By Katy Murphy
Wednesday, October 10th, 2012 at 9:25 am in Uncategorized.
AFTERNOON UPDATE: OUSD just sent me the information I requested about its teacher consolidations. There are 14 teachers from 13 schools being reassigned this year: from Bella Vista, Cleveland, Hoover, Kaiser, Claremont, Melrose Leadership Academy, Bret Harte, Roosevelt, Frick (2 teachers), Piedmont Avenue, Allendale, La Escuelita, and Rise.
The week before last, Rachel Kargas, a parent at Oakland’s Cleveland Elementary School, wrote about the effects of consolidation: losing a teaching position and moving students into different (and often, grade-level combination) classrooms, mid-year, because fewer students enrolled than expected in certain grades. Parents from Cleveland Elementary spoke out at the last board meeting, urging the district to reconsider.
Tonight, the uber-organized parents and teachers at Kaiser Elementary School, who fended off the threat of closure last fall, plan to make their case. Parents say that because some families held onto their children’s seats until the last minute and enrolled them elsewhere, the school (which normally has a waiting list) had three vacancies — and is losing a teacher as a result.
I’ve requested information from OUSD on enrollment projections, the 20-day enrollment count (which, I’m told, should be coming soon — given that the 20th day of school was two weeks ago), and teacher consolidations — when a teacher is moved from one school to another to maximize class size loads.
The big question is how many fewer students than expected showed up to OUSD schools this fall, as that is likely driving some of these decisions.
The Kaiser parents (didn’t I tell you they were organized?) issued a news release this morning:
For immediate release
ATTENTION: Reporters covering K-12 education, general assignment and
broadcast news desks
WHAT: Kaiser Elementary families and teachers at tonight¹s school
board meeting will protest a forced consolidation that will result in mixed
grade classes and larger class sizes due to the removal of a teacher. The
school district is consolidating Kaiser because its enrollment has
fallen just three slots short of what is required under the teachers’
The Kaiser community says the shortfall, which has been estimated to cost
the district less than $30,000 in Average Daily Attendance (ADA) money for
the year, can be raised and is not worth the upheaval caused by the removal
of a teacher and the domino effect that it will have on all classes. This
comes at a time when Kaiser is working on a major expansion plan with the
WHEN: Tonight, (Wednesday, Oct. 10) starting at 4:30 p.m.
WHERE: Outside and inside OUSD headquarters at 1025 2nd Avenue, Oakland
BACKGROUND: Henry J. Kaiser Elementary is a California Distinguished School
with a high-performing, racially and socio-economically diverse student
body, off-the-charts parent involvement and a large LGBT parent community.
It was Kaiser’s unwarranted placement on the district’s closure list last
fall that contributed to fewer students enrolling this fall. Recognizing
Kaiser’s success, the OUSD board voted instead to expand Kaiser to take in
100 more students. This begs the question of why Kaiser is being forced to
downsize at the same time that OUSD is working with the school on major