Adopting a New Elementary School ELA Curriculum
Vision: All OUSD students engage in reading and shaping the world around them by demonstrating independence, building strong content knowledge, comprehending and critiquing, valuing and using evidence, and understanding other perspectives and cultures.
- All OUSD teachers are thoughtful, strategic leaders of shared curriculum and materials, focus on student outcomes, and support a range of readers, writers, and speakers. OUSD commits to ensuring educators are masters of the standards, instruction, and content.
- Support academic discussion, close reading of complex texts, and evidence-based writing through the use of adopted, standards-based, Tier 1 curriculum.
- Collaboratively gather non-evaluative, formative instructional practice data with site leaders (principals, coaches, and teacher leaders) in order to support strategic decisions about coaching and feedback, Professional Learning Communities, and professional development.
Adopting a new elementary school ELA curriculum
OUSD wants to ensure that EVERY Oakland student is a strong critical thinker and reader so that they understand the world around them, advocate for change, and make the world a better place. A strong curriculum puts reading — and reading challenging texts — at the center of learning so that all students are successful in elementary school and beyond. These practices are rooted in the science of how children learn to read, and are especially appropriate for students learning English as a second language, students with special needs, students who struggle to read, and students who frequently move between schools.
In May 2021, the OUSD school board will consider and vote on adopting a new curriculum or curricula for all students in grades K-5 at OUSD’s 53 elementary schools. A new curriculum will be implemented in partnership with teachers, partner organizations, and families including with OUSD provided, robust professional learning for teachers.
Engaging with teachers, partner organizations, and families is key to OUSD adopting and implementing a new curriculum.
The ELA Elementary Curriculum Steering Committee will recommend a ELA curriculum or curricula for students in grades K - 5. The committee, formed in March 2020, includes a majority of OUSD teachers and includes expertise across special education and English Language Learners. Teacher members represent a variety of schools, grade levels, years of teaching experience, and more.
The ELA Elementary Curriculum Parent Study Group, launched in September 2020, provides the steering community with critical insight and perspectives from families across our district on what will prepare their children to become strong, engaged readers and writers. The study group includes eight parents across 13 schools.
We want to hear from you on how to support all OUSD students becoming strong readers, writers, listeners, and speakers. To get involved,
Curricula Review Process
A strong curricula means that students are:
- Thinking critically: We want all students at OUSD to be critical thinkers where students understand and question the world around them. A strong curriculum focuses on students flexing and building those skills.
- Spending more time reading: We want OUSD students to be great readers. That starts with more time reading challenging texts. A strong curriculum puts reading — and reading challenging texts — at the center of student learning.
- Engaging with culturally relevant materials: When students see characters in stories that look like them or focus on their history, students will see themselves in our world. That’s critical for engaged learning and a high quality reading.
- Leading conversations and discussions: When students are deeply immersed in what they are learning, they are able to develop and share ideas through discussion. When students are leading conversations, they are thinking critically and building strong language, as necessary to be successful in school, college, and the community.
Every teacher gets support every month. A new curriculum will mean teachers will have to get to know a new way of teaching and learning. OUSD commits to providing consistent, aligned professional development for every teacher, every month — and we want teachers to hold us to that commitment. That means providing you with the structures, time, and resources so that teachers can educate our more than 50,000 students.
Curricula considered by the ELA Elementary Curriculum Steering Committee are:
Pilot Programs and Schools
The ELA Elementary Curriculum Steering Committee voted to collect information on EL Education and Benchmark Advance. The pilot program includes 28 elementary and middle schools, where staff indicated strong support in participating in the pilot (schools that applied for the second cohort had at least 80 percent of staff vote in favor of participating):
Upcoming Key Dates
- April 2021: The ELA Elementary Curriculum Steering Committee makes a recommendation to Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell on curricula to adopt across OUSD’s elementary schools.
- May 12, 2021: Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell makes a recommendation to the OUSD Board of Education on curricula to adopt across OUSD’s elementary schools.
- May 26 2021: The OUSD Board of Education votes to adopt an ELA curriculum or curricula for implementation in School Year 2021-2022