Can you believe it? – Yesterday was the first day back at school for so many of our Oakland students after a long year and a half battling this global pandemic. But our city is still facing challenges in how to deal with this new education landscape while trying to stay safe. This week we covered what finding diverse community looks like, new facilities at OUSD, the new Delta variant, unions stopping short of the vaccine mandate and more.
Finding Diverse Community in Public School, A Parent’s Reflection. This is a guest post from Molly Brostrom, a proud parent of an Emerson graduate. Read this reflection from Brostrom on her experience having her child at Emerson who graduated this year. Despite the school’s challenges, her son flourished and learned so much about who and what exists in the world around him. “Thriving in diverse community is key to our country’s future. What better time to learn to do so than in elementary school?”
OUSD Celebrates New Facilities Across Oakland That Will Welcome Students on First Day of School, Monday, August 9 Read full OUSD press release here on new facilities includes new labs, green certified buildings, and more.
Celebrating 11 Years of Community Building at Oakland’s Community School for Creative Education; A Conversation with Emma Paulino – The Community School for Creative Education celebrates its 11th anniversary this year. This work out in community, and deliberately reaching across ethnic, racial and faith communities, and delivering presentations in 5 languages created something special. CSCE is one of the most diverse schools in Oakland. And it is showing some of the greatest academic gains for Black and Brown Children. But it is so much more than that.
Relief and excitement, amid concern over delta variant, as Oakland Unified schools reopen -“Our flags fly again today!” shouted a staff member after sending the American and state flags up the flagpole before the school day officially kicked off. The first day of in-person classes at Oakland Unified School District arrived Monday after 17 months defined by Zoom and learning from a distance.”
Teachers Concerned With Oakland Unified School District Reopening Campuses– Teachers are openly expressing their concern about schools re-opening this school year. This past Saturday there was a small caravan of drivers blaring their horns through Oakland over concerns about the start of the school year. As of now, vaccines are not mandatory for students or teachers.
California lawmakers and teachers unions stop short of a vaccine mandate – State lawmakers have yet to issue a vaccine mandate for public school teachers, arguing that a mask mandate, increased ventilation and other existing safety measures are enough. Legislators have put the decision in the hands of local officials, but most school districts haven’t made vaccination a requirement for teachers either because they’re still exploring the legality of a mandate or there isn’t enough support from local teacher unions. The California Teachers Association is strongly supporting vaccines, but has so far stopped short of endorsing a vaccination mandate for all public school teachers.
Lend A Hand Foundation’s 22nd Annual Backpack Giveaway Helps 8,000 OUSD Students – This is what community looks like. On July 31, the Lend A Hand Foundation held its 22nd Annual Supply and Essentials Program where volunteers filled more than 8,000 backpacks with school supplies.
There Is No “Free Market” in Education, And Why That Matters – School quality is also notoriously hard to determine. The state itself struggled to even determine an accountability system. Understanding the likely outcome of schooling when you put your child in kindergarten is very difficult—and indeed there are a range of outcomes; academic, social, developmental, all of which are hard to measure and isolate. What do outcomes usually depend upon? Great School Voices breaks it down.
What COVID-19 precautions are Oakland schools taking for the 2021-22 school year? – Oakland’s 2021-22 school year started yesterday- August 9, and school district officials are navigating rapidly changing pandemic conditions. Even with the surging delta variant, public health and education leaders have reiterated their support for a full reopening of school buildings for all students, and minimizing the amount of time that students spend away from school. Protocols that schools are enforcing to keep students safe include regular health screenings, quarantining, social distancing and more. OUSD has also been hosting pop up vaccination centers despite not mandating the vaccine.
Q&A: Christopher Nellum, Education Trust-West’s new director, on the challenges ahead – Christopher Nellum became the fifth executive director earlier this month of the Education Trust-West — one of the state’s most prominent social justice and advocacy organizations — which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.