as I understand it:

    1. Big facility not fully enrolled yet, as school is new (in other words, only a 9th &10th grade class, not full enrollment). This is SOP for starting a new school, start with one-two grades and “grow’ the enrollment over several years.

    2. Underenrollment (they didn’t meet their enrollment goals)

    3. Undercapitalization

    4. Failure on the part of High Tech High School to raise money from parents and community.

    Another charter, in San Jose, serves underperforming students. Only 70% of its operating costs are covered by funding by the state.

    http://www.downtowncollegeprep.org/community_partners.php

    Downtown College Prep has created a unique cultural and academic experience for its students. We are proud to be associated with the San Jose Unified School District. Since DCP is a public school, we do not charge tuition. During the past school year, 70% of DCP’s operating budget came from government sources. DCP additionally fundraised over $1,000,000.

    http://sanjose.bizjournals.com/bizwomen/sanjose/content/story.html?id=1022544

    A lot of start-up charters are like small businesses,” Mr. O’Connell says. “They are undercapitalized and in their initial stages and we are still learning a lot.”

    Although charters get less financial support than public schools, the LAO report said they “achieve academic results similar to those of traditional public schools,” which means charters are cost-effective.

    Tuition at a nearby private school, Castilleja, is $27,605

    http://www.castilleja.org/publications/atc/2006.07/ATC_010.pdf

    The gap between the tuition revenue and the actual cost of running the school is about $3,000 per student; last year’s fundraising goal to meet that gap was $1.4 million.

    That’s on top of an endowment of about $35 million.

  20. LayZ — Most charter schools fundraise, as the remuneration to the state is inadequate. For that matter, most public school districts in CA fundraise.

    There were four sources of the deficit, as I understand it:

    1. Big facility not fully enrolled yet, as school is new (in other words, only a 9th &10th grade class, not full enrollment). This is SOP for starting a new school, start with one-two grades and “grow’ the enrollment over several years.

    2. Underenrollment (they didn’t meet their enrollment goals)

    3. Undercapitalization

    4. Failure on the part of High Tech High School to raise money from parents and community.

    Another charter, in San Jose, serves underperforming students. Only 70% of its operating costs are covered by funding by the state.

    http://www.downtowncollegeprep.org/community_partners.php

    Downtown College Prep has created a unique cultural and academic experience for its students. We are proud to be associated with the San Jose Unified School District. Since DCP is a public school, we do not charge tuition. During the past school year, 70% of DCP’s operating budget came from government sources. DCP additionally fundraised over $1,000,000.

    http://sanjose.bizjournals.com/bizwomen/sanjose/content/story.html?id=1022544

    A lot of start-up charters are like small businesses,” Mr. O’Connell says. “They are undercapitalized and in their initial stages and we are still learning a lot.”

    Although charters get less financial support than public schools, the LAO report said they “achieve academic results similar to those of traditional public schools,” which means charters are cost-effective.

    Tuition at a nearby private school, Castilleja, is $27,605

    http://www.castilleja.org/publications/atc/2006.07/ATC_010.pdf

    The gap between the tuition revenue and the actual cost of running the school is about $3,000 per student; last year’s fundraising goal to meet that gap was $1.4 million.

    That’s on top of an endowment of about $35 million.

  21. Kimberly, I’m not missing the point at all. I do, indeed understand how Charter schools work. My point, with citizens already getting taxed to death you have a hard time guilting them into donating to a school they don’t have a direct interest in. Saying “investing in Education” sounds like Algore tell us raising taxes is an “investment”. Unless your kid is going to that school, it’s hard for people to feel compelled to donate . How does me investing in HTH help my kid that doesn’t go there? Parents have hard enough time make sure the schools their kids go to are being effective.

    “As for High Tech High Bayshore, the loss of $500,000 per year WAS NEVER COMMUNICATED TO THE PARENT COMMUNITY. We are ASKING FOR A CHANCE to support this educational model in our community.”

    Whether is was communicated or not is sort of moot. The loss is the loss. If I’m in that community I will have a lot of questions regarding WHY I should help make up the deficit (again a HALF MILLION DOLLARS is A LOT to make up)? Then, what assurances does the community have that the school won’t continue to be in debt and lose money, and that every year you won’t be coming back to the community with your hand out?

  22. Kimberly, I’m not missing the point at all. I do, indeed understand how Charter schools work. My point, with citizens already getting taxed to death you have a hard time guilting them into donating to a school they don’t have a direct interest in. Saying “investing in Education” sounds like Algore tell us raising taxes is an “investment”. Unless your kid is going to that school, it’s hard for people to feel compelled to donate . How does me investing in HTH help my kid that doesn’t go there? Parents have hard enough time make sure the schools their kids go to are being effective.

    “As for High Tech High Bayshore, the loss of $500,000 per year WAS NEVER COMMUNICATED TO THE PARENT COMMUNITY. We are ASKING FOR A CHANCE to support this educational model in our community.”

    Whether is was communicated or not is sort of moot. The loss is the loss. If I’m in that community I will have a lot of questions regarding WHY I should help make up the deficit (again a HALF MILLION DOLLARS is A LOT to make up)? Then, what assurances does the community have that the school won’t continue to be in debt and lose money, and that every year you won’t be coming back to the community with your hand out?

  23. Liz- You’re right about all but one point. The location has not been the problem. Our school serves a very BROAD community (see 32).

    As for fundraising, you make an interesting point, and if you were truly caught up on the entire story you would learn that as a community we were NEVER TOLD about the financial problems. We were lead to believe the school owned the building we reside in.

    However, we have coalesced as a powerful group to create new possibilities for the future of our school.

    http://savehightechhighbayshore.blogspot.com/

    Thanks for you thoughts!
    -kim

  24. Liz- You’re right about all but one point. The location has not been the problem. Our school serves a very BROAD community (see 32).

    As for fundraising, you make an interesting point, and if you were truly caught up on the entire story you would learn that as a community we were NEVER TOLD about the financial problems. We were lead to believe the school owned the building we reside in.

    However, we have coalesced as a powerful group to create new possibilities for the future of our school.

    http://savehightechhighbayshore.blogspot.com/

    Thanks for you thoughts!
    -kim

  25. 28–LayZ: You’re really missing the point in all of this. Your child, as well as ANY child who attends PUBLIC schools can attend High Tech High. The point is, state taxes pay for our children’s education REGARDLESS. The biggest expense to the High Tech High Charter schools are the buildings they exist in. EVEN public schools have fundraisers…

    The advantage of Charter schools like High Tech High are that they work with an educational model that honors children WHERE THEY ARE and guides them through mentorship and commitment to WHERE THEY WANT TO BE.

    I have raised 4-children. Two daughters, 2 sons (my youngest still in high school). Of my 4 only ONE of them has been able to succeed and reach her potential in the public school system. She graduated from UC San Diego, and is presently teaching 8th grade English and social studies at a low income school in San Jose.

    She NEVER chose to join the teacher’s union, yet union fees are taken from every pay check! She is the one who encouraged me to enroll her little brother into High Tech High, having had some experience with their methods while attending UCSD. She would be the first to tell you she succeeded academically out of sheer will because she has known since the fourth grade that she wanted to teach and there was only one path to a teaching credential.

    She would also tell you, that although she met her goals through the public school system, she could have been MUCH MORE SUCCESSFUL had she been given the opportunity to attend a school like HIGH TECH HIGH.

    This isn’t about where the money comes from… as a taxpayer, I pay for education whether children are getting educated or not! The difference in what the “gubmint” contributes and what the schools need to succeed MUST come from partnerships with the business community and local fundraising efforts.

    Children in these PUBLIC CHARTERS are getting a PRIVATE SCHOOL EDUCATION and they are entering the adult business world with problem solving skills, confidence, and the possibility of TRANSFORMATION!

    As for High Tech High Bayshore, the loss of $500,000 per year WAS NEVER COMMUNICATED TO THE PARENT COMMUNITY. We are ASKING FOR A CHANCE to support this educational model in our community.

    Our school serves a community that stretches way beyond our suburban neighborhood to areas where students enter high school with little hope. Take a look at a map of the San Francisco Bay Area and locate these cities:
    Burlingame, San Mateo, Half Moon Bay, Belmont, San Carlos, Redwood City, Menlo Park, Foster City, San Jose, Los Altos, Fremont, Hayward, Castro Valley.

    Investment in Education is an investment in the Future.
    -kim

  26. 28–LayZ: You’re really missing the point in all of this. Your child, as well as ANY child who attends PUBLIC schools can attend High Tech High. The point is, state taxes pay for our children’s education REGARDLESS. The biggest expense to the High Tech High Charter schools are the buildings they exist in. EVEN public schools have fundraisers…

    The advantage of Charter schools like High Tech High are that they work with an educational model that honors children WHERE THEY ARE and guides them through mentorship and commitment to WHERE THEY WANT TO BE.

    I have raised 4-children. Two daughters, 2 sons (my youngest still in high school). Of my 4 only ONE of them has been able to succeed and reach her potential in the public school system. She graduated from UC San Diego, and is presently teaching 8th grade English and social studies at a low income school in San Jose.

    She NEVER chose to join the teacher’s union, yet union fees are taken from every pay check! She is the one who encouraged me to enroll her little brother into High Tech High, having had some experience with their methods while attending UCSD. She would be the first to tell you she succeeded academically out of sheer will because she has known since the fourth grade that she wanted to teach and there was only one path to a teaching credential.

    She would also tell you, that although she met her goals through the public school system, she could have been MUCH MORE SUCCESSFUL had she been given the opportunity to attend a school like HIGH TECH HIGH.

    This isn’t about where the money comes from… as a taxpayer, I pay for education whether children are getting educated or not! The difference in what the “gubmint” contributes and what the schools need to succeed MUST come from partnerships with the business community and local fundraising efforts.

    Children in these PUBLIC CHARTERS are getting a PRIVATE SCHOOL EDUCATION and they are entering the adult business world with problem solving skills, confidence, and the possibility of TRANSFORMATION!

    As for High Tech High Bayshore, the loss of $500,000 per year WAS NEVER COMMUNICATED TO THE PARENT COMMUNITY. We are ASKING FOR A CHANCE to support this educational model in our community.

    Our school serves a community that stretches way beyond our suburban neighborhood to areas where students enter high school with little hope. Take a look at a map of the San Francisco Bay Area and locate these cities:
    Burlingame, San Mateo, Half Moon Bay, Belmont, San Carlos, Redwood City, Menlo Park, Foster City, San Jose, Los Altos, Fremont, Hayward, Castro Valley.

    Investment in Education is an investment in the Future.
    -kim

  27. Sorry, Robert, I didn’t grasp where your writing left off and your correspondent’s started.

    In my view, HTH made three fundamental errors:

    1. locating in San Mateo County, rather than Santa Clara county. SMC’s population is much smaller than SCC’s; SMC has some good public high schools and a good charter (Summit); and is well-supplied with private high schools. I’m not a charter expert, but I think it is difficult for charters to accept out-of-county students. The ability to accept students from any district/county is one of the private schools’ competitive advantages.

    2. Fundraising. I’m not sure how much Summit raises per year, but I know they started with a big war chest from private donations and aim to raise at least $100,000 per year; take a look at their donation page here.

    http://www.summitprep.com/HowGiveToSummit.shtml

    HTH-B doesn’t even have a donation page.

    3. Marketing: HTH did not seem to reach out to parents as well as the private schools and Summit.

  28. Sorry, Robert, I didn’t grasp where your writing left off and your correspondent’s started.

    In my view, HTH made three fundamental errors:

    1. locating in San Mateo County, rather than Santa Clara county. SMC’s population is much smaller than SCC’s; SMC has some good public high schools and a good charter (Summit); and is well-supplied with private high schools. I’m not a charter expert, but I think it is difficult for charters to accept out-of-county students. The ability to accept students from any district/county is one of the private schools’ competitive advantages.

    2. Fundraising. I’m not sure how much Summit raises per year, but I know they started with a big war chest from private donations and aim to raise at least $100,000 per year; take a look at their donation page here.

    http://www.summitprep.com/HowGiveToSummit.shtml

    HTH-B doesn’t even have a donation page.

    3. Marketing: HTH did not seem to reach out to parents as well as the private schools and Summit.

  29. Mr. Scoble, shame on you!

    “Take a look at the website and tell me this is not a school you would want to send your son to:

    How about your daughter?

  30. Mr. Scoble, shame on you!

    “Take a look at the website and tell me this is not a school you would want to send your son to:

    How about your daughter?

  31. @27. But if I’m a parent of a child not attending HTH, getting taxed up the ying yang not only to pay for my school,but for yours (that’s where that $6800 tuition subsidy comes from–the people you are begging more money from), and getting asked by my school to fill in the gaps in funding from the gubmint by supporting fundraisers, it’s going to be hard sell for me to feel any sympathy for HTH’s plight. I’m having a hard enough time making my own kid’s gubmint school work.

    How do you explain the school losing a half million dollars a year? That’s a hell of a lot of funding to make up. Sounds like there are deeper problems than simply a shortage in funding. How can the school guarantee the public they won’t continue to lose money?

  32. @27. But if I’m a parent of a child not attending HTH, getting taxed up the ying yang not only to pay for my school,but for yours (that’s where that $6800 tuition subsidy comes from–the people you are begging more money from), and getting asked by my school to fill in the gaps in funding from the gubmint by supporting fundraisers, it’s going to be hard sell for me to feel any sympathy for HTH’s plight. I’m having a hard enough time making my own kid’s gubmint school work.

    How do you explain the school losing a half million dollars a year? That’s a hell of a lot of funding to make up. Sounds like there are deeper problems than simply a shortage in funding. How can the school guarantee the public they won’t continue to lose money?

  33. The struggle for quality education continues.

    Above, Leslie mentioned the foundation created by our parent community in response to the lack of “viability” Larry Rosenstock claimed as reason for closure of our campus.

    In the Silicon Valley, such a school shouldn’t have to beg for support.

    http://savehightechhighbayshore.blogspot.com/

  34. The struggle for quality education continues.

    Above, Leslie mentioned the foundation created by our parent community in response to the lack of “viability” Larry Rosenstock claimed as reason for closure of our campus.

    In the Silicon Valley, such a school shouldn’t have to beg for support.

    http://savehightechhighbayshore.blogspot.com/

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