Congresswoman honors Lincoln Middle School students’ efforts 

Congresswoman Barbara Lee honored Alameda middle school for its ongoing contribution to improving the environment. Through the Ocean Guardian program, which is run by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Lincoln Middle School students are replacing invasive plants along the San Leandro Bay shoreline with native ones, as well as picking up trash. 

Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) Superintendent Kirsten Vital will be leaving Alameda to take the reins of the Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD). Vital’s new employer announced that its school board settled on Vital on Saturday, June 14. The Capistrano Dispatch reports that the CUSD undertook a national search but replaced those search firms last month to focus on California candidates.

The “land-swap” package deal came before the Alameda City Council on Tuesday after the Alameda Sun went to press. The Sun offers this synopsis of the package that, as of this writing, pundits were predicting that the council would have already passed.

The Board of Education for the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) voted on new schedules and guidelines for the coming school year at its board meeting June 24. 

The approved plan for all students include both a remote program that will be held entirely online and a “Flexible Learning Program” (FLP) that will bring small groups of students to campus for half-day, in-person instruction four days a week. The FLP will help the district comply with health officials’ orders and guidelines about social distancing and facility-cleaning. 

Maya Lin School second- and third-grade teacher Brian Dodson was named the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) 2020 Teacher of the Year.

The recognition was announced Wednesday, June 16. Dodson, has been a teacher with AUSD for eight years. He received his bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Communication Studies from UC Davis and his teaching credential from California State University, East Bay. 

He completed his student teaching at Maya Lin School before being hired full time.

Dobson was quick to acknowledge his colleagues while accepting the award.

Measure A, an increase in property taxes designated to improve funding for Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) teachers, passed during the last election. The people who wrote Measure A were concerned that seniors living on fixed incomes and people with disabilities would not be able to afford an additional tax, so they received exemptions from payment. 

At-home Advanced Placement testing not without issues

Taking an Advanced Placement (AP) test can be challenging. Experiencing technical difficulties while trying to submit a test is another issue. Last week, more than 10,000 high-school students nationwide ran into technical problems while taking their exams. Students were unable to submit their responses due to the inability to upload images.

On Monday, May 18, the Alameda Unified Board of Education announced that online instruction would be shortened by six days. The new official last day of instruction will be May 29 instead of June 8.

The decision was made after 79.8 percent of Alameda teachers voted in favor of ending the school year earlier than planned.

“Given the circumstances, I think it was a fair decision,” said Joshua Linville, who teaches English at Encinal High School. “Virtual attendance and work completion was down. Sadly, very few students were actually fully participating in distance learning.”

Sun Staff Reports
The Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) realizes that most parents and guardians have not been trained as teachers; many may not be comfortable using online tools. Others may be trying to figure out how to also fulfill their own professional responsibilities at a time when most workers are being asked to telecommute.

Alameda Unified School District Board Member and local Realtor Anne McKereghan displays what she calls “the best thank-you card ever.” McKereghan adopted Ms. Cheren’s class at Paden Elementary School through Alameda Education Foundation’s Adopt-A-Classroom program. In return the class created the larger-than-life card pictured here.