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Middle School relocation in El Cerrito

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  • Rebecca Hazlewood
    I have to say that when I recently read in the local paper that the idea of Harding becoming the middle school for El Cerrito was on the table I thought to
    Message 1 of 7 , Aug 9, 2007
      I have to say that when I recently read in the local paper that the idea of Harding becoming the middle school for El Cerrito was on the table I thought to myself, that is not a bad idea.

      My younger son went to Harding so I know the campus site well. I don't think it is any bigger than Fairmont. In fact the entire site might be smaller, but the location is perfect for a middle school. And, many of the problems attributed to Fairmont and Castro do not exist for Harding.

      Harding is already part of a high traffic area and has been since my son started there in the early 90's. Therefore traffic corridors are in place. It is accessible to BART and to ECHS as well. It has a nicely refurbished theatre, which could be used for a music and theatre program (as well as other enrichment).The library is really lovely and quite large. It has many classrooms that were designed for the K-3 CSR, and included in the refurbishment under the bond program, so I imagine that it could be re-configured for a middle school and its myriad class needs. And, as alluded to it has already been rehabbed under the bond program.

      What to do about P.E.? There are basketball courts and a baseball field and 2 tennis courts on the site. Perhaps other activities could be identified such as swimming at the EC Community Center last period, as a physical education activity. For those really physically active students maybe they could walk over to ECHS to take class.

      I think Harding has real promise as a potential site for the El Cerrito middle school.

      Rebecca Hazlewood


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • gregorychang
      Hi Rebecca, just wondering where did you see the article in regards to Harding? I dont remember seeing it in the WC Times but maybe I overlooked it? As an FYI,
      Message 2 of 7 , Aug 10, 2007
        Hi Rebecca, just wondering where did you see the article in regards
        to Harding? I dont remember seeing it in the WC Times but maybe I
        overlooked it?

        As an FYI, the topic of Harding as a potential middle school was
        briefly discussed in another email group. I also tend to think that
        the possibility should at least be considered. It's hard for us to
        know as parents how feasible it would actually be, so I would be
        interested to hear some expert opinion or analysis.

        The view from the other email group of someone who wants Harding to
        be considered:

        Here's why it's a great idea:

        1. timeliness: the kids could be re-located immediately
        2..it's near BART (65% of Portola students arrive from Richmond).
        3. it has tennis courts, a baseball diamond (I'm not sure if there's
        a soccer field)
        4. it has an auditorium (in addition to a MP room)
        5. there's probably space to build a gymnasium
        6. The district had been considering combining Harding and Fairmont
        7. The Alvarado site could be developed for Harding and/or Fairmont


        And the response of a Harding parent:

        If Harding had been selected previous to getting a $14 million 3-year
        re-build/renovation, it might have been a good location for the new
        middle school. There could have been some nice synergy between ECHS
        and a new middle school.

        Unfortunately, the paint is just drying on a brand new elementary
        school--it was completed a few months ago. In fact, they are still
        working on enclosing an interior breezeway with new windows.

        -The brand new cafeteria seats 300 students and it would be difficult
        to modify it for 600+ students.
        -There are 2 brand new playgrounds--an upper playground for
        kindergarten students and a lower play structure for primary and
        upper elementary students.
        -The kindergarten playyard has a cavelike climbing structure that can
        only be moved using a crane.
        -There are 2 brand new kindergarten classrooms with bathrooms built
        in.
        -The tennis courts and softball field are on city-owned land so the
        district would need to purchase that land or lease it from the city.
        -The city recently purchased and installed a brand new play structure
        for young children for the on-site after care program--Harding Park.

        It would be the equivalent of remodeling your 2-bedroom house and
        then deciding to go right back in once the paint is dry and renovate
        it again. I doubt the taxpayers would appreciate having their bond
        money used for this purpose.

        Thus, I think the district is more likely to look at elementary
        school sites that have not yet been renovated and/or ECHS which is
        currently under construction.

        Finally, Alvarado is seismically unsound and a difficult site to
        develop given it's proximity to the freeway. That's why Fairmont
        parents were understandably concerned about being re-located to that
        site.





        --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Rebecca Hazlewood <hrebwrite@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > I have to say that when I recently read in the local paper that the
        idea of Harding becoming the middle school for El Cerrito was on the
        table I thought to myself, that is not a bad idea.
        >
        > My younger son went to Harding so I know the campus site well. I
        don't think it is any bigger than Fairmont. In fact the entire site
        might be smaller, but the location is perfect for a middle school.
        And, many of the problems attributed to Fairmont and Castro do not
        exist for Harding.
        >
        > Harding is already part of a high traffic area and has been since
        my son started there in the early 90's. Therefore traffic corridors
        are in place. It is accessible to BART and to ECHS as well. It has a
        nicely refurbished theatre, which could be used for a music and
        theatre program (as well as other enrichment).The library is really
        lovely and quite large. It has many classrooms that were designed
        for the K-3 CSR, and included in the refurbishment under the bond
        program, so I imagine that it could be re-configured for a middle
        school and its myriad class needs. And, as alluded to it has already
        been rehabbed under the bond program.
        >
        > What to do about P.E.? There are basketball courts and a baseball
        field and 2 tennis courts on the site. Perhaps other activities could
        be identified such as swimming at the EC Community Center last
        period, as a physical education activity. For those really physically
        active students maybe they could walk over to ECHS to take class.
        >
        > I think Harding has real promise as a potential site for the El
        Cerrito middle school.
        >
        > Rebecca Hazlewood
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
      • rebecca494
        Hi Greg, The article was in the Contra Costa Times, District sets criteria for El Cerrito Middle School. July 26, 2007. One point: middle school has two
        Message 3 of 7 , Aug 12, 2007
          Hi Greg, The article was in the Contra Costa Times, "District sets
          criteria for El Cerrito Middle School." July 26, 2007.

          One point: middle school has two lunch periods so if the cafeteria
          seats 300 then this is perfect. 300 at each lunch period.

          I saw that article that for the first time (to my knowledge) said
          Harding is in the hopper for consideration and I thought, yes, that is
          a very good idea (Harding possibly becoming the Middle School). Now
          the Board is doing it right. (end of my thought).

          I think the elementary parents need to start looking ahead to when
          their child is going to be in middle school. Where do they want the
          middle school to be located? just saying not in my elementary school
          (NIMES) is not sufficient to solve the problem. Also my understanding
          is, and Charley please correct me if I am wrong, that several of the
          elementary schools in El Cerrito are under enrolled. I don't see the
          point in building still yet another school if that is the case. In
          fact I think it would be downright fiscally unsound and a waste of
          bond money.

          Rebecca






          --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "gregorychang" <gregorychang@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > Hi Rebecca, just wondering where did you see the article in regards
          > to Harding? I dont remember seeing it in the WC Times but maybe I
          > overlooked it?
          >
          > As an FYI, the topic of Harding as a potential middle school was
          > briefly discussed in another email group. I also tend to think that
          > the possibility should at least be considered. It's hard for us to
          > know as parents how feasible it would actually be, so I would be
          > interested to hear some expert opinion or analysis.
          >
          > The view from the other email group of someone who wants Harding to
          > be considered:
          >
          > Here's why it's a great idea:
          >
          > 1. timeliness: the kids could be re-located immediately
          > 2..it's near BART (65% of Portola students arrive from Richmond).
          > 3. it has tennis courts, a baseball diamond (I'm not sure if there's
          > a soccer field)
          > 4. it has an auditorium (in addition to a MP room)
          > 5. there's probably space to build a gymnasium
          > 6. The district had been considering combining Harding and Fairmont
          > 7. The Alvarado site could be developed for Harding and/or Fairmont
          >
          >
          > And the response of a Harding parent:
          >
          > If Harding had been selected previous to getting a $14 million 3-year
          > re-build/renovation, it might have been a good location for the new
          > middle school. There could have been some nice synergy between ECHS
          > and a new middle school.
          >
          > Unfortunately, the paint is just drying on a brand new elementary
          > school--it was completed a few months ago. In fact, they are still
          > working on enclosing an interior breezeway with new windows.
          >
          > -The brand new cafeteria seats 300 students and it would be difficult
          > to modify it for 600+ students.
          > -There are 2 brand new playgrounds--an upper playground for
          > kindergarten students and a lower play structure for primary and
          > upper elementary students.
          > -The kindergarten playyard has a cavelike climbing structure that can
          > only be moved using a crane.
          > -There are 2 brand new kindergarten classrooms with bathrooms built
          > in.
          > -The tennis courts and softball field are on city-owned land so the
          > district would need to purchase that land or lease it from the city.
          > -The city recently purchased and installed a brand new play structure
          > for young children for the on-site after care program--Harding Park.
          >
          > It would be the equivalent of remodeling your 2-bedroom house and
          > then deciding to go right back in once the paint is dry and renovate
          > it again. I doubt the taxpayers would appreciate having their bond
          > money used for this purpose.
          >
          > Thus, I think the district is more likely to look at elementary
          > school sites that have not yet been renovated and/or ECHS which is
          > currently under construction.
          >
          > Finally, Alvarado is seismically unsound and a difficult site to
          > develop given it's proximity to the freeway. That's why Fairmont
          > parents were understandably concerned about being re-located to that
          > site.
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Rebecca Hazlewood <hrebwrite@>
          > wrote:
          > >
          > > I have to say that when I recently read in the local paper that the
          > idea of Harding becoming the middle school for El Cerrito was on the
          > table I thought to myself, that is not a bad idea.
          > >
          > > My younger son went to Harding so I know the campus site well. I
          > don't think it is any bigger than Fairmont. In fact the entire site
          > might be smaller, but the location is perfect for a middle school.
          > And, many of the problems attributed to Fairmont and Castro do not
          > exist for Harding.
          > >
          > > Harding is already part of a high traffic area and has been since
          > my son started there in the early 90's. Therefore traffic corridors
          > are in place. It is accessible to BART and to ECHS as well. It has a
          > nicely refurbished theatre, which could be used for a music and
          > theatre program (as well as other enrichment).The library is really
          > lovely and quite large. It has many classrooms that were designed
          > for the K-3 CSR, and included in the refurbishment under the bond
          > program, so I imagine that it could be re-configured for a middle
          > school and its myriad class needs. And, as alluded to it has already
          > been rehabbed under the bond program.
          > >
          > > What to do about P.E.? There are basketball courts and a baseball
          > field and 2 tennis courts on the site. Perhaps other activities could
          > be identified such as swimming at the EC Community Center last
          > period, as a physical education activity. For those really physically
          > active students maybe they could walk over to ECHS to take class.
          > >
          > > I think Harding has real promise as a potential site for the El
          > Cerrito middle school.
          > >
          > > Rebecca Hazlewood
          > >
          > >
          > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          > >
          >
        • sunsetjill
          Thank you Rebecca! I found the link with the title. It is http://www.mercurynews.com/breakingnews/ci_6470395 I would also like to agree with you when you
          Message 4 of 7 , Aug 12, 2007
            Thank you Rebecca! I found the link with the title. It is
            http://www.mercurynews.com/breakingnews/ci_6470395
            I would also like to agree with you when you stated "I don't see the
            point in building still yet another school if that is the case. In
            fact I think it would be downright fiscally unsound and a waste of
            bond money."

            Jill Wolkenfeld


            --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "rebecca494" <hrebwrite@...>
            wrote:
            >
            >
            > Hi Greg, The article was in the Contra Costa Times, "District sets
            > criteria for El Cerrito Middle School." July 26, 2007.
            >
            > One point: middle school has two lunch periods so if the cafeteria
            > seats 300 then this is perfect. 300 at each lunch period.
            >
            > I saw that article that for the first time (to my knowledge) said
            > Harding is in the hopper for consideration and I thought, yes,
            that is
            > a very good idea (Harding possibly becoming the Middle School). Now
            > the Board is doing it right. (end of my thought).
            >
            > I think the elementary parents need to start looking ahead to when
            > their child is going to be in middle school. Where do they want the
            > middle school to be located? just saying not in my elementary
            school
            > (NIMES) is not sufficient to solve the problem. Also my
            understanding
            > is, and Charley please correct me if I am wrong, that several of
            the
            > elementary schools in El Cerrito are under enrolled. I don't see
            the
            > point in building still yet another school if that is the case. In
            > fact I think it would be downright fiscally unsound and a waste of
            > bond money.
            >
            > Rebecca
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "gregorychang" <gregorychang@>
            > wrote:
            > >
            > > Hi Rebecca, just wondering where did you see the article in
            regards
            > > to Harding? I dont remember seeing it in the WC Times but maybe
            I
            > > overlooked it?
            > >
            > > As an FYI, the topic of Harding as a potential middle school was
            > > briefly discussed in another email group. I also tend to think
            that
            > > the possibility should at least be considered. It's hard for us
            to
            > > know as parents how feasible it would actually be, so I would be
            > > interested to hear some expert opinion or analysis.
            > >
            > > The view from the other email group of someone who wants Harding
            to
            > > be considered:
            > >
            > > Here's why it's a great idea:
            > >
            > > 1. timeliness: the kids could be re-located immediately
            > > 2..it's near BART (65% of Portola students arrive from Richmond).
            > > 3. it has tennis courts, a baseball diamond (I'm not sure if
            there's
            > > a soccer field)
            > > 4. it has an auditorium (in addition to a MP room)
            > > 5. there's probably space to build a gymnasium
            > > 6. The district had been considering combining Harding and
            Fairmont
            > > 7. The Alvarado site could be developed for Harding and/or
            Fairmont
            > >
            > >
            > > And the response of a Harding parent:
            > >
            > > If Harding had been selected previous to getting a $14 million 3-
            year
            > > re-build/renovation, it might have been a good location for the
            new
            > > middle school. There could have been some nice synergy between
            ECHS
            > > and a new middle school.
            > >
            > > Unfortunately, the paint is just drying on a brand new
            elementary
            > > school--it was completed a few months ago. In fact, they are
            still
            > > working on enclosing an interior breezeway with new windows.
            > >
            > > -The brand new cafeteria seats 300 students and it would be
            difficult
            > > to modify it for 600+ students.
            > > -There are 2 brand new playgrounds--an upper playground for
            > > kindergarten students and a lower play structure for primary and
            > > upper elementary students.
            > > -The kindergarten playyard has a cavelike climbing structure
            that can
            > > only be moved using a crane.
            > > -There are 2 brand new kindergarten classrooms with bathrooms
            built
            > > in.
            > > -The tennis courts and softball field are on city-owned land so
            the
            > > district would need to purchase that land or lease it from the
            city.
            > > -The city recently purchased and installed a brand new play
            structure
            > > for young children for the on-site after care program--Harding
            Park.
            > >
            > > It would be the equivalent of remodeling your 2-bedroom house
            and
            > > then deciding to go right back in once the paint is dry and
            renovate
            > > it again. I doubt the taxpayers would appreciate having their
            bond
            > > money used for this purpose.
            > >
            > > Thus, I think the district is more likely to look at elementary
            > > school sites that have not yet been renovated and/or ECHS which
            is
            > > currently under construction.
            > >
            > > Finally, Alvarado is seismically unsound and a difficult site to
            > > develop given it's proximity to the freeway. That's why Fairmont
            > > parents were understandably concerned about being re-located to
            that
            > > site.
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Rebecca Hazlewood
            <hrebwrite@>
            > > wrote:
            > > >
            > > > I have to say that when I recently read in the local paper
            that the
            > > idea of Harding becoming the middle school for El Cerrito was on
            the
            > > table I thought to myself, that is not a bad idea.
            > > >
            > > > My younger son went to Harding so I know the campus site well.
            I
            > > don't think it is any bigger than Fairmont. In fact the entire
            site
            > > might be smaller, but the location is perfect for a middle
            school.
            > > And, many of the problems attributed to Fairmont and Castro do
            not
            > > exist for Harding.
            > > >
            > > > Harding is already part of a high traffic area and has been
            since
            > > my son started there in the early 90's. Therefore traffic
            corridors
            > > are in place. It is accessible to BART and to ECHS as well. It
            has a
            > > nicely refurbished theatre, which could be used for a music and
            > > theatre program (as well as other enrichment).The library is
            really
            > > lovely and quite large. It has many classrooms that were
            designed
            > > for the K-3 CSR, and included in the refurbishment under the
            bond
            > > program, so I imagine that it could be re-configured for a
            middle
            > > school and its myriad class needs. And, as alluded to it has
            already
            > > been rehabbed under the bond program.
            > > >
            > > > What to do about P.E.? There are basketball courts and a
            baseball
            > > field and 2 tennis courts on the site. Perhaps other activities
            could
            > > be identified such as swimming at the EC Community Center last
            > > period, as a physical education activity. For those really
            physically
            > > active students maybe they could walk over to ECHS to take class.
            > > >
            > > > I think Harding has real promise as a potential site for the
            El
            > > Cerrito middle school.
            > > >
            > > > Rebecca Hazlewood
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            > > >
            > >
            >
          • Charley Cowens
            Rebecca- underenrolled ? What does that really mean...really? By the figures given in the MGT audit these Portola feeder schools are underenrolled (in
            Message 5 of 7 , Aug 12, 2007
              Rebecca-

              "underenrolled"? What does that really mean...really? By the figures given
              in the MGT audit these Portola feeder schools are underenrolled (in
              percentage order, most to least, from the district average of 79%):

              Stege 58%
              Castro 69%
              Fairmont 71%
              Harding 73%
              Kensington 76%

              These are the "underenrolled" school below a 100%, but above average:

              Madera 87%
              Washington 93%

              By the way, Portola's numbers are:1,140 full, 607 actual, 53%
              "underenrolled". My older daughter was there when it was 1,050. It may have
              been closer to "full enrollment", but it wasn't pretty.

              Also, I spot checked Stewart because it seemed too low for actual
              enrollment. MGT says 282 for enrollment. 2005-2006
              http://www.ed-data.k12.ca.us says 485. Hmmmm...

              Source: Exhibit 6.4:
              http://www.wccusd.k12.ca.us/superintendent/PDF/0607/mgt_report.pdf

              Charley Cowens

              On 8/12/07, rebecca494 <hrebwrite@...> wrote:



              > Hi Greg, The article was in the Contra Costa Times, "District sets
              > criteria for El Cerrito Middle School." July 26, 2007.
              >
              > One point: middle school has two lunch periods so if the cafeteria
              > seats 300 then this is perfect. 300 at each lunch period.
              >
              > I saw that article that for the first time (to my knowledge) said
              > Harding is in the hopper for consideration and I thought, yes, that is
              > a very good idea (Harding possibly becoming the Middle School). Now
              > the Board is doing it right. (end of my thought).
              >
              > I think the elementary parents need to start looking ahead to when
              > their child is going to be in middle school. Where do they want the
              > middle school to be located? just saying not in my elementary school
              > (NIMES) is not sufficient to solve the problem. Also my understanding
              > is, and Charley please correct me if I am wrong, that several of the
              > elementary schools in El Cerrito are under enrolled. I don't see the
              > point in building still yet another school if that is the case. In
              > fact I think it would be downright fiscally unsound and a waste of
              > bond money.
              >
              > Rebecca
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "gregorychang" <gregorychang@...>
              > wrote:
              > >
              > > Hi Rebecca, just wondering where did you see the article in regards
              > > to Harding? I dont remember seeing it in the WC Times but maybe I
              > > overlooked it?
              > >
              > > As an FYI, the topic of Harding as a potential middle school was
              > > briefly discussed in another email group. I also tend to think that
              > > the possibility should at least be considered. It's hard for us to
              > > know as parents how feasible it would actually be, so I would be
              > > interested to hear some expert opinion or analysis.
              > >
              > > The view from the other email group of someone who wants Harding to
              > > be considered:
              > >
              > > Here's why it's a great idea:
              > >
              > > 1. timeliness: the kids could be re-located immediately
              > > 2..it's near BART (65% of Portola students arrive from Richmond).
              > > 3. it has tennis courts, a baseball diamond (I'm not sure if there's
              > > a soccer field)
              > > 4. it has an auditorium (in addition to a MP room)
              > > 5. there's probably space to build a gymnasium
              > > 6. The district had been considering combining Harding and Fairmont
              > > 7. The Alvarado site could be developed for Harding and/or Fairmont
              > >
              > >
              > > And the response of a Harding parent:
              > >
              > > If Harding had been selected previous to getting a $14 million 3-year
              > > re-build/renovation, it might have been a good location for the new
              > > middle school. There could have been some nice synergy between ECHS
              > > and a new middle school.
              > >
              > > Unfortunately, the paint is just drying on a brand new elementary
              > > school--it was completed a few months ago. In fact, they are still
              > > working on enclosing an interior breezeway with new windows.
              > >
              > > -The brand new cafeteria seats 300 students and it would be difficult
              > > to modify it for 600+ students.
              > > -There are 2 brand new playgrounds--an upper playground for
              > > kindergarten students and a lower play structure for primary and
              > > upper elementary students.
              > > -The kindergarten playyard has a cavelike climbing structure that can
              > > only be moved using a crane.
              > > -There are 2 brand new kindergarten classrooms with bathrooms built
              > > in.
              > > -The tennis courts and softball field are on city-owned land so the
              > > district would need to purchase that land or lease it from the city.
              > > -The city recently purchased and installed a brand new play structure
              > > for young children for the on-site after care program--Harding Park.
              > >
              > > It would be the equivalent of remodeling your 2-bedroom house and
              > > then deciding to go right back in once the paint is dry and renovate
              > > it again. I doubt the taxpayers would appreciate having their bond
              > > money used for this purpose.
              > >
              > > Thus, I think the district is more likely to look at elementary
              > > school sites that have not yet been renovated and/or ECHS which is
              > > currently under construction.
              > >
              > > Finally, Alvarado is seismically unsound and a difficult site to
              > > develop given it's proximity to the freeway. That's why Fairmont
              > > parents were understandably concerned about being re-located to that
              > > site.
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Rebecca Hazlewood <hrebwrite@>
              > > wrote:
              > > >
              > > > I have to say that when I recently read in the local paper that the
              > > idea of Harding becoming the middle school for El Cerrito was on the
              > > table I thought to myself, that is not a bad idea.
              > > >
              > > > My younger son went to Harding so I know the campus site well. I
              > > don't think it is any bigger than Fairmont. In fact the entire site
              > > might be smaller, but the location is perfect for a middle school.
              > > And, many of the problems attributed to Fairmont and Castro do not
              > > exist for Harding.
              > > >
              > > > Harding is already part of a high traffic area and has been since
              > > my son started there in the early 90's. Therefore traffic corridors
              > > are in place. It is accessible to BART and to ECHS as well. It has a
              > > nicely refurbished theatre, which could be used for a music and
              > > theatre program (as well as other enrichment).The library is really
              > > lovely and quite large. It has many classrooms that were designed
              > > for the K-3 CSR, and included in the refurbishment under the bond
              > > program, so I imagine that it could be re-configured for a middle
              > > school and its myriad class needs. And, as alluded to it has already
              > > been rehabbed under the bond program.
              > > >
              > > > What to do about P.E.? There are basketball courts and a baseball
              > > field and 2 tennis courts on the site. Perhaps other activities could
              > > be identified such as swimming at the EC Community Center last
              > > period, as a physical education activity. For those really physically
              > > active students maybe they could walk over to ECHS to take class.
              > > >
              > > > I think Harding has real promise as a potential site for the El
              > > Cerrito middle school.
              > > >
              > > > Rebecca Hazlewood
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              > > >
              > >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
              >
              >
              >


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • rebecca494
              Jill, my intelligence says that Kensington Hill Top and Fairmont are under enrolled. I have heard nothing about Madera or Castro. All the problems mentioned by
              Message 6 of 7 , Aug 12, 2007
                Jill, my intelligence says that Kensington Hill Top and Fairmont are
                under enrolled. I have heard nothing about Madera or Castro.

                All the problems mentioned by the Harding parent, at the end of Greg's
                posting are easily handled. The most difficult would be building a
                gym. Getting rid of all those climbing structures seems to me to be of
                no consequence. 2 bathrooms in the Kindergarten area. Yeah!! Open
                them up. Bathrooms and the public schools are a topic with which I am
                very familiar. Not enough and those there are are not kept clean. Back
                to the climbing structure problem I remember when the school district
                removed a climbing structure at Harding because a politically
                enfranchised person wanted a different one. No problem. When they want
                to do something they do it. Forgot to mention in my previous posting
                the Volley Ball court. Was that gotten rid of in favor of all these
                climbing structures??? That was always one of my main gripes about
                these elementary schools the way they went for recreational
                opportunities for K-3 and really gave the short shrift to the 4-6th
                graders. I wouldn't be surprised if they got rid of the volley ball
                court on the Harding Blacktop.

                I know there are areas of this school district that want and need bond
                money. I think El Cerrito has gotten its fair share and should start
                using some basic planning (and common sense)to bring forward a
                functional school system. We don't need 5 elementary schools, but we
                do need a middle school.
                Rebecca




                --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "sunsetjill" <sunsetjill@...> wrote:
                >
                > Thank you Rebecca! I found the link with the title. It is
                > http://www.mercurynews.com/breakingnews/ci_6470395
                > I would also like to agree with you when you stated "I don't see the
                > point in building still yet another school if that is the case. In
                > fact I think it would be downright fiscally unsound and a waste of
                > bond money."
                >
                > Jill Wolkenfeld
                >
                >
                > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "rebecca494" <hrebwrite@>
                > wrote:
                > >
                > >
                > > Hi Greg, The article was in the Contra Costa Times, "District sets
                > > criteria for El Cerrito Middle School." July 26, 2007.
                > >
                > > One point: middle school has two lunch periods so if the cafeteria
                > > seats 300 then this is perfect. 300 at each lunch period.
                > >
                > > I saw that article that for the first time (to my knowledge) said
                > > Harding is in the hopper for consideration and I thought, yes,
                > that is
                > > a very good idea (Harding possibly becoming the Middle School). Now
                > > the Board is doing it right. (end of my thought).
                > >
                > > I think the elementary parents need to start looking ahead to when
                > > their child is going to be in middle school. Where do they want the
                > > middle school to be located? just saying not in my elementary
                > school
                > > (NIMES) is not sufficient to solve the problem. Also my
                > understanding
                > > is, and Charley please correct me if I am wrong, that several of
                > the
                > > elementary schools in El Cerrito are under enrolled. I don't see
                > the
                > > point in building still yet another school if that is the case. In
                > > fact I think it would be downright fiscally unsound and a waste of
                > > bond money.
                > >
                > > Rebecca
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "gregorychang" <gregorychang@>
                > > wrote:
                > > >
                > > > Hi Rebecca, just wondering where did you see the article in
                > regards
                > > > to Harding? I dont remember seeing it in the WC Times but maybe
                > I
                > > > overlooked it?
                > > >
                > > > As an FYI, the topic of Harding as a potential middle school was
                > > > briefly discussed in another email group. I also tend to think
                > that
                > > > the possibility should at least be considered. It's hard for us
                > to
                > > > know as parents how feasible it would actually be, so I would be
                > > > interested to hear some expert opinion or analysis.
                > > >
                > > > The view from the other email group of someone who wants Harding
                > to
                > > > be considered:
                > > >
                > > > Here's why it's a great idea:
                > > >
                > > > 1. timeliness: the kids could be re-located immediately
                > > > 2..it's near BART (65% of Portola students arrive from Richmond).
                > > > 3. it has tennis courts, a baseball diamond (I'm not sure if
                > there's
                > > > a soccer field)
                > > > 4. it has an auditorium (in addition to a MP room)
                > > > 5. there's probably space to build a gymnasium
                > > > 6. The district had been considering combining Harding and
                > Fairmont
                > > > 7. The Alvarado site could be developed for Harding and/or
                > Fairmont
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > And the response of a Harding parent:
                > > >
                > > > If Harding had been selected previous to getting a $14 million 3-
                > year
                > > > re-build/renovation, it might have been a good location for the
                > new
                > > > middle school. There could have been some nice synergy between
                > ECHS
                > > > and a new middle school.
                > > >
                > > > Unfortunately, the paint is just drying on a brand new
                > elementary
                > > > school--it was completed a few months ago. In fact, they are
                > still
                > > > working on enclosing an interior breezeway with new windows.
                > > >
                > > > -The brand new cafeteria seats 300 students and it would be
                > difficult
                > > > to modify it for 600+ students.
                > > > -There are 2 brand new playgrounds--an upper playground for
                > > > kindergarten students and a lower play structure for primary and
                > > > upper elementary students.
                > > > -The kindergarten playyard has a cavelike climbing structure
                > that can
                > > > only be moved using a crane.
                > > > -There are 2 brand new kindergarten classrooms with bathrooms
                > built
                > > > in.
                > > > -The tennis courts and softball field are on city-owned land so
                > the
                > > > district would need to purchase that land or lease it from the
                > city.
                > > > -The city recently purchased and installed a brand new play
                > structure
                > > > for young children for the on-site after care program--Harding
                > Park.
                > > >
                > > > It would be the equivalent of remodeling your 2-bedroom house
                > and
                > > > then deciding to go right back in once the paint is dry and
                > renovate
                > > > it again. I doubt the taxpayers would appreciate having their
                > bond
                > > > money used for this purpose.
                > > >
                > > > Thus, I think the district is more likely to look at elementary
                > > > school sites that have not yet been renovated and/or ECHS which
                > is
                > > > currently under construction.
                > > >
                > > > Finally, Alvarado is seismically unsound and a difficult site to
                > > > develop given it's proximity to the freeway. That's why Fairmont
                > > > parents were understandably concerned about being re-located to
                > that
                > > > site.
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Rebecca Hazlewood
                > <hrebwrite@>
                > > > wrote:
                > > > >
                > > > > I have to say that when I recently read in the local paper
                > that the
                > > > idea of Harding becoming the middle school for El Cerrito was on
                > the
                > > > table I thought to myself, that is not a bad idea.
                > > > >
                > > > > My younger son went to Harding so I know the campus site well.
                > I
                > > > don't think it is any bigger than Fairmont. In fact the entire
                > site
                > > > might be smaller, but the location is perfect for a middle
                > school.
                > > > And, many of the problems attributed to Fairmont and Castro do
                > not
                > > > exist for Harding.
                > > > >
                > > > > Harding is already part of a high traffic area and has been
                > since
                > > > my son started there in the early 90's. Therefore traffic
                > corridors
                > > > are in place. It is accessible to BART and to ECHS as well. It
                > has a
                > > > nicely refurbished theatre, which could be used for a music and
                > > > theatre program (as well as other enrichment).The library is
                > really
                > > > lovely and quite large. It has many classrooms that were
                > designed
                > > > for the K-3 CSR, and included in the refurbishment under the
                > bond
                > > > program, so I imagine that it could be re-configured for a
                > middle
                > > > school and its myriad class needs. And, as alluded to it has
                > already
                > > > been rehabbed under the bond program.
                > > > >
                > > > > What to do about P.E.? There are basketball courts and a
                > baseball
                > > > field and 2 tennis courts on the site. Perhaps other activities
                > could
                > > > be identified such as swimming at the EC Community Center last
                > > > period, as a physical education activity. For those really
                > physically
                > > > active students maybe they could walk over to ECHS to take class.
                > > > >
                > > > > I think Harding has real promise as a potential site for the
                > El
                > > > Cerrito middle school.
                > > > >
                > > > > Rebecca Hazlewood
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                > > > >
                > > >
                > >
                >
              • rebecca494
                Charley, you never disappoint. Please tell me. That is why I referred to you. From what you have posted below it sounds like all the El Cerrito elementary
                Message 7 of 7 , Aug 12, 2007
                  Charley, you never disappoint. Please tell me. That is why I referred
                  to you. From what you have posted below it sounds like all the El
                  Cerrito elementary feeder schools are under enrolled.

                  I do not know the goal for the new middle school, but the figure I
                  have seen tossed about is 600. When my son's were at Portola the
                  numbers were around 900 - 1000. As to whether it was pretty or not,
                  when Mike was there with Abe Gonzalez and then Marcia Hataye as
                  principle it was pretty; but when Dr. Johnston took over (and Nick was
                  there) it was not pretty. And, Dr. Johnston's admin is all you saw.
                  Her administration was so disadvantageous to education that the
                  difference was startling. But her administration was the beginning of
                  the test age (so she is not entirely to blame she was reflecting a new
                  philosophy). When my son Mike attended these schools, the testing
                  thing had not started. So that is a factor. Mike could go to a school
                  with 1000 students where he was part of a single digit white minority
                  and do well and take a variety of classes. Nick was part of what your
                  children experienced.

                  Maybe it is important to have only 600 in the middle school because of
                  all this testing stuff. But also, if all the elementary schools
                  aren't enrolled to capacity that needs to be taken into account.

                  Bottom line Charley is that for stats to mean anything they have to be
                  connected to some outside facts or context.

                  Best always, Rebecca

                  --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "Charley Cowens"
                  <charley.cowens@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Rebecca-
                  >
                  > "underenrolled"? What does that really mean...really? By the figures
                  given
                  > in the MGT audit these Portola feeder schools are underenrolled (in
                  > percentage order, most to least, from the district average of 79%):
                  >
                  > Stege 58%
                  > Castro 69%
                  > Fairmont 71%
                  > Harding 73%
                  > Kensington 76%
                  >
                  > These are the "underenrolled" school below a 100%, but above average:
                  >
                  > Madera 87%
                  > Washington 93%
                  >
                  > By the way, Portola's numbers are:1,140 full, 607 actual, 53%
                  > "underenrolled". My older daughter was there when it was 1,050. It
                  may have
                  > been closer to "full enrollment", but it wasn't pretty.
                  >
                  > Also, I spot checked Stewart because it seemed too low for actual
                  > enrollment. MGT says 282 for enrollment. 2005-2006
                  > http://www.ed-data.k12.ca.us says 485. Hmmmm...
                  >
                  > Source: Exhibit 6.4:
                  > http://www.wccusd.k12.ca.us/superintendent/PDF/0607/mgt_report.pdf
                  >
                  > Charley Cowens
                  >
                  > On 8/12/07, rebecca494 <hrebwrite@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > > Hi Greg, The article was in the Contra Costa Times, "District sets
                  > > criteria for El Cerrito Middle School." July 26, 2007.
                  > >
                  > > One point: middle school has two lunch periods so if the cafeteria
                  > > seats 300 then this is perfect. 300 at each lunch period.
                  > >
                  > > I saw that article that for the first time (to my knowledge) said
                  > > Harding is in the hopper for consideration and I thought, yes, that is
                  > > a very good idea (Harding possibly becoming the Middle School). Now
                  > > the Board is doing it right. (end of my thought).
                  > >
                  > > I think the elementary parents need to start looking ahead to when
                  > > their child is going to be in middle school. Where do they want the
                  > > middle school to be located? just saying not in my elementary school
                  > > (NIMES) is not sufficient to solve the problem. Also my understanding
                  > > is, and Charley please correct me if I am wrong, that several of the
                  > > elementary schools in El Cerrito are under enrolled. I don't see the
                  > > point in building still yet another school if that is the case. In
                  > > fact I think it would be downright fiscally unsound and a waste of
                  > > bond money.
                  > >
                  > > Rebecca
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "gregorychang" <gregorychang@>
                  > > wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > > Hi Rebecca, just wondering where did you see the article in regards
                  > > > to Harding? I dont remember seeing it in the WC Times but maybe I
                  > > > overlooked it?
                  > > >
                  > > > As an FYI, the topic of Harding as a potential middle school was
                  > > > briefly discussed in another email group. I also tend to think that
                  > > > the possibility should at least be considered. It's hard for us to
                  > > > know as parents how feasible it would actually be, so I would be
                  > > > interested to hear some expert opinion or analysis.
                  > > >
                  > > > The view from the other email group of someone who wants Harding to
                  > > > be considered:
                  > > >
                  > > > Here's why it's a great idea:
                  > > >
                  > > > 1. timeliness: the kids could be re-located immediately
                  > > > 2..it's near BART (65% of Portola students arrive from Richmond).
                  > > > 3. it has tennis courts, a baseball diamond (I'm not sure if there's
                  > > > a soccer field)
                  > > > 4. it has an auditorium (in addition to a MP room)
                  > > > 5. there's probably space to build a gymnasium
                  > > > 6. The district had been considering combining Harding and Fairmont
                  > > > 7. The Alvarado site could be developed for Harding and/or Fairmont
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > > And the response of a Harding parent:
                  > > >
                  > > > If Harding had been selected previous to getting a $14 million
                  3-year
                  > > > re-build/renovation, it might have been a good location for the new
                  > > > middle school. There could have been some nice synergy between ECHS
                  > > > and a new middle school.
                  > > >
                  > > > Unfortunately, the paint is just drying on a brand new elementary
                  > > > school--it was completed a few months ago. In fact, they are still
                  > > > working on enclosing an interior breezeway with new windows.
                  > > >
                  > > > -The brand new cafeteria seats 300 students and it would be
                  difficult
                  > > > to modify it for 600+ students.
                  > > > -There are 2 brand new playgrounds--an upper playground for
                  > > > kindergarten students and a lower play structure for primary and
                  > > > upper elementary students.
                  > > > -The kindergarten playyard has a cavelike climbing structure
                  that can
                  > > > only be moved using a crane.
                  > > > -There are 2 brand new kindergarten classrooms with bathrooms built
                  > > > in.
                  > > > -The tennis courts and softball field are on city-owned land so the
                  > > > district would need to purchase that land or lease it from the city.
                  > > > -The city recently purchased and installed a brand new play
                  structure
                  > > > for young children for the on-site after care program--Harding Park.
                  > > >
                  > > > It would be the equivalent of remodeling your 2-bedroom house and
                  > > > then deciding to go right back in once the paint is dry and renovate
                  > > > it again. I doubt the taxpayers would appreciate having their bond
                  > > > money used for this purpose.
                  > > >
                  > > > Thus, I think the district is more likely to look at elementary
                  > > > school sites that have not yet been renovated and/or ECHS which is
                  > > > currently under construction.
                  > > >
                  > > > Finally, Alvarado is seismically unsound and a difficult site to
                  > > > develop given it's proximity to the freeway. That's why Fairmont
                  > > > parents were understandably concerned about being re-located to that
                  > > > site.
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Rebecca Hazlewood <hrebwrite@>
                  > > > wrote:
                  > > > >
                  > > > > I have to say that when I recently read in the local paper
                  that the
                  > > > idea of Harding becoming the middle school for El Cerrito was on the
                  > > > table I thought to myself, that is not a bad idea.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > My younger son went to Harding so I know the campus site well. I
                  > > > don't think it is any bigger than Fairmont. In fact the entire site
                  > > > might be smaller, but the location is perfect for a middle school.
                  > > > And, many of the problems attributed to Fairmont and Castro do not
                  > > > exist for Harding.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Harding is already part of a high traffic area and has been since
                  > > > my son started there in the early 90's. Therefore traffic corridors
                  > > > are in place. It is accessible to BART and to ECHS as well. It has a
                  > > > nicely refurbished theatre, which could be used for a music and
                  > > > theatre program (as well as other enrichment).The library is really
                  > > > lovely and quite large. It has many classrooms that were designed
                  > > > for the K-3 CSR, and included in the refurbishment under the bond
                  > > > program, so I imagine that it could be re-configured for a middle
                  > > > school and its myriad class needs. And, as alluded to it has already
                  > > > been rehabbed under the bond program.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > What to do about P.E.? There are basketball courts and a baseball
                  > > > field and 2 tennis courts on the site. Perhaps other activities
                  could
                  > > > be identified such as swimming at the EC Community Center last
                  > > > period, as a physical education activity. For those really
                  physically
                  > > > active students maybe they could walk over to ECHS to take class.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > I think Harding has real promise as a potential site for the El
                  > > > Cerrito middle school.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Rebecca Hazlewood
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  > > > >
                  > > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
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