An exhibit showcasing artwork of Hayward students opens Friday at the Cinema Place Gallery.

"The purpose of this show is to promote the arts and education, especially in Hayward," said Angela Shin, Tennyson High photography art teacher.

Art in Education includes paintings, sculptures, drawings and photographs and is intended to demonstrate the value of creativity.

"By continuing to support the arts in education, we will nurture a more diverse set of artists and individuals who will transform our lives," said Michael Wallace, director of the gallery.

The opening reception is 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at the gallery, 1061 B St. The exhibit runs through March 28. The gallery is open noon to 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays.

Moreau High wins county mock trial

Moreau Catholic High School of Hayward defeated American High School from Fremont to win the Alameda County mock trial competition last week.

Moreau now advances to the state competition March 22-24 in Riverside.

"We won by one point," said Moreau social studies teacher Phil Wilder, who coaches the 13-student team with teacher Petar Zegura. "We told the kids all year long how important each point is."

This is the first time Moreau won the county competition, hosted by the county Office of Education. "This was all new and uncharted territory," Wilder said.

The teams argued a felony hit-and-run case, "People vs. Vega," before Alameda County Superior Court Judge C. Don Clay. American was the defense and Moreau the prosecution in the fictional case in which Adrian Vega, the son of the mayor of Hidden Valley, was charged with felony hit and run after a crash that injured a bicyclist. Although Vega's defense claimed that another person was driving, the prosecution team won a conviction.

San Leandro sets up system to complain about illegal fees

Parents in the San Leandro Unified School District who believe they may have been charged illegal fees for student activities now have a way to make a complaint.

School board members unanimously voted Tuesday to create a system to keep track of the complaints, bringing the district into compliance with a law that took effect March 1.

The law -- AB 1575 authored by Assemblyman Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens -- stemmed from a settlement of a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union in 2010 against the state over lax enforcement of the ban on student fees.

The state constitution guarantees a free public education for all students, and the state Supreme Court ruled in 1984 that guarantee extends to extracurricular activities.

Still, some districts have continued to charge fees for athletic uniforms, test booklets, binders and field trips, among other things. In the past, families charged illegal fees who were denied a reimbursement from the local district could only take the district to court. The new law requires a local complaint process and, in the event of a denial, allows the family to appeal the decision to the state Department of Education. The law also requires districts to refund any illegal fees paid.

Superintendent Cindy Cathey said many student programs must now rely on fundraisers and donations to continue, such as trips to Disneyland for bands invited to perform. Cathey said that, so far, no programs have been cut due to a lack of funding, but "there could come a time where that could happen if fundraising isn't as successful as anticipated."

"It is a lot of work on the part of the kids, as well as the school," Cathey said.

The complaint form is posted on the district website and can be found at school and district offices.

Homeroom is a weekly roundup of news from schools in the greater Hayward and Tri-City areas.