January 11, 2011
Dr. Terrance McAteer
Inyo County Superintendent of Schools
Bishop, CA 93514
Subject: Owens Valley Unified School District status
I do not want Owens Valley Unified School District to be closed (or “lapsed”) and the resources “given” to another school district, whether it be in Lone Pine or Big Pine, or elsewhere. I do not want the “County Committee on School District Reorganization” to act regarding Owens Valley Unified School District, its current status and its future. The citizens living in Independence and this school district should continue to have the right to make the decisions regarding OVUSD through their elected school board trustees.
I’m a resident (and taxpayer) of Independence and have appreciated Owens Valley High School ever since we moved here over 13 years ago. Our daughter transferred in as a ninth grader and had a very positive educational experience. She was salutatorian of her class, was granted several scholarships and went on to receive a B.A. in physics and philosophy from Westmont College in Santa Barbara. This past spring she received a MLIS (Master of Library and Information Science). My point (aside from bragging on my daughter) is that she was prepared after attending OV for post-high school academics. The flexibility at OV allowed her to individualize her academic program with online and correspondence courses, which gave her options, all to her advantage. That is why I believe that this small school has some great advantages, especially in student/teacher ratio and personalized attention in the classroom.
Another “huge” advantage that Owens Valley USD has being a “small” institution involves the issue of security, which is currently “big” in the news. All those working (and volunteering) at OV, teachers, administration and staff, know every student (at least by sight) and are familiar with the family members of the students. This knowledge of who belongs here (and, conversely, who does not) results in a connectedness, a caring attitude, an accountability, and a security, that is difficult, if not impossible, to achieve at larger schools.
Here’s my question: Why fix what is not broken? Owens Valley School is small, but is doing the job of educating students from grades K to 12 in a secure and caring atmosphere while providing another option for students in Southern Inyo County.
cc: County Committee on School District Reorganization
Joel Hampton, Superintendent