Schools

Schools leaders seeking state seismic repair funds for fixing Historic Alameda High are in a race against time.

Of the original, $10.4 billion in school construction and modernization bonds California voters authorized when they approved Proposition 1D in 2006, only $96 million remains for projects like the repairs contemplated for the historic high school, much of which was fenced off due to longstanding seismic safety issues. So school district staffers and the district's architect, Quattrochi Kwok Architects, are working quickly in an attempt to secure funding that will supplement the Measure I bond.

A tie-breaking vote brought an end to an extended school board meeting Wednesday evening where Gray Harris was selected for and sworn in to the Alameda Board of Education to fill the empty seat of Nielsen Tam, who died of leukemia on May 24.

A former school board member and a onetime president of the local teachers' union are among the five people seeking appointment to the Alameda Board of Education.

Board members will consider candidates for the vacancy left by the passing of Nielsen Tam at a public meeting to be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Island High School. Each candidate will have 20 minutes to make their pitch for the appointment and to take questions from school board members; a candidate will need votes from three of the four board members to win the seat.

Alameda's Board of Education has signed off on a pair of contracts for the school district's teachers and paraprofessionals.

On June 23 the board unanimously okayed a one-year agreement with the district's teachers and a three-year agreement with the paraprofessionals union. District and union officials are still working on a contract to cover Alameda Unified's custodians.

Schools leaders said Tuesday that they’ll reconsider a proposal to slash funding requests for a pair of innovative school plans that have been in the works for the past 18 months.

Superintendent Sean McPhetridge asked the Board of Education to table their planned consideration of innovative school proposals for Franklin and Henry Haight elementary schools following impassioned pleas from educators and parents for full funding of the plans.

Schools officials are seeking to expand Alameda Unified’s footprint by reclaiming a pair of properties adjacent to the Alameda Naval Air Station.

District officials are seeking school board approval to ask the federal government to let them reclaim a pair of Singleton Avenue properties where they hope to once again house the district’s Woodstock Child Development Center preschool program and Island High School, the district’s continuation school.

The property could also be used as a central location housing Alameda Unified’s special education staffers, who are currently scattered across the Island.

The Encinal Jets – and the Junior Jets – are about to become one big, happy family.

Tonight, the school board will consider whether to combine Encinal High School and the Junior Jets middle school program on the Encinal campus into a single school. If the board grants its okay, the new school will be called Encinal Junior/Senior High School.

Parents and schools staffers are making a renewed push for better security at Alameda schools following a pair of on-campus incidents over the past few weeks.

The school district is keeping Alameda and Encinal high schools open, instead of building a single, new school to house all of the two schools’ students.

The school board voted unanimously Tuesday to focus its efforts – and Measure I bond money – on fixing up its existing high schools, rather that embarking on a quest for the money and property that they’d need to find in order to make the dream of new, single high school a reality.

“With the $90 million we have, we are going to get two very nice campuses,” school board trustee Gary Lym said.

Alameda’s Board of Education voted Tuesday to give Superintendent Sean McPhetridge some birthday presents: A new contract and a shorter title.

The board voted unanimously to offer McPhetridge the school district’s top spot on a more permanent basis, removing the word “interim” from his title and okaying a $220,000-a-year contract that goes into effect today. Tuesday was McPhetridge’s 50th birthday.

“I’m humbled, and I’m honored, and I’m thankful and I’m grateful to this city, and to the people who work in these schools,” McPhetridge said. “I hope I continue to pass the audition.”