Navigator’s Gilroy charter gets contract

GPS receives 6-0 vote from GUSD school board

It’s one down and one to go for Navigator Schools’ contract renewal, as the charter network’s Gilroy Prep was approved for a new five-year agreement by Gilroy Unified School District’s Board of Trustees at a March 22 meeting.

The board voted 6-0 to approve the charter’s petition for an extended term from 2018 through 2023. Trustee Mark Good was absent from the meeting and did not participate in the approval vote.

“The students are doing well and they are fiscally solvent; those are the two things school boards look at. It’s impossible to argue with their success. We support it,” said Gilroy School Board President Linda Piceno. “The one thing I look at is student achievement—are students doing well, are they successful academically?”

Up next is Navigator’s Hollister Prep, which was set for a renewal vote at a March 27 meeting of the Hollister School District’s governing body.

Gilroy Prep is situated in the former Mexican American Community Services Agency school buildings adjacent to South Valley Middle School on IOOF Avenue. Gilroy Prep is in its first year at full capacity, serving 540 students in grades K-8. Navigator’s flagship school opened in 2011 with authorization from Gilroy’s Board of Trustees.

“We are, of course, thrilled with the outcome of the renewal vote last week as we have had a wonderful partnership with Gilroy Unified,” said Kirsten Carr, Navigator’s director of community outreach. “This just solidifies five more years of being able to provide a phenomenal education not only for students of Gilroy Prep School but also an ability to partner with our authorizing district and ensure incredible quality education for all students.”

In one area of concern, Piceno noted that one of Gilroy Prep’s key student demographics dropped by 20 percent—students designated as socio-economically disadvantaged.

“Their target audience has been kids that are socio-economically disadvantaged. That population had decreased, and that’s a little bit disappointing,” Piceno explained. “For me that’s a bit of a concern and also a concern for them and they’re trying to address that. That’s the only concern I have about the program.”