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Our Community Focus

Northgate Unified School District Initiative

Aug 29, 2016 12:31PM ● By Jennifer Neys

For two years, Northgate CAPS (Community Advocacy for our Public Schools) has been working toward splitting from MDUSD. Currently, Mt. Diablo is one of the largest school districts in the state of California, with over 56 school sites and programs. The advocacy group wants local control of education at the community level, believing that a smaller school district would be more responsive to the needs of the students and educators. The new district would include the 5 public schools in east Walnut Creek: Northgate High  Foothill Middle, Bancroft Elementary, Valle Verde Elementary, and Walnut Acres Elementary schools.


They are currently seeking endorsements from the community, businesses, and civic leaders. Although Northgate CAPS has tried unsuccessfully to break from MDUSD in the past and join with the Walnut Creek and Acalanes School Districts, this effort is different. According to their website,, “In this proposal we are creating a new district independent from any other existing district.” In addition, they have completed a draft report confirming that the proposal meets the nine criteria required by the California Department of Education guidelines for District Organization.


Last July, they began a campaign to collect endorsements in support of a new Northgate Unified School District, and an informational meeting was held at the Ygnacio Valley Library on August 17. A Northgate CAPS spokesperson said, “The focus was to collect signatures from the households that are directly within the proposed attendance area for the new district which encompasses all the areas where students currently attend a Northgate feeder pattern school. As such, all of the families currently attending Bancroft would be included and they would no longer be split. It also includes the Lime Ridge and Crystal Ranch areas if their students currently are in the attendance area for Northgate feeder pattern schools. The target start date for petition gathering for community support is September 10.” The petition is the next step in the process to establish a new district.