Committee to study Analy-El Molino enrollment imbalance

Officials with the West Sonoma County High School District are creating a committee to address enrollment disparities at its two comprehensive high schools.

El Molino, a four-time winner of the California Distinguished School designation, currently has 604 students, down from its peak of 1,200 in 1998-99. Enrollment at Analy, which posts the fourth highest Academic Performance Index scores among Sonoma County's high schools, has 1,369 students.

District officials have struggled with declining enrollment at El Molino, hosting community meetings to address transfer policies, academic offerings and extra curricular options.

The new committee, expected to be made up of 12 to 15 people representing teachers, students, parents and community members from both schools, will begin meeting immediately, said Superintendent Keller McDonald. Those interested should contact the district office, he said.

Converting El Molino to a charter school emerged as an option at the school board meeting Wednesday.

The district also will begin an immediate search to find a successor for El Molino Principal Doria Trombetta, who announced her retirement Wednesday.

"I've been thinking about this for a while but wanted to lead El Molino through difficult times," she said. "We've made great strides in the last year and I feel confident that there is the leadership at El Molino to continue moving in the right direction."

Trombetta, who started as a teacher in the district in 1973, has been co-principal or principal at the Covey Road campus since 1990.

"That is a remarkable tenure," McDonald said. "Doria has provided great leadership for El Molino for a long time . . . through four California Distinguished School awards."

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