Update on Possible High School Merger
The idea of merging Alameda High and Encinal High schools has been raised several times in previous decades. In the spring of 2018, community members, athletic directors and teachers asked for a new review of the concept for two reasons.
- The idea could allow AUSD to provide a more comprehensive high school education to all AUSD students (because one school could provide more course offerings more equitably to more students).
- The money saved by combining the schools could go toward improving AUSD employee salaries, which despite recent raises have long been less than the county average.
In May 2018, the Board of Education directed staff to create a committee to study the issue. After a three-week application period, the board approved 15 members to the committee. The board asked that staff re-open the applications to students in August, so as to add four more students on the committee. Letters were mailed to all high school students in the district on Aug. 10. The deadline for applications is 5 p.m., Friday, Aug. 24.
The currently named commitee members are: Mia Bonta, Richard Bunker, Kelly Hartlaub Gregor, Dorothy Jones, Chuck Kapelke, Cameron Furuichi-Fong, Marva Lyons, Cheryl Lua, Liza Gabato Morse, Sofía Orduña, Ron Parodi, Melanie Shannon, Kathy Lamb-Tansey, Bill Withrow and Cindy Zecher.
Currently the district plans to hold seven or eight public meetings in the fall to study the issue.
High School Merger Committee Meeting Dates
AUSD has set the following dates for the upcoming meetings:
- Tuesday, Sept. 4
- Monday, Sept. 17
- Tuesday, Oct. 2
- Tuesday, Oct. 16
- Tuesday, Oct. 30
- Thursday, Nov. 8
- Tuesday, Dec. 4
- Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019
All meetings are open to the public and will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Island High School, 500 Pacific Ave. Videos of the meetings and more information will also be posted at the AUSD website: www.alameda.k12.ca.us.
In its study of the viability and desirability of a potential merger, the committee will hear from architects, demographers, transit and city planners and staff from AUSD’s Teaching and Learning Department and Student Services Department.
After hearing from these and other experts, the committee will consider various scenarios for merging (or not merging) the schools and prepare a report on those scenarios for the Board of Education. That report will be presented to the board in January or February of 2019.