A Parent’s Voice on His School and Building Community in Oakland

(this is a guest post from Paul Byrd an Oakland Parent with a child in district-run and charter-run schools, that was delivered last night at the OUSD board meeting in support of Achieve charter school’s renewal petition– full disclosure I am also a trustee at Education for Change)

To all my achieve family and EFC generals out here at all our schools.

Good evening OUSD Board members and superintendent Wilson.

My name is Paul Byrd. I am currently a parent leader at Achieve Academy and also serve on the board of Education for Change.

This will be my third year as a school leader and board member for the charter organization.

I would like to give you a brief summary on my experience with the EFC but specifically give insight on Achieve Academy and its role in building a great community through empowerment and Education within the Fruitvale district.

When my daughter Kaylie was finally ready for kindergarten We had some major choices to make, so we researched the FRUITVALE area and nailed down 3 schools to choose from, our first choice was World which is now achieve, Ascend second and lazear third.

(Now knowing all of these schools I have soooo much love for each one of these schools and their kids, parents, leaders, staff and admin. You’re all top picks in my books.)

We did a thorough process, and felt like we made a good decision.

Fingers crossed.

With our luck we actually got our first pick and since then this school has been a tremendous inspirational and instrumental part of our daughter’s personal development.

I can say without a doubt kaylie has had huge growth in reading, math, art and technology to name a few subjects. Her teachers are awesome to say the least.

I knew if she is receiving these great services and support Then the other kids at achieve are also in great hands.

This is a win for public Education.

One thing I noticed from the start of coming to Achieve was the attention to detail the teachers, staff and admin gave to their students and the parents.

For 11 very strong years Achieve has provided Children in the FRUITVALE district area a stable and productive environment.

The teachers at achieve are committed to their craft it shows. Our teachers always maintain an open learning environment that Is infectious to all of us. The teachers at achieve are always accessible through every form of communication (that includes telepathic links as well) and it’s never a problem to meet before or after class to discuss any issues relating to school.

Achieve academy is very big on creating partnerships and building pathways for our children to be the most they can be.

We support the foundation of learning by cultivating the building blocks for critical thinkers, innovators and especially future leaders of this community and Oakland as a whole.

We accept the challenge to change lives and brighten all children’s futures. This is what we do, with no exceptions to the rule.

We have also seen great growth and empowerment with our parents at Achieve academy. We share information about site plans, curriculum, budgets etc and we look forward to opinions and guidance from our parents at achieve on all school matters.

We pride ourselves on transparency and it has built a system of trust. That’s very important to us.

That’s also why we have 2 active parents sitting on the EFC BOARD one of which happens to be an achieve academy proud parent.

We believe in shared responsibility and team building within our community.

Our parent center is truly transformative and builds on our core principals of community by uplifting the environment not just inside but outside the school as well. We give our parents support with math, language, art, technology and encourage a constant in learning.

At Achieve we realized getting the most out of our children also requires us to give their parents the right tools and resources to help their children while going over projects and assignments. We know parents play a strong influence in their education. So we have created an environment that parents can thrive in.

If we give the best support possible to families we guarantee their kids will be ready on day 1 for high school, going to college or joining the workforce.

Achieve is a not just a charter school it is an Oakland school, and we celebrate Oakland’s very diverse population as one. We also care about our OUSD community as well. We want everyone to win in education, this is about kids, this is about education, this is about their future.

We see all kids as Oakland’s kids no matter district or charter. Not saying we’re perfect in any means, but we do know who we are and where we’re going.

Achieve is a pillar in the FRUITVALE community and a distinguished school of California. That means a lot to not just us but our community as a whole.

We finally got a win. We felt like warriors or the Warriors. Against all odds we strive for better.

We celebrate education and the successes we are always building on top of, It shows us that we can do anything and achieve great feats no matter where we come from.

With that said we know our school’s origin from Hawthorne a former OUSD SCHOOL and we continue the mission that was set forth with Hawthorne since its creation TO CREATE ACCESSIBLE, FREE, great, education for all residence, all diversities in the community.

WE ALL WILL ACHIEVE great strides in education IF WE WORK TOGETHER.

Thank you.


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