Kaiser Elementary School Merger

Hi All, I recently bought a home in Claremont and Kaiser is our district school. I've been trying to follow what's happening with the proposed merger. It seems that one of the arguments for the merger is that so few neighborhood kids are actually attending Kaiser. As someone who would have one of those neighborhood kids, has there been any discussion of assigning the neighborhood kids to schools that are actually closer to the Claremont neighborhood, e.g. Chabot or Peralta? If we were assigned Sankofa that would actually be the furthest school from us, which makes no sense. I am against this merger for a number of reasons, but wondering if there's been any discussion of redistricting the kids who are currently assigned to Kaiser based on location?


Parent Replies

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Yes, I believe the plan, if Kaiser does indeed move, is for the current Kaiser neighborhood to become part of the Chabot zone. (At least that's what's been shared thus far.) Kaiser would get a new zone in its new location, presumably including the North Oakland neighborhoods that are currently in the Sankofa zone. But none of this is a done deal yet.

I don't know about the Kaiser zone but for anyone else wondering about getting into Peralta, there's serious talk about merging Peralta and Sankofa, so those 2 school communities may become one, and Sankofa is literally one block from Peralta, so it's not really further.

As the previous poster said, it hasn’t been decided yet, but the school board is scheduled to vote on September 11.  So if you haven’t already, now is the time to write your school board rep (Kaiser is in District 1, so that would be Jody London), as well as the Superintendent, Kyla Johnson-Trammell, and let them know of your concerns.  If you would send your kids to Kaiser if the school stays open, they should know that, as the demographic data they’re currently using is outdated and doesn’t reflect the fact that the number of families with young kids living in the Kaiser attendance area is growing.  Encourage your neighbors to write too.  And if you’re able to, attend the school board meeting and lend your voice there too!

I’m a Kaiser parent, but I’m opposed to ALL of the school closures/mergers the district is pushing for. I’m ashamed to say I never paid attention to district politics until this year, but now that I’ve spent a lot of time researching the issues in OUSD, I’m convinced school closures aren't the answer. (They closed 5 schools in 2012 and the budget and enrollment numbers weren't helped at all.) OUSD has a well-documented history of administrative dysfunction and their city-wide plan to close schools doesn’t address any of that.  OUSD plans to close up to 24 schools over the next few years but all of the data shows that school closures don’t save money and don’t improve student outcomes.  The closing of Roots this year and the lack of support provided to those kids was absolutely shameful. This year’s proposal isn’t just about Kaiser and Sankofa; they’re also proposing merging Frick and SOL, even though they’ve hardly engaged the communities there about their needs.  And some of the kids from Roots are currently at SOL or Frick--so they’ll be disrupted a second time!

Sorry for the mini-rant, but I really believe the dysfunction in OUSD is an issue everyone in Oakland should be concerned about, whether you have kids at the schools currently slated for closure or not.  If we as a community speak out, we can push for meaningful change, rather than school closures.  Every kid deserves a quality public school education!