The school board’s got a few interesting things on tap for tonight, not the least of which is an update on efforts to create a curriculum to address sexual orientation and gender identity for the Island’s elementary schools which could go into effect this coming school year. The district is apparently creating the curriculum in response to a bevy of recently passed state anti-discrimination laws, including one that went into effect at the beginning of this year. The district’s goal is to “develop one lesson per grade level focused on inclusiveness, family diversity and anti-bullying” to be put in place for this coming school year, according to this PowerPoint presentation (item #3). Community forums with (hopefully) more detailed plans, followed by consideration by the school board, are slated for the fall. The proposal could generate some controversy: Some parents at Franklin Elementary were upset about a recent presentation on gender identity there because they felt the subject matter was not appropriate for their young children (Franklin principal Gail Rossiter is the “wellness coordinator” for the curriculum team putting this together). The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall and it will be televised. The school board will also consider a new principal for Wood Middle School, recently in the news for its high suspension rate, and modernization projects for schools, which they don’t appear to have enough money for.
And speaking of money, the district has got the info and forms for seniors and disabled persons seeking an exemption from the Measure H parcel tax right here. Forms are available at the district office at 2200 Central Avenue; Mastick Senior Center, 1155 Santa Clara Avenue; and all Alameda Free Library branches. Seniors age 65 and up by June 30, 2009 and disabled persons qualify if they provide proof of age or disability and residency. Forms must be received in the district office no later than 4:30 p.m. July 10. People who have already got an exemption for the prior Measure A parcel tax don’t need to fill out a new form, per the district.