Monday, March 8, 2021

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Pierce Joint Unified School District Sets LCAP in Motion

By: Carol Geyer | PJUSD Superintendent

In June, the PJUSD Board of Trustees adopted the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) for the 2014/15 school year. Three major goals were developed as part of the plan.

Goal 1: Students will graduate college and post-secondary career ready.

Goal 2: Students will feel a sense of connectedness in their school environment.

Goal 3: Families and communities will be engaged as educational partners. Many of the actions and services under each of the three goals within the plan have already begun.

Goal one has seen the bulk of the actions and services thus far. New common core aligned math curriculum has been purchased and instruction using the new materials can be seen in each of the math classes throughout the district. A new English Language Development (ELD) teacher has been hired for Grand Island Elementary. Responsibilities of this ELD teacher include being the English Learner Coordinator for the district. She has formed EL task force which includes all of the ELD teachers in the district. Their work entails making sure the needs of the EL students are being met. Illuminate, a student data and assessment management tool, has been purchased. An overview training on the system was held prior to the school year starting. Ongoing training will continue during the school year as teachers work to become proficient with its uses and capabilities so as to enhance their data analysis process which in turn will provide for being able to more easily determine student levels and specific needs for intervention. Staff development on the Common Core State Standards continues for teachers as well. Consultants from the Sacramento County Office of Education are providing on-site training for teachers in grades 6-12 in the areas of literacy, math and science. Smaller class sizes for grades K-3 are being phased in over the next few years. Kindergarten classes this year have just over 20 students in each class. An agriculture construction instructor has been added at the high school level. This addition enhances the career technical pathway offerings to students.

Goal two speaks of student connectedness which conjures up the idea of school climate and feeling tone. Hiring a full-time prevention counselor to work closely with students is a major component of this goal. This counselor also works with the bus drivers on student management with the goal of increasing bus driver and rider satisfaction as well as decreasing bus rider referrals. Already the counselor has ridden buses on the afternoon routes in support of the drivers and students. Part of her responsibilities include facilitating Student Study Team (SST) meetings at the middle school. In addition to the counselor for goal two, enrichment clubs have begun at the junior high school, including arts and crafts and carpentry. After school intervention continues this year at all sites; however, now transportation has been increased so that those participating in the interventions and enrichment opportunities can ride a later bus home. Lack of transportation had made it impossible previously for students to participate.

Community and school projects are already being discussed that will work to further engage educational partnerships as part of goal three. Further work needs to take place in engaging all families in the school system. A first step the district will embark on is working to further increase the use of the parent portal in grades 6-12 that can be used to check students’ grades through a computer or smart phone. By engaging parents in this system, parents become empowered and can then begin to ask questions of their child regarding the grade and assignment information posted on the website.

As a district, our work with the LCAP has just begun. Constant monitoring of the actions and services will take place to ensure full implementation. Progress will be measured, and goals and actions based on local needs assessments will be revised and updated as needed.  Parents and community members are expected participants in the LCAP process along with teachers, students and administration. Let’s reach our goals of graduating college and post-secondary career ready students, creating a sense of school connectedness, and engaging families and communities as educational partners.

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