By Michael Ramirez
February 17, 2011
OAKLAND — Oakland Aviation High School has overcome many challenges in its five years of existence.
After hiring a principal and finding another school building last year, the school has new issues to address — renewing its charter and improving test scores.
Oakland Aviation High, like all charter schools in the Oakland Unified School District, is subject to renewal every five years. The school will host an open house Thursday to recruit new students as it awaits a decision on its renewal petition submitted last week.
“We have accomplished a lot in half a year,” said Krista Werner, an academic counselor. “We would like a chance to see what we can do in five years.”
Troy Flint, spokesman for OUSD, said decisions regarding petitions are usually made within 60 days. “Charters have a rigorous review process,” he said. “Every petition will have a thorough and fair hearing, which I’m sure will be the case for Oakland Aviation High.”
In addition to the standard curriculum, Oakland Aviation High provides students with skills to enter the field of aviation maintenance technology. Some students have even earned their pilot’s license.
Principal Connie Spinnato, who was hired during the summer, said the student body includes at-risk students who have low test scores and are in danger of not graduating.
Students are tested quarterly to make sure their skills are up to standards. The school now offers lunchtime and after-school tutoring, and students can help each other in a peer-tutoring program.
Spinnato said they “are modifying our curriculum to change discrepancies in low test scores.”
Werner, also a newcomer to the high school, helped build the school counseling program from the ground up. New programs designed to help students include visits from college representatives, vocational schools and even on-the-spot admissions for those applying to a four-year college.
There is also a class designed for parents to teach them how to understand school transcripts.
The school’s new location on Edgewater Drive doesn’t have character like the old site, Spinnato said, but we “are more united. It’s a new beginning that students and faculty built together.”
Oakland Aviation High
What: Open house
When: 6-8 p.m. Thursday
Where: Oakland Aviation High, 7801 Edgewater Dr., Suite 2000, Oakland