Thursday, March 5, 2015

Stoner community to oppose ICEF co-location

When the news came out on February 4, that ICEF Vista planned to co-location at Stoner ES, the response from the community was swift and strong. Stoner parents kept asking me "When are we going to protest?" and I would say that were weren't going to protest unless we had to. First, we needed to talk to LAUSD and ICEF to have all the information.
   A week after the announcement, LAUSD held meetings about the co-location. When parents heard that our set aside rooms for special programs would have to be given up to make space for ICEF, the anger and outrage of the Stoner parents grew, and community leaders decided they needed to act now.

Stoner Elementary parents sign petition opposing ICEF co-location
Petition signing at Stoner Avenue Elementary
    The following week, Stoner community representatives attended the ICEF monthly board meeting to present their concerns and express the opposition to the proposed co-location.  The pleas to the board fell on deaf ears, and the board said they would continue the co-location process.

   Last week, members of the booster club Friend of Stoner Elementary School were in front of Stoner ES handing out information and collecting signatures to oppose the proposed co-location.
   This week, Stoner parents were in front of ICEF Vista passing out information and collecting signatures from the ICEF community to oppose the co-location. The Friends of Stoner were surprised to learn that there are many in the ICEF community who are opposed to the co-location and don't want their school split. Many ICEF parents have expressed concern that their administration did not consult them, and are talking about pulling their kids out of ICEF if the co-location happens.

Stoner parents talk to ICEF parents, principal about co-location
Friends of Stoner talk to ICEF parents, principal about co-location
    However, ICEF is continuing down the co-location road that will create conflict and division in the neighborhood. Last night, ICEF held an information session for its parents and continued with the claim that the co-location was a "done deal" and there was nothing they could do to stop it. ICEF representatives were also present at last night's Del Rey Neighborhood council meeting to let the community know that they are planning on accepting the co-location regardless of what the local community, Stoner community and ICEF community want.
    The Stoner community will continue collecting signatures on a petition opposing the co-location to present at next ICEF board meeting on March 19.

    Unfortunately, ICEF is moving on undeterred, and so it looks like we might be having protests in the neighborhood.

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