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Archive for the 'health' Category

A youth and family center opens at McClymonds

The McClymonds Youth and Family Center, a project years in the making, opened today on the high school campus. I wrote a story about this happy occasion for West Oakland.

Tribune photographer D. Ross Cameron took the below photos of the renovated space (the main area above and the dance studio below), which students helped to design:

Staff Photojournalist

Staff Photojournalist

Posted on Thursday, February 2nd, 2012
Under: health, high schools, initiatives, students | 2 Comments »

Oakland gets serious about school food

Staff Photojournalist
photo by D. Ross Cameron/Staff

For the first time in 15 years, the federal government has rewritten the rules for what must — and can’t — be served in its public school lunchrooms. Meanwhile, some OUSD staff, parents and local organizations are formulating some plans of their own, which they presented at the last school board meeting.

It was well into the evening, and some of us joked about having to sit through the presentation on an empty stomach. It later dawned on me how remarkable that was: the thought of cafeteria food inducing an appetite, rather than ruining it!

Although the presentation coincided with the new federal standards, it wasn’t focused on compliance. (Speaking of compliance, you’ll find more information about the new USDA rules here.) Instead, we heard about ideas to radically change the system so that children who rely on subsidized meals — and those who buy their lunches — will be healthier and more focused in class.

The recommendations included cooking classes for food service workers; new recipes inspired by global culinary traditions; organic produce from local farmers; kitchen and equipment upgrades that would allow 60 percent of all food to be made from scratch and the rest to be minimally processed; a new model for delivering semi-prepared food to schools without kitchens, and spaces that could be leased in the evenings to local vendors or others in the community.

And, of course, no central kitchen would be complete without an organic farm. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, February 1st, 2012
Under: health, initiatives | 20 Comments »

Health centers and “full-service community schools”

Skyline High School's new health center
photos by Roy Manzanares, courtesy of Oakland Unified

Oakland Superintendent Tony Smith’s vision of full-service community schools is taking shape on some campuses, thanks to a school-based health center initiative that has picked up steam (and millions of dollars in funding) since 2008.

Oakland Unified’s 12th health center opened this week, at the 1,900-student Skyline High School. The Native American Health Center (NAHC) will operate services at the clinic. The renovated portable building includes two medical exam rooms, a laboratory and three confidential consultation rooms.

new Skyline High School health center

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, December 5th, 2011
Under: health, high schools, initiatives, OUSD central office, students | 23 Comments »

Whooping cough shots: Time’s running out!

Staff Photojournalist

By Friday, all Oakland Unified students in grades 7 to 12 must show proof that their Tdap, or whooping cough, vaccinations are up to date — or be turned away from school, as required by a new state law.

Since the spring, nurses have given shots to thousands of kids who’ve provided parental consent forms, said Joanna Locke, director of health and wellness for the Oakland school district. This morning, the district set up a clinic on East Oakland’s Fremont high school campus (pictured above).

Still, as of Sept. 16, the district’s latest count, 14 percent of the students in those grades — about 2,000 — either still needed the shot or hadn’t provided the paperwork proving that they had gotten it.

If you know someone who needs help with this, they should call their doctor or the Immunization Assistance Project at (510) 267-3230. They can also visit for a list of immunization clinics.

Posted on Tuesday, September 27th, 2011
Under: families, health, high schools, middle schools | 2 Comments »

School’s out: A series about the summer


As an education writer, I like the summer — and not because I get to file all my stories poolside (though that’s not a bad idea…). I like it because it sometimes gives me a break from breaking news, which means I get to work on projects.

I have a few up my sleeve, and I’m especially excited about one of them: a print and multimedia series about the summer, itself.

You can find the first story (print only) here.

Posted on Monday, June 20th, 2011
Under: achievement gap, families, health, safety, students, teens | 2 Comments »

Plan for Oakland schools up for approval Saturday

On Saturday, the Oakland school board is scheduled to vote on the superintendent’s five-year strategic plan — the product of 14 task forces and, according to the document, some 350 task force and community meetings.

The meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the board room at 1025 Second Ave. It’s supposed to run about two hours.

How did you take part in the process? Does this document reflect your ideas for improving OUSD? What will it take for this plan to materialize?

In case you missed it:

OUSD’s strategic plan

The Bay Area Parent Leadership Action Network sent out a news release saying it expected all four of its recommendations to make it into the final plan. They are:

  • Adopt and follow standards for family engagement to make meetings and events more accessible and parent-friendly
  • Improve training for parents who serve on school site governance councils
  • Establish a Family Engagement Advisory Council to give regular feedback to the district on ways to better involve the community
  • Hold monthly meetings with parents and youth in each of OUSD’s three regions to improve communication.

Posted on Thursday, June 16th, 2011
Under: achievement gap, families, health, initiatives, School board news, Tony Smith | 19 Comments »

The Big Freeze in Oakland schools

portable heater. Image from comedy_nose on news report this morning was about shivering students at Frick Middle School.

But the Oakland school district’s temperature problems are much broader and more chronic. About 65 OUSD schools and offices reported heat outages this week, after returning from Thanksgiving break on Monday. More than half of the problems had yet to be fully resolved as of this afternoon, according to this district log.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, December 2nd, 2010
Under: buildings, health, students, teachers | 23 Comments »

Kaiser gives Oakland schools $7.5 million

Smith at Kaiser news conference. Photo courtesy of the Oakland school district.

When Superintendent Tony Smith was appointed to his post in 2009, his supporters said they expected he would restore interest, support and outside funding to the Oakland school district.

This fall — until today — the district endured some heartbreak on the funding front. Oakland lost its bid for the U.S. Department of Education’s Promise Neighborhoods planning grant in September (despite accolades from the secretary of education just weeks before). And the district’s November parcel tax election was defeated by about 700 votes, less than one percentage point.

But this morning, the district announced it had received a $7.5 million gift from Kaiser Permanente. It is the largest corporate donation yet to support Smith’s vision for Oakland’s schools, district spokesman Troy Flint said.

The money won’t solve the district’s structural deficit or guard against deep mid-year budget cuts. But $7.5 million is still $7.5 million.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, November 29th, 2010
Under: budget, health, high schools, middle schools, Tony Smith | 10 Comments »

In Oakland, school produce stands are becoming a weekly fixture

Produce for sale at Hoover Elementary on Tuesday. Tribune photo by D. Ross Cameron/StaffWest Oakland may not have a full-service grocery store (that’s another story), but it does have another produce stand. Here are some photos we took on Tuesday at Hoover Elementary School’s new weekly market.

The Oakland school district and the East Bay Asian Youth Center opened two more stands this week — at Hoover in West Oakland and Global Family and Learning Without Limits in East Oakland — bringing the total to 12. They plan to expand the number to 25 by September. Glenview Elementary has one too, run by parent and community volunteers.

These mini farmer’s markets are open to the public, as well. Here’s the schedule: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, October 14th, 2010
Under: community, elementary schools, health, initiatives, West Oakland | 1 Comment »

A safer, greener place to play

photo by Robert Mohr/STOCK OPTIONS

photo by Robert Mohr/STOCK OPTIONS

The playground at Roosevelt Middle School in East Oakland didn’t always have a smooth surface, planter boxes, or a shiny new playing field. You can probably imagine what it looked like.

the old Roosevelt yard (courtesy photo)

It was transformed by the Oakland Schoolyards Initiative, a partnership between the East Bay Asian Youth Center, The Unity Council and the Oakland school district. Roosevelt’s new principal, Cliff Hong (a former teacher and assistant principal at Edna Brewer Middle School), sent me a photo of its unveiling today.

The outdoor spaces of Garfield Elementary, Urban Promise Academy and the Manzanita schools have undergone similar transformations through the schoolyards initiative. Next on the list? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, September 29th, 2010
Under: athletics/physical education, community, health, initiatives, middle schools, students | 6 Comments »