As the school year comes to a close our campuses are a whirlwind of activities that are culminating this week with commencement ceremonies celebrating the achievements of our graduating senior class. As a District, we also have a significant achievement that is close to completion.
After almost a year of meetings and discussions with input from students, parents, teachers, staff and community members we will be presenting a final draft of Whittier Union’s first Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) at the Board of Trustees meeting on June 10 with a vote for final approval scheduled for the Board’s meeting on June 24.
The new LCAP will guide our expenditures of state funds for the coming year and provide us with much more flexibility to address the precise needs of our students. Each school district is required to create and adopt an LCAP under the new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) which replaces California's nearly half-century-old, state-controlled school finance system with one that provides more local control as well as greater transparency and inclusiveness.
The goal of our LCAP is to further improve the comprehensive education we strive to provide each of our students and to better address the specific needs of our students who need additional support to succeed in school.
Whittier Union is receiving special funds to implement programs designed to specifically serve the needs of English learners, socioeconomically disadvantaged students, and foster youth. These targeted students make up 69 percent of Whittier Union’s student enrollment. Based upon the input from our broad group of stakeholders, there are many programs and services being planned through the use of these funds that will significantly assist our students.
These programs and services will include: expanded summer school course offerings, reduced class sizes, additional counselors, new computers, after-school library and/or computer lab hours, additional tutoring services, food and additional bus service for students staying after school for tutoring and enrichment, field experiences and college visits for students and parents, additional after-school courses for credit recovery, math and science support, Advanced Placement preparation, expanded student mental health services, funding for support services from Horizons offices.
The LCAP is a three-year plan that will be assessed and revised annually based on student data and with widespread input from certificated and classified staff, parents, students and community members.
The development of the LCAP has been a long and inclusive process that began with the creation of a WUHSD LCAP Task Force that was created in October. Teacher leaders, counselors and staff members from every campus were represented on the LCAP Taskforce where input from public meetings that included the voices of parents and students informed the development of the draft plan.
School Leadership Teams discussed the development of the LCAP throughout the school year and meetings were held on each campus to solicit input from every teacher and staff member.
Whittier Union’s Educational Services administrators met twice with each school site to provide support and answer questions regarding the LCAP. School administrators also gathered input from their parent networks including School Site Councils, PTSAs and English Learner Advisory groups.
In addition, English- and Spanish-speaking parents, students, certificated association leaders and classified association leaders and community members attended the District’s four public meetings to discuss WUHSD’s LCAP, creating a representative body that provided meaningful input on how best to improve educational opportunities for all students with LCFF funds.
As part of the inclusive effort, the WUHSD Student Advisory Committee made extensive efforts to reach out to their classmates, conducting surveys as well as interviews to ensure student voices were heard and reported their findings to the public meetings of the LCAP Advisory Committee.
We are excited about our new plan because we feel that it represents the very best of our ideas from our wide Whittier Union community and will more effectively meet the needs of our students and help us to efficiently build upon the successes we have achieved through our “Whatever it Takes” initiative.