Source: The Montclarion, February 24, 2017
Substantial budget cuts needed to right the financial ship of the Oakland Unified School District will not be made at the district’s school sites, administrators assured parents at a Feb. 15 meeting.
But the public had plenty of questions for interim Superintendent Devin Dillon, Vernon Hal, the district’s senior business officer, and Nina Senn, who represents District 4 on the school board. The meeting was held at Montera Middle School, where Senn is a parent. Hal began by defining the projected deficit and how it came about.
“I’m always asked ‘How did we get here?’ ” he said. “And I always ask the question, ‘What do you think ‘here’ is?’ ”
The total amount needed to be cut from next year’s district budget is around $8 million rather than the $30 million many parents had heard about, he said. The deficit was caused by a variety of factors, including changes in state funding and unexpected declining enrollment that cuts the amount of state money the district gets based on student attendance. Enrollment is expected to drop next year as well, Hal said.
Source: The Montclarion, February 3, 2017
Oakland Unified School District got its first official middle school cheerleading team this year started by a parent at Montera Middle School.
The team currently is made up of 28 sixth- to eighth-grade girls. And it’s not just athletics — but academics — that form the center of the team. Since its start in September, the team has raised their collective GPA from a 2.2 to a 3.1.
“I honestly thought it was going to be six cute little girls in uniforms and whatever, but we had 60 girls show up to tryouts,” coach Dunia Wilder said.
Wilder has a daughter in sixth grade at Montera. She was motivated to begin a cheerleading team when she saw that her daughter, who she described as “super girly,” wanted an athletic outlet but didn’t want to participate in teams the school already had.
After an enthusiastic turnout for tryouts, Wilder and her assistant coaches Kia Conrad and Claudia Gutierrez whittled the team down to its current size, and divided the team into two groups.
Wilder noted that many of the girls who have joined the team are girls who were otherwise feeling unengaged in school, but said the team has given them a community to rally around.
Our new Concerned Black Men CARES Mentoring Program at Montera was featured in a recent Oakland Local article. Participating students are paired with mentors and also meet weekly for lunchtime workshops providing academic enrichment, career exploration and teaching life skills. Click here to see the full article.