Ways to Get Involved
- Message from Superintendent Scuderi
- How to Get Involved with Your School Site
- How to Get Involved with AUSD
- How to Get Involved with AUSD's Special Education Program
- How to Get Involved with AUSD's Budget and Operations
- How to Get Involved with AUSD Hiring
Whether you are a continuing member of a round table, oversight committee, PTA, or stakeholder advisory group, interested in joining one of these groups, or just wondering how you can learn more about AUSD and our schools, we appreciate your willingness to engage with AUSD staff and contribute to our efforts to continuously improve.
Both our central office and our school sites have long supported numerous ways for families to be involved. Our current goal is to support a slightly more intentional and formalized channel of communication with these groups. Specifically, we want to ensure that notes, comments, and suggestions from these gatherings make their way back to staff both to inform current practice and generate awareness of the ongoing and dynamic needs of our diverse community as they evolve.
In addition, we would like to utilize some of these meetings as a way to “workshop” and solicit input on our developing district-wide Strategic Plan. As you may remember, in January of 2020 AUSD completed its graduate profile - which serves as the “North Star” of our strategic planning process after a significant and inclusive development process that included suggestions from more than 1100 staff members and stakeholders. Our goal had been to spend the spring of 2020 drafting a multi-year strategic plan, the first draft of which was to be submitted to the Board in June of 2020. With the pandemic spiking in March of 2020, and the majority of the 2020-2021 school year spent in a state of uncertainty and improvisation, the development process had to be paused.
However, despite the sustained challenges posed by COVID-19 this fall, we believe we can get our long-term planning back on track and submit a draft strategic plan to the Board this year. Our hope is to be able to visit various stakeholder groups this year to get perspective and ideas on this effort as it develops.
How can families lend their perspectives and suggestions to what happens in schools?
A variety of stakeholders have told us they would like to better understand how families and caregivers can participate in various aspects of district decision-making and operations. Below we list the existing channels for family engagement. AUSD is committed to maintaining, growing, and diversifying these channels to ensure a broad-base of stakeholder input, ideas, and thinking help shape our collective community efforts for kids.
Alameda Unified School District
School Site Council
A School Site Council is a committee of teachers, parents, students, and school staff that works with the school principal to plan for the needs of the school. A major duty of the SSC is to develop and then annually update the School Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA), a formal plan for the school that satisfies both state and federal program requirements.
SCHOOL PTA OR PTSA
Every school in Alameda Unified has its own Parent Teacher Association (PTA) , which is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children.
PTAs work with parents, teachers, students, and school staff to support students, empower families, and enrich the school. PTAs host community events, organize volunteers, raise money, lead enrichment activities like art and garden classes, fund additional school staff, provide information and access to families, and advocate on behalf of students to individual schools and the district. While the PTA works closely with each school site, each PTA is an independent organization with its own officers and members.
PTAs meet either monthly or bi-monthly. Subcommittees of the school PTA may meet more often.
Any parent/guardian in the school community, as well as school staff and interested community members. Members have the right to participate in PTA leadership and vote on PTA issues.
The PTA and school principal will send out invitations to join the PTA, attend meetings, and participate in events throughout the course of the year. There is a modest membership fee at most sites, which goes to fund school supplies and activities as well as advocacy for education at the state level. Can’t find the invitation? Please email the PTA president at your school site to get started.
PTAs encourage everyone - members and non-members - to attend meetings, participate in events, volunteer, and get involved in the organization.
ENGLISH LEARNER ADVISORY COMMITTEE (ELAC)
Each California public school with 21 or more English learners must form an English Learner Advisory Committee (ELAC). Committee members advise their school principal and staff about the site plan for English Learners, which includes resource allocation.
Parents or guardians of English learners make up the same percentage (or more) of the ELAC membership as their children represent the student body. Parents and guardians of English learners elect the parent members of ELAC.
ELACs meet a minimum of four to five times a year. If you’re interested in joining this committee, please email your school principal.
Anyone in the school community can attend the meetings, but only parents/guardians elected to the ELAC can vote.
Equity and Affinity Groups
Alameda Mosaic a community affinity space for Black, African-American, and Multi-Ethnic parents/caregivers. Their mission is to provide a forum for families of African-American/Black/ Multi-ethnic students to share their voices and become more knowledgeable about district resources and how to navigate the complex educational landscape in order to advocate more effectively for their students.
Web page: www.alamedaunified.org/alamedamosaic
Contact information: Alamedamosaic@gmail.com
Web page: www.alamedaunified.org/alcance
Contact information: email@example.com
LGBTQ Round Table
AUSD's LGBTQ Roundtable is composed of students, teachers, district staff, and community members whose mission is to foster an inclusive, safe, and welcoming environment for all students in the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD).
Web page: www.alamedaunified.org/lgbtq
Contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Asian and Pacific Islander Round Table
Asian and Pacific Islander Round Table includes people who self-identify as API and API allies. Their mission is to represent API students and ensure equitable access to opportunities that lead to success and social-emotional well-being.
Web page: www.alamedaunified.org/apirt
Contact information: email@example.com
Jewish Education Round Table
Curriculum Review Committee
The Curriculum and Instruction Review Session is composed of community members and district and school staff and provides an opportunity for our parents and community members to give input and feedback about current and future curricula adoptions. This is a key avenue through which stakeholders can contribute perspective and ideas on our teaching and learning programs.
Secondary Director Dr. Vernon Walton and Elementary Director Ms. Yvonne Wright, will be facilitating current adoptions and new adoptions. In 2021-22 our priorities were:
- Middle School Math pilot
- Research on new Elementary History-Social Science curriculum
- High School Biology
- High School Chemistry
- High School Psychology
Other grade-span pilots and adoptions will be part of a long-term multi-year plan aligned with California Adoption cycles.
Curriculum pilots and adoptions are multi-year processes so that sufficient vetting, feedback, data collection, and analysis from staff and community can be scheduled to make the best decisions possible.The Curriculum and Instruction Review Sessions will most likely meet four times per year.
Any AUSD parent/guardian or staff member is welcome to join the committee. If you are interested in participating in curriculum review, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
All meetings are open to the public. In addition, all new curriculum is made available for community review before being adopted. AUSD provides official notice when the materials are available.
District English Language Advisory Committee
Each California public school district with 51 or more English Learners must form a District English Learner Advisory Committee (DELAC). This district-level committee is composed of parents, staff, and community members and is charged with advising district officials on English learner programs and services.
AUSD currently has 894 English Learners enrolled in its schools.
The AUSD DELAC meets five times a year, from 5:30 - 7 pm. More information (including agendas and ppts) can be found on the AUSD website.
Each school ELAC has the opportunity to elect at least one member to the District English Learner Advisory Committee (DELAC). If you are interested in joining DELAC, please contact both your school principal and Nancy Lai at firstname.lastname@example.org
SPECIAL EDUCATION STEERING COMMITTEE
Prior committee members will be asked to rejoin, and a membership application is being prepared to encourage membership to ensure a diverse community of stakeholders represent this committee. If you have not yet received an invitation to apply, please contact Randhir Bains at email@example.com.
ALAMEDA SPECIAL EDUCATION FAMILIES
The Alameda Special Education Family Support Group (ASPED) supports families to build community, promote communication, share resources, and host regular meetings to learn about learning differences, and how to best advocate for children. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Citizen Bond Oversight Committee
The Bond Oversight Committee monitors implementation of the District’s bond-funded construction projects. These projects are planned and designed with input from school communities. Information about the current Measure I Bond Oversight Committee is available here.
State law governs the types of community members that can join a Bond Oversight Committee (e.g., a parent, a senior citizen, and a business representative). Please see our Bond Oversight Committee web page for more information.
The Oversight Committee meets about four times per year and are open to the public.
Parcel Tax Oversight Committee
AUSD’s Parcel Tax Program Oversight Committee monitors the district’s use of funds generated by Measures B1 and A. More information about this committee is available here.
Membership applications for the Parcel Tax Oversight Committee are made available every October and are currently open for the 2021-22 school year.. The district seeks broad representation from school sites and grade levels; community members are also welcome. If individual stakeholders or stakeholder group representatives are interested in joining these oversight committees or attending the meetings, please contact email@example.com.
The committee meets four to five times per year; all meetings are open to the public.
Board of Education Budget Presentations
Stakeholders interested in how the district allocates its larger general fund should know that District staff makes eight (8) presentations to the Board of Education annually to discuss the development and monitoring of the District’s budget. This begins with pre-planning for the subsequent school year in January, program and school budget in the spring, and quarterly updates on budget and expenditures during the fiscal year.
The schedule and agendas of meetings are published on the Board Agendas page. The meetings are open to the public and also recorded.
Hiring Process for Teachers
The posting and hiring process for teachers is contained within the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Alameda Education Association. Any changes would need to be negotiated with them, voted on by their membership, and then approved by the Board of Education. Where stakeholder groups could be involved is in creating an employee profile of the competencies a teacher candidate should possess.
Hiring Process for Site Administrators
We currently have an Administrative Regulation that governs the panel make up for school site administrators hiring panels. We are currently considering making the language more broad so that the panel makeup will be more inclusive of the school community. This would include staff, parents/guardians, community members, and students (at the secondary level).