Executive Director Terri Novacek Discusses Dehesa and Dimensions.

 

 

The legal story: A landmark case was decided by the California Appellate Court last spring (commonly referred to as the “Shasta-Anderson case”).  To continue operating resource centers throughout San Diego County, Dehesa Charter (authorized by Dehesa District) applied for San Diego County authorization as Dimensions Collaborative School.  Dimensions is opening Fall 2018 to accommodate Dehesa Charter School students in San Diego County.  Current Dehesa families will have a seamless transition as we begin the exciting journey as the first county-wide charter offering independent study and homeschool support.  We are staffed and ready to accommodate new families as well. 

 

Based on input from families and staff, Dimensions will be offering even more resources than formerly offered by Dehesa.   Resource centers will operate in Central, North County Coastal, and North County Inland locations.   For more information, you can contact:

Central:  Charles Schechter

North County Coastal:  Greg Hartman

North County Inland:  Tony Drown

 

 

In addition to resource centers, Dimensions will continue the tradition that Dehesa Charter School does so well…meaningful and up-close learning in the community.  Field studies, park days, co-ops, interviews, observations, and volunteer services are just a few of the ways in which we use the world as our classroom.  For more information, you can contact:

Elisa Hilliard

 

Will more resource centers be added in the future? 

 

Yes, we are looking to add South County and East County locations.  

 

Was Dehesa Charter School operating resource centers illegally prior to the court decision?

 

No.  The Department of Education not only approved of the operation of our centers, they recommended them as a best practice.  Similar cases had gone to court with decisions siding with the charter schools.  However, when Anderson Unified lost the case against Shasta Secondary Charter School, they appealed the decision and won.  (More detail can be found at:  http://www.ccsa.org/2017/05/anderson-usd-v-shasta-secondary-home-school-case-overview.html

 

Will Dimensions Collaborative be different than Dehesa? 

 

The seventeen years of experience and stability will transfer to the new school.  It will be the same staff, same administration, same special education resources, same flexibility regarding consumable resources, and same extensive library of non-consumable resources.  Differences will be an increase in consumable materials and services as well as a three to four-day option for resource center support.  Contact the regional lead person listed above for more information. 

 

Is Dimensions WASC accredited?

 

While it usually takes a year to receive accreditation, due to the success of a recent WASC visit to Dehesa, WASC has agreed to conduct a visit to Dimensions in the Fall.  At this time, we expect to be accredited by spring of 2019, which would be retroactive to the Fall.  Juniors and seniors in San Diego county may remain enrolled in Dehesa if they prefer, until Dimensions accreditation is complete.   In the off-chance there is any blip in the accreditation process for Dimensions, students will be permitted to transfer back to Dehesa without any disruption in their learning plan. 

 

Is Dehesa Charter School closing?

 

Not at this time.  As a county-wide charter school, Dimensions may only enroll students from within San Diego County.  As such, Dehesa Charter School will remain open to serve students in adjacent counties until we are able to get authorization from a Riverside County District. 

 

Will Dehesa Charter School have resource centers in adjacent counties?

 

That is our intention; however, because we have been unsuccessful finding an authorizer in Riverside County, it will require a waiver from the State Board (which we are working on).  If the waiver is denied, we will still be able to operate in those counties; we just won’t be able to have resource centers. 

 

 

Will Dehesa be offering more resources, just like Dimensions?

 

Yes, thanks to our track record of sound fiscal operations, we are now in a place to expand our options for supporting self-directed, life-long learning.  For more information, you can contact:

North Riverside County:  Kathy Jansen

South Riverside County:  Traci Lockman

 

Will county authorization change the mission and practices of Dehesa/Dimensions regarding expectations and daily operations?

 

NO!!  While SDCOE is committed to ensuring its programs provide quality choice to parents, we have years of experience and expertise in providing a personalized learning model with high levels of support, accountability, and fiscal responsibility.   Given that we have always operated in a manner which meets or exceeds our authorizer’s and the state’s expectations, no changes are necessary.