Every single day, LPS strives to honor the potential of our students, to close the achievement gap in our communities, and to create educational equity in our country.
Louise Bay Waters
Superintendent and CEO
Chair, LPS Board of Trustees
At LPS Oakland’s graduation, Josefina Flores, the Class of 2016 valedictorian, gave a speech to the hundreds of students and family members in the audience.
“Very few see the potential in East Oakland students” she said, “but we are destined for greatness. Our class is attending colleges that prior LPS classes have not attended…No matter what path we take, we are ready to be the change and the hope for our community.”This past year has been a tremendous testament to the potential of our students and our school network, a year defined by both change and hope. It is true, this year’s graduating class is attending more colleges, and more four-year schools, than ever before. Thanks to our unique early college partnership with Merritt Community College, Josefina started at UC Berkeley this fall with a year of course credit and the confidence of knowing how to navigate the higher education system. Our Navigate Math program, developed with the edtech non-profit Gooru, continued to ensure that LPS 9th graders grow nearly three times the national average in math, putting them on the path to graduate from high school prepared to succeed in college. And our academic results have put us among the top high schools in the Bay Area, with especially significant achievement in English Language Arts. Strong as 2015-16 was, it also marked a painful transition when LPS San Jose officially closed in June. The rapid growth of charter high schools and the steep increase in area housing costs made sustainable enrollment impossible to achieve. Staff worked tirelessly to ensure that all students transferred to another high-quality school, and a small one-year program remains for seniors in 2016-17. This change was hard, but it has strengthened our commitment to our mission. Every single day, LPS strives to honor the potential of our students, to close the achievement gap in our communities, and to create educational equity in our country. Like Josefina, we believe there are many pathways to success, to changing the future for the better, and to instilling hope. And the truth is, LPS students are not only destined for greatness, they are already achieving greatness every day. Please join us in celebrating this past year, and in looking forward to all the greatness we will continue to build.