Quality School Development June 2016 Update
School Design Cohort
Design teams participated in a year-long design process. Teams met every two weeks for a day-long design session. They were:
- Exposed great schools through visits & expert panels.
- Received site-based coaching & piloted new strategies.
- Collaborated with one another; other departments & outside organizations to build a strong plan.
Design teams analyzed feedback from their original proposals in order to prioritize their work. They determined what changes were innovations vs. improvements.
Training in Community Outreach
Design team members practiced using One-to-One's as a strategy for building transformative relationships in their communities. Many teams received training in home visits & conducting focus groups.
Design teams received training in "Design Thinking" in order to think outside the box & create innovative solutions to challenging issues.
Design teams learned how to use listening strategies as "empathy" to better understand the end users of their new strategies. For example they interviewed parents to design better ways they can be more involved in their child's academic learning.
Linked Learning Pathways
Design Teams received training from experts in the Linked Learning Office around student-centered pathway designs.
Planning Time was one of the greatest gifts of the School Design Cohort. Slowing down long enough to reflect & truly plan the implementation of each team's vision is a critical part of the redesign process.
Engagement events held by Design teams create a culture of community schools. Events helped to recruit & empower families to become involved in the redesign process.
Great School Exposure
Design teams traveled throughout Oakland to see great district-run & charter-run schools. They traveled around California to see great schools; and many traveled to different parts of the country. They often brought students & parents with them.
Community Asset Mapping Projects
Design teams developed community asset mapping projects to better understand how to design solutions that take advantage of resources in the community.
Addressing issues of racial equity & implicit bias was a theme in the design process. Schools must address these issues directly, if we hope to graduate ALL students college, career & community ready.
Leading for Equity
Design teams attended the National Equity Project's Leading for Equity Institute. This is a multi-day overnight retreat where teams from public schools across California explore issues of race, oppression, & educational equity.
Design teams focused energy on creating a new narrative of achievement & success in their schools. Teams redesigned their websites, led door-to-door campaigns, & starting distributing school "swag" to prospective new students & staff.
In addition to the strong leadership in place at Castlemont High & Frick Impact Academy next year; two schools, McClymonds & Fremont High will benefit from new leaders, selected this spring, who will guide the schools through a second year of design.
Preparing to launch
Design team leaders meet monthly with the Superintendent and central office support team leaders, to focus on starting right. Plans are shared, feedback is given, & follow-up on priority issues takes place. In one such meeting, a documentary was being filmed with a focus on Frick's design team leader, Ruby Detie.