The Hayward school district dedicated Schafer Park Elementary School, which was rebuilt with Measure I bond money, this past weekend.

Principal Rafael Flores said the new school has created an excitement among the students, the parents and the staff. "The new technology is amazing. More importantly, it makes the classroom more interactive. It's no longer OK for a teacher to be at the center of a room lecturing.

"The students are getting an education with devices they love to use."

Schafer Park is one of five Hayward schools that have undergone either massive renovations or a complete rebuild through the $205 million bond approved by voters in 2008. East Avenue Elementary was dedicated in July, and the ribbon-cutting for Fairview Elementary was on Sept. 8.

Students moved into Schafer Park in January, and the old building was torn down. The new school has a computer lab with 40 laptops, plus iPads that can be taken into classrooms. Each classroom has a Smart Board, which incorporates a computer, projector and sound system.

Dedications for two more schools are planned: Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School on Oct. 13, and Tyrrell Elementary on Nov. 17. Both dedications will begin at 10 a.m.

Medical internships for San Lorenzo students

As part of a medical internship this past summer, five students from San Lorenzo's Arroyo High School watched a cadaver being dissected, observed a knee-replacement operation and learned how to apply a cast.


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Nancy Lee, Serey Nouth, Yelba Ortiz, Margaret Snow and Mykel Vallar took part in the two-month internship at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center Orthopaedic Trauma Institute's 2012 Junior Academy.

"We had more students selected than any other school in the Bay Area," said Jim Clark, program manager at the San Lorenzo school's Academy of Health and Medicine.

The students had to go through a rigorous screening process that included both written papers and oral interviews, Clark said. As part of the program, the students shadowed health professionals and learned about various careers.

Committee to study idea of selling school properties in Union City

The New Haven Unified School District board has appointed a committee to study the feasibility of selling school properties to ease the cash-strapped district's budget woes, a district spokesman said.

The district's financial issues have been caused by continuing state cuts to education, forcing the board to slash its annual budget from $114 million in 2008-09 to $91 million in 2012-13, New Haven spokesman Rick LaPlante said.

The Educational Services Center, which houses the district office at 34200 Alvarado-Niles Road, and the now-closed Cabello Elementary School at 4500 Cabello St., are the sites being considered for sale, LaPlante said.

The nine-member committee includes Union City parents, teachers, residents living near the sites in question, a city employee and a business community representative. The committee is scheduled to meet twice next week, then hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1, at the Educational Services Center. The committee then will meet a fourth time to finalize its report to the five-member district board, which is scheduled to consider the matter at its Oct. 16 meeting.

Niles Elementary School able to avoid class size change

A temporary shortage ofthird- andfourth-grade students at Niles Elementary School nearly forced the Fremont Unified School District to combine grade classes and force some instructors to switch classes after the school year began.

The idea, viewed as a disruption to students, infuriated some teachers and parents. But Niles Principal Jim Hough last week worked the phones and added enough eligible students to the school to allow the idea to be scrapped, said James Morris, Fremont's superintendent of schools.

The classes were going to be combined because once the school year started earlier this month, the district realized the number of Niles'third- andfourth-grade each totaled 75, about half a dozen short of what was needed. However, Hough was able to add sixthird-graders and sevenfourth-graders by reaching out to parents at other schools.

"Starting over after a week, that's what the concern was," Morris said. "But (Hough) found a solution."

Homeroom is a weekly roundup of news from schools in greater Hayward and the Tri-City areas.