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“Making A-G Real” Student Support Systems. Building Improvement in Our Education Oakland Unified School District Meaningful Student Engagement Collaborative. Who We Are.

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making a g real student support systems

“Making A-G Real”Student Support Systems

Building Improvement in Our Education

Oakland Unified School District

Meaningful Student Engagement Collaborative

who we are
Who We Are
  • MSE (Meaningful Student Engagement) is a community-won initiative that is a part of OUSD (Oakland Unified School District).
  • MSE helps to increase student leadership and engagement in schools.
  • The MSE collaborative is made up of All City Council student leaders, leadership classes, and youth organizations around the city.

OUSD Meaningful Student Engagement

ALL CITY COUNCIL Student Leaders

& School Site Leadership Classes

MSE Community Collaborative:

Youth Together, AYPAL, CFJ, AIWA, EBAYC, Ed Trust West, Leadership Excellence,

Youth Alive, Kids First


Oakland Unified School District Student Evaluation Team

(Supported by

The DataCenter)

2009 10 research collaborators
2009-10 Research Collaborators
  • DataCenter Da Town Researchers
  • All City Council Governing Board
  • Youth Together Skyline Site
  • AIWA Youth Build Immigrant Power
  • OYES (Oakland Youth Evaluators Society)
  • Cal State East Bay Teacher Leadership Program
our action research process
Our Action Research Process
  • Political Education & Teambuilding
  • Research Design & Planning
    • Develop Research Questions
    • Choose & Create Research Tools: Surveys, Interview, Focus Group & Observation Guides
  • Data Collection, Entry & Organization
  • Data Analysis
  • Community Presentations & Action!
student support research question
Student Support Research Question:
  • What do students need from school staff, peers, family and community members to feel supported to reach their goals?
focus areas of research
Focus Areas Of Research
  • Teacher Support
  • Counseling Support
  • Administrator Support
  • Emotional Support & School Climate
  • Community Support
collaborative methodology
Collaborative Methodology
  • 710 Student Surveys
  • 16 Focus Groups / Fishbowls
  • 455 Student Teacher Evaluations
  • 12 Youth Programs Evaluated
  • 7 Schools Sites Evaluated
  • 16 Interviews with Students, Parents, Teachers, Administrators, Counselors & Youth Program Staff
schools in focus
Schools In Focus
  • Youth Empowerment
  • Skyline
  • Oakland High
  • Fremont
  • Castlemont
  • Rudsdale
  • Envision Academy
community organizations evaluated
Community Organizations Evaluated
  • Destiny Arts
  • SMAAC / Aids Project of the East Bay (APEB)
  • Youth Radio
  • Teens on Target Youth ALIVE!
  • Kids First! REAL HARD
  • Leadership Excellence
  • Youth Together
  • American Indian Child Resource Center (AICRC)
  • Eastside Arts Alliance
  • Oakland Leaf
  • Beyond Emancipation
finding 1 emotional support
Finding #1: Emotional Support

Overall, students feel that they need more emotional support in schools in order to reach their goals.

  • Sub-Finding: Students are most motivated to reach their goals by family and friends because they believe in them.
  • Sub-Finding: Youth programs provide students a sense of a second home when they receive emotional support and are respected by staff.
finding 1 emotional support supporting data
Finding #1 Emotional Support Supporting Data:

· 45% students do not feel emotionally supported in school most of the time.

· 47% students are highly or very highly stressed at school.

· 60% students feel that their personal problems interrupt their focus in school.

· 74% students feel more emotional and life support will help them achieve in school.

· 81% students feel that if staff took more time to know them, they would feel more supported.

recommendation 1 emotional support
Recommendation #1: Emotional Support
  • Restorative justice policies rather than punitive approaches.
  • Peer-to-Peer mentorships across grades.
  • Group Counseling in Advisories.
  • Emotional standards for K-12.
  • Youth Wellness Centers at every school.
finding 2 administrators
Finding #2: Administrators

Over 1/3 of students do not feel supported by their administrators; they feel like school administrators are never around, don’t care, and only enforce discipline.

  • Supporting Data:
  • “They have not shown up any of the times I’ve reached out, so I don’t really like them anymore. I don’t trust or feel like I want to be around them.”
  • “We haven’t had a consistent and competent administrators the whole time I’ve been in high school.”
  • “The principal does too much by DHP-ing people and sending them home.”
recommendation 2 administrators
Recommendation #2: Administrators
  • Administrators on Key Areas of Student Support:
    • Health & Safety
    • Academic Success
    • Community & Parent Engagement
    • School Culture & Events
  • Student participation in the hiring & evaluation of school administrators.
  • 360 degree support & evaluation system for staff.
  • Principals commitment to participate in MSE.
finding 3 counseling
Finding #3: Counseling

Most of the students don’t have a good relationship with their counselor or do not have one, even though students feel they need counseling to reach their goals.

Sub-Finding: A large percent of students feel they do not have enough information to help them to graduate and go to college.

Supporting Data:

· 57% of students say they do not have a good relationship with or do not have a counselor.

· 47% of Latino students feel that they do not have enough

information to graduate and go to college, whereas 72% of White students feel they do.

recommendation 3 counseling
Recommendation #3: Counseling
  • A multi-pronged counseling system that bridges middle through high school.
  • Since school counselors can't do everything, ENGAGE:

1) OUSD alumni through college partnerships to mentor students for college preparation.

2) Advisory class system to support students in school.

3) Peer-to-peer academic and college support.

4) Community volunteers and mentors for life and career preparation.

recommendation 3 counseling1
Recommendation #3: Counseling
  • Implement the online counseling system.
  • Back-to-school counseling & teambuilding camp for each grade, including teachers and school staff to build relationships.
  • Student feedback, training & accountability for counselors.
  • A-G Handbook Available for all ELL students.
finding 4 teachers
Finding #4: Teachers

A large population of students feel like they can't trust most of their teachers, and that the majority of teachers don't care about them or their life in and outside of school.

  • Sub-Finding: Students in small schools are able to build stronger relationships with school staff.
  • Sub-Finding: Many students reported that some of their teachers made them feel dumb for asking questions in class.
finding 4 teacher support supporting data
Finding #4 Teacher Support Supporting Data:
  • Rudsdale & Skyline students answered “No” when asked if they could trust or open up to their teachers; they feel they cannot do this because teachers “don’t care, don’t build relationships, and are there for money.”
  • “The principal and School Board need to listen to the students when they all agree a teacher needs to either get fired or change, because we know our teachers best.”
  • · “They ignore everyone other than the loud and negative kids or the overachieving kids.”
  • · “They make you feel stupid ‘on the low’ for asking a question you were sincere about.”
recommendation 4 teachers
Recommendation #4: Teachers
  • Classroom cultures that foster healthy, positive, and community-oriented learning environments.
  • OEA adoption of Quality Teaching Principles & a Code of Conduct for Teachers.
  • Implement the Teacher Pipeline programs from last year’s recommendations.
recommendation 4 teachers1
Recommendation #4: Teachers
  • All teachers participate in back-to-school camps and teach fun classes at winter sessions.
  • Professional development co-led by students (no tokenization) based on evaluation.
  • Expand Teacher Feedback Pilot Project to more schools next year.
    • Fishbowls with students and teachers at every school, facilitated by the grade administrator.
skyline teacher feedback project
Skyline Teacher Feedback Project


  • Teachers who had been teaching for a few years received strongest feedback.
  • Classroom Organization = 48%
  • Student Engagement in the Classroom = 4%
  • Student Collaboration = 9%
  • Course Relevancy to the Materials = 39%
  • “Lack of Qualified Teachers & Counselors” was chosen as the largest issue.


  • 75% of teachers that received a below average feedback score, scored highest in the course relevancy to the materials.
  • 75% of these same teachers scored lowest in classroom organization.
  • Teachers in each house in the Atlas program tended to score similarly to each other.
skyline teacher feedback project1
Skyline Teacher Feedback Project


  • Struggling teachers need extra support in areas of classroom organization.
  • Teacher feedback from students should be used to improve teacher quality.

Next Steps

  • Teachers should input on the feedback process.
  • A fishbowl for teachers & students involved in the pilot program.
finding 5 community
Finding #5: Community

Students do not feel like their broader community supports them in reaching their goals.

Sub Finding:

  • Students said they would be least open to help from members of their community.
  • Most youth in Oakland don’t have access to resources through their youth programs or their communities.
finding 5 community supporting data
Finding # 5 Community Supporting Data:
  • “I don’t feel like my community is all that involved with me reaching my goals.”
  • “I don’t really communicate with those in my community.”
  • 53% of Black students and 60% of White students said that they don’t feel supported by members of their community.
recommendation 5 community
Recommendation #5: Community
  • Engaging community-based curriculum supported by partnerships with community groups.
  • OUSD works with Mayor and City Council to collude on comprehensive plan for student support.
  • Youth programs should be aligned with schools to create more community building opportunities.
  • Bridge the gap between students and local businesses by providing training and internships.
our vision
Our Vision
  • Students are supported holistically by "the village.”
  • Administrators interact and build personal relationships with students and teachers.
  • The counseling system is overhauled to integrate the resources in our community to fully support each student.
  • Open communication and positive relationship-building between students and teachers.
  • Schools are structured to support the integration of community development.
action steps
Action Steps
  • Share our research to community at “Voicing Silence” MSE Event, and with national allies at AMC & USSF in Detroit.
  • Further research Continuation & Special Ed populations.
  • MSE will continue collaboration with CCRO on A-G implementation.
  • Development of school site A-G implementation committees.
  • Work with leadership classes to implement peer advising & restorative justice.
  •  Pass an OUSD Student Support Resolution.