CHINO, Calif. — Chino parents are frustrated that no progress has been made on a new school in the Chino Preserve.

According to parents, they were promised the funding by the school board years ago but now, no one is answering their requests for information.

What You Need To Know

  • Chino parents are frustrated that no progress has been made on a new school in the Chino preserve

  • They said they were promised funding by the School Board years ago and now, no one is answering their requests for information

  • Cal Aero Preserve Academy is the only K-8 school in this growing area and parents say it is severely impacted

  • Anyone driving through the Chino Preserve doesn't have to look long to find construction, but none of the new sites are the building Eva Chen said they need most

Cal Aero Preserve Academy is the only K-8 school in the growing area, and parents said it is severely impacted.

Driving through the Chino Preserve, one will notice a lot of construction sites, but none of those are the building that, according to Eva Chen, the area needs the most.

Chen, a mom of two, said the area has exploded in population in the last 10 years with 3,400 homes and counting, but only one school.

“Construction doesn’t stop. It’s been picking up more and more," Chen explained.

The Chino Valley Unified School District opened a K-8 school for students in the Chino Preserve in 2009. Parents said they were promised by the school board that when Cal Aero Preserve Academy reached 700 students, the school district would build a new school.

Now, there are 1,548 students enrolled, and parents like Chen are tired of waiting.

“We just feel like the stepchild," she said. "We need that second school badly. Otherwise, the kids suffer. The parents suffer. We do not want our kids bussed to other schools in other cities. We want to be treated the way every other school in the district is being treated.”

Chen and other parents said they started “storming” school board meetings demanding for the new school to move forward.

That was two years ago, and not much has happened since.

Greg Stachura, the district’s assistant superintendent of Facilities, Planning & Operations Division said not only are they getting pressure from the parents about timing; they are also getting it from the landowner.

According to Stachura, one of the issues with the contract is a specific time frame to build the school that the District will not agree to.

At this point, parents fear their children’s education is suffering.

“There’s too many [students] in a class," said Chen. "There’s no specialized attention. There is no assistance most of the time. The teacher is one-on-one with about 30, 35 kids depending on the grade level.”

The district set aside $23 million to build the new school, and they have already chosen a location – open land next to Pine Avenue.

The slow progress, however, has parents frustrated.

“We can complain, but they just say okay we’ll take care of it, or we’ll think about the plans or what not. They really don’t do anything," said Chen. 

The district said it is trying, and Stachura blames delays on those contract negotiations.

Stachura also noted the following must occur first, as well:

"Lewis must mass grade the property so [the District's] consultant can continue with soils testing. [The District's] consultant must finish soils testing. The property must be approvable as a school site by the California Department of Education and once it is, [the District] can purchase the property from Lewis (pending purchase agreement language revisions). The Department of State Architect (DSA) must approve the plans (currently being drawn by [the District's] architect)."

At a recent meeting, school board member, James Na, reiterated the board’s continued commitment to resolve these issues and build the new school.

"The second school is really needed in that area, and I agree with all the parents," Na said.

The school district indicated the money set aside for this school would not be spent elsewhere. The landowner said they are hopeful that this will come to a good resolution so all can move forward.

As for the parents, Chen said they are ready for both parties to agree sooner than later.

“If it’s an agreement wording issue, work it out," she said. "If it’s greed, work it out.”

All she can do now is have more patience, for the school district and for her seven and 9-year-old whose current school is at home.