Sunday, March 16, 2008

OUSD Alternative Schools

This is the promised addendum to my posting on March 11, 2008 re: alternative schools in the Oakland Unified School District. I discovered seven of them by exploring recent California Department of Education (CDE) and OUSD online data.*

When the state developed its accountability program several years ago, it created a special framework of accountability for alternative schools which serve very high-risk student populations. These are called ASAM schools (Alternative Schools Accountability Model).

On the CDE’s list for ASAM * schools in OUSD are

  • Bunche (Ralph) Academy
  • Dewey Academy Senior High
  • Merritt Middle College High (now closed)
  • Oakland Community Day High
  • Street Academy
  • Oakland Community Day Middle

Rudsdale Continuation High is an additional OUSD alternative-type school.

It appears that the only alternative school for middle school students is Oakland Community Day Middle.

The percentage of OUSD high school students attending alternative schools in 2006-2007 was 6%, or 864 of 13183 students. Here is the grade breakdown: 284 - 9th graders, 249 -10th graders, 184 - 11th graders, and 147 - 12th graders.

1. Bunch (Ralph) Academy (1240-18th St.) is for “students who have not met eighth grade promotion requirements and would otherwise not be eligible for high school admission.” Total 2006-2007 enrollment was 244 students (162-9th graders, 62 - 10th graders, 18 - 11th graders, and 2 - 12th graders).

Some of these would have been the 16 year-old boys sitting in my 13 year-old daughter's classes on the first day of her 8th grade year, making her somewhat nervous. At that point, they had been retained twice. Thankfully, the principal eventually transferred them out to Bunch.

2. Dewey Academy Senior High (1111-2nd Ave.) is for students who have had “chronic truancy and disciplinary issues.” Total 2006-2007 enrollment was 242 students (43 - 9th graders, 70 -10th graders, 48 - 11th graders, and 81 - 12th graders).

3. Merritt Middle College High (Merritt Community College campus) is for “motivated students who have found themselves lost and distracted in the larger and more traditional high school settings.” Total 2006-2007 enrollment was 104 students (30 - 9th graders, 23 -10th graders, 26 - 11th graders, and 25 - 12th graders).

4. Oakland Community Day High (4917 Mountain Blvd.) is for high school “students who have been expelled from the district,” in other words, they have done something so severe that they are forbidden to attend any other school in OUSD. Total 2006-2007 enrollment was 23 students (17 - 9th graders, 3 -10th graders, 3 - 11th graders, and 0 - 12th graders).

5. Street Academy (417-29th St.) is a “national alternative school format designed to lure high school dropouts to education.” Total 2006-2007 enrollment was 123 students (8 - 9th graders, 39 -10th graders, 51 - 11th graders, and 25 - 12th graders).

6. Rudsdale Continuation High (1180-70th Ave.) is “for students sixteen to eighteen years old who are at risk of not graduating from a comprehensive high school.” Total 2006-2007 enrollment was 128 students (24 - 9th graders, 52 -10th graders, 38 - 11th graders, and 14 - 12th graders).

7. Oakland) Community Day Middle (4917 Mountain Blvd.) is the ONLY alternative middle school. It is for middle school students “who have been expelled from the district,” in other words, they have done something so severe that they are forbidden to attend any other school in OUSD. Total 2006-2007 enrollment was 20 students (2 – 6th graders, 6 -7th graders, and 12 – 8th graders).

Does it seem that one alternative school for all OUSD middle school students is enough, especially since a large number of kids drop out of high school in their 9th grade year? For instance, 300 – 9th grade students dropped out of OUSD in 2005-2006 (the most recent figures I could find).

OUSD Total dropouts in 2005-2006:

  • 9th grade = 300 students
  • 10th grade = 198 students
  • 11th grade = 129 students
  • 12th grade = 314 students

If you have further information about these schools or others, please add what you know.

* and The OUSD website links to the School Accountability Report Cards (SARC's). Districts are required to provide the community with these "report cards." Their purpose is to annually provide information which allows the public to evaluate and compare schools for student achievement, environment, resources and demographics. When this research was performed in early March 2008, some of the SARC’s for these schools were out of date and/or incomplete.

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