Calaveras Enterprise

Schools awarded millions

After a three-year planning process, the State Allocation Board approved $15,144,000 last month for the Calaveras County Office of Education’s construction of a new school site for Mountain Oaks School and Mountain Ranch Community School.

“We are currently ‘out to bid’ and have many contractors request copies of the plans and attend a pre-bid meeting,” county Superintendent of Schools John Brophy wrote in a “new school update” letter available in the board meeting packet Monday night, during the board’s monthly meeting.

The new schools will be located next to each other, separated by a gym and lunchroom, on Pool Station Road in San Andreas.

According to Brophy, the bids have been submitted and were opened on Wednesday.

“Generally speaking,” he said, “the low bid is honored.”

Brophy added that the bids need to be researched to make sure they have their bonding and insurance. The board will announce the winning bid at a special board meeting on April 10.

Brophy hopes construction on the new schools will start by early summer, and that students will be able to attend by fall of 2008.

Later, in an interview, he said the current school sites – Mountain Oaks School, a kindergarten through 12th grade home-based charter school, located on Church Hill Road in San Andreas, and Mountain Ranch Community School, an alternative school serving students in sixth though 12th grades – are not adequate anymore.

He said both schools need more space.

The new facilities will have the latest computer technologies, including Internet access, and will have more classrooms, a learning lab, lunchroom, a gymnasium and “their own beautiful location,” Brophy said, adding that the Pool Station Road location is more centrally located and will reduce the bus ride for some students.

Mountain Oaks, a home-based school program “will function as a resource center for students,” he said.

“These are students who are home schooled,” Brophy said, noting that they work with a credentialed teacher and do spend some time on campus.

The new charter school will offer in-school workshops, athletic events, dances and a student council, Brophy said.

“Most of their time is spent home or traveling,” he said of the home-schooled students.

Placing the two schools so close to each other isn’t a concern, Brophy said.

“The kids are always supervised,” he said, and the schools “won’t be sharing the same facilities at the same time.”

One is a charter school and the other is an alternative school for students unable to adjust to the programs available in a traditional school, according to the County Office of Education’s Web site.

He said he thinks the new site will be good for the students.

They’ll be able to enjoy many things, like a softball field, “that they don’t have now,” he added.

The board’s special meeting will be held at 4:30 p.m. April 10 at the Calaveras County Office of Education on South Main Street in Angels Camp. The meeting is open to the public. The board holds its regular meetings, also open to the public, at 4:30 p.m. the fourth Monday of each month the Calaveras County Office of Education conference room.

Contact Bethany Monk at

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