Private Christian School May Rent Kennedy Middle School Classrooms

The district is looking at the potential revenue of leasing space, but concerned about providing enough classroom space for its own students.

A San Mateo-based private Christian school is looking to lease five empty classrooms for 70 students from .

The is constantly facing due to the , and the lease would generate approximately $100,000 for the district during the 2011-2012 school year.

But on Wednesday, the third day of the school year, enrollment had already swelled beyond its projected numbers, according to Superintendent Jan Christensen.

District staff will examine the feasibility of leasing space to the Alpha Beacon Christian School after waiting for enrollment numbers to finalize. There are five empty classrooms in a 6th grade quad at Kennedy Middle School, and is open to this option. The private school would occupy classrooms B6, B9, B10, P3, and P4 (see attached map).

However, over half the schools are at or over enrollment project, Christensen said. And registrations continue to roll in.

“I’ve never seen such high enrollment numbers,” she said.

The district can send newly-enrolled students in any grade to another school in the district after the first 10 days of school if their neighborhood school is over-enrolled. All students who have attended Redwood City School District schools in previous years will remain at their assigned schools.

“We have to be careful that we don’t do a disservice to our students,” Trustee Hilary Paulson cautioned.

Board President Alisa MacAvoy noted that because of the school's religious affiliation, it could not proselytize on campus, and would haev to keep any religious messages within the classrooms.

The private school was renting space from the San Mateo-Foster City school district, but the Fiesta Gardens school in San Mateo will undergo modernization. The displaced students will need to use the space previously occupied by the private school.

The board also mentioned concern about the dynamics of the grade difference between the middle schoolers and the pre-K through 5th graders of the Alpha Beacon Christian School and their effects.

But Trustee Maria Diaz-Slocum mentioned the positive effect the younger students could have on the Kennedy middle schoolers.

“They see younger students and may feel like they should be role models,” she said.   

Trustees also cited the benefit of exposing other community members to Kennedy Middle School.

“They can see what a great school Kennedy is,” said Trustee Dennis McBride.

Jack Hickey August 25, 2011 at 05:15 PM
gerry t: Actually, what you suggest is more in line with what Trustee Maria Diaz-Slocum said. I see nothing wrong with that scenario.
Jack Hickey August 26, 2011 at 12:17 AM
gerry t: "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" Equating education with fun is a mistake. Education is serious stuff. And, important. That doesn't mean it has to be boring. There should be time for fun and time for the serious stuff. Having 8 hours of institutionalized "isn't school fun?" is a colossal mistake. There are many other venues which could better provide for the "fun" stuff in a stimulating social environment. Those venues might very well take advantage of public school facilities.
Eggbert August 26, 2011 at 03:18 AM
Yes, let's do get "tough with our teachers". Heaven knows, they're all shiftless, undisciplined, overindulged, and overpaid. It would be interesting, perhaps even amusing, to watch Mr./Ms gerry t take on the life of a teacher today. I imagine the cry to "get tough" on them might lose a bit of its vehemence.
Judi Mathers August 26, 2011 at 05:43 PM
When 6th graders were brought to Kennedy...what teachers warned of happened....semi-thugs emulated the bigger thugs....it wasn't the other way around. Some of the best teachers are gone from Kennedy (my kids went there and I work in the district...) funny how they kept one who is known to cuss at kids and physically drag kids out! An excellent math teacher was given the known behavior problems in order to "help" her decide to retire.....others are allowed (at least under past leadership) to go in early and handpick their classes! Naivete is alive and well at the district office.
Jack Hickey September 04, 2011 at 05:24 PM
Based upon information above "...five empty classrooms for 70 students from Kennedy Middle School. ...the lease would generate approximately $100,000 for the district during the 2011-2012 school year." the off-budget facilities cost per student in the RCSD is $100,000/70, or $1,429 per year. Very interesting!


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