Last chance to attend Saturday’s OUSD Teacher Conference

Tribune file photo of 2011 convention by Laura A. Oda

Last spring, at its first-ever teacher convention, delegates told the district administration — loud and clear — that often the most valuable support and training came from colleagues, rather than outside experts, and that teachers needed a chance to come together and share ideas.

So this year OUSD’s Talent Development Office, with support from the teachers union, organized an all-day conference for some 200 teacher-delegates, asking each school to send two elected representatives. It takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Oakland Technical High School. (The schedule of courses is posted below — or, if it’s not there, should be soon.)

But not every school has selected delegates, and there’s still room for about 40 more teachers. Yesterday, the district opened enrollment to others who want to take part, said Margaret Dunlap, a former Glenview and Montclair teacher who now works in the district’s Talent Development Office.

Dunlap said teachers must register by the 8 a.m. Friday deadline to receive the $150 stipend. Interested? Fill out the registration form at the bottom of this post and email it to margaret.dunlap@ousd.k12.ca.us.  You can also email Dunlap by 5 p.m. today to request the registration form or to ask questions about the conference. She said walk-ins will not be accepted on Saturday.

(Note: The office’s fax machine is broken, so it’s best to use email.)

If you teach at one of the following schools — most of which have sent no delgates — you’ll have priority, she said:

  • Castlemont Business Information & Technology School
  • Leadership Preparatory Academy (Castlemont)
  • College Prep & Architecture Academy (Fremont)
  • Media Academy (Fremont)
  • Community Day School
  • Far West
  • Lazear Elementary School
  • Parker Elementary School
  • Ralph Bunche Academy
  • Street Academy
  • United for Success

About the conference: In the morning, full-time classroom teachers will lead workshops on effective teaching strategies; the afternoon session (participants choose between nine topics) will be devoted to sharing information about and discussing various initiatives, from the Office of African American Male Achievement and the ethnic studies task force — which grew out of the 2011 teacher convention — to teacher retention, leadership and effectiveness.

Do you plan to go? What do you hope to gain from the experience?

OUSD Teacher Conference

Conference registration form

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • Katy Murphy

    Sorry, I just realized we embedded the wrong document (two of the same thing!). It’ll be fixed soon.

  • Catherine


    I do not see one course in meeting the needs of gifted students of color in the classroom. I do not see compacting curriculum, complex thinking, questioning or differentiation for students of all abilities. Perhaps I missed something.

  • Teaches at Oakland School

    That is because as far as I have seen as a parent and staff member in the OUSD for over 15 years, no one compacts curriculum. Not one of my 3 children ever took a a test to determine what they knew before the material was presented so they didn’t waste their time, there was no complex thinking done and certainly no differentiation, except for the one time a teacher had the GATE children read an extra Social studies book.
    My teaching program made no effort to teach this-it placed more emphasis on being nice to the students of color and not offending anyone.
    Oakland doesn’t care much about gifted children-that is why most leave the district for private school.

  • Catherine

    Teaches at Oakland School – I absolutely agree with you, however the district’s own posted plan says that all these things happen. The union contract states these differentiation strategies happen. The state is giving the district money because the district has identified the students and says the complex thinking and questioning, differentiation and compacting happens.

    But it doesn’t.

  • In Shock

    You know how much money the district gives schools for gifted and talented education? About $7 per pupil.

  • Catherine

    In shock: Is money needed to have tiered assignments? Is money needed to pretest students to find out what they know before you “teach” them? Is money needed to cluster group by ability in the classroom? Is money needed to teach science, math, social studies, reading and writing in a way that provides support or scaffolding to students who are not working at grade level but will provide challenge to those working above grade level?

    The answer to each and every question is NO!

    Have the teachers agreed to differentiate and provide the education as listed above to every class, every year per their district contract?

    The answer to the question is YES!

    Talented teachers know how to teach to all student levels and do so. They are fulfilling their contractual obligation. Other teachers choose not to teach all students so that they make continual progress. They are choosing to abandon their contractual obligation.