AUSD's expulsion and suspension rates drop
Alameda public schools reduced their suspension and expulsion rates last year, accoridng to data released by the California Department of Education.
Both expulsions and suspensions for the 2012-2013 school year were down from 2011-2012, with suspensions dropping about 20 percent (from 579 students to 469) and expulsions dropping 64 percent (from 11 students to 4).
Taken together, the expulsion rate of the 16 traditional public and four charter schools in Alameda is 0 (because there are so few expulsions across the district), as compared to 0.1 for both Alameda County and the state.
The suspension rate of those 20 schools is 4.1, as compared to 4.4 for the county and 5.1 for the state.
Because certain minority students, including African-American and Hispanic students, have traditionally experienced a disproportionate amount of discipline, the state report includes data on discipline broken out by ethnicity.
In Alameda, African-American students received 39 percent of the suspensions; Hispanic/Latino students received 20 percent; white students received 19 percent; Filipino students received 6 percent; and Asian students received 8 percent.
To see the full report, which was released Jan. 29, go to the California Department of Education Dataquest website.
Nominate instructors for 'Teacher of the Year'
The Alameda Unified School District is accepting nominations for its Teacher of the Year.
Designed to honor and recognize excellent teachers, the award has previously gone to a wide range of teachers, including Chris Hansen, an eighth-grade teacher at Lincoln Middle School who started an anti-bullying program; Tracy Corbally of the Alameda Science and Technology Institute who introduced students to innovative thinking and reading skills in the classroom; and John Nolan, an Island High School teacher who uses research-based instructional methods to help at-risk students.
After being nominated, teachers who meet state and Alameda County criteria can submit an application, including a resume, an introductory letter, and letters of support to the district office.
A selection committee then screens the applicants, watches them at work in the classroom and interviews the finalists.
District trustees will recognize the winning teacher in May. The teacher also will be honored by the Alameda County Office of Education and will be eligible for the Alameda County Teacher of the Year Award, as well as the State Teacher of the Year Award.
Nomination forms are available in the Spotlight section at www.alameda.k12.ca.us. The deadline is Friday.
Don Grant Track Club holding practice times
The Don Grant Alameda Point Youth Track Club will be holding track practice times for Bay Area youth from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday and Friday at the College of Alameda track.
The track club will give youth an opportunity to learn about different sports, exercise and stay healthy. The club is open to boys and girls ages three to 14 and the club is also seeking track coaches. Participants will take part in running, jumping and throwing events and compete against children from around Northern California in their age group.
For more information, contact coach Ralph Walker at 510-776-7451 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Redux to show exhibit of San Quentin artwork
An opening reception for "Inside Out: Artwork from San Quentin's Death Row" will take place 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 14 at the Redux Studios & Gallery, 2315 Lincoln Ave.
The exhibit will feature nearly 100 works by men currently serving sentences on death row at San Quentin State Prison.
For details, call 510-865-1109.
Bank announces winners of 'Give Back'
Bank of Alameda/Bank of Marin has announced the five non-profit winners of its community "Give Back" contest. Each organization was awarded $2,000.
Voted by residents of Alameda, th five organizations that received the most votes were: Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter; Alameda Meals on Wheels; Rhythmix Cultural Works; Alameda Food Bank; and the Alameda Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
"At the heart of everything we do is giving back to the communities we serve," said Russell A. Colombo, president and chief executive officer. "With close to 700 votes cast for 80 organizations, we know that Alameda feels passionately about their nonprofits and we are proud to support the ongoing work and commitment of these five deserving winners."
Launched on Dec. 9, 2013, nonprofit organizations were chosen from votes gathered at the two branches located in Alameda through Jan. 3, 2014. To be eligible, nonprofits must be a tax exempt organization with their main office located in the City of Alameda.
Van Sickle Scholarship application period open
Applications are now being accepted for the $5,000 Ken and Shirley Van Sickle Scholarship from graduating seniors at the city's public high schools who are also Alameda residents.
Selection is based on a combination of academic achievement, leadership ability and financial need.
The scholarship is named in honor of Ken and Shirley Van Sickle, educators who together devoted more than 50 years to the education of Alameda's students. Now in its 27th year, the scholarship was established by their son Keith, a 1976 graduate of Alameda High School who later earned degrees at Stanford and Harvard universities.
Last year, the scholarship was awarded to Naza Djelic, now a freshman at Mills College. Djelic attended Encinal High School.
Deadline for applications is Feb. 22 and the award will be made in May. Application forms are available at each high school's counseling office.