Education Briefs

Discussion on school closures and realignments underway

In anticipation of further state budget cuts, the San Diego Unified School District is studying the possibility of closing some schools in ten of its 16 high school clusters, including the Hoover and Crawford clusters in City Heights. A cluster consists of elementary and middle schools that feed into a high school.

District staff has held a series of community meetings throughout September to inform parents about the potential changes, which could include grade-level reconfigurations and program consolidations, in addition to campus closures. As part of the adoption of this school year’s budget, the district has committed to saving $5 million through school realignments in the 2012-2013 school year.

Additional community meetings are scheduled in October. To learn more, visit www.sandi.net/realignment.

Campaign aims to recruit 4,500 volunteers for local schools

United Way of San Diego County, the San Diego County Office of Education, and the San Diego Union-Tribune have joined together for a campaign to recruit 4,500 volunteers to tutor, mentor, and support local students at a time when schools are grappling with severe budget cuts.

The campaign was announced on Sept. 15, and it’s part of a national effort by United Way get one million people throughout the country to volunteer in schools. United Way and the Union-Tribune will track the local volunteer efforts to determine their impact.

To speak with a volunteer coordinator, call (858) 636-4111.

New dialogue has begun to improve services for East Africans

A recent conference sponsored by City Heights Hope, Voices of Women and the United Women of East Africa Support Team sparked a new dialogue between San Diego’s East African community, local agencies and educators on how to best serve East African families.

Agin Shaheed, a program manager in the Race, Human Relations and Advocacy Department of the San Diego Unified School District, was part of a panel discussion on how to provide better advocacy for children and adults in a culturally diverse community. In addition, Shaheed gave a motivational speech to participating students on how to become responsible citizens and shared information about the contributions of East Africans to American culture.

Participants are working to improve the overall health and well-being of East African families living in San Diego. For more information, contact Shaheed at (858) 490-8678.

Hoover moves from Beiser’s school board subdistrict to Barrera’s

Under a redistricting plan approved by the San Diego School Board on Sept. 13, Hoover High School has moved from subdistrict B represented by Kevin Beiser to subdistrict D represented by Richard Barrera.

Electoral maps are redrawn every ten years after new census data is released. The goal of redistricting is to balance populations between political districts to ensure equal representation.

The total population in the school district is a little more than one million people, and the voting-age population is 80 percent of the general  population. About 200,000 people reside in each of the five school board subdistricts.

In subdistrict D, 45.22 percent of the population is Hispanic, 37.76 percent non-Hispanic white, and 7.9 percent black, with the remainder made up of a mix of races.