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February 6 OUSD board meeting: Strategic priorities for the year outlined

In School Board Watch

The Oakland Unified School District Board of Education held a special meeting on February 6, 2013 at the studios of KDOL TV, located in the La Escuelita Education Center. The meeting was crowded, with many people spilling out into the hallway because the studio could only accomodate 50 people.

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The board met for less than two hours, and reviewed four agenda items: a charter renewal presentation from Bay Area Technology School; two special presentations, one on programming offered for OUSD students and teachers at the Chabot Space and Science Center and another on accessing financial aid from the East Bay College Access Network.

Click here to download the meeting's agenda, and here to download a PDF of the presentation given by Chabot's Executive Director, Alexander Zwissler.

2013 Board of Education Strategic Priorities and Calendar
The board voted unanimously to approve a 2013 calendar of its strategic priorities. There are five listed strategic priorities for the year, and applicable key dates for important events, like study sessions for each of the listed priorities.

The board's priorities for the year:

  • Evaluate OUSD's progress toward achieving goals and objectives for the board's Balanced Scorecard for: A. Graduation; B. Attendance; C. Discipline; D. Quality & Effective Teaching; E. Quality & Effective Schools; F. Fiscal Responsibility
  • Establish a Quality School Development policy to foster the development of high-quality, higher-performing full-service community schools.
  • Ratify a contract agreement with the Oakland Education Association that is consistent with the intent of the board's initial proposals.
  • Establish a comprehensive Property Asset Management policy for OUSD properties and to guide long-term use.
  • Improve the board's governing effectiveness by establishing internal operating norms and organizational structures. 
During the meeting, Director Jumoke Hinton Hodge (District 3) told the board she would like to see more structure in the calendar, and "more assessment along the way." Click here to watch a video of Director Hinton Hodge's comments.

Director David Kakishiba (District 2), the board's president, said the calendar and priorities remain a "work in progress" but the directors will be keeping track of how each of the priorities is implemented. "We're not looking just for a ninth inning score," Director Kakishiba told the board. Click here to watch video of Director Kakishiba's comments.

Director Jody London (District 1) added that the board is also concerned with issues not on The Balanced Scorecard, such as a district middle school strategy, the future of the Oakland Athletic League, and special education programming in the district. Click here to watch a video of Director London's comments.

We at GO Public Schools Leadership Center believe a tool like this is essential to give the Oakland education community clear expectations about the district's priorities for the year. We would also like to see more frequent reporting intervals, which would ensure the board and staff remain in clear communication relative to the annual objectives. We also recommend that, due to this late stage of the 2013-1014 budget process, the board should request a report on how Balanced Scorecard objectives adopted this past December will be resourced in the coming year.

The first study session for a Balanced Scorecard item - Attendance - is on February 27.

Click here to download the board's 2013 Board Strategic Priorities Calendar.  

Bay Area Technology School - Petition and Proposed Charter School (Renewal) (Grades 6-12)
The board heard a renewal presentation from BayTech, a charter school in the East Oakland hills that has been open since 2004 and currently serves 198 students in grades 6-12. The board now has 60 days to decide on whether to approve or deny the charter. 

Special Presentation - East Bay College Access Network
Last year, 277 OUSD seniors were selected to receive $700,000 from the East Bay College Access Network, according to a presentation to the board on Wednesday. Most of those students received about $2,500, and 90 percent of those students also received an additional $2.1 million in scholarship money from federal and state student aid programs.

Still, just 55 percent of OUSD seniors filled out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) last year. EBCAN's goal is that "every student at Castlemont, Fremont, McClymonds and Oakland High" completes a FAFSA by this year's March 2 deadline.

Click here to download a PDF of the presentation.

Tags: Charter Schools, School Board Watch

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