• Montclarion Article: Raiders alumni visit Montera, meet with students

    Posted by VP Communications on 10/27/2017 8:00:00 AM

    Source: Montclarion/East Bay Times

    Date: 10/27/17

     

    Raiders alumni visit Montera, meet with students
    By Sarah Tan, Correspondent

    OAKLAND - Oakland Raiders alumni paid a visit to Montera Middle School for the launch of a new "character building" computer program Oct. 18.

    In partnership with United Way, a few Raiders alumni and cheerleaders were invited to the school to help launch a computer program being piloted in a handful of Oakland schools called The Character Playbook to help preteens navigate their middle school years.

    "This program fits in with our main mission as a school to be safe, be responsible and be kind," Montera Principal Darren Avent said. "Middle school is tough. We're hoping the lessons they learn here will help them in their lives past high school."

    In the computer pgoram, students work through a number of different modules where they are asked to model out appropriate behavior in different situations. Afterward, students attended an assembly with former Raiders Kenny Shedd and Brad Badger to talk about what "good character" meant to them, how they can build healthy relationships in their lives and how to behave responsibly on social media.

    "They're having us as role models, and it's extremely important to continue to do what you can to reach out to youth," Shedd said. "I know that kids at this age, they're in a tough spot, they have to deal with how kids see them. But as long as you have someone to ask about these things, that can make it easier."

    As eighth-grade students went through their behavior modules on the computer, Shedd and Badger circulated around the room and greeted students and spoke with them about their personal experiences in middle school.

    "In middle school, I remember running through the hallways causing all kinds of disturbances and not taking school seriously," Shedd said.

    But he said his father caught him one day and talked to him about it and told him he was disappointed.

    "When you hear that out of someone you see as a role model -- if it wasn't for that, I'd continue to be the class clown," Shedd said.

    He said he hoped he could serve as a similar figure for some of the Montera students.

    "We love the fact that the Raiders are involved in our schools. It really engages our students," Oakland school board member Nina Senn said. "I think this in combination with other work at our middle schools like restorative justice. It's a way for students to learn about how to communicate and resolve conflicts."

    And Avent said the students had been looking forward to the Raiders visit all week.

    "The kids were going crazy knowing the Raiders were coming," he said. "It's a great way to dive deep on this subject."

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  • East Bay Times Article: Montera Middle School seeks college prep program status

    Posted by Audrey Young on 5/12/2017 6:45:00 AM

    Source: East Bay Times, May 10, 2017

    http://www.eastbaytimes.com/2017/05/10/oakland-montera-middle-school-seeks-college-prep-program-status/

    Article by Sarah Tan

    Montera Middle School is seeking to become one of the first International Baccalaureate (IB) schools in the Oakland Unified School District.

    The IB program is an internationally recognized college preparatory course program, similar to Advanced Placement courses. Montera has been piloting classes from the IB curriculum for the past few years, and by the beginning of the next school year, the school hopes to be an officially recognized school. Skyline High School is poised to become the district’s first IB high schools.

    “The big reason we want to incorporate IB is we’re a highly diverse school, and IB’s whole focus is a global society,” Montera Principal Darren Avent said. “We felt we were the perfect school to incorporate those characteristics, and it really allows the students to dig deep on topics.”

    The IB program also requires that all middle schoolers take a foreign language, so Montera will be gearing up to offer Spanish or Mandarin classes for students in all grades. Montera has contracted with an IB program specialist, Afsaneh Olinga, who has been spearheading efforts to convert every class at Montera to an IB class.

    “We try and educate the kids and prepare the kids to be open-minded and self taught, to be more tolerant of other cultures,” Olinga said. “Part of the framework is to do investigations of topics. They are more disciplined, more kind, more understanding, and we hope this will become the language of the school.”

    Completion of an IB diploma means graduating from an IB accredited high school. From there, the IB diploma is internationally recognized, and students are able to apply to a university anywhere in the world, without having to go through extra paperwork or tests.

    And Montera eighth-grader and student body president Maxwell Stern said he was excited for IB to officially come to Montera.

    “I believe that the IB program will definitely make Montera more popular,” Maxwell said. “I believe it’ll make Montera stand out among other middle schools in Oakland because not many other schools have this.”

    He added that he’s noticed that some people have a negative view of Montera, and he hopes the IB accreditation will help change their minds.


    “Give Montera a chance before you look at other schools. It’s a great school here in Montclair and a lot of good things are happening on campus,” he said. “It’s nice having a neighborhood public school and I think it’s important that people support the local school and support public education.”

    By September, Montera will be set to have every class be an IB class. For the school, it’s been a two-year process and the official IB status is much anticipated.

    “Overall, the hope is that we’re building not just academic skills but character,” Avent said. “Part of IB is that everyone has an opinion, and everyone is working together to prepare for this global world we live in.”

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  • Montclarion Article: Oakland Unified: Cuts won't be at school sites

    Posted by VP Communications on 2/26/2017 8:00:00 AM

    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.

    Read more: http://www.eastbaytimes.com/2017/02/24/oakland-unified-cuts-wont-be-at-school-sites/

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  • Montclarion Article: New Cheer Team Thrives

    Posted by VP Communications on 2/3/2017

    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.

    Read more: http://www.eastbaytimes.com/2017/01/31/oakland-new-cheerleading-team-thrives-at-montera/

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  • Camp gives Middle School Girls Hands-on Experience in Engineering

    Posted by Anita Tenley on 8/9/2015

     

    Some of our Montera girls participated in the UC Berkeley’s Girls in Engineering 2015 summer camps, part of a pilot program run by the College of Engineering as part of an effort to narrow the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. Each summer there are two free one-week sessions with 30 participants for each week. Instructors are professors, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate and undergraduate students, covering topics ranging from nanotechnology to data science. By design, nearly all instructors are women. Read the UC Berkeley News article HERE.
     
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  • Oakland: After school club that gives urban boys tools for success expanding

    Posted by Anita Tenley on 1/1/2015
    The Ever Forward Club is a mentoring program for at risk urban youth now in it's 10th year. The program gears boys and girls for college and careers by focusing on academics, family, community and personal development. Read the recent article in Inside Bay Area News to learn more about the Ever Forward Club at Montera.
     
    Ever Forward Club  
     
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  • Montera Teacher and Students Featured in Oakland Local Article

    Posted by Anita Tenley on 12/17/2014
    Montera teacher Kevin Jennings and several current and former Montera students were featured in a December 17, 2014 Oakland Local article about OUSD's African American Male Achievement initiative.  Mr. Kevin teaches our Manhood Development Program class here at Montera which is having a positive impact on the lives of our young men. Read the complete article HERE.
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  • Oakland Classroom Takes a Stand for Preventing Sedentary Students

    Posted by Anita Tenley on 12/11/2014
    Read how one of our very own Montera classrooms is taking a stand in preventing sedentary students!
    Zeal in Math Class  
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  • Montera Assistant Principal Ashanti Branch on PBS NewsHour May 7, 2014

    Posted by Anita Tenley on 5/10/2014
     
    Increasingly, boys appear to be falling behind girls academically. Test statistics, grades and college degrees are part of the story, but experts are also concerned about the messages young men get about masculinity. Gwen Ifill talks with Michael Thompson, author of "Raising Cain," Ever Forward Club founder Ashanti Branch and Christina Hoff Sommers, author of "The War Against Boys."
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  • 35th Annual OUSD Martin Luther King Jr. Oratorical 6th-8th Grade Finals

    Posted by Anita Tenley on 5/8/2014
    Montera 8th grader Justin Ross performed "Excerpt from Obama's Inauguration" (see at 03:19).  Former Montera student Derionna Hodges performed "I am a Black Woman" (see at 44.32).
     
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