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Audience: Homepage

The Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) is now accepting applications for the Measure I Bond Oversight Committee.

 

Measure I, a bond measure passed by Alameda residents in 2014, raises $179,500,000 for needed repairs, upgrades, and new construction projects for the District's schools.

 

Proposition 39 required a 55% supermajority for approval; Measure I was passed by 61.41%. After a bond authorized under Proposition 39 is passed, state law requires that the Alameda City Unified School District Board appoint an Independent Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee to work with the District.

 

This committee meets quarterly between January and December of each year. The committee’s work includes: informing the public concerning the District's expenditure of Measure I bond proceeds; reviewing expenditure reports to ensure proceeds are expended only for the purposes set forth in Measure I; and presenting to the Board an annual written report outlining their activities and conclusions regarding these expenditures.

 

Applications for the Measure I Bond Oversight Committee (which will begin meeting in January 2017) are now available. For an application, please visit this page on the district website. Applicants can also get an application by calling the district office (510-337-7066) or stopping by the district office (2060 Challenger Drive, Alameda). 

 

Applications can be submitted via email(dkrueger@alameda.k12.ca.us) or mailed to the Superintendent's attention at the district office (2060 Challenger Drive, Alameda, CA 94501). Completed applications must be received in the district office no later than 4:30 pm on October 17, 2016. Appointments will be announced on November 1, 2016 at the Board of Education meeting.

 

Upcoming Board of Education Meetings

 

October 13, 2016 6:30 pm Island High School

 

September 27, 2016 6:30 pm Alameda City Hall

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Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 9/21/16

Audience: Homepage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Issued By:         Superintendent Sean McPhetridge (510) 337-7060 and

                        Board President Solana Henneberry (510) 337-7187

 

 

Alameda, Calif. — Thursday, September 15, 2016 -- Students in the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) made progress on Common Core tests administered last spring and continued to do better than county and state averages, test results released last month show.

 

Equally important, the results provide teachers, parents, and staff with detailed data on student performance across various grade levels, schools, and subgroups.

 

Data released by the California Department of Education (CDE) included state, county, district, and individual school scores on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress ("CAASPP"). This test, which was piloted in schools in 2014, measures students' mastery of the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics, which were introduced in 2013-14. The state administered the first official CAASPP in the spring of 2015.

 

More than 4700 AUSD students in grades 3-8 and 11 took the state tests in the spring of 2016. The results show that a higher percentage of AUSD students overall met or exceeded the standards than did at the county or state level, as did a number of students in AUSD's subgroups, including Black or African Americans; Hispanic or Latinos; Socio-Economically Disadvantaged; and English Language Learners.

 

But serious gaps still exist between groups in AUSD, a detailed analysis of the results showed, including:

  • Students with parents with a college education score significantly better than those without
  • White and Asian students score higher than other subgroups
  • Some school sites score higher, overall, than others

"We did well the first year of CAASPP, and we continue to do well this second year of the new testing system," said Superintendent Sean McPhetridge. "It's still a new assessment tool. But I am impressed overall by how well our students did, and I am grateful to our teachers for preparing the students so well. And while I'm aware of the work that still needs to be done, I am excited about how we will use the new data to create stronger programs for our neediest students."

 

A more detailed analysis of the data can be found here, as well as in this report presented at the September 13, 2016 Board of Education meeting. Further details on the district and individual school performance can be found on the state’s website: http://caaspp.cde.ca.gov/sb2016/default.

 

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Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 9/15/16

Audience: Homepage

You can read the full-scale, printable, hyper-linked version of the Superintendent's September 2016 Letter to the Community here.

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Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 9/2/16

Audience: Homepage

 

Applications Available for 2016-2017 Measure A Oversight Committee

 

The Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) is now accepting applications for the 2016-2017 Measure A Oversight Committee.

 

Measure A, a parcel tax passed by Alameda community members in 2011, raises $12 million per year for core programs, including AP classes, neighborhood schools, small class sizes in grades K-3, athletics, enrichment, and technology. It sunsets in 2018.

 

AUSD is committed to maintaining accountability and transparency with all expenditures of Measure A dollars. A key component of that commitment is maintaining an 11-member Oversight Committee made up of community members (including parents and district employees) to review the district’s compliance with the terms of the measure. (More information on those terms is available on the Measure A page on the district’s website.)

 

This committee meets four or five times between January and December of each year. The committee’s work culminates in a staff Annual Report, as well as a shorter committee report, that is presented to the Board of Education in January. (Those reports are available  here.)

 

"Measure A supports a broad range of programs in our schools," says Superintendent Sean McPhetridge. "I encourage community members to apply to this committee so they can help provide the oversight and transparency that we need to maintain the public trust in our management of these tax dollars."

 

Applications for the 2016-17 Measure A Oversight Committee (which will begin meeting in January 2017) are now available in English, Spanish, Cantonese, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. For an application, please visit this page on the district website. Applicants can also get an application by calling the district office (510-337-7187) or stopping by the district’s office (2060 Challenger Drive, Alameda). Translated versions of the application are available both on the website and at the district office.

 

Applications can be submitted via fax (521-0529); email (dkrueger@alameda.k12.ca.us); or at district office.

 

Completed applications must be received in the district office no later than 5 pm on September 19, 2016. Appointments will be announced on September 27, 2016.

 

Upcoming Board of Education Meetings

 

September 13, 2016

6:30 pm

Alameda City Hall

 

September 27, 2016

6:30 pm

Alameda City Hall

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Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 8/31/16

Audience: Homepage

 

The children walk excitedly into the media center at Ruby Bridges Elementary School. They seat themselves on the rug in front of the rocking chair and wait for Connie Chapman, the teacher/librarian for AUSD's Summer School programs. They listen with rapt attention as Ms. Chapman reads Eric Carle's classic, The Very Busy Spider. And then the really, really good part comes: From tables covered with books, the children choose four titles to bring home.

 

The program, called "Summer Book Bucks Fair," was the brain child of Chapman (who serves as the Otis Elementary School teacher/librarian during the school year) and Roxanne Clement (the teacher/librarian at Bay Farm School). Several years ago, Clement created a program out of Bay Farm School called “Library in a Box,” through which books are collected and shipped to schools and agencies in need around the state, country, and world. Clement’s program has donated 1300 books to the Summer Book Bucks Fair the last two years. Otis families donated more than 800 new and gently books.  And with additional money made available by AUSD, Chapman also bought steeply discounted contemporary trade books through Scholastic.

 

"Some of our summer school students have trouble with reading while others are acquiring English. Reading for pleasure helps with both," Chapman says. "There is a direct connection between a child’s recreational reading frequency and their academic performance. So the goal of this program is to both foster a love of reading and teach students how to select books they will be able read and enjoy."

 

Instructional versus Recreational Reading

 

AUSD offers summer school to students who can benefit from extra support and who: attend Title 1 elementary schools, are English Language Learners, or are receiving special education services.  About 360 students are enrolled in the four-week program this year.

 

To help the students find books that they can truly read for pleasure, Chapman coaches them on how to choose a book at their recreational reading level (which is different from their instructional reading level, where reading is a bit more condensed and slightly challenging). She also encourages reviewing back covers for plot points and looking for award winners (think Caldecott and Newbery). The children are given one "book buck" for each day they attend school (and another for working hard), which they can then use to "buy" books when they go to the library each week. To make book bucks seem like real currency, Chapman and a few volunteers made each of the 400 students a duct tape wallet as well.

 

"My goal is for each child to buy 12-20 books by the end of summer school," Chapman says.

 

The program is a huge hit with the kids. "This is the second year that we've done it, and even in the first week of school this summer, children were coming up to me and saying, 'when do we get our books?'" Chapman says.

 

And that, she adds, is what it's all about. "I really, really want to turn our struggling readers into big recreational readers," Chapman says. "I want them to learn the magic of completely losing themselves in a good book."

 

How You Can Help

 

Once schools are in session, you can email Connie Chapman at conniechapman@alameda.k12.ca.us  if you would like to donate gently used children’s books (preschool to 5th grade level) for the program. (Note: board books for preschoolers are in especially short supply!)

 

 

Upcoming Board of Education Meetings

August 9, 2016

City Hall, 6:30 pm

 

August 23, 2016

City Hall, 6:30 pm

 

 

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Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 7/21/16

Audience: Homepage

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Issued By:         Superintendent Sean McPhetridge (510) 337-7060 and

                        Board President Solana Henneberry (510) 337-7187

 

Board of Education Approves New Hires, Appointments

 

Alameda, Calif. — June 29, 2016 — The Board of Education for the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) approved several new appointments at its meeting last night.

 

Those appointments include:

 

  • Jesse Woodward has been hired as the new principal of Lum Elementary School. Mr. Woodward is currently the principal of Marshall Elementary School in Castro Valley, California. He received his BA in Mathematics Teaching from Clemson University in South Carolina and is an Alameda resident.
  • James Assia will become the permanent Director of Food & Nutrition Services. An AUSD employee since 2008, Mr. Assia has served as interim director of the department since March of this year.
  • Kim Kelly, an English teacher at Alameda High School, has been promoted to vice principal at the school.  Since 2003, Ms. Kelly has also worked as a teacher at Island High School, a reform coach, a teacher on special assignment, and a Coordinator of State and Federal Compliance and School Innovation for AUSD.
  • Shirley Clem, Ed.D., will be joining the Teaching & Learning staff  as  the Coordinator of Elementary Education. Ms. Clem received her doctorate in education from Mills College. She has worked as a vice principal and principal at Franklin Elementary School (2001-2006), a Coordinator of AUSD's Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment program (2006-2008), and a principal at Otis Elementary School (since 2008).
  • Terri Elkin, who is currently AUSD's Coordinator of Instructional Initiatives, will become the Coordinator of Secondary Education. Over the course of nearly 30 years with AUSD, Ms. Elkin also has worked as a teacher at Chipman Middle and Island High schools, a teacher on special assignment, and a Coordinator of Assessment and Achievement.

     

    All five appointments go into effect on July 1, 2016.

     

    Over the last four months, AUSD has also hired Daniel Hurst as the new principal for Encinal High School (to replace Kirsten Zazo, who is becoming Chief Student Services Officer), Wendy Garner as the new Student Services Coordinator, and April Dizon as the new Director of Fiscal Services.

     

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Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) serves more than 9600 students in Alameda, California, an island community in the San Francisco Bay Area.  For more information, please visit the AUSD website, follow @AUSDNews on Twitter, or subscribe to our email communications. Questions? Contact Susan Davis, Senior Manager, Community Affairs, at sdavis@alameda.k12.ca.us.

 

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Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 6/29/16

Audience: Homepage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Issued By:

        

Superintendent Sean McPhetridge 337-7060

Board President Solana Henneberry 337-7187                                                     

Alameda Education Association President Audrey Hyman 521-3034

 

AEA Membership Votes Down Tentative Agreement with AUSD

 

Alameda, Calif. — June 16, 2016 — Members of the Alameda Education Association (AEA) — which represents certificated employees including teachers, counselors, and nurses — have voted down a tentative agreement (TA) signed with Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) last week.

                                                                       

The union's current contract expires on June 30, 2016.

 

"I am saddened AEA members won't have a new contract on July 1," said Superintendent Sean McPhetridge. "But I also understand that ultimately this was a complex package deal with several compromises that a majority of AEA members simply found unacceptable. While collectively we tried and failed to find agreement and align interests at this time, I am confident we will work even more closely going forward so we build on contract provisions both sides liked and re-structure those provisions that proved unsatisfactory. We can do it."

 

Under the terms of the TA, 3.7% would have been added to the salary schedule. 3.11% of that increase was new money; the remaining .59% was to be re-allocated from members' dental benefits negotiated in last year’s contract.  

 

The new contract also would have reduced class size to 24:1 in transitional kindergarten and kindergarten, increased flexibility in using leave time, provided adjusted prep times to kindergarten teachers transitioning to a full-day program, and provided a process by which class size overages would be addressed. The new contract also created new committees to provide increased AEA voice in district management decisions.

 

Approximately 70% of the union members who submitted votes voted against the TA.

 

"It is clear AEA members voiced concern over their working conditions and compensation," said AEA President Audrey Hyman. "New language about class overages was a point of contention. I understand their concern and am hopeful that, when the two teams resume negotiations in the fall, they will be able to find a resolution that will meet AEA members' needs."

 

Next Steps

The two teams signed the TA just five days after they declared an impasse on June 2. Bargaining will most likely resume in September.

 

“As Board President, I consider it my responsibility to make sure that the conditions exist for students and staff to flourish," said Solana Henneberry, president of the AUSD Board of Trustees. "My colleagues on the Board share this same commitment. Occasionally tentative agreements that are recommended are rejected. We will return to the table and craft an agreement with the teachers that will work for instructors, students, and the District. I look forward to finding an agreement that is of benefit to all of us next fall.”

 

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Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) serves more than 9600 students in Alameda, California, an island community in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, please visit the AUSD website, follow @AUSDNews on Twitter, or subscribe to our email communications. Questions? Contact Susan Davis, Senior Manager, Community Affairs, at sdavis@alameda.k12.ca.us.

 

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Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 6/16/16

Audience: Homepage

Some 600 seniors are graduating from Alameda Unified School District this month and within one short ceremony will commence the beginning of their young adulthoods.

 

Graduates of Alameda High School (AHS), Alameda Science and Technology Institute (ASTI), Encinal High School (EHS), and Island High School (HIS) now move on to a wide range of exciting opportunities. A number of students will start their careers with the military or at military academies.  And many are heading off to two- and four-year colleges, including:

 

 

Academy of Art

American Academy of Dramatic Arts

Arizona State University

Bard College

Bennington College

Boston University

Brown University

CSU Channel Islands

CSU Chico

CSU Los Angeles

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Humboldt State University

Lewis & Clark University

Mills College

New York University

Oberlin College

Occidental College

Pacific University

Peralta Community Colleges

Portland State University

Princeton University

Purdue University

Rutgers University

Saint Mary's University

San Diego State University

San Francisco State

Santa Barbara City College

Simmons College

Sonoma State University

Stanford University

UC Berkeley

UC Davis

UC Irvine

UC Los Angeles

UC Santa Barbara

UC Santa Cruz

University of Hawaii

University of Oregon

University of Nevada

University of Southern California

University of Wisconsin, Madison

Wellesley College

Xavier University


"I am always amazed to learn about the accomplishments of our seniors and the paths they choose to take," says Superintendent Sean McPhetridge. "Many of them have been with us since kindergarten – and now they are leaving us to explore college, career, and their emerging adult identities. I wish them every success and happiness in their next steps ahead."

 

Awards and Scholarships

 

Many seniors received full or partial scholarships to the colleges of their choice.  Many students also received scholarships from local organizations, including the Rotary Club, the Kiwanis Club, and the Elks.

 

In addition, community members (including alumni and the estates of alumni) provide scholarships each year to our graduating seniors. This year, those scholarships were awarded to:

 

Scholarship Name & Criteria

Award Recipient

Beatrice B Barrett Scholarship

Senior with intent to pursue any science discipline

Yishan McNabb

Florinda Bartalini Scholarship

Student who demonstrates exemplary community service and wants to pursue a  career in public health

Ju-Hoon Lee

Cox/Hollywood Scholarship

Well-rounded AHS student

Ashley Cobb

Abraham and Sara Kofman Alameda Times-Star Journalism Scholarship

Most deserving journalism student from AHS and EHS

Jasmin Ruiz Virgien (AHS)

Stacy Sahagun (EHS)

Marlene and Steve Kofman Scholarship

AHS art student

Eric Martinez

Chipman/Mastick Scholarship

Most deserving EHS student, good grades, good citizenship

Anne Barretto

 

Paul Hardy Parker Scholarship

Students pursuing a career in education

David Bui  (AHS)

Kristal Osorio (EHS)

Ken Brown Scholarship

EHS student

Anne Barretto

Susan Scott Scholarship

EHS student

Wed Basedeq

 

Lou Allen Scholarship

EHS student

Kadeef Salaam

Van Sickle Scholarship

Student who exhibits academic achievement, leadership, and financial need.

Tannya Vargas

 

 

We congratulate all of our graduating seniors. Have a wonderful summer and a wonderful next year!

 

Upcoming Board of Education Meetings

 

June 14, 2016

City Hall, 6:30 pm

 

June 28, 2016

City Hall, 6:30 pm

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Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 6/14/16

Audience: Homepage


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Issued By:        

Superintendent Sean McPhetridge 337-7060

Board President Solana Henneberry 337-7187                                                     

Alameda Education Association President Audrey Hyman 521-3034

 

 

Alameda, Calif. — June 8, 2016 — Negotiators for the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) and the Alameda Education Association (AEA) — which represents certificated employees including teachers, counselors, and nurses — reached a tentative agreement (TA) yesterday in their bargaining over salary and other benefits.

 

The two teams had jointly declared an impasse last Wednesday when they were unable to come to agreement on compensation. The teams agreed to meet one more time in an effort to find a compromise, however.

 

Under the terms of the TA crafted yesterday, AEA members will receive a 3.7% salary increase for the 2016-17 school year. About 3.1% of that increase is new money; the remaining .59% will be re-allocated from members' dental benefits. The teams will begin negotiating salary again in February, 2017.

 

"I am heartened knowing that our two negotiating teams reconvened to keep talking and to keep working at finding agreements," said Superintendent Sean McPhetridge. "Hard decisions were made by both teams, and both teams recognize there is a long way to go. But I am hopeful that we are developing a deeper relationship that will help us now and in years going forward, and I am grateful to all stakeholders for their work to come together."

 

Other Tentative Agreements

In earlier negotiating sessions this spring, the two teams also reached TAs that:

 

  • Provide prep times to kindergarten teachers as they transition to a full-day program  
  • Reduce class size to 24:1 in transitional kindergarten and kindergarten
  • Increase flexibility for using leave time
  • Create a formal process for class size overages


The district and union also agreed to create three new committees:

 

  • A Salary Study Committee to research strategies for bringing AUSD teacher salaries closer to the county average
  • A Special Education Task Force to develop guidelines on the best ways to serve students receiving special education services in general education classrooms
  • An Academic Committee that will provide input and evaluations on all curriculum and instructional materials, training, and professional development of teachers

 

In addition, the existing Budget Committee will begin to examine the district's budget priorities and how those can best be met in coming years.

 

"These new committee mandates will help AEA and AUSD find ways to bring employee voice into key district decisions that affect our learning and working environments," said Audrey Hyman, president of the AEA. "It is important that we keep the dialogue channels open between the two organizations."

 

Next Steps

AEA members and AUSD's Board of Education now need to vote on the agreement. Union members will vote from June 9 through June 15, 2016. The Board of Education will vote at its regular meeting on June 28, 2016.

 

AEA members received a 4% increase in salary in June of 2o15.  If ratified by the AEA, the current TA will bring the total salary increase to AEA to about 12 percent over the last three years.  These increases followed years of steep cuts to state funding for education, which resulted in a lack of raises for AUSD employees between 2008 and 2012 and a salary cut in 2010-11 due to furlough days.

 

"My fellow board members and I are pleased that a settlement has been reached with the AEA," said Board of Education President Solana Henneberry. "The proposed agreement will allow us to move forward together with the parcel tax renewal and assure the success of all of our students."

 

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Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) serves more than 9600 students in Alameda, California, an island community in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, please visit the AUSD website, follow @AUSDNews on Twitter, or subscribe to our email communications. Questions? Contact Susan Davis, Senior Manager, Community Affairs, at sdavis@alameda.k12.ca.us.

 

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Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 6/8/16

Audience: Homepage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Issued By:    Superintendent Sean McPhetridge (510) 337-7060 and

                   Board President Solana Henneberry (510) 337-7187

 

 

Alameda, Calif. — June 2, 2016 — The Alameda Unified School District and the Alameda Education Association have asked the state Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) to declare an impasse in the two teams’ salary negotiations, the district announced today.

 

The district and the union have been negotiating various articles in their contract since January.  While Tentative Agreements have been reached on numerous articles, "our perspectives on salaries are so far apart that we all agreed we need outside help to come to a mutually beneficial resolution," Superintendent Sean McPhetridge said.

 

If PERB declares an impasse, the agency will assign a third party mediator to work with the two teams. If they still can't come to agreement, they'll enter into factfinding, in which a panel reviews the arguments and proposals of both sides and then develops a recommended course of action.

 

AUSD's Offer

By the end of the day on Wednesday, June 1, the AUSD bargaining team made offers that would:

  • Provide increases of teacher compensation by 4.6% over the life of a two-year contract
  • Expand the ways in which teachers could use sick leave
  • Ease the transition to full-day kindergarten programs of value to both students and families

"We were disappointed that this offer was rejected," McPhetridge said, "as we are trying to give as much as we can within our limited resources. Our intention all along has been to work with our AEA colleagues to find an agreement that supports our employees while both protecting AUSD's financial future and serving Alameda families."


Budget Background

AUSD employees have received a 10 percent increase in compensation over the last three years – including last year, when the district increased total compensation to AEA unit members by 5%.

 

The district’s current budget forecast, however, shows a deficit of $17.5 million by the end of 2018-2019, due in part to:

  • Alameda's Measure A parcel tax, which brings $12 million per year to the district, expires in June, 2018. More than 80 percent of those revenues go to teacher salaries.
  • State funding to AUSD is less than many surrounding districts, and the state has imposed new restrictions on the funds it does provide.

The Path Forward

 

The district hopes to place a renewal of the Measure A parcel tax on the ballot in November of this year. But the district can't create state-mandated budget forecasts based on hoped-for funds. Instead, districts are required to provide detailed evidence that they will be able to cover their expenses in the current year plus the next two years. Districts that can't do that risk being taken over by the state.

 

"As much as we wish we could provide larger raises to our teachers, we can’t risk going far into the red by doing so," McPhetridge said. "In the long run, that would negatively affect our students, our programs, and our staff. Indeed, AUSD and AEA discussed at the table how to work together to find a long-term solution that could bring AUSD teachers closer to the median salary in the county.

 

"While I am saddened that we have reached an impasse, I have a deep faith in the process and the people leading it," he continued. "When two sides can't agree, the best way to move forward often is to have a neutral expert come in, analyze the data, and help find common ground. I remain optimistic that we can find compromise and reconciliation if we keep talking."

 

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Alameda Unified School District serves more than 9600 students in Alameda, California., an island community in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, please visit the AUSD website, follow @AUSDNews on Twitter, or subscribe to our email communications. Questions? Contact Susan Davis, Senior Manager, Community Affairs, at sdavis@alameda.k12.ca.us.

 

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Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 6/2/16

Audience: Homepage

AUSD Schools Win Awards, Honors This Spring

 

School sites across the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) have won awards this year for accomplishments ranging from closing the achievement gap in elementary schools to helping students prepare for college via Advanced Placement courses in high school.

   

"Our schools continue to impress not only families looking for a community in which to raise their children but also outside agencies and organizations," said Superintendent Sean McPhetridge. "We are beyond proud of the incredible achievements of our schools."

 

National Awards

The U.S. Department of Education gave special honors to two AUSD schools this year.

 

In November, Alameda Science and Technology Institute (ASTI), which is AUSD's Early College High School, received a National Blue Ribbon Schools Award. ASTI was designated an "Exemplary High Performing School," which means it is in the top 15 percent of schools statewide, as measured by various assessments. 

 

In May, Bay Farm School received a national Green Ribbon Award, which recognizes schools and school districts for excellence in resource efficiency, health and wellness, and environmental and sustainability education. The school received a California Green Ribbon Award in February, as well as a nomination for the national award — along with just four other schools in the state. Bay Farm, which has an innovative K-8 program focused on 21st century education, was the only public school nominated in the state this year.

 

State Awards

In April, the CDE announced that four AUSD schools had won Gold Ribbon School Awards:  Earhart Elementary School, Haight Elementary School, Maya Lin School, and Otis Elementary School.

 

The CDE created the Gold Ribbon Schools Award to replace the Distinguished Schools Program, which is currently on hold as the state transitions to new assessment and accountability systems.  

 

This month, both Haight Elementary School and Maya Lin School also received Title 1 Academic Achievement Awards from the CDE.  The award goes to schools that:

 

  • receive federal Title 1 funds to meet the educational needs of students living at or below the poverty line;
  • have student populations in which more than 40% are socio-economically disadvantaged; and
  • have demonstrated that all students are making significant progress toward proficiency on California's academic content standards.

Haight has an innovative program focused on global learning; Maya Lin's magnet program focuses on integrated learning with an emphasis on the arts and inquiry learning.

 

Due to the very high standard for qualifying, only 10 other Title 1 schools in Alameda County won the award this year, out of about 200 schools that receive the funds.

 

US News & World Report

Alameda High School (AHS) won a silver award in the US News & World Report annual "Best High Schools" report released this month. The publication's rankings, which include more than 21,000 public high schools across the country and 2400 in California, are based on the schools' performances on state assessments and how well the schools prepare their students for college.

 

Factors that the analysts consider include:

 

  • the number of students taking Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses;
  • students' scores on those tests; and
  • the percentage of economically disadvantaged students enrolled at the school.  

The magazine ranked AHS 102nd in the state (which puts it in the top 4% of all high schools here) and 609th in the country (which puts it in the top 3%  nationwide).

 

California Business for Education Excellence

California Business for Education Excellence (CBEE), a professional organization comprised of business leaders committed to improving public instruction, named four AUSD schools “2015 CBEE Honor Roll Schools" this month.  The designation honors schools that have demonstrated:

 

  • consistently high levels of student academic achievement;
  • improvement in achievement over time; and
  • reduction in achievement gaps

CBEE designated ASTI and Lum Elementary Schools as "STEM Honor Roll Schools" (which have higher levels of poverty, are closing their achievement gaps, and have a STEM focus).  The organization selected ASTI, Lum, and Paden Elementary School as "Star Honor Roll Schools" (which have a significant number of low-income students but are also high performing and closing the achievement gap).  Earhart Elementary was named a “Scholar Honor Roll School" (a high-performing school that does not have “significant levels” of low-income students). 

 

"To have this many AUSD schools winning this many awards this year is incredible," McPhetridge said. "I am grateful to our teachers, staff, and families for the hard work they do every day to support our students. And I am continually grateful to our island community for their support of our Measure A parcel tax, which helps make

possible the small class sizes, AP courses, talented teachers, innovative programs, and programs to close the achievement gap that so clearly fuel our schools' great successes."

 

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Upcoming Board of Education Meetings

 

June 14, 2016

City Hall, 6:30 pm

 

June 28, 2016

City Hall, 6:30 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 5/31/16

Audience: Homepage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Issued By:       Superintendent Sean McPhetridge (510) 337-7060 and

                      Board President Solana Henneberry (510) 337-7187

 

 

Alameda, Calif. — May 27, 2016 — The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History last week announced that Brian Rodriguez – a history teacher at AUSD's Alameda Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) – has been chosen as its 2016 California History Teacher of the Year.

 

A panel of teachers, administrators, and scholars from across the state chose Rodriguez based on his "innovative history curricula, which fosters a spirit of inquiry while emphasizing critical skills in U.S. history, Modern World History, Humanities, and Economics," the institute announced in a press release.

 

Rodriguez taught history at Encinal High School for 19 years before joining the ASTI faculty in 2014. He received his undergraduate degree in rhetoric from the University of California, Berkeley, a law degree from  University of Southern California, and a teaching credential from Holy Names College in Oakland. He was named AUSD's Teacher of the Year in 2008.

 

"I am thrilled and honored to receive this award," Rodriguez said. "My father was a poor Mexican-American kid whose life was radically changed for the better by the kindness and care of a school nurse and a teacher.  That made a tremendous difference to my family.  I have never forgotten that, and I try to fulfill that role every day for Alameda students."

 

Recognizing the "Crucial Importance of History Education"

 

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is a New York–based national nonprofit devoted to the teaching and learning of American history. The Institute’s programs have been recognized by awards from the White House, the National Endowment of the Humanities, and the Organization of American Historians. The History Teacher of the Year Award highlights the crucial importance of history education by honoring an exceptional American history teacher from each state, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense schools, and US Territories. A "National History Teacher of the Year" will be selected from this list of state winners and honored at a ceremony in New York City next fall.  

 

As part of his recognition, Mr. Rodriguez will receive a $1,000 honorarium from the institute, and ASTI's library will receive a core archive of history books and educational materials. ASTI also becomes a "Gilder Lehrman Affiliate School," which gives its teachers access to regional forums with noted historians and extensive resources to use in the classroom.

 

Alameda Mayor Trish Spencer nominated Mr. Rodriguez for the award. He submitted two lessons with his application: one in which students trace their family history through US history and one on the September 11, 2001 attacks. (You can read our community bulletin about that lesson here.)

 

"Democracy is Not Passive"

 

For Rodriguez, history isn't about a dusty past; it's about an engaged present and better future. "I teach my students that democracy is not passive," he says. "This year my students were inspired to be advocates for social justice.  After a lesson on the school to prison pipeline, they started a tutoring program at a local elementary school, and after learning about immigration, they made a school-wide video inviting a young Syrian refugee to our school.  Other students travelled with a Congressional delegation to South Carolina with the MLK Freedom Center and started soccer programs for the disabled.  There is no more exciting place than a vibrant history classroom."

 

ASTI is AUSD's Early College High School, which means students can earn college credits in addition to a high school diploma. It is supported by Measure A, a parcel tax approved by Alameda voters in 2011.

 

"Brian Rodriguez is an innovative teacher at an innovative high school," Superintendent Sean McPhetridge said. "Our students are so fortunate to have the opportunity to go to this school and to benefit from the experience and creativity of passionate teachers like Brian. ASTI and AUSD are lucky to benefit from his service in the classroom!"

 

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 Alameda Unified School District serves more than 9600 students in Alameda, Calif., an island community in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, please visit the AUSD website, follow @AUSDNews on Twitter, or subscribe to our email communications. Questions? Contact Susan Davis, Senior Manager, Community Affairs, at sdavis@alameda.k12.ca.us.

more
Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 5/27/16

Audience: Homepage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Issued By:         Superintendent Sean McPhetridge (510) 337-7060 and

                        Board President Solana Henneberry (510) 337-7187

 

 

Alameda, Calif. — May 11, 2016 — Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) announced its 2015-2016 Teacher of the Year last night:  Mandie Cline, a kindergarten teacher at Ruby Bridges Elementary School. 

 

Cline, who has been teaching at Ruby Bridges since it opened in 2006, was chosen for her passion for arts education, her dedication to community building, and her deep support of her students as "whole children."

 

"It is an honor to be able to announce that Ms. Cline is our Teacher of the Year," said Superintendent Sean McPhetridge. "Her dedication, enthusiasm, and skill are an inspiration to us all."

 

Cline has a bachelor's degree in Art & Education, as well as a master's degree in Fine Art Printmaking. She began her teaching career in Cleveland, but since 2005 she has been teaching in AUSD. In addition to her work as an educator, she has worked as an assistant at printmaking and booking studios. This year she won a full scholarship to be a studio assistant for a session on book arts at the Penland School of Crafts this summer.

 

"No Small Thing"

 

In her kindergarten classroom, Cline focuses not only on teaching her young students to master the standards for kindergarten as independent learners, but also on supporting her students' social and emotional well-being.

 

"Every moment of every day is geared toward encouraging student engagement, confidence, camaraderie, and peer accountability," she wrote in her application. "My students are empowered to think independently, critically, and to accept responsibility for individual actions as well as those of the community. I nurture the abilities and strengths of all students and give them tools to better themselves and each other."

 

Cline also volunteers to teach art to 1st to 5th graders at Ruby Bridges during her prep periods because, she wrote, "I know that visual arts is crucial to a child's academic and emotional success." Last year, she also spearheaded an Art Show/Silent Auction that included art from all of the classrooms and raised nearly $3000 for the school.

 

In a recommendation letter, Susan Jones-Szabo, the teacher librarian at Ruby Bridges, wrote: "It is no small thing that she has given so much of her time and expertise in order to bring the gift of art to our students, many of whom have suffered so much already in their young lives. Her students can then use art to find a way to express themselves, create a powerful emotional response, and learn to see the world with a deeper appreciation of the beauty around them."

 

"The Ultimate Team Player"

 

Cline is also dedicated to building a sense of community at her school site.  In recent years, her projects have included a staff "shout-outs" board and a "kindness tree" on which students and staff can leave loving notes for others. She makes the time to show up at school events ranging from pumpkin sales to teacher talent shows. In 2014, she launched an initiative to have all Ruby Bridges staff receive Mindfulness Training; all of the school's K-5 classes now practice mindfulness daily.  And she is now collaborating with family and staff to use Measure A funds to develop an innovative program at the school focusing on student wellness, science, and art.  "My vision is to have students thrive in a school where the values and skills taught in kindergarten are values supported school-wide," she says.

 

Notes Ruby Bridges Principal Cheryl Wilson, "She is the ultimate team-player who understands how important it is to collaborate and share information as a community of learners as opposed to teaching and working in isolation."

 

When asked what she loves about teaching kindergarteners, Cline responded "They are so full of love! Kindergarteners see the world in a simple, complete way, and they have so much joy, excitement, and eagerness to be seen and heard. I'm just here to facilitate, to help them find a way to become strong, happy, confident people in the world."

 

Nominees for AUSD Teacher of the Year come from parents, students, staff, and the community. After being invited to submit materials (including a resume and letters of support), a selection committee observes nominees in the classroom and then interviews them. Next fall, Cline will compete to become Alameda County Teacher of the Year.

 

"Mandie is the ultimate example of an educator who strives to integrate the well being of the whole child into her instructional practice," says Audrey Hyman, president of the Alameda Education Association and also a former Ruby Bridges kindergarten teacher. "She teaches from her heart, and her passion for her students and the Ruby Bridges community is obvious to all who work with her. I have seen her analyze data to work with her colleagues and come up with new approaches for age appropriate learning models.  She is a key member of the school workgroup developing an innovative plan for the site.  Mandie’s resolve to make things better for the children she works with shines through in all she does."

 

 

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Alameda Unified School District serves more than 9600 students in Alameda, California., an island community in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, please visit the AUSD website, follow @AUSDNews on Twitter, or subscribe to our email communications. Questions? Contact Susan Davis, Senior Manager, Community Affairs, at sdavis@alameda.k12.ca.us.

more
Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 5/11/16

Audience: Homepage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Issued By:         Superintendent Sean McPhetridge (510) 337-7060 and

                        Board President Solana Henneberry (510) 337-7187           

 

 

Alameda, Calif. — April 27, 2016 — The Board of Education for the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) approved the appointment of a new principal for Encinal Junior & Senior High School last night.

 

The appointee — Daniel Hurst — is an Alameda resident who has two children in grades TK and 1st in AUSD schools. He worked as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal in the Oakland Unified School District for more than 25 years. Most recently, he served as assistant principal at Terra Linda High School in San Rafael.

 

Mr. Hurst is committed to three principles in leading high schools: high expectations and high support; collaboration; and meeting the needs of all students. "As educators, it is our great moral responsibility to maximize the potentials of every student wherever they may be on all spectrums of development," he says. "I am honored to have this opportunity to contribute all I have to offer to Encinal Junior & Senior High and to support all those doing such extraordinary work there in support of students."

 

Mr. Hurst will begin his appointment on July 1, 2016. "I am grateful to Mr. Hurst for accepting our offer and look forward to partnering with him to continuing and expanding the great work that is being done at Encinal," said Superintendent Sean McPhetridge. "He brings a long history of focusing on issues of equity, student achievement, and instructional leadership."

 

Last night the Board of Education also approved the hire of Wendy Garner as Student Services Coordinator and April Dizon as Director of Fiscal Services.  Ms. Garner is currently the principal of Hesperian Elementary School in San Lorenzo. Ms. Dizon is currently the Controller in AUSD's Fiscal Services Department.

 

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Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 4/27/16

Audience: Homepage

Every year, Earth Day provides an opportunity to celebrate our planet, our environmental heroes, and the many efforts around the globe aimed at protecting, preserving, and sustaining the Earth. Here in AUSD, we also want to acknowledge the fantastic work being done in our schools to protect not only our local environment, but also our regional, national, and global ecosystems.

 

As many of you know, all of our schools currently support a sophisticated garbage sorting system through which students and staff divide their waste into green waste (compostable), recycling (glass, paper, metal, and plastics), and trash (primarily plastic). Since 2009, the district's overall recycling rate has increased from 41% to about 70%. As a result, the amount of trash the district sends to landfills has plummeted, as has the amount of methane (a potent greenhouse gas) produced when that trash breaks down.

 

In 2014, AUSD won a Golden Bell Award from the California School Boards Association for this work. This year, Bay Farm School won a prestigious Green Ribbon Award from the U.S. Department of Education for both its impressive 85% diversion rate and its Outdoor Learning Center, which is managed by a full-time garden teacher who regularly teaches the students about plants, gardening, nutrition, and cooking.  Bay Farm School was the only individual public school to win in California this year. The school will be honored in a ceremony in our nation's capital, Washington, D.C., in July.

 

Restoring the Shoreline, Planting Gardens

 

A number of other AUSD schools are also doing amazing green work.  For instance, environmental science students at Lincoln Middle recently unveiled a sign supporting their efforts to replace invasive species with native species along the bay. Those efforts have been undertaken as part of the school's designation as an Ocean Guardian school by the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration. To date, LMS students have removed 232 pounds of trash and 6886 square feet of non-native invasive plants from the shoreline. In their place, the students have planted 195 native plants which will help attract beneficial native insects, birds, and small animals.

 

Most of our elementary schools — and several of our middle and high schools — now have school gardens where students learn not only how plants grow, but also valuable lessons about nutrition, sustainability, and cooking. Last summer, Island High Students restored the garden at Woodstock Child Development Center (the district's preschool). This year, the Alameda Science and Technology Institute is expanding its beautiful garden to include a fruit-bearing orchard. This Sunday (April 24), Haight Elementary School will be holding a Garden Work party from 10 am – 2 pm to work on their school plot. Contact plantsforhaight@gmail.com for more information.

 

Many of our schools have gone the extra green mile in honor of Earth Week.  Edison Elementary School, for instance, is collecting old sneakers to be recycled into new playgrounds. Paden Elementary School just introduced a new "green" opportunity for play -- two sheds full of recycled business waste including all shapes and sizes of plastic bins, cardboard boxes, electronics, and more. (You can see a video of students building and creating with these materials here.) Wood Middle School has been holding waste reduction competitions between the grade levels; today, students will also receive seed paper that they can soak in water to generate wildflowers.

 

Reducing Energy Use

 

Every school in the district is also now part of a district-wide effort aimed at reducing its energy use. Through a contract with Cenergistic, AUSD is implementing a conservation program aimed primarily at changing employees' behavior (e.g., turning off lights and powering down computers and copiers when not in use) and precisely tracking data related to energy use. The program is expected to help the district save more than $750,000 over the next five years – money that is far better spent on classroom programs than wasted energy.

 

At the same time, school modernization projects completed through our Measure I program will include energy efficiency upgrades wherever possible. This in turn will also generate financial savings by reducing the amount of energy and water the district uses on an annual basis, as well as reduce the district's carbon footprint.

 

"Environmental education – whether it's in a classroom, a lunchroom, or a school garden, or along an island's shoreline, park, or street – helps students learn about science, stewardship, teamwork, and community building," says Superintendent Sean McPhetridge. "AUSD is working hard to invigorate our efforts in science education across the district and throughout the grades, and there is really no better way to contextualize science learning than helping students and teachers explore and investigate our relationships with our planet and our Bay Area's abundant natural resources. I am so proud of our students, teachers, staff, and families who partner to honor our natural world."

 

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Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 4/22/16

Audience: Homepage

 


Alameda – April 15, 2016 – Four elementary schools in the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) have been designated Gold Ribbon Schools, the California Department of Education (CDE) announced Wednesday.

 

The Gold Ribbon Schools Award was created to honor schools in place of the Distinguished Schools Program, which is currently on hold as the state transitions to new assessment and accountability systems. Schools applied for the award based on a model program or practice, including standards-based projects and practices that led to gains in implementing state standards and can be replicated in other districts.

 

In AUSD, the CDE recognized the following schools as Gold Ribbon winners:

 

• Earhart Elementary School: Math, Science, and Technology with the integration of Music M(MST) Innovative program

 

• Haight Elementary School: Collaborative Instruction, Intervention, and Supports

 

• Maya Lin School: Integrated Learning Through Arts and Inquiry

 

• Otis Elementary School: Literacy Learning Groups

 

You can see more detail about these programs on the AUSD website.

 

"What fantastic news it is to have four of our schools win this prestigious award in one year," said Superintendent Sean McPhetridge. "I send my deepest congratulations to the principals, teachers, staff, and students of these schools who have done such phenomenal work teaching and learning in their schools. We are proud of their achievements!"

 

The CDE recognized 772 elementary schools as Gold Ribbon winners this year; last year the department honored 373 middle and high schools with the designation.

 

Earlier this year, the Alameda Science and Technology Institute won a national Blue Ribbon Award, and Bay Farm School was also nominated for a prestigious national Green Ribbon Award.

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more
Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 4/15/16

Audience: Homepage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Issued By:   

     

Sean McPhetridge, Superintendent (510) 337-7060 and

Solana Henneberry, President, Board of Education (510) 337-7187

Jim Franz, City of Alameda Community Development Coordinator (510) 747-6883


 

Alameda, Calif. — March 25, 2016 —The Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) and the city's Social Service Human Relations Board (SSHRB) are jointly hosting a forum on "Muslim Students in America" on April 11 at Kofman Auditorium. Doors will open at 6:30 pm and the program will begin at 7 pm.

 

The free event will feature the award-winning film "Fordson: Faith, Fasting, Football," which follows a football team from Dearborn, Michigan as it prepares for its cross-town rivalry game during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. It shows how the football team and Fordson High School, which are composed primarily of Muslim students, work to both maintain their Islamic faith and traditions and be a part of mainstream America.

 

After the screening, Gene Kahane, an English teacher at Encinal High School, will lead a panel discussion about the movie. Panel members will include several Muslim students from AUSD, as well as Sameena Usman, government relations coordinator with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which is the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization. The panel will also take questions from the audience.

 

The forum is part of the "Everyone Belongs Here" campaign in Alameda, which advocates for accepting people of all races, sexual orientations, faiths, gender identities, ethnicities, and abilities.

 

"We are excited to present this program in support of our Muslim families and the ideal of safety, inclusion, and diversity," says Superintendent Sean McPhetridge. "Everyone truly does belong here in AUSD and our larger community. Events like this help to underscore and illuminate this concept."

 

Adds SSHRB President Doug Biggs, "This is an important movie to see and an important discussion to have. At a time of rising tension around who belongs and doesn't belong in America, this kind of gathering helps communities find common ground and express their support for all their members."

 

The Alameda Collaborative for Children, Youth, and their Families is co-sponsoring the event.

 

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Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 3/25/16

Audience: Homepage

In a room filled with tears, shouts, laughter, and applause this winter, Island High School students performed poems they had written about subjects ranging from alienation, regret, and love to racism, poverty, and war.  In so doing, they gave voice to their inner lives and provided adults in the room a raw look at the power of adolescent emotions, identity, and perspectives on the world.

 

"I'd turn to my past if I wanted a liar," read one student in a growling voice. "I stand for my family, my world, my faith/That's all that I got." Read another, "It's complicated how life is like a puzzle and I can't fix it." And still a third: "She was now seventeen/She was disowned/Acting especially mean/In her own world she drowned."

 

"Developing Their Own Voice"

 

Island High School is the Continuation High School for the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD), which means that its programs are designed to help students who have struggled to get the credits they need to graduate —not only due to family troubles, substance abuse, and teen pregnancy, but to the many other complications life has to offer.

 

The annual Poetry Slam is a unit in teacher John Nolan's English 4 class for seniors. "We teach this unit to help students learn to write and analyze poems and have an opportunity to tell their stories," said Nolan, who has taught at Island High for eight years and was voted AUSD Teacher of the Year in 2012. "It's a chance for students to develop their own voice and use it."

 

For many students, this can be remarkably healing work. As Greg (who preferred not to use his last name) read during the slam, "I'm from a long line of people who just don't understand my plans." In an interview after the event, he explained, "The class let me write what was on my mind. I will never forget what has happened to me. This was a way to say it."

 

"I Can Get Away With a Lot"

 

Several other students also talked about the way learning to write and perform verse helped them. "I wrote about my life, stuff going on every day, stuff I've been put through," said Jeremiah Braxton, 17, who penned the "It's Complicated" poem quoted above and came to Island High School after "messing up" in 9th and 10th grade at Encinal High. "In poetry, I can get away with a lot. I can express my emotions." Braxton, who has performed as a rapper and singer in northern and southern California, said that the poetry unit helped him learn to choose words and tone to convey meaning, which will be helpful in the musical career he wants to pursue.

 

Samantha Castro, 18, wrote a poem about her 7-month old son, Julian.  She said she loved the poetry unit for the opportunity it gave her to explore and express her feelings. "My parents have been in and out of jail," she said. "I have seen a lot of violence. But I wanted something better for myself. It's not easy taking care of a baby, but I am doing what I have to do. I want my baby's life to be different. I want to be the best mother I can be." Castro plans on becoming a nurse or a teacher after she graduates.

 

 

Isaiah Aleman, 17, who performed the poem about faith and family quoted above, ended up at Island High School after falling behind in his credits and struggling with a number of difficult issues. This April, he said, he will have been on a more focused path for a year. "I am a different person," he said. "I've become more creative, more thoughtful. I can think more critically about what I want people to feel from my words, what I think, how I feel about other people." Though he had written poetry before, he said, the unit helped him learn about the best use of structure and vocabulary in a poem, as well as looking more deeply into the subject.

 

 "Good Learning, Good Teaching, and Good Students"

 

This year, Alameda's poet laureate, Julia Park Tracey, coached the students on their poems before their slam, by helping them with writer's block, editing, and finding their voice and narrative style. The unit, she said, "is a huge win for the kids. These aren't students whose lives revolve around student government, pep rallies, and dress-up days. They have gone through real trauma.  They are already living grown-up lives. Having the opportunity to take words from their heart and soul and then share those words can be incredibly powerful."

 

Some of the words from these teens' hearts and souls are as much about hope as trauma. Brittany Cox, who described the disowned teen at the start of this story, expressed a compelling optimism as she projected a peaceful close to the protagonist's life journey:

 

She was now seventy

Sitting in row one of the church holding her granddaughter

Knowing this was her destiny

She watches her son waiting at the altar

 

She was now ninety

looking around the white room at all the faces

There was no longer a fight with society

She smiles as she passes

 

Whether the resulting poems are angry or hopeful, filled with fear or brimming with strength, Nolan said, teaching the course annually reinforces his belief in the "deep, powerful stories" of students. "They come from such unique circumstances," he said. "It can be healing for them to process these experiences in a creative, productive way." Teaching the unit also has reinforced his belief that poetry is "flourishing" in our culture today. "I see so many artists with so many poetic skills and innovative rhymes," he said. "They're making up  poems on the fly. We are living in really poetic times."

 

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Upcoming Board of Education Meetings

 

 

March 22, 2016

6:30 pm, City Hall

 

April 12, 2016

6:30 pm, City Hal

 

 

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Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 3/16/16

Audience: Homepage

Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) and community partners will hold a Career Pathways and Youth Job Fair on Friday March 18, 2016, from 3 to 5 pm, in the Encinal Jr. & Sr. High School gymnasium.

 

The event, which is free to all high school students in Alameda, is supported by AUSD, the City of Alameda, Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan, and the Alameda Collaborative for Children, Youth, and their Families (ACCYF).

 

During the event, high school students will have opportunities to apply for summer jobs and paid internships in local agencies and businesses, talk to representatives from the Peralta Community Colleges, and explore opportunities in vocational education.  AUSD will also provide a Resume Help Desk for students and information on the district's Career Technical Education (CTE) programs. Participants in this year's fair include:

 

 Colleges

College of Alameda

Berkeley City College

Laney College

Merritt College

 

Agencies

Alameda County Public Defender

Alameda County District Attorney

City of Alameda Fire Department

Alameda Recreation and Park Department

Alameda Police Department

Alameda Free Library

Alameda Point Collaborative

 

Trade Unions

Iron Workers Local 378

Cypress Mandela Training Center, Inc.

Pile Drivers Local 34

 

Health-Related Jobs/Education

Pacific Homecare Services

Bladium Sports & Fitness Club

Alameda Hospital

Bay Area Training Academy – EMT School

 

Summer Jobs

Student Conservation Association

Alameda Theatre

Tucker's Ice Cream

Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter

Charming Charlie

 

"This is our second annual job and career fair, and I expect it will be even bigger and better than last year," said Superintendent Sean McPhetridge. "We are excited to be able to provide students with more opportunities to learn more about career opportunities and gain work experience while they're in high school or right after they graduate."

 

The job fair is part of AUSD's ongoing work with the East Bay Career Pathways Trust (CPT) consortium, which has brought together 11 school districts, six community colleges, two Regional Occupation Programs, the Alameda County Office of Education,  business partners, and professional development providers to reshape the East Bay's K-14 educational programs. AUSD is currently developing plans to strengthen and expand its career technical programs at its high schools.

 

"The partnership between the City of Alameda, AUSD, local employers, and my 'ALL IN – Alameda County' initiative is helping our youth achieve financial self-sufficiency," said Supervisor Chan, who launched the initiative in 2014 to help reduce poverty and inequality in the region.  "The job fair offers important career guidance and helps students make the connections they need to succeed in career and life. The success of this year’s job fair shows once again how deeply Alameda is committed to the well-being of its youth."

 

Alameda Mayor Trish Herrera Spencer  also praised this collaborative effort. "It is a pleasure to be able to help students explore the connection between their education and viable career paths," she said. "I am also excited that providing local career pathways can provide local businesses with a custom-made source of skilled employees."

 

 

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Regular Board of Education Meetings

March 22, 2016

6:30 pm, City Hall

 

April 12, 2016

6:30 pm, City Hall

 

Special Board of Education Meetings

Presentation of Enrollment Committee Recommendations

March 15, 2016

Island High School, 6:00 pm

more
Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 3/15/16

Audience: Homepage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Issued By:         Superintendent Sean McPhetridge (510) 337-7060 and

                        Board President Solana Henneberry (510) 337-7187           

 

 

AUSD Superintendent Announces Reorganization

of Educational Services Department

 

Alameda, Calif. — March 11, 2016 — Superintendent Sean McPhetridge announced today a restructuring of the Alameda Unified School District’s Educational Services Department.

 

Currently, the Assistant Superintendent manages the entire department, which is composed of Teaching & Learning, Student Services, and Special Education. Each of these departments, in turn, has its own director.

 

Under the reorganization, the Assistant Superintendent, along with the three directors, will be replaced by a Chief Academic Officer and a Chief Student Support Officer. 

 

Superintendent McPhetridge has appointed Steven Fong, currently Director of Teaching & Learning, to the Chief Academic Officer position. Mr. Fong, who received a BA in Integrative Biology and an MA in Education from UC Berkeley, began his career as a science teacher at Berkeley High School before joining the faculty af Alameda Science and Technology Institute (ASTI). He went on to serve as dean of ASTI for three years. He became AUSD's Director of Teaching & Learning in 2013.

 

Kirsten Zazo, currently principal of Encinal Jr. & Sr. High School, has been appointed to the Chief Student Support Officer position. Ms. Zazo received her BA in Liberal Studies from Cal State Hayward and did graduate work at Saint Mary's College.  She was a teacher at both Lum Elementary School and Chipman Middle School before becoming assistant principal of Chipman. She was hired as AUSD's Coordinator of Student Services in 2010. After serving as the Director of Student Services, she became principal at Encinal High School in 2013.

 

The reorganization comes in the wake of several senior leaders in Education Services announcing their planned departure from the school district. Assistant Superintendent Barbara Adams is resigning at the end of the school year. Director of Special Education Susan Mitchell is retiring at the same time.  Former Director of Student Services Kelly Lara resigned in January.  Those resignations, McPhetridge said, presented an opportunity to reorganize the district office so as to provide more focused attention to a number of key programmatic areas.

 

"I am grateful to Mr. Fong and Ms. Zazo for agreeing to serve in these two new positions during this period of change in our district," Superintendent McPhetridge said. "I believe the new structure will help us provide better service to our students, our families, and our employees. I have great admiration and respect for these leaders who have served as teachers, site leaders, and district administrators over their years here in AUSD. I thank them for their service, and I look forward to their ongoing commitment and evidenced dedication to Alameda students, families, and staff."

 

The Board of Education is expected to confirm the appointments of Mr. Fong and Ms. Zazo at its next meeting, March 22, 2016.  They will begin their new positions on July 1.

 

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Alameda Unified School District serves 9500 students in Alameda, California,  an island community in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, please visit the AUSD website, follow @AUSDNews on Twitter, or subscribe to our email communications. Questions? Contact Susan Davis, Senior Manager, Community Affairs, at sdavis@alameda.k12.ca.us.

 

more
Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 3/11/16

Audience: Homepage
March 9, 2016
 
Dear Parents and Guardians,
 
In an email I sent on February 19, I explained that the California Department of Education (CDE) was under court orders to release data it had collected on some 10 million current and former public school students in California.
 
I want to let you know that the court has now ruled that the CDE will not have to release confidential data. Instead, the plaintiffs in the case (Morgan Hill Concerned Parents Association and the Concerned Parent Association v. California Department of Education) will be able to submit data queries to the CDE, and the CDE will be able to respond without providing personally identifiable information unless the plaintiffs' attorneys can demonstrate that the information will be stored securely.
 
At a hearing on the matter, the judge noted that she had received "voluminous" numbers of objection forms from parents and students concerned about the possible release of confidential student information. Those forms will be included in the court's official documentation. If you would still like to submit an objection to the original order, the court will be accepting forms until April 1, 2016. You can find the forms here.
 
I hope this eases the minds of families who were concerned about this release. We will continue to let you know of any changes in this situation as they develop.
 
Sincerely,
 
Sean McPhetridge, Ed.D.
Superintendent
more
Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 3/9/16

Audience: Homepage

The Board of Education for the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) will hold a Special Board Meeting March 15 to study and discuss the recommendations of the AUSD Enrollment Committee. The meeting will be held at Island High School and will begin at 6 pm.

 

Convened in October 2015 and composed of parents, staff, teachers, and principals, the Enrollment Committee has met eight times to discuss and develop recommendations for revising AUSD's enrollment policies. 

 

Suggested changes include:

  • Letting families know if their child is going to be diverted from a neighborhood school that is full before the start of the school year
  • Ensuring that students who are diverted get to stay at their new school, rather than getting diverted again
  • Requiring families to submit verification of residency more often
  • Allowing the children of employees who work at schools to attend those schools as intra-district transfers
  • Allowing Coast Guard families to enroll long-distance (without having an in-person appointment) when they have received orders to move to Alameda from another state

The full set of recommendations is posted with the meeting's agenda.

 

Community members are encouraged to attend the meeting to learn about the committee's work and express their opinions about the recommendations.

 

###

 

Upcoming Board of Education Meetings

 

March 8, 2016

6:30 pm, City Hall

 

March 15, 2016 (Special Board Meeting)

6:00 pm, Island High School

500 Pacific Avenue

 

March 22, 2016

6:30 pm, City Hall

more
Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 3/7/16

Audience: Homepage

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Issued By:         Superintendent Sean McPhetridge (510) 337-7060 and

                        Board President Solana Henneberry (510) 337-7187           

 

Alameda, Calif. — February 26, 2016 — Bay Farm School, a K-8 program in the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD), received a California Green Ribbon Schools Award from State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson in a ceremony at the school on Friday.  

 

The Green Ribbon Schools program honors schools, school districts, and institutes of higher education for excellence in resource efficiency, health and wellness, and environmental and sustainability education.  Bay Farm is now also a nominee for the U.S. Department of Education's Green Ribbon Schools program.

 

Only five schools can be nominated for the federal award from each state.  Bay Farm is the only individual public school that won the nomination in California this year. The other nominees are: Los Angeles Unified School District, Manhattan Beach Unified School District, San Francisco Unified School District, and the private Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland. The schools and districts were also named "Green Achievers," the highest honor in the California Green Ribbon Schools recognition program.

 

Their nominations – along with those from 25 other states – will be confirmed by the U.S. Department of Education on Earth Day (April 22).

 

"I commend these schools and districts for reducing their environmental footprints and engaging students using sustainability and the environment as the context for learning," Torlakson said in a press release issued by the California Department of Education (CDE). "Their efforts are helping to build healthier, more resilient communities and a more prosperous California."

 

"A School Culture"

 

The awards were given out at a news conference Friday morning. Representatives of the other winning programs also attended the ceremony and spoke of their work, which led former science teacher Torlakson, who convened an Environmental Literacy task force in 2014, to tell the audience, "Clearly I'm passionate about environmental education. But your passions bring me to a higher level."

 

Bay Farm teachers and students didn't learn of the award until the morning assembly, when AUSD Superintendent Sean McPhetridge announced it to the entire school. "You have helped save the world," he told Bay Farm's students, teacher, and staff. "You're a model for our whole district. You're a model for the whole state. You are now a model for the whole United States!"

 

Green Ribbon Schools demonstrate exemplary achievement in three categories or "pillars": reducing environmental impact and costs; improving the health and wellness of schools, students, and staff; and providing effective environmental education that incorporates science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), civic skills, and green career pathways.

               

Bay Farm School was honored for its implementation of a highly efficient, student-led "Green Waste" program that diverts 85 percent of solid waste from the landfill to recycling and compost. Bay Farm School has also developed an Outdoor Learning Center that is managed by a full-time garden teacher who regularly teaches the students about plants, gardening, nutrition, and cooking.

 

Second grade teacher Michele Kuttner, who is also a Go Green Coordinator at Bay Farm, as well as a member of AUSD's Green Schools Challenge Steering Committee, accepted the award on behalf of the school. "At Bay Farm, what began as a program to increase recycling and build a garden has become our school culture," Kuttner said. "Our entire school community works to prove that a school can increase in size and population and reduce the size of its carbon footprint."

 

In 2014, the district-wide Green Schools Challenge won a Golden Bell Award from the California School Boards Association.

 

After the ceremony, the nearly 100 attendees from across the state toured Bay Farm's butterfly garden, Outdoor Learning Center, and classrooms, so that they could learn more about the school's green practices.

 

You can read more about Bay Farm’s efforts on their Go Green web page. The California Department of Education's Green Ribbon Schools Award Program web page includes more details on the award program.

 

###

 

Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) serves about 9500 students in Alameda, California, an island community in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, please visit the AUSD website, follow @AUSDNews on Twitter, or subscribe to our email communications. Questions? Contact Susan Davis, Senior Manager, Community Affairs, at sdavis@alameda.k12.ca.us.

 

California Nominees to the U.S. Department of Education's Green Ribbon Schools Program
(from the California Department of Education press release)

 

Bay Farm School, Alameda, Alameda County

Bay Farm School has implemented an efficient three-stream waste diversion program that diverts 85 percent of solid waste from the landfill. Students are critical to these efforts, monitoring lunchtime sorting and conducting multiple waste audits to keep recyclables out of classroom and playground trash. Bay Farm’s Outdoor Learning Center (OLC) is managed by a full-time garden teacher. All students regularly learn outdoors in part by working in the OLC and eating the food they grow there. Read more about Bay Farm’s efforts on their Go Green Web page.

 

Los Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles County

LAUSD is the largest school district in California and the second largest in the nation, serving approximately 650,000 students in grades K–12. In 2003, LAUSD became the first school district in California to adopt the sustainability standards of the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) for all new schools and modernization projects. To date, 78 LAUSD schools have receive CHPS certification. LAUSD has installed 21 megawatts of solar capacity, supported more than 375 school gardens, and built more than 180 outdoor classrooms. The District’s sustainability Web site, Learning Green, provides information and resources for all schools. LAUSD’s Susan Miller Dorsey Senior High School was recognized as a U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School in 2015.

 

Manhattan Beach Unified School District, Los Angeles County

MBUSD has documented a 33 percent reduction in non-transportation energy use and a 44 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from a 2009 baseline. All MBUSD schools are ENERGY STAR certified. MBUSD diverts 100 percent of food waste by combining on-site composting with a municipal program that converts food waste into Engineered Bioslurry used to generate energy. MBUSD was the first district to pilot and implement the parent-initiated programs Grades of Green and Growing Great. MBUSD earned a CA-GRS Silver Level Award in 2015, and Grand View Elementary School was recognized as a U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School in 2012.

 

San Francisco Unified School District, San Francisco County

SFUSD utilizes a Shared Savings Program that rewards schools for reducing their use by giving them 50 percent of the savings generated through conservation as discretionary funding. Every school in SFUSD has an Environmental Liaison, and SFUSD’s Environmental Science Center has been providing standards-based environmental education in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area since 1976. SFUSD has installed nearly 60 green schoolyards since 2005 and will expand schoolyard “greening” to every site using a local modernization bond authorized in 2011. The District’s Green the Next Gen Web site features teacher resources; student programs; and utility, commute, and waste diversion data from SFUSD schools. SFUSD earned a CA-GRS Silver Level Award in 2015.

 

Bishop O’Dowd High School, Oakland, Alameda County

O’Dowd’s Center for Environmental Studies, completed in 2014, is a LEED Platinum certified building. The campus also supports a four-acre “Living Lab” that has undergone ecological restoration annually since 2000 and received Bay Friendly certification and Wildlife Habitat certification. The Living Lab features four different local ecosystems, beehives, chickens and rabbits, edibles, and water catchment systems. It is used for field research, experiential learning, and spiritual meditation. Green Gloves, a 2015 partnership with the ReThink Disposable project, replaced disposable plates and bowls in the cafeteria with reusable baskets, reducing solid waste by 3,376 pounds per year. O’Dowd was recognized by CAPSO as a CA-GRS Gold School in 2015 and a Silver School in 2014.

more
Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 2/26/16

Audience: Homepage

 

 

 

Do you know of a custodian, tradesperson, food services employee, payroll technician, paraprofessional, instructional assistant, school secretary, or office manager in the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) who you think is doing excellent work for the children and staff of this district?  Alameda community members now have a chance to nominate AUSD employees for the state's Classified School Employee of the Year program. The community's nominations go first to the school district, which then chooses nominees to send to the Alameda County Office of Education. The county office, in turn, sends nominations to the California Department of Education (CDE).

 

Who is eligible? You can nominate classified AUSD employees in the following five categories:

 

  • Child Nutrition (e.g.,  food service employees)
  • Maintenance, Operations, and Facilities (e.g., custodians and tradespeople)
  • Office and Technical  (e.g., school site secretaries and office managers)
  • Para-Educator and Instructional Assistance (e.g., paraprofessionals and teacher assistants)
  • Support Services and Security (e.g., campus supervisors, payroll technicians, and student services assistants)

 

(The state also takes nominees for a sixth category, Transportation, but AUSD has no staff working in that category.)

 

"I love this program because it allows us to honor and highlight staff members who aren't always in the public limelight," says Superintendent Sean McPhetridge, Ed.D. "But we couldn't have the great schools we have without the contributions of these men and women. I laud their work and am grateful for it every day."

 

You can download the nomination form here.   Once it is filled out, please send it to Humera Khalil, at hkhalil@alameda.k12.ca.us. The deadline for submitting nominations to the district is March 5, 2016.

 

###

 

 

Upcoming Board of Education Meetings

 

Regular Board Meetings

 

March 8, 2016

6:30 PM, City Hall

 

March 22, 2016

6:30 pm, City Hall

 

 

Special Board Meeting

 

March 15, 2016

6 pm, Island High School

(Board study session on enrollment policies)

 

 

 

more
Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 2/26/16

Audience: Homepage

February 19, 2016

 
Dear Parents and Guardians,
 
I want to let you know of a 2012 lawsuit against the California Department of Education (CDE) and how that could potentially result in the limited release of your children's confidential information.
 
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit - Morgan Hill Concerned Parents Association and the Concerned Parent Association - allege that:
  • local school districts are not complying with special education laws; and
  • the CDE fails to monitor, investigate, and correct such non-compliance.
The CDE denies these allegations and is actively defending the litigation.
 
AUSD is not the subject of any of the suit's allegations. Nonetheless, the U.S. District Court has ordered the CDE to release all data it has collected on approximately 10 million general and special education students (including AUSD current and former students) since January 1, 2008. That data may include names, addresses, disciplinary records, health and mental health records, and, for some students, social security numbers.   
 
The information will be released to the plaintiffs' attorneys, under supervision of a court monitor. The court has stipulated that the information cannot be used or released outside the context of this lawsuit. If you have concerns about releasing your children's data, however, you can file an Objection to Disclosure of Student Information and Records with the court. That form is available in English and Spanish. Once it is downloaded, printed, and filled out, it must be sent by mail to:
 
United State District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller
c/o Clerk of the Court
Robert T. Matsui United States Courthouse
501 I Street, Room 4-200 Sacramento, CA 95814
Attn: Document Filed Under Seal
 
The deadline for submitting objections to the court is April 1. The court will decide whether to grant the objection.
 
If you would like more information on this case and the mandated release of records, please go to: www.tinyurl.com/AUSD-recordsrelease. If you would like to receive future press releases, community bulletins, and other alerts from AUSD, please sign up on our home page.  

Thank you,
 
Sean McPhetridge, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
 
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Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 2/19/16

Audience: Homepage

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Issued By:    Superintendent Sean McPhetridge (510) 337-7060 and

                   Board President Solana Henneberry (510) 337-7187         

 

 

Alameda, Calif. – Wed., February 10, 2016  –  The  Board of Education for the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) approved the calendar for the 2016-17 school year at a public board meeting last night.

 

Under the calendar, which the board approved 5-0, the first day of school is August 22, 2016. The last day of school is June 8, 2017. There will be no school during Thanksgiving week, and the Winter Holiday Break is from December 22, 2016 to January 6, 2017. Spring Break is from April 3 to April 7, 2017.

 

The calendar was developed by a committee composed of staff from AUSD and members of the Alameda Education Association (AEA), which is the union that represents AUSD teachers and counselors.  After meeting several times, the committee agreed on two potential calendars. AEA members then voted on the calendars. At its February 9 meeting, the Board of Education approved the same calendar that the majority of AEA voters had selected.

 

The new calendar is on the home page of the AUSD website.

 

 

 

###

 

 

 

 

Alameda Unified School District serves about 9500 students in Alameda, California, an island community in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, please visit the AUSD website, follow @AUSDNews on Twitter, or subscribe to our email communications. Questions? Contact Susan Davis, Senior Manager, Community Affairs, at sdavis@alameda.k12.ca.us.

more
Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 2/10/16

Audience: Homepage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Issued By:         Superintendent Sean McPhetridge (510) 337-7060 and

                        Board President Solana Henneberry (510) 337-7187

 

Alameda, Calif. – February 10, 2016 – The Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) announced today that it plans to offer a full-day kindergarten program at its elementary schools starting in the coming school year, 2016-17.

 

The current kindergarten program runs from 8:20 am to 12:45 or 1:40 pm (depending on the day).  The new full day kindergarten program will increase those hours for family and student benefit.

 

"Current research shows that full-day kindergarten programs help close the achievement gaps between children from different backgrounds," said Superintendent Sean McPhetridge. "The research also shows that these programs confer significant social, emotional, and academic benefits on all kindergarteners. Providing such a solid foundation to our youngest students is a priority for this district and aligns with my personal goal of expanding early childhood education programs in AUSD."

 

"The Board of Education and I are committed to doing all we can to support rigorous and challenging learning environments as envisioned under Common Core," McPhetridge continued. "We are confident full day kindergarten and increased early childhood education opportunities will help all children succeed."

 

The district will release details about the expanded kindergarten program later this spring. Transitional kindergarten will continue to be a half-day program.

 

"We are so excited AUSD plans to offer a full-day kindergarten next year," said Solana Henneberry, president of the AUSD Board of Education. "I feel strongly, as an educator and a parent, that this is the right thing to do for our community, our students, and our families."

 

Kindergarten enrollment is now open for all schools in the Alameda Unified School District. Information about how to enroll is available here.

 

###

 

 

 

Alameda Unified School District serves about 9500 students in Alameda, California, an island community in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, please visit the AUSD website, follow @AUSDNews on Twitter, or subscribe to our email communications. Questions? Contact Susan Davis, Senior Manager, Community Affairs, at sdavis@alameda.k12.ca.us.

more
Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 2/10/16

Audience: Homepage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Issued By:         Superintendent Sean McPhetridge (510) 337-7060 and

                        Board President Solana Henneberry (510) 337-7187           

 

Maya Lin School Wins Bay Area-Wide NFL Play 60 Challenge

Raiders, NFL representatives visit AUSD elementary school  

 

As a reward for winning the Super Bowl 50 edition of the Bay Area-wide NFL Play 60 Challenge, 5th graders at Maya Lin School had the chance to ask players with the Oakland Raiders about their careers Tuesday morning, as well as participate in a modified football work out with them.

 

During the Play 60 Challenge, students commit to getting 60 minutes of exercise a day (both in the classroom and at home) for four weeks. Teachers lead exercise sessions in class and also log the total minutes students complete. "We want students to adopt active lifestyles," explained Megan Mendoza, NFL's community relations coordinator. "We want them to have fun and stay healthy."

 

The challenge is part of the league's larger NFL Play 60 program, which is designed to tackle childhood obesity by getting kids active through in-school, after-school, and team-based programs.  The NFL co-developed the program with the American Heart Association.

 

More than 12,000 students across the wider Bay Area participated in this year's Super Bowl 50 edition of the challenge. But the 5th graders in Maya Lin teacher Elizabeth Young's class racked up more minutes exercising (more than 50,000 in total) than any other group. "This is really incredible," Maya Lin Principal Judy Goodwin said during the assembly. Turning to Raiders players Andre Holmes, Rodney Hudson, and Rod Streater, she added, "You guys might have some competition."

 

Teacher Elizabeth Young told the students: "I was really impressed by how you all pushed yourselves at home and school. It's important to set high goals. And you pushed yourselves to reach those goals!"

 

"A Lot of Hard Work"

 

During the assembly, several students asked questions of the players. "How did you balance schoolwork and sports?" one girl asked center Rodney Hudson. "It was a lot of hard work," he said. "I wrote things down and scheduled myself."

 

Asked another student, "What do you have to do to get in the NFL?" Wide receiver Andre Holmes answered, "You have to work hard. You have to believe you have the ability. You need good grades in high school, and you have to continue with that in college  – all while working hard to be the best player you can be."

 

During the assembly, the NFL also presented Goodwin with a $2500 check to use for health and fitness programs at her school. The Raiders players, representatives from the NFL, and Raider Rusher (the Raiders' dancing helmet) then conducted a clinic for the students, during which they practiced jump roping, throwing a football, weaving around inflated dummies, crawling through a tunnel, and trying fancy footwork with an agility ladder.

 

"10 Minutes Here and There"

 

"This is awesome!" exulted 5th grader Sorel Richardson. Other students interviewed during the clinic also expressed enthusiasm. "I tried really hard to get a lot of exercise time in. In fact, I was mad when I was done because there wasn't enough space on the form to list it all!" said Mianna Pena. Noted Tina Nguyen, "I jogged in place to get my exercise in. And I jump-roped." Pablo Vessali said he was so committed to the program he did drills and running in addition to his baseball practices five days a week. "We pushed each other," he said, gesturing to Sorel. "It was great!"

 

Wide receiver Streater, who regularly works out two hours a day on top of his practices, said he wanted Alameda youth to know that it's important to exercise at least 60 minutes per day. "Put down the video games," he said. "Do something active! You don't have to do it all at once – you can do it in ten minute periods here and there."

 

"Who knew that Super Bowl 50 would inspire AUSD students this way?" said AUSD Superintendent Sean McPhetridge. "I am thankful to Liza Young and her students for challenging themselves to compete and achieve at this level. I am also grateful that the NFL and Raiders players have acknowledged these students' hard work and have rewarded them in this way."

 

You can see fun video of the event here.

 

 

###

 

Alameda Unified School District serves more than 9600 students in Alameda, California, an island community in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, please visit the AUSD website, follow @AUSDNews on Twitter, or subscribe to our email communications. Questions? Contact Susan Davis, Senior Manager, Community Affairs, at sdavis@alameda.k12.ca.us.

 

more
Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 2/2/16

Audience: Homepage

Do you know a teacher who goes above and beyond in (and out of) the classroom? Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) is now accepting nominations for its Teacher of the Year program.

 

Designed to honor and recognize excellent teachers in AUSD, the Teacher of the Year award has in past years gone to a wide range of teachers, including:

 

  • a high school teacher who helps his students learn the craft of media production and story telling (John Dalton, Alameda High School)
  • a high school teacher who dedicates many hours to making sure his students understand the complexity of advanced math (Michael Lamb, Alameda High School);
  •  an elementary school teacher who has shown outstanding commitment to her Title 1 students (Elizabeth Young, former Washington Elementary School, now Maya Lin School);
  • an 8th grade core teacher who started an innovative anti-bullying program (Chris Hansen, Lincoln Middle School); and
  • a high school teacher who introduced her students to innovative thinking and reading skills in the classroom (Tracy Corbally, Alameda Science and Technology Institute);

The Nomination Process

 

After being nominated, AUSD teachers who meet the county and state criteria are invited to participate in the next phase of the process, which requires them to submit an application packet (including a resume, an introductory letter, and letters of support) to the district office.

 

The AUSD Teacher of the Year Selection Committee then meets to screen applications and determine which applicants will move onto the next phase: classroom observations. During that stage, the Selection Committee members visit classrooms, interview finalists, and determine this year’s Teacher of the Year.

That teacher will be formally recognized by the Board of Education in May 2016 and honored by the Alameda County Office of Education in the fall of 2016. He or she also becomes eligible for the Alameda County Teacher of the Year Award, as well as potentially the State Teacher of the Year Award.

 

Who can nominate a teacher? Anyone – including parents, students, staff, and other community members. Nomination forms are available in the Spotlight section page of the AUSD home page; the deadline is 3 pm on February 9, 2016. Please send us your nominees (and stay tuned for news of the Classified School Employee of the Year program, too)!

 

 

Next Board of Education Meetings

 

Regular Meetings

 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

6:30 pm

Alameda City Hall Council Chambers

 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016             

6:30 pm

Alameda City Hall Council Chambers

 

Special Meetings

 

January 19, 2016

Budget Workshop

5:30 pm

Island High School

 

 

 

 

 

more
Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 1/15/16

Audience: Homepage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Issued By:    Superintendent Sean McPhetridge (510) 337-7060 and

                   Board President Solana Henneberry (510) 337-7187         

 

AUSD Releases 2014-15 Measure A Report

 

Alameda, Calif. – Wednesday, January 13, 2016 – The Alameda Unified School District presented its 2014-15 Measure A Staff Report last night at the Board of Education meeting. The report shows that in 2014-15 the parcel tax continued to support core, highly valued programs in the district, and the district continued to spend its parcel tax revenues as stipulated in the original measure language.

 

The Measure A Oversight Committee also released its annual report Tuesday night.

 

Measure A, a 7-year parcel tax passed by 68.01% of Alameda voters in 2011, raises approximately $12 million per year for the district, making it AUSD's second-largest revenue stream.  An 11-member Oversight Committee reviews Measure A revenues and expenditures several times a year to ensure the parcel tax program foll0ws the measure's mandates.

 

Measure A specifies that the tax's annual revenues be allocated to 11 categories, including: maintaining neighborhood schools and small class sizes for grades K-3; preserving art, PE, media center, and AP classes; maintaining teacher salaries; closing the achievement gap; supporting and upgrading technology; preserving the high school sports programs; supporting charters; and creating innovative and magnet schools.

 

The measure sunsets in June, 2018.

 

In 2014-15, the district received $12,167,478 in Measure A revenue and spent $12,003,353. (The slight difference is due to a delayed purchase in the Technology Department.) The percentage of Measure A funds allocated to each category remains true to the measure's language, as shown in the table on the next page.

 

The Measure A Oversight Committee's report confirmed that the data in the staff report was accurate and noted that the district has shown "a high level of ongoing fiscal transparency" in reporting the measure's revenues and expenditures.  "As a committee, we are deeply aware of how crucial this parcel tax is to the success of our schools, students, and employees," Sherice

Youngblood, who chairs the committee, says. "We very much appreciate the care district staff take in making this information both public and understandable."

 

Notes Superintendent Sean McPhetridge, "Measure A allows AUSD to maintain high-quality programs and retain high-quality teachers. I am grateful to the Oversight Committee for supporting us in this work and grateful to Alamedans for providing the school district with this much-needed revenue. Because of it, we continue to be able to offer wonderful educational opportunities and strong schools here in Alameda."

 

Both reports, along with supporting materials, can be found on the Measure A section of AUSD's website.

 

###

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item #

Expenditure Category

Percent
Allocated (Measure A)

Percent
Spent
(2014-15)

Actual
Expenditure
(2014-15)

1  

Small Class Sizes K-3
   •Maintaining 25:1 K-3 class size

13-14%

13%

$1,565,247

2  

Neighborhood Elementary Schools
   •Maintaining Franklin, Otis, and Washington[1]

7-8%

7.5%

$898,046

3  

Secondary School Choice Initiative and AP Courses
   •EHS 1.6 FTE[2]
   •AHS 1.8 FTE
   •ASTI 2 FTE
   •Island 4 FTE

7-8%

7%

$838,172

4  

Programs to Close Achievement Gap
   •JROTC
   •Partial math, SIM, & IBD initiatives[3]
   •Restore 5 AEA days

15-16%

16%

$1,899,948

5  

High School Athletic Programs
   •Coach stipends
   •Athletic supplies
   •Outside services

4%

4%

$478,956

6  

Enrichment Programs
   •Elementary schools - music, PE, and media centers
   •Middle schools - 4 Fine Art sections
   •High schools - 10 Fine Art sections

9-10%

9%

$1,077,649

7  

Attract and retain excellent teachers
   •Maintenance of current AEA salary schedule

25-26%

26.5%

$3,057,834

8  

Counseling and student support services
   •Counselors: 8 FTE

•College Career Techs: 8 FTE

6%

6%

$718,433

9  

Alameda Charter Students

3-4%

3%

$360,387

10  

Technology
   •Equipment
   •3.5 FTE

5%

4%

$491,832[4]

11  

Adult Education

4%

4%

$480,516

 

Subtotal

 

 

$11,867,021

 

Accountability and Transparency

1.5-2%

1%

$136,332

 

Total

 

 

$12,003,353

 

 

 

[1] Now called Maya Lin School

[2] FTE: Full-Time Employees

[3] IBD: Inquiry by Design (an English Language Arts curriculum); SIM: Strategic Instruction Model (content literacy)

[4] This amount includes some carryover funds from 2013-14.

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Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 1/13/16

Audience: Homepage

High school athletes sometimes get labeled in not-so-nice ways, including as being "dumb jocks" or as being academically unmotivated. Yet national research shows that students who play high school sports tend to be just the opposite. In addition to being fit and learning crucial life skills (such time management and persistence), their grades and test scores are often higher than students who don't play high school sports. Moreover, studies show, high school athletes go on to exhibit leadership and team skills, work in higher-paying jobs, and do more community service as adults.

 

 

The Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) is able to support high school athletics because of Measure A, a $12 million parcel tax passed by voters in 2011.  The measure allots four percent of those annual revenues (about $480,000 per year)  for high school sports, including coach stipends, uniforms, and equipment in sports such as football, volleyball, and cross country.

 

 

That financial support, in turn, often translates into transformative experiences for students. This week, we want to introduce you to two amazing AUSD high school athletes who exemplify the kinds of young people our academic and athletic programs help to develop.

 

 

"A Passionate, Kind Young Man"

Kadeef Salaam, Encinal High School

 

 

Kadeef Salaam.jpg
 

Four years ago, Kadeef Salaam wasn't sure he wanted to keep living. He didn't feel his life had purpose. He felt a tremendous amount of personal pain and depression that he didn't know how to handle.

 

 

Then he got involved with high school sports.

 

 

Salaam, now 17 and a senior at Encinal Jr. & Senior High School (EJSHS), had participated in the Alameda Education Foundation's basketball and track programs in middle school. Just before his sophomore year at EHS, however, a friend suggested that he try football there.

 

 

"I was a little nervous," Salaam says now. "I wasn't the biggest kid trying out. But with the help of my friends and coaches, I got more comfortable with it that first year on the JV team. I felt more at ease."

 

 

The next year, Salaam, who plays free safety and wide receiver for the Jets, made varsity and earned Honorable Mention All League. This year he made WACC 1st Team All League and finished top five in interceptions in North Coast Section (NCS). Throughout high school, Salaam also won multiple awards for track, including the triple jump and the 100 meter dash. This fall he is being recruited for football and track by several Division I schools, including UC Davis, UC Irvine, and several CSUs.

"I've learned so much from football," he says. "I've learned to go through adversity

– especially last year, when we had to forfeit the Island Bowl. That was a very rough circumstance. People called us hoodlums. But as a team we came together. We learned that we have each others' backs, and we have to help each other out when things don't go our way.  We became a better team, a better family."

 

 

Salaam hopes to enter a pre-law program in college and eventually become a criminal defense attorney. He's active in the EHS Student Justice Center led by Jets Athletic Director Micki Singer, which develops restorative solutions and proper jurisdiction for students who have been disciplined. He is also active in the Bayanihan Youth Group, a Filipino advocacy group. Most important, he feels a dedication to personal growth, leadership, and helping others. "People have helped me go through my struggle. They gave me what I always wanted and always needed," he says. "I like having the ability to do the same and help others, too."

 

 

Adds Singer, "Kadeef embodies what it means to be a student athlete at Encinal. He is a leader on the field, in the classroom, and in the community. As one of the founding members of the Student Justice Center and a standout athlete, Kadeef's legacy as a thoughtful, passionate, and kind young man is assured. All students would be well served to follow in his footsteps."

 

 

"A Model Student-Athlete"

Vitani Harrison, Alameda High School

 

 

 

Vitani Harrison started playing football with the Pop Warner Oakland Dynamites when he was 8 years old – but he fell in love with football even earlier than that. "I started wanting to play when my Dad took me out to play catch when I was about six," he says.

 

 

As a junior, Harrison transferred to Alameda High School (AHS) from Dougherty Valley High School in San Ramon. He joined the Hornets varsity team as a linebacker and was voted to the WACC 2nd Team All League. This year he played safety and wide receiver. In the regular season, he was second on the team in tackles, with 63 total tackles at the safety position.  In the post season, he was named to the WACC 1st Team All League.

 

 

"He was the top big play player on offense," says AHS football coach Kemp Moyer, "averaging 18.5 yards per carry on 16 carries for 296 yards and a touchdown."

 

 

His high school football career, he says, helped him develop discipline and overcome obstacles.  "You learn to push yourself hard on game day and to keep up with your conditioning," he says. Being on a team  also helped him learn to work with and depend on other people. "My team is like family," he says. "When you're down on yourself, your teammates encourage you and help you keep going."

 

 

That's been especially helpful, says this 17-year-old, since a family member developed a rare illness. Although that family member is doing better now, at one point Harrison had to help her every day after practice. "I pushed through," he says. "My teammates helped me get through."

 

 

"Vitani is a model student-athlete who dedicated himself to his athletic craft year-round, while also working diligently to elevate his academic success to the highest level possible," says AHS football coach Kemp Moyer. "Football helped him stay positive and focused when his family member was ill and he felt the stress of that very challenging situation.  The football team provided a support system for Vitani to lean on in trying personal times."

 

 

An honor roll student for the last three years, Harrison hopes to attend a Division 1 school next year. He is currently considering Dartmouth, San Jose State, University of Nevada at Reno, and University of Michigan. "I'm looking forward to being more independent," he says, "to playing in front of bigger crowds. It's another chapter. I've overcome so many other things, I think I'll be able to handle this."

 

 

"Alameda is so fortunate to benefit from the contributions and support of its citizens, particularly with regard to how adults here work closely with our young people," says Superintendent Sean McPhetridge. "I am grateful and thankful to be able to work in such a caring community."

 

 

Upcoming Board of Education Meetings

 

December 8, 2015 (City Hall, 6:30 pm)

 

January 12, 2015 (City Hall, 6:30 pm)

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Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 11/23/15

Audience: Homepage

Sean McPhetridge, superintendent of Alameda Unified School District (AUSD), took part Monday night in a panel discussion at the Exploratorium on implementing the new California science curriculum framework.

 

Also on the panel were Michael Kirst (president of the State Board of Education), Helen Quinn (professor emerita of physics at Stanford University and co-chair of the California Science Curriculum Framework and Evaluation Criteria Committee), and Tom Adams (director of the Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division at the California Department of Education).

 

The panel was part of a "Science Education Forum" hosted by the Lawrence Hall of Science's "BaySci." That program is a coordinated effort to involve teachers, schools, districts, science education leaders, and science-rich education institutions in systematically enhancing the quantity and quality of science teaching in Bay Area elementary schools.

 

Superintendent McPhetridge's presentation focused on AUSD's support of  high-quality science education district-wide, including:

 

  • Using BaySci's platform to create teacher leaders who can train colleagues about the new California science curriculum, which is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS); and
  • Presenting a proclamation to the Board of Education asserting the primacy of high-level science education and designating April 28 as AUSD Vision for Science Education Day.

 

"I have been delighted and inspired with AUSD's partnership with BaySci because it embodies our goal of cultivating and encouraging teacher leadership to help us increase and improve science instruction in AUSD," McPhetridge says. "I am so grateful for our partnership with BaySci and our teacher leaders."

 

You can see Superintendent McPhetridge's presentation here. You can learn more about BaySci here.

###

Upcoming Board of Education Meetings

 

December 8, 2015

City Hall, 6:30 pm

 

January 12, 2015

City Hall, 6:30 pm

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Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 11/12/15

Audience: Homepage


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Issued By:         Superintendent Sean McPhetridge (510) 337-7060 and

                        Board President Barbara Kahn (510) 337-7187            

 

 

Alameda, Calif. — Thursday, October 15, 2015 — Two community members with long-standing ties to the Alameda Unified School District have been chosen to receive City of Alameda Community Service Awards at a ceremony on October 22, 2015.

 

Nielsen Tam, who served as a teacher, principal, union negotiator, and Board of Education member before he passed away last May, will receive a posthumous Special Lifetime Achievement Award.  Vickie Smith, who worked on civil rights issues for several decades here in Alameda, will receive a Community Service Individual Award. Smith retired from AUSD last month after supporting AUSD's homeless students for more than ten years.

 

In addition, Encinal High School (EHS) students Deanna Chu and Julian Aguilar will receive Community Service Youth Awards that night. Chu was nominated for her outstanding work with the American Red Cross (both at EHS and for the City). Aguilar was nominated for his work as a youth attorney with the Centerforce Youth Court.

 

"I am so pleased that Vickie and Niel, both of whom inspired and mentored me and hundreds of others in our community, are the recipients of these awards," AUSD Superintendent Sean McPhetridge says. "They are both so deserving. I also extend congratulations to the two EHS students who have worked so hard to help their peers and the community at large. We are blessed to have committed people from all generations supporting our district."

 

The honorees will receive their awards during a reception and ceremony on October 22 at the Alameda Elks Lodge (2255 Santa Clara Ave). The reception will begin at 6:30 pm followed by the ceremony at 7:00 pm. The public is invited to both. The honorees also will be recognized during a presentation of The Extra Mile Day Proclamation at the October 20 meeting of the City Council.

 

The other Community Service Award winners this year are: Audrey Lord-Hausman, Ginny Krutilek, Marian Williams, and Alameda Family Services.

 

The judging panel reviewed 25 nominations for this year's contest, which is the second year the City has given out Community Service Awards. The panel included Mayor Trish Herrera Spencer, Assemblymember Rob Bonta, Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan, Alameda Police Chief Paul Rolleri, Mastick Senior Center Advisory Board VP Paul Hauser, Social Services Human Relations Board (SSHRB) Awards Committee Chair Jennifer Williams, SSHRB Board President Doug Biggs, and SSHRB Board Member Audrey Hyman.

 

# # # # #

Alameda Unified School District serves about 9500 students in Alameda, California, an island community in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, please visit the AUSD website, follow @AUSDNews on Twitter, or subscribe to our email communications. Questions? Contact Susan Davis, Senior Manager, Community Affairs, at sdavis@alameda.k12.ca.us.

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Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 10/15/15

Audience: Homepage

 

Robin Morris never dreamed he'd have a daughter who would play football.

 

Nor did he imagine that he'd have a child playing football for the Encinal Jets, given that he himself played inside linebacker for the Alameda Hornets, the rival high school just two miles down the road, from 1988 to 1991. Besides, his wife Manya, whom he met when she was in 9th grade, played volleyball for the Hornets, and his oldest daughter, Ciara, played varsity soccer at the school.

 

But for the last two years, his middle daughter, Alia, has been the kicker for the Jets' varsity football team, and Robin is a volunteer coach for the team.

 

The fact that the Morris family members have been involved with both teams is just one sign of what a community event the Island Bowl has become. Now in its 60th year, the storied match up has long been the highlight of both teams' seasons and an event that brings community members of all ages out to support the teams.

 

"This is the island's 'Big Game,'" says Superintendent Sean McPhetridge, Ed.D. (who will be cheering both teams tonight, by the way). "It is the essence of the community spirit in Alameda, a spirit that continually supports our students and our schools. This is what makes Alameda special. I love it, I support it, and I appreciate it every day. While there is a cross-team rivalry here, ultimately the game represents all of Alameda coming together to compete and also to support one another as student athletes."

 

The game begins at 7 pm at Thompson Field. (The JV game begins at 4 pm.)

 

A Tradition of Girl Kickers

 

Alia decided to try out for the Jets team after hearing Emily Rentschler, who herself played kicker for the Jets for three years, speak at an 8th grade EHS Information Night. "I swear I saw stars in Alia's eyes that night," Manya says. "She immediately smiled and calmly said, 'I'm gonna do that.'"  

 

But Robin didn't entirely process what his daughter meant when she said she wanted to play football. "I thought Alia wanted to play during lunch or on a girls team at school like powder puff," he says. "When she said she was kicking and trying out I didn't think of it too much, until she came home with her football helmet. Then I knew it was serious."

 

Both Robin and Manya had some concerns about Alia being either hurt or harassed on the field as the sole girl player. "But as the first season started moving forward, I knew that the line had her back and did anything they could to protect her," Robin says. "I noticed that she had 50 brothers (on the team) that would not let anyone harass her!"

 

Alia did PATs (point after touchdowns) last year, but this year she has started doing kick-offs as well. "I love it," she says. "Being able to kick for 1 or 3 extra points just gives me the biggest smile ever."  Notes her coach, Ricky Rodriguez, "Alia is a phenomenal individual. I have the same expectations of her as I have of any other player – including community service, academics, and attending practice – and she meets them."

 

"Playing football has changed my life," Alia adds. "It has given me more confidence, and I love how the team is one big family. Coach Ricky is like a second father to me. He takes care of me!"

 

Alameda High School has also had at least one female kicker — Kristen  Rosenblum, who kicked on the Alameda Contra Costa Athletic League title team in 2003.

 

The football programs at both high schools are supported by Measure A, the parcel tax Alameda voters approved in 2011.

 

A  Legacy of Hornet Pride Transformed

 

Alia's grandmothers, aunts, uncles, and cousins on both her mother's and father's side, went to AHS. "And Robin and I were very school spirited," Manya says. "Believe me, it was SO hard for us to force our lips to spit out "Go JETS!" when Alia played sports freshman year."

 

But the experience soon transformed the family. "As the season went on, the team as well as the whole school just became like family to us," Robin says. "It doesn't bother me to coach my high school rival. I feel very blessed that I am able to give back to the sport that has given me so much in life and that I am able to be on the side line with my daughter. This is once in a lifetime experience."

Upcoming Board of Education Meetings

 

October 13, 2015

City Hall, 6:30 pm

 

October 27, 2015

City Hall, 6:30 pm

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Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 10/2/15

Audience: Homepage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Issued By:    Superintendent Sean McPhetridge (510) 337-7060 and

                   Board President Barbara Kahn (510) 337-7187        

 

 

Alameda, Calif. – Thursday October 1, 2015 – Alameda Science and Technology Institute (ASTI), an Early College High School in Alameda Unified School District (AUSD), won a 2015 National Blue Ribbon Schools Award this week.

 

The award, which is given out by the U.S. Department of Education, honors academically excellent elementary, middle, and high schools. Only 29 public schools in California and 285 nationwide received the award. ASTI was designated an "Exemplary High Performing School," which means it is in the top 15 percent of schools statewide, as measured by various assessments.  .   

 

"I am very proud of the fantastic work staff, students, and families at ASTI have done over the last decade," said Superintendent Sean McPhetridge, Ed.D. "I remember when the Early College High School movement was just beginning, with AUSD being one of the first school districts to start one. This award puts ASTI into the very top tier of high schools across the state and nation.  I congratulate all ASTI teachers, staff, students, and families for a job well done. Many people contributed to this moment over more than a decade of building the school there, and I am very grateful and very thankful for it!"

 

As an Early College High School, ASTI's primary objective is to increase college readiness and retention among first-generation college-bound students and students from groups that are typically underrepresented on college campuses. The program allows students to enroll full-time at College of Alameda in 11th and 12th grade. As a result, about 40% of the students graduate with an AA degree, and 88% of the graduates meet the course requirements for attending a University of California campus.  

 

The school was founded in 2002 and is supported by Measure A parcel tax money.

 

"This award is a welcome and well-deserved recognition of the hard work put in by ASTI teachers, students, College of Alameda and Peralta Community College District administration and instructors, AUSD, parents, and all members of our community," said ASTI Principal Tracy Corbally. 

 

Five of the eight public high schools chosen from California this year were either Early or Middle College High Schools. 

 

"The College of Alameda is pleased with this much-deserved national recognition of ASTI," said Joi Lin Blake, Ed.D., president of the College of Alameda. "Research has shown that early college high school programs increase student access, affordability, achievement, and completion. The Peralta Community College District is committed to continued collaborative partnerships that promote and support student success."

 

The 2015 National Blue Ribbon Schools will be honored at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. next month. 

 

You can find more information about the 2015 National Blue Ribbon Schools on the U.S. Department of Education website and more information on ASTI on its website. The description of ASTI on the Blue Ribbon website is here.

 

###

 

Alameda Unified School District serves about 9500 students in Alameda, California, an island community in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, please visit the AUSD website, follow @AUSDNews on Twitter, or subscribe to our email communications. Questions? Contact Susan Davis, Senior Manager, Community Affairs, at sdavis@alameda.k12.ca.us.

 

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Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 10/1/15

Audience: Homepage

AUSD employee devoted to homeless families, civil rights retires this week

 

This week Alameda Unified says "farewell" to a very beloved employee, Vickie Smith, who is retiring after 14 years with the school district.

 

For more than ten years, Smith has implemented the McKinney-Vento Homeless Act in AUSD, which helps homeless students get enrolled in public schools. She has brought tremendous compassion, skill, and dedication to her work and has helped hundreds of homeless students get not only the education to which they have a right, but the services and supplies their families need to get back on their feet. Those services and supplies have included backpacks and materials for school, clothing, transportation, food, counseling, and health care.

 

“I grew up in the projects in Alameda,” Smith told AUSD in 2013. “I was one of six kids and we were poor. We didn’t have a lot. So I understand what it is to come from hardship. In this economy, you can be on your feet one minute and then just one thing can take you down. Homelessness is not a choice; it happens for a variety of reasons, including domestic violence, a job layoff, an eviction, and budget cuts. The important thing to remember is that all people want to be treated like everyone else. They don’t want to be labeled.”

 

"Vickie's work with our most vulnerable students has been truly awe inspiring," says Superintendent Sean McPhetridge. "I have learned so much from her about viewing and treating homeless students in our district with care, respect, and dignity. She has always treated everyone, including myself, with such loving kindness."

 

"Deep soul searching" on issues of race, equity

 

Prior to her work with the McKinney-Vento program, Smith helped found the Coalition of Alamedans for Racial Equality (C.A.R.E.) and then the Multicultural Student Relations Program at all three high schools in Alameda, as well as at Chipman Middle School. For years, that program helped teens meet and better understand their peers from other cultural and ethnic backgrounds. "The curriculum included trainings on sensitivity and building allies," Smith says. "It involved deep soul searching and some pretty heavy stuff. The goal was to make students aware and to empower them." Smith also was instrumental in establishing the Alameda Multicultural Community Center.

 

Smith was also involved in the powerful Team Diversity project at AUSD during the 1990s, through which administrators interviewed students from across the district about social problems they were experiencing and witnessing. "We learned shocking, shocking things about race relations in the schools," Smith says. "I think all of us learned a lot from that."

 

"It's the right thing to do"

 

Long before Smith became an AUSD employee, however, she was a vocal advocate of diversity and equity issues in Alameda. As a teenager at Encinal High School, she was one of the co-founders of the first Black Student Union and the first Ethnic Study classes, as well as one of the first African-American cheerleaders. She went on to do remarkable work around issues of diversity and equity for the community, including helping to found Renewed H.O.P.E. (Housing Opportunities Provided Equally), which eventually resulted in more affordable housing on the West End.

 

Smith says she hasn't made definite plans for her retirement, but she's mostly looking forward to being able to rest. "Civil rights work is tiring," she says with a gentle smile. "It's the right thing to do, and I met a lot of good people along the way, but it's tiring."

 

"It takes a while to learn what your life's journey is about," she adds. "But something will lead you to the right place and then everything falls into place. In my life, I always came back to the youth. That was the journey I was led to."

 

We are incredibly grateful for the work Vickie has done for our students, families, and community. We will miss her! And we wish her the very best in this next stage of her life journey.

 

###

 

Upcoming Board of Education Meetings

 

October 13, 2015

City Hall, 6:30 pm

 

October 27, 2015

City Hall, 6:30 pm

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Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 9/30/15

Audience: Homepage

As business owners and residents across the Island adopt new habits and technology to help the state save water, Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) is also pledging to reduce its water use over the coming year.

 

In April, State Governor Jerry Brown called for a 25% reduction in water use across California. In a letter to AUSD in April, the East Bay Municipal Water District (EBMUD) called for a 20% reduction in water use over the base year of 2013.

 

AUSD began taking water-saving measures in 2013-2014, when it became clear that the state was in a serious drought. Those measures included:

 

  • Watering fields two times a week rather than three times a week

  • Repairing leaks at the pools

  • Installing new, more efficient sprinkler heads

  • Checking for and repairing leaks in irrigation lines

 

Because of these measures, AUSD reduced its water use by 13% between 2013 and 2014. To meet the new mandate, AUSD also plans to:

 

  • Avoid watering between 9 am and 6 pm

  • Avoid irrigating on consecutive days

  • Encourage employees to turn faucets off while washing their hands

  • Decrease the water pressure in the faucets

  • Limit watering lawns and gardens around school sites

  • Install hand sanitizers in front of restrooms

  • Put mulch and barks beneath shrubs and trees (to retain soil moisture)

  • Keep grass at school heights one inch taller (to reduce evaporation)

  • Reduce irrigation to two times per week

  • Stop using power washers to clean sites

     

    As a result of the cutbacks in watering, grass may turn brown and some plants might wither. Grass on athletic fields cannot be left to simply die, however, as the fields need to have a healthy cover of grass to prevent injuries associated with thinning grass (e.g., tripping or falling on hard-packed dirt and uneven terrain). This summer, community members may also see school employees water sports fields to help areas that have been re-seeded or re-sodded get established.

     

    "Our top priority is student safety," says Robbie Lyng, director of AUSD's Maintenance, Operations, and Facilities Department. "As such, we'll take care of our fields as best we can, but will limit watering for landscaping that is purely ornamental."

     

    In addition, Lyng emphasized, the district welcomes community reports about leaks, broken sprinklers, and water waste at the school sites. "With 17 sites and hundreds of miles of water lines to maintain, we'd love to have the community's help in monitoring our equipment," he says. "We're all of us responsible for saving water during these dry years."

     

    All renovation and construction projects under the Measure I bond program will also incorporate water efficiencies.

     

    Because human behavior can play such a key role in water conservation, the district also aims to raise the awareness of all employees as to the importance of such measures as turning off the faucet while lathering hands, running only full loads of dishes in dishwashers, and making sure all faucets are turned off. "We are also encouraging employees to develop water-saving habits at home," Lyng says. "Every little bit helps."

     

    Community members who wish to report leaks or breaks can always call MOF at 510-337-7090.

     

    "As a major water user in this community, we understand how vitally important it is for us to do our best to conserve water," says Superintendent Sean McPhetridge. "We want to help not only this town but the entire state get through this historic drought. And we want to help teach our students, families, and staff how to help Alameda do it."

 

###

 

July 22, 2015

Location TBA, 5:30 pm

 

August 11, 2015

City Hall, 6:30 pm

 

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Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 7/8/15

Audience: Homepage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Issued By:        

 

Superintendent Sean McPhetridge (510) 337-7060

                               

Board President Barbara Kahn (510) 337-7187

                               

CSEA 860 President Frank Muñoz

 

 

 

Alameda, Calif. — July 1, 2015 — Negotiators for the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) and the California School Employees Association Chapter 860 (CSEA 860) have reached a tentative agreement in their negotiations over salary and other contract considerations.

 

 

Under the terms of the three-year agreement, members of CSEA 860 (which includes custodians, maintenance, and food service employees) will receive an on-going 5% raise in salary starting in 2015-2016. Members will also receive a one-time bonus of $330.00, which will be payable within two months of ratification. The CSEA 860 union will retain the right to re-negotiate the salary in 2016 and 2017 as well as open two additional articles in the contract.

 

 

AUSD and CSEA 860 also agreed on conducting a job study which will cover all job classifications (custodial, maintenance, and food service employees), revised the evaluation document, and updated the transfer and job posting process.

 

 

 

The two teams began formal negotiations in April of 2015. They have met five times since then. The next step is for CSEA 860 members and AUSD's Board of Education to vote on whether to ratify the agreement.

 

 

AUSD, the Alameda Education Association (the teachers union), and CSEA 27 (representing paraprofessionals, office workers, and clerical workers) also signed tentative agreements just last month.

 

 

Frank Muñoz, President of Alameda CSEA 860 Blue, said, “I am thankful to the members of our negotiating team who put in hard work to reach this agreement.  I believe this agreement is a fair agreement for all sides.”  Members of the team were Miguel Quintero, Mike Burns, Andrew Lockwood, and Tracy Hobbs.

 

 

"I am delighted AUSD and CSEA 860 have reached a preliminary agreement here," said Superintendent Sean McPhetridge. "I am heartened knowing we will now offer our custodians, maintenance, and food service workers a well-deserved raise. I am proud of our work together to turn the page and work toward improved relationships with our different bargaining units in Alameda, and I am happy to say that this is the first time since 1997 that we have been able to conclude our contract negotiations with all of our bargaining units before our contracts with them lapsed. Thus, this is a historic and momentous occasion, and I look forward to us hopefully now maintaining this great spirit of respect, teamwork, and cooperation."

 

 

###

 

 

Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) serves more than 9600 students in Alameda, California, an island community in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, please visit the AUSD website, follow @AUSDNews on Twitter, or subscribe to our email communications. Questions? Contact Susan Davis, Senior Manager, Community Affairs, at sdavis@alameda.k12.ca.us.

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Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 7/6/15

Audience: Homepage


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Issued By:    Superintendent Sean McPhetridge (510) 337-7060

                   Board President Barbara Kahn (510) 337-7187

                   Alameda Education Association President Audrey Hyman (510) 684-8896

 

Alameda, Calif. — June 25, 2015 — The Board of Education for the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) unanimously approved a new contract with the Alameda Education Association (AEA) at the board meeting Tuesday, June 23, 2015.

 

Under the terms of the one-year agreement with AEA, teachers will receive an ongoing 4% raise in salary starting in 2015-2016. The district also provided the equivalent of 1% in salary that the union decided to use to increase the hourly rate for teachers, increase stipends for speech/language pathologists, and contribute to the cost of dental insurance for teachers. In addition, the district agreed to cover the state-mandated increase in teachers' contributions to their pensions this year.

 

AEA and AUSD also agreed to establish committees to plan and establish school calendars as well as collaboratively review the process for teacher evaluations.

 

This is the first time in nearly 20 years that the district and AEA have come to agreement before the contract lapsed.

 

"The Alameda Education Association is pleased that we were able to reach agreement on a successor contract with AUSD this year before the current contract expired," says AEA President Audrey Hyman. "We believe this is a banner moment for both parties as we strive towards rebuilding the labor-management relationship and focus on forging a partnership to address the issues ahead of us, such as adequate funding for education in Alameda and employee retention and development.

 

The tentative agreement for the contract is available on the AUSD website.

 

 "I am heartened and encouraged that the negotiating teams came to agreement so quickly," said Superintendent Sean McPhetridge. "We have a new era of cooperation and collaboration in AUSD, and I am glad to be a part of it. I look forward to continuing to address issues of compensation and working conditions thoughtfully, mindfully, and incrementally with all our labor partners."

 

The Board of Education also approved a contract with CSEA 27 (which represents office/technical workers) on June 23. (See separate press release.) The district remains in negotiations with CSEA 860, the bargaining unit that represents custodial, maintenance, and food service workers.

 

###

 

 

Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) serves more than 9600 students in Alameda, California, an island community in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, please visit the AUSD website, follow @AUSDNews on Twitter, or subscribe to our email communications. Questions? Contact Susan Davis, Senior Manager, Community Affairs, at sdavis@alameda.k12.ca.us.

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Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 6/25/15

Audience: Homepage

 

Issued By:        

Superintendent Sean McPhetridge (510) 337-7060 and

Board President Barbara Kahn (510) 337-7187            

 

Alameda, Calif. – Wednesday, June 17, 2015 The Board of Education for the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) is now accepting applications for the seat left vacant when Niel Tam passed away in late May, district leaders announced today.

 

The applications are available on the AUSD website. Hard copies are also available at the front desk of the district's office at 2060 Challenger Drive, in Alameda. The deadline for submitting the applications is 12 pm on July 1, 2015.

 

According to board policy, when a board seat becomes open, the remaining boardmembers can choose to fill that seat via appointment or special election. At its public meeting on June 9, 2015, the Board of Education voted unanimously to fill Niel Tam's seat via appointment.  

 

Residents of Alameda who are registered to vote and have no disqualifying criminal record are eligible to apply. A subcommittee of the Board of Education will review the applications to make sure applicants meet these minimum legal qualifications and then interview the applicants, in public, at a special board meeting on July 22, 2015.  

 

Completed applications should be returned to: Office of the General Counsel, Attention: Magdalene Tatum, 2060 Challenger Drive, Alameda, Calif. 94501 or mtatum@alameda.k12.ca.us. Questions about the application and selection process should be directed to Chad Pimentel (AUSD General Counsel) at 510-337-7188.

 

 

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Alameda Unified School District serves more than 9500 students in Alameda, Calif., an island community in the SF Bay Area. For more information, please visit the AUSD website, follow @AUSDNews on Twitter, or subscribe to our email communications. Questions? Contact Susan Davis, Senior Manager, Community Affairs, at sdavis@alameda.k12.ca.

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Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 6/17/15

Audience: Homepage

Youth in Alameda can get free lunches at seven sites across the island all summer long, Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) announced this week. This is a dramatic expansion from years past.

 

Under the enhanced program, any child aged 18 years or younger can get a free lunch Monday through Friday, June 15-August 28. The seven lunch sites and their hours are listed below.

 

In previous years, the free lunches were served at just two sites and for only one month.

 

"Summer is traditionally a time that hungry children fall through the cracks," said Debbie Austin, director of AUSD's Food & Nutrition Services Department (FANS). "We expanded the program because we believe no child should be hungry in Alameda."

 

Children who want a lunch do not need to apply or register. Parents and guardians can accompany their children, but they should bring their own lunch, Austin said.  Under federal law, the lunches also need to be eaten on the site.

 

The lunches include an entrée, local produce, and milk. Some sites also offer salad bars.

 

Meals for Staff and Adult Students

 

The expansion of the summer free lunch program follows a year of reforms and improvements to AUSD's food services, including:

 

  • Offering family-style lunches at some sites (which reduces packaging waste and improves the presentation)

  • Selling lunches to AUSD employees

  • Selling entrees and salads to Alameda Adult School students

  • Providing dinners to Board of Education members before their meetings (which is less expensive than providing dinners from outside vendors)

  • Catering events and meetings across the district [this year FANS catered 102 events, versus four (4) last year]

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Developing a food services training program for Adult Transition students (i.e., special education youth between the ages of 18 and 21)

 

FANS will use the increased revenue from selling employee lunches, Adult School dinners, and catered meals to fund improvements to the district's kitchens. "Some of our food service facilities are more than 60 years old," Austin said. "They need repairs and modernization."

 

In the last year, FANS has increased the amount of fresh, local food and entrees cooked from scratch to 80 percent. That includes homemade pizza, vegetables, and lasagna, as well as fresh roasted chickens. The program also began serving free suppers to children in afterschool programs at Boys & Girls Club, WCDC, Alameda Point Collaborative, and Alameda Recreation and Parks Department.

 

"We know that we're the only source of a complete and nutritious meal for more than 1000 AUSD students," Austin said. "We take pride in making our meals taste good, look good, and provide good nutrition."

 

Increasing Demand

 

The improvements in the food quality helped to drive a 1o percent increase in food sales in 2014-15. This in sharp contrast to the drop in demand many school districts are  experiencing due to new federal food regulations that reduced the sodium in and portion sizes of school meals. "Food made well with fresh, local ingredients just tastes better than pre-packaged food from an outside vendor," she said.

 

The department's goals for next year include:

 

  • Serving hot breakfasts at least twice a week

  • Serving breakfast sandwiches

  • Serving fresh baked goods

  • Offering backpacks of food that at-risk and homeless students can take home on the weekends

 

"I am so pleased that Ms. Austin has taken our food service in this direction," said Superintendent Sean McPhetridge. "She is helping us provide healthy food not only to our children, but to our employees, and she is increasing the food security for all. I laud her work and support her and her team's efforts wholeheartedly. They are all helping us do our part to end hunger in Alameda."

 

Summer Lunch Program Sites

 

ALAMEDA BOYS & GIRLS CLUB

1900 3rd Street

Lunch Time: 11:30 – 12:30

6/15 – 8/28

 

ALAMEDA POINT COLLABORATIVE

677 W Ranger Avenue

Lunch Time: 11:30 – 12:30

6/15 – 8/28

 

GODFREY PARK

281 Beach Road

Lunch Time: 11:30 – 12:30

6/22 – 8/14

 

WASHINGTON PARK

740 Central Avenue

Lunch Time: 12:00 – 1:00

6/22 – 8/14

 

MCKINLEY PARK

2165 Buena Vista Avenue

Lunch Time: 12:30 – 1:30

6/22 – 8/14

 

ALAMEDA HIGH SCHOOL

2201 Encinal Avenue

Lunch Time: 12:30 – 1:00

6/22 – 8/28

 

HAIGHT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

2025 Santa Clara Avenue

Lunch Time: 12:30 – 1:00

6/15-6/28

 

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Upcoming Board of Education Meetings

 

June 23, 2015

City Hall, 6:30 pm

 

July 22, 2015

Location TBD, 5:30 pm

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Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 6/16/15