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MUSD officials to decide on charter school petition Tuesday
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Great Valley Academy officials in Modesto will know on Tuesday whether their charter school application to establish a second campus in Manteca will be approved by the Board of Trustees of the Manteca Unified School District.

School board officials will meet at 7 p.m. on Dec. 7 p.m. in the district office board room at 2271 West Louise Avenue.

That evening, church officials with The Place of Refuge, the former Assembly of God on Button Avenue in Manteca, will also know if they will have Great Valley Academy as the new tenants at their soon-to-be-closed Manteca Christian School campus. The Rev. Mike Dillman, pastor of The Place of Refuge has announced that the school will close at the end of the current school year due to dwindling enrollment, paving the way for Great Valley Academy to expand its campus in Manteca.

At least one of the trustees, Manuel Medeiros, has announced that he will be voting against the academy’s charter application. Medeiros said he does not believe that Manteca needs a charter school since the school district’s students are not failing.

Great Valley Academy, which is like a public school in that its students don’t pay tuition fees, currently has an enrollment of 650 students at the Modesto campus with more than 200 on the waiting list. More than 60 students from Manteca are already enrolled at the Modesto Academy. However, a second campus in Manteca would make the driving more convenient for the parents of students who have to drive to Modesto from Lodi, Lathrop and Tracy where they live.

If approved by the school board of trustees, the new campus in Manteca would open next school year with a total of 350 students.

Pastor Dillman said their school facility would be leased to Great Valley Academy. Named to be co-principals at the Manteca campus if the new charter school is approved are Russ Howell, current vice principal at the Modesto campus, and former Sierra High School faculty Amy Gross.

The Great Valley Academy was the brainchild of longtime Modesto optometrist Eldon Rosenow. In a previous interview, Rosenow said they would be ready to appeal should the Manteca school board decide to deny their charter request.

Supporters of the new charter school packed the school board room last month when Rosenow and other school officials, along with Pastor Dillman, made the mandate presentation before the school board as to why their application to expand their campus in Manteca should be approved. None of the board members made any comment on their presentation.