All 15 Childhood Development Centers (CDC) and 13 State Preschool Programs operated by the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) have received a 4-star rating through the district’s participation in Quality Counts, Alameda County’s Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS). OUSD provides Early Childhood Education (ECE) through preschool services at 13 elementary schools and 15 CDCs throughout the City of Oakland.
The 2016-17 school year is the second year of full-participation in Quality Counts. During the 2015-16 school year, 18 sites received a rating of a four, nine sites received a three and one site received a two.
Thanks to dramatic growth during the 2016-2017 school year, OUSD had the opportunity to re-rate the sites that had a 2- or 3-rating.
“Research shows that high quality early education experiences benefit all children,” says Drew Giles, co-director of OUSD’s ECE Department.
“Our educators are committed to providing educational experiences that focus on the whole child,” said Giles. “At least 70 percent of ECE staff participate in voluntary professional development opportunities outside of their contract time.”
There are many reasons for the increase in the ratings, including committed and hardworking educators, data-driven professional development and coaching from the New Teacher Center, according to the district.
In addition to receiving the recognition that our ECE programs deserve, the preschool programs receive additional funding from the state of California by participating in Quality Counts.
The funds are administered by Alameda County’s Early Care and Education Planning Council and First 5 Alameda County. Funds are used to purchase classroom materials, technology, facility improvements and professional development.
OUSD Early Childhood Education is currently enrolling for the 2017-18 school year. In the upcoming school year, OUSD will be offering developmental screenings to all children to ensure that they receive individualized support based on their developmental needs.
For more information on ECE programs in Oakland, visit www.ousd.org/ece.