Education

Emeryville’s 2012 “Dinner and a Show” Summer Performance Series

July 2, 2012
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Emeryville’s 2012 “Dinner and a Show” Summer Performance Series

A message from Emeryville City Hall: Food and Drink and Music/Movies?  Yes Please! Join in the fun as Emeryville residents and employers come out this summer to enjoy great live music, hot food, and cold drinks!  This year’s performance series features an Emeryville mobile food truck serving up delicious food/drink to accompany live music and a movie night. What should I bring? You, your friends/family and willingness to have a good time.  As the title suggests, we’ll have food, drinks, and the entertainment covered…but you are welcome to bring your own drinks/snacks too. This is the Bay Area, so remember it can get chilly if the fog rolls in early, so bring a warm jacket or blanket! We definitely encourage everyone to bring a lawn blanket, beach towel, or folding chair.  If you forget, we’ll also have a number of folding chairs for you to use too. Where are these parks? Here are the addresses and links to each park via google maps: July 5 – Park Avenue Plaza via Google Maps (1556 Park Avenue, where Park Avenue dead ends at the railroad tracks) July 12 – Doyle-Hollis Park via Google Maps (1333 62nd Street, Emeryville’s award winning park on Hollis Street) July

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Thank You All for Coming …

June 29, 2012
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Thank You All for Coming …

Emeryville parents and residents have done a lot to try and convince the Emeryville School District Board of Trustees to save Anna Yates Elementary School. For several years, dissenters have publicly and privately raised their objections to the Board’s plan to combine grades K-12 on one campus and close Anna Yates. A letter signed by 12 residents, including current PTO members and the former presidents of both the PTO and the District’s Board of Trustees, was sent to Board members last May urging them to keep Anna Yates students where they are. Meanwhile, more than 60 people signed a Change.org petition in support of that letter and many made comments next to their signatures explaining their reasons for wanting to save Anna Yates. The school recently underwent a renovation costing almost $9 million. In response, this is what the Board of Education has done:  Nothing. So it came as no surprise to parents and residents attending last Monday’s Board meeting when – after detailed presentations and impassioned pleas to preserve Anna Yates – the Board again did nothing. Actually, this is what they did: Appeared friendly, open, and smiled a lot Listened politely to each speaker (until 3 minutes was

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School District Long Ignored Residents Concern Over Anna Yates Closing, Some Say

June 17, 2012
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Comments from Our Readers The Secret News periodically features readers’ comments that might otherwise get overlooked. Some were among many comments on a particular story or were made well after the story was first posted. We believe these comments are worthy of our readers’ attention and hope they spark still more comments and conversation. RE: Teachers Blast Superintendent Debbra Lindo; Vote “No Confidence” From: Some Guy You guys and Anna Yates. You’ve been asleep at the wheel for the past 10 years, you suddenly wake up and want everyone to bend over backwards for you. Where have you been for the past 10 years while all the planning was being done? The district asked for input from the community for YEARS and NO ONE EVER SHOWED UP. But now that they are ready to get started, you guys cry foul. Grow up. From: quathy @ Some Guy Are you kidding? I attended the meetings from the beginning as did many triangle residents and parents who outright opposed the consolidation of Anna Yates and ESS. Did it matter? Apparently not. Just like everything in this corrupt little city it went ahead without consideration for public outcry. I am disgusted after 20

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Emeryville Teachers Blast Superintendent Debbra Lindo; Vote “No Confidence”

June 11, 2012
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Emeryville Teachers Blast Superintendent Debbra Lindo; Vote “No Confidence”

  Teachers cite “unprecedented all-time low in staff morale” created by Superintendent Lindo, “leaving teachers feeling unwanted, devalued, and disrespected …” Teachers with the Emeryville School District publicly blasted Superintendent Debbra Lindo tonight for violating the District’s guiding principles, destroying teacher morale, and polarizing the parent-teacher community during her one-year tenure with the District. The litany of complaints, listed in a resolution of “no confidence” presented to the School Board during its meeting tonight, includes: Failing to provide clear leadership and academic direction aligned with the District’s purpose and guiding principles Using superficial “dashboard indicators” to address academic performance Failing to communicate with staff and/or respond to questions Creating an unprecedented all-time low in staff morale, leaving teachers feeling unwanted, devalued and disrespected Cutting teaching staff so significantly as to negatively affect student learning Polarizing the parent-teacher community Adding more administrative positions while cutting teachers Undermining the teachers’ union and members’ rights Excluding teachers from discussions and decision-making The “no confidence” resolution, prepared by the Emery Teachers Association and presented by 20 teachers, concluded, “Our district needs a superintendent who is a leader who inspires trust and loyalty with families, employees, and the community … who is focused on students

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More Citizens Voice Opposition to Closing of Anna Yates

June 9, 2012
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More Citizens Voice Opposition to Closing of Anna Yates

More than 50 people sign Change.org petition to save Anna Yates Elementary School; Seek more information about school operating and construction costs The number of signatures is growing on a Change. org petition opposing the School Board’s plan to eventually close Anna Yates and combine both elementary and high school students on the campus of the Emeryville Center of Community Life (ECCL). While the construction of ECCL is expected to take years, the new school buildings are slated for completion in 2013-14. Construction will begin soon on the site of the existing high school, which will be torn down this summer. The citizens’ group is also requesting construction and operating budgets for all city school sites. School Superintendent Debbra Lindo denied the group’s request to be heard at the June 11 School Board meeting, saying there was no room on the agenda. She said she “is working to find a space” on the June 25 agenda but is making no promises. Read more. Here are some names and comments of those who signed the Change.org petition:   Amy Simpson Parent, Triangle Resident, property tax payer, ECDC Advisory Committee Member. I’ve been opposed to many facets of this project from the

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E-Ville School Superintendent Says No Room on June 11 Meeting Agenda to Discuss Anna Yates

June 6, 2012
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E-Ville School Superintendent Says No Room on June 11 Meeting Agenda to Discuss Anna Yates

Emeryville’s School Superintendent told residents concerned about the planned closing of Anna Yates that there is no time to discuss the issue at the June 11 School Board meeting. In an email to Brian Carver and other residents opposed to the eventual move of Anna Yates students to a new campus,  Superintendent Debbra Lindo said she is “working to find a space” on the June 25 agenda. “I will get back to you next week to let you know if I can accommodate your request before the end of the school year,” she said. Concerned residents had asked that the Board address the issue after they sent a letter to Lindo and the Board in mid-May, urging them to leave Anna Yates students where they are, and to provide the public with more information about the city schools’ construction and operating budgets. The group is opposed to the Board’s plan to eventually combine both elementary and high school students on the campus of the Emeryville Center of Community Life (ECCL). While the construction of ECCL is expected to take years, the new school buildings are slated for completion in 2013-14. Construction will begin soon on the site of the existing

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Citizens Lobby to Save Anna Yates, Say They’re Frustrated by School Officials’ Silence

June 5, 2012
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Citizens Lobby to Save Anna Yates, Say They’re Frustrated by School Officials’ Silence

Emeryville citizens upset over the planned closing of Anna Yates Elementary School say their repeated attempts to engage school district officials have fallen on deaf ears. The group of citizens has received no response to its May 23 request to be placed on the agenda of the next School Board meeting (Monday) June 11. The group is opposed to the Board’s plan to eventually close Anna Yates and combine both elementary and high school students on the campus of the Emeryville Center of Community Life (ECCL). While the construction of ECCL is expected to take years, the new school buildings are slated for completion in 2013-14. Construction will begin soon on the site of the existing high school, which will be torn down this summer. The citizens’ group is also asking the Board of Trustees for construction and operating budgets for all city school sites. Thought of by many parents and residents as the jewel of the Emeryville School District, Anna Yates recently underwent an $8 million renovation. But under the elaborate plans for the Emeryville Center of Communty Life, both Anna Yates’ and Emery High students will share a campus, along with recreational and other city/community services. However, it

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Children Matter: Much Needed Improvements Coming to Emeryville Child Development Center

June 3, 2012
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Children Matter: Much Needed Improvements Coming to Emeryville Child Development Center

For nearly two years, an advisory committee has been working with the city to develop and strengthen the program of the Emeryville Child Development Center (ECDC). A consultancy group skilled in early education was recently hired to assess the Center’s work, and the results (available on ECDC website) showed need for improvement in many areas.  The Center’s director immediately began efforts to upgrade the staff development program, to restructure administrative positions, and to hire new teachers.  Two teachers have retired recently, and a first round of interviews for their replacements has been completed.  The hiring of three new teachers and a supervisor awaits City Council approval.  The Center’s director, new to the job herself, is managing sweeping changes.  Fortunately, she’s getting strong support from the advisory committee, city staff, and the City Council.  All this reflects a growing awareness of the value of the program to our community. ECDC is housed in a beautiful building.  The families of the children who attend are strongly connected to the program and its teachers.  ECDC has the potential for becoming an excellent, relationship-based program that will help bring children, families, staff, and community together.  Emeryville is one of the few cities in our

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Emeryville and Oakland Celebrate Bike-to-Work Day!

May 10, 2012
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Emeryville and Oakland Celebrate Bike-to-Work Day!

Bike-to-Work Day in Emeryville saw 30% increase in bicyclists over last year! Here’s a report from Peter Schultze-Allen, Emeryville’s Environmental Programs Analyst: The count at our three bike stations in Emeryville was up 30% from last year. And that doesn’t include the new bike station at 46th and Adeline that had a big turnout. We had record numbers at all our stations! 1. San Pablo and 40th once again was the leader with 322 cyclists riding by and/or stopping at the table (up 15% from last year.) Back in 2006 we only had 110! 2. The Greenway Station was very popular with 224 cyclists. Clif Bar wants to host a station there next year on their own like Novartis. 3. Next was 46th and Adeline with 206. A great start for a new station. Oakland is planning on striping bike lanes on Adeline soon so that will help next year. 4. The Bay Trail station at Powell and Frontage was up 50% over last year with 127 cyclists counted! 5. Novartis had 168 at their station this year. On to Next Year! (Click photos to enlarge.) (To comment on this story, click on the headline to go to the story

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The City’s Financial Future

May 8, 2012
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The City’s Financial Future

Emeryville’s Financial Advisory Committee met on April 23 and tackled a draft of the city’s proposed budget for the next two years.  The 245-page document is a rough map of how the city will earn its living and pay its bills. It starts a budget process we citizens should watch carefully, and it proceeds in an atmosphere of state, national, and global economic uncertainty. The size of the city’s staff peaked some years ago at 182 employees.  Emeryville presently employs 148, and if the proposed budget is adopted, that number will drop to 143.5.  The drop in 4.5 more positions involves four different departments and includes an assistant city attorney, a building inspector, two economic development/housing staffers, and a community service technical aide.  This is our current “contribution” to the wave of recession-driven public sector job losses occurring right across the nation. On a more positive note, the proposed two-year budget projects that the city will take in $1,901,896 more than it will spend, despite the loss of $1.7 million in Redevelopment Agency funds.  The positive balance stems from reduced spending, an anticipated $750,000 boost in business license taxes, and an increase of $1.2 million in sales and hotel tax

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