Welcome to What’s Happening in Oakland Education? volume 6, 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.
Here’s what’s happening as we head into the holiday season:
Vaccine Mandate Update
On September 22, 2021, OUSD became the first Bay Area school district to mandate that students 12 and over must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Board voted to require all students aged 12 and over to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of January 1, 2022 to attend in-person school, unless exempted. The mandate permits medical exemptions, personal belief exemptions, and other exemptions as required by law. All non-exempted, unvaccinated students will be offered placement in the District’s independent study program at Sojourner Truth. A final version of the adopted Policy is available here.
To get vaccinated, you can visit your healthcare provider, local pharmacy, a community vaccine clinic, or any of our upcoming school-based vaccine clinics.
Enrollment Has Started for Oakland District and Charter Public Schools
Monday, November 15, kicked off the enrollment period for Fall 2022 for OUSD schools. The priority enrollment deadline is February 4th. Visit www.ousd.org/enroll for more information or to start your application for OUSD schools. You can check out https://oaklandenrolls.org/ for more information on how to start your application for Oakland charter schools. There is also information about upcoming school tours.
Oakland Elections Redistricting (for School Board and City Council races)
Every ten years after the United States Census, Oakland goes through a redistricting process, where new council boundaries are drawn. These boundaries tell us who we can vote for in City Council and School Board elections.
The city has put in place a Redistricting Commission made up of Oaklandlers like you, who are tasked with setting the new boundaries. The Commission has set up several meetings that community members like you can be a part of, especially since this has a direct impact on our voting power. Check out the draft proposals, and meeting schedule here.
Oakland Unified Budget Updates
With rising costs and declining enrollment, OUSD is facing a deficit which will require difficult budget cuts. This year, OUSD is facing a $16 million deficit and continued declines in enrollment exacerbated by the pandemic. Two weeks ago, the board voted to cut $6M from the budget.
Additionally, most of the COVID one-time relief funding has already been spent or allocated: The board has already made decisions about the nearly $300M in investments to support safety and learning as we seek to recover from the pandemic.
If you are interested in learning more about the budget, check out these upcoming OUSD Board meetings:
- Wednesday, November 17th: OUSD Board Meeting, 5:30pm, click here to join virtually
- Wednesday, December 1st: OUSD Board Meeting – Discussion of Potential Budget Adjustments, 4pm – 10.
- Thursday, December 2nd: Budget & Finance Committee Meeting – Preview of 1st Interim Report, 6pm – 8.
- Wednesday, December 15th: OUSD Board Meeting – First Interim Report Presented to the OUSD Board, 5:30pm.
On Wednesday November 3, hundreds of students at Oakland Technical High School walked out of their classes and marched to OUSD’s central office downtown to pressure the district to bolster their policies on sexual assault, misconduct, harassment, and discrimination.
Tech students laid out five demands for the school and OUSD to implement:
- A Safer, Better Policy To Address Sexual Misconduct
- Survivor Support Systems
- Sexual Misconduct Prevention Within Professional Development
- Abolished Dress Code
- A Committee To Directly Review Teachers and Students Accused of Sexual Misconduct
Oakland Tech’s principal Richard Fairly sent this email to the school community stating that any accusations of sexual assault or harassment would be investigated. The administration is also implementing consent and sex education trainings during advisory for students, posting more information about the compliance process on the website, and reviewing the school dress code.
In September, students at Oakland School for the Arts walked out of classes to demand more resources for survivors of sexual assault and harassment. In response, OSA hired an outside firm to investigate the claims and released this message.
We stand with the students of OUSD advocating for their rights and raising awareness around sexual assault and harassment. We appreciate the quick response and investigation into these serious matters from OUSD.
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.
The Board and Superintendent will discuss many of these issues at tomorrow night’s school board meeting. Click the link below tomorrow at 5:30pm to tune in.