What I Learned at Parker Community Forum

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Aida Olvera is the President of Parker's School Site Committee.

Tonight there was a community forum at Parker K-8 in District 6, the first in a series I will be doing to visit every school in District 6 and learn about their recent accomplishments, their challenges and their plans to address their challenges.

I really liked how this first forum went; the SSC President gave part of the presentation, along with the Assistant Principal Sarah Mehrizi and the Principal Koy Hill (Koy and Sarah are pictured below, left and right).

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Parker's Principal Koy Hill, Network Superintendent Laresha Martin, and Assistant Principal Sarah Mehrizi.

It was well-attended and two students won brand new laptops through a partnership that Parker has with the Oakland Housing Authority.  The students had a lot of questions about middle school electives, and specifically wanting more of them.

I told them about Measure G1, which will be on the ballot in a couple of weeks and will provide more funding for middle school electives, if it is passed, but I also said that schools make choices about how best to focus their resources.  Parker is strong in part because they have chosen to focus closely on academics, and that is part of why they are one of the best schools in the city.

Even before last year, Parker was one of the best schools in all of Oakland. Then last year, they were one of only three schools in the district to make double digit improvement in math on the statewide SBAC tests, which was due in part to the heavy investments Parker has made in technology programs like Eureka Math, which may now be adopted district-wide now that we have seen such impressive results at Parker.  This school year they are focusing on making even more improvements in reading, attendance and social-emotional learning.

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Parker students expressed a desire for more middle school electives at their school.

Parker has also invested heavily in social emotional learning tools for students, in particular one program called toolbox, and this is something that SSC President Aida Olvera shared in her presentation. Toolbox teaches kids strategies to manage their feelings and actions and to handle conflict.

I am excited for the future community forums at the other District 6 schools, and grateful to Koy Hill and his school community for holding the first one at Parker.  I'm really proud of their work and want everyone to know about it.

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Shawna, right, came to Parker in 3rd grade after attending an Aspire school. Her mom said Parker has been much more challenging for Shawna.

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Deborah Temple is a frequent volunteer at Parker. I'm so grateful for volunteers like her who are dedicated to our students!

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