The Daily Press (August 8) printed an article entitled "Recalled Board Members File Responses" in which Dr. Robert Kirk, Hardy Black, and Lee Rogers stated that I, Helen Rogers, requested a survey be sent home to parents concerning the Hesperia calendar. I am writing this letter in the hope of getting the correct information to Hesperia residents.

Robert Kirk, Hardy Black, and Lee Rogers alleged that I was responsible for sending out these surveys costing the district between $7,000 and $8,000. That statement is NOT true!

The calendar change was initiated by Dr. Robert Kirk. For details on this look at the board minutes of December 11, 2006 - page 31. At that meeting under Items for Future Board Meetings it is noted that Vice President Kirk "directed staff to form a committee to explore the adoption of the Apple Valley School Calendar for the 2007-08 school year. The Calendar Committee will be comprised of 1 administrator, teachers, classified staff, and a parent. Staff will report the committee's recommendations at the January 22, 2007 Board Meeting." Later Dr. Kirk was instrumental in forming the committee and deciding who would serve on the committee.

The Calendar Committee met for the first time on January 10, 2007. At that time I was not part of the committee. Open forums were held at three different sites: Juniper Elementary School, the former HUSD District Office, and Hesperia High School. I was the only board member to attend all three forums.

It was very evident that the Apple Valley calendar was not acceptable to the Hesperia residents in attendance at these three meetings. Bill Fagan, principal of Mojave High School, and chairman of the Calendar Committee, in the February 5, 2007 board minutes on page 15 - stated, "The preliminary findings of the committee suggest that there is no significant support for the Apple Valley calendar (indeed the Apple Valley calendar quickly was removed from discussion at each of these forums because virtually no one came forward to speak of its benefits)..."

He went on to state "The Committee's next task is to complete the interest survey of all stakeholders to determine whether or not a calendar change of any kind should be considered at this time."

Parents requested that the surveys be mailed home. They claimed that often they do not receive items sent home with their children and requested that the district mail the information to them so that they would have the opportunity to respond. See page 15 of the February 5, 2007 board minutes.

On page 16 of the February 5th board minutes LEE ROGERS made the motion and I seconded it to approve the Calendar Committee's recommendations of no change to the existing calendar for 07/08 - continue the survey process to appropriate constituencies (parents, etc.) and bring back survey results once compiled for information. The committee will be expanded to include parent representatives in the District and will be under the direction of Jovy Yankaskas, Assistant Superintendent, Educational Services. The motion carried in a 5-0 vote.

It is unfortunate that I was accused of something that I did not do.

I am, however, guilty of asking why some of the parents who attended the first meeting were told not to come back. I found this rather strange since our District Core Values state "We believe in strong partnerships and regular communication with parents and community members to help our students maximize their individual potential." If you look at the January 22, 2007 board minutes on page 14, you will note that I asked why some people who recently attended the committee meeting were told not to come back. Mr. Fagan responded that he had a conversation with Dr. Kirk about members of the committee.

I also asked how many parents on the committee were not HUSD employees. After finding the answer to my question was none, I told Mr. Fagan, in open session, that I would like to include parents on the committee who were not currently employed by the district. He said he would be happy to discuss this with me, which he did.

I called several principals in our district and asked them to supply me with the name of a parent who was not a district employee, but was active at their particular school. I then submitted the names of several parents. These parents served faithfully on the committee until its conclusion.

I believe that Bill Fagan did an outstanding job in chairing this committee. He was open to all information, he was a great listener, and he had a calming influence on all involved. I feel he did a wonderful job at bringing this lengthy, expensive, time consuming matter to an appropriate conclusion. Parents, teachers, and staff had a chance to respond to this important community issue.

I would also like to thank all those who served on the committee. The time and effort that went into this proves the dedication of parents, teachers, and staff in our community.

My concern is with Dr. Kirk, Mr. Black, and Mrs. Lee Rogers putting words in my mouth that I did not say. I hope this will not continue in the future!

Very sincerely,

Helen Rogers
HUSD Board of Trustees