OUSD Guests:

Yvette Renteria (Deputy Chief of Innovation)

Jody Talkington (Senior Director of Strategic Projects for the Superintendent) 

Jennifer Corn (Coordinator, Office of Innovation)

Valerie Goode (Deputy Chief, Communications and Public Affairs)

Introduction (Drew Amerson, PPTG Co-Chair) - 

We’re discussing OUSD’s Blueprint process.  We’ll have an explanation and update from Yvette, learn PPTG’s survey results, and present focused community questions from the survey to Yvette.  Then we’ll open to questions (please keep your questions to the topic at the time, and then we can move on to other topics; if you’d rather have questions written down and read, please write on a paper agenda).  Please keep at the center of your thoughts that we’re all here because we love our kids and want best for them, so please respect everyone here.

Yvette Renteria’s Update:

OUSD invited all 150 Sankofa families to a meeting (15 families attended).

They held a similar meeting with Santa Fe, with similar attendance.

They met with the PTA of Emerson.

They attempted to meet with the Kaiser PTA, but Kaiser has not not met with them.

Next step - send out a survey in various forms, similar to Peralta’s survey (but shorter).

Hope to get more quantitative feedback.

She has been giving the Board weekly updates, and the Board has heard from residents.

She has fiscal analysis of the three potential scenarios (Proposals 1-3).

Timeline - August 28 Yvette makes a recommendation to the Board (presumably Proposal 1, 2, or 3).  September 11 Board makes final decision.

School District Surplus Property Explanation:  (Drew)

PPTG Chairs met with Jody London (North Oakland’s representative on OUSD Board) to discuss questions about surplus property issues and how surplus OUSD property ends up in the hands in charter schools.  She shared a legal memo, prepared by a law firm, that she has been relying on.  The steps for OUSD to sell property - set up a committee, inform the public if intend to sell.  There used to be a rule that the property had to be offered to charter schools first, but as of 2016 they no longer need to.

If any of the sites at issue now are declared surplus, what is the likelihood they will go to Charter Schools?  

Jody Talkington - Other legal requirements related to Prop 39 may obligate OUSD to offer property to charter schools if charter schools request use of property and the district’s assessments lead to needing to offer it.  When looking at mergers, we look at what charters have previously been interested in.  If we see a potential vacancy coming up, we keep an eye open for requests for the building.  (Currently no one asking for Kaiser, which is likely to be vacated.) OUSD can decide to use a building for its own purposes, in which case it does not need to assess whether it must offer property to a charter school.

Why does this matter?  How will this affect us?

Yvette - A challenge we’re facing is we have seats not used, so what do we do about it, and how can we generate revenue from some of these situations.  We want to generate revenue from Kaiser, and potentially from Santa Fe (because Glenview will return to its site)

Who could rent it? What type of entity?

Yvette - That’s what the committee is for, to make proposals.  Could be city, non-profits, churches.

Peralta Survey Results:  (Drew)

We shared results by email yesterday; here is summary (projected slides).

305 people took the survey, in response to sending to 500 emails (including outgoing 5th grade families, incoming K families, and teachers and staff).

We have demographic racial data on the respondents (about 84% white).  (Peralta is about 53% white, but that a measure of students, as opposed to family members.)

The survey questions were written based on Proposals 1-3 being considered.

Proposal 3 is a Peralta/Sankofa merger, on split campuses at both schools:

46% strongly disagreed, 17% disagreed (about 64% disagreed or strongly disagreed)

20% agreed

Broken down by race to consider responses from families with non-white members - similar results.

Broken down by K-3 families because those are the ones who will be affected (the change would be in two years, so the current incoming third graders would be fifth graders at the time).  Again, the results were similar.

Broken down to see responses from Teachers

10 teachers took the survey (staff did not respond).

8 answered - all disagreed (6 strongly disagreed and 2 disagreed).

Survey Question - If the results of Proposal 3 had been in place, would you have chosen it for your student?

Results are more spread out. 40% unlikely and extremely unlikely; 40% likely or extremely likely; 20% neutral.

Similar results when broken down by race, and by K-3 families.

Teachers (4 answered - all unlikely or extremely unlikely).

Qualitative Analysis of Written Questions from Respondents -

There were 203 comments in response to questions about Proposal 3:

26.6% opposed to split campus

19% said would improve equity

16% If Peralta not broken, why trying to fix it?

16% Proposal is disruptive to three school communities (the other proposals impact only two)

13% Worry that this would result in lower quality of education

10% This doesn’t save money, so why are we doing it?

(Lower percentages) -

Footprint remains unchanged (both campuses remain open), so why are we doing it?

Don’t trust OUSD.

Would increase seats to help meet high demand for Peralta

Would create a school that is too big

Concern for teacher turnover

Concern about school site leadership

Need more information

Concerns about the facilities of the new school (seismic safety)

Worry that families would leave

We shouldn’t be closing schools at all

Approve because would prevent charters

Resources would be diluted

This would be a Peralta “takeover” of Sankofa

For the other questions we asked, there was not enough time for a breakdown of the responses.  The topics included arts integration, aftercare, community generally, curriculum, equity, facilities, funding, garden, location, music, PPTG, principal, social learning programs, special education, teachers, technology education. 

How likely are you to leave if Proposal 3 is implemented?

23% extremely unlikely

19% unlikely

17% neutral

23% likely

17% extremely likely (40% likely or extremely likely to leave Peralta if implemented)

When broken down by those with non-white family members, and broken down by K-3 families - similar results.

Teachers - how likely to leave if Proposal 3 is implemented?  (7 answered)

1 likely to remain

5 likely to leave, 1 extremely likely to leave 

(At least half, 6 of our 12 teachers, would be likely to leave.) 

From the audience - Underscore the last point - half of the teachers are likely to leave.  You’re destroying the school. On top of one who just left.

From the audience - This was hard to answer because even if we attended the merged school, it is hard to know if we’d stay because it would depend on quality.

Questions from the Community to OUDS(questions presented by Drew, based on questions raised by survey respondents; with follow-up questions from audience):

Concern over split campus - any examples of a successful split campus?

Yvette - We don’t have any in the district. One example in South Bay (implemented as a way to expand), one in San Jose (merged two schools, awhile ago).  Those are the only two examples we looked at.  Don’t know the names of the schools.

How would the grades be split?

The design team would do it, but probably K-2, 3-5.


One principal, and in this case we would want the Peralta principal.  We would work towards an assistant principal at the other site.

Nurses, resource specialists? 

Single, would split time, going back and forth between campuses.  (They currently are not full-time at Peralta; they split time with other schools.)

Drop off and pick up processes?

(Example of Melrose Academy in OUSD, which expanded and his upper grade(s) at a different campus.). Ten minute difference in drop off and pick up times.

Families are doing a lot of carpooling.

How does Proposal 3 save money?

This is the most costly of the three scenarios because not decreasing the footprint, and need more staff (supervisors and staff and both sites)

Does it save any money at all?

It possibly increases enrollment.

We’re not only considering fiscal sustainability - also about improving overall quality

How would Proposal 3 increase enrollment?

There is currently a 200% demand rate for Peralta.  Proposal 3 could open up more kindergarten classrooms.  Potential enrollment could increase because can seat around 600 kids.

Sankofa portables (that were already removed) - Is the district considering putting those back so that there could be one school site for a merged school?

I’ve received feedback on this from the community.  That is really costly ($100K one-time cost).

In that model, aren’t you opening up the Peralta campus for income that could counteract?

Yes, now, thank you for your emails, we’re considering that now because of that.


Sankofa has that now.  Intention would be to keep that.

Special Ed?  

Another equity issue

Based on the survey results, it seems like people would leave and wouldn’t have entered the merged school - have you taken that into account when you assume increased enrollment, when we have no idea?

No.  The Peralta survey data is new to us, so we appreciate that, and it’s a good question.  We can go with any of the three scenarios and we genuinely want to hear this.

What will happen when Kaiser goes to Santa Fe - would it pull Peralta and Sankofa kids because the campus is so big, and then would Peralta/Sankofa potentially fit at Sankofa?

We’re considering that as part of a two-year process, to see what happens.

Where would the new students come from to increase enrollment?  Where do they go otherwise?  

Don’t know.  

If they’re in other OUSD schools, you wouldn’t gain them to increase enrollment.

We want to get our kids into quality schools, not just a fiscal decision.

When our faculty is leaving, you are not going to have the same quality school.

The area is dual zoned, so you could get in if you went through an administrative process, and if didn’t you go to Sankofa - so the equity of our neighbors is a concern.

How locked in are the three options?  Is OUSD open to a different option of a merger if not a split campus?

The idea of building anything is very difficult. Building on Sankofa would have to be a part of bond money that voters must pass in 2020.  Usually Oakland approves bonds, but with currently situation it is risky.

I’ve had my son and grandchildren at Peralta.  There are generations of parents who have put sweat into this campus.  This campus and facility are a very attractive school, so to just pass it off after parents have worked so hard - to view it as something that can just be sold off or generate revenue - it’s astounding and shocking and disrespectful to generations of people.  (Thank yous from others in the audience.)

Why did you pull up portables at Sankofa if trying to increase enrollment?

A matter of timing of another project.  An unfortunate thing.

What would this new school do to improve academic achievement for African American kids?  

A merger will not miraculously improve performance.  A lot of work has to be done.  Looking for examples of mergers of schools to integrate.

Research about school closure - when students go to a higher performing school they do better (Chicago public schools consolidation).

Currently Sankofa has one teacher per grade.  Peralta has two, which allows for collaboration, sharing resources, ability to be more creative.

We have resources for the design team.

We don’t have long-term data on the success of mergers.

Talking about data in different scenarios (closed schools, split campuses, merged schools).

Seems like taking experimental chances with how this will pan out, which is difficult as an incoming parent of kindergarten twins.  Gives us pause.

Does the district have thoughts about the issue of a Peralta “takeover”?

The design team would need to discuss, and meet with leadership from both schools.  Year-long design process.  Or maybe two years.

Sankofa only has 32% of its students from its catchment - how would we protect the Sankofa families that are coming from outside the catchment when the Peralta people come in?

Fiscal concerns are not the only ones, and we’re evaluating equity.  The neighborhood is changing, so changes could happen anyway.  And the opportunity ticket - working group to look at when a school goes through a change, what would be the experience to the students.

This discussion exposes fragility - people may leave - what kind of financial planning is OUSD doing to account for the likely possibility that families with resources leave any OUSD school?  

We can’t guarantee anything, and recognize it is a volatile situation.  There are so many resources thanks to what the families here are able to provide, and Sankofa doesn’t.  We want there to be quality for all students.  We need to be responsible for all of our kids.  We cant make that decision for families, about whether to leave.

But are you incorporating that likelihood of leaving into your planning? 

One thing we’re looking at is surplus property, partnerships with city - ways of revenue generation.

Teacher retention?  

Our talent division has raised retention grants, to work on how to retain teachers.

We did account for some attrition because of change.

We don’t account for the money that families contribute to schools when we do our projections, we only have the information on the money that the schools get.

When you’re looking at the success of a school, how can you not be considering the resources going into the school (from the parents)?

It’s not part of our data.

Peralta is not Peralta without the money and the people’s time and work.

We have seven employees that are completely paid for by the parents.  We raise $320K a year.  The site budget is $80K from OUSD.  So we bring in 4x as much.

Would we become a Title I school?  

Could be a combination.

Where is Chabot in this planning?  They have huge parent input, and if we’re talking about equity, why are they not a part of this North Oakland conversation?

Chabot is about 500 students at full capacity, so it is sustainable.

So are we.

Why are we being included, and not Chabot?  We’re being asked to hold up other schools for social justice?  Based on an experiment?  Shouldn’t Chabot bear part of the burden if this is about redistribution of parent resources?  Can’t just put the burden on the families of the 300 students here.  Have to include the families of the 500 students of a succeeding wealthy North Oakland school (Chabot) instead of laying it all on Peralta.

The Blueprint plans are different from enrollment plans.  Need multiple strategies, and Chabot could come into enrollment changes, instead of school site changes.  You bring up a valid point and you’re going to stick in our heads.

Some discussion about Kaiser closing - how does that fit in with the plan?  

In all three scenarios, Kaiser would move (not close) in 2020.  There is still voting that needs to happen with respect to Kaiser.

If Kaiser is going to move to a bigger campus, how will it impact our enrollment and our demand?  Because a lot of our families live near Bushrod (maybe they’d go to Santa Fe, Kaiser).  

Yes, we’re considering that.

Possibility of a middle school at Sankofa?

OUSD loses the most students at middle school.

Will you have financial projections?

Our expectation is that when we bring our recommendation to the Board, it will include the financial projections.  

We offer $50K design year support.

We also have organizations interested in funding the design work.

We have average out $165K facilities needs. (Signage, paint, moving, teacher pay for moving, renovations).

Varied costs for the different scenarios.   (Kaiser to Sankofa is cheapest, then Kaiser to Santa Fe.)

Are you projecting down the road, how will it look with enrollment money?

We’re expecting 10% attrition.  After year 2 we’ll start seeing revenue generation from losing staff.  Then profit in year 3.

The last example we saw was actually 15% attrition.

And in Kaiser, we know that 1/3 people will likely leave because they don’t live in North Oakland.

Our survey results on teachers’ plans to leave - that’s a huge concern for us, so what can the district do?

Thank you for this data - that is really helpful.  

In the Roots experience, we’ve seen reachers finding jobs for teachers in other schools.  It’s really up to the teachers whether they stay or not.

In another example, the teachers are part of the design process and they’re staying.

How many times have you talked to the Peralta teachers so far?  

Never.  We spoke to the principal, but not the teachers.

Safety of the facilities - is there a plan to make it seismically safe?

The $165K would be part of an assessment for renovations.

It will depend on which school.

The projected cost of the seismic retrofit of Sankofa is $10M - how would that cover it?

Don’t know.

Does it help or hurt kids to be split by grades?  We’re impressed by the cross pollination between the older and younger kids.  Are we losing something?

Agree with working on examples - reading buddies, safety patrol.

This is something we overlooked when thinking about this.

Possibility of other options?

We have to propose something.  We’re not going to propose nothing.

We can read emails from parents to consider options.

We’ll all get a survey from OUSD next week.

PPTG Meeting August 7 which will be to pass our budget.

Yvette will attend.

Jody London couldn’t make it today, but will be here for the August 7 PPTG meeting

Blueprint for Quality Schools Town Hall Meeting: 6/25/19


Position Paper on OUSD’S Blueprint Plan by Bobby Daves, Peralta Parent and OUSD teacher

Blueprint process and proposals - by Yvette Renteria

-Is the deputy chief of Innovation - onboard since November 2019

-Sharing context of blueprint (this is for the entire city of Oakland)

-Idea is that there is a neighborhood school that every kid can go in and access education

-Three main principles: 1) Quality 2) Sustainability 3) People

- Back in Jan / Feb, OUSD engaged with Kaiser and Sankofa for a merger

-Strike resulted in creation of an Ah-Hoc community

- Four dilemmas OUSD is facing: 1) Inequity 2) Vacating Santa Fe campus 3) Small % of students who go to Kaiser live in that area 4) Amount of students in North Oakland region is less than the number of seats available

Other points:

-200 % demand rate at Peralta

-Difference in academic performance between neighborhood schools

-Unfilled seats in Sankofa

-Santa Fe vacating


Three scenarios:

1) Merge Kaiser with Sankofa and move to Sankofa campus

2) Merge Kaiser with Sankofa and move to Santa Fe campus

3) Move Kaiser to Santa Fe and merge Peralta and Sanko to build upper and lower campuses over 2 years

To learn more data about each school, check the public dashboard on OUSD.org.

Dr. Delgado - OEA minority report

-Has a P.H.D. in social and cultural

-Is part of Ad-Hoc committee

-The OEA does not sign the recommendations for school closures

-Note: all closures were considered including the ones that affect East and West Oakland neighborhoods

Main points of the report

-The committee desires authentic support of district schools

-School closures will fuel charter school enrollment which will affect OUSD financials

-OUSD spends $22 million more on administration and $28 million more on consultants

-Potential savings with schools closures is offset by implementation costs and loss of enrollment to charter schools

- 17 out of 18 schools closed in Oakland had mostly African American students

AuthorSteve Mundro