List of (too) small schools comes out on Monday

Remember the color-coded tiers of schools tagged for intervention or possible closure last year?

They’re back. On Monday, OUSD releases a list of 10 schools with low enrollment (and, in some cases, low test scores). District administrators would not release the names today without its accompanying report, which is apparently still being tweaked.

But here’s what I know:

Howard Elementary, in the East Oakland hills, had a community meeting with district officials this week. Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary, in West Oakland, has one next week.  

At these meetings, central office officials, school staff and parents discuss the various options: attendance boundary shifts, increased support from the central office, restructuring and closure.

District spokesman Troy Flint said the final decisions should be made by the end of December — about two months earlier than the last time around.

“The only schools that are subject to potential closure, if it comes to that, are the ones with low enrollment,” he said today.

Last year, as a result of the process, Kizmet, East Oakland Community High School, Merritt Middle College and Sherman closed, and a new school at Maxwell Park is being developed this year to open in the fall of 2008.

Since the district intentionally created so many small schools, it’s an interesting twist that some are now being deemed too small. Based on the enrollment guidelines set last year, schools with fewer than 200 students are considered “significantly under-enrolled.”

Here are the school sizes recommended in last year’s report:

elementary: at least 360

middle: at least 300

high: at least 400

Katy Murphy

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