Dear Students, Staff, and Parents,

    We are entering the final stretch of this particularly challenging school year. Your support, the dedication of our entire staff, and the resilience of our students have contributed to a successful year and will certainly ease our transition to August 2021. With the Governor’s plan to lift restrictions and fully reopen our state on June 15, we are looking forward to the 2021-2022 school year, when students can once again fully engage with all that our schools have to offer. With a great deal of planning currently underway, please know that we will work tirelessly to make sure our schools are ready to meet the needs of all of our students.

    We presented a comprehensive plan for summer and expanded learning at the Board of Education meeting last night. The Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO) grant from the state includes a wide array of learning and social-emotional support, giving Oak Park Unified the resources to offer more than ever before. We have kept a close eye on our students’ needs throughout this pandemic. This plan is specifically designed to offer expanded learning programs and supports for the elementary, middle, and high school levels. We are very happy to report that the Board unanimously approved the Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO) grant plan. OPUSD will receive approximately $2.7 million, all of which must be spent by August 30, 2022 on any of the following 7 purposes:

    1. Extending instructional learning time
    2. Accelerating progress to close learning gaps through the implementation, expansion, or enhancement of learning supports
    3. Integrated student supports to address other barriers to learning
    4. Community hubs that provide students with access to technology, high speed internet, and other academic supports
    5. Supports for credit deficient students to complete graduation or grade promotion requirements and to increase or improve students' college eligibility
    6. Additional academic services for students
    7. Training for school staff in strategies to engage students and families in addressing students' social-emotional health and academic needs

    The actions included in this plan are largely based on the input from students, staff, and parents that was provided through a number of surveys submitted during the school year. From these surveys, many feel that due to Distance Learning there may be impacts to the pace of student learning. Ongoing data analysis supports these claims. Additionally, the actions in the ELO plan align with our District goals to support the academic, physical, and social-emotional needs of students. All of our schools will see a number of additional academic supports put in place starting this summer. At all grade levels, there is also a great focus on social-emotional support for students, staff, and parents. Funds have been identified to support outdoor and hands-on learning, both of which contribute to academic success, social-emotional wellness, and school connectedness.

    See below for the summary of planned expenditures, as approved by the Board of Education.

    You can view the plan in more detail here. Below is a summary of actions, by grade span.

    All Sites (DK-12)

    • Increase the number of campus supervisors at all schools.
    • Provide all students with 24/7 access to the online Paper tutoring service.
    • Provide all students with access to devices and online learning support such as ALEKS and IXL.
    • Increase opportunities for after-school programs (enrichment, clubs, academic support).
    • Welcome-back activities prior to the start of ‘21-’22 school year. These programs are designed to provide students with opportunities to connect with staff and peers prior to the start of the school year and to ease the transition to on-campus learning.
    • Increased hours for all school libraries. School libraries are social and academic centers for students. By increasing hours, we can provide greater access to libraries before school, during lunch, and/or after school.

    Grades DK-5

    • Provide increased classroom aide support at all grade levels. Each grade level will have 2 ‘Literacy and Numeracy’ aides trained in our instructional programs to provide support to students in the classroom.
    • No-cost summer remediation program for Summer of 2021 and Summer of 2022. This program is a week-long intensive intervention for students identified as having struggled to meet grade-level standards. 
    • Expand schoolwide intervention programs in math and English language arts.

    Grades 6-8

    • Develop a Math Intervention program to build skills for students who have struggled to meet grade-level standards.
    • Partnership with the UCLA Curtis Center (Math Education Department) to strengthen instructional planning, evaluate scope and sequence, and provide ongoing professional development for middle school math teachers.
    • Increased support of student connection programs (Challenge Success, Camp Medea, WEB, ASB). These programs provide students with a meaningful connection to their peers and the school community. 

    Grades 9-12

    • No-cost summer remediation program for students who have underperformed in selected required courses, including additional support for students. 
    • Increased support of the College and Career Center. More than ever, students and parents seek guidance for the college application and decision process. Increased staffing and resources will make the College and Career Center more accessible to students and their families.
    • Partnership with the UCLA Curtis Center (Math Education Department) to strengthen instructional planning, evaluate scope and sequence, and provide ongoing professional development for high school math teachers.

    We are looking forward to welcoming our students to a full in-person learning experience in fall and in the meantime, we continue to work towards a safe and fun end of the school year as we celebrate milestones for our culminating and graduating classes.