West Oakland Fall Call Community Kick-Off

My obsession is my being has been consumed with the revitalization of West Oakland. I’ve been blessed to be part of the team helping to lead this work. I take it pretty personally. I walk through the hallways of those schools and I instantly go back to when I was a student in the West Oakland Corridor.

 

A large part of the reason I joined the Oakland Unified School District is because I got to do work in the West. I was also a fan of the ambitious plan the Superintendent introduced when he joined our district some 2 years ago. Fast forward to last week when I got to help launch the Community Kick-Off for the West. We had over 100 parents and community members having a conversation about what their hopes and dreams were for their students. I just want to share that list in it’s rawest form. I didn’t change or alter anything aside from some small spelling errors. This is straight from the mouth of the community.

 

I will keep this site updated as community meetings continue.

 

What We Want to be TRUE When Students Graduate from WO Schools

  • Kids to be competitive globally
  • Know their pathway
  • Safe and successful
  • Excellent Teachers
  • Access to rigorous curriculum
  • Prepared and competitive
  • Be the best → 4 yr college of choice
  • Students leave in honor
  • ELL + Newcomer programs – Elementary*
  • Saturday Schools – help children
  • Health + Human
  • Literacy + Numeracy Schools
  • Sense of Self
  • Sense of Pride, resilience, class
  • Take Risks
  • Value of Education
  • Relationships → academic + soft skills → success in careers
  • College readiness w/confidence, high expectations
  • Teachers passionate about kids
  • Culture of Achievement
  • Quality of education → preparation
  • Well rounded education
  • culturally responsive materials + trainings*
  • STEAM programming
  • Our kids will be competitive and know their pathway
  • Our children are safe and successful
  • All of our schools have excellent teachers and access to curriculum
  • Our students are prepared and competitive
  • Our teachers stand tall and send our kids to college
  • Children have support to develop social emotional skills and also are ready for college
  • College readiness, teaches that are passionate, more math
  • A culture of achievement, high quality education
  • wide worldview for our children
  • Build up support systems already in place (i.e. Our Saturday School; After school support for students)

 

 

HOPES QUESTIONS
  • We need special attention targeted toward students who are at greater risk of failing due to structural inequities
  • We hope to see culturally responsive pedagogy in teaching materials and PD for teachers that reflect CRP
  • Robots
  • Makerspaces K-12
  • Coding/Programming
  • Ed Camp
  • We need AC
  • Teacher Trainings on PTSD
  • Teacher trainings on urban culture
  • Tech Upgrade
  • All students should graduate from high school to support herself or involved with a program that will lead to self-support
  • Kids know they have options
  • Students should be able to articulate their stories
  • Create more opportunities with our community moving forward
  • Technology track to help kids learn to code at a young age
  • Understand basic business processes and concepts (e.g. start a business, business credit, capital, funding opportunities, etc.)
  • To have a stronger college going culture from elementary school to high school
  • college campus visits
  • We agree with Raising the Bar, the kids are capable and we need to hold them to that standard
  • Hope is that our children learn to advocate for themselves
  • To have confidence for help from the beginning
  • We hope that the kids will believe and think they are creators of the future
  • Hope is to have a STEM program at each elementary [school] and children get a chance to visit schools in the area to bring ideas back
  • Equitable education
  • Teacher system of accountability, support and recognition
  • I hope they consider to have Saturday School option/idea
  • Provide another adult in each class to help focus students
  • Hire retired (part-time) teachers to offer enrichment courses for students to lengthen the school day
  • Add more after school programs
  • Set-up website portal for schools/school districts to allow students to learn electronically much like college are doing today. Put a bid out to build the district web portal and hire an African American to oversee the project.
  • Clear process for community involvement
  • Money from the state to do this work
  • 100% of our kids matriculating and graduating from college
  • I hope the City of Oakland/County and State fulfill the commitment with funding to rewrite the history of this country/the world
  • I demand that community drives the process
  • 1:1 for students; computers for every student
  • My demand is that we elevate the conversation beyond “HOPE” to concrete actions that the community can hold the district accountable to
  • Structures that support creativity and discovery
  • Qualified teachers and leadership
  • more time for science
  • I hope that every child has access to the type of education Mr. Wilson talked about
  • Work with county agencies and city of Oakland to meet the multiple needs of families, data-sharing!
  • School kitchens/garden
  • have our elementary kids learn Arabic, Spanish, etc. Something different for our kids and ready for the future
  • Expand resources both for Special Education and Gifted and Talented programs (instead of the cuts we see now)
  • Help my daughter with English Class and a Newcomer program
  • Newcomer program needs to be in school
  • values of education; more programs for kids that need help
  • Add more music, art, PE, science prep, etc. Add more teachers if we do extended day instead of exhausting current teachers
  • I want more classes to teach the Arabic student to be successful. I want my daughter to get help with reading.
  • Provide smaller class sizes in schools with more needs instead of the school closings we’ve seen
  • Go to College
  • More afterschool centers in the city
  • What is the plan?
  • When are we going to adopt education frameworks that have proven effective and needed for marginalized students?
  • We talk about making sure kids are prepared to follow the life/career path of their choice (college, tech school, etc.), but we offer so few choices in school (reg. courses, same curriculum). How do we expect them to learn to follow their interests when they get no choice in school?
  • We all talk about “high quality education” for kids. What is quality? We can quantify it for quality objects/commodities, but for something so subjective, there is no one size fits all. How can we make that rhetoric more meaningful and create [education] that works better for different needs?
  • PBL
  • How do we build a bridge between high school and college to keep track of all kids
  • As an elementary parent, how do I ensure that 6-12 in Oakland are ready for her before we get there?
  • Longer school day?
  • We can fix the curriculum/teachers/facilities all we want, but if the systematic structures don’t get teachers paid/get basic admin needs met, how can we expect learning to happen? What is being done to fix the structures?
  • Funding for vision? How? Where? When?
  • What does collaboration look like for community partners?
  • How can the NAACP work with parents to help their children achieve their goals?
  • How can we hold charter schools more accountable to working with our toughest/neediest youth?
  • How can we support the plan and be of service?
  • How can we hold teachers accountable?
  • When will we consider recommendations for schools?
  • When/how soon are the field trips?
  • Teacher training for the vision?
  • SEL is frequently taught separately from the academic curriculum. Looking at ourselves and at developmental neuroscience, we know how integrated SE and cognitive functioning is. How can we better integrate SEL into curriculum and recruit relationship-focused teachers to model skills?
  • What are the deadlines/timelines for the fall call?
  • What is the funding for this endeavor? Saturday School? Extended day? Social Support? How much does it all cost?
  • What will be built into this program that will attract and retain the best of the best for our students?
  • Who decides what choices are available to the community?
  • We want transparency.
  • Why are the West Oakland test scores dramatically lower than hillside Oakland public schools?
  • How are the specific needs of students with IEP/504 plans going to be served well?
  • How is this different than what’s going on at Mack? How do we make sure the community is driving this?
  • What is the tangible system of accountability?
  • For students who will not go to college, what opportunities are there in high school to gain skill based training i.e. carpentry, auto mechanics, welding, culinary arts, etc. Regional Occupational Program
  • What is the Fall Call?
  • Will time be added to school day? Week? Year?
  • What types of systems will be put in place to train and support teachers and staff to nurture students social-emotional needs?
  • Do you plan to close any West Oakland schools?
  • Charters schools are allowed to expel students who do not follow school rules, expectations or are not achieving academically. Public schools are discouraged from suspending. This is not equitable! How do you level the playing field?
  • What are the roles of parents in growing students for our desire as teachers to ascribe to the culture of achievement?  
  • How safe is my school?
  • What are the district’s plans and hopes?
  • Can we have a tutor for my child?
  • When are they going to open classes for Newcomer programs?
  • How can we get children to understand why it’s important to learn?
  • When will OUSD end open enrollment so that students in West Oakland will have to attend West Oakland schools?

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