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This Week in San Ramon: March 6 to 12

Didn't get a chance to read up during the week? Here's a look at what happened.

Overcrowding: Local school leaders decided to add four more classrooms to Quail Run Elementary School – .

PTA members who spoke at last week's meeting said they understand the need to build up the school's capacity, but asked that the district give Quail Run the resoucres to handle a larger student population.

Especially in light of its unique challenges.

Quail Run is the newest school in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District. It was founded in 2005 as a temporary campus with 150 kindergarten-through-third-grade students.

Today, its enrollment is more than 1,100 since it's one of the district's "diversion schools," serving overflow students from other campuses. Students transfer back to their neighborhood school as spots open up, giving it a 30 percent transient rate, according to an application the school filed for a $50,000 grant to address its challenges.

In a district where only 3 percent of the student population are considered English language learners, 17 percent of students at Quail Run fall under that designation. And many more live in families where English isn't spoken at home.

Quail Run is also surrounded by some low-income apartments, which lends to a higher number of socioeconomically disadvantaged students compared to other schools in the district.

Adding four new classrooms will up the school's capacity to 1,232 students for a student-to-teacher ratio of 26 to 1. Expansion would cost $1.4 million, paid for with developer fees.

The plans for Quail Run are part of a several-year multifaceted plan to accomodate short- and long-term enrollment growth in the Dougherty Valley.

Trustees said they recognize that this is only part of the solution.

Tsunami: An 8.9 magnitude earthquake that rocked Japan early Friday morning .

Though it didn't affect San Ramon directly, .

The Red Cross spoke with a Patch reporter about how the public can help aid disaster relief efforts in Japan. .

Also, a former Patch editor in Japan on a journalism fellowship wrote us a first-person account of the aftermath. .

Street smarts: Ten Local students were named winners of the Storybook Poster Contest – an annual event put on by local traffic safety coalition Street Smarts.

Student artwork will illustrate a storybook that teaches some lessons about how to stay safe on the road, whether walking or biking to school. To see who won, .

Fuel costs: Gas prices in San Ramon are among the highest in the Tri-Valley. As of Friday, the range in fuel costs was $3.83 and $4.09 – .

Student recognition: Dozens of student projects were on display this past week .

The annual contest partners students with business professionals to give kids a chance to work on a project that showcases their talents. Students had their pick of 26 categories, from arts and science to math and business.

Arrest: Four San Ramon residents were arrested in connection with an auto burglary in Danville.

, detectives said.

The sting came as a reminder that the San Ramon Valley, as one commenter put it, "is no fantasy land." In fact, theft from a vehicle and car burglaries are the most common crimes in the area, according to the San Ramon Police Department.

So lock up. And don't leave your valuables in your car. If you must, sock it in the trunk.

City manager hiring: No decision has yet been made about who will replace just-retired City Manager Herb Moniz. We'll keep you posted in the week ahead. .

Population: The U.S. Census Bureau released its decennial count on Tuesday. It showed that since 2000, San Ramon's population increased by 61 percent and its racial makeup had grown more diverse. .

New Farm: A proposed subdivision that would go on county land in the Tassajara Valley took another step forward last week. .

If we missed anything, or if you want to let us know about upcoming events or share a news tip, zap an e-mail to jenniferw@patch.com.

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