Oakland Unified School District
A primary emphasis of SEL implementation in Oakland is that social and emotional learning includes race, class, gender, culture, history, and gender identity. Oakland's leaders are committed to intentionally addressing inequities and sustaining a transformation of practices, policies, and beliefs. OUSD is planning for a districtwide change strategy with approaches to explicitly model social and emotional learning skills and competencies through experiences that have a high degree of relevance to the district’s diverse population. An important goal is for all participants to feel well-positioned and empowered to transform the culture of OUSD into one that expects, prioritizes, integrates, and supports SEL and leadership across the system.
Beginning in 2009, OUSD has coalesced around a five-year strategic plan (“Community Schools, Thriving Students”) and a long-term vision that “serves the whole child, eliminates inequity, and provides each child with excellent teachers every day.” The district bases this vision and strategy on three areas of focus: (1) high-quality instructional core, (2) social and emotional health and well-being, and (3) equitable opportunities for learning. Also important are partnerships with the College Board, Panasonic Foundation, and CASEL
In addition, OUSD leaders have trained more than 200 staff members in restorative justice practices and have incorporated a conflict resolution and peer mediation program into the district curriculum. The district has adopted the Caring School Community evidence-based SEL program in 21 elementary schools, as well as a three-tiered model of prevention, suspension alternatives, and supported re-entry to school for students in 13 pilot schools. To evaluate and expand this work, the district is designing a comprehensive evaluation system that will gather evidence for assessing SEL and restorative-justice practices.
About the Superintendent
Antwan Wilson became superintendent of OUSD on July 1, 2014. Previously he served as assistant superintendent for post-secondary readiness in the Denver Public Schools, where he was responsible for leading Denver’s middle, high, and Intensive Pathway schools. He also headed Denver’s School Turnaround efforts, the College and Career Office, the Student Engagement Office, and the Athletics Office. Under his leadership, there were significant improvements in graduation rates and the numbers of students entering college, a doubling of AP courses, a tripling of concurrent enrollment, and a revamping of district Intensive Pathway options. He had previously served as a principal at the high school and middle school levels in Denver and Wichita, and before this he worked as an assistant principal and teacher in Wichita, Kan., Lincoln, Neb., and Raleigh, N.C. He graduated with distinction from Nebraska Wesleyan University with a bachelor’s degree in history-social science education, and he holds a Master of School Leadership Degree from Friends University. He was a member of the 2013-14 Broad Superintendent’s Academy 2.0 Cohort.
OUSD was featured in a recent Huffington Post article titled "A New Model of School Reform." Click here to read the article.
Joined CDI: 2012
Total Student Enrollment: 46,584
- Largest Racial/Ethnic Student Groups: Hispanic (39.8 percent) and Black (31.5 percent)
- Economically Disadvantaged Students: 69.9 percent
- Students with Limited English Proficiency:
- Students with Disabilities (Individualized Education Programs): 10.6 percent
Total Number of Schools: 98
- Elementary: 62
- Middle: 20
- High: 16
SEL Web page:
Director, Family, Schools and Community Partnerships
Senior District Consultant
Ann McKay Bryson