Blogging Bayport Alameda

January 27, 2014

Sorting hat

Filed under: Alameda, School — Lauren Do @ 6:07 am

Tomorrow night the School Board will have on its agenda an informational item about Wood Middle School’s restructuring program and an update on the Prop 39 (facilities) offer to ACLC.  As a reminder, every year charter schools must come to the School District to ask for space for its program and, typically, most receive the requests they want with the exception of last year when ACLC was moved out of Encinal to make room for the Junior Jets program.   This year ACLC is asking for a certain number of classrooms, Wood Middle school which is in one of the final years of Program Improvement is going through a restructuring (new program and smaller class sizes) which will require the usage of many more classrooms.

This year if the School Board determines that Wood should be allowed to use the number of classrooms they have indicated that they need, short of adding more portables to the Wood campus, there will be no room for ACLC at Wood.

So, I’ll write more about the ACLC facilities stuff tomorrow, but I wanted to concentrate on what Wood Middle School is considering.   They are going for a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) program which I think is great.  There have been lots of handwringing articles out there about how American students aren’t really excelling and/or being funneled into these professions so developing those interests in Middle School is a good start (if students haven’t already been introduced to it by elementary school).

Some of the slides are pretty jargon-y but here’s the nutmeat of why there will no longer be space for another program at the Wood campus:

Screen Shot 2014-01-24 at 2.53.12 PM

Class size reductions, classrooms exclusively reserved for particular components of the STEAM program and what’s this about “grade level houses”?  I will squee if there is a sorting hat component of these “houses.”

Regardless of the shades of Hogwarts in the “grade level houses” it really is incumbent on the School Board to support this effort of Wood Middle School in any way it can.  Will this new STEAM venture make Wood more attractive to families that have been electing to send their kids elsewhere?  Hard to say, but it’s clear that the Wood community has put a lot of work into building a collaborative program that they believe will best serve the student of Wood.


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