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Move of Secret Garden Preschool Is A Possibility

Martinez school district evaluating program as plans for renovation of Vicente adult education campus proceed.

Martinez school officials are taking a look at changes in facility and program at the Secret Garden preschool, housed at the adult school campus on Alhambra Avenue.

No irrevocable decision has been made, said Rami Muth, superintendent of the Martinez Unified School District. She said officials are analyzing issues of a potential move of the Secret Garden preschool to the Growing Garden preschool across the street from the school district offices on Susana Street.

At a school board meeting earlier this week, several speakers asked about the potential move. "We very much do care," said Muth. "We know it's been an important program, that it's been here a long time … we just have to look at every program we have and every option we have."

Parents were informed three months ago about the possible move to a remodeled Growing Garden site. They have been dismayed by a more recent announcement that the Secret Garden lead teacher has accepted a teaching job elsewhere, according to an email from one parent (who asked not to be identified).

The preschool move would aid the district's plans for renovation and reconstruction of buildings on the Vicente adult education campus on Alhambra Avenue.

MUSD staff is also analyzing adult ed programs, including the preschools, in light of state directives to make adult ed programs self-sustaining. The state has called for tighter fiscal planning of program offerings as California transitions to supervision of adult education by the community college system, Muth said.

Muth said MUSD administrators have scheduled a meeting with PTA leaders for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, at the district offices on Susana Street to discuss plans for adult ed and the Secret Garden preschool.

Roy Baril February 22, 2013 at 03:51 PM
Not a potential move.... A definite move! The Secret Garden will be razed this summer to make way for a $5,000,000 dollar building (the Vincente Center). There are only 1 more year of funds available for the Secret Garden (mostly provided by the local PTA and tuition) to stay open. After that, no more pre-school in Martinez. After 50 years in operation, it is a travesty that the community will let this worthy institution just fade away.

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