Peralta parents push for speedy repairs

 Jack O’Connell, California’s superintendent of public instruction, paid a rare visit to Oakland today. He stopped at the temporary home of Peralta Elementary School, which was heavily damaged in March by an arson fire.

 If Peralta isn’t repaired by the start of the school year, the kids might have to stay awhile longer at the former Carter Middle School site, where they have been since early April. They would also have to share the campus with a new, international high school. Concerned about that prospect, parents gave O’Connell the below petition:

“We, the parents, caregivers, teachers, and staff, of Peralta Elementary
School urge the state superintendent’s office to do everything it can to
ensure that we may begin the 2007-2008 school year in our school at 460
63rd Street.
We have shown ourselves to be a resourceful, committed and generous public
school community, and we offer our support to the process in any way that
can help us get back to our own school.”

In an interview today, Tim White, the OUSD facilities chief, wasn’t about to place any odds on when the school will be ready. He said much depends on when the Division of the State Architect approves the district’s plans, which were submitted May 24. Then comes the bidding, and then the construction itself, which White estimates will take about 60 days.

If that’s true, and school starts at the end of August, it will indeed be a tight squeeze.

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.