Schools

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.”

As many of you have heard, several California counties are experiencing outbreaks of measles. So far, we have had no confirmed cases of measles in the Alameda Unified School District. But I wanted to send a message to encourage all parents and guardians to vaccinate their children against measles and to let our community know what we are doing to keep our students, employees, and other community members safe.

A former college professor and newcomer to Alameda has been chosen as the new member of Alameda's Board of Education.

Philip Hu, an assistant general manager for Public Employees Union Local 1, has lived on the Island for only seven months. But he won the trustee’s post Tuesday night after another finalist, Jane Grimaldi, withdrew from the race.

Hu will replace former school board trustee Trish Spencer, who was elected mayor in November.

Grimaldi’s withdrawal ended a four-hour board meeting marked by numerous tie votes, speeches by trustees backing certain candidates and statements from 10 applicants for the open seat.

On Tuesday night, the school board is set to pick a new member to fill the remainder of Mayor Trish Spencer’s unexpired term. We asked all 10 of the finalists for the board seat how they would handle some of the key issues the board will be addressing over the next few years, and also, what their priorities would be as a board member. Nine of the 10 responded. Here’s what they had to say; responses were posted in the order they were received.