I want to warmly welcome our new and returning students and their families to the 2014–15 school year. I hope you had a great summer and are back full of energy, enthusiasm and commitment as we get ready to kick off the start of another successful school year.
It’s a new year – a year filled with more promise, more excitement, and higher expectations than any year in recent memory.
After we joyously celebrated the graduation of our class of 2014 in June, we spent the summer months gearing up for the coming academic year, which begins with Freshmen First Day on Aug. 12 and the first day of school for all other students on Aug. 13.
Here at Whittier Union, our summer was spent in deep preparation for our continuing implementation of the new Common Core State Standards. This is our fifth year of implementation and our teachers devoted much of their summer time collaboratively planning and sharing the very best teaching strategies in order to take our students to higher levels of learning.
Our teachers engaged in practicing teaching techniques that will empower students to develop their skills in communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking. We strongly believe that these skills will benefit our students not only in their high school education, but also in college and careers. Ultimately our goal is to create life-long learners who will be successful in whatever career path they choose.
In a related effort, we are also moving forward with the implementation of our Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) that our Board of Trustees approved. There are many programs and services that will be coming online to better support and serve our students as the result of our plan, which was created with input from an inclusive group of parents, teachers, staff, students and community members.
As you may know, the LCAP is a new requirement under a new state law that changed the manner in which schools are funded called the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). School districts previously received a base revenue amount, plus funding for a series of categorical programs that were dictated by the state legislature. Now the district receives a base grant in addition to supplemental funds to support English-language learners, socioeconomically disadvantaged students and students in foster care. We also receive concentration funds because 69 percent of our students are in these groups. Because Whittier Union has more than 55 percent of our students who are in one or more of these groups, it is acceptable to use our supplemental and concentration funds to assist all of our students.
Our LCAP gives us the flexibility to meet the specific needs of our students and will guide Whittier Union’s spending of our funding. Whittier Union’s LCAP is a three-year plan that will be assessed and revised annually based on student data and with widespread input from all Whittier Union stakeholders.
I encourage you to visit our website to learn more about the LCAP and LCFF by visiting: www.wuhsd.org/lcff.