Blogging Bayport Alameda

May 8, 2017

Moving pieces

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:08 am

You know I’m not typically one that puts a lot of stock in conspiracy theories, but the need for the closure of Lum Elementary school is certainly something that solves a lot of the issues that existed for certain schools in Alameda and certainly for the district as a whole, minus the whole upsetting Lum parents/community thing.

The District has released a tentative Plan A and Plan B to address the relocation needs of the Lum student if the policy decision by the Board is to ultimately close Lum.

First, the decision to base where students will be redirected on the distance from the school to another school is sort of strange decision.  After all, most people won’t be walking their kids to school (unless of course they end up at Franklin) so diverting kids would force most parents to drive their kids to school.  Unless the District intends to send kids to certain schools depending on where they live in their own enrollment boundaries some kids who live say nearer to Crown Beach would have a ways to go if they end up being sent to Edison.

Screen Shot 2017-05-07 at 1.32.46 PM

Not only that the District seems more interested in filling classrooms (like sending 18 – 4th and 5th graders to Franklin with one 1st grade class) then actually keeping siblings together.  Are they going to find the only set of 25 – 1st graders without siblings and 18 – 4th and 5th graders without siblings as well or that match to 1st grade?

The same with Edison.  The proposal is to send 34 – 4th and 5th graders to Edison.  Will these be 4th and 5th graders without siblings or will the siblings accompany their 4th and 5th grade siblings to Edison as well?

The only suggestions that seems to make sense are the ones for Paden and Haight which send an entire continuum — Kindergarten though 5th — to the school, ensuring that siblings are able to remain together.  While the piecemeal way for Franklin and Edison will ensure full enrollment for those schools for their 4th and 5th grade classes it certainly seems much more complicated for keep siblings together, let alone keeping cohorts of friends together.

Instead there seems to be a lot of shuffling around of Transitional Kindergarten programs (Ruby Bridges is slated to get two in both scenarios) and shuffling around of Special Education programs instead of moving a set of all classes — Kindergarten through 5th — to the least amount of schools as possible.

Here’s Lum’s enrollment:

Screen Shot 2017-05-07 at 2.06.07 PM

If the District were to take TK and the SPED classes out of the equation and move those to campuses with space, then they could make three sets of Kindergarten through 5th grade  cohorts.   They’re already (sort of) shifting two sets to Haight and Paden.  The only other school with space would be Ruby Bridges.   It would certainly be a lot simpler and more straightforward but it wouldn’t solve the combo class issue at Franklin or Maya Lin’s economy of scale issue either.   It’s not clear why the simpler solution wasn’t offered as an option other than the distance from school to school — which again doesn’t take into account where individual families live.  Heck, some of the families that might get diverted back to Ruby Bridges, Paden, or Haight might already live in those enrollment boundaries but were able to opt out under NCLB.

Anyway, the idea to drop portables at Wood for the 4th and 5th grade students sounds good too, but wouldn’t solve the sibling issue.



  1. I’d bet the sibling issue is not too hard to solve. The number of 4/5 kids without siblings, or with older siblings is probably enough to make a “mixed” solution doable. In fact, there might be some 4/5 families that get a sibling benefit by going to Wood, if they have older siblings.

    Comment by BMac — May 8, 2017 @ 8:24 am

    • A sibling benefit only works if the schedules are the same.

      Comment by Retiredteacher — May 8, 2017 @ 9:51 am

  2. TK is optional, but SPED should be given even higher preference than regular ed, not less. Anyone who has special ed kids or has worked with them knows their needs are much greater, not less.

    Comment by Retiredteacher — May 8, 2017 @ 9:53 am

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