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SCHOOL NEWS: Cal Football Felony, Orinda, Brentwood & More

By Jackie Burrell
Friday, October 24th, 2008 at 8:08 am in Schools.

College libraryTwo Cal football players – one current, one former – were arrested in connection with that outrageous armed robbery a few weeks ago at one of the university dorms. Matt Krupnick has the full rundown but here’s the 10-second recap: the football athletes were offended by a racist remark made at a party (the offending player in that scenario was suspended from the university crew team), and the robbery was a retaliation. Only problem – besides the felonious part, of course, and the waving around of a gun inside a dormitory – was that their victims were not involved in the party incident at all. Unbelievable.

In other local news, Orinda parents are peeved over a new proposal that would put the school district’s maintenance yard on the Orinda Intermediate School campus, i.e., smack in the middle of a cozy neighborhood, at least temporarily. The location of the yard has been a point of contention for years. It’s currently housed near downtown Orinda – or downtownish, since Orinda doesn’t really have a bustling urban area. But hackles were raised a few years back when the district first proposed a move to Wagner Ranch Elementary — parents and conservationists saw it as a direct assault on the Wagner Ranch Nature Area, a unique swath of wilderness that houses the district’s environmental programs and living history days, including Adobe Days and the First Thanksgiving celebration. Now they’ve swapped that for a plan affecting a different neighborhood and neighbors are steamed.

Out in Brentwood, families are in a froth over high school course schedules – at issue is whether students should take a four-by-four schedule which gives them four, 90-minute classes a day for a semester, and a different set of four the second semester, versus an alternating schedule which gives them two sets of four classes that alternate school days all year long. Kids end up with the same number of units, but the two approaches are very different.

And there’s a new foundation in town. Families in Pleasant Hill just launched an independent, volunteer-led, nonprofit to provide financial support for all 11 public schools in Pleasant Hill. The Foundation for Pleasant Hill Education is kicking things off with a citywide spelling bee for elementary school students from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15, at Pleasant Hill’s City Hall.

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