ALAMEDA -- Elementary school enrollment is up across the Alameda Unified School District, with kindergarten through fifth grade seeing the largest increase, the school board was told at its meeting.
The district has enrolled an additional 149 students since the 2011-12 school year. In order to balance enrollment numbers, 38 elementary students are scheduled to be redirected, or have already been redirected, into schools with a higher capacity or lower enrollment. Volunteer transfer letters were mailed on Sept. 5 and families were given 48 hours to respond.
Kristen Zazo, director of Alameda Student Services, said in an email that involuntary transfers are chosen based on the students' enrollment dates, and students from other districts are diverted first.
"AUSD staff aim to work with families to provide a school closest to their home should diversion or redirection be necessitated, and AUSD Student Services office staff work to provide families with information about available resources," Zazo wrote. "While it is always difficult when a student need(s) to be diverted, AUSD works to help ease a family's transition. Finally, unfortunately this year students have had to be redirected from seven of our 10 AUSD elementary schools due to increased enrollment in AUSD. We continue to strive to provide the best service to families we serve."
Cammie Harris, principal of Lum Elementary School, reported that because of student improvements in
Harris credited teacher dedication, a new academic learning center and increased student engagement with the advancement in achievement.
Amelia Earhart Elementary is the other Alameda elementary school to receive the designation this year.
In other positive news, Power Up 4 Learning -- a fundraising collaboration between the Alameda Education Foundation (AEF) and Alameda Municipal Power (AMP) -- presented two grants of $5,000 to both Alameda High School and Encinal High School.
The money is intended to support academic intervention classes like a math lab and advance programs.
Officially launched in 2005, Power Up 4 Learning encourages AMP customers to donate at least one dollar per month on their energy bill, with the total donation forwarded to AEF for distribution. Power Up 4 Learning has raised $30,000 since the program's inception.
Ron Halog, executive director of the Ala Costa Centers for students with developmental disabilities, appealed to the school board again for an operational headquarters in Alameda.
He said students currently have to bus 45 minutes to receive his center's services, and that for these students, a delay of services is a denial of services. The Alameda school board voted to add the issue to the Sept. 25 agenda.