Victorville, Calif. – Tuesday, August 7 – Following their recent historic legal victory with their Parent Trigger petition, the Desert Trails Parent Union today moved to the next stage in transforming the Desert Trails Elementary School. This is the first time anywhere in the United States parents are proactively determining the future for their children by deciding who will transform their children’s failing school.
This next stage for the Parent Union comes after widely distributing a request for a 'Letter of Intent' (LOI) from potential district partners and other school operators with the capability of working with parents in the transformation process. In sending the LOI to the Adelanto School District, surrounding school districts, not-for-profit charter school operators, and the local Adelanto teachers union, the Parent Union established September 2013 as the date for implementing the process.
With a Friday, August 3 deadline, four LOIs were received by the Desert Trail Parent Union. This is a remarkable achievement, given the unprecedented nature of this process and the relatively short timeframe. It is in line with the average number of LOIs received to transform currently failing schools through LAUSD’s “Public School Choice” process, indicating a strong interest in supporting parents in their use of the Parent Trigger law. Unfortunately, however, no LOI was received from the Adelanto School District.
"Parents are excited they received multiple LOIs and will have real choice in who transforms our school in the coming months. However, they are very disappointed the District did not apply. The parents were still interested in a Partnership School model up to last Friday. The parents reached out and asked the District multiple times to submit an LOI. The District chose not to do so. A partnership ultimately takes two to work," said Doreen Diaz, lead coordinator for the Desert Trails Parent Union.
"Today we are contacting those who did respond, and requesting them to join us in the next chapter of history in the making by submitting a detailed proposal on how they would join us in transforming our school," Diaz said.
"We are asking that these 'Requests for Proposal' (RFP) be returned by September 21, 45 days from today. This will then allow us, as parents, to make a final selection by the middle of October. We are very much looking forward to reviewing the proposals once they are received, and moving forward rapidly to finally make our school a place of opportunity and success for our children."
Of the four LOI’s that were received, two came from existing non-profit charter school operators – LaVerne Elementary Preparatory Academy and the High Desert Partnership in Academic Excellence Foundation – and two were from non-charter school improvement consulting firms - Iwa Rere Educational and Technical Engagement and School Improvement Solutions. The parents have invited three of those four applicants to submit a full application – the fourth (School Improvement Solutions) was not invited because of its status as a for-profit company.