Oakland Small Schools Foundation, dedicated to supporting small Oakland schools

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We support small Oakland schools
Oakland Small Schools Foundation, dedicated to supporting small Oakland schools

Why Small Schools?

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The small schools movement began in Oakland in the late 1990s as a community response to over-crowding, under-funding, and poor performance in public schools. Teachers, parents, and community leaders came together to develop safe, positive, and personalized small learning environments for their students. A keystone of the district’s school reform movement, OSSF network small schools focus on rigorous, data-driven, standards-based academic programs, enriching arts and recreation activities, and significant parent involvement to ensure equitable outcomes for all students.

Characteristics of Oakland's new small schools:
They are small. Small schools serve no more than 400 students.
They are autonomous. The school community makes decisions affecting the important aspects of the school.
They are distinctive and focused rather than comprehensive.
They are personal. Every student is known by more than one adult.
They are committed to equity in educational achievement. They eliminate achievement gaps between groups of students while increasing achievement levels of all students.
They use multiple forms of assessment to report on student accomplishment and to guide efforts to improve their own school.
They view parents as critical allies, and find significant ways to include them in the life of the school community.
They are schools of choice for both students and teachers.

Studies show that these schools are producing higher graduation rates, better attendance, improved test scores, and higher satisfaction for students, parents, and teachers. The first new small schools opened in Oakland in 2001; today, 47 new small schools are serving students in the Oakland Unified School District.