The Napa Valley Unified School District is seeking members for the committee that will help decide the future of elementary schools in Napa and Yountville.

Known as a “7-11 committee” for its minimum and maximum number of members, the advisory team will discuss the status of NVUSD’s smallest schools for children from kindergarten to the fifth grade. Those interested in joining the committee are asked to file their applications by July 25, and the district’s board of education will approve the team’s members at its Aug. 8 meeting.

In June, district leaders said NVUSD may shutter two of the four smallest elementary schools – Alta Heights, Mt. George, West Park and Yountville – to help reverse a district deficit that grew to $3.1 million for the 2018-19 academic year.

Committee sessions are scheduled for Aug. 20, Sept. 3 and 17, and Oct. 1 and will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the NVUSD boardroom, 2425 Jefferson St. in Napa. All committee meetings will be open to the public, with minutes and recordings posted to the school district website nvusd.org.

California law requires a 7-11 committee to include different kinds of stakeholders, such as parents, teachers, school administrators and local property owners.

The group will meet four times to discuss possible closures of grade schools with fewer than 300 students, as well as potential reuse of vacated campuses.

Committee members would weigh enrollment numbers, areas served by the schools, finances and facilities in recommending any closures to the NVUSD board, which would make the final decision. A final report from the committee is slated for Oct. 24, but the committee is advisory only.

Campus closures are among several steps NVUSD leadership has proposed to cope with falling attendance that has cut into the per-student funding Napa schools receive from the state. Superintendent Rosanna Mucetti also has emphasized the need to bolster financial reserves that have dropped to 3.6 percent of the district’s budget – just above the 3 percent mark that could open the way to a state declaration of insolvency and a takeover of finances.

For more information, contact Jennifer Gibb at 707-253-6281 or nvusd-711@nvusd.org. Application forms and other information are available at nvusd.org/711.

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City of Napa/Town of Yountville Reporter

Howard Yune covers the city of Napa and the town of Yountville. He has been a reporter and photographer for the Register since 2011, and previously wrote for the Marysville Appeal-Democrat, Anaheim Bulletin and Coos Bay (Oregon) World.