A little more about Longfellow
I’m following up on yesterday’s post on the district’s offer of space at the former Longfellow Elementary to Nea Community Learning Center, a K-10 charter school that is slated to open this fall.
As I said yesterday, the district has offered Nea the exclusive use of 11 classrooms at Longfellow, plus shared use of other space at the former elementary school. A number of folks have voiced concerns about where the services that are currently housed at the site will go if Nea moves in. Right now, Longfellow houses a Head Start, adult literacy, the Alameda Education Foundation and a variety of district program offices.
Sounds like the district has made offers to several of the programs to allow them to stay on campus, per the district’s chief financial officer, Tim Rahill. Specifically, Rahill said that the adult family literacy program, a program that helps homeless youth and the Head Start program would likely remain on campus.
“We have contacted and are working with the other agencies to find a suitable location at another site,” Rahill told the school board Tuesday night.
The school has 24 rooms listed on its directory and a line of portables in one corner of its fairly large parking lot (though Rahill said some of those portables are going to be moved to other schools). The district’s other non-school sites include the former Woodstock School, Island High and the district offices on Central Avenue.
Cindy Wasco, who runs the literacy program, said she’s glad to be able to stay on campus.
“I am happy we have a home for next year, and I’m confident we’ll have a home in the future,” she told the board.
Superintendent Kirsten Vital has to make the district’s space offer to Nea by April 1, and Nea has until May 1 to say whether the charter will accept the district’s offer. Nea had specifically requested space at Longfellow to house its students, which are expected to number around 300 next year and 400 from then on.
The district will pay an estimated $250,000 to upgrade Longfellow for the school’s use, much of it to upgrade the fire alarm system. Nea won’t pay rent on the facility, aside from covering the costs for “supervisorial oversight.”
Oh, and if you were wondering, the district looked at Island High and Woodstock as possible sites for Nea but decided they weren’t a good fit for the charter (A lot of Woodstock is already being used by the BASE charter; Island is the focus of ongoing redevelopment conversations with the city).