So as I was writing the article about my students’ summer school internships, my colleague asked a great question.  She commented that she was loving the vignettes about the jobs my students were doing.  She was especially impressed with the metacognitive aspect of Schulyar’s job re-writing the same curriculum that we were using for our Monday workshops.  “How did you get this organized, Dave?” she asked.  “My bet is that teachers reading this are going to want to know how you got this set up.”

The short answer: “I didn’t.”

It takes a team

Long before I was involved with our Education Academy, Oakland schools were working on connecting school to career.  According to Susan Benz in the district’s college and career offices,  “The idea came from the OUSD Strategic Plan, the Linked Learning model, and many years of the previous OUSD School to Career Office running hundreds of summer student internships.”

In the Spring, our Education team at Skyline High School started making the contacts with employers who might host our summer interns.  Anya, our director, had ten employers who had hosted our students in prior years.  She contacted them to see if they might like to repeat the experience.

Katie, our science teacher, and I contacted a few education-related non-profits and businesses that we had relationships with to see if they might like to host an intern.

Co-currently with these conversations with potential employers, Anya was recruiting our juniors to be potential employees.

Meanwhile, in our classrooms, Anya and I were doing a series of workshops to get our students prepared for their eventual internships.  Susan and her team, in collaboration with ConenctED, wrote a linked-learning curriculum and trained career-technical ed teachers across the city to facilitate it.

Across town, Susan and her team at Oakland College and Career office were having conversations with the city government and other potential funders.  It was her success that allowed us to offer our students an $800 stipend in addition to the ten credits that they would receive for the summer.

Summer time

Once school ended, the recruitment team had accomplished our goals.  Our group of students were recruited, interviewed, and placed with our intern hosts.  Then, it was time for me to join the summer team.

I was one of six teachers running a Monday workshop and supervising a group of student interns.

On my team was Courtney, who works in the College and Career office.  Courtney’s job organized all of my student interns into a spreadsheet, detaining who was working where, who their supervisor was, and everyone’s contact information.  Twice, I had a student drop out of our program and Courtney took care of contacting everyone involved, keeping them in the loop.   All summer long, she collaborated with me to keep track of our interns, checking in with them and their supervisors to see how everyone was doing.

Additionally, the College and Career team manage all of the HR processes and payroll.  Most importantly, they applied for grant funds, attracted supporters, and generally proselytized the benefits of linked learning to anyone who would listen.

Two of my students with Oakland Mayor Jean Quan


While I was driving from site to site, talking with interns and supervisors, Susan, Courtney and the rest of the team began organizing the end of summer showcase for our Interns.

The team contacted a local restaurant to host and handle the hors d’oeuvres.   They contacted the mayor’s office, other city luminaries, and all of our intern hosts extending invitations.




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