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Santa Rosa Charter may get one more year at Comstock

  • Comstock Middle School. (PD File)

Santa Rosa Charter School is expected to remain on the campus of Comstock Middle School one more year under a deal being worked out between school officials and Santa Rosa City Schools.

The deal, which must be approved by the Santa Rosa School Board, calls for the charter school to convert its existing library into a classroom. The move will free up a room for the growing Cesar Chavez Language Academy, which opened in August on the Comstock campus with 66 students in one transitional kindergarten and three traditional kindergarten classes.

The agreement also gives the 200-student Santa Rosa Charter School more time to ink a deal with a new landlord.

“I think we'll be very happy to have our own site,” said Santa Rosa Charter School administrator LaDonna Moore. “We could grow.”

Moore would not disclose where officials are considering relocating, because both sites have current tenants.

Santa Rosa Charter School has operated as a separate entity on Comstock's West Steele Lane campus since 2007. The charter school operation also includes a preschool that serves 40 families.

When the school board voted in February to locate its Spanish-language dual-immersion program on the same campus, charter school backers complained it would ignite uncertainty among staff and parents about the future of their school.

But school district officials were pressing to find a home for the Spanish language program.

Although currently under-enrolled, district officials believe Cesar Chavez could grow to serve 560 students, kindergarten through eighth grade, by 2021-22.

How Comstock Middle School and the Cesar Chavez Language Academy will share space going forward was not discussed by the members of the subcommittee Monday.

But Santa Rosa Charter School's Moore described the deal as workable.

“We have been through changes before,” she said.

“I think this is a logical resolution,” Santa Rosa School Board trustee and facilities subcomittee member Frank Pugh said in recommending it go to the full board for a vote.

The full board will discuss the item — and associated changes to the charter document with the school — at the Nov. 13 school board meeting.

Staff Writer Kerry Benefield writes an education blog at extracredit.blogs.pressdemocrat.com. She can be reached at 526-8671, kerry.benefield@press democrat.com or on Twitter @benefield.

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