Blogging Bayport Alameda

January 27, 2023

Wind down

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

I found the 2022-2023 marketing slideshow from Bay Farm Middle School (on Bay Farm’s own website by the way) and it got me thinking about the argument that has been put forth by some families that the savings to wind down BFMS is NBD and the benefit is so huge for the community that it serves that the money should just be found to keep BFMS as is. Right now BFMS is staffed (excluding administrative staff because that’s probably shared with the Elementary side) with six teachers. I have the slides but I’m not going to bother posting those. It’s broken down thusly:

  1. 6th grade Humanities teacher
  2. 7th grade Humanities teacher
  3. 8th grade Humanities teacher
  4. 6th grade Math and Sciences teacher
  5. 7th and 8th grade Science teacher
  6. 7th and 8th grade Math teacher.

I assume that BFMS works the way that Jr Jets works. Each teacher for each grade has two cohorts and while one cohort is working with one teacher, say Humanities, the other cohort is with the Science and/or Math teacher. The issue with this model for BFMS is because it’s so under-enrolled the costs to run BFMS are so much higher than for other schools because of the cost to pay for the teacher.

I just learned, based on a staff wish list page that the PE teacher is exclusively for the Middle School, so that’s an additional cost for this small school. As a comparison, Wood MS has three PE teachers for 609 kids. Each PE teacher at Wood is responsible for around 200 kids. The PE teacher at BFMS caps out at 137. Lincoln doesn’t have a listing of their teachers but I imagine the ratio is somewhere around Wood’s.

In BFMS’s own marketing materials they tout that the school will never have more than 64 kids per grade:

And while that’s the ceiling, that’s actually where they need to be, the ceiling, but the trends have shown that they’ve rarely reached close to that ceiling and, most definitely, never for 7th and 8th grade.

In fact, per its original approval of the innovative plan the MS was supposed to reach a minimum of 30 kids/class per grade and maintain a robust waiting list for enrollment. Because, look, as a feeder school BF Elementary itself is not going to be a robust feeder. With 75 kids max (because ES school staffing ratios are 25:1) in its 5th grade class you’d need a majority, around 80%, to meet the minimums required in the approval. The last 3 years, BFMS had, in a good year, 50% of BF 5th graders continue on to BFMS. And that was with a not maxed out 5th grade class. So even as a resource to BFS it’s not really serving that community either. If you think about the Earhart families (because we’re told that 60% of BFMS is 94502 and 40% is 94501), only 5 Earhart families opted for BFMS in the 2022-23 school year.

Technically, if BFMS had robust enrollment it would be looking at 192 students in its MS every year. This would bring it to the closer to the size of Jr Jets although I was told that there are plenty of available and open classrooms at Encinal post remodel so there’s some additional capacity there in addition to Lincoln and Wood.

And just for fun, I pulled out of the 2021-2022 May revise the budget by site looking only at unrestricted general funds

The first table is sorted by percentage of unduplicated students as you can see the allocations of unrestricted funds are all over the place and definitely doesn’t necessary follow a pattern. As you can see some sites with very low unduplicated percentages have much higher GF/student allocations. And given the attention on BFMS right now, what is notable is that the two largest MS’s in Alameda: Lincoln and Wood have some of the lowest allocations per student of GF money. That’s going to be your like for like comparison of how much money is funded to other MS students in the District against what BFMS is currently receiving.

To just put a finer point on this, BF receives more unrestricted GF money per student than these schools (both Elementary and Middle) which have higher % of unduplicated students: Lincoln, Edison, Earhart, Otis, Maya Lin, Wood. And Love, with triple the % of unduplicated students as BF, only receives $29.40 more per student of unduplicated GF money than BF.


  1. What is an “unduplicated” student?

    Comment by egelblock — January 27, 2023 @ 6:42 am

    • Unduplicated refers to students who; 1) qualify for free or reduced lunch. 2) English language learner. 3) Foster youth. Unduplicated is means that they add these students up and then unduplicate the numbers for where a student falls into multiple categories if 1,2,and 3. The district is given “extra” funds for these students and those funds are distributed to school sites as LCFF funding. School Site Councils at each site decide how to spend the money to best support these students.

      Comment by The More You Know — January 27, 2023 @ 7:53 am

  2. Unduplicated refers to students who; 1) qualify for free or reduced lunch. 2) English language learner. 3) Foster youth. Unduplicated is means that they add these students up and then unduplicate the numbers for where a student falls into multiple categories if 1,2,and 3. The district is given “extra” funds for these students and those funds are distributed to school sites as LCFF funding. School Site Councils at each site decide how to spend the money to best support these students.

    Comment by The More You Know — January 27, 2023 @ 7:54 am

    • Thank you for the explanation. That makes it clear that this is unjust.

      Comment by egelblock — January 27, 2023 @ 8:32 am

  3. Now post the same list with the most recent test scores per school. You will find that the test scores from just a few of these schools prop up the dismal scores everywhere else.

    The injustice is not in the funding for each school it’s that the money spent does not get results.

    Comment by Real Observer — January 27, 2023 @ 9:40 am

    • We don’t allocate money based on test scores but thanks for playing.

      Comment by Lauren Do — January 27, 2023 @ 10:06 am

      • Actually that’s exactly what you are doing, only basing it on low scores.

        Comment by Common Sense — January 27, 2023 @ 11:01 am

        • Not really, but, again, thanks again for playing.

          Comment by Lauren Do — January 27, 2023 @ 11:04 am

        • This is how you bankrupt yourself by spending even more on programs underperforming. Even with this lower per student costs, I wonder how many things can be improved or made more efficient to find a measly 300k.

          If 64 is the amount needed to be ‘equitable’, or maybe even 68, why don’t they just try to advertise it better and get people there.

          Test scores matter if you’re trying to keep children in the area.

          Comment by Person — January 28, 2023 @ 9:44 am

        • So you want to spend more money on BFMS on top of the additional money already spent on BFMS to do something for that school (advertise) that it doesn’t do for other MS. Got it.

          Comment by Lauren Do — January 29, 2023 @ 7:21 am

        • Um, you really like to just jump the gun so you can make your point don’t you.

          No, you don’t need to spend money that’s not already there. They just need to fix some things on their own website, where it can be easily discoverable. Or even breaking out bay farm elementary from middle or explicitly name it k-8 everywhere. Perhaps calling it out k-8 everywhere.

          I mean I can understand why the website doesn’t do that. The superintendent has already admitted he didn’t know the school was open enrollment and that anyone can go there.

          Comment by Whatever — January 29, 2023 @ 10:59 pm

        • I literally found the marketing materials for the MS program on BF’s website.

          Comment by Lauren Do — January 30, 2023 @ 5:49 am

  4. 4th and 5th grade is allowed 32:1 class ratio, so those 75 5th graders better be 2 5th grade classes and one 4/5 combo otherwise …

    Comment by cw — January 27, 2023 @ 9:56 am

    • According to Bay Farm’s wish list page there are three named 5th grade teachers which puts the ratio for BF’s 5th grade at 23:1 for 2021-2022. and three named 4th grade teachers.

      Comment by Lauren Do — January 27, 2023 @ 10:06 am

  5. There was a meeting at Bay Farm with parents and district staff last night. Does anyone know how that went?

    Comment by saraholaes1 — January 27, 2023 @ 1:48 pm

    • During the weekend I have been given information about how the meeting progressed.

      The meeting was a shit show. From the start people did not want to listen and kept cutting AUSD staff off when they tried to explain something. They only wanted more time to repeat their words from the Board meeting on Tuesday night (which I watched from start to finish). The community meeting started at 5:30pm and planned on going to 7pm. It ended sometime after 9pm. 

      People were yelling, hissing and heckling. They called Superintendent Scuderi a communist among other things. They said he only wanted to shut them down as a notch for his resume. They said he didn’t live in and didn’t care about Alameda, and is on his way out. He was also accused of being racist for support African American students

      A woman made about a comment about Shamar Edward’s title (she is senior Director of Black and Multi-Ethnic Achievement and Equity) being racist because her title lists African American before multi ethnic. The same woman flipped Superintendent Scuderi off.

       Board members were personally threatened by men “we are watching you.” They were threatened that they would never be re-elected.

      They heckled Susan Davis when she tried to explain the information they said was missing from the school’s website was just further down the page and they had to scroll down. 

      A student made a speech where she said she must not be brown enough or poor enough for the Superintendent to care about her.

      A woman said if AUSD shuts their program down she was going to send her child to a $40k private school and AUSD would have to pay for it. 

      They also referred to the other middle schools on the island as mediocre. Both my sons have attended middle schools in alameda. Katherine Crawford (current Bay Farm Principal) taught at both these schools and I think my sons received excellent middle school experiences. My younger son attended Junior Jets and my older son attended the Academy of Alameda.

      Several parents also said they were going to actively campaign against any future parcel tax measures. 

      Apparently people were taking videos of the meeting. I would like to see this behavior. I have been to many, many board and community meetings since 2006 Including those around Lum’s closure but nothing comes close to this.

      Comment by saraholaes1 — January 29, 2023 @ 11:11 pm

  6. “A commenter received a rundown”? I’m a teacher at this school and I actually watched the livestream. The description of this meeting is greatly exaggerated and monumentally unfair. This meeting was about three hours long. During that time, a few adults in the room behaved poorly and some voices were definitely raised. I never heard anything that sounded like hissing and booing. The comments about communism were from two Russian parents who said this was like the totalitarian regime where people had no say. They were angry that there was no community involvement in this decision. What I saw (because I actually watched the event) was adult after adult, student after student waiting their turn and respectfully making their points. No one can deny that the families at this school are upset. These families, our staff, the students, and even our principal found out for the first time at a board meeting that the district was recommending closure of Bay Farm Middle School. It was a tremendous shock and I would hope that any person reading Lauren’s blogs about our school consider these facts as well.

    Comment by Michele Kuttner — January 31, 2023 @ 9:08 pm

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