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End of the year frustration

By ivega
Monday, June 2nd, 2008 at 8:11 pm in high schools, Isabel Rodriguez-Vega, students.

irodriguez2.jpgAfter visiting my counselor today to change my class choices for next year I was reminded of the incompetency of the OUSD. Don’t get me wrong, OUSD has its positive qualities, but these are found in the classrooms, away from the administration. When it comes to bureaucracy, things can get very frustrating.

My counselor informed me that they were not making any class changes until they finished the “master schedule” which will likely not be done until after the end of this school year. This means I will have to go change my classes in the beginning of next year, amid all the confusion of the beginning of the year, and not to mention all those other students like myself who were unable to change their classes.

From the looks of this, it seems as if there may be a repeat of the scheduling crisis we experienced earlier this year.

I try to visit the main offices as little as possible, but when I have no other choice I often leave feeling very frustrated. Then I remind myself, only one year to go.

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  • oakie

    Isabel,
    Do you realize how much money is being spent by OUSD on behalf of an average class of students, and how little of it trickles into the classroom? Consider that when the district blames their problems on lack of money.

    The ADA per student is $8,500 (that may drop next year to around $8,000 because of the budget crisis everyone is aware of). For a classroom of 30 kids, the district has more than a quarter million dollars to spend. Remember: that’s for 9 months, 6 hour days, plus “minimum days” each month. Your teacher costs the district, on average, $80,000 including benefits.

    Wonder where that money goes? So do I! But your identification of incompetence, outside of the classroom itself, is a good guess…..

  • 5thteacher

    I haven’t worked in Oakland but I have heard just a few stories. Trust me, not having a master schedule before the school yr ends is par for the course at other districts. I want to hear other stories of OUSD. I think the reputation is just a snowball, you 1st years hear so many stories about how horrible the dist. is, we outsiders do too, but just remember how limited resources are at the district level as well. Is it the system that is in place that is incompetent or a few district heads and why.

  • Nextset

    Consider taking a summer class through a college. The extra credits for doing so may allow greater flexibility in the senior year. And you will probably do well by seeing a school other than OUSD before graduation and start of the sollege career.

  • Sue

    I’ll second the “take a college summer class” suggestion.

    One of the random, lucky things I did in high school was take Spanish classes from the local junior college. Years later while I was serving in the Air Force and working on my degree, I needed to meet a general requirement for learning about other cultures, and a foreign language class would satisfy it. $10 for the J.C. transcript and I didn’t have to waste a semester of my time or spend my money on another class.

    Right now, you have the time and the freedom to take a class just because it sounds interesting. Do it.

  • Skyline Teacher

    If the counselors don’t quit, next year will be better than this one was.

    This year was a perfect storm of new counselors, new administrators, overenrollment, understaffing, etc.

  • Isabel Rodriguez-Vega

    Thanks for the advice about taking summer classes. I have considered this, but Im going to be gone for 3 weeks this summer so I don’t think I will be able to take a class.

    I have enrolled for a Merritt class in the fall, however. Intermediate conversational Spanish. I’m excited about it though, because it will be a new experience and environment for me.

  • John

    I never thought of taking classes as being a waste of time & money. But I guess everyone is different. Since the expenditure of time and money is prerequisite to obtaining a college education why not get something back (even when spending your time and money on required courses you may not be attracted to)?

    I recall a scene from an old movie wherein a young lady who recently completed her Masters Thesis is asked by a noted scientist if it (the Thesis) did her any good? She responds, “Well yes, I got the degree!”

    There’s real satisfaction in knowing your time and money weren’t wasted and you straddled (accomplished) more than just another academic hurdle. Give it you’re best and you won’t feel your time and money were wasted on another class, I promise.

  • Sue

    Um… John, I thought we’d agreed to ignore each other?

    Under most circumstances, I’d agree that taking general requirements classes isn’t a waste.

    My circumstances at the time weren’t like most – I was about to finish my Air Force enlistment, and I had only a limited time to complete all the requirements for my degree.

    As an enlistee, not officer, I also had a pretty limited income. I preferred to focus my education budget on classes in my major.

    Under different circumstances, I’d probably have stayed in college most of my life. I have at least two or three more degrees I’d like to pursue – someday.

  • John

    I just didn’t want students to get the wrong message about taking college classes. I couldn’t ignore THEM in the process of ignoring you. Anyway, thanks for the CYA back pedaling on this one. It’s a win for EVERYONE.

  • Sue

    No CYA or back pedaling here.

    The point of my original post was to encourage high schoolers who can, to take a college class or two now while they’re still in high school – even if it’s just for something to do with their time – and they might someday have the extra benefit of tranferring those credits.

  • Nextset

    I agree with Sue here. Either auditing a college class or enrolling for credit is often a great thing for a highschooler – provided reasonable precautions are taken. It’s not for everybody but if the student and the proposed college and class are a good match, it can really motivate and interest the highschooler in growing up and their possible future…

  • John

    And later they won’t have to “waste a semester of time or spend money on another class.” For more than some I hope it wouldn’t be a “waste,” and also hope it would provide a source of motivation for growing up and a possible future. Yes, that sounds (is) much better!

    Oh yeah, and they might some day have the extra benefit of transferring those credits and wouldn’t have to waste a semester of time or spend money on another class, right?

  • Sue

    That horse is already dead, John. You can stop beating it whenever your arms get tired.

  • John

    Sorry! My condolences to your family.