Signal Hill Parents Oppose Secession Plan

Parents have expressed strong opposition to key features of a plan for Signal Hill to secede from the Long Beach Unified School District. Parents of children enrolled in public schools in Signal Hill oppose busing their children and closing any elementary school in that city. Nearly 1,200 parents responded to a school district survey in October. In their responses, they also expressed strong satisfaction with their child’s school, its educational program and school safety. Among the key findings of the survey sent to parents October 4: • 97.4 percent agreed or strongly agreed with the statement "I am happy with the program my child’s school provides." • 95.4 percent rated their child’s school excellent or good. • 93.4 percent said it was very important that their children continue to attend their current school in Signal Hill. • 88.2 percent oppose having only one elementary school in Signal Hill. The proposed plan to form a separate Signal Hill School District calls for converting Alvarado Elementary School to a 400-student high school and Burroughs Elementary School to a middle school. • 79.5 percent opposed closing any existing Signal Hill elementary school. • 79.8 percent opposed closing Alvarado and converting it to a high school. • 75.6 percent opposed closing Burroughs and converting it to a middle school. A similar survey was sent to all parents of middle and high school students who live in Signal Hill but whose children attend schools in Long Beach. More than nine out of ten--91.6 percent--said it was very important or somewhat important that their children have the opportunity to continue to attend his or her current middle or high school. • 88.6 percent of these parents rated their child’s school either good or excellent. • 80.6 percent agreed that their student had an opportunity to take advanced courses at his or her current school. • 79.5 percent agreed that they have a wide range of program choices for their student. Only 29 percent of the Signal Hill parents of middle and high school students favored converting Alvarado to a small high school or Burroughs to a middle school. A majority of parents--51 percent--completed and returned the school survey. National polls typically get about 30 percent to respond. A September 25 poll by the City of Signal Hill received a 13 percent response and included only 189 parents with school-age children.