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News Archive

Audience: Homepage

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

                   Board President Gary Lym (510) 337-7187

 

Alameda, California — February 7, 2017 — Three plaintiffs who have previously sued Alameda Unified School District over its parcel taxes have filed a new lawsuit alleging Measure B1 is illegal.

 

The measure, which is essentially an extension of the current Measure A, was passed by 74.2% of voters in a record turnout this past November.

 

The three plaintiffs (Nelco, Inc., Santa Clara Investors II, and Edward Hirshberg) were part of a group that also sued the district over Measure H, a parcel tax passed in 2008. In that lawsuit, the plaintiffs claimed that the measure’s differing rates for residential and commercial property owners were not “uniform” as required under state law.  That lawsuit was settled in 2014. 

 

The plaintiffs also sued AUSD over Measure A, a parcel tax passed by 68.01% of the voters in 2011, but were unsuccessful.

 

If the current lawsuit succeeds, it could threaten more than $12 million in revenue per year for AUSD. Those funds, which comprise the second-largest revenue stream to the district, are allocated to a wide range of programs and services, including small class sizes for grades K-3, neighborhood elementary schools, high school sports and AP classes, programs to close the achievement gap, and visual and performing arts.

 

“The Alameda community has shown us again and again that they value these programs and are willing to pay a parcel tax to support them,” said Superintendent Sean McPhetridge. “We are disappointed that these plaintiffs continue to try to block this funding. But we structured Measure B1 in a way that we believe is fair and legal, and we will fight for this tax, these students, and our community with determination and diligence so we can best provide for the children and families we serve.”

 

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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, “like” the AUSD Facebook page, 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: 2/7/17

Audience: Homepage

Do you know 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 children and staff?  Alameda community members can now nominate AUSD employees for the state's Classified School Employee of the Year program. Nominations go first to the school district and then on to the Alameda County Office of Education. The county office, in turn, sends nominations to the California Department of Education (CDE).

 

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)

 

You can read about prior winners in this 2016 press release from the CDE. You can download a nomination form here. Once it is filled out, please send it to Humera Khalil at hkhalil@alameda.k12.ca.us. The deadline is February 23, 2017 at 5 pm.

 

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Upcoming Board of Education Meetings

 

February 14, 2017

City Hall, 6:30 PM

 

February 28, 2017

City Hall, 6:30 pm

 

 

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Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 2/3/17

Audience: Homepage

 

 

Dear Families and Staff:

 

In challenging times, we must always stay mindful of Alameda Unified School District's vision: we believe a diverse community of students will be prepared to be responsible citizens if given a rigorous academic program in an inclusive, safe, and secure environment.

 

I write today to assure you AUSD remains committed to upholding and safeguarding this vision – especially in these charged and uncertain political times.

 

Both this weekend and last, I received emails from AUSD parents and staff members who are increasingly worried now for the safety and security of Alameda students and families who are foreign-born and immigrants to this nation. I acknowledge these concerns and feel compelled to respond.

 

In the past month, many California school districts, cities, and other public agencies have committed to values of providing sanctuary and safe haven to all people. AUSD has joined this movement. In response to fears triggered by increases in hate crimes and speech, this month district staff drafted and presented a “Safe Haven Resolution” to AUSD’s  Board of Education. Unanimously approved in a 5-0 vote, the Safe Haven Resolution spells out protections AUSD pledges to uphold for the children and families we serve. This resolution is additionally supported in the City’s recent proclamation claiming our community a “Sanctuary City.” You can find the press release we sent out jointly with the City of Alameda here.

 

This is not new work for us. Over the last decade, AUSD has worked to promote safety and inclusiveness for all in our schools, including by creating an anti-bullying curriculum, by developing an “Everyone Belongs Here” campaign, and by establishing round tables to support some of our most vulnerable student populations. 

 

I am proud of the steps AUSD has taken over time and in recent weeks to build a foundation of inclusiveness and acceptance towards all. I want you to know we will continue to strengthen and expand that foundation with our community partners. As time goes on, we will also continue to update you on the steps we take and the progress we make to address the understandable concerns that many of our community members are having now.

 

For now, please know our classrooms and schools are safe, we deeply believe “Everyone Belongs Here,” and we will continue to work to provide a safe haven for all students, families, and staff.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Sean McPhetridge, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

 

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Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 1/31/17

Audience: Homepage

Joint Press Release

 

 

CONTACTS:

 

Sarah Henry, Public Information Officer

City of Alameda

(510) 747-4714

 

AUSD Superintendent Sean McPhetridge (510) 337-7060

AUSD Board President Gary Lym (510) 337-7187

 

 

Alameda, California – January 20, 2017 Both Alameda’s City Council and the Board of Education of the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) have in recent weeks affirmed their commitment to safety and respect for all individuals.

 

At its meeting on January 17, Alameda City Councilmembers voted unanimously (with one member not present) to adopt a resolution that reaffirms the City of Alameda’s commitment as a Sanctuary City to the values of dignity, inclusivity, and respect for all individuals, regardless of ethnic or national origin, gender, race, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, or immigration status. (Mayor Trish Herrera Spencer had to leave for the Mayor’s Conference in Washington D.C. before the vote.)

 

At its meeting on January 13, AUSD’s Board of Education members unanimously expressed support for a resolution declaring AUSD a “safe haven” district for all students. The Board will vote on this resolution at its meeting January 24, 2017.

 

The City’s Resolution

 

The City’s resolution that was adopted Tuesday night reconfirms existing City policies and serves as a formal declaration that the City has and will continue to be inclusive to all individuals.

 

“Following the election, fears that certain groups of people might be targeted or deported have increased in our city,” stated City Manager Jill Keimach. “Those fears are based on a number of factors, including statements made by the President-elect during the campaign and on social media.” On December 20, 2016, the City Council unanimously directed staff to prepare a resolution, reaffirming the City of Alameda’s commitment to LGBTQ rights, religious freedoms, and racial, social, and economic justice, and our commitment to the values of inclusivity, respect, and dignity.

 

The City’s resolution is the latest action in a century-long tradition of embracing diversity and respecting the civil and human rights of its residents, while acknowledging and understanding laws at every level in the past were often at odds to progress. Since 1917 the City’s Social Service Human Relations Board (SSHRB) has been working to create an environment that encourages and brings about mutual understanding, respect, and goodwill among groups of people in the community. Over the years the City has also co-sponsored campaigns including “Alamedans Together Against Hate,” “Pledge for a Hate Free Alameda,” “No Room for Hate in Alameda,” “Everyone Belongs Here,” and most recently “Love Our Island.”

 

Thirty community members lined up to speak Tuesday night, one quoting Martin Luther King Jr., “True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.” The City’s resolution reaffirms the stance the City took many years ago against biased, racist, and unconstitutional acts.

 

Councilmember Matarrese directed staff to include that all requests or mandates from the federal government for use of City resources, or the absence of such requests, be reported on a regular basis to the City Council for advice and direction.

 

“The dichotomy of starting this week with the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and ending it with the events in Washington is not lost on me,” stated Councilmember Jim Oddie, who brought the resolution to Council as a referral in December. “We all have more work to do to increase inclusivity in Alameda and ensure that justice is for all.”

 

The School District’s Resolution

 

At its meeting on January 10, 2017, AUSD staff presented the Board of Education with a resolution designating AUSD a “safe haven” district that has an “unequivocal commitment to ensuring a safe educational environment for all.” The resolution also reaffirms within the confines of the law the authority of the Superintendent to protect the data and identities of any student, family member, or school employee who may be adversely affected by efforts to collect such information. The Board will vote on the resolution at its meeting on January 24.

 

“Ours is a very diverse district,” AUSD Superintendent Sean McPhetridge says. “About 17 percent of our students are English Language Learners; among them they speak more than 72 languages. Last year we launched the ‘Everyone Belongs Here’ campaign, in partnership with nine other Alameda-based organizations that asserts that our schools are safe spaces for all students. We have had an uptick in hate speech at our school sites since the election.  This resolution re-affirms that inclusivity, safety, and respect for all is a core value of our district.”

 

In recognition of the resolutions, both the City and the school district will hang banner-sized versions of the “Everyone Belongs Here” poster in their lobbies today. Over the next several weeks, the district will also hang the banners at each of its school sites.  

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Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 1/20/17

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.

 

“I wholeheartedly support this annual tradition because it gives families, staff, and community members a chance to sing the praises of our many excellent teachers,” says Superintendent Sean McPhetridge. “Every year I can’t wait to learn who has been nominated and what innovative teaching practices they use.”

 

The Nomination Process

 

Nomination forms are available on the Employee Recognition page of AUSD’s website. Anyone can nominate a teacher; the deadline to submit nominations to the nominee’s principal is 3 pm on February 1, 2017. 

 

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.

 

The winner will be honored by the Board of Education in May and by the Alameda County Office of Education in the fall. 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.

 

In recent years, the award has gone to a wide range of teachers, including: a kindergarten teacher who uses art lessons to help her children master academic standards and express themselves (Mandie Cline, Ruby Bridges Elementary School); a middle school teacher who started an innovative anti-bullying program (Chris Hansen, Lincoln Middle School), and a high school teacher who helps his students learn the craft of media production and story telling (John Dalton, Alameda High School).

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Next Board of Education Meetings

 

January 24, 2017, 6:30 pm

Alameda City Hall Council Chambers

 

February 14, 2017, 6:30 pm

Alameda City Hall Council Chambers

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 1/12/17

Audience: Homepage

Alameda families who need help covering holiday expenses can receive toys and gift cards for their children this month through the Alameda Firefighters Toy Program.

 

The program is a partnership between the Alameda Collaborative for Children, Youth, and their Families (ACCYF), Alameda Food Bank, Alameda Red Cross Youth, Alameda firefighters, and other community organizations.  Families can sign up to receive age-appropriate toys for children aged 0-12 and gift cards for youth aged 13-16 at the Alameda Food Bank.

 

The deadline for signing up to receive toys is December 14.

 

Families who wish to donate to the program have until December 16 to place new, unwrapped toys in boxes placed at more than three dozen sites around the city (see list below). Organizers of the program say they especially need crafts, sports balls, and other items for older children.

 

Donation boxes are available at the Alameda Unified School District’s office and every school site, as well as:

  • Alameda Fire Dept. Station 1, 2401 Encinal Ave.
  • Alameda Fire Dept. Station 2, 635 Pacific Ave.
  • Alameda Fire Dept. Station 3, 1703 Grand St.
  • Alameda Fire Dept. Station 4, 2595 Mecartney Rd.
  • Alameda City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Ave.
  • Alameda Police Department, 1555 Oak St.
  • Alameda Free Library, 1550 Oak St.
  • Alameda Recreation & Park Dept., 2226 Santa Clara Ave.
  • Alameda Municipal Power, 2000 Grand St.
  • Alameda Chamber of Commerce, 2215-A South Shore Dr.  (South Shore Center)
  • Alameda Hospital (Use Oak St. Entrance)
  • Bank of Marin, 2130 Otis Dr. and 1416 Park St.
  • Child Unique Montessori, 2226 Encinal Ave.
  • Coffee & Tea Traders, 883 Island Dr. (Harbor Bay Landing Shopping Center)
  • First Community Bank, Nob Hill Foods, 2531 Blanding Ave.
  • Mastick Senior Center, 1155 Santa Clara Ave.
  • McGee’s Bar & Grill, 1645 Park St.
  • Rising Star Montessori, 1421 High St.
  • Toy Safari, 1401 Park St.
  • Tucker's Ice Cream, 1349 Park St.                                                                                       

The Alameda Welfare Council, Alameda Community Fund, Rotary Club of Alameda, Bay Ship & Yacht, Bank of Marin, First Community Bank, Alameda Police Foundation, ACI, and Tuckers Ice Cream have provided Target gift cards for teenagers.

 

“Once again, I am amazed and inspired by the generosity that Alamedans show toward their fellow community members,” says Superintendent Sean McPhetridge.  “I hope that all Alameda families who could use a helping hand this season sign up for this program, as well as explore the programs offered at the food bank.”

 

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Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 12/7/16

Audience: Homepage

The Board of Education for the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) is now accepting applications for district representatives to the boards of four local charter schools: Academy of Alameda, Alameda Community Learning Center (ACLC), Nea, and Community Learning Centers Schools (the organization that oversees ACLC and Nea).

 

Under state law, charter school authorizers (in this case AUSD) can appoint representatives to charter schools’ boards of directors. At its November 1, 2016 meeting, AUSD’s Board of Education directed staff to set up an appointment process for selecting such representatives.

 

The representatives need to be able to attend charter board meetings regularly and should be familiar with public education or the oversight of public bodies, have familiarity with Alameda schools, and be committed to transparency and openness in governance.

 

The Board of Education will appoint one representative to each charter school board after interviewing applicants in public session. Representatives will serve a one-year term.

 

Applications are available here. The deadline for applications is 5 pm on December 12, 2016. Applications can be submitted via email cpimentel@alameda.k12.ca.us) or fax (510-337-2322) or dropped off at the District Office (addressed to Chad Pimentel).

 

Upcoming Board of Education Meetings

 

December 13, 2016

6:30 pm

Alameda City Hall

 

January 10, 2016

6:30 pm

Alameda City Hall

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Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 11/30/16

Audience: Homepage

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Issued By:        

 

Superintendent Sean McPhetridge (510) 337-7060

Board President Solana Henneberry (510) 337-7187

CSEA 860 President Frank Muñoz

 

Alameda, Calif. — November 18, 2016 — Negotiating teams for the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) and the California School Employees Association Chapter 860 (CSEA 860) have reached a tentative agreement (TA) in their re-opener negotiations over salary and other contract considerations.

 

AUSD and CSEA 860 (which includes custodians, maintenance, and food service employees) signed a three-year agreement in August, 2015. That contract gave CSEA 860 the right to “re-open” salary and other contract articles in 2016-17 and 2017-18.

 

Under the terms of this week’s TA, members of CSEA 860 will receive an on-going 3.11% raise in salary, retrospective to July 1, 2016.  The contract also included provisions that:

 

  • Ease the creation of work calendars
  • Facilitate job postings and employee training

The signing of the TA completes bargaining on the re-opened articles in the CSEA 860 contract. The two teams will meet again on December 1 to continue their negotiations on job descriptions for all of the unit’s classifications.

 

 “The members of CSEA 860 are indispensable to the operation of our schools and the support of our students and staff,” says Board of Education President Solana Henneberry. “I am so pleased to hear that their salary schedule will now be increased along with our other employees.”

 

The Board of Education ratified new agreements with the Alameda Education Association (which represents the district’s teachers, nurses, counselors, and speech and language pathologists) in early November and with CSEA 27 (representing office/technical workers and paraprofessionals) in June.

 

“I would like to thank CSEA 860’s negotiating team for all their hard work in coming to this agreement with AUSD,” says Frank Muñoz, president of CSEA 860.

 

The next step is for CSEA 860 members and AUSD's Board of Education to vote on whether to ratify the agreement.

 

“I am grateful that we now have a tentative agreement with our third bargaining unit,” says Superintendent Sean McPhetridge. “I thank CSEA 860’s negotiating team for working with our team to craft an acceptable contract, and I look forward to our continued partnership as we make ongoing progress on our work to support all students and staff over the coming years.”

 

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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: 11/18/16

Audience: Homepage

Sports teams at Alameda High School (AHS) and Encinal High School (EHS) had a banner season this fall, with multiple teams winning West Alameda County Conference (WACC) championships and a number making it to the North Coast Section (NCS) playoffs.

 

At Alameda High School:

  • The women’s golf team won the WACC championship, placed 3rd in the NCS Championships, and participated in the NorCal playoffs.  Elizabeth Scholtes competed in the California Interscholastic Federation championships.
  • The women’s volleyball and the men's and women's cross country teams both won the WACC championships and competed in the NCS playoffs.
  • The women’s tennis team and the football team both placed second in the WACC championships and were chosen for the NCS playoffs.
  • The women’s water polo team won the WACC championship, and both the men’s water polo team and the women’s water polo team made it to the NCS quarterfinals.

At Encinal High School:

  • The varsity football team won the WACC championship and was chosen for the NCS playoffs. This last weekend they won their first game and move on to the second round this coming weekend. (Special congratulations go to senior Akil Francisco, who plays wide receiver and cornerback for the Jets and has been offered several full-ride football scholarships!)
  • The men’s and women’s water polo teams both made it to the second round of NCS playoffs, and player Madeline Nelson was named Women’s Water Polo Player of the Year.
  • The women’s tennis team made it to the NCS playoffs.
  • The women’s cross country team earned the WACC Championship, and Shelby Nelson was named Runner of the Year.
  • Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams qualified for the NCS playoffs.

In other sports news, Encinal Coach Ricky Rodriguez was awarded Coach of the Week by the Oakland Raiders. And Olympic Gold Medalist Tyler Clary visited the Encinal Junior & Senior High School swim center last week to give a clinic.

 

“Our community’s generous support of the Measure A parcel tax – and its extension, Measure B1 – is what makes our athletics programs possible at the high school level,” said Superintendent Sean McPhetridge. “These programs allow our students to challenge themselves physically, mentally, and socially, to learn teamwork and sportsmanship, and to earn recognition at the local, regional, and state level. I congratulate our players and their coaches for a season well played, and I thank the community for its consistent support of our student athletes.”

 

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Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 11/15/16

Audience: Homepage

Dear colleagues, families, and partners,

 

After a long and often divisive election season, we have heard from students, families, and staff who have expressed ambiguity and anxiety following Tuesday's election. It is normal for us as a community, as a nation, and as a people to struggle with this change, and I appreciate the efforts that you are taking to help students and families make sense of the uncertainties we face after a very turbulent national election.

 

I write to you today to reaffirm the work we have done over the years to envision our AUSD’s mission to provide “an inclusive, safe, and secure environment” for every member of our community. I want to remind us all of the great work we are doing to take care of one another and to renew our commitment to the rights of all people to be here and to be provided with the promise public education holds – the promise of a progressive agenda that respects the rights of all people. Regardless of the divisive rhetoric that has oft dominated this presidential campaign, I am confident our democratic values will prevail, and we must remember to keep faith in that. We must continue our efforts to improve our world around us.

 

Last night I was encouraged, heartened, and uplifted while visiting school events that embodied our commitment to promoting and safeguarding great places to learn in Alameda Unified School District.

 

At a Haight Elementary School PTA meeting, I sat and listened to parents, teachers, and students coming together in mindfulness training that is practiced in many of our classrooms and schoolyards daily across the district. We all do well to simply stay mindful of what is happening now and to stay mindful of our goal of finding peace and unity in times of challenge and opportunity.

 

At Wood Middle School, I saw hundreds of families, staff, and students come together to showcase their STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) programs that aim to integrate arts instruction with other core curricula so young people are reached in ways that recognize and honor them as whole people who are using hands and hearts and minds to make sense of the world around them.

 

At Alameda Adult School, I was uplifted by an open house for dozens of families that saw all kinds of people convening in fellowship to break bread together, many of whom are immigrants who are trying to better themselves by learning English and continuing their educations so they can work to achieve the American Dream and make better lives for themselves, their families, and the Alameda community.

 

Finally, I was so inspired by my visit to Ruby Bridges Elementary School where a graduation ceremony was held for our newest graduates of the PTA School Smarts Academies we provide to our families, and I was also totally amazed by the fact that we now offer this seven-session program in six different languages

 

(Arabic, Chinese, English, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese). Throughout the evening and across the island, I witnessed people of diverse backgrounds and experiences coming together to better themselves and improve our world. I know firsthand that we are working hard and working together for progress.

 

And that was just some of the great work happening in our schools on one Wednesday night in November, the night after Tuesday’s political election! Now, both today and yesterday, we have seen some students at our high schools staging peaceful demonstrations and walkouts of classes, and staff of both AUSD and Alameda Police Department working to support students’ peaceful examples of collective action.

I know students, families, and staff in our schools are struggling at times with making meaning of the world and nation we live in now. The most important thing that we can do is take stock in our strength, take heart in our progress over the years, take care of one another, and give support to those who need it in a time of change and uncertainty. I still believe everyone belongs here, and I know I am not alone in this. This week, I have spoken with leaders and members of ACSA, AEA, CSEA 27, CSEA 860, and PTAs to share our concerns and make sure we are all still working together to take care of one another. I want us all to remember AUSD remains steadfast in commitment to our diverse community, and please know I am grateful to you all for continuing to work together and show care for one another daily during this time.

 

For those of us who are frightened of losing ground on the progress we have made, let us remember the great strides we have made at a local and state level, whether it be the passage of the renewal parcel tax, Measure B1, or passage of Proposition 51, Proposition 55, and Proposition 58 that have been momentous reminders of progress we are making to prioritize and take a stand for progressive education in Alameda and the state. Things are getting better in many powerful ways in Alameda and California, and we need to keep striving to keep the momentum up so we maintain our progress.

 

So let us remember that we believe as a community and as a school district that everyone belongs here. Regardless of whatever challenges and opportunities we face now, AUSD will continue to work toward uplifting all we serve and taking care of each other, and I thank you for your daily work to make it so.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Sean McPhetridge, Ed.D.

Superintendent

 


 

 

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Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 11/10/16

Audience: Homepage

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

                   Board President Solana Henneberry (510) 337-7187               

 

Measure B1 Passes

Extension of parcel tax ensures $12 million annually for AUSD

 

Alameda, Calif. — November 9, 2016 — Measure B1 – an extension of an existing parcel tax that benefits AUSD schools – passed by a super majority last night, preliminary results show. The measure, which extends without increasing the popular Measure A parcel tax, received 73.9% of the total votes cast.  It needed 67% of the votes to pass.

 

Approved in 2011 by 68.01% of Alamedans who voted, Measure A raises $12 million per year for popular programs in AUSD, including neighborhood schools, small class sizes in grades K-3, innovative programs, counselors, visual and performing arts, athletics, AP courses, programs to close the achievement gap, and attracting and retaining excellent teachers. The measure sunsets in June 2018. Residents and business owners both pay up to .32 cents per building square foot, up to a cap of $7999.00.

 

Measure B1 will pay for the same programs using the same rate structure. It will begin in June 2018 (after Measure A sunsets) and extend through June 2025.

 

 “I am so grateful to the Alameda community for once again stepping up to support our public schools,” said Superintendent McPhetridge. “This is the highest percentage of yes votes we have ever received for a parcel tax.  The programs and people for which this parcel tax pays are crucial to the success of our students, our employees, our families, and our community. We could not do what we do without this support of our local community.”

 

Added Board of Education President Solana Henneberry, “I am astonished and pleased at this clear mandate from our community. And I am incredibly grateful to the many volunteers who poured time and effort into this campaign.  We all know how hard it is to pass a parcel tax. You fought for what is right, and your efforts will preserve valued programs for years to come. Thank you.”

 

Board of Education, Propositions

 

Jennifer Williams, Gray Harris, and Ardella Dailey won the three open seats on the Board of Education. “I would like to congratulate all three,” McPhetridge said, “and extend my gratitude to outgoing Board Members Hu and Kahn for their service to our district and our community.” Said Henneberry, “I welcome our new board members and look forward to working with them over the coming years.”

 

Earlier this fall, the Board of Education also passed resolutions in support of state propositions 51 (authorizing facility bonds for schools), 55 (extending the 2012 income and sales tax increase), and 58 (repealing English-only education programs). Voters approved all  three of those propositions last night. “We see these victories as victories for education funding and education inclusiveness,” Henneberry said.

 

Added McPhetridge, “We are seeing a mandate at the state level to adequately fund education in California, and while we have much more yet to do to get there, I am optimistic that we as a people will continue to see children, families, and educators prioritized in years to come.”

 

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: 11/9/16

Audience: Homepage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Issued By:   

 

Superintendent Sean McPhetridge (510) 337-7060

Board President Solana Henneberry (510) 337-7187

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

 

 

Alameda, Calif. — November 2, 2016 — The Board of Education for the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) approved a new contract with the Alameda Education Association (AEA) at the board meeting last night.

 

Under the terms of the two-year agreement, the salary schedule for AEA members (the district’s teachers, nurses, counselors, and speech and language pathologists) will increase 4% starting December 1, 2016.   

 

“I am so pleased that once again the two teams were able to come together to create an agreement that works for all,” said Superintendent Sean McPhetridge. “I realize this takes both tenacity and an ability to compromise – two qualities that I admire greatly in my colleagues here in AUSD. I look forward to the continued collaboration of our two teams.”

 

The district and union also agreed to provisions that will:

 

  • Ease implementation of full day kindergarten
  • Schedule the first 14 days of school as minimum (short) days for kindergarteners
  • Set up committees to study teacher salaries, budget priorities, and best practices for instructing students who receive special education
  • Create a joint AUSD-AEA Academic Committee to deepen district/teacher collaboration on choosing and evaluating instructional materials and professional development
  • Increase flexibility for using leave time
  • Give the children of AEA members the same priority for enrolling at the school site where they work as children who live in that neighborhood

 

The two sides also agreed that the existing Calendar Committee will create school calendars through the 2018-19 school year and will now include members from other bargaining units.

 

 “I am very appreciative of the work done by the AEA Bargaining Team to bring this matter to a close,” says AEA President Audrey Hyman. “We are pleased by the many collaborative opportunities the new contract gives our members to have more voice in the decision-making process. We look forward to tackling the task of finding ways to bring employee compensation in Alameda in line with surrounding districts.”

 

Adds Solana Henneberry, president of the Board of Education, "I am delighted how both sides worked together to resolve outstanding issues of concern, and I look forward to hearing the reports and recommendations of the new committees. I truly believe this kind of collaboration is what creates an environment in which our students and employees can thrive.”

 

AUSD and the AEA will reopen negotiations about salary in February, 2017. Both bargaining teams will also be able to open one contract article of their choosing at that time.

 

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Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) serves about 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: 11/2/16

Audience: Homepage

Dear community partners and stakeholders,

 

October marks National Energy Awareness Month, and I write today to encourage us all to stay mindful of our ongoing work in AUSD to build a more sustainable Alameda. Each year we learn how to improve in our stewardship of our natural resources and protection of our local environment, and I am impressed by Alameda’s progress.

 

In 2015, a California state task force convened by Superintendent of State Instruction Tom Torlakson issued a groundbreaking “Blueprint  for Environmental Literacy.” The 48-page report called for the development of curriculum and learning experiences to help all California public school children understand the environmental challenges currently facing our state, nation, and planet. These challenges inspire our work!

 

“Environmental content is a key element of the new California Next Generation Science Standards,” the report stated.  “The complex thinking and problem solving abilities required of students by the California Common Core State Standards are exactly the types of skills required to meet the environmental challenges our students will face in the future.” Indeed, these challenges help  frame the work ahead for us.

 

Here in AUSD, we already have a very strong foundation of environmental education. Our district-wide “Go Green” program recently won a Golden Bell Award from the California School Boards Association in 2014. Then Bay Farm School won a prestigious Green Ribbon Award from the US Department of Education in 2016 (primarily for its efforts to teach students how to take care of their world). In addition:

 

- Paden Elementary School has launched an innovative “Learn and Play by the Bay” program that empowers children to learn about ecology by studying and enjoying the San Francisco Bay.

- Students at Lincoln Middle School, now an Ocean Guardian School, have been learning also about the Bay Area’s fragile ecosystem as well as helping it by replacing invasive plants and picking up trash along Alameda waterways.

- Students at Wood Middle School, also an Ocean Guardian School, have long participated in Alameda County Office of Education’s Service Learning Waste Reduction Program so students and staff learn to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

- Encinal Jr. & Sr. High School continues to offer courses in Marine Biology. 

- Alameda High School continues to offer a popular AP environmental course.As part of that course, students present an environmental science project to AUSD elementary and middle students.

- And many of our schools have gardens that are used to teach lessons on science. and healthy cooking.

 

Whether it be through wonderful outdoor education efforts like those in Ruby Bridges Elementary School’s 5th Grade Science Camp or Earhart Elementary School’s explorations of the shoreline near its campus, AUSD students and staff are stepping up to the challenge of learning how to be better stewards of our local ecology.

 

I am also excited about new initiatives we are exploring in response to last year’s Blueprint. For instance, we recently partnered with “ChangeScale,” a local non-profit committed to helping schools integrate new NGSS science standards into their core curriculum and improve environmental education for K-12 students in the Bay Area. This work dovetails with work AUSD teachers and administrators are doing with BaySci and UC Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science to increase science instruction in our schools. All of us recognize how science is a core academic area that is required of college and career readiness in a global 21st century economy that demands deeper levels of scientific inquiry and environmental literacy for us to make the world better. The Board of Education recognized the primacy of science  in academic preparation with their acknowledgment of our partnership with BaySci in this resolution here.

 

Another program about which I’m excited is our partnership with Cenergistic through which we are educating staff and students to conserve water and energy with such simple strategies as turning off lights, powering down computers, turning down heat over the weekends, and fixing leaks. Reducing our energy use helps the district save money, of course, which makes us more sustainable as an organization and frees up funds for district priorities that would otherwise be wasted. It also helps students and staff develop lifelong habits that can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions (and hopefully climate change) in the future. This effort is so important to AUSD the Board of Education recently passed a proclamation that focuses on our conservation efforts.

 

If I were to name one thing that I love about our island – aside from the schools, of course – it would be the amazing ecosystem here, nestled as it is by the San Francisco and San Leandro Bays. I look forward to our ongoing efforts to teach our students about how we can take care of this environment over the next several years, and I am grateful to staff and students who practice mindful energy conservation every day in AUSD schools. We value science as a key subject to prepare students for college, career, and the 21st century economy. And we know outdoor education is a great way to help students engage, have fun, and make meaning of scientific inquiry.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

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Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 10/21/16

Audience: Homepage

Students and staff at Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) schools will participate in the Great California ShakeOut on October 20, along with about 9.5 million other Californians.

 

The drill, which was launched in 2008, gives individuals and organizations a chance to practice behaviors that can help them survive and recover from a major earthquake.  The drills are based on decades of research into what happens physically during an earthquake, as well as how best to respond and what motivates people to prepare.

 

The California ShakeOut is part of the larger, national Great ShakeOut event, which is expected to draw 35 million participants this year, making it the largest earthquake drill ever held.

 

“Living in the Bay Area, we all know an earthquake could strike at any time,” says Superintendent Sean McPhetridge. “This annual drill is a great way for all of us in the AUSD community to make sure we’re prepared and to practice protecting ourselves.”

 

At 10:20 am on October 20, AUSD school sites will practice “Drop, Cover, and Hold On,” which refers to the recommended:

 

  1. Drop onto your hands and knees (to avoid getting knocked down)
  2. Cover your head and neck with one arm and hand (for protection) or, if possible, crawl under a sturdy table or chair or next to an interior wall (away from windows)
  3. Hold on to the table or chair if you’re under one or cover your head and neck with your arms and hands

 

Superintendent McPhetridge urged AUSD families to use the ShakeOut as an opportunity to replenish earthquake supplies, discuss best practice responses with students, and create or review a family emergency plan. Earthquake preparedness resources for families are listed on the next page.

 

“What we do to prepare now will determine how well we can survive and recover in the event of an earthquake,” McPhetridge says. “This is an excellent opportunity to practice our response and identify what we all can do to keep ourselves, our families, our schools, and our community safer.”

 

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Resources

 

AUSD: “Student Safety: Emergency Procedures” (includes tips for parents)

Great California ShakeOut: “Drop, Cover, and Hold On

Great California ShakeOut: “Recommended Earthquake Actions

American Red Cross: “Earthquake Preparedness

Department of Homeland Security: “Plan to Protect Yourself and Your Family

Earthquake Country Alliance: “Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety

 

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Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 10/13/16

Audience: Homepage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

                      Board President Solana Henneberry (510) 337-7187

                      AEA President Audrey Hyman (510) 684-8896

 

AUSD and AEA Sign Tentative Agreement

 

Alameda, Calif. — Tuesday, October 4, 2016 — Negotiators for the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) and the Alameda Education Association (AEA) reached a tentative agreement (TA) Friday in their negotiations over salary and other contract considerations.

 

Under the terms of the two-year agreement, members of the AEA (which represents teachers, nurses, speech and language pathologists, and counselors) will receive a salary increase.  The district and union also agreed to provisions that will:

  • Increase flexibility for using leave time;
  • Set up committees to study teacher salaries, budget priorities, and best practices for instructing students who receive special education; and
  • Create a Curriculum Council to deepen district/teacher collaboration on instructional materials and professional development.

In addition, the existing Calendar Committee will create school calendars through the 2018-19 school year.

 

“Our members have made a tremendous effort to help us gain a settlement,” said AEA President Audrey Hyman. “This agreement respects their concerns regarding maintaining current class size. It also reflects a number of gains for AEA, including incorporating more formal options to add our professional voice into key district decision-making processes that affect teaching and learning in AUSD.”

 

The next step is for AEA members and AUSD's Board of Education to vote on whether to ratify this new agreement. Union members will vote from October 17 to October 21, 2016.  The Board of Education will vote on ratification at its regular meeting on November 1, 2016.

 

“I am heartened by this good news and am inspired by the levels of cooperation shown in this tentative agreement with AEA,” said Superintendent Sean McPhetridge. “I am very grateful to our negotiating teams for their resilience, flexibility, and ability to compromise in coming to this agreement.”

 

Added Solana Henneberry, president of the Board of Education, “I am pleased with how quickly the negotiating teams came together to address the ongoing concerns of AEA members, and now I look forward to increased levels of communication for the benefit of all students in the district.”

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Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) serves about 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.us.

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Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 10/4/16

Audience: Homepage

The Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) released its 2015-16 Annual Report on this week, after presenting it to the Board of Education at its meeting on September 27. 

 

This is the second Annual Report district staff has prepared (the first was for 2014-15). The purpose of the report is to “put basic information about the district’s enrollment, budget, academic progress, and facilities in one place,” said Superintendent Sean McPhetridge. “It’s an at-your-fingertips resource written in a layperson-friendly style to make this information as easily accessible as possible.”

 

The report contains sections on AUSD’s demographics, awards, bond program, swimming pools, Measure A (parcel tax) program, Local Control Accountability Plan, and community engagement programs. It also includes a timeline of major events.

 

“So much happens between the first day of school and the last day of school,” McPhetridge explained. “Often we forget how many challenges we faced and how many successes we achieved over the course of a school year. An annual report helps us bring it all together.”

 

To save paper as well as printing and mailing costs, the 13-page report is available on the AUSD website. A digital version will be shared with all employees, local media outlets, and community members who subscribe to AUSD’s emails or follow AUSD on Twitter or Facebook.  (The sign up link for AUSD emails is also on the AUSD home page.) Community members who would like a printed copy, however, can order one from Susan Davis, Senior Manager Community Affairs, sdavis@alameda.k12.ca.us.

 

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Upcoming Board of Education Meetings

 

October 13, 2016

6:30 pm, Island High School Multipurpose Room

 

November 1, 2016

6:30 pm, Island High School Multipurpose Room

 

 

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Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 9/30/16

Audience: Homepage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Issued By:   

Superintendent Sean McPhetridge (510) 337-7060 and

Board President Solana Henneberry (510) 337-7187         

 

Alameda, Calif. — Wednesday, September 28, 2016 — The Board of Education for the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) last night approved the hire of Robert Slauson, a veteran teacher and principal devoted to supporting students and staff so that all can reach their highest potential. 

 

Mr. Slauson, who has worked as a principal in Oregon, Colorado, and Nebraska, has won a number of awards, including “Outstanding High School Principal” in Nebraska. He was also selected for the Fulbright Principal Exchange Program in Germany. During that exchange program, he traveled with about twenty school administrators from across America to learn about the German school system and meet German administrators.

 

After completing his undergraduate work in education at Pacific University in Oregon, Mr. Slauson received a Master’s degree in Education, as well as his administrative credential, at Lewis & Clark College in Portland.

 

Mr. Slauson said he is looking forward to working in “an outstanding district with positive, pro-active leadership and great community support. I am very impressed with the Edison learning community and the commitment of the staff.  The parental support is obvious and the students are successful.”

 

Added Superintendent Sean McPhetridge, “I am so pleased to bring another experienced and passionate principal to our administrative team. I think the Edison community will be happy with Rob Slauson’s strong leadership, professional background, and deep commitment to student success.”

 

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Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 9/28/16

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

more
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."

 

###

 

 

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.

 

more
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."

 

###

 

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: 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

more
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!"

 

###

 

 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. — 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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more
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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more
Posted by: Susan Davis
Published: 4/22/16

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

 

 

more
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."

 

 

###

 

 

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.

 

###

 

 

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

 

 

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

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         

 

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

 

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