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County board may decide Manteca charter school fate today
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The San Joaquin County Board of Education will decide today whether Great Valley Academy can open a branch charter school in Manteca.

The five-member panel will make that decision at their noon meeting at the county school of education office on Arch Road in Stockton. The board heard the appeal of Great Valley officials at a public hearing on Jan. 19. The appeal was over the denial of the charter school’s application in December by the Manteca Unified School Board of Trustees.

“I’m going to be there, and I think a couple of parents just to see how the board votes,” said Great Valley Academy founder Eldon Rosenow, a longtime Modesto optometrist who is still actively involved in the school.

“I don’t know how it’s going to go,” he said of the board’s vote, “but I always feel optimistic, because we have such a unique program.”

While the process of getting approved has been going on since last year, Great Valley also has been getting prepared. They already have three portable buildings ready to move in to the Manteca Christian Academy campus once they get the green light to open this school year.

“We’re all ready to move and get the school established if we get the approval,” Rosenow said.

The portables would be in addition to Manteca Christian’s main school building. They would need the extra spaces for the 532 that have already signed up for the school in Manteca.

The main school building can only hold so many students, so they will need extra portable classrooms to accommodate the others, Rosenow explained.

Great Valley in Modesto already has 60 Manteca students commuting to that campus. Other parents whose children are currently attending the school in Modesto will have their choice of keeping their children there or enrolling them in Manteca.

Great Valley Manteca will probably need about 20 teachers plus office workers. The “financial part of it” will be done at the Modesto office, “which would be like a district office,” Rosenow said.

The payroll, for example, will be done at the Modesto school office “to cut the costs,” he said.

If the vote fails today, Rosenow said they’ll file an appeal to the California Board of Education.