Since 2019, the Community Engagement Initiative (CEI) has gathered students, family and community members, educators, researchers, and partners to forge meaningful connections across culturally and linguistically diverse communities, share best practices for community engagement, and support one another during challenging times—all while peer leading and learning to accomplish these goals. The stories highlighted below offer lessons and models for other schools and districts looking to engage their communities more deeply and effectively.
This issue of Voices from the Field introduces the Oxnard School District (OSD), one of five CEI: Cohort I districts, and highlights the experiences, voices, and stories of six CEI team members. Through its participation in CEI, OSD is addressing its Problem of Practice:

To create opportunities for and
support the engagement of our
African American and Mixteco families in shared decision-making that impacts student learning.

Scroll down to learn more about the Oxnard School District
and hear their Voices from the Field stories...
Oxnard School District Voices from the Field...
Introduction by
Steven Sterling Mitchell

Assistant Director,
Community Engagement and System of Support,
California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (2:13)
Dr. Karling Aguilera-Fort
Superintendent (2:13)
Dr. Ana DeGenna
Assistant Superintendent (4:44)
Lola Brisco
Parent Leader (4:03)
María Magaña
School Counselor (3:13)
Teresa Ruvalcaba
Manager of Equity, Family,
and Community Engagement (6:30)
Alberto Mendoza
District Parent Support Liaison (5:05)
More information about the Oxnard School District...
Located in Ventura County, approximately 60 miles north of downtown Los Angeles, the Oxnard School District is adjacent to a major agricultural area on California's South Coast.

Oxnard SD is a TK-8 elementary school district with approximately 14,400 students and 20 schools and 16 pre-school classes across different schools in the district: 10 K-5 schools, 7 K-8 schools, 3 intermediate (6-8) schools, and 11 schools with Dual Language Immersion programs.
Latinos represent 93% of the district's families, and African American families represent 2%.

46% of students are English learners, and 88% are from low-SES households.

56% of OSD families speak Spanish at home, and 2% speak Mixteco.
OSD's strategies to expand and enhance its community engagement efforts and more fully engage its African American and Mixteco families include:
  • District's Family and Community Engagement Committee
  • Newcomer Academies
  • Adult ESL classes
  • District Parent Leadership Classes (English and Spanish)\
  • Parent Advisory Council
  • African American and Mixteco Steering Committees
  • Two District Mixteco Interpreters/Parent Liaisons
  • District Community Liaisons
  • 20 Outreach Resource Consultants (one at each school)
  • Strong partnerships with community and state organizations

Questions about OSD's CEI journey? Contact Teresa Ruvalcaba, Manager of Equity, Family, and Community Engagement:

Oxnard School District website:
Follow Oxnard SD:
Interested in enhancing and expanding your district's community engagement efforts?
We invite you to join CEI: Cohort III!

CEI: Cohort III Information Sessions

Do you know a district that may benefit from joining the Community Engagement Initiative’s Cohort III? Please have them join us at one of two Information Sessions on Tuesday, March 15, 2022, at 3:30 p.m. or Thursday, March 17, 2022, at 3:30 p.m. for a chance to learn more about the Community Engagement Initiative's Cohort III Peer Leading and Learning Network.

For more information, including registration, click here.
What is CEI?
The Community Engagement Initiative is a five-year effort intended to strengthen the System of Support by building the capacity of school districts to authentically engage one another. This includes identifying effective models of community engagement, developing metrics to evaluate those models, having difficult conversations, building trusting relationships, and participating in the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) development process.
Visit us at
Contact us via Nicole LoBese at [email protected].
Follow us on social media:
Visit CEI Lead Agencies:
California Collaborative for Educational Excellence:
San Bernardino Superintendent of Schools:
California Association for Bilingual Education:
Families in Schools: