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Saturday: Career Technical Education Expo in Oakland

Laney College is hosting a career tech expo on Saturday, featuring programs from biomanufacturing to culinary arts.

It’s from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 900 Fallon St in Oakland. You can register for the free event and find updates here.

 

Career and Technical Education Expo

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Happy Earth Day!

Staff Photojournalist
photo by Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group

I visited Peralta Elementary School in North Oakland this week to see how they are using the arts to teach children about the environment. A story about it ran in Saturday’s paper.

Below, you’ll find the “Miraculous Fungi” animation last year’s fourth-graders produced with their teachers to explain the concept of micromediation. (Normally, I’d explain such a term myself, but I’d rather let the students tell you how it works.) Next on the list: native bees.

You can view the other animation projects here.

What does your school do to promote environmental stewardship?

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Saturday: Conference for Oakland’s African-American families

Parents can learn about transitional kindergarten, how to advocate for their children, how to help them at home, and what it will take for them to graduate high school and be ready for college at a free Saturday event for African-American families.

The African American Spring Parent Conference, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, is at Bret Harte Middle School, 3700 Coolidge Ave, in the Laurel District.

OUSD’s Office of African-American Male Achievement is hosting the event, which includes breakfast and lunch. You can register here.

In February, OUSD held a similar day of workshops for Latino families, a conference co-sponsored by Educational Coalition for Hispanics in Oakland, and there have been others, as well.

Have you attended a parent workshop recently? Did you find it useful — and in what way?

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OUSD’s strategic plan — and your place in it

On Tuesday evening, I’ll be speaking on a panel convened by the League of Women Voters about the strategic plan the Oakland school board adopted last year. The event, from 6-8 p.m. at Oakland City Hall, is titled “The Promise and the Challenge.”

I’ve been invited to talk about the role the community should — or needs to — play in meeting the plan’s goals. It’s a good thing I have a few days to do my homework first (and that I have this blog!), as the answer isn’t clear to me.

What about you? As a parent, neighbor, volunteer, or OUSD employee, do you feel you have a sense of your place in the work outlined in the strategic plan? If so, I’d love to hear what it is — and how you learned about it.

If you aren’t really sure about what the plan is or how you might fit into it, do you have suggestions for the district’s leaders about how to spread the word and call to action more widely?

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OUSD board might give local schools more control

Remember the Oakland school board’s Special Committee on School-Based Management and Budgeting? It’s meeting now, and teachers, parents and administrators are at the table to discuss the issues. Oakland Community Organizations — which believes schools need more control over curriculum, budget, staffing and scheduling — held a news conference before the session.

You can watch the meeting live, here. And you’ll find relevant documents here.

Below, from a draft document, is an excerpt of the board’s statement of intent:

The Board of Education believes that those closest to students at a school — principals, teachers, classified employees, parents, and students — are generally in the best position to know and to effectively address the specific academic, social and emotional needs of the students.

 

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No plans Saturday night?

Staff Photojournalist

Saturday is the second annual Uptown Oakland Block Party and school fundraiser. It’s from 5 to 8 p.m.

Organizers aim to raise $60,000 for five Oakland schools (including two that are slated for closure): Manzanita SEED, Cleveland, Piedmont Avenue, Lakeview and Thurgood Marshall. Last year, they raised $13,000 for another group of schools.

Thirty-dollar tickets are available online through the end of the day. It will get you a cocktail along with your donation. (If you don’t have time to get your ticket in advance, you can buy one for $40 at Luka’s Taproom & Lounge on Broadway and Grand.)

See the Facebook post here.

Participating venues (subject to change): Ozumo, Pican, Era Art Bar, Luka’s Taproom & Lounge, Farley’s, Vo’s, 3000 Broadway, Shashamane, Inkwell, Somar, Dogwood, and Make Westing.

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Paper galore at Lakeview Elementary School

Lake Merritt Breakfast Club supply donation

Lakeview Elementary School should not run out of copy paper this year. Today, the charitable arm of the 78-year-old Lake Merritt Breakfast Club dropped off $2,000 worth of school supplies at Lakeview. According to the breakfast club, the savings will help Lakeview pay for someone to look after the kids at lunchtime — the kind of position that many schools have been forced to cut (or fundraise to keep).

Know of other school supply donations and drives? Tell us about them.

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A celebration of peace and harmony in Oakland

Parents at Manzanita Community School and Manzanita SEED organized an event today to celebrate their community, call for peace and welcome the area’s community police officers. Here are some clips of the neighborhood walk, which began on East 27th Street and 26th Avenue in East Oakland. (Note: In the confusion of the moment, I neglected to get the name of the teacher and guitar player who provides the soundtrack! Anyone?)

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Sweat equity in Oakland

This spring, as California schools face yet another round of budget reductions, some are giving this fundraising formula a try: Oakland pride + a fitness challenge + a way to help a school in need.

Sankofa Elementary School library, photo by Hasain RasheedDagmar Serota was in a meeting at the Sankofa Academy library when she noticed the bare shelves. The few books that were on them, she said, were old and outdated.

Like other schools in the district, the North Oakland elementary can’t afford a library clerk, let alone a librarian, to manage the collection and lend books to the children.

Then Serota thought about Urban Promise Academy, a middle school in Fruitvale, and the money it was able to raise last year through the Oakland Running Festival. She thought of all the excitement surrounding the marathon, and the fact that people seem to like running for a cause.

Fast forward a few weeks, and we have Run for Sankofa.

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This Saturday: a chance to weigh in on the plan for Oakland schools

If you have an opinion on the superintendent’s “Full Service Community Schools” vision, if you’re not quite sure what it means, or if you want to offer your feedback before a plan is etched in stone, you might want to check out an upcoming conference at the Cesar Chavez Education Center in Fruitvale.

The Youth and Family Conference will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at 2825 International Boulevard, in the new building that houses Think College Now and International Community School.

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