OUSD ENDORSEMENT OF OAKLAND SERVES
The Oakland Serves program is an innovative way to meet the needs of the city and the school district by connecting students with internships and mentorship experiences that are life changing.
I fully support and endorse this program.
Deputy Chief, Post Secondary Readiness
Oakland Unified School District
OAKLAND SERVES MOVES FORWARD
INTEREST AT McCLYMONDS
McClymonds High School is now seriously interested in setting up the academic mentoring part of our pilot program during the present school year, taking ten of our mentors. Regardless of funding, they prefer to leave the question of internships aside for the time being. We are ready: we have more than ten mentors who have secured background clearances and undertaken trainings at Be A Mentor. We have given the school the information they need on them for making their choices and have been promised a further planning session once final approval has been granted.
CHANGES AT SKYLINE
Skyline High School has made some changes and it now looks as if our mentors will be working within a broader open door tutoring program run by Athletic Director Don Ardissone at Skyline. Mr. Ardissone is working on how to bring this to pass. We cooperate, of course. One step at a time is okay, when the step is in the right direction.
PROGRESS WITH CLEARANCES AND TRAININGS
Beyond the ten already fully cleared and trained, we have at least that many more potential mentors who have been interviewed and either begun the clearance process or said they are going to do so. Oakland Serves Board Member Ina Zhang is now Acting Volunteer Coordinator, staying in touch with them all, easing them forward through the clearance process with our partner organization Be A Mentor.
To ensure trainings at times and places that work for everyone, Board Members Sharon Rose and Bruce Calderon are taking over trainings, with Be A Mentor assistance. The date is set for the next one: Saturday, December 9th, at 1223 37th Avenue, Oakland CA 94601 (Las Bougainvilleas Senior Housing). For those taking public transportation, it is well within walking distance from Fruitvale BART Station. For those driving, it is located adjacent to the Fruitvale BART station parking lot. It will be in the morning, exact time to be announced; if interested, send an email to both Sharon (email@example.com) and Bruce (firstname.lastname@example.org).
WHAT ABOUT INTERNSHIPS?
Providing students in our program with 5 hours of paid work (stipends) per week at sites and times convenient for them is an intrinsic part of our program and we will not consider it fully installed until this has been accepted and funded by the District. Right now, however, we must begin with academic mentoring. McClymonds wants only that for now. Skyline might be ready to take on internships in the spring. But Deputy Chief Bernard McCune’s warm endorsement (see above) cannot now be accompanied by the funds needed, given the current difficulties in all OUSD funding (over-extended budgeting by previous administration, possibly looming receivership).
Our own efforts at building a fund for internships must thus be greatly increased and we are hard at work on that as well. Mr. McCune has put us in touch with Greg Cluster, the District’s own Work Based Learning Coordinator, and he is working closely with us, providing contacts and counseling to help us achieve our goal. We are also hiring a part time person to do the necessary research into foundations that have been recommended to us by someone with the contacts necessary for effective followup. And pursuing other leads….
Given the interest of both McClymonds and Skyline, we are definitely still recruiting mentors: If interested, please go to https://www.oaklandserves.org/volunteer, scroll down and submit an “Expression of Interest” – if this isn’t for you, please pass the idea on to someone else.
RECRUITING FOR THE OAKLAND SERVES TEAM
How do we keep our mentors faithful while they are waiting to be matched with mentees? How do we find the man and woman power we need to follow up on good ideas? Answer: we bring those who have time for it right into our team. Everyone can do as much or as little as they have time and inclination for. They hear the news, meet each other, go on visits to present and possible future supporters. And in the process they learn how to build a non-profit which is 100% committed to the goal of helping those who need it most.
Now we have some very special needs to meet.
What is Oakland Serves?
Oakland Serves is a volunteer organization working to help the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) decrease the dropout rate in Oakland public high schools.
Mission: We work for the adoption by OUSD of a program that will identify high school students who are most at risk of dropping out and provide them with weekly one-on-one academic mentoring, paid internships in the community, the possibility of establishing a college trust fund, a program of motivational speakers, and additional financial aid where most needed.
Vision: We envision a city where every student graduates from high school and is well prepared for their next phase in life.
Values: We strive to include the voices of the community we serve. The needs of the student are always considered first. We respect and value diversity.
THE TIMES WE LIVE IN: FINDING A VISION FOR TODAY
These are not easy times for those of us who care about true equality of educational opportunity. So many fine rules and sensible admonitions tell us democracy means respecting those who hold beliefs different from our own. But how can we do that when power is held by those who use it daily to exacerbate the poverty, ill health and bias of every kind that we believe must be eradicated? How can we foster equality of educational opportunity when doors are daily being closed that no child can possibly open all alone?
The answer is not easy to find. Our deepest identity, that of human being, is one we share, and as humans we do all seem to have in common a tendency to seek change. But the change we seek is so often a way to create a better world only for ourselves and people like us. Or to protect what we already have.
There is, of course, a wider vision we sometimes share. One that contains but is greater than that of improving the lot of ourselves and those who resemble us in cherished ways. Sometimes we get it. Sometimes we can see that only by improving the conditions of all those now oppressed, by whomever and whatever, can all of us maximize our personal contentment.
Every child is different. All children deserve access to programs that give them the ability to pursue educational goals that lead them to rewarding lives of civic trust and responsibility. It is not right to give up on any child. Giving up on 600 of them every year in a single city, our city, makes all our lives sad and fearful and angry. Building an inclusive community means less crime, less fear, less anger, more equitable distribution of resources, and good feelings about ourselves as well as all our children. Oh say can you see…
How to Become a Graduation Advocate:
1. Be an O.S. Advocate: take an interest and spread the word to others. Follow us on facebook.com/OAKServes and ask your friends to do the same.
2. Contributing Advocate: provide donor contacts, mention us in your own newsletter, give us an item for this newsletter or for the Library, provide donor contacts, write a check.
Donations to Oakland Serves are now tax deductible. You may send checks (or advocate that others do so) to Oakland Serves, P. O. Box 19317, Oakland CA, 94619. Online donations by Credit Card or Paypal is also available on our website www.oaklandserves.org.
3. Mentor Advocate: Read about being a mentor in the website www.oaklandserves.org. Note the areas of expertise now being particularly sought for participation in a pilot program. Get a background clearance at www.beamentor.org/os.
4. Team Advocate: No time to mentor during school days? Join the Oakland Serves Team and contribute at the hours that are best for you. Help with recruitment, website and facebook maintenance, newsletter editing, general publicity, legal questions, fundraising, motivational seminars, and visiting city and community leaders to enlist support. Interested in becoming a paid volunteer coordinator or a paid fund-raising director one of these days? Start by working with the Team.
Whichever you choose (and you can choose as many as you wish) , write to email@example.com and tell us about yourself. Why does this appeal to you and what would you would like to do? If you choose the Team, how much time might you contribute?
An English Learner is a student who needs special assistance in learning to speak, read and write in English and in processing information in science, math and social science classes to be able to participate in the regular school program, as determined by the California English Language Development Test (CELDT). The number of English Learners in Oakland public high schools has remained almost constant in recent years due to several factors, including the arrival of many unaccompanied minors from Central America.
Graphic Source: California Department of Education, ELs by Grade and Language
More information about these meetings, including agendas, may be found in the Calendar section under Board, on the OUSD website: https://www.ousd.org/
OUSD Board of Education
November 8 and 22
Great Room, LaEscuelita Education Center
1050 2nd Avenue
Oakland, CA 94606
Agendas, videos of prior meetings here: https://www.ousd.org/domain/67
OUSD Board of Education, Budget and Finance Committee
Mondays: October 30, November 6
KDOL TV Studio, B-237
Met West High School Entrance
314 East 10th Street
Northern Alameda Consortium for Adult Education, Executive Cabinet
Friday, November 17, 1:00 PM (Tentative)
Friday, Decmeber 1, 1:00 PM
Peralta Colleges District Office
333 E 8th Street
Oakland, CA 94606
Agendas here: http://nacae.net/
Meetings of the Oakland Serves Team
Saturday Nov 4 (TBA)
write Lawson.firstname.lastname@example.org for directions
Mentoring, Recruitment, Clearance & Training Committee
Friday, Nov 17, 10:00 am
write email@example.com for directions
write firstname.lastname@example.org for details
Board and Team Meeting
Saturday, November 18, 10:30 am
389 Gravatt Drive
Please note that these meetings always on the third Saturday morning of every month are always open to all.
Donations to Oakland Serves are tax deductible. You may send checks (or advocate that others do so) to Oakland Serves, P. O. Box 19317, Oakland CA, 94619. Online donations by Credit Card or Paypal are also available on our website www.oaklandserves.org.
Content Editor: Kay Lawson
Managing Editor: Ina Zhang
Graphics: Avi Sen, Bruce Calderon
Design: Shannon Harris
Copyright © 2017 Oakland Serves, All rights reserved.