What has brought us here?

Northgate Community Advocacy for our Public Schools (Northgate CAPS) is a non-profit community advocacy group. Our goal is to create a smaller school district that encompasses the attendance areas of Northgate High School, Foothill Middle School, and the Walnut Acres, Valle Verde, and Bancroft Elementary Schools. Studies show that smaller school districts provide greater local control, accountability, and increased student performance. We believe the time is right to make this move, and we believe our proposal is a win-win for all MDUSD students. We have a long road ahead of us and a great deal of work that still needs to be completed. Please follow and endorse us at northgatecaps.wordpress.com and like us on Facebook.  

Northgate Community Advocacy for our Public Schools (CAPS) is committed to bringing local control of education to our community and provide our children an equitable opportunity to succeed within our City, State, and the global World in which we live. As education advocates we share a commitment to move toward this goal by pursuing the creation of a Northgate Unified School District.

Local control is essential in the success of our public schools. A district that is too large cannot be responsive to the diverse needs of all students that it attempts to serve. This effort is intended to benefit all MDUSD students by creating two smaller districts that could better service their community of children and families.

District Size

Mt. Diablo School District has over 50 school campuses and over 30,000 students. The district spans 150 square miles, including cities of Concord, Pleasant Hill, Clayton; portions of Walnut Creek, Martinez and Pittsburg, unincorporated areas, including Lafayette, Pacheco, and Bay Point. To put the geographical size of the district in perspective San Francisco is roughly 47 square miles and to put the number of students in perspective, over 95% of all districts in California are smaller than MDUSD.

Big-District Dysfunction  – As Seen Firsthand in MDUSD

As a community we have seen the inequity between the educational focus in MDUSD and the districts that serve the students in the other half of Walnut Creek. Both the Walnut Creek Elementary District and the Acalanes Union High School District are optimally sized and can therefore exercise local control. Local control means a school board can target programs to support the needs of all students instead of a one size fits all approach. Local control creates an environment where the community will unite around local funding opportunities. Highlighted here is the the “big-district” dysfunction we have seen within MDUSD.
  • Curriculum selected without regard for the needs of Northgate students
  • School site innovation stifled by unresponsive central office
  • Capital programs and operating budgets without adequate controls or accountability
  • Primitive analysis of major new spending initiatives
  • Poor training of educators and staff
    • – Higher litigation expense and jury awards for misbehavior
  • Lower compensation/benefits, compared with peer districts
  • Unfunded liabilities spiraling upward
  • Inability to execute strategies to improve teaching and learning
  • Community disillusionment and lack of support for local funding of our neighborhood schools