When Nea’s charter was renewed in December of last year, Alameda Unified School District officials urged Nea to “reflect on the effectiveness of the use of the ‘Tree’ (community room) on student learning in the 6-12 program” and “reflect upon the rigor of the seminar classes in the 6-12 program to insure an effective use of instructional time, challenging curriculum and learning experiences for students.”
Then, in the spring, just weeks before the of the school year, Community Learning Center Schools, (CLCS) which is the parent of Nea, ousted Nea founder and lead facilitator (principal) Maafi Guye which resulted in a heated controversy among parents, and accusations that CLCS officials, and new Nea executive director Patti Wilczek, planned to close Nea’s grades 6 to 12 “Upper Village.”
Now, Nea administrators are announcing improvements, stating in a release to the media:
Curriculum improvements follow the recommendations contained in a comprehensive review of classes, grading and credits conducted by Mike Janvier, a former Superintendent of Alameda Unified School District (AUSD), with significant experience in curriculum evaluation at creative model charter schools like Nea. The review uncovered anomalies that Janvier recommended addressing by splitting 10th and 11th grade Humanities into separate English and History courses, and adding an additional option to foreign language offerings.
Officials say that Nea Upper Village students should expect schedule adjustments over the coming weeks, but that the new coursework will help ensure that students on track to graduate in 2015 will meet all entry criteria for the University of California system and other colleges.
Annalisa Moore, who took over, on an interim basis, from Guye, said, ““We are committed to the highest level of instructional rigor and integrity for our learners and are working closely with them to ensure a smooth transition into new classes.”
Wilczek and Moore have discussed the changes with Sean McPhetridge, Alameda Unified School District Interim Superintendent, to ensure continued compliance with Nea’s charter agreement with the school district.