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WCCUSD committee brings parents together to discuss progress, data, and sustaining goals

on October 2, 2014

The John F. Kennedy High School Library was filled with a multicultural group of students, staff, parents, teachers, and union members Tuesday night as West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) held the school year’s first District Local Control Accountability Parent Committee (DLCAP) meeting.

Superintendent Bruce Harter attended and said the meeting was a time to look at actions, strategies, and measures to see what WCCUSD has done and what goals are set.

DLCAP is the voice of the school district community in implementing the three-year Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) – a how-we’ll-spend-the-money plan required of all districts under California’s new public school funding plan. The new funding stream, signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in 2013, gives each district more say that ever in education spending. It also grants an increased base fund for school districts and additional monies for low income, English learner, and foster youth students.

The LCAP, first created in 2013, gathered input from over 2,500 parent, students, teachers, and community members through email, surveys, and town hall meetings. WCCUSD then created a plan focused key strategies that align with the state of California’s educational goals.

Last March, WCCUSD and DLCAP set 49 goals of their own, including improving achievement for all students, increasing parent engagement and involvement, and accelerating learning achievements for English Learner and low income students.

According to the DLCAP progress report, 11 goals have been accomplished so far, including expanding Transitional and full day Kindergarten, hiring college and career-ready counselors for every high school, providing teacher training and technology coaches.

While many DLCAP members said they are happy with WCCUSD’s progress on LCAP so far, they asked the district to consider more parent and student recommendations for changes geared specifically towards Richmond students — such as smaller Advanced Placement classes, and clearer details about the source of low scores and graduation rates.

“Parents, students, and other groups in the community have the opportunity to come together and make decisions or make recommendations on the things we want to see change in our district, ” said Vice Chair of WCCUSD DLCAP, Maria Resendiz.

DLCAP is using data from prior years to show where students fall short in academic progress. This will help determine what actions and services are needed to fix it.

During Tuesday’s meeting, WCCUSD Chief Data Officer, Nicole D. Joyner focused on seven of the 49 DLCAP goals and displayed data on school progress over the last four years.

The number of English learners passing the California High School Exit Exam for math and English dropped since 2012. 2014 shows a 67-student decrease in Career Technical Education (CTE) program completions across all high schools.

By spring 2015, WCCUSD hopes to increase these seven progress indicators by two percent to three percent each.

As the year’s results become available WCCUSD is creating a new LCAP template to adopt next year.

“I think we have to have some fidelity to the plan,” said Harter “and make sure that we are following through in the things we said we were going to do.”

DLCAP’s next meeting is March 31st; information on the new LCAP template and progress will be up for review.

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