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Re: Solving the Portola Middle School Problem

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  • Sharon J.
    I agree with both of you. Some of the schools in the Portola draw have been rebuilt so now it would be necessary to go back and retrofit them--a plan which I
    Message 1 of 15 , Aug 25, 2006
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      I agree with both of you.

      Some of the schools in the Portola draw have been rebuilt so now it
      would be necessary to go back and retrofit them--a plan which I doubt
      there is money or political will to implement at this time. In a few
      years, this may be possible.

      I had heard that Castro asked their architect to look at the
      possibility of converting to a K-8 but this is just a rumor. Also,
      heard that the bond committee was asking schools not yet rebuilt to
      look at a possible K-8 configuration but, again, this may have been
      shelved once the board voted no to exploring the idea.

      I don't see Castro's population of special ed students as a barrior to
      a K-8 configuration. If anything, students with special needs would
      greatly benefit from not having to make an additional transition.

      Also, just to clarify Jill, I know the committee was looking at only a
      few schools in the district as an experiment which makes sense. I was
      responding to Jim's idea that we raze Portola, sell the land, and make
      most (if not all) of the elementary schools in the draw K-8. This
      strikes me as total "pie in the sky" but, hey, what do I know.

      Last but not least, the candidates that have spoken publicly about
      their support of a K-8 alternative and say they oppose mandatory
      uniforms at every school (not the ones who want them) are:

      Marguerite Meade
      Anton Jungherr
      Antonio Medrano

      Of the three, the only person I know personally is Ms. Meade. She is a
      former Harding parent, was a PTA President, is an ACLU attorney, a
      huge supporter of W. County public schools, has pushed hard for more
      transperency in the budgeting process, and I greatly respect her. I'm
      glad she decided to announce her candidacy.


      --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Cathy Travlos <cbt@...> wrote:
      >
      > Curriculum and credential issues aside, you also need to remember that
      > Harding, Kensington, Madera and Washington have already been rebuilt.
      > Castro is in the design phase. Given the high number of special needs
      > students at both Castro and Fairmont those don't seem viable K-8
      > possibilities. That leaves Stege out of the Portola feeder schools.
      Even
      > if you think K-8 is the way to go, it's not going to be the solution
      for
      > the problems with the Portola site.
      > Cathy
      >
      > sunsetjill wrote:
      >
      > > Sharon Wrote:
      > > >From what I recall, not all of the parents at these schools even WANT
      > > a K-8 and some teachers are adamant that they have no desire to seek
      > > the additional qualifications needed to teach middle school age
      > > children.
      > >
      > > Jill Writes:
      > > >From what I recall it was just the opposite. Most elementary
      > > teachers hold multi credentials. They could teach middle school
      > > with no problem that is not saying that they want to. It was the
      > > middle school teachers whom hold single credentials and would not be
      > > fully credentialed to teach at the elementary level. I would love
      > > to hear from teachers to verify if my recollection is correct.
      > >
      > > Sharon Wrote:
      > > Also, there are 632 students at Portola (this figure is from Jan.
      > > 2005). Are you going to send them all back to their elementary
      > > schools
      > > and fire the teachers who don't want to work in a K-8 because they
      > > believe in middle schools?
      > >
      > > Jill Writes:
      > > This was not the plan of the K8 committee. Staff directed us to
      > > focus in on certain schools based on certain criteria. The idea of
      > > K8 was to give more school choice and options in our district.
      > >
      > > Sharon Wrote:
      > > K-8 is a desirable alternative for some parents but I think your plan
      > > will disappoint as many people as it makes happy.
      > >
      > > Jill Writes:
      > > I like what Jim wrote. I wanted to find out if it was fact or
      > > opinion. What I keep stressing and this is opinion is that El
      > > Cerrito, Hercules and Pinole have very strong public involvement.
      > > They have parents and community members whom know how to make
      > > changes and get what they want. WCCUSD cannot make everybody happy.
      > >
      > > My opinion on Portola is not very popular among many El Cerrito
      > > residents, but I will post it anyway.
      > > I grew up in Los Angles and endured many earthquakes. As a child I
      > > went without water and electricity for 1 week in 1969. Our schools
      > > and many public offices were closed. We listened to radio
      > > broadcasts about possible evacuations due to a crack in one of the
      > > dams. They were able to drain the dam, so it would not flood us.
      > > I moved to the bay area in January of 1989 and was on the Bay Bridge
      > > during the October 17, 1989 earthquake. I thought it was just a
      > > Hiccup. I could not believe all the devastation done in just a
      > > matter of seconds. I prey for all the children at Portola, that the
      > > Hayward Fault does not blow at the time they are there. Our
      > > district does not care about the children, they have known for years
      > > about this danger.
      > > They can sell the land, because the restrictions for housing are
      > > different then schools. Many homes are built in the slide area and
      > > families continue to buy the houses with full disclosure of the
      > > hazards.
      > > I feel it is unfair to the rest of the District to sink so much
      > > money into El Cerrito High and Portola Middle School. When we talk
      > > about Diversity, let's see how the El Cerrito population would feel
      > > about sending their child to a Richmond or San Pablo school. While
      > > some of us that live in Richmond or San Pablo are truly struggling
      > > to survive. Some children go to sleep at night with out dinner,
      > > they hear gunshots constantly, and many have been personally
      > > affected by the violence and poverty that surrounds them.
      > > We live in what many call the good part of San Pablo, but we have
      > > been personally subject to many crimes. Gunshots were fired outside
      > > my house many years ago. My son will not forget this and is
      > > frightened every time he hears a bang. We have had 2 cars stolen
      > > and our house was broken into. Many valuable electronics were
      > > taken, including my son's.
      > > *sigh* I have more to say, but rehashing some of these past
      > > personal experiences, has put me off point.
      > > So I will end here and hope you het the just of it and perhaps write
      > > more later.
      > >
      > > Sincerely,
      > >
      > > Jill Wolkenfeld
      > >
      > > > Here are the feeder schools to Portola:
      > > >
      > > > Castro
      > > > Fairmont
      > > > Harding
      > > > Kensington
      > > > Madera
      > > > Stege
      > > > Washington
      > > >
      > > > From what I recall, not all of the parents at these schools even
      > > WANT
      > > > a K-8 and some teachers are adamant that they have no desire to
      > > seek
      > > > the additional qualifications needed to teach middle school age
      > > children.
      > > >
      > > > Also, there are 632 students at Portola (this figure is from Jan.
      > > > 2005). Are you going to send them all back to their elementary
      > > schools
      > > > and fire the teachers who don't want to work in a K-8 because they
      > > > believe in middle schools?
      > > >
      > > > K-8 is a desirable alternative for some parents but I think your
      > > plan
      > > > will disappoint as many people as it makes happy.
      > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > or... here's the idea of the century.....
      > > > >
      > > > > -convert the feeder schools to K8.
      > > > > Sell the Portola site (at huge windfall $$$)
      > > > > Spend a small portion of the money it would cost to
      > > > > rebuild Portola on upgrading the feeder
      > > > > elementaries for K8
      > > > > Solve lots of problems at the same time!!!!
      > > > >
      > > > > Attention School Board:
      > > > > 1. You have an aging middle school.
      > > > > 2. The campus is unsafe.
      > > > > 3. It's is likely the Division of State Architect
      > > > > will never let you build there
      > > > > 4. The solution is staring you in the face.
      > > > >
      > > > > No waiting. Save $100 - $200 million dollars. Let's
      > > > > get K8 now.
      > > > >
      > > > > Jim Cowen
      > > > > Olinda School Parent
      > > > > Member of WCCUSD District K8 committee
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
    • alicat1967
      Regarding Washington School, yes the school did get a partial rebuild (to the tune of 10 million bucks). They are also preparing for the 3rd year of their Dual
      Message 2 of 15 , Aug 26, 2006
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        Regarding Washington School, yes the school did get
        a partial rebuild (to the tune of 10 million bucks).
        They are also preparing for the 3rd year of their
        Dual Imersion program. Since we know big money
        comes with teaching our kids English, it is a
        great chance this school could be converted
        quite easily to K-8 Dual Imersion.

        More information on Washington School's
        Dual Imersion Program
        Parent Commentary and Contacts
        http://parents.berkeley.edu/recommend/schools/wcc/washington.html
        If you would like a copy of the program description booklet I
        received on this, I would be happy to email it to you. Do not
        have it posted on a website otherwise I could post a link
        (I think) :)





        --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "Sharon J." <sj_jpm@...> wrote:
        >
        > I agree with both of you.
        >
        > Some of the schools in the Portola draw have been rebuilt so now it
        > would be necessary to go back and retrofit them--a plan which I
        doubt
        > there is money or political will to implement at this time. In a few
        > years, this may be possible.
        >
        > I had heard that Castro asked their architect to look at the
        > possibility of converting to a K-8 but this is just a rumor. Also,
        > heard that the bond committee was asking schools not yet rebuilt to
        > look at a possible K-8 configuration but, again, this may have been
        > shelved once the board voted no to exploring the idea.
        >
        > I don't see Castro's population of special ed students as a barrior
        to
        > a K-8 configuration. If anything, students with special needs would
        > greatly benefit from not having to make an additional transition.
        >
        > Also, just to clarify Jill, I know the committee was looking at
        only a
        > few schools in the district as an experiment which makes sense. I
        was
        > responding to Jim's idea that we raze Portola, sell the land, and
        make
        > most (if not all) of the elementary schools in the draw K-8. This
        > strikes me as total "pie in the sky" but, hey, what do I know.
        >
        > Last but not least, the candidates that have spoken publicly about
        > their support of a K-8 alternative and say they oppose mandatory
        > uniforms at every school (not the ones who want them) are:
        >
        > Marguerite Meade
        > Anton Jungherr
        > Antonio Medrano
        >
        > Of the three, the only person I know personally is Ms. Meade. She
        is a
        > former Harding parent, was a PTA President, is an ACLU attorney, a
        > huge supporter of W. County public schools, has pushed hard for more
        > transperency in the budgeting process, and I greatly respect her.
        I'm
        > glad she decided to announce her candidacy.
        >
        >
        > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Cathy Travlos <cbt@> wrote:
        > >
        > > Curriculum and credential issues aside, you also need to remember
        that
        > > Harding, Kensington, Madera and Washington have already been
        rebuilt.
        > > Castro is in the design phase. Given the high number of special
        needs
        > > students at both Castro and Fairmont those don't seem viable K-8
        > > possibilities. That leaves Stege out of the Portola feeder
        schools.
        > Even
        > > if you think K-8 is the way to go, it's not going to be the
        solution
        > for
        > > the problems with the Portola site.
        > > Cathy
        > >
        > > sunsetjill wrote:
        > >
        > > > Sharon Wrote:
        > > > >From what I recall, not all of the parents at these schools
        even WANT
        > > > a K-8 and some teachers are adamant that they have no desire to
        seek
        > > > the additional qualifications needed to teach middle school age
        > > > children.
        > > >
        > > > Jill Writes:
        > > > >From what I recall it was just the opposite. Most elementary
        > > > teachers hold multi credentials. They could teach middle school
        > > > with no problem that is not saying that they want to. It was the
        > > > middle school teachers whom hold single credentials and would
        not be
        > > > fully credentialed to teach at the elementary level. I would
        love
        > > > to hear from teachers to verify if my recollection is correct.
        > > >
        > > > Sharon Wrote:
        > > > Also, there are 632 students at Portola (this figure is from
        Jan.
        > > > 2005). Are you going to send them all back to their elementary
        > > > schools
        > > > and fire the teachers who don't want to work in a K-8 because
        they
        > > > believe in middle schools?
        > > >
        > > > Jill Writes:
        > > > This was not the plan of the K8 committee. Staff directed us to
        > > > focus in on certain schools based on certain criteria. The idea
        of
        > > > K8 was to give more school choice and options in our district.
        > > >
        > > > Sharon Wrote:
        > > > K-8 is a desirable alternative for some parents but I think
        your plan
        > > > will disappoint as many people as it makes happy.
        > > >
        > > > Jill Writes:
        > > > I like what Jim wrote. I wanted to find out if it was fact or
        > > > opinion. What I keep stressing and this is opinion is that El
        > > > Cerrito, Hercules and Pinole have very strong public
        involvement.
        > > > They have parents and community members whom know how to make
        > > > changes and get what they want. WCCUSD cannot make everybody
        happy.
        > > >
        > > > My opinion on Portola is not very popular among many El Cerrito
        > > > residents, but I will post it anyway.
        > > > I grew up in Los Angles and endured many earthquakes. As a
        child I
        > > > went without water and electricity for 1 week in 1969. Our
        schools
        > > > and many public offices were closed. We listened to radio
        > > > broadcasts about possible evacuations due to a crack in one of
        the
        > > > dams. They were able to drain the dam, so it would not flood us.
        > > > I moved to the bay area in January of 1989 and was on the Bay
        Bridge
        > > > during the October 17, 1989 earthquake. I thought it was just a
        > > > Hiccup. I could not believe all the devastation done in just a
        > > > matter of seconds. I prey for all the children at Portola, that
        the
        > > > Hayward Fault does not blow at the time they are there. Our
        > > > district does not care about the children, they have known for
        years
        > > > about this danger.
        > > > They can sell the land, because the restrictions for housing are
        > > > different then schools. Many homes are built in the slide area
        and
        > > > families continue to buy the houses with full disclosure of the
        > > > hazards.
        > > > I feel it is unfair to the rest of the District to sink so much
        > > > money into El Cerrito High and Portola Middle School. When we
        talk
        > > > about Diversity, let's see how the El Cerrito population would
        feel
        > > > about sending their child to a Richmond or San Pablo school.
        While
        > > > some of us that live in Richmond or San Pablo are truly
        struggling
        > > > to survive. Some children go to sleep at night with out dinner,
        > > > they hear gunshots constantly, and many have been personally
        > > > affected by the violence and poverty that surrounds them.
        > > > We live in what many call the good part of San Pablo, but we
        have
        > > > been personally subject to many crimes. Gunshots were fired
        outside
        > > > my house many years ago. My son will not forget this and is
        > > > frightened every time he hears a bang. We have had 2 cars stolen
        > > > and our house was broken into. Many valuable electronics were
        > > > taken, including my son's.
        > > > *sigh* I have more to say, but rehashing some of these past
        > > > personal experiences, has put me off point.
        > > > So I will end here and hope you het the just of it and perhaps
        write
        > > > more later.
        > > >
        > > > Sincerely,
        > > >
        > > > Jill Wolkenfeld
        > > >
        > > > > Here are the feeder schools to Portola:
        > > > >
        > > > > Castro
        > > > > Fairmont
        > > > > Harding
        > > > > Kensington
        > > > > Madera
        > > > > Stege
        > > > > Washington
        > > > >
        > > > > From what I recall, not all of the parents at these schools
        even
        > > > WANT
        > > > > a K-8 and some teachers are adamant that they have no desire
        to
        > > > seek
        > > > > the additional qualifications needed to teach middle school
        age
        > > > children.
        > > > >
        > > > > Also, there are 632 students at Portola (this figure is from
        Jan.
        > > > > 2005). Are you going to send them all back to their elementary
        > > > schools
        > > > > and fire the teachers who don't want to work in a K-8 because
        they
        > > > > believe in middle schools?
        > > > >
        > > > > K-8 is a desirable alternative for some parents but I think
        your
        > > > plan
        > > > > will disappoint as many people as it makes happy.
        > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > > or... here's the idea of the century.....
        > > > > >
        > > > > > -convert the feeder schools to K8.
        > > > > > Sell the Portola site (at huge windfall $$$)
        > > > > > Spend a small portion of the money it would cost to
        > > > > > rebuild Portola on upgrading the feeder
        > > > > > elementaries for K8
        > > > > > Solve lots of problems at the same time!!!!
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Attention School Board:
        > > > > > 1. You have an aging middle school.
        > > > > > 2. The campus is unsafe.
        > > > > > 3. It's is likely the Division of State Architect
        > > > > > will never let you build there
        > > > > > 4. The solution is staring you in the face.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > No waiting. Save $100 - $200 million dollars. Let's
        > > > > > get K8 now.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Jim Cowen
        > > > > > Olinda School Parent
        > > > > > Member of WCCUSD District K8 committee
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > >
        >
      • Charley Cowens
        Sharon- In a report on http://groups.yahoo.com/group/notouniforms/ from the candidate forum at the El Cerrito Democratic Club, Antonio Medrano was not listed
        Message 3 of 15 , Aug 27, 2006
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          Sharon-

          In a report on http://groups.yahoo.com/group/notouniforms/ from the
          candidate forum at the El Cerrito Democratic Club, Antonio Medrano was
          not listed as an opponent of mandatory district-wide school uniforms
          yet you have him down on your list as an opponent. I'm just trying to
          figure out where the candidates stand. When did Antonio say he was
          opposed to the new uniform policy?

          Charley Cowens

          On 8/25/06, Sharon J. <sj_jpm@...> wrote:
          > I agree with both of you.
          >
          > Some of the schools in the Portola draw have been rebuilt so now it
          > would be necessary to go back and retrofit them--a plan which I doubt
          > there is money or political will to implement at this time. In a few
          > years, this may be possible.
          >
          > I had heard that Castro asked their architect to look at the
          > possibility of converting to a K-8 but this is just a rumor. Also,
          > heard that the bond committee was asking schools not yet rebuilt to
          > look at a possible K-8 configuration but, again, this may have been
          > shelved once the board voted no to exploring the idea.
          >
          > I don't see Castro's population of special ed students as a barrior to
          > a K-8 configuration. If anything, students with special needs would
          > greatly benefit from not having to make an additional transition.
          >
          > Also, just to clarify Jill, I know the committee was looking at only a
          > few schools in the district as an experiment which makes sense. I was
          > responding to Jim's idea that we raze Portola, sell the land, and make
          > most (if not all) of the elementary schools in the draw K-8. This
          > strikes me as total "pie in the sky" but, hey, what do I know.
          >
          > Last but not least, the candidates that have spoken publicly about
          > their support of a K-8 alternative and say they oppose mandatory
          > uniforms at every school (not the ones who want them) are:
          >
          > Marguerite Meade
          > Anton Jungherr
          > Antonio Medrano
          >
          > Of the three, the only person I know personally is Ms. Meade. She is a
          > former Harding parent, was a PTA President, is an ACLU attorney, a
          > huge supporter of W. County public schools, has pushed hard for more
          > transperency in the budgeting process, and I greatly respect her. I'm
          > glad she decided to announce her candidacy.
          >
          >
          > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Cathy Travlos <cbt@...> wrote:
          > >
          > > Curriculum and credential issues aside, you also need to remember that
          > > Harding, Kensington, Madera and Washington have already been rebuilt.
          > > Castro is in the design phase. Given the high number of special needs
          > > students at both Castro and Fairmont those don't seem viable K-8
          > > possibilities. That leaves Stege out of the Portola feeder schools.
          > Even
          > > if you think K-8 is the way to go, it's not going to be the solution
          > for
          > > the problems with the Portola site.
          > > Cathy
          > >
          > > sunsetjill wrote:
          > >
          > > > Sharon Wrote:
          > > > >From what I recall, not all of the parents at these schools even WANT
          > > > a K-8 and some teachers are adamant that they have no desire to seek
          > > > the additional qualifications needed to teach middle school age
          > > > children.
          > > >
          > > > Jill Writes:
          > > > >From what I recall it was just the opposite. Most elementary
          > > > teachers hold multi credentials. They could teach middle school
          > > > with no problem that is not saying that they want to. It was the
          > > > middle school teachers whom hold single credentials and would not be
          > > > fully credentialed to teach at the elementary level. I would love
          > > > to hear from teachers to verify if my recollection is correct.
          > > >
          > > > Sharon Wrote:
          > > > Also, there are 632 students at Portola (this figure is from Jan.
          > > > 2005). Are you going to send them all back to their elementary
          > > > schools
          > > > and fire the teachers who don't want to work in a K-8 because they
          > > > believe in middle schools?
          > > >
          > > > Jill Writes:
          > > > This was not the plan of the K8 committee. Staff directed us to
          > > > focus in on certain schools based on certain criteria. The idea of
          > > > K8 was to give more school choice and options in our district.
          > > >
          > > > Sharon Wrote:
          > > > K-8 is a desirable alternative for some parents but I think your plan
          > > > will disappoint as many people as it makes happy.
          > > >
          > > > Jill Writes:
          > > > I like what Jim wrote. I wanted to find out if it was fact or
          > > > opinion. What I keep stressing and this is opinion is that El
          > > > Cerrito, Hercules and Pinole have very strong public involvement.
          > > > They have parents and community members whom know how to make
          > > > changes and get what they want. WCCUSD cannot make everybody happy.
          > > >
          > > > My opinion on Portola is not very popular among many El Cerrito
          > > > residents, but I will post it anyway.
          > > > I grew up in Los Angles and endured many earthquakes. As a child I
          > > > went without water and electricity for 1 week in 1969. Our schools
          > > > and many public offices were closed. We listened to radio
          > > > broadcasts about possible evacuations due to a crack in one of the
          > > > dams. They were able to drain the dam, so it would not flood us.
          > > > I moved to the bay area in January of 1989 and was on the Bay Bridge
          > > > during the October 17, 1989 earthquake. I thought it was just a
          > > > Hiccup. I could not believe all the devastation done in just a
          > > > matter of seconds. I prey for all the children at Portola, that the
          > > > Hayward Fault does not blow at the time they are there. Our
          > > > district does not care about the children, they have known for years
          > > > about this danger.
          > > > They can sell the land, because the restrictions for housing are
          > > > different then schools. Many homes are built in the slide area and
          > > > families continue to buy the houses with full disclosure of the
          > > > hazards.
          > > > I feel it is unfair to the rest of the District to sink so much
          > > > money into El Cerrito High and Portola Middle School. When we talk
          > > > about Diversity, let's see how the El Cerrito population would feel
          > > > about sending their child to a Richmond or San Pablo school. While
          > > > some of us that live in Richmond or San Pablo are truly struggling
          > > > to survive. Some children go to sleep at night with out dinner,
          > > > they hear gunshots constantly, and many have been personally
          > > > affected by the violence and poverty that surrounds them.
          > > > We live in what many call the good part of San Pablo, but we have
          > > > been personally subject to many crimes. Gunshots were fired outside
          > > > my house many years ago. My son will not forget this and is
          > > > frightened every time he hears a bang. We have had 2 cars stolen
          > > > and our house was broken into. Many valuable electronics were
          > > > taken, including my son's.
          > > > *sigh* I have more to say, but rehashing some of these past
          > > > personal experiences, has put me off point.
          > > > So I will end here and hope you het the just of it and perhaps write
          > > > more later.
          > > >
          > > > Sincerely,
          > > >
          > > > Jill Wolkenfeld
          > > >
          > > > > Here are the feeder schools to Portola:
          > > > >
          > > > > Castro
          > > > > Fairmont
          > > > > Harding
          > > > > Kensington
          > > > > Madera
          > > > > Stege
          > > > > Washington
          > > > >
          > > > > From what I recall, not all of the parents at these schools even
          > > > WANT
          > > > > a K-8 and some teachers are adamant that they have no desire to
          > > > seek
          > > > > the additional qualifications needed to teach middle school age
          > > > children.
          > > > >
          > > > > Also, there are 632 students at Portola (this figure is from Jan.
          > > > > 2005). Are you going to send them all back to their elementary
          > > > schools
          > > > > and fire the teachers who don't want to work in a K-8 because they
          > > > > believe in middle schools?
          > > > >
          > > > > K-8 is a desirable alternative for some parents but I think your
          > > > plan
          > > > > will disappoint as many people as it makes happy.
          > > > >
          > > > > >
          > > > > > or... here's the idea of the century.....
          > > > > >
          > > > > > -convert the feeder schools to K8.
          > > > > > Sell the Portola site (at huge windfall $$$)
          > > > > > Spend a small portion of the money it would cost to
          > > > > > rebuild Portola on upgrading the feeder
          > > > > > elementaries for K8
          > > > > > Solve lots of problems at the same time!!!!
          > > > > >
          > > > > > Attention School Board:
          > > > > > 1. You have an aging middle school.
          > > > > > 2. The campus is unsafe.
          > > > > > 3. It's is likely the Division of State Architect
          > > > > > will never let you build there
          > > > > > 4. The solution is staring you in the face.
          > > > > >
          > > > > > No waiting. Save $100 - $200 million dollars. Let's
          > > > > > get K8 now.
          > > > > >
          > > > > > Jim Cowen
          > > > > > Olinda School Parent
          > > > > > Member of WCCUSD District K8 committee
          > > > > >
          > > > > >
          > > > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
        • Sharon J.
          I interpreted a no to uniforms message (at least in the schools where a majority of parents clearly don t want them) from his remarks at the last candidate
          Message 4 of 15 , Aug 27, 2006
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            I interpreted a "no to uniforms" message (at least in the schools
            where a majority of parents clearly don't want them) from his remarks
            at the last candidate forum but if you have him listed as being in
            support of uniforms, you are probably right.

            Per a previous poster's comment, it seems like the candidates are
            still working out their positions on some of these hot button issues.



            --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "Charley Cowens"
            <charley.cowens@...> wrote:
            >
            > Sharon-
            >
            > In a report on http://groups.yahoo.com/group/notouniforms/ from the
            > candidate forum at the El Cerrito Democratic Club, Antonio Medrano was
            > not listed as an opponent of mandatory district-wide school uniforms
            > yet you have him down on your list as an opponent. I'm just trying to
            > figure out where the candidates stand. When did Antonio say he was
            > opposed to the new uniform policy?
            >
            > Charley Cowens
          • Charley Cowens
            Sharon- I wasn t at the meeting, so I have to rely on people who did go. Maybe an official position list on this was premature. For now, I ll change him to a
            Message 5 of 15 , Aug 27, 2006
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              Sharon-

              I wasn't at the meeting, so I have to rely on people who did go. Maybe
              an official position list on this was premature. For now, I'll change
              him to a ?.

              Thanks,
              Charley Cowens

              On 8/27/06, Sharon J. <sj_jpm@...> wrote:
              > I interpreted a "no to uniforms" message (at least in the schools
              > where a majority of parents clearly don't want them) from his remarks
              > at the last candidate forum but if you have him listed as being in
              > support of uniforms, you are probably right.
              >
              > Per a previous poster's comment, it seems like the candidates are
              > still working out their positions on some of these hot button issues.
              >
              >
              >
              > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "Charley Cowens"
              > <charley.cowens@...> wrote:
              > >
              > > Sharon-
              > >
              > > In a report on http://groups.yahoo.com/group/notouniforms/ from the
              > > candidate forum at the El Cerrito Democratic Club, Antonio Medrano was
              > > not listed as an opponent of mandatory district-wide school uniforms
              > > yet you have him down on your list as an opponent. I'm just trying to
              > > figure out where the candidates stand. When did Antonio say he was
              > > opposed to the new uniform policy?
              > >
              > > Charley Cowens
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
            • sunsetjill
              School can t rebuild on same site see artical: http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/news/15479002.htm ... WANT ... seek ... be ... of ... plan ...
              Message 6 of 15 , Sep 9, 2006
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                School can't rebuild on same site see artical:

                http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/news/15479002.htm

                --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "sunsetjill" <sunsetjill@...>
                wrote:
                >
                > Sharon Wrote:
                > From what I recall, not all of the parents at these schools even
                WANT
                > a K-8 and some teachers are adamant that they have no desire to
                seek
                > the additional qualifications needed to teach middle school age
                > children.
                >
                > Jill Writes:
                > From what I recall it was just the opposite. Most elementary
                > teachers hold multi credentials. They could teach middle school
                > with no problem that is not saying that they want to. It was the
                > middle school teachers whom hold single credentials and would not
                be
                > fully credentialed to teach at the elementary level. I would love
                > to hear from teachers to verify if my recollection is correct.
                >
                > Sharon Wrote:
                > Also, there are 632 students at Portola (this figure is from Jan.
                > 2005). Are you going to send them all back to their elementary
                > schools
                > and fire the teachers who don't want to work in a K-8 because they
                > believe in middle schools?
                >
                > Jill Writes:
                > This was not the plan of the K8 committee. Staff directed us to
                > focus in on certain schools based on certain criteria. The idea
                of
                > K8 was to give more school choice and options in our district.
                >
                > Sharon Wrote:
                > K-8 is a desirable alternative for some parents but I think your
                plan
                > will disappoint as many people as it makes happy.
                >
                > Jill Writes:
                > I like what Jim wrote. I wanted to find out if it was fact or
                > opinion. What I keep stressing and this is opinion is that El
                > Cerrito, Hercules and Pinole have very strong public involvement.
                > They have parents and community members whom know how to make
                > changes and get what they want. WCCUSD cannot make everybody
                happy.
                >
                > My opinion on Portola is not very popular among many El Cerrito
                > residents, but I will post it anyway.
                > I grew up in Los Angles and endured many earthquakes. As a child
                I
                > went without water and electricity for 1 week in 1969. Our
                schools
                > and many public offices were closed. We listened to radio
                > broadcasts about possible evacuations due to a crack in one of the
                > dams. They were able to drain the dam, so it would not flood us.
                > I moved to the bay area in January of 1989 and was on the Bay
                Bridge
                > during the October 17, 1989 earthquake. I thought it was just a
                > Hiccup. I could not believe all the devastation done in just a
                > matter of seconds. I prey for all the children at Portola, that
                the
                > Hayward Fault does not blow at the time they are there. Our
                > district does not care about the children, they have known for
                years
                > about this danger.
                > They can sell the land, because the restrictions for housing are
                > different then schools. Many homes are built in the slide area
                and
                > families continue to buy the houses with full disclosure of the
                > hazards.
                > I feel it is unfair to the rest of the District to sink so much
                > money into El Cerrito High and Portola Middle School. When we
                talk
                > about Diversity, let's see how the El Cerrito population would
                feel
                > about sending their child to a Richmond or San Pablo school.
                While
                > some of us that live in Richmond or San Pablo are truly struggling
                > to survive. Some children go to sleep at night with out dinner,
                > they hear gunshots constantly, and many have been personally
                > affected by the violence and poverty that surrounds them.
                > We live in what many call the good part of San Pablo, but we have
                > been personally subject to many crimes. Gunshots were fired
                outside
                > my house many years ago. My son will not forget this and is
                > frightened every time he hears a bang. We have had 2 cars stolen
                > and our house was broken into. Many valuable electronics were
                > taken, including my son's.
                > *sigh* I have more to say, but rehashing some of these past
                > personal experiences, has put me off point.
                > So I will end here and hope you het the just of it and perhaps
                write
                > more later.
                >
                > Sincerely,
                >
                > Jill Wolkenfeld
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > > Here are the feeder schools to Portola:
                > >
                > > Castro
                > > Fairmont
                > > Harding
                > > Kensington
                > > Madera
                > > Stege
                > > Washington
                > >
                > > From what I recall, not all of the parents at these schools even
                > WANT
                > > a K-8 and some teachers are adamant that they have no desire to
                > seek
                > > the additional qualifications needed to teach middle school age
                > children.
                > >
                > > Also, there are 632 students at Portola (this figure is from Jan.
                > > 2005). Are you going to send them all back to their elementary
                > schools
                > > and fire the teachers who don't want to work in a K-8 because
                they
                > > believe in middle schools?
                > >
                > > K-8 is a desirable alternative for some parents but I think your
                > plan
                > > will disappoint as many people as it makes happy.
                > >
                > > >
                > > > or... here's the idea of the century.....
                > > >
                > > > -convert the feeder schools to K8.
                > > > Sell the Portola site (at huge windfall $$$)
                > > > Spend a small portion of the money it would cost to
                > > > rebuild Portola on upgrading the feeder
                > > > elementaries for K8
                > > > Solve lots of problems at the same time!!!!
                > > >
                > > > Attention School Board:
                > > > 1. You have an aging middle school.
                > > > 2. The campus is unsafe.
                > > > 3. It's is likely the Division of State Architect
                > > > will never let you build there
                > > > 4. The solution is staring you in the face.
                > > >
                > > > No waiting. Save $100 - $200 million dollars. Let's
                > > > get K8 now.
                > > >
                > > > Jim Cowen
                > > > Olinda School Parent
                > > > Member of WCCUSD District K8 committee
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > __________________________________________________
                > > > Do You Yahoo!?
                > > > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection
                around
                > > > http://mail.yahoo.com
                > > >
                > >
                >
              • Sharon J.
                This opens up a pandoras box but is also a wonderful opportunity to explore middle grade education options: WCCUSD could rebuild Portola on a different site.
                Message 7 of 15 , Sep 10, 2006
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                  This opens up a pandoras box but is also a wonderful opportunity to
                  explore middle grade education options:

                  WCCUSD could rebuild Portola on a different site. Both Castro and
                  Fairmont have yet to be rebuilt and their sites may be large enough to
                  accommodate a small to mid-size middle school.

                  And either one of these campuses could potentially be relocated to the
                  lower portion of the Portola site.

                  A smaller to mid-size middle school (350-500 students) would be
                  possible if some of the schools who have shown an interest in K-8
                  (Kensington, Harding, Washington, etc.) were allowed to convert.

                  I also like Kevin's idea of adding a 6th and/or 7th grade to
                  elementary schools and an 8th grade to El Cerrito High.

                  If the new middle school were built with a specific
                  focus/theme--music, college prep, language immersion--that would
                  potentially attract the kind of parents who are now somewhat reluctant
                  about enrolling.

                  Lots of possibilities here...


                  --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "sunsetjill" <sunsetjill@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > School can't rebuild on same site see artical:
                  >
                  > http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/news/15479002.htm
                  >
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