Yirmeyah Beckles

Oakland school board votes to expand Life Academy, ends district use of Styrofoam

A month after the Oakland Unified School District board voted to close five elementary schools, members voted Wednesday night to allow Life Academy, a small health and sciences high school in East Oakland, to expand to offer middle school classes as well. At a packed meeting that mostly focused on the district’s financial issues, board members also discussed the most recent state audit as well as a report on teacher and staff retention.

Oakland parents on school closures: Where do we go?

Three weeks after the OUSD board voted 5-2 to close five elementary schools—Lakeview, Lazear, Marshall, Maxwell Park and Santa Fe—and relocate or merge several other schools, parents and staff affected by the closures are working to figure out what they will do. Their array of “options,” which will be handled by “transition coordinators,” includes no guarantees.

OUSD school closures vote Wed follows years of creating small schools, then having to pay for them

The Oakland Unified School District’s controversial proposal to close five elementary schools this fall, and more in coming years, follows a multi-year program of encouraging small small schools–subdividing bigger facilities into multiple smaller ones, each with fewer students and a more intimate climate. But funding and enrollment changes have pushed the district to what promises to be an emotional meeting and vote Wednesday night.

Stolen car driver attempts to escape police on freeway, scares I-580 traffic

Oakland drivers on Interstate 580 had a scary encounter with a police pursuit of a stolen Honda Accord Saturday morning, as the driver sped down the wrong side of the highway.  The suspect and a police officer, whose names have not yet been released, were injured in the high-speed chase. Both received medical attention. Two Oakland North reporters, en route to Lakeview Elementary for a school closures community gathering, narrowly missed a head-on collision with the wrong-way Honda on Interstate…

Banned books on display and up for debate at Oakland stores and libraries

Over the past year, according to the Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, 46 books have been “banned” in the United States—taken off school and main library shelves, removed as “inappropriate” from class reading lists, attacked by bloggers and family value organizations or re-edited to replace words deemed offensive. All of these books are being showcased this week for a library and bookstore event called Banned Book Week.

Release of Oakland school closures list delayed

Earlier this week it was reported that the agenda for Oakland’s school board meeting on Tuesday, including a complete list of schools recommended for closure by superintendent Tony Smith, would be released at 5 pm Friday. The release date was changed to Saturday, September 24, at 5 pm. The list is posted, here.

Oakland school board to decide school closures

The agenda for Oakland’s school board meeting on Tuesday, including a complete list of schools recommended for closure by superintendent Tony Smith, will be available online Friday afternoon, the schools’ spokesman said.

OUSD meeting turns into emotional protest

An OUSD facilities board meeting turned into an emotional protest Tuesday afternoon when parents, faculty and staff from Kaiser Elementary School showed up unannounced, rallying to keep their school open.