OUSD Superintendent Search & Resolution for Immigrant Student Sanctuary
On December 14, 2016 Bay Area PLAN parent leaders gave testimony in support of passage of OUSD’s Immigrant Sanctuary Resolution. And urged for a process for selecting the next Permanent Superintendent engages all stakeholders. We believe these critical components of the process must be:
- Engaging all stakeholders in evaluating the progress they feel our current Superintendent Wilson has made
- Establishing a Board committee with the responsibility to engage all stakeholders in the selection process
- Establishing clear criteria that will examine both the quality of candidates skill and their values alignment with stakeholder input
Empowering Parents as Decision Makers
By Enrique Valencia
In today’s school environment, parents must understand the various advocacy and organizing channels to ensure a quality education for their children. One of those channels is the School Site Council (SSC).
According to the California Education Code, an “…SSC [develops] the Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA). The SSC must approve the plan, recommend it to the local governing board for approval, monitor its implementation, and evaluate the effectiveness of the planned activities at least annually.”[i] The challenge is that parents and other stakeholders that form the SSC such as principals, teachers, other school staff, students, and community members are often not provided with the proper training and coaching to effectively carry out their function. That’s why PLAN has developed the “Empowering Parents on the SSC” training series.
This semester we offered four workshops from the series and had the participation of parents from East Oakland. Parents said that our training helped them to work in a group setting, it increased their knowledge of the SSC, and it increased their desire to keep learning. The parents that participated in the trainings understand that their leadership is key to school transformation. Yet we also recognize that the education system must meet parents halfway by investing in family engagement practices and resources. Specifically, families need a welcoming environment, translation of documents and interpretation in their native language, they need the school and district staff to engage with them as partners in education, and schools must support the needs of families by providing full functioning family resource centers. That’s why we launched our 100% Engaged for Student Success Campaign to ensure Oakland Unified School District is committed to families and makes the necessary investments in their engagement. We hope you can stand in solidarity with us and pledge your support to the campaign.
“Reading Is Fundamental & Fun” at Madison Park Academy Primary
By Monica Scott Green and Sasha Shane
“This year 80% of our students read below grade level. We have put in place a very strong system, individual learning plans to support students’ literacy. In addition to class time we include individual tutoring and small group reading with two-three students and a Reading Partner tutor. However, we are not seeing progress at the pace that we desire. PLAN we want you to help us engage more parents in knowing and supporting their child’s reading.”
This is how Ms. Sabrina Moore Head of School at Madison Park Academy Primary opened the her monthly check-in meeting with PLAN. Building on the success of Parents Ready for School literacy workshops, which were offered to support Summer learning, Ms. Moore and parents had previously requested that we repeat the workshops for all parents.
However, now we were discussing parents, teachers, tutors, all staff and the Principal working together to develop stronger readers in every grade. PLAN calls this transformative family engagement! Here we see the Kellogg Foundation funded Leaders for Engaged and Active Parents (LEAP) and First Five Alameda County’s Parents Ready for School (PR4S) community project merging to support children’s families’ and schools’ goals of developing strong readers.
The Head of School’s vision set the tone and the Parent Action Team, Instructional Lead for Literacy, librarian and PLAN’s Parent Organizer and Family and School Partnership Lead, designed the “Reading Is Fundamental And Fun” campaign.
Working parents were encouraged to take advantage of the California Family School Partnership Act, which allows parents, grandparents and guardians to take time from work to attend school conferences.
The ever growing campaign included a community meeting inviting all families to learn more about why “Reading is Fundamental and Fun.” A series of workshops for parents on how to support children’s reading at home and on-the-go. Parent Teacher Conferences for all families to meet with their child’s teacher to understand their child’s reading strengths and learning needs. Special grade level meetings between parents and the Principal to discuss expectations and mutual cooperation.
Critical to the success of this pilot is that families were engaged in the planning, outreach and have committed to every phase. PLAN partnered with the school drafting the action plan, ensuring language access of all materials and events, providing child care and food to accommodate the 8 am start of many events. We adapting Parents Ready for School curriculum modules to the unique needs of Madison Park Academy parents and crafting new tools to support parents’ preparation for their parent teacher conferences.
The campaign continues over the Holiday Break with a Reading is Fundamental and Fun reading challenge and into 2017 with a whole school TK -12 Reading Summit being planned. At the end of the school year students, parents and guardians, teachers and administrators look forward to seeing stronger readers at Madison Park Academy.
PLANS offices will be closed December 19 – 26th, 30st until 12:30pm, and on January 2, 2017.
Save The Date!
PLAN Organizing Committee, PLAN members, Friday December 16, 2016, 5:00-7:30PM
PLAN Organizing Committee, PLAN members, Friday January 6, 2017, 5:00-7:30PM
PLAN Donor Appreciation Open House, PLAN supporters, Friday February 10, 2017, 5:00 – 7:30PM
For more information on any of these meetings, trainings or events please contact us at 510-444-7526
Every dollar you give makes our work with students, parents, teachers, and the 100% Engaged Campaign possible.
Help PLAN raise $10,000 before December 31st to keep our programs, organizing and the 100% Engaged Campaign strong for families at this critical time.