ALAMEDA -- Students and staff of a charter school that moved to Wood Middle School's campus this school year after nearly two decades at Encinal High School will have to wait a while longer to know where they will be next year.
The Alameda Community Learning Center, a sixth- through 12-grade charter school, moved to Wood to make room for a new magnet program at Encinal.
Now, Wood, which had been named an underperforming school by the California Academic Performance Index, has gained traction in its mandates to improve the school's academic achievements. The state has given the nod to Wood to implement a plan to restructure its programs, and to have that plan in place in the next school year. The restructuring will require more space for staff and students than the school currently has with the charter school on the campus, according to the district.
The topic concerns the future home of the ACLC. Options include setting up classes at three campuses, Wood, Woodstock, and Encinal; staying at Wood with more portables; or the possibility of moving to the former Woodstock campus, which ACLC would share with sister-school Nea.
A number of Wood students and parents spoke at Tuesday's meeting about their good experiences. And some of them asked trustees and administrators to return space they lost when ACLC moved in. No one spoke against ACLC, but speakers emphasized they need the space to continue the students' progress.
A state law requires school districts to determine if and where classroom space is available to charter schools. The trustees unanimously adopted the district's explanation for the state, saying ACLC can't be set up in one place.
More communications between ACLC and the district will continue about the options, with ACLC responding to a preliminary proposal by the district on March 1. The district will submit a final offer on April 1. The ACLC would have to notify the district if it agrees to the final offer by May 1.
Among the possibilities will be an offer for a long-term lease on a site to prevent future sudden moves. "As we partner with our charters we have to look to long-term leasing," Superintendent Kirsten Vital said. "We don't have to, but should."
Trustee Margie Sherratt agreed. "I don't want to vote about moving a school again," she said. "A long-term lease is important. The learning center got the short end of stick. We support Wood in its plan, but it makes it tough for the center, if that's how it goes."
In other business, the board heard a presentation on the status of a facilities master plan. Seventeen school sites need upgrades estimated last year to cost $92 million. The district hopes to put a measure on the November ballot to raise money through property taxes and state funds to pay for the improvements. The schedule of the site meetings is on the Facilities Master Plan page available on the district's website at www.alameda.k12.ca.us.