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Education

Votes are in – Superintendent Duffy stays, for now

The West Contra Costa County Unified School District (WCCUSD) board held a special closed meeting Friday night and voted unanimously not to terminate the contract of Superintendent Matthew Duffy, Board President Tom Panas said. Superintendent Duffy was not present at the November 15 meeting, which had been called to review his employment.  But supporters—including teachers, parents and residents—turned out to urge the board not to fire him. On Wednesday, school board member Mister Phillips issued a statement that he believed…

School Board approves charter renewal, discusses district test scores

After months of debate and community campaigning, the West Contra Costa Unified School District board members voted 4 to 1 in favor of renewing the charter of Aspire Richmond California College Preparatory Academy (Cal Prep) before a large and passionate crowd. The board was also presented with data from the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) on test score performance within the district. Nearly 35% of WCCUSD students overall met or exceeded standards for English Language Arts (ELA),…

Cal Prep members advocate for charter renewal

Faculty, students, and parents from Aspire Richmond California College Preparatory Academy (Cal Prep) urged the Board of Education to renew the school’s charter at this week’s meeting of the West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) at Lovonya DeJean Middle School. Cal Prep is a public charter and early college secondary school in Richmond. During a public forum at Wednesday night’s meeting, Cal Prep supporters testified that the charter renewal would allow Cal Prep to continue with its mission statement…

School Board halts Mindfulness Program in Richmond schools

The West Contra Costa County School Board voted against renewing its contract with Mindful Life Project, a local non-profit organization that teaches mindfulness practices to children in the district. More than a dozen community members showed up at the board’s meeting to advocate for the continuation of the program.

West County leads the state in pushing for a moratorium on new charter schools

In December, the DeJean Middle School multipurpose room brimmed with onlookers—community leaders, public officials, parents and students—who cheered wildly as Stephanie Hernández-Jarvis and Consuelo Lara took their new seats on the West Contra Costa Unified Board of Education. The two newcomers had arrived ready and confident. The celebration was a pleasant, gratifying end to their campaigns, and they were prepared to make the hard-fought decisions of public office, including one that day: Whether to re-approve the charter of Benito Juarez…

Tales of Two Cities: Locked Up

Welcome back to the Tales of Two Cities podcast!  This episode is about being locked up. This week we’ll meet formerly incarcerated people who share their experiences behind bars and also learn about the ways they’re getting their lives back on track after their release. We’ll also look at a different kind of lock up as we hear about animals who are affected by isolation and confinement. We will follow rodent-trapping researchers in an effort to study mammals and also…

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