In February Old Adobe Union School District students at all five schools participated in mid-year STAR reading and STAR math assessments. These relatively short online assessments provide a research tested and comparative level in reading and math- millions of students take them annually. All year long I have been sharing about the inspired teaching and learning in our schools. I am happy to report that this hard work in reading, critical thinking, and mathematics is paying off. Probably the easiest way to understand these test results is in grade level equivalents. An average student is expected to grow 1.0 grade equivalent per year and we took these exams almost exactly half way in the school year so would expect .5 grade equivalent growth. Instead our average was far higher. Across the district both reading and math averaged about .8 grade equivalent,

Dr. Yamashiro has spent over 22 years as an East Bay Area teacher, principal, and district office administrator. Immediately prior to starting as Superintendent of Old Adobe Union School District in 2014, Dr. Yamashiro completed his doctorate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education's prestigous new Doctor of Education Leadership program.


Dr. Yamashiro began his career in education as a teacher at Allendale Year Round school in Oakland where he taught for five years in the upper elementary grades. Inspired by his active involvement on the school leadership team, school site council, after school program, conflict manager program, and other school wide roles, he pursued a masters degree and administrative credential.

Math Facts Challenge!

I am excited to announce the second Superintendent’s Challenge of the 2014-2015 school year! In the fall we challenged all of our students to read more, and with your support they rose to the challenge. OAUSD students have recorded over 200,000,000 words read in the Accelerated Reader system, meaning that they not only read the books, but also passed a comprehension quiz on the material. Sites followed up the Superintendent’s Challenge with their own site based challenges and independent reading will continue all year. For the second Superintendent’s Challenge we will focus on automaticity with the math facts.

The math facts we are focused on depend on your child’s grade level. Please look for information from your child’s teacher with the details, but in general we are focused on addition facts at grades 1 and 2, multiplication at grades 3 and 4, division at grade 5, and a combination at grade 6. Just as your support for at home reading was a key factor in the success of the reading challenge, the time you spend practicing with your child on math facts will be critical to the success of this challenge. We like to use the word “automaticity” to describe the level of speed and accuracy your child needs with math facts. For most grades this means 95% accurate on 100 problems in 3.5 minutes. To hit these targets students will need to be able to write an answer immediately- no time to count or “figure it out”. Problem solving is a huge part of our math program and the ability to fluently use and manipulate numbers has been shown to impact student ability in problems solving.  Here is an article that links brain research with the memorization of  math facts: Math Skills and Childhood--Medical Daily

Here are a few important tips:

  1. Stay positive as you engage with your child- try to make it fun.

  2. Take on the work in chunks. Our memory works in bite size chunks so as your child practices, focus in on a set of problems until he or she has them down- then move on to the next set of problems.

  3. Help your child learn what he or she knows and does not know, then focus on learning the material that is not already mastered.

  4. Practice verbally sometimes- no paper or pencil necessary.

  5. Consider an at home incentive when your child achieves the goal. Children appreciate the recognition and prestige of a reward for a job well done.

  6. Check in on progress and recognize growth.

  7. For more tips and resources, please check out the following links:

How to Memorize the Addition and Subtraction Facts

How to Easily Memorize the Multiplication Table

In general, your child will be taking a math facts quiz each Friday until the spring break so there is a lot of time to master the math facts. Enjoy the journey!




Math Challenge Update

from Dr. Yamashiro

Dear Old Adobe Union School District Parents,                                                                        April 7, 2015

Welcome back from spring break. Since my last letter at winter break Old Adobe Union has continued its efforts to improve every facet of your child’s experience in our schools. This has included daily work in the classrooms, planning for school programming next year, facilities, food, and more. Here are a few of the highlights:


January 30, 2015

Dear Old Adobe Union School District Parents,

Thank you for your help in making this an amazing first half of the school year Our school district, which of course means our teachers and staff at the school sites, have worked with your students to accomplish extraordinary things in a very short time. I hope sharing a few of these with you will provide a burst of positive energy as we look forward to the rest of the year.

Super Updates

March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! We have had a productive parent conference week meeting with hundreds of parents across the district to discuss progress and make plans for the final third of the year. Next week is spring break in Old Adobe Union and whether your child’s week is relaxing or active, we will all be back together On March 27th. Each break is an opportunity for reflection

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March 3, 2017

This week we wrapped up our first registration window and enrollment numbers were astounding. Over 280 Kindergarteners are already registered for 2017-2018!! Our office teams have done an exceptional job welcoming families, answering questions, following up on paperwork, and supporting this process. Our principals have led many a tour and have been singing the praises of their schools- and families like what they see. Registration, of course, continues all the way through the start of the school year so we don’t know for sure where the numbers will land, but it looks likely that we will have over 300 Kindergarteners and another full six classes of Transitional Kindergarten. This is a real tribute to all of the hard work in Old Adobe Union. Enjoy the weekend.

February 24, 2017

Our students learn every day, but sometimes, on a day to day basis it is hard to recognize just how much academic learning they are achieving until we look at it over a longer period of time. Each trimester we check on progress in a number of ways, including the computer based STAR reading and math tests at grades 1-6. Once again, our trimester gains have been stellar. A big congratulations to  students and teachers across the district.

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February 17, 2017

Valentine’s Day week is always fun. I appreciate the caring, love, and celebration within classroom communities during the week. My own son was a little sad this week when he realized that they might not celebrate it in the same way at middle school (no more valentines for the whole class, etc.). This week in classrooms I once again witnessed academic excitement, but I also noticed the kindness with which students treated each other.

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Tech Tips

Ed Tech Tip- Music

Music, please! For many different reasons it feels like we should strike up the band at the start of the school year, but in reality many of our students miss the music filled time of their summer. While music is a part of our program in Old Adobe Union, it is not the popular music or favorite music that students often listen to during the summer. Technology has completely changed the music landscape and opened up fun learning opportunities. The ideas that follow are not an exhaustive list, but hopefully can open the door to some new family activities that can make language and learning come alive through music.

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Ed Tech Tip - Library

 This past month I have had the pleasure of listening to a number of outstanding audiobooks while driving to and from work. The amazing thing is that I have not purchased any of them. Our library systems have been fairly aggressive at leveraging technology to get books in our hands using 21st Century technology. There are a few ways to use these services, but I recommend the following:

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