GO Board Watch: February 8, 2017

Welcome to GO’s School Board Watch for Wednesday, February 8, 2017.

Of particular note, this meeting includes:

  • Foster Youth Services
  • School-site appeals process for 2017-18
  • Enrollment projections for 2016-17 and 2017-18
  • Peer Assistance & Review
  • Initial proposals for teacher contract negotiations

Additionally, this week’s agenda includes:

  • English Language Arts Update
  • World Language Update
  • Facilities update on construction projects
  • OUSD Science Update
  • Middle School Update
  • Oakland Promise board policy
  • Three Charter Renewals
  • LCAP engagement report
  • Grades/Evaluation of Student Achievement policy revisions

Check out the full agenda.

1)  Professional Culture

Peer Assistance & Review

Peer Assistance & Review is a program established in 2000 through a partnership between the Oakland Education Association (OEA) and OUSD with the belief that all teachers should “focus on continuous improvement in professional practice and that unit members having difficulties can benefit from the assistance and review of colleagues.” The Board will hear a presentation on participant surveys and plans for the program moving forward.

“Sunshine” Proposals for Teacher Contract Negotiations

OUSD and the Oakland Education Association will present their “sunshine” proposals for the upcoming teacher contract negotiations. These proposals will set the agenda for contract articles to be discussed during negotiations.

2)  Quality Schools Development

English Language Arts Update

The Board will hear a presentation (Supt. Report, pg. 29) on OUSD’s English Language Arts programs. From 2014-15 to 2015-16, reading proficiency increased by 2.1 percentage points. The District’s plans for building on this growth include professional development, new curricula, and improved support for English Language Learners.

World Language Update

The Board will hear a presentation (Supt. Report, pg. 41) on the current state of language programming in OUSD, as well as plans to expand multilingual pathways and increase the number of students that receive biliteracy certification.

Facilities Construction Update

The Board will hear a presentation (Supt. Report, pg. 53) on the progress of construction projects at Madison Park Business and Art Academy, Fremont High School, Hillcrest Kitchen, and Glenview’s new school.

Foster Youth Advisory Committee

OUSD has over 300 foster students and only two full-time employees and a part-time contractor in Foster Youth Services. This leaves over 200 foster students without case managers.

OUSD’s foster students face significant achievement gaps – 9% are proficient in English Language Arts and 4% are proficient in Math.

The Foster Youth Advisory Committee makes the following recommendations:

  • Hire at least three additional case managers for Foster Youth Services.
  • Provide for a 6 part resource series that makes training available to foster families in elementary, middle, and high schools.
  • Provide stipends to current and former foster students to involve them in LCAP Engagement and Foster Youth Advisory Committee processes.
  • Fund the Foster Youth Services Tutoring program.

OUSD Science

The Board will hear the presentation on OUSD’s Science programs that was scheduled for January 18th.

Middle School Network Update

The Board will hear a presentation on the Middle School Network’s goals and plans for 2016-17.

Oakland Promise Board Policy

The Board will hear a second reading of a policy that would identify the Oakland Promise programs Kindergarten2College and Future Centers as District funding priorities. The first reading of the policy was on January 25th.

It is still unclear what the funding implications of this policy would be.

Charter Petitions

Oakland Unity High School (9-12), Downtown Charter Academy (6-8), and Oakland Charter High School are all applying for charter renewals.

3)  Budget and Fiscal Management

Appeals Process Report and Recommendations

The appeals process is the second phase in the school-site budgeting process. After school sites receive the one-pager that outlines their allotments for the following year, principals have the opportunity to appeal for more full-time employees (FTEs). For more details on the budgeting process for school-site leaders, check out OUSD’s handbook for 2015-16.

In 2016-17, there were a total of 140.75 FTEs distributed through appeals. 36 of those FTEs were due to the District’s decision to only consolidate six out of the 41 teachers that should have been consolidated due to lower than projected enrollment.

In 2017-18, the District currently plans to allow 60 FTEs for the appeal process – a reduction by more than 40% from the 2016-17 baseline appeals FTEs. For more details, check out the presentation (Supt. Report, pg. 4).

Enrollment Projections

Actual enrollment for 2016-17 was more than 1000 students less than the projected enrollment. Charles Wilson, the Executive Director of Enrollment Services, will present to the Board (Supt. Report, pg. 16) the reasons for less than expected enrollment, the projected enrollment for 2017-18, and the steps the District will take to ensure that future projections are more accurate.

Key takeaways:

  • In a survey of families that withdrew their students from OUSD in 2016-17, 25% left because they were displeased with OUSD and 21% left OUSD because they moved out of the area.
    • The same survey found that 54% of students that withdrew from OUSD transferred to charter schools.
  • The stated reasons for the inaccurate projection include: cuts to central office resulting in insufficient staff, lack of executive oversight, lack of quality demographic and housing data, and increase in charter inventory.
  • Enrollment for 2017-18 is projected to be 251 students less than enrollment for 2016-17.

LCAP Engagement Update

The Board will hear a presentation on the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) Parent Student Advisory Committee’s engagements in the last year and planned engagements going forward.

4)  Board Development and Strategy

Grades/Evaluation of Student Achievement Policy Revision

The Board will hear a first reading of an update to its Grades/Evaluation of Student Achievement policy from 2004. The revisions are based on recommendations from the CA School Board Association and key stakeholder input.

The most significant revision is an addition of guiding principles for grading students’ achievement: namely, that students’ grades should communicate progress to learning targets and that grades should be assessed according to objective standards based on curricula, rather than in relation to other students or based on behavior.

5) Other

  • No informational or action items presented.
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