Serra Adult School supporters rally against proposed relocation

Serra Adult School supporters rally against school's planned relocation

by Mike Kinney

Staff, teachers, students and supporters of Serra Adult School are opposing a proposal by the West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) to relocate their school’s programs to make room for the new Mandarin immersion school.

The school district says nearly all of Serra’s programs will remain at its current campus at 6028 Ralston Ave. in the 2017-18 year, but they might be relocated in the 2018-19 school year, possibly to Alvarado Adult School.

Serra Adult School teachers, staff and students are upset by relocation plans and say they have not been given ample opportunity to provide their input. Moving Serra, a centralized campus, will cause the loss of students, opponents said. On Wednesday, they rallied at the school board’s meeting to demand the matter be placed on the May 24 agenda.

The school district says Serra staff were made aware of these plans before the board’s vote. The district is calling for the Serra administration to relocate to the Alvarado Adult School campus in the 2017-18 school year. But nearly all adult education classes are set to remain at the current campus. The following year, as the Mandarin immersion school expands, these Serra programs might be relocated.

Opponents fear a relocation will weaken Serra and strip an immigrant community of important education programs.

“I teach the parents of the kids in Richmond and San Pablo, and this district is 50-percent immigrant, so we don’t understand why the board would do this,” said Jim Knebelman, a teacher at the school.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this report incorrectly stated that plans were to relocate all of Serra’s programs in the 2017-18 school year. In fact, nearly all of Serra’s programs will remain at the 6028 Ralston Ave. in 2017-18, and may be relocated the following year.