Schools

Schools officials have set up a procedure for commercial property owners to obtain partial refunds on the Measure H parcel tax.

The district has posted an application on its website for commercial property owners seeking refunds for taxes paid in late 2010 and 2011. The deadline for property owners seeking refunds for taxes paid in December 2010 is this coming December 15.

The final deadline for requesting a refund is April 15, 2015.

Alameda’s Board of Education said goodbye to a pair of exiting trustees Tuesday – and got the rundown on the big business the new board will embark on next year.

Alameda's Board of Education okayed a new elementary charter school Tuesday night. The school, which will be opened and operated by managers of the existing Academy of Alameda charter, is set to open kindergarten and first grade classes next fall.

"Tonight's vote is a validation of a lot of hard work motivated by our strong, heartfelt desire to to serve even more students starting at an earlier age in an effort to create a model Kindergarten through 8th grade program," The Academy's director, Matt Huxley, wrote in an e-mail to the middle school charter's families after winning approval on a 3-1 vote.

Leaders of The Academy of Alameda Middle School charter want to open a grade school program in the fall of 2015.

The school board is preparing to cancel contracts that put cell phone antennae on top of a pair of Alameda schools.

In a closed-door session, the board opted to direct school district staff to notify the owners of cell antennae installed atop Maya Lin School and Will C. Wood Middle School that their contracts will be terminated, board president Margie Sherratt announced at the start of Tuesday’s school board meeting.

A vote to terminate the contracts – both held by AT&T – is set to take place on September 23, Sherratt announced. She said the contracts would be terminated in a year.

School board president Margie Sherratt's surprise announcement that the board plans to cancel contracts permitting cell antennae at two schools dominated Tuesday night's news. We've got that and more, in tweets.

Schools leaders are seeking the public’s input on a plan to illuminate one of a pair of baseball diamonds at Will C. Wood Middle School.

Alameda charter school staffers’ decision to unionize is receiving national attention. The incoming president of the National Education Association – a national teachers union – is coming to Alameda to shine light on the organizing efforts of staffers at Alameda Community Learning Center and Nea Community Learning Center.

Alameda’s Board of Education has hired veteran Alameda schools administrator Sean McPhetridge to serve as the Island's interim schools chief for the 2014-15 school year, which starts on August 25.

School board members are pushing for the removal of cell phone towers perched atop three Alameda schools.

Board member Mike McMahon said the district will scrutinize a trio of contracts permitting cell phone service providers to maintain antennae on top of Maya Lin School, Will C. Wood Middle School and Alameda High School to see if the district can legally exit them, and he and other board members said they’ll begin discussing their efforts to address the cell tower issue in public since they haven’t been able to resolve them in private.