Yesterday, ICEF Vista Director Kristen Buczek attended the Del Rey Residents Association monthly meeting looking for help to avoid the problems that the ICEF co-location at Stoner will cause. Before the meeting, Friends of Stoner ES released an open letter to Buczek outlining their concerns about the co-location.
At the meeting, Buczek tried to put her own spin on the co-location problems. She first claimed that ICEF Vista was a school for our local community and the co-location would serve Del Rey.
Unfortunately, the facts aren't on her side. Only 29 of the 170 students set to co-locate are from the service area of Stoner. The other 141 are coming from outside the area. The average distance of these students from Stoner is 7.33 miles, with some student coming in as far away as 13 miles. This means the co-location would not benefit our local community and would create the same, if not more, traffic problems that plagued CWC co-location.
When the concern was brought up that ICEF will be taking away resource rooms from Stoner to have those same resources on the St. Gereard campus, Ms. Buczek twisted herslef in knots trying to explain that ICEF wasn't adding resource rooms, it already had them, but the rooms were currently occupied by ICEF students.
The audience didn't buy it. If the resource rooms were full, it was because ICEF was over enrolling and creating their own loss of resource rooms. Why should the Stoner students suffer and lose out on resources because ICEF wants to enroll more students than it has room for?
By the end, Ms Buczek admitted that the co-location would create problems for the Stoner community and surrounding neighborhood.
How was she planning on dealing with these problems? The answer was simple, Ms Buczek would not be dealing with the problems, because she would be on leave next year. The problems with the co-location would be dealt with by ICEF Vista Instructional Specialist, Martine Pope, who would be acting as on-site vice principal during Buczek absence.
Since it will be Ms Pope who will be dealing with the co-location, Friends of Stoner ES has asked Ms. Pope to have a meeting at Stoner so that she can face the parents, hear the concerns of the Stoner community and decide for herself if she wants to be part of this co-location.
Ms Pope will have to face the Stoner community at some point and we are hoping to do this sooner rather than later.