Undocumented students do not qualify for federal aid, and a group of Hayward High School students have taken it upon themselves to try to help fill that gap.
Sophomores in the school's Puente program are organizing a walkathon Saturday, with proceeds going toward a scholarship fund.
Puente is a four-year college prep program with the goal of getting historically disadvantaged students into higher education, said Joel Ochoa, one of Puente's English teachers. He said about a tenth of the school's 120 Puente students are undocumented.
"Undocumented students don't receive the same financial support as other students," said student Joanna Gil. "A lot of kids have worked really, really hard. Financial need shouldn't be something to prevent them from achieving their goals."
The walkathon will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the school's track. Anyone interested in supporting the scholarships may join in and walk with teachers, counselors and students in solidarity, said Ochoa. In addition, the students will sell tickets to games and a bounce house, and there will be food for sale. Donations also may be sent to Hayward High Puente, 1633 East Ave., Hayward, CA 94541.
"The relationships they build within the program allow the Puente students to be comfortable with letting us know they're undocumented," Ochoa said. "They have a supportive space in Puente."
Hayward to study school boundaries
Shifting sixth grade from elementary to middle schools is one of the scenarios Hayward trustees will be looking at to better balance enrollment within the district.
Trustees will take up the enrollment issue at a work session Saturday. No vote will be taken, and Assistant Superintendent Matt Wayne emphasized that the work session is one of the first steps in what will be a long process on the best way to reconfigure schools if needed.
Currently, some schools are overcrowded, while others are seeing declining enrollment. Trustees will look at possible school boundary changes and the effect of converting an elementary school -- such as Glassbrook, Harder or Tyrrell -- to a middle school.
At their Jan. 31 meeting, trustees were clear that they preferred smaller elementary schools, a shift away from recommendations of earlier boards.
Some schools, such as Cherryland and Park, now have more portables than regular classrooms, Trustee Lisa Brunner said.
"These schools were not built to handle much more than 400 or 500 kids, and we piled on portables," she said.
Trustees said they would be getting input from district employees, parents and the community before making any decisions. Any changes would not take place until 2014-15 at the earliest.
"This is just an initial discussion. We're looking to set up boundaries that are most advantageous to our families," Wayne said.
Saturday's work session begins at 9 a.m. at the district's board room, 24411 Amador St.
'Fun Run' to benefit Union City schools
A fundraising day of exercise and competitive foot races is scheduled next month in Union City to benefit the New Haven Unified School District.
The Race to Save Student Activities Fun Run & Walk, sponsored by the New Haven Boosters Association and New Haven Schools Foundation, will be held June 8.
The event, known as the "Fun Run," is one of several programs funding the Boosters Association's pledge to raise $100,000 in support of New Haven's co-curricular programs.
Check-in and race-day registration will begin at 8 a.m. at Cesar Chavez Middle School, 2801 Hop Ranch Road.
The two contests for adults -- a 5K race and a 10K race -- will begin at 9 a.m. Those competitions will be followed by kids' races divided into four categories: 400 meters, for children in grades K-4; 800 meters, grades 5-6; mile, grades 7-12; and a 4 x 400 meters relay.
Advance entry fees are $10 for children in grades 8 or lower; $15 for high school students and $25 for adults. Race-day registration will cost $5 extra for each age group.
Homeroom is a weekly roundup of news from schools in the greater Hayward and Tri-City areas.