Executive Director Taletha Washburn addresses the Plumas Charter School advisory board Feb. 3 at a special meeting. To the right of Washburn is Stephen Hill, president of the school’s advisory board. Photo by Steve Wathen

Plumas Charter seeking greater autonomy

Plumas Charter School is attempting to become more autonomous from the Plumas Unified School District.

At a special meeting called for Feb. 3, the administration also discussed its application to leave the Plumas Unified School District Special Education Plan Area and join the El Dorado County Charter SELPA.

Most of the meeting took place in closed session.

Having its own building

Executive Director Taletha Washburn said that the charter school needs long-term stability as to where it holds its classes.

The board gave Washburn the legal authority to negotiate on behalf of the board in the purchase of the Trilogy building, located off Mill Creek Road in East Quincy, for its learning center in Quincy.

Advertisement

The board also approved a letter of intent to purchase the Trilogy property.

Finally, the board approved a project management services contract with Shirah Builders of Chico.

Shirah Builders will help the school through the process of obtaining the building, including: applying for a U.S. Department of Agriculture loan to purchase the Trilogy building, negotiating the purchase of the building and supervising changes made to the building before it is occupied.

The contract is for a maximum amount of $60,000 for two years.

David Shirah helped the Marysville Charter Academy go through its own process of obtaining funding from USDA and building its new school.

Marysville Charter Academy staff told Plumas Charter School administrators that David Shirah was indispensable in their getting through the process successfully.

Zoning

Advertisement

The Trilogy building is currently zoned “Light Commercial.” The school is seeking to have the zoning changed so that its learning center can be permanently located there.

On Feb. 16, The Plumas County Planning Commission was scheduled to discuss recommending to the Board of Supervisors that it amend the Plumas County Code to allow schools in light industrial zones.

El Dorado Charter SELPA

In 1977, all school districts were mandated to form a special education local plan area to provide for educational needs of special education children residing within a plan’s boundaries.

  The El Dorado Charter SELPA has hundreds of schools located throughout California.

Washburn told the board that joining the El Dorado Charter SELPA will leave the charter school with more money, as Plumas County SELPA currently takes 40 percent of the schools special education funds.

Washburn also said that belonging to the El Dorado Charter SELPA would provide more training opportunities for the school.

Washburn told the board, “This is an exciting opportunity to be more autonomous and allows us to link into a larger number of resources.”

Advertisement

Washburn hopes to contract with the Plumas County SELPA for occupational therapy, physical therapy, school nurse and school psychologist services once it has left the Plumas County SELPA.

Plumas Charter School applied to become a part of the El Dorado Charter SELPA two years ago, but was not accepted.