School Board to Vote on Curvy Derby

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday April 24, 2007

The Berkeley Board of Education is scheduled to vote on development of the Curvy Derby Plan for the Berkeley Unified School District’s (BUSD) East Campus field Wednesday. 

“Staff is going with the assumption that the board will approve the Curvy Derby plan,” said BUSD spokesperson Mark Coplan. “The board could either stick to the Closed Derby Street plan or listen to the community and allow the Curvy Derby plan to move forward.” 

Coplan said that the original plan had mandated that in order for a regulation-size baseball field to be constructed at the East Campus field, Derby Street would have to be closed. 

“However the neighbors objected to this and came up with a new plan,” he said. “This conceptual plan extends the field north into Carleton Street so that Derby Street can remain open. The board’s approval will allow up to $20,000 in funds toward developing the Curvy Derby plan.” 

WLC Consultants will be hired to look into the development of the plan. 

In January, proponents and opponents of a nearly decade-long dispute over the playing field construction at East Campus came to an agreement about the Curvy Derby plan, which was created by Berkeley residents Susi Marzuola and Peter Waller. 


WASC accreditation 

The school board will receive a presentation from Berkeley High School (BHS) staff regarding the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accreditation update and a report on the small schools. 

In 2006, BHS was accredited by WASC for a period of six years, said Coplan. 


Black Tour report 

The board will also hear a presentation from administrators who recently participated in the Black College Teacher Recruitment Tour. 

“This was the first time that BUSD sent out a group to search for African-American applicants,” said Coplan. “We expect the report to be positive. The group specifically visited universities who cater to African American students.” 

Coplan added that schools all over the nation were struggling to hire more teachers of color in their schools. 

“Big corporations also want to hire people of color and as a result schools often lose out,” he said. “Public education just doesn’t have the same kind of money corporate America does. This tour was undertaken to get out there and recruit the best African American teachers.” 


MLK track 

The board will vote to approve an advertisement to solicit bids for the resurfacing of the track at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School during the summer. 

The track—which is largely used by the community—will remain closed from June 15 to the end of August. 


Mural projects 

The board will also approve a Tile Mural Project at Oxford Elementary School and a Centennial Tile Mural Project at Jefferson Elementary School.