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    YU CEO Olis Simmons Chosen for Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship 

On Monday, August 18th, the Pahara Institute and the Aspen Institute issued  a press release announcing Olis Simmons as a member of the Fall 2014 cohort of the highly selective Pahara-Aspen Education Fellows program. These 24 leaders join an ongoing community of innovative education leaders who have participated in the Fellowship, which is designed to support uniquely talented leaders doing exceptional work in education. 

Ms. Simmons has launched the Castlemont Community Transformation Schools (CCTS), a family of community schools offering the highest-quality educational services and wrap-around support to children and youth from cradle to career. Over the next two years, CCTS will launch a primary and middle school with grades Transitional Kindergarten (TK), Kindergarten, 1st and 6th in Fall 2015, adding additional grades each year. 

Through an innovative partnership with the Oakland Unified School District, the primary and middle schools will be directly aligned with Castlemont High School. Using one instructional vision and culture, these three schools form a cradle to career continuum, beginning with early education and ending with career pathways. 

Ms. Simmons will be hosting and participating in a funder convening with both education funders and continuum funders, focused on the crisis in educating African American children in the United States.  The convening will provide an opportunity for thought partnership and dialog: leading to a  significant impact on the Castlemont community.  This work will position the Castlemont community in a national dialogue and serve as an opportunity to develop new and innovative solutions in achieving equity and excellence in public schools that serve the neediest youth.

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