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SSFUSD Aims to Resize Schools Starting in 2013

District staff are working to create a detailed master plan, which will likely include removing over 90 portables and redistributing student enrollment among South City schools.

The South City School Board heard presentations on Measure J school improvement projects at the meeting Thursday evening, with significant focus on the re-sizing of district schools.

Staff are currently evaluating facilities and space each school has available to grow into, and assigning new student capacities for each. The district is working from estimates in a recent report on enrollment projections that indicated some schools were “unbalanced,” Measure J Bond Program Director Ahmad Sheikholeslami said.

Current recommendations from the staff include increasing enrollment at Skyline Elementary to a maximum of 500 students and Sunshine Gardens Elementary to a maximum of 600 because each school has property space to accomodate new buildings.

“[Re-sizing] will not uproot the families that are currently there,” said Sheikholeslami, “if you have a second grader and a kindergartener coming in [to the same school],” because of a grandfather clause the district has set. 

On Oct. 11, the district will hold a community meeting to give South City residents an opportunity to respond to the master plan that addresses all aspects of the school improvements. Board members hope to approve the comprehensive plan on Oct. 25.

“We’re all anxious to put a shovel in the ground,” board president Judy Bush said at the meeting.

Thus far in the planning process, staff recommends removing about 93 portables and adding 68 replacements throughout the district.

“This is going to be one of the biggest decisions we make is which modulars to purchase,” boardmember Phil Weise said.

The district’s plan for revamping school athletic fields will be presented Sept. 13. The aim is to begin the improvements next year and complete them before the 2013-2014 school year begins.

Staff are in the process of reconfirming pricing for new playground equipment because steel prices have risen since preliminary proposals were submitted a year ago. Staff recommeded that the district aim to install the new playgrounds next summer.

Also at the meeting last night:

  • Superintendent Alejandro Hogan announced that Genentech had provided the district with a $450 grant, or $70 for each elementary school for school supplies.
  • James Scott, goes by Larry, is the new bond director for the district. Has most recently worked in San Diego, “I’ve been trying to get back to the Bay Area for a long time,” he said. Scott will take on his full responsibilties in a week.
  • Hogan announced plans to designate October anti-bullying month for South City schools.
  • Marco Lopez is the new interim principal at Parkway Heights Middle School.
  • Jonathan Covacha, new interim assistant principal at Parway Heights Middle School, and the position of Special Coordinator of Special Programs will be frozen for the year, Hogan said.
  • Jeannette Holt has been made a new personnel commissioner.
  • Jan Speller of the Classroom Teachers Association of SSF announced that the group was supporting state Proposition 30.

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