GO Board Watch: March 22, 2017

Welcome to GO’s School Board Watch for Wednesday, March 22, 2017.

This week’s agenda includes:

  • Teachers of the year
  • Feeder patterns and enrollment policies
  • Prop 39 offers for 2017-18
  • Special Education update
  • Three charter renewals

Additionally, this week’s agenda includes the following items, which were originally scheduled for previous meetings:

Check out the full agenda.

1) Professional Culture

Teachers of the Year

Congratulations to LaRavian Battle and Stephanie Taymuree for each being named OUSD’s Teacher of the Year.

LaRavian Battle has been teaching for twenty years and is currently on special assignment at Sojourner Truth Independent Study.

Stephanie Taymuree has worked in OUSD for over thirty-seven years and teaches students with moderate and severe disabilities at Redwood Heights Elementary School.

2) Quality Schools Development

Feeder Patterns and and Enrollment Policies

In order to address problems created by OUSD’s current enrollment system, the District is proposing a research and community engagement process that would inform enrollment policy changes. These policy changes would go into effect for enrollment in the 2018-19 school year.

OUSD has a district-wide open enrollment system. Students rank their top choice schools and are entered into a lottery. Currently, there are three exceptions when a student may be given preference in their district choice: students whose siblings attend the school, students whose parents work at the school, and students for whom the school is in their neighborhood.

Demand for district schools is defined as the number of first-choice applications for a school divided by the number of seats available, e.g. if a school has 20 first-choice applications and 40 seats available, it has a demand rate of 50%.

According to the District’s presentation, 25 schools in Oakland have a demand rate of 100+%. In those 25 schools, every available seat will be filled with a student who meets one of the three criteria (neighborhood, sibling, child of staff) or whose family was able to engage in the district choice system. 41 schools, or nearly half of all Oakland district schools, have a demand rate of 0-50%.

The highest demand schools in Oakland tend to be higher performing. They also tend to be wealthier, more white, and in the Northwest. The District has recognized that this segregation in our schools is a problem.

The District also recognizes that it is a problem that compounds over time; high-performing schools feed into high-performing schools at the next level and likewise for low-performing schools, resulting in students receiving a drastically different quality of education over the course of their career in OUSD.

The research part of the policy change process is an access study being conducted in partnership with the Center for Research, Equity, and Collaborative Engagement. To take the access survey for the study, click here.

Upcoming community engagements:

  • 3/27/17, 5:30-8PM, @ La Escuelita
  • 4/15/17, 9AM – 4PM, @ Fremont High School, Parents Organizing for Equity and Integration in Oakland Schools

Prop 39 Offers

Proposition 39 – passed by California voters in 2000 – requires that school districts make facility space available to eligible charter schools within their district. A recent court decision in southern California mandates a very specific way of calculating whether a district has available space.

16 charter schools requested facilities for 2017-18. Of those 16 applications, 15 chose to reject the offers and the District is making one final offer: to co-locate East Oakland Leadership Academy at Westlake Middle School. The Board will be voting whether to approve this offer. For details on how the District made this decision, check out the appendices of the presentation.

Special Education Update

The Board will hear a presentation on priorities and strategies for improving services for students with special needs. Below are some of the upcoming projects:

  • Priority 1: Data Process and Systems
    • Complete integration between the Special Education Information System (SEIS) and the District Student Information System (AERIES). Continue working to transition to a single State Data System (CALPADS).
  • Priority 2: Least Restrictive Environment Continuum of Services
    • In 2016-17, 29 schools received training to increase inclusive practices. Next year, an additional 30 schools will receive training in inclusive practices.
  • Priority 3: Professional Learning
    • Instructional Support Staff are participating in online training to become Behavior Techs.
  • Priority 4: Community Engagement
    • The District will be conducting focus groups from April – June 2017.

Charter Petitions

Civicorps Corpsmember Academy (9-12),  LPS Oakland (9-12), and Oakland Unity High School (9-12) are applying for charter renewals.

3) Budget and Fiscal Management

  • No informational or action items presented.

4) Board Development and Strategy

  • No informational or action items presented.

5) Other

  • No informational or action items presented.
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