Green schools. Even before she joined the School Board, Jody brought her professional expertise to bear in helping Oakland Unified better manage energy and other resource use, and build green buildings. Oakland Unified today is widely recognized as a leader in green school construction, with new schools buildings across the City meeting rigorous green building standards. The award-winning La Escuelita Education Center is a nearly zero net-energy building. In 2015, Oakland flipped the switch on a 3.6 MW solar installation, with solar panels installed on 16 sites.
Improving School Lunch. The Oakland Unified School District serves nearly 35,000 meals every day. 70% of students in Oakland Unified qualify for free and reduced lunch. Jody has been a champion of Reinventing School Lunch, a revamp of the school district’s food service facilities. The school district this year is beginning construction of a new central kitchen, with an adjacent 1.5 acre farm that will be open to students. When the central kitchen is complete, schools will received prepped ingredients, which will then be cooked on site and served hot on trays, as opposed to shrink-wrapped containers. At two schools in North Oakland – Piedmont Avenue Elementary and Hillcrest Elementary – kitchen facilities will be upgraded, as the current kitchens are inadequate to accommodate this program.
Community engagement. In 2014, drawing on her experience as a community leader, Jody passed a new Board policy on how the school district will engage with the communities where construction is occurring. This new approach has been welcomed by neighborhoods across the city, who now have opportunities to be involved in the design process, and stay informed as construction occurs.