Acceleration High Schools and TSA Positions
On Thursday, February 23, OUSD’s Office of School Transformation informed the faculties at Castlemont, Fremont and McClymonds of a plan to change the staffing process at these high-need schools, also referred to as “acceleration” high schools. The essence of this plan is that in March 2012, all teaching positions at the Acceleration Schools (roughly 60 in all) will be reclassified as 11-month Teacher on Special Assignment (TSA) positions. The TSA positions will be posted as vacancies, and teachers from within OUSD, as well as outside candidates, will be eligible to apply, with first consideration given to those teachers already working at one of the Acceleration Schools. Internal candidates not selected as Acceleration High School TSAs are guaranteed another position within the District.
The TSA roles include a 204-day work year in place of the conventional 186-day year, and 10 hours of non-instructional time a month, as opposed to the current five-hours. In exchange for this and other professional duties included in the job description, the typical TSA will receive an additional month’s worth of compensation. The additional compensation is made possible by a $300,000 investment in Castlemont, Fremont and McClymonds that is part of a larger, overall commitment to improving these three schools.
For Castlemont and Fremont, the announcement grew out of a year-long design process led by the Office of School Transformation. This process included site-based faculty, staff and administration, as well as community members and bargaining unit representatives in the work of transforming Castlemont and Fremont into high-quality, full-service community schools that are schools of choice for their local neighborhoods and competitive with other, larger schools elsewhere in the city. The decision to include McClymonds reflects OUSD’s increased emphasis on West Oakland and the Board directive to prioritize this part of the city in the District’s school improvement efforts.
The Acceleration High Schools staffing proposal reflects the urgent need to accelerate student learning at historically underserved sites and the critical importance of investing time and resources at these schools. Doing so will allow faculty to consistently implement high-leverage practices that are proven to boost academic achievement and create better outcomes for students.