As partners with the West Contra Costa Unified School District, the Ed Fund continues to support the district in meeting its goal of providing the best education for all students. By focusing on 5 areas of growth, we are helping fund initiatives that reimagine our public schools and use our strengths as a starting point.
WCCUSD COVID-19 RESPONSE FUND
In partnership with West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD), we provided a Covid-19 Rapid Response Fund to support vulnerable students and families. We raised nearly $600,000 for cash grants to help families stay housed, purchase food and other essential supplies. We also worked to provide our students with Wi-Fi access to engage in remote learning. With your support of the fund, we served over 667 families with financial disbursements.
With the return to in-person instruction, we are actively working with the district to meet the needs of this transition that are safe and equitable.
“One family had it’s primary earner lose a job and income for a period before finding a new job. This family was able to pay part of their rent and all of their utilities bills using the Rapid Relief payment. The head of the family said it came at the perfect time.”
2022-2023 School Year Update
With all students back on campus for the second year in a row, the district continues to follow state guidelines when dealing with COVID-19. The district, in line with the California Department of Public Health, advises all WCCUSD community members to get vaccinated, and stay up-to-date on their booster shots.
COVID-19 testing will be available at each school site for the first two weeks of school, and group tracing will also take place. The district is also offering testing at three non-school sites Monday through Friday from 8 to 4 p.m:
- Alvarado Adult School (625 Sutter Ave, Richmond)
- The district central office (1108 Bissell Ave, Richmond)
- Ohlone Elementary (201 Turquoise Dr, Hercules -note that the testing site is located in the parking lot on Pheasant Drive).
In order to receive a COVID-19 test, everyone must be enrolled in the LSA system.
After the first two weeks, testing will be available for exposed groups, and will take place 3-5 days after exposure. Families can also request at-home COVID-19 tests from their school sites.
Masks are no longer required, but are highly recommended for students and staff when indoors. Disposable masks will be available at each school site.
For more information about the district’s COVID-19 plan, view their Back to School COVID information here.
In Phase 2, we moved from cash grants to quality distance learning instruction. This includes:
- Seeking resources to provide professional development for teachers and leaders
- Providing trainings for effective distance learning
- Securing additional Chromebooks and internet hotspots
In partnership with the district this past spring, we were able to provide 23,998 chrome books and 1,795 hot spots to our students. We realize that there is additional need and we are working vigorously to meet that need for additional devices and connectivity.
The Ed Fund worked on refreshing half of our aging student Chromebook fleet for the 2021-22 school year and providing internet hot spots to students. We expect to purchase at least 1,000 additional hot spots for students. We are also working on providing access to the best software and online learning tools for our approximately 29,000 students. While many online learning resources were free in the spring, they now require fees in the fall. We are working on securing licenses for distance learning websites and providing teachers with training on effective distance learning practices.
“[The rapid relief payment] helped a family feel like someone cared about them and was trying to support them, and that meant a lot to them by giving them a spiritual boost.”
THANK YOU TO OUR DONORS
We have secured over $600,000 thanks to partners like the Hellman Foundation and 100+ generous individuals, including:
- Hellman Foundation
- East Bay Community Foundation
- Irene S. Scully Foundation
- Jewish Community Foundation
- The California Endowment
- The Lesher Foundation
- Chevron Corporation
- Travis Credit Union
- MicroMobility Industries
- Wesiser-Fuller (Jewish Community Foundation)
- Yellow Chair Foundation
- Contra Costa Regional Health Foundation
- Irene S Scully Family Foundation
- Steve and Sally Schroeder
- Lisa Schaffer
- Bridget Coughran
We have mobilized over $250,000 in funds for district wide STEM programming, equipment improvements and fiscal sponsorship. With partners, such as Chevron, we have been able to assist with the creation of projects that increase the STEM achievements of our students and create an atmosphere of STEM as an integral part of the whole child.
Kennedy High School’s Fab Lab is the first established at a public school on the west coast. The establishment of Fab Lab Richmond has been funded by a generous grant from Chevron to the Fab Foundation. Fab Lab Richmond serves the WCCUSD K-12 community through class study trips, evening and weekend classes, technical training, and open labs. In addition, the development of Fab Lab Richmond greatly enhances our Linked Learning Initiative with a focus on project-based learning and worldwide collaboration through the international Fab Lab Network.
Quintessential to the experience of students in the FabLab class at Kennedy High School is the experience of creating. Due to school closures, students have not had access to the lab or it’s equipment, and thus have not had the experience of applying their knowledge to hands on fabrication. In partnership with Chevron, the Ed Fund purchased wooden mechanical 3-D model sets, giving students the opportunity to experience the FabLab curriculum at home.
Fab Lab made possible through a generous grant from:
FISCAL PROJECT HIGHLIGHT
Through our fiscally sponsored projects, students have the opportunity to engage in various programs that instill a love of STEM. Projects include:
We aim to strengthen a generation of readers and writers. Empowering students to be lifelong readers and writers is a high priority of WCCUSD. The importance of equipping teachers with literacy instructional resources has become even more critical with recent COVID-19 related disruptions. Through partnership with Teachers College Reading and Writing Project (TCRWP), we are building the capacity of Elementary Literacy Teacher Leaders (ELTL) through Lab Work. Additionally, we help keep students engaged and learning during the summer through Camp Achieve, an 8-week summer camp with quality education courses and enrichment activities.
With partners such as the Irene S. Scully Foundation, we have mobilized over $250,000 for district-wide literacy programming. Currently, WCCUSD is in the third year of the adoption and implementation of Teacher’s College (TCRWP) district wide.
WCCUSD lab sites provide intensive coaching and professional development designed to help select teacher leaders become empowered to bring learning back to their own school. We are committed to coordination with the African-American Site Advisory Team (AASAT), an advisory group made up of Parent and District Leaders dedicated to promoting quality education for Black students and are actively engaged with other departments to ensure literacy work is aligned with the district’s larger racial equity initiatives. We’re forming relationships and shared understandings among units of study to support these collaborations. These sites serve 38 elementary schools, and benefit 1,216 students!
The Scully Foundation funded 3 lab sites during the 2019-2020 school year. In the 2020-2021 school year, teachers at highest need sites from Bayview and King have received professional development opportunities. Lab sites are hubs for lead teachers to learn TCRWP coaching methods. Each identified lead teacher spends 5 days at the lab site hub across the year with ongoing support through their Professional Learning Community.
Lab sites made possible through the generous support from:
Starting in 2013, the Ed Fund, in partnership with WCCUSD and the City of Richmond, has been offering free summer camp programs at four local community centers – Nevin, Booker T. Anderson, Parchester, and Shields-Reid.
The Ed Fund works with WCCUSD certified teachers and high-quality enrichment providers to ensure every camper has fun and develops their skills throughout the summer. For eight weeks, children and youth take part in all-day enrichment activities that include Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM), history, literacy, performing arts, healthy living, and music classes. Classes were led by local organizations including Richmond Art Center, East Bay Center for Performing Arts, West Coast Chess Alliance, Read-Aloud, and more!
With the support of the Hellman Foundation, the WCCUSD Literacy Department has been able to hire bilingual paraprofessionals who target a combined 1,169 English Language Learners in grades K-2 at Highland, Cesar, Chevez, Grant, and J.O Ford. These paraprofessionals support our language learners with foundational literacy skills – which students struggle with after distance learning.
We continue to mobilize resources to address the climate and culture needs of each individual school in the district. With a diverse student body, it is important to consider the different needs of our students and community at large. Through various partnerships, we are working on addressing learning needs and restorative justice initiatives. These are vital to focusing on the achievements of individual groups in the district. We are currently working with Lincoln, Downer, Montalvin K-8 and Verde K-8, but we are looking at expanding district wide. Our work further extends into the community with the convening of intergenerational Black Village Network.
LEARNER CENTERED DESIGN
As a part of a partnership with the Hewlett Foundation, we launched a Learner Centered Design Grant Program. WCCUSD principals submitted applications to further develop their sites for learner centered spaces with a focus on equity and deeper learning.
We are proud to have awarded $356,227 to 18 schools:
- Bayview Elementary
- Chavez Elementary
- Collins Elementary
- Crespi Middle School
- De Anza High School
- Ellerhorst Elementary
- Harding Elementary
- Helms Middle School
- Highland Elementary
- Korematsu Middle School
- Michelle Obama Elementary
- Montalvin Manor K-8
- Nystrom Elementary
- Richmond High School
- Shannon Elementary
- Verde K-8
- West County Mandarin
This grant program was made Possible through a generous grant from:
AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT
Through various partnerships, we are working towards maintaining African American student achievement as a focus in the work we do. The Ed Fund has secured $100,000 to support the Office of African American Achievement.
We recently partnered with the Office of African American Student Achievement to offer our 2020 Scholarships to graduating seniors. For a list of 2020 scholars, visit our scholarships page.
BLACK VILLAGE NETWORK
The Black Village Network launched in 2021, and the pilot concluded in 2022. The collaboration between the West Contra Costa Public Education Fund (Ed Fund) and Building Blocks for Kids (BBK) focused on uplifting the voices of emerging Black leaders in West Contra Costa County. By establishing BVN as a co-designed project, participants had a significant impact in deciding the scope of the learning community. BVN members participate in workshops and lead discussions within the community.
The BVN cohort consists of 21 community members broken up into four “innovator” groups. These teams tackled an issue that they identified at their school, or in their community. In July 2022, the teams all met together for a capstone gathering to discuss their vision of what comes next for the Village and presented to each other their ideas. Some major conversations that arose were:
- Creating dedicated spaces for Black community members to make connections
- Promoting intergenerational connections that center healing, recreation and joy
- Investing in more Social Emotional support for Black teenagers (and tutoring!)
- Gun violence and the effects on the youth
Hear from a few of the participants of the pilot year!
33% of our students are English Language learners. To address the learning hurdles that newly arrived students face, the WCCUSD and its Multilingual and Multicultural Department opened Internationals Academy at Richmond High School. The Internationals Academy is specifically designed to serve recently arrived immigrant and refugee English learners (ELs) and ensure that they reach high-level of academic achievements and complete the requirements to attend college when they graduate from high school. The Ed Fund granted the International program $75,000 to support their work in WCCUSD.
The Internationals Network supports 28 schools and academies nationwide. Richmond High school’s Internationals Academy joins other successful high schools in San Francisco and Oakland. The partnership is designed to increase services and improve academic outcomes for immigrant and refugee youth in West Contra Costa County.
An area we are working to address is the need for student supports in the classroom and outside. This support is grounded in restorative practices, positive behavior, interventions and support (PBIS), and trauma informed practices. Restorative Practices effectively foster supportive and safe school climates by preventing, addressing, and changing behaviors that hurt individuals, families, schools, and communities. They provide the structures and skills needed to create and maintain positive relationships. With our sponsorship of restorative justice coordinators, we are working with the district to meet the social-emotional needs of all students.
KENNEDY FAMILY OF SCHOOLS
The Kennedy Family of Schools Initiative is centered around transforming the quality of leading, learning and teaching in seven of our highest need/under resourced Richmond schools. Among the efforts well-underway in many of the target Kennedy Family Schools is a set of strategies intended to strengthen school culture. These strategies seek to build efficacy of teachers, students and families, and sharpen the focus and implementation of each schools’ theory of action.
To date the Ed Fund has raised over $850,000 to support these schools.
YOUTH ACCESS TO OPPORTUNITY FUND
The Ed Fund recently helped secure an annual $200,000 grant for Kennedy High School. The purpose of Youth Access to Opportunity is to support youth to be on a path towards economic well-being by advancing educational equity in their schools. This is achieved through empowering school site leadership to allocate financial resources in support of the following interventions:
- Positive school climate
- Teacher retention and support
- College and career readiness
During the 2019-2020 school year, Kennedy High School administration used funds to:
- Increase support to Latinx newcomer students through expanding a contract with Catholic Charities of the East Bay. This partnership seeks to train teachers in restorative justice and trauma informed practices in the classroom as well as direct student mediation and counseling in Spanish. During shelter-in-place, Catholic Charities of the East Bay moved from providing in class restorative justice support to support for newcomers to navigate online learning as well as the intense needs in their communities.
- Institute a peer coaching program for first year math and science teachers to improve instructional practice. Veteran teacher coaches provided professional development on classroom management, data, and assessment, and building student narrative curriculum to newer teachers. During distance learning, peer coaches provided extra support to new teachers as they transitioned to online teaching.
- Engage Richmond Promise to hold early college awareness workshops for students and families. The workshops assisted families in understanding the entire college admissions process including: accessing financial aid, building financial literacy, and supporting students through the high school to college transition.
Youth Access to Opportuity made possible through the generous support from:
PARTNERS IN SCHOOL INNOVATION
The Ed Fund entered into a two year $344,00 grant with Partners in School Innovation to:
- Move schools towards sustainable transformation and further systematize the structures and routines that have been built over the past three years.
- Bring a deep, intentional focus on improving the core instructional program at school sites via continued distance learning, hybrid teaching, and in-person teaching.
This partnership has provided network facilitation support for regularly scheduled convenings in the seven Kennedy Family of schools. Seven network sessions have been hosted and focused on two strands of work: equity and instruction. The equity strand focused on trauma, internalized oppression, and stereotype threat. For instruction, schools have selected a focus group of students, identified an instructional strategy to support those students, and then used a continuous improvement process called the Results-oriented Cycle of Inquiry (ROCI) to reflect and adjust as needed. All seven school sites have had someone from the district who is a specialist from that area attend at least two sessions with them, building connections between a school site and a district staff member. During the May network session, the teams will come to the question of “what do we do now?”
This partnership also continues to support district-level coaching with WCCUSD’s Curriculum and Assessment Director and the Literacy and English Learner Director. As part of this, Professional Development opportunities have been developed that the two departments are committed to implementing. An explicit component is now focused on supporting African American and English learners.
This partnership made possible through the generous support from:
Lincoln is located in the most challenged neighborhood of Richmond. It has historically been overlooked for additional supports from WCCUSD and the community, even though it has among the highest need students and lowest outcomes. More than 94% of Lincoln’s 381 students are eligible for free and/or reduced price lunch.
Creating a culture of caring schools is essential for quality education and is a high priority of WCCUSD. Over the past three years, Lincoln Elementary School’s team has focused on ensuring their highest needs students receive the academic and behavioral supports to be successful. The Ed Fund was able to secure additional resources for Lincoln to establish an initial partnership with Seneca this year.
Through this partnership, the coordinator and the Seneca Coach collaborated with school staff and the psychologist to hone the CARE process. The CARE team at Lincoln Elementary meets on a weekly basis and has the task of triaging students upon teacher and caregiver referral. The team collectively generates interventions and support plans to assist and address any concerns surrounding a student and/or family.
KENNEDY LOVE FUND
We recognize that not all resources are distributed equally throughout the district. Through the generous support from a community champion, we have launched our “Adopt-a-School” program at Kennedy High School (KHS) and created a new fund, “Kennedy Love”. By “adopting” a school, donors can ensure that collectively we direct resources where they are most needed in the district. Past year’s focus was to support student field trips, exposing students to learning, and experiences beyond the confines of the classroom.
We are currently working towards adding more schools to personalize the giving experience. Click here to donate to the Kennedy Love Fund. If you are interested in supporting a school, please contact us to learn more information about our Adopt-a-School program.
Funding for Kennedy School Trips has been temporarily suspended due to COVID-19.