APT Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes for 01/10/2017

APT Meeting

1.  Welcome

2.  Brian Kohn, New OSA Director

  • Intro/Bio:
    • Musician, education in conducting
    • unexpected go involved in education.  It was hard at first because while he know music, he didn’t yet know teaching.  Grew to love it — teaching was something much more important than how well kids played the notes on the page, but how they developed.
    • started an arts magnet HS in San Diego
    • worked at San Francisco School of the Arts for 3 years
    • excited by the model and location of OSA.  Fell in love with the school through the interview process because of our passionate teachers, dedicated governance board, and dedicated, focused parents.  Excited to be a part of a group wanting want is best for the kids.
    • From his experience, schools that work well have parens who are engaged in the process.
  • Q&A:

Q:  What do you see as the key challenges for OSA?
A:  OSA has a strategic plan, and each of the 4 pillars has some degree of challenge that will be the starting place for my work:

  • Role in community?  Outreach?  Access?
  • Academically competitive?  Where are holes in the curriculum?
  • Arts Education?  Are students getting what they need to be competitive in the arts?
  • Sustainability, which includes money, staffing, etc.?  How can OSA be thriving and vibrant in 5-10 years?  Long range planning along side an annual balanced budget.

Q:  How will you maintain financial equity among parents through student support?
A:  Will look at what support services are available for students who need extra support, so that all students can be supported.  It is a matter of giving all students what they need when they need it.

Q:  How will you balance the levels of academic talent?
A:  We won’t.  It isn’t part of our charter, and our auditions are academically blind.  We will work to be flexible to address the needs of the students we get.

Q:  What do you see as the key difference between SFSoA and OSA?  What do you find most inspiring about OSA?
A:  The fact that OSA is a charter school makes a big difference, and give vision and purpose.  Many of OSA’s challenges are similar to art schools across the country.  Everyone is struggling with issues of diversity and access.  Most inspiring is the united community with the “Let’s Go!” attitude.

Q:  Where can you add the most to the strategic plan?
A:  Items 1, 2, & 3 are familiar areas of strength.  Most excited about working with 4 as it new and exciting career challenge.

Q:  As a musician, do you still play?
A:  Yes, I play piano for myself.  Publicly, I will at times conduct.

3.  Cat Brooks
(theater parent, actress, playwright. radio host, freedom fighter, organizer, and more)

  • Race relations are an important conversation.  She operates off the principal of “do no harm” — a longer conversation is needed than can be had tonight
  • One of her areas of activism is with police terrorism.  We only hear about 1 out of 3 police murders.  There is one killing of a black person by police about every 28 hours.  This doesn’t even acknowledge the racial profiling and other discriminatory practices that are occurring.
  • Oscar Grant’s murder was her “enough button” and started her work around police terror and with the Anti Police-Terror Project, working to eradicate police violence.
  • Millions of dollars of tax payer money is spent defending Oakland’s police.
  • We are also fighting stage 3.5 gentrification in Oakland.  There has been a dramatic shift in Oakland’s demographics
  • Race problem in this country, this city
  • With incoming government, inequity seems to be coming.  But there is also opportunity to get more people involved and coming together.
  • APTP is working to reclaim Martin Luther King Jr’s radicalism, which can be seen starting with his speech at Riverside Church.
  • 1/16 – March for MLK Day
  • Kicks off 120 hours of direct action leading up to “hellauguration” on 1/20.
  • Expect delays on 1/20.  Activists are calling of a general strike starting at noon.  Hoping to interrupt business as usual.
  • All are welcome at APTP meetings at East Side Arts Alliance.


4.  1/27 Field Trip to see Fun Home at the Curran

  • 550 seats reserved.  OSA will be 1/3 of the audience.
  • All students needing financial assistance and all teachers can be covered through donations.
  • There will be no need for parent chaperones as enough teachers volunteered to attend.
  • Middle school students will be chaperoned back to school.

5.  Challenge Day Volunteers Needed

  • Challenge Day includes workshops and facilitated conversations around difference and similarities.  7th grade will be on 3/15 and 10th grade on 3/16.  Volunteers needed for day that is not your child’s.

6.  Fundraising

  • Goal to create teacher stipends for academic teachers
  • Advertise on OSA News
  • Other fundraising efforts coming in 2nd semester

7.  Still open positions with APT if you have time to volunteer

Meeting Minutes for 12/13/2016

APT  Meeting

1.  Welcome

2.  Language Class Update

  • aiming for a 2nd semester pilot, to start 2/1.
  • open to 20-25 middle-school students only
  • M 1:15-2pm AND W 3:30-4:15
  • more details to come

3.  Survey Updates

  • 60 responses, but not to late to add you voice
  • from the survey, parents want:
    • to hear about what students are doing
    • create a non-emphasis connection
    • information on helping kids juggle/balance
    • diversity
    • supportive of challenge day
  • APT wants to open a framework for parents to lead discussions around these and other issues.  Parents are invited to present on topics — contact Nicolette or Mark if interested.  Parent Cat Brooks will be speaking in January about Black Lives Matter.
  • Comments:
    • APT group emails are annoying — too much
    • While supportive of challenge day, would like to see more follow-up with students.

4.  Request for Volunteers

    • We still need more people to be on the APT Board:  Co-VP, newsletter editor, google/website help.

5.  Field trip to Fun Home

  • 1/27 at Curran Theatre.  $25 (includes ticket and bart), bring a lunch
  • for HS students it is an opt out, for MS it is an opt in.  MS must RSVP by 12/15.
  • 114 parents volunteered to chaperone, but we only need 20.  To be selected by lottery.
  • Thanks to Summer for helping to coordinate this big group!  About 500 kids are going.

6.  Lost & Found

  • HUGE!  Please check before break as all will be donated over the vacation.

7.  Linda Ricciardi, School of Fashion Design

  • 1st year as a department
  • 21 students
  • It is the one of the only Fashion Design HS programs in the country.
  • 1st Exhibition Show opes this Thursday from 6-9 in the White Box, called #Done and includes costume, fashion and make-up.  6 seniors showing.  Free.
  • Thank you to VA, PD and Theater for helping!
  • There is also a Fashion Magazine.  The first official edition will be available at the show for $8
  • Got good PR for the department with the PBS video “from Sketch to Runway”
  • So happy to be a department
  • Also still working with costuming and make-up for Theater

8.  APT Fundraiser

  • Hoping to earn money to be able to give academic teachers a small stipend.  Would like to earn about $8000 to give about $200 per teacher.
  • Ads placed in the OSA News go directly toward this goal.
  • Also working on the possibility of some sort of auction.

9.  Michaela Peters — Auditions coming up

  • 371 applications processed
  • Volunteers needed for Audition Day 1/14.  Contact Romy Douglas or your department
  • Selection process has some changes.
    • Students still must audition, but essay and recommendation letters are not optional
    • If there are more qualified applicants than spaces available, students will be selected by lottery
    • Step It Up still has a separate audition
    • Siblings are not in the lottery — qualified sibs are admitted directly
    • Oakland students are prioritized in the lottery
    • Lottery and status letters will go out only after 2nd audition date.
    • Applicants can’t audition at both 1st & 2nd audition (unless there are some extenuating circumstances.

Meeting Minutes for 10/18/2016

OSA APT 10/18/16

Mike Oz OSA High School Principal
Presentation LINK :  https://prezi.com/gt1cnx8cdwvw/osa-student-life/

Interim executive council of 4 while a search for new ED takes place
? about communication, such as director’s coffee in past
needs : how to…get lunch, logistics of the daily routine/handbook for  new parents

all need to use blog (daily/weekly front loaded – not happening, tell Oz/Smith

Who to contact about what – the void of the apt google group…
Update on faculty changes/shifts from osa

Oz-  Reach out to us with any questions (Smith/Oz) email anything its important to him!

Oz- stay on google group, do not feel like you cannot post, keep it up!
Parent feedback – Learn how to reply all or tone person(protocol)
Emphasis groups in theater are divided into  HS/MS

Oz OSA Student Life presentation (requested by Ms. Snyder)
Curran Partnership
Fun Home
Friday 1/27 after finals…
8-12th grade, opt in for 6/7 building community effort to show up
chaperones (10:1 ratio)
$20 trip including BART and tickets
Reduced rate for families Sat and Sun for opening weekend
Incorporate elements of show to classroom curriculum – read graphic novel!


YouTube channel set up in process
Wynton Marsalis master class for instrumental music
Delta Rae Hardly Strictly Bluegrass

Meeting information for High School Club
Open to MS as well.
STEAM for MS as well – Hands On Science, Guardian Gym, technology

? is there a place online for these to be announced?
Smith to add to her blog
On Weekly Announcements for students

Wendy – Communications 
APT Google group intended to be a safe space for all
Settings on group have been altered, and more changes can be made
APTOAS.org needs updating – could improve communications.  Call to anyone to volunteer to update it

OSA News building a team to translate to Spanish, call for parents for that as well   Let Wendy know!

APT Meeting on Election night not gonna happen!  WOULDN’T BE PRUDENT

Nicolette- Safety
Last year the driving signage was completed  

Matt – Introduced APT Teacher grants, need to fundraise 

Jessica Strick- MS Spanish
Jessica Strick- parent- Monday after school MS Spanish through Montclair program as enrichment coming soon, 2 sections of pilot program.  Details in the works, as low as $3.50/student/class. 20 kids/section, need for parents to help facilitate/put classroom back together afterwards.

? Monday crowded in after school due to early release.  Plan to get additional room if adults can supervise (SMITH)

Summer – Request for Volunteers
Need assistance for co-president, co-treasurer, content manager for website, point person for Curran trip, fundraising

Meeting Minutes for 05/10/2016

APT General Meeting Minutes

(Thanks to APT for the refreshments!)

Announcement:  Mental Health Workshop, 5/23 6:30-8pm

This is the last APT meeting of the school year.

  1.  Chocolate Sales
    1. Funds were used to fund teacher requests, including the 7th grade origami class, field trip support, and prom support.
    2. Participation was low, so pre-purchased cases were sold to departments at cost to sell at events for profit.
    3. Child who sold most candy is going to be getting a $50 gift card.
  2. Teacher Appreciation
    1. Two events this year, a December breakfast and an upcoming May lunch.
    2. May 26th from 11-1, Mexican theme.  Volunteers needed to help set-up and clean-up — look for link.
  3. Feedback about APT:
    • Liked agenda with Mental Health Department and Academics
    • Helpful to get more communication from teachers about events
    • The 1st meeting was chaotic.  Maybe hold it at Sweets instead of the Student Center?
    • Would appreciate having something more than just committee check-ins at meetings.
    • Would like college info, especially a parent-to-parent forum
    • Better tracking of volunteers
    • Better advertising about how notes go out
    • 6th grade parent concerns about BART.  Also could be addressed parent-to-parent, but need a forum
    • Weekend orientation for new families — for children and parents.  (some happened this year, but more needed)
    • Feels too chaotic to give time instead of money
    • Communication is off.  Too much online.  Use “school loop” instead?
    • Disconnect between parents/APT/emphasis/academics/administration
      • structure hasn’t changed but the school has doubled
    • FAQ for new families needed.  Could be a working document, with info added as needed.  Info wanted:
      • Monday early release
      • How to support my student  (PowerSchool, blogs, appropriate middle/high school support, etc)
      • Online communication
      • How to sign-up to receive each type of communication
      • 1st day of school checklist
      • APT Info, how to join APT
      • Understanding emphasis vs. academics vs. leadership
      • Handbook
      • Sports / Afterschool options
      • History of OSA — context and vision
      • Transportation / public transportation options
        • 1/2 price BART tickets/Clipper cards — where to get
      • Safety and info about area crimes
      • Calendars (especially a combined events calendar!)
      • Web links
      • Phone chargers
      • Who to call when sick and what can be expected for make-up work
      • Performance opportunities and the hierarchy of training/opportunities to avoid disappointments
      • Sign-in process
      • Lines of communication — who to talk to about facilities, academics, etc.
      • Stuff to know in HS/MS
      • More info needed for new families about structure of APT and how to be involved
  4. APT looked at it’s purpose at the last Board meeting.
    1. Communication not always reciprocal with departments
    2. Accept diminished attendance as the year goes on
    3. Event in Sept/Oct
    4. Chocolate sales earlier
    5. Support teachers — divide any money earned between academic teachers
      • Can APT maintain teacher wish lists??  — Will try
    6. Will eliminate Board meetings
    7. Director is on-board with new structure
    8. APT more membership driven group
  5. Donn Harris
    1. legal requirement for local control funding
    2. LCAP plan for next year
    3. Library/Librarian
    4. Sweets sound
    5. Student Deans that are fulltime
    6. Three-year plan coming
    7. Keeping momentum — improving relationship between APT and admin/staff

Meeting Minutes for 04/12/2016

APT General Meeting Minutes

  1.  David is selling Heart of Oakland t-shirts.  Only $10 and all profit goes to OSA.
  2. Social Studies Department:
    1. Overview:  http://prezi.com/0z223xt6agzw/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share
      • 6th  Ancient World History
      • 7th  Medieval World History
      • 8th  Early US History
      • 9th  Art History (elective)
      • 10th  Modern World History
      • 11th  Modern US History
      • 12th Government/Economics
      • Honors Elective = Sociology
  3. Medieval Monologues:  A collaboration between Social Studies and Theater for the 7th grade class.  All students performed in class, but with the support of Theater teacher Becky Potter, the Theater students also performed as a one-night show.  Monologues were based on the books “Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village” by Laura Amy Schlitz and Karen Cushman, and “Catherine Called Birdie” by Karen Cushman.  The backdrop slides were researched and created by the 7th grade students.  Thanks to the students who performed tonight!
  4. Fiona Reed, CA Charter School Association & Charter Nation Program
    1. OSA is a member of CCSA
    2. Alameda County office of education elections happen in June primary election.  Please vote.
    3. website has a lot of information — http://ccsafamilies.org
  5. Staff Appreciation Lunch
    1. scheduled for Th 5/12
    2. Look for sign-ups and info on the google group
  6. APT Board is looking to retool it’s purpose.
    1. We will be meeting with Mr. Harris
    2. Hoping to move toward more active support of teachers
    3. To find out more, come the the next APT Meeting on 5/10.  Food and drink provided
  7. Upcoming:
    1. Broadway on Broadway
    2. Visual Arts Spring Shows
    3. Jazz Show

Meeting Minutes for 03/08/2016

APT Meeting Minutes


  •  Thank you for coming to the meeting!
  •  Welcome Matt Lipner, APT’s new co-secretary.
  •  Presentation:  Circus Arts Emphasis, by Carrie Kretzer, co-manager at Kinetic Arts
    • Circus Arts is an OSA High School emphasisOSA students come to train at Kinetic Arts after school
    • The pre-professional program is called Circus Spire
    • Students have to audition into the Circus Spire program
    • While the program doesn’t necessarily expect them to move to a circus college, it is taught to that level.
    • There are currently 2 OSA students in Spire, but they will be graduating this year.
    • One former graduate when on to Cirque de Soleil
    • Spire has a capacity of 25 students, both OSA and outside.
    • It is the top youth training on the west coast.
    • Seniors take on artistic roles as well as performance.
    • Upcoming show:  Cirqular Logic
  • Funding Updates:
    • APT donated $300 to the Middle School Leadership Fund.  This money is used to help students in need attend field trips.
    • APT also donated funds to the middle school Math Department in February for the 7th grade student to have an origami classes.
    • APT Chocolate sales
      • participation was low, particularly at the high school level
      • there are still cases available, that can be offered to departments at cost.
      • APT made $1590, but we were hoping for $1800.
      • Next year we will order smaller quantities and start earlier
      • have to be careful not to conflict with other fundraisers.
  • Upcoming shows:
    • Visual Arts Faculty Show, 3/18-19 in the White Box
    • Instrumental Classical Concerts
      • 3/18 at the Piano Store
      • 3/19 in the Black Box
  • Other issues:
    • Suggestion for a parent social
    • Is there a calendar for all events?
      • Unfortunately the OSA and APT calendars are not linked.  If you’d like your department’s events listed on the APT calendar, please send info (and art, if possible) and it will be added to the APT splash page.
  • Academic Support, Wendy Snyder
    • There are 3 weeks left in the quarter.  How is it going?
    • School of Rock performers are really tired.
    • It has been a rough transition for a new teacher.  Does OSA need to give more support to new teachers?
    • Need for note taking skills.  Taking a picture of the board/projector is not equivalent to taking notes in class.  There is a need for teaching note taking skills, especially for science.
    • Math program — excited to hear about an option for more challenging math is coming.  Happy with CPM program, especially in middle school
    • Would like to see middle school tests scheduled so there are not two on the same day.
    • Concern that there is not enough homework to prepare students for the focus they will need in high school.
    • Can the Learning Center run periodic skills workshops throughout the year?
      • There is a revamp of the Learning Center planned for next year.
  • Next Month:  presentation from the Social Studies Department

Meeting Minutes for 02/09/2016

APT Meeting

  • Welcome
  • Heart of Oakland T-shirts still available for $20.  We have sold enough to cover the printing costs, so all shirts sold now are profit that goes directly to the schools.  Profit for t-shirts is being divided evenly between all schools.
  • Emphasis Announcements — none
  • Origami Project
    • funded by APT as part of Ms. Humphrey’s STEAM focus
    • all 7th grade math classes will have origami instruction from Taro on College Ave.
  • Yearbook (Digital Media)
    • DM has done the OSA yearbook for the past 6 or 7 years.
    • Yearbook is an assignment in DM toward the end of the year.
    • It is a fundraiser for the department, and is sold online thru lulu.com
    • It usually comes out in mid-May.
    • Yearbook includes student’s pictures, plus a two-page spread for each emphasis.
    • There are also Senior Pages available for purchase for those who want ($20 per page).
    • DM can’t handle a pre-sale, but would support that idea if parents want to help coordinate.
  • Math Night — Ms. Smith
    • Thanks to the math department teachers!
      • Ms. Bacchus
      • Ms. Bradburn
      • Ms. Humphrey
      • Mr. Ho
      • Ms. Baumgartner
      • Mr. Czechowski
      • Ms. Harris
  • OSA uses CPM (College Preparatory Math) curriculum
    • OSA has tested well relative to the state.
    • Hands on learning is an important aspect of all class levels.
    • This curriculum allows for support of kids at different paces.
  • OSA math department is acting on a plan to pace math leveling differently for next year.  Please look out for more details from Ms. Smith soon.

Meeting Minutes for 01/12/2016

APT Meeting Minutes
January 12, 2016

Welcome — Bob Sommer

  • General Auditions

The 1st round of auditions for next year will be 1/23.
The 2nd round on 3/5.

We need parent help!  Especially need are people to be on the Food Crew.  Ideally there would be two people for the morning and two for the afternoon, for each round of auditions.  Contact Andrea Dance if you are available to help — adance@hotmail.com


Science Department Presentation
— Julie Humphrey, Chair

Julie quickly gave an overview of a longer talk that she recently gave at a conference — from STEM (science-technology-engineering-math) to STEAM (science-technology-engineering-art-math) at OSA.

When she first started telling people she taught an art school, the perception was that it would be hard to teach science to artists.  Our students aren’t hard to teach and many are very interested in both art and science.

The department started thinking about ideas to get kids more interested in science.  STEAM lab?  Robotics?  Maker Lab?  Then they realized that there was no need to invent something because STEAM integration is already happening at OSA.

Some examples:

– Production Design:  teaches students sketch-up, planning, flow chart, color & hue, use of heavy equipment, geometry to build, engineering, costume design, patterning, measurements, chemistry, and more.

–  Visual Arts:  incorporates science with charcoal, life/nature studies, and more.

– Digital Media:  teaches rotoscaping, photoshop, and more.

– Instrumental Music:  teaches intervals, rhythm, and more.

Recently there was an explicit STEAM project — a collaboration between the Science Department and Production Design.  Together they created lighted costumes for the Theater production of Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Additional enrichments that OSA provides:

  • Science Club — there is a weekly Science Club at OSA for middle school students.  Each teacher takes a turn leading the club.  Students are welcome to drop-in whenever they can with no fee.  Wednesdays at 3:30.
  • Robotics Club (see Ms. Kindblat)
  • Technovation, where 8th grade girls build apps.  (See Mr. Oz for more info.)

Following Ms. Humphrey’s talk, parents where invited to connect with the science teachers at their mini-Science Fair at the back of the room.  (Unfortunately Mr. Kemper could make it, but is a valuable member of the science team as well.)

Ms. Bacchus
Mr. Barany
Ms. Baumgartner
Mr. Czechowski
Ms. Kindblat
Mr. Oz
Mr. Underwood

** Thank you to the Science Department for spending the evening with APT! **

Meeting Minutes for 12/08/2015

APT Meeting Minutes
December 8, 2015
Welcome — Bob Sommer
Just a short meeting tonight, as it is a busy time of the year.  Please enjoy the cookies.  Thank you to Carolyn Watson for donating the coffee.

  • Director’s Coffee
    Director’s Coffee meetings are a chance to bring any issues you have to discuss with Director Donn Harris and other parents.  It is generally the 4th Wednesday of the month at 8:15.  Next meeting will be on 12/16, classroom tbd.
  • Annual Fund
    Mr. Harris started the annual fund about seven years ago.  It is a way to bridge the gap between the funding that the state provides and the actual expense of an arts education.  $300,000 was raised in 2014-15.  It is an on-going fundraiser that began at the State of the School in September and continues until June.  Governor Brown helps, but he won’t be in office forever, and we need parent support.

    We are currently at 71% of our financial goal, but only 25% of our parent participation goal.  OSA asks for $1,000 per student.  Checks can be made out to OSA, attn Kathryn Keslosky or at oakarts.org.  Payments can be made in installments.  Matching gifts are encouraged, as are families who are able to sponsor others.  There are perks for larger donations that can be found on the website.

  • School of Rock
    OSA has been selected to be the West Coast premier of the musical “School of Rock.”  This is very exciting and a big honor.  Mr. Barry is currently in NY to see the Broadway opening, and Mr. Harris will travel to see it over the weekend.  OSA students will perform at Curran Under Construction in March.
  • Lost & Found
    Please encourage students to check the lost and found.  All items left on 12/18 will be donated.
  • APT Fundraiser
    APT is sponsoring chocolate sales.  Complete a permission slip and contact Summer to get the products.  This fundraiser is for:
    –learning center tutors
    –purchasing classroom fans
    –teacher appreciation events
    –book wishlist items for teachers
    –improved signage
    –anti-bullying videos
  • Digital Media
    “Self” show of portraits and self-portraits.  Friday 12/11 and Saturday 12/12 from 6-9pm in the White Box.
  • Literary Arts
    “Untitled Winter Reading” on Friday 12/11 from 7-9pm at the Creative Growth Center, 355 24th St.
  • Vocal Music
    Annual Winter Concert will be on 12/12 at 7pm at the 1st Congregational Church.
  • OSA Reads
    Wednesday 12/9 from 6-9pm.  OSA has partnered with Laurel Books.  A portion of the proceeds from Wednesday through Sunday will benefit OSA’s class libraries.
  • Teacher Appreciation Breakfast/Lunch
    On Wednesday 12/16, APT is hosting a Teacher Appreciation Breakfast/Lunch for teachers and staff.  We’d like to show our support for teacher and staff who are working so hard to make OSA an amazing place for our children, and to strengthen the connections between parents and teachers.  We need food donations!  Please contact Wendy Snyder if you’d like to bring some food.
  • PE
    • Tennis is happening after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30-5:30.  It is for middle and high school students.  Parents of children participating are asked to help with transporting children to the courts.
    • Rock Climbing is still happening in middle school PE.  Students can opt in at anytime.  It is hoped that children might be interested in joining their rock climbing team after school.  Students, parents and staff can also get a discount at Touchstone.
    • OSA Basketball team is being formed for high school.  They are working to raise money for the program.  As a fundraiser, students will be selling tickets to the Warriors vs. Clippers game on 3/23.  Tickets will be $175 each, with 100% of profits going to OSA.
  • Newsletter
    We have a new OSA Newsletter editor as Jennifer Murov as left OSA.  Thanks to Leslie Duchesneau for taking the position.
  • Free Film Screening
    This Thursday 12/10 at 5:30pm in the Black Box, there will be a showing of the film “Knowing Nothing Cold” by Jeff Kao.  It is about teenagers growing up in Iowa.  The film has 8 OSA students and/or former students acting in it.
  • Heart of Oakland
    Heart of Oakland is on 2/4.  It will be an exciting show!  Presale tickets are done.  The online ticket sales link went live today.  Physical tickets will be on sale at the school beginning in January.
  • Open Discussion

— SF Symphony has some very affordable and family friendly performance right now.  Check their website if you are interested.

— Vocal Rush is performing at the Oakland Symphony 12/13 at 4pm.

Meeting Minutes for 11/10/2015

APT General Meeting
November 10, 2015


HeART of Oakland
Becky Potter reminded us that The HeART of Oakland performances are taking place at the Fox on Thursday, February 3, 2016. She told us that the goal is for every OSA family to buy 2 tickets to the show. She also acknowledged APT Connect by asking parents to submit the online form on APT Connect if they are interested in volunteering for the event. Then, Laurice Guerin from the English department spoke over her slideshow presentation about the English department. I missed the first minute and then hit record.

Ms. Guerin — English Department presentation.
We emphasize speaking and listening.  We want all our student to be really good audience members in additions to being able to talk about their own art and their own passion, so we try to give them as much practice as we can.  How do you do that when you just have them for one period?  We work together as a department and there are different focuses for each year.  For the past couple of years it has been common core because everyone in the state needed to focus on that.  This year we are revisiting our curriculum continuum, which looks at what we are teaching at each grade level — which novels are we reading, what literary analysis are we doing, what writing are we doing — so that by 12th grade students are ready for AP Literature and ready for college.

So here’s what we are doing:

At 6th grade we are looking at paragraph and essay structure.  Kids come into OSA with different schooling and different strengths.  Trying to get everyone on the same page.

In 7th grade we have writer’s boot camp which Ms. Bradburn and I designed several years ago.  It is prompt writing and we teach them how to analysis prompts and whip out writing in a timed situation, which is not something you usually have to do in life, but is something you have to do in tests especially in college and on SATs.

In 8th grade we see a big improvement from 6th grade.  Many students feel this improvement is from the writing boot camp curriculum — they know what an essay is and how to write it. We teach them in 8th grade how to write in the academic voice, and also MLA format.

In 9th grade, again we need to make sure everyone is on the same page.  We emphasis the things we do in 8th grade in addition to using evidence to support their writing.

In 10th grade they do an intense literary analysis.

At 11th and 12th grades, we offer both AP language and AP literature, so we are constantly working to make sure our kids are ready for the next level.

Q:  In middle school do the students do any kind of research paper?
Yes.  Research is one of the areas that common core is really pushing.  They want everyone to know how to do research and site sources.  We have worked with the history departments and usually they will do the papers for their history courses.  Some of the grades do it in english, but generally we try to work with the other areas to have an english component as well as components for that subject area.  Common core emphasizes writing and reading across the curriculum, so this addresses that need.

We took our first “CASP” test this year which is the common core reading assessment.  Our school scored 25% higher than the state average in english.  Ours was 70% and theirs was 40% proficient and above.  We were very happy to see that.

We are now starting the requirement to work with OUSD on a special reading assessment that is designed to help students grow in their reading over each year.  The assessment is the SRI, which we hope is the most useful and least cumbersome.  It is online and takes about 30 minutes per kid.  They put in their reading interests and it tells you their lexile level.  It gives a book list of books at their level and a little bit above.  It also gives tips for teachers and parents.  You should get a letter with the level and book list, and also info to help your child as home with reading.  We do it 3 times a year to better help the kids.  We are just inputting information and hope to have everyone assessed between Thanksgiving and Winter breaks.  Teachers will analyse the data after winter break.

Q:  Do you anticipate we will be doing this every year?
Yes.  It is useful and required.  We’ve been looking for an assessment like this for a while.

Q:  What if kids aren’t good at the computer?
It isn’t as cumbersome and doesn’t require too much keyboarding.  We are using the chrome books and we are practicing the type of skills kids will need.

Q:  Results are recorded as a lexile number?
Yes and they can take that info to the library or look online to find books at their level.  The thing I like about this is that they get books not only at their level but also related to the interested they put in.

Q:  When will be get the letter?
Mid-January or so.

Q:  Does this go through high school?
Yes, every grade.

To help us out with support for this new assessment style, we are starting a school wide reading program called OSA Reads.  The teachers at each grade level have chosen the top 30 books and put on bookmarks.  We are trying to get these books into each classrooms.  We are having a book fair with Laurel Books, at their new site in downtown Oakland.  The fair will be Wednesday December 9th (time TBD).  We need parents to help get this event organized.  Literary Arts kids will come over and read.  Maybe parents would like to read or maybe we can organize some holiday cookies?  A new thing for OSA.  I’m coordinate a wishlist of books for the classrooms that can be bought and donated that night.

Q:  Would it help if APT puts up a form on APT Connects?
We don’t need a form, but an email is fine.  We would like for the booklist to end up on the APT website to enable parents to buy books at other times.

Q:  Is this for English classrooms?  Do they have a reading period?
Some classes have a sustained silent reading, but nothing formalized.  In the past we’ve had “we read Wednesdays” and maybe we’ll bring that back.  We want to do whatever we can to help kids read.  The English classrooms try to make up for the school not having a library by having as many books as possible on our shelves.

Q:  With these 30 titles, how do we get them to teachers?
It is fine for kids to deliver.  It is not a book fair where the school gets a percentage, but an opportunity to buy books for the school.  It is fine to bring in 2nd hand copies of these titles as well.  The list has just been finalized and the bookmarks will be ready soon, and ready at the store that night.

Q:  Are you trying to get multiple copies of these books?
We are hoping to do book groups using these books, and would need multiple copies.

Q:  For donations, you only want what is on the list?
No, we are happy to have any books at 6th grade or above reading level donated at any time.

Future APT Meeting presentations:
We are trying to give parents information at the APT meetings from our academic departments.  Look for information about science in January, history in February, in math March, in foreign languages April.  In December we will talk about the OSA Showcase and eat some holiday cookies.

Vocal Music update:
The New Orleans show last weekend went really well.  Really impressed with the level of professionalism.  On December 12th, there is another vocal concert at 7pm at the First Congregational Church in Oakland.  Advanced tickets strongly encouraged as this show does sell out.  Tickets available online now and on some days as school.  Also 12/4 at the Oakland museum as part of first Friday.

IM Department update:
Instrumental music has scheduled performances coming up.  We have a ticket option — OSA IM flex card — that is a bulk ticket.  10 tickets on one card for $100 if you purchase now.  An amazing deal.

Visual Arts update:
Visual Arts show coming up December 4th and 5th.  5-9 and 12-5.  A big selling show, with lots of art on sale.  A lot of amazing work.  It is at the White Box.  Admissions free and there will be concessions.

Committee Updates:
APT-Connect — please add events that you are bringing up here.  It helps to keep us all informed about the events that OSA students are involved with.  Also KOSA radio (internet station) is already live — look for their section on APT-Connect.

Teacher Appreciation — Wednesday December 16th.  Breakfast and Lunch for teachers.  We will be asking for food donations as a thank you from the parents.

Fundraising — we are trying to put together an APT fundraiser.  Looking at a cookie dough fundraiser before the holidays.  Look for more info on the website.

Q:  What is the profit margin?
We don’t know yet, but hopefully we’ll have information soon.

The Learning Center still need help between 3-4pm daily.  The fundraising efforts would allow us to pay for tutors.  Reaching out to local colleges.  Please let APT know if you have contacts.

Safety — Continuing to work on the safety issues at pickup and drop-off.  We’ve run into a few snags, but it continues to be a work in progress.

Open Session:

(Paulina Gonzales)  Her son has been experiencing bullying issues.  Addressed with the administration, but continues to be issues daily.  Was told policy was in the handbook, but there is only a paragraph.  Would like an assembly on anti-bullying.  A restorative justice proactive approach would be helpful.

(Matt )  Great vibe at the school from a parent perspective.  Such an amazing place, but there is a piece missing from the puzzle.  Especially in middle school, both physical, emotional and cyber bullying have been happening.  Required by state code that there needs to be a comprehensive policy.  Not APT’s job, but feel strongly that parents need to have a voice in that process.

Wendy Snyder will bring this issue to the administration.

(Ms. Guerin)  In other years it has been addressed better, but it has been missing this year.  Maybe needs an ongoing committee.

(Carolyn Watson)  Brought this issue to the OSA administration last year.  Ms. Snyder and Mr. Oz were both helpful in helping to resolve issues.  Last year’s “challenge day” was really great.  Addressing these issues can require quite a bit of funding.  Trying to get a nurse to come to campus regularly.

(parent)  Need to remember that we are dealing with adolescents, and respect and compassionate impulse control needed.  It is a complex issues on both sides.

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