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Alameda Unified School District

Pathway to Excellence and Equity

Excellence and Equity Task Forces


At the 9/25 BOE Meeting, the Superintendent presented a planning process to address changing district demographics, enrollment imbalance between schools, inconsistency of high-quality education programs and long-term fiscal solvency. The planning process was further refined at the 10/9 BOE meeting when the Superintendent announced the formation of two task forces: Elementary Facility Capacity Task Force and the Secondary Education Task Force. These task forces will generate initial research and analysis by studying the Demographic Study and Facility Capacity. In addition, potential program options e.g. district-wide charter, magnet schools, etc. will be reviewed.

The Superintendent has designed a system of communication feedback loops that integrates input from AUSD stakeholders, creates a new Community Sounding Board of external community stakeholders, and provides for a series of community forums to share and receive input from the task forces. The continous flow of feedback from stakeholder groups is key to development and refinement of program and facility options. In addition, individuals send their comments to Board members.

Here is a pictoral representation of the communication feedback loops.

In December, the Alameda Journal published a story titled: Schools in search of more classrooms covering a workshop for the elementary task force work to date.

With the Governor's proposed and subsequent identification of a $4,000,000 budget crisis for AUSD, the work of the two task force was suspended. The Superintendent formed a new K-12 Restructuring Task Force charged with developing a fiscal solvent K-12 school system.

After the initial task force meeting, Rob Siltanen new Blog School 94501/94502 posted this entry: Restructuring AUSD?.

Additional Documents

2007 Demographic Study with 5 Year Enrollment Projections
December 5, 2007 Community Meeting Handout on Elementary Schools
December 12, 2007 BOE Workshop Handout on Elementary Schools
December 12, 2007 BOE Workshop Powerpoint on Elementary Schools
December 12, 2007 BOE Workshop Minutes
Powerpoint Presentation Update from January 8 BOE Meeting on Elementary Task Force
Powerpoint Presentation Update from January 8 BOE Meeting on Secondary Task Force
Word Document from Secondary Task Force on Ideas Developed to Date - Jan 2008
Mar 20 Meeting Minutes
Mar 20 Chart Paper Recap
K-12 Task Force Revised Problem Statement and Charge Published March 27

Comments Received

Parent February 10, 2008
I'm hoping the board will ask to maintain the sibling preference for border families (who will only be able to enroll in "choice" schools this year. As many of the speakers in ESNN stated well, it's our neighborhood schools that make AUSD special and it's a hardship to separate kids from a single family into different schools.
Without sibling preference, the "grandfathering" of household with kids on the border is hardly a true choice for families with more than 1 young kid. And I have a hard time believing that the variability in enrollment will be that great over the next 5 years. I can't imagine the hassle of trying to get one child to Edison and one to Otis. I loved having the choice available to us when we started school. We chose Edison mainly because it was much closer to us. That would be the same for all Edison Border households.
As a household on the Edison side of the border, I'm not writing because of concerns over the impact on our family, or our housing situation. I just think that the staff may be getting too specific on this one issue with very little gain.

Parent January 4, 2008
In following the analsyis of the "mismatch" between enrollment and capacity, I am wondering if there is data on the students who register for kindergarten at their local school but are diverted. Does the District know how many of the diverted students actually enroll in another Alameda public school, versus those who opt for private school? It seems that in deciding between increasing capacity versus lottery/diversion at over-enrolled schools, data regarding lost funding and students due to declined diversions should be considered. Younger siblings in those families who enroll in private schools or other districts because they cannot enroll in their local Alameda elementary school should also be considered potentially lost funding, as presumably those families will maintain their child(ren)'s enrollment at the alternative schools. While some may consider this group to have a negligible fiscal impact, and may even perceive it as a way to alleviate the site-specific ! over-enrollment problem, this appears to be a growing trend which actually worsens the problems caused by declining enrollment District-wide. It also deprives the District of students who possess the characteristics to be successful, high achieving learners, and the parents who support them, and their schools.

Parent January 4, 2008
It is my understanding that one reason why NEA has the support of some Washington parents (even those who do not plan to send their children there) is that they know Alameda schools are unequal. Parent envolvement and the ability of parents to raise money for particular schools makes for inequities and involved West End school parents saw NEA as offering something different for students.
It would be lovely if AUSD did consider a magnet school and Washington would be a perfect place to start. And what kind of magnet school would I like to see.....let me think about that for a second. Washington School for the Arts has a nice ring to it. The cost: hiring a credentialed art teacher. Seems like a cheap price to turn around diminishing enrollment and really putting Washington on the map.

Parent January 4, 2008
I think it's critical for the Board and AUSD to acknowledge the demand for program diversity within Alameda's public school system, and be proactive in addressing this in ways that are complimentary to AUSD, not damaging to it.
With the current budget crunch, it's a lousy time to be contemplating expansion of programs on offer within the District, but if some movement is not made in this direction over the next few years, I think the alternative could be much worse. We could see a procession of 'boutique' charter school applications draining funds from the District, with AUSD being slowly nudged into the role of 'public education provider of last resort'.
The Elementary Task Force recently ranked magnet programs as a low-priority item with respect to addressing the short term Elementary Capacity problem. That's an understandable position for them to adopt, given their mandate, but taking the broader view, I think magnet programs should be re-examined in light of the charter school threat. Another option that could be explored is creation of charters that are more closely-aligned with AUSD - for example, converting an entire existing AUSD school to a charter program, with differentiated educational programs and governance, but without the negative financial implications associated with charters that cherry-pick students from across the district for niche programs.

Parent December 21
I’m really tired of hearing from a few people whining who just joined our island community and don’t even have kids in the school system. The system has worked fine for years. If some how this group has success in moving school boundries that have been in place for years there will be a war. There is no way my neighborhood will tolerate a hit on our home values and our neighborhood cohesiveness when we have owned and been in the Edison school district for years. This option or thinking is completely skewed and should be removed as a viable solution. We live on an island and we don’t have new subdivisions being added to this area. Demographics related to children are uncontrollable and will change randomly. The boundary suggestion is brought forward with short sighted thinking from selfish people who only have their personal interest in mind instead of what’s best for the community. Knee jerk reaction won’t resolve this challenge but adding more class rooms will. This is a capacity issue, change the capacity and resolve the issue.

Parent December 12
I appreciate your honesty and willingness to work with the public on all the issues we are facing with the Overcapcity problem and more specifically Edison school. As a current Edison parent, I am curious as to how the Community Sounding Board Members are chosen. I have noticed two members listed as representing Edison school that are actually not Edison parents at all. Also, the two people listed are the founding members of Edison School Neighborhood Network, as I'm sure you are aware. This is the same group that is/was pushing for the whole Buffer zone thing. How are they representing a school where their children do not even attend? Please explain this process of selection to me.
Editor Note: The Community Sounding Board is a Superintendent committee. As such, the Superintendent selects all of the representatives on the committee.
Thank you for your response. Why on earth would two people be choosen that have exactly the same agenda? And represent a school that their children do not even attend? What can I do to get myself appointed on this Community Sounding Board? My children actually attend Edison. This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard!

Parent December 12
I was unable to attend tonight’s meeting, but I have some feedback that I am hoping will be taken into account during this process. I have a son in kindergarten at Edison School. I am finding that there are some rather serious safety issues at Edison, especially around children (kindergartners) being left unattended by any adults during lunch and during transition times such as after lunch recess. I would be happy to document these issues in more detail if you would like additional information.
In short, it appears that Edison School is already groaning under the weight of an additional 20 kindergartners, for a total of 80 kindergartners. These now 80 kindergartners will of course mean 80 in each following grade. I know that many are calling to solve the capacity issue by simply adding portables. I am extremely concerned that adding more students into an already overcrowded school will not only lead to lower academic results but also increased safety issues. When students as young as four are left unattended outside near a school exit as a matter of daily procedure, the risks are large that something could happen to a student. I am assuming there are liability issues for the district around this.
Therefore I am very much hoping that the work group and the school board will continue to examine solutions to the problem that are more long term such as redrawing boundaries, creating buffer zones and using property that is currently sitting vacant, such as the former Island High property.

Educator November 23
I wish I could be a fly on the wall with the 6-12 task force to see how they are gathering their information on "what is" in operation and "what could be possible". One parent eluded to this in an earlier board meeting about the #'s of students who have left our district after 5th grade to other districts or gone private. I hope that this task force is gathering information on disciplinary actions at the current school sites. That is the elephant in the room that no parent wants to talk about let alone district personnel.
We have a progressive discipline policy in this district and it is not always followed through.
In my own site, the burn out for teachers is by one or two students in a class who continue to disrupt the learning environment and there are no programs to deal with these students academically. When you are at a Charter School, you can mandate that parents be involved or you let the student go. We cannot do that at Wood, so we need specialized smaller learning communitites with students who are behind academically and need behavior support. These are the students who are closing the achievement gap by slowing down the classroom pace to meet the standards by their continual disruption.

Educator October 23
According to the last minutes from the board meeting, the task force includes principals and other district personnel and teachers and parents(?) are not proposed until January on the timeline. Where is our transparency in our school system?

Educator October 10

I was disappointed to see that teacher voices are not included on the elementary task force and specifically that Bay Farm is not represented. There is a lot of history here, policies that have been modified and affect us in a negative way, and we have already lost a student this year to private school because she was diverted. We are in month one and have few seats available for the rest of the year in our school where there is definitely growth. In my neighborhood alone there were over 15 for sale signs just last weekend. We can all do the math. I’m not sure that we can afford the outcome.

Elementary Facility Capacity Task Force

Problem Statement:

Forecasts show district-wide elementary enrollment will stablize over the next five (5) years. However, two school areas - Ruby Bridges and Edison/Otis - are expected to increase in enrollment over the next five (5) years, while their facilities are currently close to or at capacity.

Charge of the Task Force:

  • Develop options to balance school enrollment with facilty capacity at both over and under enrolled schools.
  • Provide key opportunities for two-way communications between task force an community stakeholders in order to develop programs.


Date Action
October, 2007 Identify members
Oct, 2007 to Dec, 2007 Task Force Meetings
October, 2007 Neighborhood School Community Meetings - Enrollment Policy
Nov, 2007 to Dec, 2007 Community Meetings, Facility Capacity
December 12, 2007 Board of Education Workshop
February 4, 2008 Community Workshop
February 12, 2008 Board of Education Meeting (Information)
February 26, 2008 Board of Education Meeting (Approval)
March 4, 2008 Special Board of Education Meeting (Impact to Staffing)

Members of the Elementary Facility Capacity Task Force:
Luz Cazares, Chief Finance Officer
Joy Dean, Principal, Earhart Elementary School
Dave Dierking , Student Affairs Officer
Jan Goodman, Principal, Ruby Bridges Elementary
Jeff Knoth, Principal, Otis Elementary
Leland Noll, Director of Facilities, Maintenance & Operations
Marcheta Williams, Principal, Edison Elementary
Leni Von Blackenese, Coordinator of Assessment

December 12 BOE Workshop

An audience of approximately 30 individuals participated in this workshop titled: Report on Options Explored to Date to Balance Elementary Enrollment with Capacity.

December 12, 2007 BOE Workshop Handout
December 12, 2007 BOE Workshop Powerpoint

EDITOR NOTE: The recap represent my recollection of what occurred during the workshop. If there are inaccuracies please contact me.

Workshop Summary

Problem Statement
Purpose of Workshop
Categories of Solutions
Board Member Comments

Problem Statement:

There is a mismatch between elementary enroll forecasts and current school capacity.

Forecasts show district-wide elementary enrollment will stablize over the next five (5) years.

  • Two school areas - Ruby Bridges and Edison/Otis - are expected to increase in enrollment over the next five (5) years while their facilities are current close to or at capacity
  • Remaining school areas are expected to decline in enrollment while their facilities are currently under capacity.

Purpose of Workshop:

To present the options explored to date
To solicit feedback from workshop participants and the Board to refine the options

  • Therefore the options presented are Not Recommendations
  • Nor are options presented are the Final Set of Options being worked on

Categories of Solutions:

There are four areas that can be explored to address the projected enrollment and school capacity mismatch:

  1. Increase Capacity
  2. Divert Overflow Students
  3. Create Magnet Programs
  4. Change Attendance Boundaries

Those options that are selected to examined to be potential recommendations will have additional analysis to determine impact on:

  • Facilities
  • Finances
  • Curricular Programs (i.e Students and Staff)

    Increase Capacity:

    There are 246 rooms that could be used for classrooms in the elementary schools. 193 rooms are currently being used for regular education classrooms, 14 for special education and 39 for miscellaneous purposes. See page 43 of this 85 page report for site specific room data. There are two primary ways to increase capacity:

    1. Change the use of existing classrooms
      • 39 miscellaneous rooms consist of 6 computer labs, 11 rooms used by day care providers and 22 rooms used for pull out curricular programs (.i.e literacy/math intervention programs) and/or after school programs
        Task Force Presented Position: On computer labs Principals' input indicated a need for computer lab, or its adjacency to media center. The Task Force agrees with that. Our thoughts on computer labs is that they are essential learning tool. Task Force is no longer exploring the option of converting computer labs. We all believe they are essential learning tools – didn’t see how we could make it work.
        Task Force considering whether or not some of those daycare rooms can be converted into regular classrooms. Question is whether a daycare can be moved to adjacent, off-site, alternative solution. Includes idea – has to be space that would allow that organization to comply with all of the requirements that they have to comply with – licensing, etc.
        There would be a possibilty of using day care portable. Less expensive than regular classroom portables because requirements to build those are less stringent than ones for regular classroom portables which must be DSA approved. While option exists, we have to keep in mind that if we purchase a daycare portable, we could never use as regular education classroom.
        Participants Feedback: Each computer lab should be evaluated on a site by site basis.
        Has the Task Force identified common set or rooms that should be at every elementary school?
        Why is the former Island High site not be considered for an elementary school?
      • Look at relocating some of the 14 rooms used for special education
        Task Force Presented Position: Special education rooms are spread across our elementary schools. Franklin Elementary does not have any Special education rooms due to space limitations. The District does not aspire to have program put together at one or two schools.
        The Task Force examined the idea of an over-enrolled school with 13 kids in a special education classroom being moving to an under-enrolled school. While Special Education regulations could be met, globally as District, we don’t want to move classroom simply for the sake of space. We need to treat kids equally.
        Participants Feedback: While respecting the space and needs for special education children, we’re not respecting space and needs of children who live in that area and should be going to school there.
        Since the Special Education program are designed as "magnets" where students needing those services come from all over the Island, then why shouldn't we move a Special Education program at a over-enrolled school?
      • Eliminate Class Size Reduction (CSR)
        With CSR for grades K-3: student/teacher ratio 20:1, the distrit capacity is 2,920. Without CSR: student/teacher ration 29:1, the district capacity for K-3 increases to 4,234.
        CSR is the standard in California. 99% of all districts eligible to make use of CSR do. Incentive dollars provided by state to implement program. State incentive dollars don’t actually fully fund program – important to note they pay for enough to get you interested, but not full cost. Dollars used from unrestricted general fund to pay for encroachment (2005/06 the amount was $80,000 per grade level for the entire district).
        Recent legislation has made some changes to restrictions of implementing CSR. Staff would have to go back to state to clarify our options regarding site by site use of CSR.
        Task Force Presented Position: State doesn’t require it to be entire district to participate and does allows on school-by-school basis. For the Task Force, that would raise issues of equity.
        Participants Feedback: Because the first parcel tax passed had a very strong influence on making sure it would keep CSR; sure that if you’re considering future passage of other measures, would want to consider fact that was something very important to the community.
        Would individual sites be allowed to consider modifying CSR to increase capacity and if so what process would be used to approve it?
    2. Add new classrooms
      The Maintenance Operations and Facilities (MOF) director has gone out to all sites and determine the maximum number of portables or new classrooms that could be placed and determined the location fo additional rooms. The MOF director's numbers needs to be compared to school site Principal's assessment from an educational pespective.
      • There are three building solutions available to add constructed capacity to a site: 1.) Portable Modular, 2.) Permanent Modular and New Construction.
        Task Force Presented Position: The Task Force will consider the MOF director along the Principals' recommendation together with the fiscal implications when looking at this option.
        Participants Feedback: In addition to looking at locating portables on site, the Task Force should also look at other equipment needs – playgrounds. For example, Ruby Bridges kindergarten equipment built for 80, but 120 Kindergarteners there now. What is the absolute recommended maximum for kids on playground equipment?.

    Divert Overflow Students:

    If we were to divert the projected over enrollment, there would be asignificantly increase of students we would be diverting annually. The intent of the enrolment policy is to divert a very limited numbers of students.

    • Using diversion to smooth out enrollment
      Task Force Presented Position: Diverting at level forecasted means moving entire classrooms of students from selected sites. This is not the intent of policy and not an option to be pursued.
      Participants Feedback: While it is not the intent of the policy, would it be possible to locate an entire class of diverted students to another site into one classroom, this maintaining the neighborhood integrity of the students?

    Create Magnet Programs:

    Our elementary schools charge is to offer sound curriculum and instructional programs that implement differentiated CA standards-based instruction at each grade level providing the foundational and extending skills to meet the needs of all performance levels.

    • Magnet programs
      Task Force Presented Position: The Task Force is not really focusing on magnet programs/schools at this point in time. The secondary Task Force is exploring magnet programs as an option. If a secondary magnet program is implemented and can there is a K-5 pathway that matches, a K-5 would be considered.
      Participants Feedback: – AUSD had choices in the late 90s that include year round calendar and multi age classes. In addition, there are students attending private schools. So adding different choices at the K-5 level should be considered.

    Change Attendance Boundaries:

    There are three areas being examined when looking at changing attendance boundaries.

    • Establish an optimal school size for Alameda elementary schools. One piece is matching revenue to expenses. Another piece is the programs/support services that’s allowed based on number of students.
      Task Force Presented Position: This will be good information for current and future facilities planning.
      Participants Feedback: What are the costs of running elementary schools under the "optimal number" developed by the research?
    • Adjust Number of inter-district transfer students. Currently, 149 out of district students attend elementary schools.
      Task Force Presented Position:The Task Force will look at reducing the number of out of district students.
      Participants Feedback: None
    • Eliminate choice on attedance zone boundary lines
      Alameda is unique in the establishing of choice on its attendace zone boundary lines. Typically, lines are drawn that determine which school you attend by splitting the sides of the street or an entire street is in an attendance zone. However, allows parents on boundary lines are allowed to choose between adjoining elementary schools.
      Task Force Presented Position: This adds a level of complexity to forecasting attendance at school sites.
      Participants Feedback: None

    After the presentation, the participants provided additional feedback:

    Participants Feedback: In prior meetings ther has been reluctance to explore changing boundaries. Why is there a reluctance to change boundaries and what are the issues?
    What about returning to AM/PM Kindergarten?
    What about running multi-track year around to increase capacity?
    What is impact of changing elementary school boundaries on the movement to middle schools?

    Board Member Comments:

    MCMAHON: At this point, we have 2 months to come to place of creating some type of recommendation. My hope is that focus of the Task Force begins to hone in on what can be done for the 08/09 year, immediately, so that we can dispel/squash/etc. the uncertainty around the 2008/09 year. That’s first and foremost in public’s mind. The recommendation should satisfy the broadest number of people in greatest way with least amount of controvesy, while continuing to work on a long-term solution.

    FORBES: Looking at numbers, current and 5 years, we don’t need to jump to the 5 year solutions right now in February, but we do need to address some immediate issues. Long-term, at elementary level, we neeed to investigate some different options that address the desire for charter/private schools. While not a short-term issue, I would like a commitment by February, to see what programs community would support, along with dollars attached. This could serve as valuable input into a future parcel tax.

    GIBSON: I’d like to see work on every solution that would allow the Edison and Otis (potential overflow) not to occur for next year and be able to stay in home school. A number of items mentioned that would be part of that solution. Look for those in short-term. Long-term, we do have to be creative and offer choices in our district. We had them in the past (Paden and BayFarm); think we have to offer that, not as a charter school, but as a district school. We need to excite people about attending Alameda schools.

    February 4 Community Workshop

    An audience of approximately 30 individuals participated in abbreviated workshop where the Elemenaty Task Force presented their short term recommendations that were forwarding to the Superintendent. The workshop was shortened when a Special BOE meeting on Fiscal Impact of Governor's Budget was conducted an hour after the workshop.


    In the short-term (i.e., within two years), the Elementary Capacity Task Force recommends options that can be implemented with minimal disruption to our students and staff.

    • Increase capacity at Ruby Bridges by two classrooms by relocating Woodstock Child Development Center (WCDC) services from Ruby Bridges to Woodstock Education Center
    • Increase capacity at Edison by one classroom by reducing space available for day care services from two classrooms to one classroom; if/when additional capacity is needed, increase capacity at Edison by an additional classroom by eliminating space available for day care services from one classroom to none (i.e., relocating day care services)
    • Increase capacity at Otis by one classroom by reducing space available for day care services from two classrooms to one classroom; if/when additional capacity is needed, increase capacity at Otis by an additional classroom by eliminating space available for day care services from one classroom to none (i.e., relocating day care services)
    • Lessen under/over-enrollment mismatch by eliminating choice on the elementary school attendance boundary lines effective FY09/10. Grandfather students enrolled as of FY08/09 only, not siblings.

    Staff reported that 65 completed packets were received at Edison, 71 completed packets at Otis and 48 completed packets at Franklin. If the Board approves increasing capacity at Edison and Otis, the lottery will needed at Franklin.

    Secondary Education Task Force

    Problem Statement:

    AUSD operates middle and high schools with severe enrollment imbalances, which do not maximize our resources to support equity and excellence across our secondary education programs.

    Charge of the Task Force:

    • Develop high quality secondary education programs that will attract students beyond their school neighborhood.
    • Provide key opportunities for two-way communications between task force and community stakeholders in order to develop programs.


    Date Action
    October, 2007 Identify members
    Oct, 2007 to Feb, 2008 Research initial options for middle and high schools, i.e. magnet schools, district sponsored charter school, boundary alignment, etc.
    March, 2008 Board of Education workshop to review initial secondary education program options
    Apr, 2008 to Aug, 2008 Task Force finalizes options
    Sept 24, 2008 Staff recommends options for implementation for 2009-2010 to Board of Education
    Ocotber 8, 2008 Board of Education Meeting (Action)
    Oct, 2008 to Jan, 2009 Develop implementation plan and phasing for new secondary education programs
    February 13, 2009 Staff recommends implementation plan to Board of Education
    February 27, 2009 Board of Education Meeting (Action)
    Mar, 2009 to Aug, 2009 Staff implements secondary education programs

    Members of the Seconday Education Task Force:
    Alysee Castro, Principal, Island High School
    Jud Kempson, Principal, Chipman Middle School
    Sean McPhetridge, Director of ROP
    Wendy Ponder, Director of K-12 Curriculum
    Debbie Wong, Assistant Superintendent for Education Services
    Teacher Representatives to be added January, 2008

    Community Sounding Board Members

    As of December, 2007

    Chris Allen – Alameda High School Anne Neunsinger – Edison Elementary School
    Christine Bailey - Alameda Park and Recreation Cathy Nielsen – Social Service Human Relations Board
    Brooke Briggance – Alameda Education Foundation Ed O'Neil - Wood/Encinal
    Donna Cala – Earhart Elementary School Dianne Richmond – Gold Coast Realty
    Ana Coleman - Encinal High School Patrick Russi – Alameda Recreation & Park
    Scott Hildreth – Edison Elementary School Walter Schlueter - Chamber of Commerce
    Rebecca Holder – Alameda Multi-Cultural Center Christine Strena – Franklin Elementary School
    Michael Kelly - Kane & Associates Rafael Virgen – Paden Elementary School
    Karen Kenney – Girls, Inc Elisa Ruiz-Virgen – Paden Elementary School
    Peg Kofman – Alameda High School Deborah Walker – Otis Elementary School
    Lisa Lewis – Ruby Bridges Elementary School Karen Wellman – Bay Farm Elementary School
    Kathy Moehring – West Alameda Business Association Veronica Whitehead – Coast Guard/Ruby Bridges
    Ron Mooney – Alamedans for Better Schools Janet Wong - Lincoln/Earhart
    Annalisa Moore - After-School Programs Michael Yoshii – Alameda Multi-Cultural Center
    . Huruma Zulu – Bay Farm Elementry School

    K-12 Restructuring Task Force

    Problem Statement (March, 2008):

    AUSD operates K-12 schools with severe enrollment imbalances that are not fiscally solvent, and which do not maximize our resources to support equity and excellence across our education programs.

    Task Force Charge (March, 2008)

    • Develop a fiscally solvent structural system
    • Ensure that system is long-term and sustainable
    • Maintain core academic programs that ensure our students will graduate high school
    • Connect grades K-12 program pathways
    • Provide key opportunities for two-way communication between task force and representative stakeholder group

    Revised problem statement and charge published March 27, 2008.

    Membership will consist of District employees and the criteria for serving on this voluntary task force are:

    • Has an equity lens, east and west
    • Represents the broad interests of the school district as a whole
    • Strikes a balance between advocacy and inquiry
    • Able to build a two-way communication system with your stakeholder community
    • Brings own area of expertise, including but not limited to:
      • Course pathways (college and career)-content
      • Elective course pathways
      • Master scheduling
      • Counseling, advisement
      • Special education lens
      • English learner lens
      • Athletics
      • School operations
      • Facility
      • Fiscal - budgets
      • Alameda Education Association (AEA) representation
      • CA School Employees Association (CSEA) representation
      • Association of CA School Administrators (ACSA) representation
      • Sounding Board Representative

    K-12 Restructurinng Task Force

    As of March, 2008

    Name Site/Group Grade Level Title
    Tracy Allegrotti Encinal High School 9-12 Teacher/Career Tech
    Alysee Castro Island High School . Principal
    Janet Castro Haight Elementary K-5 Office Manager
    Luz Cazares District Office . CFO
    Roxanne Clement Bay Farm Elementary Media Center Teacher
    Joy Dean Amelia Earhart Elementary K-5 Principal
    Kathy Duncan Island High School 10-12 Teacher
    Amy Frary Lincoln Middle School 6th Grade Teacher
    Gary Harris Otis Elementary 3rd Grade Teacher
    Gene Kahane Encinal High School 9-12 Teacher
    Karen Keegan CSEA . CSEA President
    Jud Kempson Chipman Middle School 6-8 Principal
    Monique Kern-McGovern Lincoln Middle School 6-8 Office Tech
    Katie Lyons Lum Elementary K-5 Principal
    Patty Osborne Washington Elementary K-5 Teacher
    James Peters Wood Middle School 7th/8th Grade Teacher
    Emily Ramos ASTI 9-12 Teacher
    Gerald Rawlins Alameda High School 912 Vice-Principal
    Patrick Russi Sounding Board Alameda Park Rec Dept .
    Patrcia Sanders AEA . AEA President
    Debbie Sutherland Ruby Bridges Elementary 1st Grade Teacher
    Anna Wall Chipman Middle School 6-8 Counselor
    Veronica Whitehead Sounding Board . Parent
    Debbie Wong District Office K-12 Facilitator
    Tanya Wynn Alameda High School 9-12 Office Tech

    Meetings Schedule, proposed March 4, 2008

    • Thursday, March 20
    • Wednesday, April 2
    • Thursday, April 17
    • Thursday, May 1
    • Wednesday, May 14
    • Thursday, June 5
    • September – November: every Thursday 3:45-5:45

    March 20 Meeting

    The first meeting of the task force was March 20th. Superintendent Dailey attended and led the “setting the stage” for this important work. The 25-member task force grounded themselves by examining the problem statement and charge for the task force and held grade span-alike group discussions to revise and/or expand these for better clarity. The Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent will revise the problem statement and charge based on feedback from the task force. Regardless of the parcel tax, we made it clear that this work is essential in sustaining the “health” of the District and that we could not live within our means without restructuring for the long term. The next meeting is Wednesday, April 2nd.

    Due to length of time spent on refining the problem statement and charge, the task force did not have to review the handout from the Secondary Task Force on ideas for restructuring the District. Items on the list with asteriks were cost saving items.

    Minutes from the March 30 were published a recap of ideas charted to keep of day's discussion. The following week, a revised problem statement and charge was published.

    April 17 Meeting

    The third meeting of the task force was April 17th. Superintendent Dailey presented a revised problem statement and task force charge based on input from the Board of Education at the April 8th BOE meeting.

    Problem Statement

    In the absence of consistent and adequate funding, coupled with severe enrollment imbalances, AUSD is no longer able to support excellence and equity without restructuring our K-12 educational programs.

    Task Force Charge

    1. Align core academic programs that ensure our students will graduate with the ability to pursue college and career pathways
    2. Connect grades K-12 program pathways via standards
    3. Examine choices/options for the whole school community (staff, parents, students)
    4. Examine and recommend alternative facility and program configurations that are fiscally sustainable
    5. Provide two-way communication between task force and representative stakeholder groups

    The task force spent the rest of the meeting examining facility capacity studies and examining the core academic programs offered across the District.

    Schools in search of more classrooms

    Projected enrollment increase leaves officials scrambling to find a solution

    By Peter Hegarty, Alameda Journal, December 21, 2007

    With elementary school enrollment set to climb during the next five years, district leaders are looking at ways to find more classroom space while not undercutting instruction.

    What makes finding a solution difficult, however, is that the schools likely to face the crunch -- Ruby Bridges, Otis and Edison -- already are about full.

    Among the ideas being floated to address the issue are installing portables at some campuses, shifting students to other schools and changing attendance boundaries.

    The school board will vote on a recommendation in February.

    "Enrollment is probably the biggest issue facing the district right now," Superintendent Ardella Dailey said. "It plays into how much money we have, the quality of education we can provide, everything."

    None of the possible solutions is ideal: Sending children away from their neighborhood school is never popular with parents, while the cost of installing portables at some campuses still must be worked out.

    A district task force -- comprising Chief Financial Officer Luz Cazares, Otis Principal Jeff Knoth and others -- met this month for a workshop to outline options and gather feedback.

    Currently, there are 246 rooms that could be used as elementary school classrooms, according to Cazares.

    Of those rooms not being used as classrooms, six house computer labs, 11 are used for day care and 22 are used for after-school and other programs.

    The remaining 14 rooms are used for special education. One idea that emerged during the workshop was using portables for the day care programs -- freeing up the classroom space -- along with reducing the number of students attending Alameda elementary schools who don't live in the district. (Currently, there are about 149.)

    Families moving into the city's new housing, such as the Bayport development near College of Alameda, are among the reasons cited for the enrollment jump.

    About 10,000 students currently attend Alameda schools.

    Ironically, the projected increase comes in the wake of district leaders deciding last year to close three elementary schools in the city's West End because of declining enrollment.

    Some of the students from Longfellow, Miller and Woodstock were shifted to Ruby Bridges, one of the campuses now at capacity.

    The former schools currently are being used for other district programs and are not likely to reopen. But the organizers behind the Nea Community Learning Center -- a proposed charter school -- are still hoping to open at one of the sites.

    Trustee Mike McMahon noted that officials need to move quickly to find at least a short-term solution to put parents at ease for the upcoming school year.

    "We need to develop a policy for how we handle a situation where two or three kids cannot get into a school," Dailey said. "And we need to look at demographic trends and what classroom space is available."


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