Dear Kaiser Elementary Families,
[A link to this message in a Google Doc is here.]
Starting this month, the Sankofa and Kaiser communities will launch the design process for joining together as one community. Our school design work will build on efforts from community members to start establishing the relationships we will need to work and thrive together.
Below will find information about the work of the Design Team, and an invitation to nominate yourself for a position on the Design Team.
To learn more about the Design Team, join me in the Sankofa auditorium for an information session:
Design Team Information Session
Wednesday, Oct. 23
581 61st St, Oakland, CA 94609
I look forward to working together with a representative group of leaders from both of our schools to make key decisions and develop plans for our future together.
~ Dennis Guikema, Principal
Our Future Together
Starting this month, the Sankofa and Kaiser communities will launch the design process for joining together as one community. Our school design work will build on previous and ongoing efforts from community members to start establishing the relationships we will need to work and thrive together.
The design process is where our two communities will come together as one, making key decisions and developing plans for the future.
Among our initial steps will be to tour the Sankofa facility to think about the assets, learn about current plans to address the needs of the new school, and discuss the relationship between our educational vision and the facility.
The Design Year:
A design process is a time when exciting ideas can become the actions we need to improve our connected futures. It is when we can ground ourselves in solutions while establishing a long-term vision based on the assets of the two existing schools and the hopes and aspirations of our communities. It is an important opportunity for stakeholders to:
- Determine our mission, vision, shared values, and goals for students
- Understand our student population
- Identify our communities’ priorities for ensuring all students have the programs and supports they need to thrive
Together we will build a plan for our community to take collective responsibility for a successful merger of our two schools.
The Design Team will be supported by staff from Academics and Community Schools, including departments like ELLMA (English Language Learners and Multilingual Achievement) and Special Education, as needed throughout this process. We will also begin immediately to identify the work that needs to be done by departments like Facilities, Buildings & Grounds, Nutrition Services, and Tech Services to prepare for a smooth opening of school in Fall 2020.
The Design Team will collaborate with stakeholders in both school communities, including subcommittees that may focus on specific areas of work (special education, art/music, or school culture, for example). The Design Team is not your only opportunity to be involved in shaping our future together, but it is an essential leadership group that will partner with the principals to develop plans and make decisions.
The Design Team and principals will regularly solicit input and communicate progress with all stakeholders through meetings and written communications.
The Design Team
What is the role of the Design Team? The Merger Design Team is a multi-stakeholder team comprised of up to 14 members responsible for:
- Centering and advocating for the needs of our most vulnerable students throughout the merger planning
- Communicating with and collecting input and feedback from stakeholders related to merger planning
- Participating in design and decision-making processes related to merger planning
Who will be on the design team? The Design Team will include:
- Sankofa and Kaiser principals
- Up to 3 Sankofa teachers/staff
- Up to 3 Sankofa family representatives
- Up to 3 Kaiser teachers/staff
- Up to 3 Kaiser family representatives
Family and staff representatives will be elected by their peers.
What will the Design Team do? The Design Team will:
- Meet approximately twice a month on Tuesdays 6:00-8:00. The first four meetings will be held on November 5 and 12, and December 3 and 10. Remaining meetings will be calendared by the team. We will provide food at all meetings, and translation and childcare as needed.
- Engage with and collect input and feedback from peers throughout the design process, to inform key decisions.
How and when will the Design Team be selected?
- All nomination forms must be submitted by the end of the day on October 25.
- Families and staff will vote for their representatives during the week of October 28.
- Members of the Design Team will be announced at the end of the day on November 1.