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Carpenter Principal Squelches Rumors About Redistricting Colfax Meadows

The rumors about secret meetings with the district are not true.

Rumors were getting out of hand, parents were holding meetings to start an email campaign, and a phone blast was sent out to the whole school.

Carpenter Community Charter School—an attractive public school that has caused people to move to Studio City specifically to get into it—is hitting capacity.  Some parents are concerned that the lines of the school district would be redrawn and that Colfax Meadows in Studio City would be cut out of Carpenter’s district and reassigned to Rio Vista Elementary School on the border of Toluca Lake.

In a community meeting held last week, concerned parents said that despite a phone blast by Principal Joe Martinez, the parents “are still not assured” and they worried that “various committees were meeting behind closed doors and making decisions that directly affect us.”

According to an email blast, the parents were warned, “It should be noted no one from the Colfax Meadows area is on the Governance Committee.”

Speaking to a room of about 50 parents attending the monthly the Governance Council meeting for the school last week, Martinez insisted that no such meetings with the district ever occurred, nor were there any closed door meetings. The Governance Council, which is opened to the public, never took up the issue.

“There are lots of rumors that people are discussing,” Martinez said. “Let me start off by saying that I care about my kids and I would hope that you do, too.”

He acknowledged that the school population is nearing 1,000 students, and that Los Angeles Unified School District limits the school to about 950 students. The playground is not big enough for all the students, and something has to be done—but it’s not involving redistricting the lines of the neighborhood at this point.

“No meeting has taken place about Colfax Meadows, and with all this rumor and gossip I’m trying to calm everybody’s nerves,” Martinez said.

He had an LAUSD program coordinator Robin Toder attend the Governance Council to reassure the parents, too.

He said that he got late word from the district that a redistricting plan for Colfax Meadows is absolutely not an option this year.

“There will have to be a study done, but a rezoning of our boundaries will not be considered,” he said.

Former PTA president Andrew Barrett formed an Enrollment committee while on the Governance Council to look into the issues and possible solutions. Some of this cropped up after Colfax Community Charter became so filled up that they had to cap the number of students they were accepting.

“We know that we have an enrollment in the high 900s and we know that we will have to do something about it,” Martinez said.

D.L September 24, 2012 at 05:14 PM
There is a lot more to this than being said. If Carpenter goes over its cap number then it is UNSAFE and in non compliance with the "Rodrigues Decree"The school is in jeopardy of CAPPING OUT which would turn away new enrolles or going on a year round schedule. Part of COLFAX MEADOWS used to be a OPT area with the option taken away if the school caps out. I did not hear any other solutions here. "He acknowledged that the school population is nearing 1,000 students, and that Los Angeles Unified School District limits the school to about 950 students. The playground is not big enough for all the students, and something has to be done—but it’s not involving redistricting the lines of the neighborhood at this point. “No meeting has taken place about Colfax Meadows, and with all this rumor and gossip I’m trying to calm everybody’s nerves,” Martinez said. He had an LAUSD program coordinator Robin Toder attend the Governance He said that he got late word from the district that a redistricting plan for Colfax Meadows is absolutely not an option this year."
Mike Szymanski September 24, 2012 at 05:18 PM
What was brought up at the meeting, which I didn't get into as far as too much detail, was that Martinez and Toder and doing door-to-door meetings with some families to check the eligibility of the student to be in the district. There are solutions being worked on, and there's a safety story in the works... the 2 gates have been opened up on the Laurel Canyon side, etc.
D.L September 24, 2012 at 05:45 PM
The safety issue is about how much space the playground has per student I advocated for years to buy adjoining properties when they were vacant. Studio City is still growing! We need an additional school or schools to accommodate all the families moving into the area. You can't build 1000 new housing units and not have classroom seats or space for the children to go to school. Reed is capping out too! The LA Planning Department needs to start planning! Carpenter is the LARGEST elementary school in the LAUSD.
Jack Gold September 24, 2012 at 09:26 PM
The responsibility to check out those folks who FRAUDULENTLY enroll their kids (and there are many) is and should be borne by the school. Responsibility of parents legally within the district is to notify the school the names and address of the kids they have fraudulently enrolled at Carpenter. Out of district kids should be transferred to their home school.
Sheri Haas September 24, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Are you saying that the same parents who have children enrolled legally also have students enrolled fraudulently?
Jack Gold September 24, 2012 at 11:54 PM
No I'm not saying that. I am saying that those who know which children are placed there illegally are under an obligation to advise the school. This might not be a legal obligation but a moral one and one that helps the Colfax Meadows who have worked so very hard to keep Carpenter within the legal attendance rules.
JESSYCA NYGREN September 25, 2012 at 02:56 AM
Are there going to be extra safety measures taken along with the 2 gates now open on Laurel Canyon?? Like a qualified crossing guard or someone watching the kids? Or someone watching those "other type" of people who like to watch kids...
Sheri Haas September 25, 2012 at 04:36 PM
Does anyone know what students are bused in - from where?
Mindi February 20, 2013 at 09:27 PM
Again Joe Martinez can be quoted over and over saying the enrollment is high but I just have too much heart to do anything about it. Why does anyone beleive anything he says....someone needs to help Carpenter desperately....

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