Welcome to Board Watch for April 13, 2016. The Oakland Unified School District Board of Education heard updates on the Call for Quality Schools process and special education programs, and saw previously postponed presentation on this year’s Strategic Regional Analysis.
Check out the full agenda and read more about these topics below.
Quality School Development Update
During the Superintendent’s report, district staff presented an update on Quality School Development. The presentation included a broad overview of progress made toward initiatives bucketed within Quality School Development, including the School Performance Framework (SPF), school improvement planning, and the Call for Quality Schools. The presentation also noted that a more detailed update on the Call for Quality Schools will be coming in May or June.
Strategic Regional Analysis
Postponed from its March 9th meeting, district staff presented the 2015-16 Strategic Regional Analysis (SRA) at the meeting. According to the executive summary, the SRA “is a factual, data-driven, key planning document” that “details the current state of school performance, demographics, enrollment patterns, school programs, choice, and capacity by region, and identifies the gaps for each.”
The SRA contains information in nine sections:
- Regions & Schools holds basic information on the distribution of schools and school types across five defined regions: Central, East, North, Northwest, and West.
- School Environment contains details on environmental stress factors present near school sites.
- Demographics & Enrollment contains information about enrollment patterns and projections, with a particular focus on transition grades (5-6 and 8-9).
- School Performance contains information about schools’ academic outcomes, as measured by a series of California Department of Education metrics.
- School Choice/Assignment/Enrollment contains information about where parents and guardians prefer to send their students, and how those preferences compare to actual assignment.
- Live/Go Patterns – District-wide contains details on the geographic areas in which students are enrolled, focusing on whether students are attending a school within their region and how far they travel to get to school.
- School Programs details the distribution of a variety of district programs across school sites, including early-childhood education programs, high school pathways, newcomer programs, and more.
- Building Conditions contains information about interior and exterior facilities surveys for both district and charter schools.
- Teacher Retention breaks out by region and school the rates at which teachers have historically remained at their school sites.
Special Education Update
The board held a study session on special education programs. The staff presentation provided updates on a number of special education topics, including staff professional development, progress made with the inclusion work group, customer service improvements, and a “decentralization” project that seeks to increase school autonomy in the special education staffing process.
In additions to the above topics, one of the major foci of this update was the “regionalization” of OUSD special education, which the district defines as “[creating] equitable continuum of service and programs among all regions.” In practice, pursuing regionalization is leading the district to more evenly spread its programs across the OUSD geography. For instance, OUSD’s PreK-8 Region 1 currently hosts five mental health programs, while Region 3 only has one. The regionalization process is intended to rectify these discrepancies.
For more information, including bar charts showing program distribution before and after regionalization, find the executive summary and the staff presentation at this link.