Wood Middle School

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Broad Brush, your weekly headline review. Here’s what happened in Alameda this week.

Members of Alameda’s Board of Education will weigh in Tuesday on which campus or campuses they think the Alameda Community Learning Center should call home next year.

School district staff is asking for the board’s permission to offer the 18-year-old district-created charter school space on three separate campuses – Wood Middle School, the former Woodstock Elementary School and Encinal High School. Alternatively, they are asking board members to consider two other options – adding five portables to the Wood campus in order to keep the charter school there, or moving the entire school to Woodstock, along with its sister school, the Nea Community Learning Center.

Alameda’s Board of Education rode herd on a contentious discussion Tuesday about space for Alameda Unified’s charter schools that exposed the rising tensions over space.

Every Friday, the staff at Wood Middle School in Alameda wear blue “Happy Friday” pins in honor of Paul Hardy Parker, a custodian at Wood Middle School who passed away this past July.

Wood Middle School students help out at an Adopt-a-School event. Photo courtesy of Alex Boskovich.

The Alameda Board of Education said Tuesday that they oppose purchasing the building that now houses district staff in a business park, with trustees saying they'd instead like to explore a retrofit of Historic Alameda High School.

District officials, who recommended buying the Marina Village building they're now housed in during an informational session on the proposed purchase, said they will now commission a detailed study to determine what it will take to restore 75,000 square feet of unused space in the Alameda High complex for possible use as the district’s central offices and classrooms.

Updated at 12:49 p.m. Sunday, February 24 in bold.

For the past several years, Alameda’s schools leaders have worked with educators and parents to put new schooling programs in place to meet parents’ desire for a broader range of educational options – and in doing so, retain families who might otherwise seek out charters or private schools for their children. But the district’s most recent effort to launch a middle school on the Encinal High School campus is colliding with one of the district’s foremost constraints – space – igniting frustrations and also, long-held anxieties about how some schools and students are perceived.

Those concerns boiled over at an informational workshop the Board of Education held at Encinal on Tuesday night, where four of five schools trustees said they would like to proceed with a full “Junior Jets” middle school program on the Encinal campus next year and three said the district should proceed with its offer to house the Alameda Community Learning Center, which has sat on the Encinal campus for 18 years, at Wood Middle School.

Alameda's Board of Education met Tuesday to talk about a proposal to move the Alameda Community Learning Center to Wood Middle School and to give proponents of a new Junior Jets middle school program opening up at Encinal High next year to talk about their program. Here's what people said, in Tweet; Donna Eyestone's videos of Tuesday's meeting are below.

Alameda’s Board of Education will be taking a closer look at plans to start a middle school magnet on the Encinal High School campus this fall – plans that prompted a controversial proposal to move the Alameda Community Learning Center onto the Wood Middle School campus.

The board will hold a workshop Tuesday to discuss the new “Junior Jets” program and its displacement of ACLC, a charter school serving students in grades 6-12 that has been on the Encinal campus for 18 years. Final details for the public workshop are still being worked out.

Parents at Wood Middle School asked the school board Tuesday to consider putting the Alameda Community Learning Center somewhere else next year, while some school board members said more needs to be done to support the middle school.

The charter is being moved from its longtime home at Encinal High School to make room for a new “Junior Jets” middle school program. And while school district leaders’ formal space offer to ACLC isn’t due until Friday, they have said there’s nowhere else for the school to go.