In 1961 the Alameda Unified School District built Lum Elementary School on “made land” — property that once lay beneath the waters of San Francisco Bay. Utah Construction had “made” this land in the mid-1950s when it filled in a portion of the bay to create South Shore. Four years later AUSD opened Will C. Wood Middle School on this same “made” land.
In a bit of irony, the school district hosted a meeting last Friday evening at the latter school to announce that it was closing the former school because the land beneath it was unstable.
Monday, Aug. 21, on my first day ever at Wood Middle School, I witnessed my first eclipse. Since it was the first day of school and an eclipse, the teachers planned a special day. I could see the telescopes being set up on the playground before school. After that we got special glasses that we decorated any way we wanted. We stayed with our advisory classes all day and learned about the math and history of eclipses.
The California Department of Education (CDE) awards outstanding educational programs and practices with gold ribbons. Last year the department recognized elementary schools, and the coveted ribbons adorned Otis, Earhart and Haight elementary schools and Maya Lin School.
This year CDE honored middle and high schools. Wood Middle School and Alameda Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) received ribbons. Wood for its STEAM-Integrated Learning through Inquiry program and ASTI for its Early College High School program.
On Friday, March 10, eighth graders at Wood Middle School started the morning with DEW Day. DEW stands for Democratic Education at Wood. It was a unique and engaging experience for us, because it allowed studnts to be in a position in which we could either teach or learn from our peers. “The concept is that classes are taught by learners,” said Mr. Nguyen, the teacher who first brought the idea to Wood. Often, students learn as much as they teach, especially about leadership skills and responsibility.
Alameda well represented at Anaheim STEM Symposium
Wood Middle School was selected to showcase its integrated and project-based learning Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) program at the fourth annual California STEM Symposium which began last Sunday in Anaheim, Calif. The symposium continued with a full slate of speakers, workshops and activities through Tuesday, Oct. 11.
Last week Marcella Welter took Alameda Sun readers on the first part of Wood Middle School’s trip to Spain (“Wood Students Travel to Spain,” May 26). This week Marcella concludes her description of the journey.
On Friday, March 25, 22 current and former Wood Middle School art and band students (ranging from seventh grade to freshman year of high school) took off from San Francisco International Airport, accompanied by four Wood teachers, Ms. Shepard, Mr. Ponsaran, Mr. Reis and Ms. Verduin. After a layover in Frankfurt, Germany, we finally arrived in Madrid, Spain the next day.
The Wood Middle School volleyball players used teamwork to support breast cancer awareness. Throughout the month of October the girls donned pink hair bows while the boys sported pink socks and laces.
They hosted bake sales at the games and asked their classmates for donations on game days.
The Beavers decided that because Wood is a Title I (low-income) school, they wanted to help others who are low-income, so they selected the “Friends of Faith” organization, whose mission is to help low-income, under-insured women (and men) undergoing treatment for breast cancer.