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SCHOOLS IN THE NEWS: Funerals, audits and – thank heavens – juggling clubs

By Jackie Burrell
Friday, November 30th, 2007 at 8:45 am in Schools.

School signIt’s been a heartbreaking week for Antioch families. Turner Elementary school is in mourning after a car crash killed fifth grader Sarai Rivera Tuesday.
And six days after hitting and killing an Antioch teen and fleeing the scene, a 72-year-old woman finally turned herself in. Memorial services for young JR Scott are today, and the family has set up a memorial web site.

Over in West County, El Cerrito High is in mourning after a beloved, 31 year old, drama and chemistry teacher died suddenly just before Thanksgiving. And a stray bullet hit a first grader waiting in line at Dover Elementary in San Pablo. She was not seriously injured, just scared half to death… as were her teachers, school administrators and all the rest of us.

It’s been four and a half years since the state took over Oakland’s troubled school district, and the latest audit delivers mixed news. Facilities and personnel management, two of the four areas under state oversight, may be returned to local control, but troubling turnover in key district positions is undermining the district’s stability. The budget director quit, the CFO was fired and they’re on their third state administrator.

Piedmont High was hit by holiday vandals, who smashed a concrete bench, then used the pieces to break library windows. The housing market meltdown will delay the opening of Dublin’s newest elementary school till 2010.

And we’re getting a little desperate for happy news … ah, here we go: Concord’s Holbrook Elementary just won a major state physical fitness award, the 2007 Bay Area Region School of the Year award – which comes with a $1,000 check. In Livermore, Granada High students held a fundraising run for SoCal fire victims, hoping to raise $20,000. And – we love this – Antioch High has a juggling club.

Oh yeah, and a bunch of prep sports teams are doing really well – get the scoop, including live feeds from the NCS football games today – from our buddies over at the Times’ East Bay Prep Sports blog.

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