Skip to main content

Reading List: The Small Schools Initiative in OUSD

History of small schools initiative in Oakland


**Oakland Unified School District. (2008). Small schools initiative: Background and history (PowerPoint presentation). Not available online.


This PowerPoint presentation was prepared for the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) board of education. It is an overview of the small school initiative in OUSD. It includes general information about the history of the small schools initiative in OUSD, how the term small schools is define with the district practices, the incubation process and curriculum, the demographics of the small schools, graphs to compare schools academic performance before and after the initiative.


Oakland’s New Small Schools Initiative Background. Not available online.


This document prepared by the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) is a nice complement to the PowerPoint presentation. It provides more in-depth information about the history of the small schools initiative in OUSD. It describes the main role played by the community in the development of the initiative, the initiative’s growth from just a few small charter schools in the district into a public and system wide effort for small school reform, and the parallel transformation of the design of the Central District office in OUSD (work that is still in process). This piece also provides information about the internal re-organization the district experienced (such as the creation of teams for the board to pass the district policy, the proposal design team, changes made in the Incubator curriculum as part of the process, and the incremental opening and conversion of more small schools.


The road to small schools. OUSD document. Not available online..


This document provides a graphic picture of the Small Schools Initiative in OUSD from 1997 through 2004. It names the schools that were part of the initiative, participants in the change, and other contextual information about Oakland in this period of time


Incubation Process, Brief Summary and related materials. Not available online.


This set of documents describes the process for developing new small schools in OUSD, including a description of the “curriculum” for the school planning team , coaching services available, proposal requirements, and a sample new school proposal.