Catching up with Hayward, and the HayWord

Perhaps you noticed, perhaps you didn’t, but I was on leave all last week. I’m getting caught up on goings on and have yet to watch the school board meeting replay.

But I did get a couple of e-mails regarding the start of the school year. There’s some concern over the larger class sizes, and some over lack of maintenance. I’d like to hear more — what have you seen so far this year, students, parents and teachers?

And it’s nice to see how popular the comment section has become!

Eric Kurhi

  • Mr. Kurhi,
    There were no more than 10 individuals from the public present at the most recent board meeting. It seems that several of the schools “conveniently” scheduled back to school events on the same day/evening.

    I hope you pay attention to the amount of money that HUSD is expending for legal services…it would fund many teachers and programs. The suggestion was made that the board should seriously consider hiring their own in house cousel to drastically reduce the amount spent and to make the lawyer/legal advice far more easily accessable to the board as a whole and individual board members.

  • John W. Kyle

    Katy Bouth

    Back to school night conspiracy?

    mr. Kiurhi is stretched for time, especially since two of it’s staff are off to the far east on ‘special assigbmenbt’.

    How is it you do not present yout legal concerns to the Board? Show up at ‘public comments’!

    ’tis your duty to send ’em (trustees) scampering for law books where ‘they could look it up’, …after all ‘they’ must be compelleed to so something for that heavy stipend… right?

  • qodrn

    It would be interesting to know how many students showed up for school this year.

  • qodrn

    Welcome back by the way. If you want to watch the meetings on your computer, you can go to
    http://www.hayward-ca.gov/webcasts.shtm and clink on the Hayward School board site. The broadcast will be repeated on Tuesday at one pm and Thursday at 4 pm.

  • teachermama

    Mr. Kurhi, please help the community keep our eyes on the stimulus money coming soon. Districts will have until 2012 to spend the money, and parents really want to make sure it gets spent on personnel (teachers, counselors, nurses,etc.) who work DIRECTLY with the kids, FULL-TIME at ONE school site.

    Class size is indeed HUGE. It is a challenge to create enough space for the little ones to be comfortable in the room and also to keep the noise level down to a reasonable level for a sustained amount of time. As for maintenance, my own classroom has several work orders pending since the first day of school. I am a big fan of the maintenance dept. and I wish it were bigger. I’m sure they do the best they can with their limited resources. Frankly, with a longer student day and preps just starting up, I have been too busy planning, prepping and teaching to check on the status of the work orders anyway.

  • teachermama

    BTW, when I say ONE school site, I don’t mean one particular school. I just mean someone who works full-time at a school. Not someone who floats between several schools, spending just a few days a month at each one.

  • To Teachermama:
    I totally agree with keeping the idea of continuity with support staff, couselors, nurses and of course teachers. It is the only way they really become familiar with the school site, environment, community and most of all the students and all their related needs. I fear that to think the stimulus money will go for that is just a pipe dream. Surely, the DO has some consultants and their “new innovations” that they will deem the money will be best spent on.

    To All:
    If any of you are wondering why I don’t attend board meetings, the answer is simple. I REGULARLY attended board meetings until about 5 years ago and finally decided it was time to let others become the public voice for students, families and employees. I have continued to watch the meetings via television and find that I can focus more directly on what is being said and board actions in comfort.

  • qodrn

    Boy Scout Troop 819 is having a fund raiser today at the Hayward Rigatoni’s on Hesperian. Just tell the server you want to participate.

  • K Rocchio

    Mr. Kurhi, here’s what I’ve seen so far this year. From the perspective of a year round school … we felt the hit of low enrollment early, as most of the HUSD schools are this year. Kids were just getting comfortable in their classrooms when a few weeks in we had to shuffle them around to level and meet the 32 student class size. This allowed us to reduce two staff members, create combo classes at every level and pack the classrooms to capacity. Now any new students are redirected because our rooms are all full! As far as location, we are one of the schools that relocated due to Measure I. We’ve spent a great deal of time settling in, but there are definitely some moving pains. We still have some classrooms where the “water” is brown and undrinkable, not to mention bathroom issues. The classrooms are definitely full, some with students of varying grade levels. The new curriculum has finally arrived, so we can get moving on that. I must say the Measure I money was well spent to get our temporary campus ready for students. New blacktop, grass play fields and eating areas are some of the really nice changes. We are getting ready for our first break and we are on our way to a great year.

    Qodrn: I’m not sure if they have stopped showing the repeat broadcasts or if it just wasn’t playing this week. I was unable to watch the meeting live and have tried to catch the Thursday and Tuesday showing with no luck. Unfortunately, it appears, based on the note on the bottom of the city website, that they may have stopped the replay of the HUSD meetings. “KHRT replay of the City Council Meeting is Friday at 7:00pm, and replay of the Planning Commission Meeting is Monday at 7:00pm.” I guess we will all have to wait for the posting on the HUSD website.

  • John W. Kyle

    Ladies of the Blog and miz boutique.

    A direct request to those at top,has been made by this mischief maker. The program of August 25th. program Review ought soon be seen on the website.

    Oh for the days when it was repeated on channel 15, promptly at 6;30 pm…….. before Dr. Vigil’s arrival…. when the website became screwed up.

  • Wow!!!! what a knight in shining armor!!!!

    I thought for sure you would blame Joan Kohl or some retired board member for causing the problem, or me.

  • John W. Kyle

    Katya Bootsky;

    Well, I guesd you could blame kohlo, or thiose who hired her. But for that mistake we might have avoided Vigil!

  • teachermama

    K Rocchio, I feel your 15 day pain! For the last several years I have gained a combo, lost a combo, shuffled and re-shuffled students on the 15th day of instruction. I have spent countless hours re-doing name tags, moving desks, hunting for/sorting/re-organizing books, and making phone calls to parents.

    Two years ago, I was reading a story to my class a few days after the big shuffle. The illustration showed two girls hugging and one crying. I asked the class to infer what the problem was based on the picture and what we had read so far. A hand immediately shot up, and a student who had just been moved into my class said, “Maybe the girls are best friends, but one of them has to change rooms after the year started!” No lie.

    It seems more prudent to me to leave a little space at each grade level at each school so we don’t have to redirect kids all over the Earth. And I wish we could balance classes long before the 15th day. Sometimes I feel like the 16th day is the first day of school all over again.

  • Teachermama & Ms. Rocchio:

    While I was never a teacher, I spent enough time in combo classrooms to know that NOBODY WINS in that situation, especially not the children. It is near impossible, considering the state standards, for a teacher to adequately serve students in a combo no matter how much they try.

    The sad part is the DO has absolutely no concern for the ultimate outcome and they take no responsibility. It is simply a matter of “budget”. Should the test scores not improve, well then the blame will be placed right in the teachers’ laps. I wish you and your students luck.

    To Mr. Kyle:

    My family comes from Norway and Denmark, I am second generation here, perhaps you could spend some of your spare time researching new names for me. TTFN

  • John W. Kyle

    Ms. Booth….

    How about ‘Kathleen’ ?

    Shucks, you shortened usage to save some ink! Right?

    My maternal grandfather changed Mac to Mc and that is how we saved much ink! None more thrifty tnan an immigrant…. right? another difficult arose when ordering DELIVERED groceries from immigrant owned grocery stores.

    Try confusing the clerk with a rapid instruction of how to speLl the Name…..’capital ‘m’, small letter C Capital letter ‘C’ small letter ‘u’ double letter ‘N’ smalL LETTER I double letter f “Mc Cunniff” she would say in rapid delivery…. after awhile those IMMIGRANT OWNERS OF delivery stores wised up and asked that she cut the rapid speel….. it was confusing the clerks….. “we will refer to you as ‘Mrs Mac” which kind of subdued her to the extent that she would snap back ‘It’s ‘Mrs Mick’ not Mac.

    Is ‘ttfn’ an unspoken ‘cut’ ? Naw, you are too nice for that!



  • Mr. Kyle:;::::::::

    TTFN means TaTa For Now…Why must you always accuse me of nefarious thoughts and actions. I simply refer to your nasty digs and comments when I or someone else does not agree with you. My given name and how I choose to spell any short version is my business and not open to your speculation so please stop.

    Yes it is all too much for me to handle. If you want a performance bond or whatever other method you believe will lessen truancy then why don’t you find out how you go about instituting it or placing it on the agenda for board/public discussion?

    While I am sure that your younger years are of great interst to you and may be to others, I suggest that you try writing a memoir and publishing it.

    Please can we not be civil on this blog? Can you refrain from making accusations and innuendos regarding me or my family or my life? I have attempted to not refer to your wife or your children or your personal history. Please show me the same courtesy.

    Thank You.

  • John W. Kyle


    Sorry, I do not speak tea party lingo…..( Tah Tah ?) I had to pay hell just getting by in Latin clASSES.


  • John W. Kyle


    If I havn’t made accusations why must I apologize?


  • John W. Kyle



  • qodrn

    A school in St. Louis has arranged with a non-profit to pay parents $900 a school year if their students achieve certain goals, including attendence, bahavior, grades, etc.

    Maybe this would be a more useful approach. Also, I think uniforms would help.

  • Lucy’s Mom

    I received an e-mail from the ARRA funds where it shows the amount of money each LEA will receive under the new Education Fund. For HUSD is a bit more than 3.8 million . Who is going to monitor this money? It’s suppose to include early childhood education. Does this meant that the Childcare program that was a Helen Turner will receive funds and be open all day for infants and preschoolers? With all this money, it will be nice to find out if we can restore the programs that were cut, and call back direct instruction personnel that was laid off.
    At Lucy’s school I heard that the psychologist for special education is gone along with 3 or 4 more.
    Ms. Booth. I am not familiar with special education, can you tell us if this is true? How will these affect the most vulnerable students?

    Thank you,

  • observer

    Anyone who’s interested in what other school districts are doing about the truancy problem, it seems in Scotts Valley (gee Hayward isn’t the only place with this problem) they’ve come up with a “fine” for the parents of a child with an unexcused absence. Note it appears this is voluntary so the mandatory $100 “bond” is not likely to fly. http://www.buzzle.com/articles/parents-charged-36-per-day-when-children-miss-school-for-play.html

  • Dear Lucy’s Mom,

    Unfortunately what the DO does with Special Education teachers, psychologists, speech personnel, classroom aids is what I consider criminal. However, unless the State Department of Education, Special Ed division is made aware of the problems, HUSD can do just about what they want. Several years ago, early 2000s, HUSD was found to be in severe NON COMPLIANCE regarding Special Education. They had to bring in a “specialist” to help them to avoid a large fine. Just some of the issues were: lack of adequate numbers of psychologists, lack of adequate numbers of Program Specialists, failure to follow the legal requirements of the IEP such as, not having the principal or vice principal present at all IEP meetings; failure to provide non-English speaking parents with material in their native language; failure to provide parents with a written copy of their right; failure to conduct assessments within the required number of days.

    With much effort and cost these issues were resolved. However, the state was not aware of most of the problems until parents filed complaints directly to the Special Education Dept. in Sacramento. Special Education in HUSD is seen as a burden and is called an “encroachment” on the general funds. Like it or not, HUSD is required to identify and serve students with special needs, regardless of whether the state or federal government provides enough money. Hope tha helps you to understand some of the problems with special ed.

    To Observer:
    I believe you are correct that neither HUSD nor any school district may impose mandatory fines for truancy. Habitual truancy is an issue that should be handled by the District Attorney’s office, since it is against state law for parents to allow their student to be truant. I believe San Francisco has an agreement with their school district to actively pursue truancy complaints.

    Mr. Kyle:
    TTFN, TaTa For Now, is what Tigger says in the Whinny the Poo movies. It is his form of good-bye…Not some ridiculous “political” party lingo. Just do us both a favor…don’t respond to my posts and I will do the same for you. You go right ahead and blog all you want about truancy and I will just ignore you, and you can ignore whatever I post. Readers can decide if my ideas, opinions, information or suggestions are worth considering all by themselves. Can you agree to that?????????

  • John W. Kyle

    Ms. Kathy Booth


  • K Rocchio

    Observer, something else I notice about the Scott’s Valley plan … they only bill for the “elective absences,” or days missed for reasons other than illness. That would mean we would need to have some way of calculating the difference between days missed and days missed for illness. I think the numbers being discussed include all absences where ADA is not paid, including illness. In other words, a huge reason for parents to call in from Disneyland and say “Johnny has a really bad cough and won’t be in school today”. Thus, no voluntary fine, still no ADA.

    Again, let’s bring back some of our programs and electives that make our older kids excited to come to our schools. These are the students we need to look at because my guess is that the younger kids are missing school with their parents knowledge, it’s the teens we need to look at why they don’t want to be there. Programs like autoshop, home ec, woodshop, art, these are things that might bring back some of the students without having to fine the families.

  • K. Rocchio,

    correct me if I am wrong, but i thought if an absence was excused then ADA is collected for that absence. As I read your post, even an excused absence results in no ADA. Reminding parents that every day missed is a detrement to their child and informing them of the costs to the district and asking for re-embursement is an excellent idea. I am just concerned if HUSD attempted this it would be in the form of a demand letter with “implied” threats to parents and students.

    I know I sound like a “nay sayer”, but the experiences that I have helped parents handle in the past often resulted from harsh and accusatory toned letters.

    Restoring vocational classes and other electives were/are very often what kept students motivated to stay in school. Maybe we could consider spending a large majority of the consultant fees for such classes.

  • To K. Rocchio and Observer,

    I looked at the article from Scott Valley and I wonder just what the percentage is in HUSD for absences that are due to a family outing, vacation or ski trip. I would venture a guess that the majority of our students who are having an attendance problem have families that are simply struggling to keep “right side up” in this economy.

    Again I think we need to bring back counsellors, and outreach workers who can get to the root of the problem and where possible, help families to create a way to keep education and daily attendance a priority. I really can’t believe that there are huge numbers of parents who just don’t give a d…

  • John W. Kyle


    I HAVE IN MY POSSESSION A print out of the report by HUSD used to advise and then see posted by the State Dept of Eddykation in a district by district comparison of experiences in Truancy.

    Frankly the incredible increase in the truancy numbers as between school year 2007-2008 and the summary of the experience of 2009-2010 is an astounding number. In two years time the ratio has almost doubled.

    Truancy for 2008 – 2009 was a mere 25.45% of the enrollment seen as being reported at 21,770.…… in 2009-2010 the truancy is 48.94% of an enrollment totaling 21,319.…… 10,432 kids are reported absent more than 30 minutes on 3 or more days.

    I have been criticized by ‘experts’ using this blog for even suggesting such an impossible idea as use of a $100. per family Performance Bond. Not $100 per child as a few have interpreted the idea, for reasons known only to their unexposed thought processes.

    I am alert to the fact that attendance clerks were reduced in count and shared by schools with the heaviest problems. Elementary schools as a whole ‘only’ saw 36.4% truancy. Bowman, Cherryland and Park school had truancy rates exceeding 50%; Strobridge, Ringold, and Fairview exceeded 40% ; East Ave , Glassbrook, Longwood, Palma Ceia, Ruus and Tyrell were all in the 30% range Eden Gardens suffered 10% and the balance had numbers between 10 14% and 20%.

    Average truancy at Middle schools was 61.4% Winton was at 50.7% , so that helped (?). Our high schools averaged 74%

    Frankly I do not believe the numbers. It occurs to me that the reduced number of attendance clerks might be a factor. I also think, (or strongly suspect) that the system has tendency towards failure to distinguish between Truancy and Transience.

    I do not care if the Transients walk away from a $100. Performance Bond ! Their problem may or may not be tied to a foreclosure with all the emotional problems associated with that thought. A simple phone call would have seen a refund check in the mail. As to truants…. More than 30 minutes on 3 or more days?

    Well, I’d rather have those parents sore at me rather than the other way around ! Especially so if I had a child in HUSD’s system where the quality of education drops as numbers of kids per class grow due to budget problems. Make no mistake about it, .. the loss of ADA money at HUSD is—-HEAVY!

    I have an idea but. shudder at the thought of OPPOSITION! Ms. Booth is opposed! As best I can detect, she is opposed to thoughts of a Town Hall Meeting because my proposal for a “Town Hall Meeting” is not appreciated by that expert on all matters affecting HUSD. I think the woman to be possessive, to a point where her need is to have all matters associated with HUSD, bear an attest or personal imprimatur.

    A Town Hall meeting might easily result in development of sufficient volunteers to establish groups to serve the School District in fashion similar but not identical to the various groups aiding the City of Hayward, which are described as ‘commissions’ I envision an eventual assembly of 100 or more volunteers, DRAWN FROM THE RANKS OF LOCAL RETIREES, EMPTY NESTORS, PARENTS OF LONG AGO GRADUATES ETC.

    Why search for them through a town hall meeting? Quite simply the fact is that if done under the auspices of either HUSD Trustees or City Council, the Brown Act would be the force majeure…and the experience with the ‘complainers’ or endless line of ‘nay Sayers’ would be rallied by some congenital naysayers, to use the required ‘public comment period’.

    A Town hall meeting under my concept would consist of an initial 15 minutes dedicated to explaining the need to make use of the ‘break out’ concept. 20 folks maximum at each table grouping.
    Rule # 1.…. No finger pointing at Trustees or those employed in administration or classrooms.

    Next rule….. Only positive ideas expressed on how to make use of volunteers organized in a supportive role as seen occurring with the various commissions employed by the City of Hayward.

    Town Hall meeting should focus all thoughts upon the idea that there is a need for volunteers such retired folk, empty nesters, handicapped folk, and those who just plain need a vehicle to keep active or become better acquainted such as might occur with new arrivals in town. If such existed I could employ my considerable experience in volunteer efforts at fun filled fund raising activity.
    Some retired police officers might see opportunity to visit the last known address of a conspicuous, constant truant who might just need help in dealing with neglectful parents….. Etc.

    I fail understanding of how any would oppose such an attempt to aid HUSD. Have you any idea how effective would be the assistance to HUSD if volunteers found excitement in the act of volunteering, when possessed of certain knowledge that the assistance rendered is successful in aid of education?

    Of course I am just a ‘bully’… what in ‘ell do I know? Right?

  • John W. Kyle

    Nr. Kurhi

    Moderation is ….???? Censorship?

  • K Rocchio

    From what I have learned, since around 1999 we have not collected ADA for what many consider to be “excused” absences. I believe it is SB 727?? Things like illness, funerals, medical appointments, etc. are coded as excused, but ADA is not collected. There are other “justifiable” absences which also do not collect ADA. I remember hearing an attendance clerk once as they explained to a parent that there was no reason to call in from vacation and say their child was ill because it really didn’t matter anymore. However, ADA is collected for those that trudge to school with their sick children and sit through attendance and then leave. Isn’t that encouraging??

    If there are any attendance clerks out there, perhaps they can clarify this for us.

  • Eric Kurhi

    Wasn’t censorship, John. Your e-mail address on those posts was different (appeared to be a typo) than the one you usually use. That makes the program think you are a new poster, subject to a hold until moderation.

  • K. Rocchio,
    If that is the case, and I certainly believe you, then what is the purpose of excusing any absence at any time? Certainly sounds like all parents are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Parents should just be told don’t bother to communicate with us because it will not affect the loss of ADA for your child.

    Perhaps they should be told to have the hearse and funeral director stop by the school so the child can be counted. Or better yet, let’s not tell parents to keep students home when they have the flu or some other contageous condition, send them HUSD needs the money.

    What a self defeating practice. I suppose the only purpose of a call is to allow somebody in the office to know this isn’t a cut…Every sick child is now no different than the child who chooses not to come to school or whose parent for whatever reason chooses to keep them home. Why place the burden of calling on a parent whose child is out due to illness or a death?

    And everyone wonders why I am so suspicious of what the powers that be are doing in the “hen house”.

  • To K. Rocchio,
    I jsut briefly scanned a web site called Attendance Counts and saw a position paper from the Calif. PTA. In their recommendations they too refer to making the School Attendance and Review Board a stronger arm of local districts. Apparently, HUSD is not making adequate use of the SARB within the district.

    It is a good site and I intend to spend some time really focusing on the many articles. By the way SB727 deals with the family leave act in CA.

  • TO ALL:

    Sorry to monopolize tonight but I just got information that Will McGee, candidate for school board, is having a campaign kick-off on Thursday Sept. 9 at Celia’s Restaurant across from Chabot College, from 7-9pm.

    There is not charge, free nibbles and a chance to meet himn face to face. I encourage those who are interested to go and check him out.

  • Lucy’s Mom

    Thank you for the information. I have a previous engagement that evening, however I will pass the info to other parents.

  • John W. Kyle

    K. Booth

    I agree!. Mr. McGee is a qualified individual! He did well at the interview process at which Mr. Armas was nominated for Trustee.

    Had Armas not been available, Mr. McGee would have been my choice… I have already determined to support him as the most qualified candidate to replace Mr. Frumkin. Has a quick mind, speaks well, good bearing. young athletic type and has just finishied some work at University to acheive an advanced degree.

    I expect much good with his presence on Board of Trustees.

  • John W. Kyle


    Has Mr. McGee established a website yet?

  • teachermama

    My understanding of the ADA issue is the same as K. Rocchio’s. I thought the schools wanted to track absences, both “excused” and “unexcused” (even though they are all kind of unexcused) because attendance affects progress in school. You can’t learn if you are not there. Naive??

    Ms. Booth, your former comment about some of our attendance problems coming from struggling families resonates with my experience in the classroom. The most frequent excuse for absences that most of us would consider “unexcused” (not illness or emergency) that I hear is that a parent or sibling had some kind of appointment and nobody would be available to pick up the kids at school at dismissal. Maybe I am naive again, but to me it is heartbreaking that a child should miss an entire seven hours of learning over an appt. that was inconveniently scheduled. Many parents tell me they have no flexibility in scheduling their kids’ appts. because the waits are very long and they have to take what they can get. Compound this with the fact that many of the mothers don’t drive, so they either need to catch BART or bus, walk, or get their husbands to take time off to drive them. The parents at my school seem very friendly with each other, so I am surprised there is not a network of support to pick up each other’s kids once in awhile. It seems like an easy problem to solve, I’m just not sure how to do it. You would be surprised how much school one child can miss over this, especially if they have a big family, someone else is frequently ill, or the family has ongoing legal/immigration/business issues to resolve.

  • To all:
    Mr. McGee’s website is http://www.WilliamMcGee.com

    To Teachermama,

    It appears as if nothing has really changed over the years for many of our students. The problems/needs facing a huge number of our families always seem to interfere with attendance. I think that for the most part parents would prefer to send their children to school every day but they often don’t have the support or ability to accomplish that. I totally agree that the primary reason for regular attendance is the need to be in the classroom every day for educational purposes. Without the continuity of learning academic progress is stunted.

    My biggest problem with HUSD and those who “scream” about loss of ADA monies is that they are unwilling to address these underlying issues. Perhaps these new “Parent Centers” could be put to use in some way to assit struggling families so that their students are able to be in school each and every day.

    While I understand that attendance=ADA, it breaks my heart to see students being seen as dollar signs rather than young minds that need to be nurtured and expanded through education.

    Oh well, I guess that’s “the bleeding heart liberal” in me.

  • MR KYLE!
    I promised I would not respond to your postings and I haven’t, with the exception to responding for info on William McGee’s Candidate website. However, in the effort to save stamps, paper and the back of the mailman, I am going to respond to your letter of 9/2/10 delivered to my home.

    No one in my family, including my husband, is interested in reading any missal or letter you have composed, and I am, as politely as possible, requesting that you cease and desist from using the United States mail to deliver any messages, copies of letters or any other materials to my personal residence.

    My only comment in response to your enclosure, is perhaps the principal at Longwood needs to spend his time becoming familiar with his students, their familes, his new staff and the community in general. His primary focus must be directed to the successful academic progress of the students he has been charged to shepherd through his elementary school.

  • John W. Kyle

    To: All concerned with ADA losses.

    Bleeding heart liberals should not oppose Town Hall Meeting ideas at which event, if it ever evolves, may eventuate to a course of action solving the several aspects of parental problems with ‘APPOINTMENTS’, in a pro-active manner by ‘empty nesters’ etc., who would combine themselves into services needed to correct the absence from class problem, which is connected, in some minds, with the ADA problem,

    See item # 28 above.

    Forget animosities toward male contributors, who berate other contributors that fail understanding of the difference between ‘freedom of speech’ and ‘licentious speech‘.

    Ask yourself whether or not the germ of an idea as found in the use of a Town Hall meeting is worthy of pursuit after the following reading ‘assignment‘.

    As for myself, assuming A Town Hall meeting assures connection with 10 or 12 guys to start, I would let myself become involved with money raising activity for the purpose of supporting music and athletic programs. Let us assume for the moment that other volunteers would act as ‘block mothers’ to aid a child’s attendance.

    Did you know that St. Joachim’s school, here in Hayward, was built by volunteers the count of which group eventuated to a problem when the school first opened. There were so many volunteers involved that the school was opened with 50 kids to a class. Can you imagine 50 kids in a class? For purposes of allowing ‘bonding’ as between students…. the enrollment was initially limited to the first 5 elementary grades. When that first 5th grade class graduated, as an eighth grade class it still had fifty! Mom and dad, despite their labors in aid of construction, still had to pay tuition. Yet, Doctors, Lawyers, Teachers are well represented as graduates of that first class. One graduate, the product of a mixed race marriage is in charge of a consortium of internationally owned oil companies developing resources in …… (forget which one,,,, let us just call it ‘Bezerkistan’), has had his four children graduate from Universities. One of those four did volunteer work, in central America, immediately after graduation. A year later he found a nice job in a large corporation which favors young people with a ‘world view’,

    Meanwhile his Dad and Mother, who met while attending Moreau, have adopted and are raising a bright, physically handicapped child whom they encountered and adopted as their own child, while Dad was representing Chevron in some Moscow based negotiations with the Russian Government.

    Not my brag… I had nothing to do with St. Joachim’ during the construction etc…. what attracted me to Hayward, in my search for a home was the ‘sense of community’ and acceptance of responsibility on a community wide basis, as found at St. Joachim’s

    Frankly, a ‘sense of community’ is not sufficiently reflected within HUSD or the tax payers who support it!

    I am convinced that a “Town Hall Meeting” based on the recognition of need for improvement accomplished in direct fashion by community participants, as was seen in the early history of the United States. In those years, City and County administrations were rarely existent in large areas of the original colonies, Schools, roads and bridges as well as ‘rural’ mail delivery were brought into existence by ‘Town Hall Meetings.’

    Use of present concepts in a scenario where we impose a self defeating ‘public comment’ period, proscribed by the Brown act, has done nothing but put on a show of dissension caused by the ‘uninformed’ much to the discomfort of the Trustees at HUSD. Those folks, (Trustees), are pushed and pulled into so many ‘plans’ and ‘programs’ that few of them as well as members of the administration and the ‘public’ are able to sort out the procedures and problems now facing us. A town hall meeting would not be conducted under Brown Act conditions where the uninformed are abusive ad infinitum!

    HUSD would be well served if those among blog users, presenting themselves as possessing superior experience and expertise in research of Ed Codes etc…… would spend some time examining the “Town Hall Meetings” of old…. not the ‘trash mouth’ shows put on during the last Presidential elections or subsequent examples of the ‘Tea Party’..

    Retirees, empty nesters, new arrivals in the community need opportunity to present positive, purposeful ideas backed up by their own spirit of volunteerism, so as to produce a pathway out of HUSD’s dilemma.

  • John W. Kyle

    Ms. Booth

    That letter was mailedd yesterday and was addressed to Lawrenced…. come on… was he at work when you opened it?

    Well you sure havew control in that household!

  • MR. KYLE,



    To all others who read/scan this blog:

    I have tried my very best to ignore and not respond to Mr. Kyle’s postings. He is entitled to his views as long as they do not encroach upon personal attacks, innuendo or other tasteless remarks directed to my family members.

  • qodrn

    The only reason to call the school or submit a note is not be declared truant. When i went to public school you couldn’t go to class with out clearing your absence, the teacher would send you back to the office. I gave up clearing absences as a protest because the school never called when my sons were home, never kept tract of the excuses, etc.
    My son’s charter school gives parents 10 absences a year to clear. After that, baring being excused for special circumstances, students get to attend Saturday school to make up their missed work, or go on independent study.

    Public schools are too scared not to readmit kids to school, but I say why not? If schools really want to stop truancy, the state should stop paying for truant kids until they complete independent study and catch up. The problem is schools don’t really enforce the demands they want to make on kids, so the kids learn not to respect their authority.

  • To Qodrn:

    You have some very good points and once again I wonder why the HUSD School Attendance and Review Board seems to be “absent” in this matter.

    Unfortunately it is truly difficult to tell which is more important to HUSD ADA money or educating students. If, in fact, as Ms. Rocchio and Teachermama say, even an excused absence does not meet the ADA requirements then what is the parental responsibility in cases of illness, death or a legitimate emergency? Of course, parents/students should obtain any missed work to make up and speak with classmates or the teacher to find out what was covered during school hours. By doing so, while the student has still missed the attendance requirement, they may possibly be able to keep up academically.

    Which really matters, ADA money or seat time and academics for students? Is it budget or kids?

  • Lucy’s Mom

    Dear Mrs.Booth,
    The “parent centers” at least the one at Lucy’s school is nothing but a place of “gossip”, that came from a mellow, hard working volunteer mother that happens to speak English and Spanish. She feels, her words not mine, that all they do is gossip, some knitting, dancing, and more gossip. Some leaders in the school district are using some parent centers as their fan base, that is her perspective. The DO is supposed to be using that Americorp grant to educate parents about living well, eating well, feeling well. A very good cause indeed, however, the resources that are available through this grant could be use for issues with attendance, gang education, re-classification of ELLs ( a serious approach), how to increase vocabulary, etc. It is very sad how our youngsters now a days are not developing vocabulary up to the age/grade they are in. I have not attend any Parent Center meetings because my Spanish is not up to par.
    Ms. Roccio how is the parent center at your school? I am curious to know.

  • To Lucy’s Mom,

    Your recounting of that parent’s impression is something I have heard from others when they are asked about the parent centers. It seems to me the best way to help our children is to help their families by assisting, educating and supporting them in doing what is right for their student(s), especially when it comes to attendance. Those centers should be the hub for ideas and action to improve the educational environment for children both at school and at home.

    While I believe that “learning to live well, eat well and feel well” are all fine and good, understanding how to keep children in school and learning to ask for assitance in doing so is far more important.

    Thank you, Ms. Rocchio, Observer and Teachermama for the information and suggestions that is provided in this blog.

  • John W. Kyle

    Ms. Booth.

    Harassment??? Geez, you take liberties with the English language!.

    It was mainly a courtesy to advise of the changes occurring on weekends at Longwood school the success or failure of which has affect upon the value of your home. Given your husband’s history of involvement while occupying his seat on the Board of Trustees.

    If you haven’t noticed the Longwood Ave pedestrian Gate is now open on weekends between 10:00 AM AND 3:00 PM. Equipment is being made available for soccer, Goal posts are also now adjacent the fence. What most have failed to notice, probably including yourself, oh fountain of knowledge involving all things great and small, is the lack of Trash cans, which when the soccer games get going again, will be sorely missed. Ah well, the prevailing winds might easily blow the trash to a close vicinity of your home…. So why worry?.

    Adding to the aesthetic appeal of the neighborhood is the porta- potty now leaning against the Longwood Ave fence and at present the grounds which are opened for five hours on Saturday and Sunday is a device to aid the shortage of park space in the Longwood-Winton Grove neighborhood.. Our Longwood park is of such minimal size as to violate the standards of Park or open space requirement imposed on other neighborhoods but overlooked here..

    Had you been such a great researcher as you would have us believe, you might have discovered that the Park was cut off from the ‘South Garden’ neighborhood where the lack of amenity is such that rentals experience one hell of a turnover….certainly you are aware that the South Garden neighborhood is ‘packed’ with low cost (minimal) housing qualities and age….The City of Hayward annexed that area in somewhat ill advised desire or thought that it’s police could do a better job than the County Sheriff in dealing with the ’transient nature’. The paroled felons inhabiting the area have kids too, so maybe that factor is responsible for the 35% truancy rate at Longwood last year?

    35% truancy rates at Longwood school..??? A facility which you appear to ignore; to impress your blog followers with the idea that you live in another, better area?

    The letter was addressed to the Principal and was an after thought to a meeting held at Longwood School as between myself, Trustee Heredia, the New Principal. Ms. Benson of Personnel Dept and Supt Duran.

    Despite assurances made to me in late winter or early spring, the site resident facility has been abandoned to still another use. It had been promised to me that it would be re-opened on August 15th, after a three year struggle ….. in 2006 the original site resident, whose success in reduction of vandalism and graffiti, ( to the extent of a savings of $50,000 per year,) was ‘pushed out’ so that Dr. Vigil; could refurbish the residence building and lease it out at $750 per month, including all utilities and scavenger service…. All to aid the budget ?

    That act by Vigil did not work and I struggled with that man for 3 years…. In March 2009 the board finally saw the light….. and expressed desire to re-establish the site resident concept….. Vigil, well practiced at foot dragging repeatedly failed to keep his promises and if you are not aware the subsequent blowup by me resulted in the “My Word” Piece appearing in the Review. It precipitated the removal….. What followed was a struggle to draw attention to the need at Longwood.




    In the letter to the principal, of which I sent your husband a copy, I went into great detail of the shortcomings of M & O on the subject of grounds neglect even to the extent of breaking up an act of oral copulation as well as all the other stuff described in the letter to Principal.

    As Chair of the of the now defunct Neighborhood Task Force, and since then, I do not ever recall your presence…. your lack of interest was amazing considering your recent claims to having done so much for HUSD.

    Lady….. you are an impossible neighbor. You rank right up there with a certain neighbor, a former principal whose career was cut short due to his belligerence when those who worked with him had another idea. His performance at the meetings of the Airport Noise ordinance, of which group I was the elected chairperson and his belligerence at neighborhood task force meetings, a group to which he aspired membership but failed to achieve now reminds me of your own refusal to advise your interpretation of the difference between freedom of speech and ‘license’. With your degree from law school you ought be able to do that service to your readers.

    I will file a complaint with Mr. Kurhi because of your published re-action to the courtesy I extended to your husband who might have had at least a passing interest in Longwood when he was a trustee.

  • Mr. Kyle,

    This is Larry Booth typing this to you. I am personally asking that you leave me and whatever positions I have held in the past out of your correspondence or postings on this blog site. I could care less what you have to say, and I think that most people who read your drivvle are not interested in me or what I do or don’t do. I do not consider your copy of a letter written to the Longwood principal a necessity for my well being or the value of my home.

    I have taken the liberty to use my wife’s entry on to this site because I am not a blogger and don’t intend to become one.

    I ask that you not respond to this posting, for it is not necessary, and if you ignore my request then it will show just what a small individual you truly are.

  • Mr.Kyle,
    File any complaint you wish. Since I choose not to use the US mail, or out of respect for your wife, to drive to your home, this blog is the only way that I can communicate with you. Nothing you say or any attempt you make to communicate with my husband is considered a courtesy…it is purely mischief on your part.
    I cannot think of any other way to say that you may choose to criticize my postings, disagree with my information or suggestions, without bringing my husband into your scope of comment.

    I stand as my own person and as long as you do not refer to my home, my husband or my family…go to it.
    You are the one who will end up looking the fool.