Our mission is to eliminate persistent poverty by working with partners to transform low-income neighborhoods into vibrant, healthy communities
Full Service Community Schools in Oakland Unified School District
Urban Strategies Council has a long history of working with the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) to support planning for improved academic achievement, most recently helping create and implement OUSD’s five-year strategic plan to develop full service community schools at every site supported by a restructured and realigned Full Service Community School District. We have helped build the district’s technical and leadership capacity to support educational reform, collaborated with the district to establish high levels of community engagement, built understanding of the challenges facing public education in the city, identified opportunities for stakeholder dialogue around those challenges, and mobilized community support for action and change.
In June 2011, the OUSD Board of Education adopted a five-year strategic plan, Community Schools, Thriving Students, the basis for building full service community schools across the district that ensure a high-quality instructional core, develop social, emotional and physical health, and create equitable opportunities for learning.
Urban Strategies Council’s Role:
Urban Strategies Council has supported the development of this system reform and restructuring in several ways:
- Full Service Community Schools Strategic Planning: Urban Strategies Council was invited by the Superintendent and Board of Education President to facilitate a set of six Board retreats over a 14-month period to help the Board and Superintendent develop the strategic plan. As part of that process, the District created 14 task forces to produce recommendations for the plan. Urban Strategies Council was asked by OUSD’s Department of Complementary Learning to facilitate one of the task forces (above) and sit on several others.
- Full Service Community Schools Task Force: With support from the Bechtel Foundation and the Rogers Family Foundation, Urban Strategies Council planned and facilitated the Full Service Community Schools and District Task Force, responsible for creating a framework, tools for implementation at the district, regional and site levels, and a set of recommendations which eventually formed the strategic plan.
- Community Engagement in FSCS Planning: As a part of the FSCS Task Force process, Urban Strategies Council partnered with the district to educate and engage more than 900 community members on how full service community schools work and how community members would like to see them benefit their neighborhoods. Urban Strategies Council designed a meeting guide for the community engagement events that was adopted by the district to lead global engagement events.
- Planning for an interagency, cross-sector Community School Leadership Council: Urban Strategies Council is working with the Department of Family, School and Community Partnerships to lay the groundwork for building a collaborative, multi-jurisdictional partnership body that will develop a common vision and the conditions for healthy, thriving children.
- Convening Transition Workgroups: Urban Strategies Council continues to plan, organize and co-facilitate workgroups that will support the work of the Community School Leadership Council (CSLC).
- African American Male Achievement Initiative: Urban Strategies Council is a partner in OUSD’s African American Male Achievement Initiative (AAMAI), an ongoing collaboration supporting broad-based efforts to close the achievement gap and improve other key outcomes for African American males in Oakland schools. With support from the East Bay Community Foundation, Urban Strategies Council has developed data-based research; explored promising practices, programs and policies inside and outside the school district; analyzed the impact of existing system-wide policies; and developed policy recommendations to improve outcomes in several of the seven areas identified by the AAMAI Task Force. Those seven areas are the achievement gap, graduation, literacy, suspension, attendance, middle school holding power, and incarceration.
- Boys and Men of Color: As part of its Building Healthy Communities initiative, which focuses on creating healthy communities in 14 neighborhoods in California, The California Endowment (TCE) recognized the particularly poor health outcomes for boys and men of color (BMoC).TCE selected Urban Strategies Council as the Regional Convener for the Oakland BMoC site.FSCS is the vehicle for the BMoC work, which focuses on improving health, education and employment outcomes for boys and men of color and includes a cross system leadership table.
- A Resource Guide for Understanding Community Schools: Urban Strategies has produced a comprehensive community school resource guide to inform the planning and implementation process for those interested in or currently building community schools