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Every single student deserves to feel welcomed, cared for, and supported to succeed in school.

Unfortunately, every single day a student of color will wake up, go to school, sit in class, walk the halls for an entire school year without being able to identify a single caring adult at school.

Student leaders have set out to change this reality in California’s schools. This year students are setting powerful examples of what schools can look like when students and educators lead together. Here is what students are doing to pave the way for Relationship Centered Schools across the state so that every student can reach their full potential:

Retaining High-Quality Teachers Starts With Relationships in Oakland

At Californians for Justice, we understand that teachers are integral to the success of students. However, Oakland is experiencing a teacher shortage. This means that our school districts’ increased demands for teachers are unmet because of an inability to recruit & retain high-quality teachers.

Statistics show that over 70% of new teachers leave OUSD within five years. That is why it is crucial to create the conditions that teachers need to feel successful and stay in our schools.

This year, students will collaborate with teachers, school leaders, and district staff to execute different strategies to retain our teachers in order to find real solutions to our teacher shortage. Additionally, Californians for Justice will release our report, detailing solutions to retain and support teachers. We will push for our report’s recommendations in the budgeting process, as well as lead a long-term plan to sustain our teachers in order to have Relationship Centered Schools.

A Vision for Relationship Centered Schools Realized In San Jose

This school year, San Jose is building off its win – passing a Relationship Centered Schools resolution – and working on implementing Relationship Centered Schools in our district and our 3 early adopter schools.

We will begin this process with a retreat in September, bringing together district and site administration, community partners, parents, and students to build the vision for Relationship Centered Schools in the Eastside. The design process will then move to the individual early adopter schools. These schools will develop plans that meet their school’s specific needs and demographics. Our goal is to announce our vision and implementation plans for ESUHSD and our 3 early adopter schools in the spring of next year.

This is a really exciting moment for Relationship Centered Schools campaign in San Jose because we are creating a collaborative design team that incorporates community stakeholders and is setting forth a vision and implementation model that we can build across the state.

Designing Schools Based on Relationships In Fresno

This year, youth leaders will play a critical role as partners with district officials, administration, teachers, and parents on a design team to shape the implementation of Relationship Centered Schools in the Fresno Unified School District. There will be three early adopter schools in the district that will take the lead in transforming our schools to value student voice, invest in staff, and create space for relationship building.

This is a very exciting moment for our youth leaders because they are reclaiming their education system and laying the foundation for Relationship Centered Schools in Fresno. One day, all students will be able to identify a caring adult on campus and feel excited about going to school thanks to the incredible work that our young folks are doing in Fresno!

Student-Teacher Relationships Thrive In Long Beach

While summer is coming to an end, our Relationship Centered Schools campaign is picking up in Long Beach. We are excited to kick-off our Relationship Centered Schools Taskforce at Cabrillo High School, a coalition with teachers, school administration, and other community organizations to pilot various Relationship Centered Schools practices including the 3 + Me mentorship program.

The program matches select teachers with three students who might be at risk of suspension or not graduating. The teachers commit to consistently check in with their students, help them work through academic and personal problems, and support them throughout their high school experience.

The program is designed to help students and teachers build positive relationships outside the classroom. We look forward to seeing relationships thrive through this effort.

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