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Keeping up with education in Huntington Beach

Update on Perry Elementary

I’d like to clarify a few things regarding recent rumors that have been circulating lately about our schools. I know this is quite long, but it’s worth a read since the HBCSD has been virtually silent on matters…

Perry Elementary is not closing…

At least not without formal legal procedures which involves the input of a democratically chosen committee (What’s known as a 7-11 Committee). It is being proposed that that land be sold off to create more housing (condos, low income, who knows) in the middle of a housing tract off of already crazy congested Beach Blvd. A number of parents have been scared of the school closing, and perhaps with good reason. But in this committee, which has already been chosen and had their first meeting, OTHER, in fact ALL other school sites “should” be looked at. As a matter of fact, this was an amendment added to the study during October’s school board meeting- proposed by Dr. Morrow, and voted on 4-0. The HBCSD is not proposing to close a middle school. However, they have in fact proposed closing Sowers, selling off the property for more development and moving to the old Gisler site.

The 7-11 Committee is an advisory committee, they will send a report to the board and superintendent once they have reviewed all the facts and data.

Are you concerned about the future of our schools and open spaces?

Are you angry that us constituents agreed to pass Measure Q, totaling $159,850,000 (yes that is the correct number) just two and a half years ago to “update all” of our schools and now the HBCSD is looking to make a quick buck off two school properties? Do you wonder where your kids will play soccer when they build on these sites?

If you’re a parent at Smith, Seacliff, or Moffett, are you at all concerned that hundreds of kids will have to be absorbed there (some have over 700 kids already)? Look at schools at other districts, they are much smaller and kids DON’T have to travel up to two miles to get to the closest school! Did you know FOUR schools have been shut down, rented out, or sold off since the 1980s? (Burke, Gisler, LeBard, and Kettler… Peterson wisely was not sold off and reopened a few years later). WHERE DOES IT END? In the long run, this will effect our entire city for generations to come and your school could be next! What are the long term trends of enrollment? If you haven’t noticed, HB is still growing! Let’s choose children and communities over more housing!

There have been numerous shady events that have transpired to get us to this point.

Although I wish no ill on our Superintendant, it is known that he has friends who are housing developers– this seems like a conflict of interest. The lack of transparency over this process has created a climate of fear and pullout of children from certain schools and even from our district altogether (look at our residential enrollment rate versus others). As a whole, our board has remained weak and ineffectual. As a recent example, the HBCSD Board was willing to go along with Haulk “hand grooming” the 7-11 committee applications until we put pressure on the Board to not allow so. This is incompetence at the highest level- you NEVER sell off school lands, especially after raising millions of dollars! Kettler sat vacant for numerous years while the District rented out prime office space on Beach and Warner? The list goes on.


1) Show your displeasure by emailing the board and superintendent. Let them know closures are wrong and that you are paying attention at

2) Go to the school board meetings. They are (only) once a month. The next one is Tuesday, April 23rd at 6PM, 8750 Dorsett Dr., 92646 (old Kettler site). Let your voice be heard, you may speak there or just observe.

3) Join our group, “Save HB Schools” here on Facebook to stay updated and connect with others.

4) Volunteer in any capacity to save our schools and protect our kids.

5) Keep your kids enrolled in their home schools. Balance out the numbers and create a greater sense of community!

Thank you for your time,

Kurt Chrestensen
Save HB Schools

1 Response

  1. william shipp

    I’m very concerned about the news with Perry and the neighborhood. Hoping that is only a rumor. This area is nice because of this school…………Is the city not getting enough tax from the oil? And the hotels? And the DUI’s….need they ever tell the homeowners what that total is? Helping teach Truth and honesty is not a bad thing.

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