Photo | Chris Valentine
Parents, teachers, students, and professors went to Hayward City Hall on Saturday for the first Made in Hayward education summit.
Made in Hayward strives to bring all educational institutions of Hayward together to make Hayward an “education city” and create clear pathways for students to get a college education.
Representatives from California State University, East Bay, Chabot College, Hayward Unified School District, Heald College, and Life Chiropractic College West spoke about the importance of helping students graduate high school and go to college.
Matt Wayne, Ed.D., assistant superintendent of the Hayward Unified School District, stated in the presentation that even though there has been a 7.4 percent increase in graduation rates from 2011 to 2013, 24 percent of high school students in HUSD are still not graduating. Made in Hayward was launched in August 2013, after students graduated the previous June.
“It is important that the Hayward community come together so that students reach their full potential,” said Wayne.
The school district also cites charter school Leadership Public Schools, Hayward as another education success story.
“This year, we graduated 2 students that will be attending Stanford University, which is pretty impressive because the graduating class is about 110 students,” said Michael DeSousa, the school’s principal.
At the event there was a K-12 education panel that spoke about the importance of college and the reasons for the improvements in HUSD is to create a culture of higher expectations for students.
“Students used to have a ‘give me the D and get off my back’ type of attitude,” said Elaine Blasi, head of school at Silver Oak High School. “That’s not the case anymore, if a student gets a D, they are given their paper back and are expected to look at their mistakes and turn it in again.”
In addition, the school district has worked with the Puente program from Chabot College, which is a program that focuses on rigorous teaching and academic counseling. The program has begun to target Bret Hart and Ochoa middle schools. Their main focus is it to graduate more students and send them to college.
“The goal is to get to students early, which is why we target middle schools,” said Wayne.
According to Chabot College’s website, “Over 5,500 students have enrolled in the Puente community college program. Over 2,000 professionals donate over 18,000 hours annually to Puente students.”