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Oakland Unified School District

Letter from the Superintendent

Beloved Oakland,

Here we stand, emerging from the unexpected and unprecedented impact of COVID-19, and the continued assault waged by systemic racism against Black and Brown bodies throughout this country, with an unshakable eye on the future. Through these times of hardship, our Oakland community has overcome challenges from all fronts, testing our resolve. And still, we remain undefeated.

The future we now move toward is one in which students find meaning and purpose in what they’re learning, where their path in life will lead through challenging academics and personal growth. It is a future where Oakland schools embody our community’s commitment to equity, centering Black and Brown Excellence as our city’s collective work. It is a future where families choose Oakland schools because our schools are spaces where young people learn with joy. And, it is a future in which our district emerges with the clarity and alignment needed to make these realities — and more — possible. 

Through the trials of the past year, Oakland and our community of schools have risen together with a gritty will, remaining as resilient as we have always been. This resilience is rooted in our community’s deep relationships, in the ways we pull each other back to our feet when we are knocked down. It is this spirit that continues to move us forward, united. It is relentless and beautiful. It is Oakland.

This fierce resilience drives our focus on a District that amplifies the voices of those who our country has mistreated throughout history. We continue to rally around our vision of full service community schools that serve our students and families in every way that allows them to thrive. Our efforts will define the next generation of our schools, as this thriving future is possible only if all of us are fully engaged in the work. Our connections are the source of our ability to recover strong and rebuild together: we know we can lean on each other through the hardest days, and that the most challenging parts of this work won’t be done alone. Through our collective will, we can succeed.

Our strategic vision and plan, developed hand-in-hand with Oakland Unified students, families, staff, and community, draws on our shared wisdom, expertise, and strengths to bring forth the shared commitment to move us forward together. This is a community plan, intended to guide not only the district, but our community as a whole. The plan will serve as a living road map to guide our actions, set clear expectations for our work, and set measurable objectives from the classroom to the boardroom. We will all see our roles in this plan, from community partner, to family member, to Oakland Unified staff. This strategic plan — this future — belongs to all of us. 

It is my profound honor to continue serving and being supported by our Oakland community. I am truly inspired by what is to come. As we work together over the next three years, Oakland Unified will take a journey with focus and dedication to build this future. A community with thriving students and thriving schools is our future!

We remain undefeated. 


Forever in community, 

Kyla Johnson-Trammell signature

Dr. Kyla Johnson-Trammell