Board meeting attendees listen to former AIMS site administrator Jennifer Avelino during Sunday's board meeting. Avelino was fired Friday.

During a volatile meeting of the American Indian Model Schools (AIMS) board Friday, the board members lost two of the schools’ most fierce defenders: AIMS Director Sylvester Hodges was fired during a closed session, and board President Toni Cook resigned soon after the closed session and left the meeting. AIMS site administrator Jennifer Avelino was…

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AIMS students sit on the floor of the La Escuelita gymnasium holding posters and waiting for the OUSD board vote.

At a long-awaited special school board meeting, and after over six months of hearings and notices, Oakland Unified School District board members voted to revoke the three American Indian Model Schools’ (AIMS) charters. The 4-3 vote came after Superintendent Tony Smith recommended the board revoke the charters, and after a particularly emotional and dramatic series of public comments and discussion.

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Interim AIMS executive director Sylvester Hodges addresses the OUSD board at the public hearing Wednesday. Photo by Lauren Kawana.

About three dozen American Indian Model Schools (AIMS) students and parents took turns Wednesday, each speaking for one minute, hoping to convince the Oakland school board that their three schools shouldn’t be shut down. The board voted in January to give the AIMS administration a “notice of intent to revoke” the schools’ charters after alleging fraud and financial mismanagement at the schools.

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