THOUSAND OAKS—Educators, parents and students will participate in the School Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA) making it a strategic document rather than a compliance document according to Luis Lichtl, Conejo Valley Unified School District Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services.
An all encompassing collaborative process will be used to:
- Measure goals for empowerment in student achievement;
- Articulate strategic/activities for closing the achievement gap;
- Provide adequate activities/services based on identified program gaps and student needs;
- Provide involvement of stakeholders in the creation and monitoring of the School Plan for Student Achievement;
- Provide adequate actions/services for English Learners in both learning English and gaining access to content;
- Provide adequate actions/services for Students With Disabilities and address the Least Restrictive Environment;
- Provide opportunities for teachers to learn about and effectively implement Universal Design for Learning.
California indicators used will include:
- Best practice approaches to increase student achievement in English Language Arts for all students;
- Best practice approaches to increase student achievement in Math for all students;
- Best practice approaches to reduce chronic absenteeism for all students; and
- Best practice approaches to reduce suspensions for all students;
(For high school sites):
- Best practice approaches to increase graduation rates for all students; and
- Best practice approaches to increase college/career readiness.
School site stakeholders will record the implementation status using a 1-5 rubric with the following categories: not at all; minimally; partially; substantially; and fully with evidence cited for each goal or practice.
The Guide for Developing the School Plan for Student Achievement was given to Principals on Sept. 5th and School Site Councils and District Advisory Committees on Sept. 10th said Lichtl. Data used will go beyond all students and include disaggregated student data analysis on English Learners, disability students, socially economically disadvantaged students, and foster/homeless youth.
“We will engage parents,” said Superintendent Dr. Mark McLaughlin, “Everyone will have ownership and (school sites are) set up for success.” According to Luis Lichtl, “We will train parents and help them through this process so they can be partners with the schools. We will empower parents.”
A discussion item requesting the creation of a Board Ad-Hoc Committee to write a censure resolution regarding Board President Besty Connolly was dropped after three public comments supporting her (including one speaker who said she was speaking on behalf of 163 persons opposed to such an action). Board Member Bill Gorback stating that the Connolly censure agenda item had been requested on Friday night of the last board meeting—too late to make it onto the board agenda.
Board Member Sandee Everett challenged why the censure item had been placed on the agenda and Superintendent Mark McLaughlin stated that he had been directed by district legal counsel to place any request made by the public on the agenda despite it being “embarrassing for the board” with Board President Betsy Connolly stating that even if it is on the board agenda “not a single person need to comment” especially if you “don’t think it has merit.”
Discussion for future board agenda items included: CVUSD’s adult education program; focus on bullying prevention in October and on Unity Day (Oct. 23); as well as inclusive schools week (Dec. 2-5); and cell phone use. Time of board adjournment was 8:22 p.m.
Michael Hernandez, Co-Founder of the Citizens Journal—Ventura County’s online news service; editor of the History Makers Report and founder of History Makers International—a community nonprofit serving youth and families in Ventura County, is a former Southern California daily newspaper journalist and religion and news editor. He has worked 25 years as a middle school teacher. Mr. Hernandez can be contacted by email at [email protected].