I have two kids that attend Oceanside Unified School District (used to be three, one just graduated in Spring 2018.)
OUSD is a medium sized district, with 23 school sites, a budget usually around $220M/year, and attendence that hovers around 18,000 kids.
Here is their web page:
I love the schools here, the teachers are great, the administration and District are truly interested in making the education of our kids better.
Because of this I volunteer somewhat extensively to help, particularly to make sure the parent perspective is represented – not only mine but all parents.
I don’t know whether we’re having the impact we’d like to have, but you’ve got to try, right?
My school “resume”…
- Past Parent Representative for the District’s budget steering committee, called the “LCAP” (Local Control Accountability Plan) Committee here in California. The LCAP is a requirement of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) law and requires the production of an annual Local Control Accountability Plan by each district, in theory to document the reasoning behind the District’s budgeting priorities I was involved in this for three years, from the 2014-15 school year (where I was the only parent representative) through the 2017-18 school year, during which time I was thankfully joined by a few other interested parents.
- Past co-leader of the District’s Parent Advisory Committee – the DPAC. This committee represents the best opportunity in the district for parents to be a part of the decision making process. With essential work by my co-leader Stacy Begin (who is really the driving force behind the organization of it all…) we attempted to make sure everyone’s voice is heard on issues that affect all of us with kids in the district’s schools.During my time as co-leader (I resigned in Spring 2018) attendance went from often “less than 10” parents in 2015 to our 2017-18 meetings, which typically had close to 50 people in the room – including great representation from school administration and the district.If you’re interested in participating – and everyone with kids in OUSD schools should be – the district’s site for this (with schedule and location information) is at:
and there’s a Facebook group you can follow and join at:
You DO NOT NEED TO BE A MEMBER of the Committee to attend meetings. Every parent is welcome, and they often have food and child care.
Well worth a couple hours of your time every month or so.
And you should follow the Facebook page whether you attend meetings or not, it occasionally highlights issues of importance to all OUSD parents.
- Part of the small group of parents who originally organized a committee for the Oceanside Parent Network Group, an umbrella organization that helps the local PTO groups to share ideas and communicate with each other.In 2017,Stacy and I realized that the local PTO’s could use some help connecting with each other, to share ideas and support. With the help of the district (particularly Kasia Obrzut, Erin English, and now Deb Wickman) and fellow parent Corinna Goodwin (who was essential…) we organized the initial Parent Networking Group meeting in Spring 2017, as well as implementing an idea-sharing website.
The PNG – now called “Oside Parents 4 Kids” (OP4K) is now up and running and in the capable hands of Jaime Guches and Corrina who have stepped up to keep the idea alive and well.
They have a Facebook page (good to follow also) at:
And their resource website is at:
- Current member of the local High School’s “site council”. State law requires each school site to have a steering committee, called the “site council”, with representation by the stakeholder groups – parents, teachers, administration, students.I’ve been a member of El Camino High School’s council since the 2016-17 school year and, I hope, contributing to helping our school improve.
- Participated in a group called the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF, again…) “Test Kitchen.” This is a small group – a subset of the LCAP committee, that is one of three such groups working with state organizations (WestEd, CCEE, Pivot Learning, etc) to improve the entire LCAP process to ensure greater transparency and encourage more participation by the community overall.
- And of course an intermittent presence at School Board meetings (where I occasionally sign up to speak, likely much to everyone’s dismay) as well as the local school’s “coffee with the principal”, “Back to School night”, and any other parent-involved meetings.
In all this, my real core mission is to make sure that we have a consistent process in place to communicate between District and Parents, to make sure parent voices are heard, and – I hope – to hold the District accountable for the decisions they make that may not quite follow what the parents feel their interests are…
If you have any interest in being involved in any of this, I can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated 9/15/2019 6:35 AM