What’s Happening in Oakland Education, August 2021 Edition

Welcome to What’s Happening in Oakland Education? volume 4, a newsletter to keep the community informed. We know how busy families and educators are. The typical OUSD board meeting stretches past midnight and few parents or teachers can tune in as they juggle so many responsibilities. 

This is our first edition of the 2021-22 school year. We know Oakland families are experiencing mixed emotions as in-person learning resumed, so we’re sharing a list of family resources to help families like yours:

Safety resources for in-person learning:

Learning Resources:

  • Family Checklist – 3 steps you can take to ensure your child has a strong start to the school year.
  • Family Learning Guides – understand more about what your child should know and be able to do by grade level in literacy and math. 
  • $100 Scholarship for every Oakland student – from 2016 onwards, the Oakland Promise guarantees every Oakland kindergartener a $100 scholarship. Click the link to learn how to activate yours.

Proposed Safety Measures

Currently, OUSD is offering testing at 10 school sites across Oakland and staff is required to be fully vaccinated or get tested weekly. Board Director Hutchinson recently introduced a policy that would require ALL school sites to offer weekly testing for students and staff regardless of their vaccination status. This policy also does not require students and staff to take the test unless it is recommended pursuant to public health guidance.

Distance Learning Options

The District is offering a distance learning option (independent study) with Sojourner Truth, which is its own separate school. Students must transfer to Sojourner Truth in order to participate in independent study, which means students would no longer be enrolled in their “in-person” schools as they cannot be enrolled in two schools at the same time. 

Board Director Mike Hutchinson is proposing that a student enrolled in Sojourner Truth is able to transfer back to their “in-person” school consistent with the following parameters:

  • A student shall be able to transfer back to their “in-person” school at any time during the 2021-22 and for the start of the 2022-23 school year
  • A student’s “in-person” school shall be the OUSD school in which they were enrolled prior to transferring to Sojourner Truth
  • No other students may be permitted to transfer into the “in-person” school if it would prohibit a student enrolled in Sojourner Truth from transferring back to their “in-person” school

CLICK HERE to sign up for Board Watch to keep up to date with these proposals

Know your rights: new state law helps get high school students back on track

Some Oakland high schools saw dramatic increases in the number of failing grades they assigned students during the pandemic. This means many students are off-track to graduate eligible for college. A new state law allows these students to apply to have one or more letter grades replaced with a Pass/No Pass Grade on their transcripts. The new law requires CSU and encourages UC and private postsecondary institutions to accept those grade designations without prejudice.

AB 104 allows families to: 

  • Request to change letter grades A through D to “Pass” by any student
  • Request to change letter grade F “No Pass” by any student
  • To consult with their student’s school to determine if retention (repeating a grade level) is necessary
  • No grade-point value will be assigned to Pass/No Pass

Students enrolled in their 3rd or 4th year of high school during the 2020-21 school year and who are not on track to graduate in four years will be provided the opportunity to complete the state graduation requirements to graduate. Options can include but are not limited to a fifth year of instruction or credit recovery. Read more about how AB104 impacts high school students here

The process of changing a grade requires that students complete the following Grade Change Application from the California Department of Education (CDE) website.

***Changes apply for the summer, fall, and spring of the 20-21 school year

We’d love to hear your thoughts on What’s Happening in Oakland Education?. Let us know what you liked and what you’d like to see in future editions.  

If you want to stay in the loop about what is happening at OUSD board meetings, sign up here to receive Board Watch.

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