An Oakland Update: Lots to Share

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August 24, 2012

Kicking off the 2012-2013 school year and school visits
I hope that the school year is off to a great start. Many schools are already in session with the remainder beginning next week. The work that you are doing in your schools is very important. Providing high quality and safe school environments are what the students and families of Oakland deserve. I look forward to visiting your schools in the next few weeks. Thanks to all of the leaders that have already accommodated visits!

Oakland Regional Meeting
The Fall Oakland Regional Meeting date has been set for Monday, October 1, 2012. We will meet at ARC Associates in downtown Oakland. Please visit this link to register for our first meeting of the year. We look forward to seeing everyone!

CIVICS (California Informed Voters in Charter Schools)
During our Fall school visits, Families that Can will plan with member schools and provide important details regarding the CIVICS initiative. The November elections are critical, and we need to ensure that all of our families understand the important of participating and having their voice heard. For additional information regarding the CIVICS initiative, please contact Ainye Long, Director, Parent and Community Engagement - Families That Can.

Special Education
For charter schools in the OUSD SELPA, I am sure that you are already aware of the changes in service and significant increase of per student cost (to the district). We are working with the district to:

  • Better understand these changes for member charter schools
  • Create some transparency around the PEC budget and delivery of service for students
  • Create plans for individual schools that will have a difficult time paying the district (especially for 11-12 adjustment)
  • Develop a clear MOU between the district and individual schools that will define terms of service and cost schedules/timelines

We are reaching out to individual schools, and should have more information in the next few weeks.

Replication and new developers
If you know of any groups that are interested in starting new schools or if your organization is interested in replicating, please contact Kristen McCaw, our School Development Manager, Northern California. We'd be more than happy to organize a meeting to discuss the opportunities and challenges.

East Bay Charter Connect
Schools may be interested in attending or presenting at the upcoming EBCC Symposium (held at Lighthouse Community Charter). A flyer on the website below has more details. The 2012 EBCC Symposium (held at Oakland Military Institute) was a tremendous success, and was a unique opportunity for charter teachers and leaders to connect and share the work that you are doing in your schools. More information

Cash flow challenges
We have heard from several members that have questions regarding the cash flow challenges that many schools are facing and what alternatives you might use to address them. Information is available on our website for members to access including some alternatives charters may consider. /2011/04/state-budget-update.html#tab-cash_flow

We have reached two important milestones

  • Local => 25% of all students attending public schools in Oakland are charter school students as of next year.
  • National => The 2012-2013 school year marks the 20th Anniversary of the charter school movement. Please visit for more information. We will be planning a large Oakland event to celebrate charters and our success.

David Castillo
Oakland Regional Director