Two San Lorenzo High alumni have stepped in to keep cheerleading alive at their alma mater's traditional rival, Arroyo High, by volunteering to coach the team.

Last year, Kathy DeBernardi, class of 1977, learned that Arroyo's cheer squad was going to be shut down. "That's just wrong. I said I would do it," she said. "But I knew I couldn't do any of the choreography done today."

She contacted San Lorenzo High cheerleading coaches who put her in touch with Adrianna Perez, class of 2005, a former cheerleader and choreographer. The two hit it off and have been coaching the Arroyo High team since.

The four cheerleading coaches at the two schools are all graduates of San Lorenzo High. "We help each other out," DeBernardi said.

That camaraderie extends to the students as well. On Oct. 26, the 12 members of the Arroyo squad and the 20 San Lorenzo cheerleaders will perform a dance routine during the schools' annual big game, dubbed the Helmet Game.

"The girls get along," DeBernardi said. "Leave the rivalry to the boys on the football field."

The Helmet Game will be played on Arroyo's new football field. All the fields at both schools, including softball, baseball and soccer, are being renovated, said Lowell Shira, assistant superintendent. Not all the work is done, but the football fields were ready in time for this season.

The $6 million renovation at Arroyo is being paid for with funds from Measure O, an $83 million bond that voters passed in 2008.

Immediately after the game, which starts at 1:30 p.m., the Arroyo cheerleaders will host a spaghetti feed fundraiser in the school's cafeteria from 4:30 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Meals can be eaten there or taken out. Proceeds will go toward the cost of the team's uniforms.

Tickets may be purchased at Arroyo High School, 15701 Lorenzo Ave., or by contacting DeBernardi at thedebos@pacbell.net or Perez at 510-461-8001. Donations of food for the fundraiser also are being accepted.

Union City school officials considering proposal for new charter school

New Haven Unified school board members are considering whether to approve the formation of a new public charter school.

The prospective founders of the Dashmesh Academy Charter School addressed the five-member board during a public hearing Tuesday night at the New Haven Educational Services Center.

The founders are led by Ram Singh, a community organizer who has served as an adviser to the New Haven Schools Foundation, a Union City nonprofit organization that raises funds to help local campuses.

In addition to Singh, the school's founding board includes Gurbux Alag, a retired professor in electrical engineering; Malkiat Singh, a local science instructor; and Luis Reynoso, a Hayward school board member.

The proposed charter school's founders told the trustees that they hope to open the K-5 elementary school next summer.

The school board is expected to vote on the issue at a meeting scheduled Nov. 19.

Homeroom is a weekly roundup of news from schools in Alameda County.