As I mentioned yesterday, Tuesday’s School Board was a bit of a doozy. Mostly because parents from the Alameda Community Learning Center came out
to complain about the proposal to move ACLC to Wood talk about how sad it was that Wood wasn’t getting more attention from the District. There were a few actual Wood parents there to say that they didn’t want to share space with ACLC but for the most part, the speakers during public comment were ACLC parents who wanted to let the district know how unfair it would be for Wood students to have to share space with ACLC. Because they care deeply about the plight of Wood Middle School.
Oh there were occasional slip ups such as those that lamented the fact that ACLC wouldn’t be able to take advantage of all that Encinal had to offer such as electives and sports. Then there were those that suggested that the Junior Jets program — the middle school magnet that will be displacing ACLC — should just be held off another year, or that an “unproven” model shouldn’t be able to take space from a “proven” model like ACLC. Or perhaps that the Junior Jets program could be moved to another site.
That one had me do a double take since, you know, the whole point of the Junior JETS is to be an Encinal Jet. Putting them somewhere else would totally defeat the purpose of a Junior Jets program. I realize that this may be stating the obvious, but clearly some folks didn’t get that memo.
So all this talk just led to more talk which led to the decision to have a meeting next Tuesday at Encinal High School about this issue, but this time have folks from the Encinal community actually be present and be able to say if they are okay with some of the suggestions raised such as rolling out the Junior Jets program in phases, 2013-2014 only 6th grade, 2014-2015, 6th and 7th, etc and so on. Because apparently this would buy ACLC some time to delay the inevitable. Which, by the way, Board Member Trish Spencer wanted to reexamine the Junior Jets approval because apparently there was too much interest and too many applications from incoming 6th graders. And despite the fact that it makes sense that the largest number of interested kids would be 6th graders — most 7th and 8th graders would probably be loathe to leave their friends behind — this larger 6th grade interest was used as a reason why either the Junior Jets program should be delayed, again or if it the model should be changed.
Here’s the thing that is weird. It’s not like people didn’t know that the Junior Jets were coming to Encinal. Did people think that they were going to hold classes in a field or something? These students were going to need space. If ACLC didn’t communicate that to the students and families, perhaps ACLC parents should be pissy at the ACLC Board for not planning for a not Encinal reality. After all, in the facilities agreement between the District and ACLC it was fairly clear that this was only a one year thing as it always is:
As well as this: