Raquel Jimenez, Student Engagement Specialist Jidan Koon, MSE Consultant Shannon Chase, MSE Student Intern MSE Staff Meaningful Student Engagement Pilot Year Final Report ShaCora Cowart Markeshia James Presented by: Student Directors
Goals of MSE Initiative Engage student leadership in school governance and policy making as well as addressing school improvement issues rather than solely focus on activities planning Include traditional as well as non-traditional leaders in student leadership in order to access the influence of a broad range of students Build mechanisms for on-going feedback between student leadership and their constituents in order to represent a broad range of view points instead of representing individual opinions Provide students with school based training and support to develop leadership skills through a class with curriculum Build capacity for youth-adult partnerships in schools
MSE Learning Questions for Pilot Year )What does it take to support school-based efforts to establish meaningful student engagement? 2)What are some models of school based student leadership structures and activities? 3)What should a leadership class curriculum include and how should it be used to support meaningful student engagement at schools? 4)What does it take to support district wide efforts to establish meaningful student engagement via All City Council?
KEY ACCOMPLISHMENTS I.Creating curriculum for leadership classes MSE staff worked with a student intern from MetWest High School to create a 35 week, two sessions per week, curriculum for leadership classes Curriculum modules are based on student engagement standards developed by the MSE Collaborative in This curriculum is mixture of newly created curriculum as well as curriculum borrowed from Peer Resource classes, SOUL, Youth Together, and various other youth leadership groups.
II. Implementing new structure and function for All City Council (ACC) This was the first year operating under the new ACC constitution created and adopted by ACC in 2006 – ACC has increased its participation to 14 high schools in total throughout 07-08, with an average of 11 schools at each monthly meeting; and 8 middle schools in total, with an average of 4 middle schools at each monthly meeting. We have also implemented new activities, informed by findings from MSE-Youth In Focus (YIF) student research team project from 06-07
All City Council High School New Activities All day leadership building retreat for students in October Governing Board planning retreats in summer and winter Campaign implementation and support for site based youth-led efforts: 1. Williams implementation & monitoring (clean schools campaigns at Skyline, Oakland High, and Fremont Federation), Nutrition Admin. Regulations monitoring and support (healthy food campaigns at Castlemont and YES), 2. Textbook monitoring (collecting testimony and documentation at ACC meetings)
All City Council High School New Activities (contd) Issue Discussion and Platform development for: Quality Teaching, and Safer Schools High School Peer Resource/Ethnic Studies Conference, 300 OUSD students in attendance Leadership fieldtrip to Sacramento, Oakland delegates talked to legislators about education budget cuts, participated in anti- budget cut postcard campaign School Site Council training for high school student representation
All City Council Middle School New Activities All day leadership building retreat for students in September SF State College tour Middle School Peer Resources Conference, 450 students in attendance School Site Council training for middle school student representation
III. Piloting MSE at Eight Schools Of the nine schools initially in the MSE pilot, eight sites completed the entire year. All sites reflected the diversity of schools in Oakland: comprehensive & small schools, continuation, and geographically in different neighborhoods. Two schools had previously existing leadership classes: Skyline High School Westlake Middle School Six schools started leadership classes for the first time: Coliseum College Preparatory Academy Excel High School Metwest High School Roots Academy Middle School Rudsdale High School Youth Empowerment School
Surveys MSE Sites Implement Student Action Projects CCPA implemented their first ever Black History Month Exhibit to educate the school community on the Black experience in this country. MetWest designed a Conflict Mediation program to address violence and school culture issues, and also planned a school dance. Roots began a Student Store to provide students with healthy snacks and the academic materials often not available at home. Rudsdale students designed a student lounge as well as developed a student survey process where students gave feedback on teaching and classes offered at the school.
Student Action Projects (continued) Skyline implemented a clean bathroom education project aligned with the ACC campaign for safe and clean facilities. Students researched and developed a presentation on bathroom cleanliness and presented to all English classes. Westlake students identified campus beautification as an issue and designed and completed a mosaic entitled Leadership Legends on a wall visible from Harrison Street. YES leadership class worked in partnership with Youth Together to build a youth center on campus as well as implemented a food justice campaign in order to provide healthier and more appetizing lunch, and to keep students on campus.
IV.Providing support to MSE pilot sites MSE staff provided: Regular (monthly) meetings for coaching and trouble shooting with leadership teachers Classroom presentations or scheduling for student or community presenters for leadership class Professional development and peer learning at beginning of year and mid-year Funding for action projects Fieldtrip and supplemental activities planned centrally, via ACC
Interviews V.Sharing best practices nationally at AERA (American Education Research Association) Conference in New York We traveled as an MSE team with youth and staff from ACC, Youth In Focus, and Organize Da BAY Coalition. This youth team represented OUSD, in three sessions: 1) MSE as a model for current applications of critical pedagogy 2) MSE history and current work with community partners 3) MSE model for youth-led action research with Youth In Focus. The student team also visited, and shared their work with student organizers doing similar work in Brooklyn and the Bronx with Brothers-Sisters United, Sister Sol, and at Bushwick Community High School.
Focus Groups LESSONS LEARNED What does it take to support school-based efforts to establish meaningful student engagement? MSE staff, teachers, and students have learned from this pilot year that we need to continue the following: Solid Structure 1.Day time leadership class 2.At least twice a week meetings for leadership class. Possibly an advisory as well as elective class. 3.Strong link to school day if leadership class is after school via teacher or administrative sponsor 4.Team teaching: it really works! School day teacher paired with community based organization or after school staff.
Focus Groups What does it take to support school-based efforts to establish meaningful student engagement? (CONTD) Clear and common vision for leadership and its role on campus. The following agreements must be established and held by teacher, administration, students: 1.How leadership functions as well as the role of student leadership prior to establishing leadership body/class 2.Parameters for student leadership projects and role in decision making 3.Set calendar of events or activities to plan 4.Agreement and support for training and leadership development in place of endless activity planning 5.Boundaries on the kinds and number of activities that the leadership body is expected to plan.
Focus Groups What does it take to support school-based efforts to establish meaningful student engagement? (CONTD) Focus on supporting youth and adults to have students on school policy making bodies such as School Site Council, Site Leadership Teams, and Positive School Climate (Safety) Committees. Retreat for leadership students to build team and do substantive work at the beginning or mid-year. Getting buy in from and changing attitudes of adults in the whole school about engagement of students in leadership Students, leadership teachers, and MSE staff presenting to administration and school site staff about role of leadership in school to re-define expectations for leadership class. Cultivate willingness on part of adults to share power (in defined ways) with students Reach principals about MSE and capacity building for youth- adult partnerships.
Focus Groups What does it take to support school-based efforts to establish meaningful student engagement? (CONTD) Training and capacity building for leadership teachers Peer learning and peer coaching of teachers works well and should be expanded upon: Professional development sessions led by MSE are useful and need to meet the scheduling constraints of teachers. MSE staff providing monthly coaching for teachers as well as capacity building for other school staff on youth-adult partnerships. Support from district offices Process for purchasing action project supplies must be stream lined Provide substitutes for attending ACC meetings.
Focus Groups What are some models of school based student leadership structures and activities? Structure of leadership class After school leadership class with strong link to school day via school day teachers or administrators School day leadership class through advisory School day leadership class as an elective Mixture of any of the above Membership of leadership group Elected students in traditional roles/titles Student unity council in non-hierarchical roles with titles based upon function Mixture of elected and appointed/selected students Leadership club with students voluntarily joining leadership Students elected to represent advisories
Focus Groups What should a leadership class curriculum include and how should it be used to support meaningful student engagement at schools? 1.Prioritize certain key lessons for the beginning of the class (for example facilitation, agenda setting, and school decision making). 2.Instead of a sequential curriculum, the teacher should pull lessons around the class projects. The curriculum modules should also be structured around small homework assignments or mini-projects. 3.Get student buy in to the curriculum and ACC by having an orientation presentation in the class, involve students in choosing 4.the lessons they want to cover, and use peer teaching, either within same grades or younger grades (especially using HS students to teach MS students). 5.The curriculum msut be grade appropriate (MS and HS) and should incorporate more team building activities throughout.
Focus Groups What should a leadership class curriculum include and how should it be used to support meaningful student engagement at schools? (CONTD) 6.Planning of projects and activities needs to be balanced with covering the curriculum. Many schools needed fewer activities to plan in order to have enough time to build skills and transform focus of leadership class. What does it take to support district wide efforts to establish meaningful student engagement via All City Council? 1. All City Council must continue alignment with community based youth group campaigns, such as this years collaboration with Californians for Justice and Youth Together on Williams complaints and clean schools campaigns 2. Choose a campaign that is broad enough to impact all schools
Focus Groups What does it take to support district wide efforts to establish meaningful student engagement via All City Council? (CONTD) 3. More reflection/evaluation of ACC with students at end of year. 4. Channel ACC students into other leadership opportunities through providing resource list of local leadership groups to become a part of, especially during summer. 5. Substitutes to assist teachers in bringing students to ACC meetings 6. Transportation for ACC delegates to attend ACC meetings 7. Request for District (NEXO offices) to accept one permission packet for all ACC meetings
Focus Groups What does it take to support district wide efforts to establish meaningful student engagement via All City Council? (CONTD) 8. More staffing support, 2FTE and one.5FTE to carry out: Overall MSE coordination: ACC, district wide campaigns and activities, and non-MSE school site support for participation in ACC District wide outreach for All City Council Provide and coordinate support, peer mentorship, and coaching for sites Coordination of Ethnic Studies and Peer Resource Conferences Teacher to teacher mentorship Coordination of Student Evaluation/Research; YIF student led action research is critical to informing direction of ACC campaigns and feedback on overall MSE work
Finding 1 NEXT STEPS for Implement Recommendations: MSE staff are implementing many of the recommendations of students, teachers, and community based organizations involved in the MSE initiative this year. MSE Youth Planning Retreat: The MSE initiative will kick off the school year with a collaborative retreat, bringing together adults as well as youth leaders from key youth organizing and advocacy groups to build relationship, map out campaigns, and plan out the year together. MSE Curriculum Revisions: Teachers from the pilot sites are revising the leadership curriculum over the summer to incorporate the lessons they have learned through using the curriculum as well as to develop a middle school version of the curriculum.
NEXT STEPS (Contd) Teacher Mentoring Teachers from the cohort will also be involved in training and mentoring teachers in the cohort of MSE pilot sites. New Sites for next year: Media Academy HS Architecture Academy HS (tentative) Oakland International Academy HS Farwest HS Roosevelt MS Melrose Leadership Preparatory MS Claremont middle school CCPA MS
Appreciations MSE staff members Raquel Jimenez and Jidan Koon would like to thank the following people and groups for providing invaluable support, partnership, and leadership in advancing student voice for social justice and quality education! AyeNay Abye, Charles McDonald and the students of Californians for Justice Amy Dellefield and Mary Scott at Oakland High Ashlee George, Vernon Bell, Misha Karigaca and the Westlake Leadership Class Nicole Trujillo, Karen Pezetti, Maureen Benson and the YES Leadership Class Robbin McCulloch, LaCole Martin, Yetunde Reeves and the Excel Leadership Class
Appreciations (Contd) Sarah Kate Roberts, Keisha Green, and the Skyline Leadership Class Charles Schneekloth, Rick Gaston, and the CBITS Student Governing Board Heather Manchester, Abbey Atwood, Lydia Moore, Brandee Stewart, and the ROOTS Leadership Class Shannon Chase, Greg Cluster, Eve Gordon and the MetWest Leadership Class Victor Duarte, Willie Thompson, and the Rudsdale Leadership Class Amanda Martinez and the students of Fremont Youth Together Sagnicthe Salazar and the students of Castlemont Youth Together
Appreciations (Contd) Josh Fisher and the students of Skyline Youth Together One Land One People Youth Center Staff at Skyline Yvonne Campbell at Paul Robeson Helen Wu, Andrea Tacdol, and the Oakland Youth Commission Daaimah Aleem, Aaron Townsend, and Fabiana Ahumada at CCPA April Scott at United for Success Jay Conui, Tiffany Eng, and Claire Tran at AYPAL Huaxtec grassroots student leaders Kimberly Aceves and Prishni Murillo of Youth Together
Appreciations (Contd) Jamileh Ebrahimi and the Ethnic Studies Planning Committee Michelle Ferrer and the leadership/PASS students at Oakland Tech Julie Iny and Kim Miyoshi of Oakland KidsFirst! Cynthia Adams and the NAACP Oakland Chapter Robert Dousa and Jackie Shonerd Lailan Huen, Jennifer Gong of Youth In Focus, and the Da Town Researchers FCO staff: Anne Okahara, Risha Riley, Gulliver Scott, Sarah Nuno, Zenaida Parea, Anika Hardy, Isela Barbosa, Sou Garcia, Oscar Ramos, and Elaine Tan.
Appreciations (Contd) Network Officers: Alison McDonald, Wendy Gudalewicz, Fred Brill, and Harriet McLean Facilities Staff: Tim White, Robin Moore, Roland Broach, Leroy Stokes, and Tadashi Nakadegawa All City Council Governing Board members: Shacora Cowart, Isaiah Toney, Markeshia James, Cecilia Lopez, Arwa Omar, Brianna Pang, and Andrew Wilson