Blogging Bayport Alameda

May 25, 2017

How convenient

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:10 am

Here’s the Press Release from the School District about the Lum student relocation:

Based on a survey sent to Lum families about their preferences, district staff are currently working on a plan to assign Lum students who will be in grades K-3 next year to nearby elementary schools. The Board of Education also gave direction to staff to explore an option wherein 4th and 5th graders will potentially have a separate, elementary program on the Wood Middle School campus to help minimize transitions while helping those families stay close to their current campus. Lum families will receive their new school assignments in the first week of June.

Interestingly enough, the current Lum principal will be reassigned to Ruby Bridges Elementary (since our principal is retiring) :

Superintendent McPhetridge shared how he plans to recommend Lum Principal Jesse Woodward for appointment as the new principal of Ruby Bridges Elementary School at the next Board of Education meeting (June 13). “Mr. Woodward has considerable experience engaging and empowering highly diverse school communities, having served as a principal of a Title I school that also received Gold Ribbon recognition from the California Department of Education in 2016 before coming last fall to work with us here in Alameda.”

McPhetridge added, “Mr. Woodward is extremely tech savvy and also has a strong interest in STEAM education, which is a central theme of the innovative program proposal Ruby Bridges has recently presented to the Board of Education. Thus, I think he is an excellent fit for that school.”

Ironically, even though Ruby Bridges will be inheriting the Lum principal, the plan is not to actually have any Lum students join the Ruby Bridges community.   Naturally it is now too late to do anything else but shift the Lum principal to Ruby Bridges which I imagine was a happy coincidence of this whole business.  After all, unlike Paden, Ruby Bridges did not get a open posting for a principal as soon as the District was notified that Ruby Bridges’s current principal would not return.

However, if the eventual solution with regard to Lum is to spend the money to retrofit Lum to standards that will allow Lum to be reopened within the next year or so, what does that mean for the leadership at Ruby Bridges?  Once again Ruby Bridges gets afterthought consideration from a District that pledges equity for all students.



  1. No way Lum is retrofitted in a year. Two is conceivable. By then, it is a new school community again and there is no reason the former Lum principal would need to be reassigned back there.

    Comment by BMac — May 25, 2017 @ 6:51 am

    • I would imagine that he would have a choice to apply if the principal position is posted.

      Comment by Lauren Do — May 25, 2017 @ 6:57 am

      • Lauren, are you really taking the position that Ruby Bridges and West End are getting the short end here because this position isn’t being posted ?

        Comment by MI — May 30, 2017 @ 12:50 pm

        • The impression I’ve gotten from knowing PTA members and other active parents at several schools is that every school feels it is neglected while other schools get unfair help from the district. I think that’s simply the reality of stretched resources district wide.

          Comment by dave — May 30, 2017 @ 3:59 pm

        • Addendum: that said, Lum parents do have a legitimate reason to be pissed.

          Comment by dave — May 30, 2017 @ 4:01 pm

        • dave, I assume you mean they are pissed because of distribution, but I’m asking Lauren if she’s really disappointed that this position was not posted. I don’t know the man but I do know Sean and it’s a lot to ask of teh district when the outcome could easily be the same. And if where does current guy and his accumulated expertise go ?

          Comment by MI — May 31, 2017 @ 8:51 am

  2. You seem to be suggesting that during the approximate month-long period between the time the District got the first report re the soils in March and the time they first told the public anything about it and called an emergency, tomorrow-night meeting in April, the District might have already had in mind transferring Principal Woodward to Ruby Bridges, while expecting Lum to be closed, rather than start recruiting specifically for the Ruby Bridges job. I don’t know about. I do know that Principal Woodward is a very capable guy. He should be excellent for the job.

    Comment by MP — May 25, 2017 @ 7:57 am

    • We were told that the Ruby Bridges principal job would not be posted until the Lum issue was settled.

      Comment by Lauren Do — May 25, 2017 @ 9:20 am

  3. I hope they are able to figure out a way to keep the 4th and 5th graders together at Wood. That would be really important to me as well if my kids were still that age.

    But the question no one seems to want to address, other than Lauren who has certainly touched upon it — why are there no Lum students going to Ruby Bridges when that school seems to have a good amount of capacity? It is no farther than the Bay Farm schools. The Superintendent and his staff love to tout our District’s diversity cred’s but it seems we have much deeper work to do than post signs proclaiming “We Belong” or adopt platitudes reaffirming our commitment to diversity and equity, etc. I realize that it is insincere for me to say that I would send my child to RB because I know, if I were in this situation, I would be “negotiating” with my child’s friends parents to try to convince them to join us in our school of choice but keeping the buddies together is very important too.

    I certainly have theories as to why, which are so disappointing to me.

    Comment by dya — May 25, 2017 @ 9:48 am

  4. I find the “2 miles from Lum” cutoff a bit random. It’s not like the island is that big. I mean it really should be distance from the child’s home, and if I were a parent living on the western boundary and working in SF I would want my child at Maya Lin, Padon or Ruby Brdges just for logistics alone. We’re parents given only those scenarios or could they also pick which of the district schools they would prefer?

    This really is a no win situation all around. Zazo has the hardest job in Alameda right now.

    Comment by Baygirl — May 25, 2017 @ 6:54 pm

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