Future students of Oakland SOL, who are also part of the design team for the school.
I'm very excited about a new OUSD school that will be opening this fall in District 6, Oakland SOL (School of Language). It has been three years in the making, and was approved by the board in December.
Simone DeLucchi (center) is the Community Schools Manager for Oakland SOL, and will be working on recruitment in the neighborhood to make sure they are able to fill the first cohort of 60 students in the fall.
The school is comprised so far mainly of families from CUES (Community United Elementary School) and Manzanita SEED. OCO (Oakland Community Organizations) has helped support the work of the design team through their relationships in the school district and the community.
Families looking at the garden from a classroom and discussing how to use it.
Oakland SOL will be located on 70th Avenue on the campus of what used to be Rudsdale Continuation School. Their focus will be on creating a multilingual school that embraces the vast diversity of East Oakland, and I am personally very excited to expand our multilingual options to middle school. We currently have a large number of Spanish dual immersion elementary schools, with nowhere for the students to move onto for middle school, because Melrose Leadership Academy can only take a few of them.
Pablo Villavicencio (leftmost) and Joe Dominguez (second from left) came to meet with families on the design team about the next steps on the project.
Oakland SOL will allow us to keep more families within OUSD, but not just that, I know this program is going to be welcoming, affirming and inclusive for our students and families, and I'm proud of the hard work the families have done to bring their dream to fruition.
East Oakland has a growing population of Yemeni families, many of whom will be part of Oakland SOL next year.
Oakland SOL's design team met this morning at their new campus to talk with OUSD staff about their plans and the next steps and support that is needed from the district. There is a long road ahead; launching a new school is never easy, but I am hopeful that this school is an important step in the hard work ahead for OUSD to build the right mix of schools that will help to stabilize enrollment and build more quality programs inside the district.
The Rudsdale campus does not have a field or even any play structures yet, so one of the first things they are going to need to figure out is where the kids will be able to play. The half-court basketball court is not going to work when 60, and later 120, kids need outdoor space to play. Many of the questions from kids were about the amenities of the school.
Working with our super committed families and staff is the best part of my job on the School Board.