SCHOOL-BY-SCHOOL BREAKDOWN OF REORGANIZATION PROPOSALS Here is how the Redwood City School District reorganization will affect each of the district’s 16 schools, beginning next school year. Fair Oaks: School closes and students move to nearby Taft or have priority in transfer to any other school in the district. Taft: Absorbs students from Fair Oaks. The district will go ahead with the scheduled two-year Measure T modernization on the Taft campus, at the same time working with the community to develop an “innovative, academically rigorous program serving a culturally and socioeconomically diverse population.” Orion: The parent-participation program, one of the Schools of Choice magnets that draw students from throughout the district, moves to John Gill, sharing the site with the Mandarin Immersion program. The Allerton Street campus closes. Orion families who choose not to move with the parent-participation program have the option to attend their neighborhood school. John Gill: Ceases to become a neighborhood school. Current students have first priority to stay as part of the Orion parent-participation program or to move to another school. Adelante: Campus on Granger Way closes, and its Spanish Immersion program, another of the district magnets, moves to Selby Lane in Atherton to join 250 Spanish Immersion program students there. Adelante families who choose not to move have the option to attend their neighborhood school. Selby Lane: 460 students not in the immersion program have priority in moving to other schools. The preschool and transitional kindergarten programs at Selby Lane become Spanish Immersion. Hawes: School closes and students move to nearby Roosevelt, Henry Ford or Orion (John Gill) or have priority to other schools. Roosevelt, Garfield, Hoover, Kennedy, Clifford, Roy Cloud, McKinley Institute of Technology, North Star Academy and Henry Ford: Not affected except to absorb displaced students from Fair Oaks, Hawes, John Gill and Selby Lane, who will have priority to choose and attend any school in the district. No determination has been made on what will happen to the closed-school properties. The district office will close and move to a vacated school sometime in 2020, bringing in a potential revenue of $1.6 million a year. Other projects for the near future are a review of the K-8 vs. K-5/6-8 configuration and a study of the role of North Star Academy, the district’s accelerated-learning choice. The proposals are designed in part to take advantage of the most popular choice programs, including Roosevelt’s project-based learning, by giving them room to expand and possibly attract more students. All the proposals, Supt. John Baker said, “should promote racially and socioeconomically balanced schools and not further segregate our students.” The district has a marked east side-west side imbalance, and most of the district’s enrollment decline is happening on the east side. REDWOOD CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT DEMOGRAPHICS SCHOOL CAPACITY* ENROLLMENT * NON-WHITE PERCENTAGE** Kennedy (6-8) 1,680 706 82 Hoover (K-8) 1,470 681 98 Selby Lane (K-8) 1,290 740 95 Clifford (K-8) 1,110 558 55 Roosevelt (K-8) 1,110 581 80 Taft (K-5) 1,080 331 98 Garfield (K-8) 1,020 570 98 Roy Cloud (K-8) 990 718 37 Fair Oaks (K-5) 960 221 97 Henry Ford (K-5) 780 377 70 McKinley IT (6-8) 720 408 96 John Gill (K-5) 660 288 90 North Star (3-8) 630 536 51 Hawes (K-5) 570 301 98 Adelante (K-5) 550 464 76 Orion (K-5) 270 211 53 Total 14,890 7,691 80 *Redwood City School District figures from early fall 2018 **State Dept. of Education figures for 2017-18 Updated ethnic and socioeconomic makeup figures are soon to be posted on the district website.

Parents dismayed at Hoover School Closure possibilities

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By Bill Shilstone

Closing all or part of Hoover Community School would cause transportation hardships, Latino community parents said Thursday evening at an informational forum on reorganization proposals in the Redwood City Elementary School District.

Closing and/or merging some of the district’s 16 schools are among 25 proposals made by an advisory committee to erase a projected $10 million budget deficit  created by steadily declining enrollment. The board is scheduled to adopt a plan at its regular meeting Nov. 28.

The district has lost 1,500 students over the past six years to charter schools, families being priced out of the Bay Area and other factors. State funding is, in part, tied to head count and the Redwood City district is further handicapped compared to neighboring districts by the way property taxes are allocated.

The general concern at Thursday night’s meeting at Hoover was that if Hoover closes, even just the 6-8-grade middle school, many families will not have transportation to neighboring schools.

The meeting was divided into two, in English at 6 p.m. and repeated in Spanish at 7 p.m. The arrangement did not go down well with some parents, one of whom said it was “sending a message” to have the English session first. Supt. John Baker said he had heard feedback that 7 p.m. would be more convenient for Latino parents, many of whom work at more than one job.

Baker was thrown another curve ball earlier in the day when a health scare at Taft Community School forced him to switch the meeting venue as a precaution.

According to district spokesman Jorge Quintana, a parent last week brought to school a note indicating that the child had been diagnosed with gastrointestinal illness, and that this week, a second student and an employee became ill at school. The county health department advised the school to deep clean and disinfect, he said, and move the meeting as a precaution.

The school remained open Friday.

The final two forums will be Thursday, Nov. 1, at 8:30 a.m. at Hoover and 6 p.m. at Kennedy Middle School. Baker announced that the public will be allowed to make comments to the board at those meetings, unlike the first two, when responses were limited to sticky notes pasted on 25 posters, one for each proposal.

More than 200 pages of transcribed sticky note responses will be posted on the district web site, Baker said, and there is a spread sheet on the site for public comment.

Baker gave the audience two clues about the proposals. He said consultants have said that a school with fewer than 400 students is “not viable,” and that the plan, whatever it turns out to be, will not be fully implemented in time for the 2019-20 school year.

Trustee Alisa MacAvoy urged people to lobby the state legislature for more money for schools by signing the recently initiated Full and Fair Funding Initiative petition.

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