Leaky school roofs may be plugged

When second-grade teacher Susan Seki goes to bed at night and hears rain, she hopes the books in her classroom are dry and that her students won’t have to wear galoshes during class the next day.

The Lincoln Elementary School in Burlingame instructor finds it hard to teach vocabulary and arithmetic when the school’s deteriorated roof allows rain to drip through her classroom’s windowsill. Placing buckets around the room — something the school has done twice this school year — does not help the learning environment, either.

“Some teachers have come into their classroom after a night’s rain and found puddles,” Seki said. “I’ve had books damaged and [the rain] soaks into carpets. I’m still waiting on garbage cans to return after lending them to other classrooms.”

With the $48.3 million structural bond called Measure A passing overwhelmingly Nov. 6, Seki and her Lincoln colleagues, along with other Burlingame Elementary School District teachers, should finally get their roofs fixed.

The bond’s funds are set aside for the district’s buildings, which are between 50 to nearly 100 years old, said Superintendent Sonny Da Marto. It was the first structural bond passed since 1996, he said.

Exactly what the money will be used for will be decided during six town-hall meetings involving district and school staff along with parents over the next few weeks. Da Marto said the schools’ roofs will be an issue that will almost certainly be tackled.

“I’ve had leaks in my classroom,” said Teachers Association President Annette De Maria, who teaches at McKinley Elementary. The problems led to a new carpet in her classroom and a variety of temporary fixes, but the only real solution to the flooding and “weird smells” seem to be structural improvements, she said.

The district held similar town halls last spring, so these get-togethers will be “one more pass-through” to get any further input before the master plan is sent to the board of trustees for approval, Da Marto said. Construction could start as early as summer, he said.

Teachers said students will notice changes once these structural improvements are made — and not just the absence of rain-catching buckets.

“It’s a mental improvement,” De Maria said. “They know when it’s worked on, they know when it’s clean. A better mood is better learning.”

mrosenberg@examiner.com  

Bay Area NewseducationLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

A health care worker receives one of the first COVID-19 vaccine doses at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital on Tuesday Dec. 15, 2020. (Courtesy SFgov)
SF to open three large sites for COVID-19 vaccinations

Breed: ‘We need more doses. We are asking for more doses’

Tongo Eisen-Martin, a Bernal Heights resident, named San Francisco’s eighth poet laureate. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Tongo Eisen-Martin becomes San Francisco’s eighth poet laureate

Bernal Heights resident Tongo Eisen-Martin has become San Francisco’s eighth poet laureate.… Continue reading

Homeless people's tents can be seen on Golden Gate Avenue in the Tenderloin on Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 16, 2020. (Photo by Ekevara Kitpowsong/S.F. Examiner)
Statewide business tax could bring new funds to combat homelessness

San Francisco could get more than $100 million a year for housing, rental assistance, shelter beds

The Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco (a mural by artist Jamie Treacy is pictued) has a lineup of free online programming including activities for youngsters scheduled for Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 18. (Courtesy Demetri Broxton/Museum of the African Diaspora)
Stanford, Museum of the African Diaspora host MLK Day activities

Online offerings include films, music, discussion

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi presides the US House of Representatives vote on the impeachment of US President Donald Trump at the US Capitol, January 13, 2021, in Washington, DC. - The Democrat-controlled US House of Representatives on January 13 opened debate on a historic second impeachment of President Donald Trump over his supporters' attack of the Capitol that left five dead. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)
House votes 232-197 to impeach Trump a second time

Focus shifts to Senate, where McConnell has signaled he may not stand by president

Most Read