Blogging Bayport Alameda

May 23, 2017

Hard decisions

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:03 am

As mentioned on Friday, the School Board has received a second peer review of their first structural analysis which means that three professional firms have recommended relocated students off of the Lum campus.  Ultimately it will be in the hands of the School Board to make a policy decision on whether to reject these three analyses or determine that not disrupting students at Lum is worth the risk that has been stated by three firms.

I’m leaning toward the school board opting to move students away from Lum because — as folks have stated — they can’t un-see the results of the report and they can’t un-know the fact that professionals have said that, in the case of a large earthquake, there is a high probability of the land under Lum liquifying.

So, if the School Board does choose to go that direction there are a few things I wanted to note about the options laid out by District staff.  One of the big things that District staff has attempted to stress is the need to use school sites close to Lum, of course ignoring the fact that the distance from school site to school site is not indicative of where kids actually live in those enrollment boundaries and how far they are from a particular school.

Additionally, one of the slide decks for the agenda item shows where some families have already have opted to request a transfer to:

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 7.45.15 AM

As you can see there are some to the nearest school, Franklin, but some of the higher number of requests have been made to Earhart and Bay Farm which are both much farther from Lum than Ruby Bridges which was initially rejected to send Lum students to citing distance.

And, as I pointed out, some of the students that would need to be diverted may already live in attendance zones that had been rejected due to proximity arguments:

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 7.45.04 AM

Ruby Bridges is only second to Haight (which actually should encompass both Maya Lin and Haight numbers because Maya Lin is a magnet it doesn’t necessary have an enrollment zone) in losing students to Lum.

Based on the survey data the proximity argument was not as important as “educational program” which seems like a fairly vague definition.  Given that nearly all the schools have some form of innovative program being implemented there if parents were being asked to choose between those programs and not what name brand of school was deemed to have the best “educational program” this would actually make some sense, but right now judging “educational program” on reputation is as arbitrary as deciding to use proximity as a deciding factor as opposed to “keeping kids together” or other factors.

Also something to factor in, it appears that — if possible — Lum families would rather have their fourth and fifth graders in portables on the Wood campus.

And finally in all of the scenarios Ruby Bridges is set at 75 kids for Kindergarten and First Grade (excluding Lum students).  Given that we’ve had a lot of back and forth and we were in danger of having one of our Kinder classes closed last year and actually lost a 1st grade, I’m holding the District to these numbers if they attempt to close a Kinder and 1st grade class next year.


  1. I sat down with the head of student services to review these scenarios. There’s a lot of additional factors that are involved, including enrollment at specific sites, physical capacity at specific sites for classroom and multipurpose and bathroom space, and other things. In the scenarios from the district, Ruby Bridges was initially rejected as being “too far”, but so were Earhart and Bay Farm. As for location, many incoming 5th graders live outside the Lum zone because that was the year that there was K over-enrollment across the district, and they created a 4th K class at Lum and diverted kids there.

    As a parent of a Lum student, it goes without saying that I’m not happy with any of this.

    Comment by Molly Stoufer — May 23, 2017 @ 10:29 am

  2. Good morning, I just wanted to clarify what district staff mean by “proximity” in this presentation. If the board decides to move students off the campus next year, the current proposal is to send students to the school that is closest to their home (not just closest to the Lum campus). It’s quite a puzzle to put together, but staff is working off maps of where children live within the Lum enrollment zone and trying to send them to the nearest school that has space for their grade.

    Comment by Susan Davis (AUSD Community Affairs) — May 23, 2017 @ 10:30 am

    • That’s an effort not all school districts would make. I can tell you horror stories about overflow kids being shipped around for the whole year in my former district.

      Comment by Retiredteacher — May 23, 2017 @ 12:04 pm

  3. How much would you say the Lum property is worth if houses were erected there? $20 million? A few years from now, when the District sells the land the parents will have moved on, and the original issue will be forgotten.

    Comment by nowyouknow — May 23, 2017 @ 7:43 pm

    • I have a million dollars that says you are wrong, plain and simple.

      Comment by Mike McMahon — May 24, 2017 @ 7:22 am

      • With the liquefaction risks, I think it should turn into a ball field park.

        Comment by Alan — May 24, 2017 @ 12:50 pm

        • If they can build safely, fine. Otherwise, how about a community park and farm surrounded by a running track? The city is awash in fields, but I have no track to run on.

          Comment by Retiredteacher — May 25, 2017 @ 7:04 am

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