Foundational Skills Curriculum at OUSD

  • Vision: Our youngest students develop a joyful curiosity and a love of reading, writing and self-expression. Over time, they will grow the literacy skills they need to become lifelong readers, critical thinkers and effective communicators. All students will have a command of the power of literacy as a means of personal expression, economic opportunity, and community leadership.

Adopting a new foundational skills curriculum at OUSD

  • 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 foundational literacy curriculum centers on the foundational skills all learning readers need to master in order to be 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 adopted EL Education for grades K-5 and Benchmark Adelante for Dual Language Schools. In Spring 2023, the school board will vote to select a foundational skills curriculum for all of our K-2 students in English Only programs. The selected curriculum will also be used as a Tier 1 Foundational Literacy Skill curriculum for all students in conjunction with the Core Modules, Labs and All Block from EL Education. A new curriculum will be implemented in partnership with teachers, partner organizations, and families, including with OUSD-provided robust professional learning for teachers.

Get involved!


  • Engaging with teachers, partner organizations, and families is key to OUSD adopting and implementing a new curriculum.

    The ELA Elementary Foundational Skills Curriculum Sub-Committee will recommend a Foundational Literacy skill curricula to the OUSD Superintendent. The Superintendent will make a recommendation to the school board, which will hold a vote on adoption. The committee includes a majority of OUSD teachers and includes expertise with early years teaching and work English Language Learners. Teacher members represent a variety of schools, grade levels, years of teaching experience, and more.


    Current and former members include:

    • Rebecca Anderson, Academics and Innovation Instruction

    • Tamara Arroyo, Cleveland Elementary School

    • Dolores Beleche, Global Family Elementary School

    • Denise Burroghs, Carl Munck Elementary School

    • Patti Cho, Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School

    • Erin Cogan, Academics and Innovation Instruction

    • Alli Guifoil, Special Education

    • Kelly Haider, Piedmont Avenue Elementary School

    • Frances Hammond, Howard Elementary School

    • Ellen Harms, Montclair Elementary School

    • Katrina Jones, Burckhalter Elementary School

    • Lisa Lam, Franklin Elementary School

    • Noreen Magaloni, Markham Elementary School

    • Patience Nwadugbo, Laurel Elementary School

    • Sandra Prades-Bertran, Academics and Innovation Instruction

    • Andrea Ruiz, Korematsu Discovery Academy

    • Soraya Sajous, Prescott Elementary School

    • Lieba Schneiderman, Academics and Innovation Instruction

    • Linda Selph, Markham Elementary School

    • Romy Trigg Smith, Academics and Innovation Instruction

    • Steven Valadez, Fruitvale Elementary School

    • Maryann Vastag, EnCompass Academy

    • Linda Velasquez, Fruitvale Elementary School

    • Michele Witherspoon, Garfield Elementary School

    • Joon Yeider, Chabot Elementary School


    The ELA Elementary Curriculum Parent Study Group provided the committee with critical insight and perspectives from families across the district on what will prepare their children to become strong, engaged readers and writers.


    Curricula considered by the committee are:

    • Benchmark Advance

    • Bookworms

    • Core Knowledge Language Arts

    • EL Education Skills Block

    • Fountas & Pinnell Classroom

    • From Phonics to Reading  

    • Fundations

    • Geodes

    • Maravillas Wonders

    • Phonics to Reading

    • Current Suite (both with and without Letter Naming Curriculum)


    The Committee voted to look further at From Phonics to Reading and EL Education Skills Block and to pilot both. 


    The schools piloting the EL Education Skills Block are:

    • EnCompass Academy

    • Hillcrest Elementary School

    • Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School


    The schools piloting From Phonics to Reading are:

    • Acorn Woodland Elementary School

    • Korematsu Discovery Academy

Last Modified on September 9, 2022