By Nicholas von Wettberg
California’s ever-challenging task of narrowing the achievement gap has been reprioritized, and is now the primary responsibility of the state’s educational stakeholders.
The shift to a more public-controlled, school community-based approach, courtesy of the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP), is considered a “transformational process,” and is now in its second year as mandated policy, allowing for each of the school board districts a window of transparency in determining how and what to do with the allotment of student funding.
A status update on the LCAP, and its coexisting more regionalized shared leadership program, is at the core of the docket for Thursday’s Davis Joint Unified School District (DJUSD) School Board meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. at the City Hall Community Chambers.
As for ensuring the educational measurements of success to the three-year plan, voted into action by Governor Jerry Brown in 2013, a litany of school reform concepts and strategies, in the form of monitoring through metrics and goals, will be presented by District Associate Superintendent Clark Bryant.
Effectually, a broad-based set of checks and balances are what the state has deemed high priority “conditions of learning, student outcomes and engagement.”
According to rationale presented in the Board of Education pre-meeting agenda, the points of emphasis for this year’s (2015-16) version are “student goals, the English Learner proficiency, and school climate.”
In fact, following the PowerPoint presentation, the five-member school board has requested a motion to hear more about the English Learners program in the form of a report. The program is a goal listed in both the LCAP and the federalized Local Education Agency Plan (LEAP).
The systematic goal of the English Learners program is to provide a yearly increase in student’s English proficiency, within a five-year time frame, and those under the “limited” moniker (LEP, or limited-English-proficient) are eventually able to drop the label under the defined classification of academic standards.
Roughly one out of every five DJUSD students is considered an English Learner (a total of 904 in 2015) with a near split down the line between those subcategorized as “fluent” and “proficient.”
Part-time specialists have been added as a part of the plan’s process, while support continues to be generated through the addition of teaching resources, such as training and learning materials.
Members of the community are invited to attend the meeting, with a public comment forum included as part of the discussion.
After a break for the holidays, the next school board meeting is set for Thursday, December 17.