No schools have yet been identified for closing, says district
Rumors have been circulating around the Oakland Unified School District mentioning names of schools that may be closed or “consolidated.”
According to the district, these rumors are unfounded.
“There are no schools that are currently being considered for closure,” said district spokesman John Sasaki.
School board members say they have not heard names of specific schools, nor have members of the advisory committee of the Blueprint for Quality Schools, which is working with officials to “right-size” the district.
School Board President Aimee Eng told the Oakland Post that a lot of different possibilities have been discussed, but nothing has been proposed.
“Different options have been floated, but there is no decision made right now,” she said.
So far, she said, there have “not been enough conversations with school sites and school communities.”
Recommendations for schools to close or consolidate will be made in June.
However, no changes will be made next year, she said. “2018- 19 will be a planning and transition year.”
Schools will begin to feel the impact of the changes in the 2019-2020 school year.
“The board wants planning, not something that is abrupt,” Eng said.
Boardmember Roseann Torres said she was sorry some principals have heard rumors that their schools would be closed. “This has caused so much turmoil for leaders of schools.”
“Nothing has been decided. This is a very long-term process,” she said. “We have to have an analysis of the cost savings. We’re not going to do anything in a haphazard way.”
“The process has to be from the bottom up,” Torres continued “Teachers, students, parents have to decide: yes, this will work.”
The school board is scheduled to discuss the school closing issue and kick-off a community engagement process at its Feb. 14 meeting.