Ms. Patricia Vickman, Executive Director of Administration for the Oshkosh Area School District (OASD), writes:
“It’s not often that one finds a person who understands the ”nuts and bolts” of an educational system, has the capacity to ‘think out of the box’ in order to maximize the efficiency and efficacy of what a system does and can so effectively engage the staff he works with to challenge their thinking. His scholarship and his connections with state and national level resources have contributed not only to the depth of discussion to be held but also an advocacy created as both ambassador and confidante.”
For the past two years I served as the internal Educational Consultant for Disproportionality and Diversity Issues with the Oshkosh Area School District.
I am a writer, researcher, and thinker on the area of diversity and education.
I have developed of a comprehensive framework for addressing the issues of diversity on a universal, selected and targeted basis both in the community and in the district. Known as the Building Relationships In Diverse Groups for Educational Success (BRIDGES) project, I initiated conversations with both internal and external stakeholders to examine and influence the cultural contexts in our district – from student to family to staff to the larger community.
I established the North-Side Alliance (NSA), a group of the six principal leaders of the Title 1 schools in the District – each school having in excess of forty percent poverty. This Alliance was established so principals of schools with similar student populations, and hence similar challenges, could collectively network with community resources and each other, in meeting the educational needs of the students. Working relationships between and among schools, as well as other community resources were created and maintained.
As you know, part of the issue of poor rates of recruitment and retention, is the lack of readiness of children from traditionally underrepresented populations, to fully engage in social and academic culture of the higher education environment. Another issue is poor student-to-institute matching. For many parents of first-generation students, the concept of student-to-institute is foreign. Many of our parents are simply elated to have their kids going to college. As we know, it is not that simple.
Dr. Al Felice