I got home after midnight from last night’s school board meeting — and I left early. (Next to me was Moyra Contreras, the principal of Melrose Leadership Academy, who had waited for hours to discuss a future dual language immersion program at her school. By the time she leaves the meeting, she’ll probably have a full 6-7 hours before she needs to be back at work.)
Before I call it a night, though, I wanted to report the latest chapter in the Life Academy saga. Or an executive summary:
Life Academy is moving, at least temporarily, because of recently discovered earthquake safety concerns. The 7-year-old, bioscience-focused high school in the San Antonio/Fruitvale area will probably squeeze into the Calvin Simmons middle school campus on 35th Avenue, or in the building where MetWest High School is located, near Laney College.
“It is absolutely painful to uproot a school that is working, that is serving this neighborhood,” said board president David Kakishiba.
There were tears after the decision went down. Students, teachers (and a lawyer for Life Academy, who had to be brought to order after repeatedly shouting, “I understand the concept of the search for truth!” during the board discussion) had urged the board to let the school remain in place until an in-depth evaluation of its structural safety was finished.
But several board members said they’d commit to returning the school to its roots — possibly, in a new building. Principal Erik Rice said his school would try to hold them to that promise. Staff have until the end of October to come up with a solution.
“We’re really trying to protect the long-term needs of our school,” Rice said. “We have to get beyond, `This will be nice.’”
image from brandonrhodes site at flickr.com/creativecommons