If you are against the school closures in OUSD, and of our own Hillcrest middle school closure, there are things we can do now, as a community:
Let your voices be heard: PLEASE ATTEND THE SCHOOL BOARD MEETINGS:
- Attendance in person is encouraged if you are able- if not, please leave an e-comment in non-agenda items, and join the zoom at: https://ousd.legistar.com/DepartmentDetail.aspx?ID=3805&GUID=8F4A7423-0C38-4C3A-BB83-485A96F99772&Mode=MainBody
- Where: La Escuelita Elementary School Gym – open session begins at 5:30 pm
- Please prepare a 1 min. public comment either in person or on zoom!!! Kids encouraged!
- Schedule for the next few months: 8/31, 9/14, 9/28, 10/12, 10/26, 11/9
Get informed regarding school board elections, and get your friends in other neighborhoods involved:
- District 4 (Broadway Terrace to Park Ave), District 2, and District 6 all have elections coming up!
- Encourage those running to go on the record as to where they stand with school closures, donate to campaigns, mobilize to different districts to help.
- Elections are in November, and the new board takes over in January, where we hope to rescind these closures- but candidates against closures need to be elected.
- Write letters to Sam Davis (District 1) as many of you are his constituents and lobby for him to reverse his vote to close schools.
Request an invite to our private Facebook group for updates on protests and events in the district - Search in groups for Hillcrest Middle School Closure
Not on Facebook? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the community outreach email thread for updates and reminders.
Write emails and lobby the following elected officials for them to reverse these school closures:
- A plan and strategy is not in place with data, community input and engagement, and safe and clear transportation for kids to access all schools they are mapped to.
- Our OUSD community and students deserve quality, public, neighborhood schools. (additional inspiration for these letters is listed below).
- email@example.com- LK Monoroe- Alameda County Superintendent (until Jan. 2023), and request Trustee Luz Cazares to reverse these school closures.
- firstname.lastname@example.org Sam Davis- District 1 school board director- demand he reverse his vote.
- https://govapps.gov.ca.gov/gov40mail/ Governor Newsom – to sign AB1912 (already passed the assembly and senate) to deny school boards the ability to close schools without a process while in receivership.
Letter and public comment inspiration:
- Closing Hillcrest's middle school will not alleviate the district's alleged financial challenges. In fact, closing the middle school will result in an estimated net LOSS of $390K - $790K for the district due to attrition and enrollment loss.
- Hillcrest is one of the most in-demand middle schools in the district and continues to be fully enrolled with a waitlist every year. This is largely due to the fact that Hillcrest is a high performing school ranked #12 in California Middle Schools based on US News.
- With an estimated 24% enrollment loss between 5th and 6th grades, OUSD middle school attrition is 2 - 24X higher than comparable districts. Hillcrest retains 25% - 70% MORE middle schoolers than surrounding schools.
- OUSD is now expected to receive $58M more in unrestricted funds, on top of the $110M restricted funds. We are not in financial crisis, as they have the money and these closures aren’t needed, and there is not a real strategic plan in place that warrants them. Cut administrative staff instead of traumatizing our communities.
- OUSD says it needs to close schools because it is in fiscal distress, yet we pay our central administrators nearly 600% the statewide average. That is a budget choice. If we chose to normalize those central office salaries, we would have nearly $30 million EVERY YEAR to invest in classrooms and kids.
- These closures were not trauma-informed. We have a community of children and families still dealing with a pandemic, and the social and emotional trauma of the past 3 years.
- There aren’t safe paths, or any transportation for children to get to their “welcoming schools.” Having to walk via highway, and walking almost an hour each way is not a sustainable option for Hillcrest middle schoolers.
- There isn’t room at the “welcoming schools” for our shuttering schools to attend one school with their neighbors and friends.