Transcript: Digging Deeper Into School Climate Data to Inform Your LCAP
Welcome to this session on Digging Deeper Into Your LCAP Data.
Thank you so much, Rebeca. Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Melinda Wallace and I’m with the Region 15 Comprehensive Center at WestEd. And I’ll just be providing an overview of today’s school climate data use webinar for you. Next slide.
For the first part of our agenda, I’ll be providing some context on the California Center for School Climate (CCSC) and our network. I will then pass it on to the California Department of Education who is going to provide some grounding on the importance of using local context and engaging our educational partners. The majority of our time will be with our Anaheim Union High School District colleagues as they share their story and their experience in using local school climate data in their practice. We will end it, as Rebeca said, with a Q&A and sharing some upcoming opportunities for you.
But before we get started, I just wanted to remind you about the California Center for School Climate. It is a project of the CDE led by WestEd, where they provide coaching to schools and districts on school climate data use, and school climate topics. To visit the website on the Center, there is a QR code here on the slide for you. You can use that QR code using the camera app on your phone. This link also will be in the chat box and will be posted in our Linktree at the end of the session today, so you’ll have access to that.
I’m with the Region 15 Comprehensive Center at WestEd. And really quickly, the Comp Center is one of 19 comp centers across the United States, and we work with our state education agency partners in our four-state region. You can see we work in California, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona, and what we do is we provide capacity-building technical assistance. The Center is funded by the US Department of Education, and we are currently on year four of a five-year grant.
To get us started, I’d like to introduce you to two of our colleagues from the California Department of Education. We have Ashley Brown and Hilva Chan, who are both Educational Program Consultants at CDE, and they will begin this conversation with us today. They’re going to ground us in our thinking around the importance of the use of local data and engaging educational partners. And just as a reminder, throughout Hilva and Ashley’s presentation and then when we get to Anaheim Union High School District’s story, please put your questions down in the question and answer section or in the chat, and as Rebecca said, we will have a question and answer session at the end. So thank you. So, Ashley, take it away.
Hi everyone, my name is Ashley Brown. I’m from the California Department of Education, and we’re going to pop a question here in the chat for our audience today. “What are some common metrics you use to measure school climate?” And just feel free to use the chat. All right, I’m seeing some family surveys, student surveys, that seems to be the most popular here. Looking at attendance data, PBIS. You all are on a roll here. All right. Feel free to continue using this chat function to add in the ways that you measure your school climate.
And so, why do we engage with our educational partners? One of the main reasons is to gain comprehensive insight. How do we get a full picture of what’s happening in our school communities? Next is to plan with — right? not plan for — in our offices or wherever we sit. But how do we plan with the folks in our school community? It allows us to eliminate potential weaknesses. What are some things that we’re not aware of? What are some things that we thought were going to land in a certain way and they weren’t received in the way that we intended? And then how are we intentionally connecting with our families and our different groups and our community?
So, who are our educational partners? First and foremost, our students, our pupils, why we’re all here, why we do this work. Our school staff, including our teachers and administrators, our families, community members and organizations and advocates, and our local bargaining units. And just to loop back to the school staff, and how do we dig deeper with other folks that engage with our students, like our counselors, our front office staff, our campus monitors, our special education teams, our afterschool educators, the other folks on campus that have a really deep and rich understanding about our experiences happening around our school communities.
Thank you. So, how can school partners be involved? First, we invite school partners to participate, as many said, in the School Climate Survey, which is not only just an LCAP requirement, but it’s also a partner engagement activity. And it is really important to explain why the survey is being conducted and how the results will be used. Then we share the results back with them and help them understand the data. In some ways, including breaking survey data down by student groups such as by grade, ethnicity, by living arrangements like foster homeless students and bisexual orientation. Try to understand how different student groups have different perceptions of school climate and they will also help address disparity. It is also important to compare student, staff, and parent survey data. Now, for example, if you see a discrepancy between student and staff data on school safety in which students feel unsafe yet staff feel safe, this may indicate safety concerns that staff are not aware of. And also be mindful of survey response rate. Generally speaking, staff and parent surveys, especially parent surveys, have lower response rates than student surveys. You just have to be mindful that the data you see is not 100% and is a smaller percentage of your stakeholders.
You can also review trend data to see if improvements were made and compare school results within your district, county, or state and use those as a reference. Now, the School Climate Survey is only one tool to help you understand partner perceptions. It gives you the “what” but doesn’t explain the “why” — why certain partners have different experiences and perceptions. So, it is important to drill deeper to understand the why, and we have listed some example activities that you can use on the next slide. To fully engage your partners, you can also involve them in action planning based on the survey results, or even invite them to periodic data check and program monitoring. This way you are really involving your partners meaningfully in school climate improvements.
So, here are some examples of how you can draw deeper with your partners. You can invite them to interactive town halls or advisory committees or conduct focus groups. In doing focus groups, you can use a world café method in which your partners simply rotate between different tables to share their opinions and hear from others. At the end, you see themes, patterns, and possibilities for action planning emerge. On this slide, here, we include a link to a free world café toolkit to help you understand more and use this method. Or you can conduct a student listening circle to promote youth voice or conduct family forums to increase family engagement. If you’re interested in the last two, like student listening circles and family forums, please check with the CCSC as they accept applications for a number of districts each year on training and coaching supports. I believe the application is closed for this year, but they can tell you more about future opportunities. So, the bottom line is you’re trying to involve your partners in meaningful ways to gather input and buy in to collectively improve school climate.
Thank you. Thank you, Ashley and Hilva, for all that great information and providing those resources for us. Next, we get to see and hear from Anaheim Union High School District and learn about how they’ve applied all of this into the work that they’re doing in Anaheim Union. I’d first like to introduce Carlos Hernandez, he’s the Director of Community Schools and Family and Community Engagement, Dr. Roxanna Hernandez, Coordinator of Learning and Development, and Robert Saldivar, Executive Director of Educational Services all at Anaheim Union School District. With that being said, Roxanna, we’ll go ahead and pass it on to you.
Thank you, Melinda. On behalf of the Anaheim Union High School District, we are grateful for this opportunity to share some of our practices and data collection and how we utilized it to inform our robust Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) processes. Again, my name is Roxanna Hernandez. I’m the Coordinator of Learning and Development, and I’m super excited to be presenting with Robert Saldivar, our Executive Director of Educational Services, and Carlos Hernandez, Director of Community Schools, Family and Community Engagement.
During this session, we hope that you leave with a deeper understanding of the various types of data that can be collected and analyzed to inform your LCAP. We’ll be placing a great emphasis on street data, and we will define that as we move through the presentation. We’ll also discuss how at AUHSD we explore and dig deep to understand our school climate data and utilize it to tell our story through our LCAP.
At AUHD, we see the LCAP development process as an opportunity to tell our story, highlight accomplishments, and gain comprehensive insights from our educational partners. So, thank you, Ashley and Hilva, for defining that for us earlier during this presentation. We believe it’s vital that the LCAP is planned with intentionality, that it connects us with our students, families, and community. In this way, we will be able to reach what we call real results. Through the annual LCAP process, we shed light on areas of growth and collaboratively develop the comprehensive plan with actions, services, and expenditures. This is where we attach dollars to the activities and services we are saying we’re going to put forth. So, the LCAP development organization planning is a unifying process and it involves significant and purposeful engagement with our educational partners.
Drawing on the work of Shane Safir and Jamila Dugan’s book, Street Data: A Next-Generation Model for Equity, Pedagogy and School Transformation, we are introduced to a framework they call the Levels of Data. They describe three levels of data that we typically collect and analyze to inform our LCAP. During the chat, we saw a lot of Level 1 data that is collected, which is our quantitative measures like test scores, dashboard data, SBAC, attendance, suspension rates, etc. We typically use this data to illuminate trends, this is how we capture some of our trend data. Then we have what they call Level 2 map data. Those are common assessments if you’re in the elementary school districts like reading inventories, and then also surveys that reveal student, parent, or staff perception and satisfaction levels. Then they describe Level 3 street data. This is qualitative and experiential data such as student interviews, taskforce data. At AUHSD, we have a Students With Disabilities task force, English learner task force, and foster youth task force. Also, student and/or family led lessons or curriculum interviews. These are asset-based data that informs our decision-making and planning. At AUHSD, we have found that an emphasis on data that highlights our student and parent voice and agency re-centers what and who matters. We have come to find that street data is in every learning space. We will showcase some of that during this presentation.
At AUHSD, we have developed only three LCAP goals, and these goals were developed with the input and consensus of our educational partners. The goals are reviewed and updated annually through the LCAP process, and we believe that these goals lead us towards improved student outcomes, youth voice and purpose, technical and 21st century skills. So, they help in bringing the stories, hopes, and dreams of our most disenfranchised students and families to the center of our educational discourse, and they align with our why. Mr. Robert Saldivar, our Executive Director of Educational Services will now share how AUHSD makes the vision and mission —our why — real. So, Mr. Saldivar.
Good afternoon, everyone. So, how do we get there? Our superintendent, Mr. Michael Matsuda has a quote, he says, “The ultimate barometer of social justice is society’s access to meaningful jobs.” So again, what is one example of social justice and education is empowering our students and parents to become actively engaged citizens of the school and community.
So, how do we do this? In our district, we knew that we needed to be intentional with what we were doing during the school day to build the capacity of our students and our parents and their skills around soft skills, voice agency purpose, and really move away from a traditional setting where we see more of teaching to the test type of environments, both in the classroom and in our parent meetings. And when you look at our parent meetings, what does that mean? It’s talking to our parents versus engaging them and really building their skills and their capacities. Ultimately, we’re making our vision and mission real. So, our North Star becomes our career preparedness systems framework, which you see there on the slide. And this all goes back to, again, instruction and capacity building around the three essential components.
The first one, again, the staff skills, the 21st century skill, which includes collaboration, communication, critical thinking, creativity, and both character and compassion, all transferable skills and rooted in all industries. And when we look at technical skills, we’re talking about industry skills that can be industry-specific around high demand fields and other opportunities like CTE, dual credit, project-based learning, and both mentorships and internships. And then finally, one of the more important pieces is youth voice and purpose, which is rooted in the development and affirmation of our students’ identity and motivation achieved through opportunities like civic engagement, service learning, and career exploration activities that are meaningful and relevant. We believe that because of the skills and tools that our students have are developing in our district, they are more prepared for meaningful careers, grounded in purpose, more confident, and wanting to have a voice so that the end result, as we’ve seen in 17 of our schools as an example, are now identified as Democracy Schools, the largest number of schools with this accolade for any district in the State of California.
And then we also see strong participation rates and things like our RSVP, which it’s a program that you’ll hear a little bit more about and a little bit further down the presentation. And really, again, in our LCAP process, we see a much higher percentage of students and parents that are involved in our LCAP process. When it comes to our parents, now, the belief is why not follow the same framework and model our programs for our parents that we could go — oh, not yet, sorry — so model the same framework for our parents after CPSF. For example, we have our Parent Leadership Academy, we have our Ready, Set, Go series of workshops, and our Parent Reflective, Learning Walks: all interactive, collaborative in nature, highly engaging, all providing a safe space where our parents are actively engaged, they have a voice, they feel empowered. And what we see, again, the end results being that we have higher participation rates with our surveys, our traditional metrics, our training in a positive direction, which you’ll see some of that data a little bit later. And again, higher participation rates in our LCAP process with larger focus groups, representative of all stakeholders so more input and more data to be collected.
In this journey, as we continue to reflect and ask the question, “How can we do better?” we realize that with all of our stakeholders involved in the LCAP and in particular the large number of students and parents participating each year, we have a great opportunity to be more intentional with the street data. The quote here to the left on the slide deck is one that really resonated with our team and really spoke to our team as it reads, “We also choose the margins, flipping the dashboard upside down to center the experience of those who matter most: not policymakers and certainly not test makers but the families, students and educators who breathe life into learning.”
Examples of street data that have already been mentioned, and other examples that we have here on the slide deck, are recommendations made by our English Language Learner Task Force, recommendations made by our Foster Youth Task Force, Students with Disabilities Task Force, all of these recommendations being made by stakeholders during the LCAP process, which again includes our counselors, administrators, educators, teachers, peer professionals, students, parents, everyone involved. Other examples of which we’ve mentioned earlier, our Parent Leadership Academy, again, our Democracy Schools, our Exclusive Pathways — for example, the iLab at Western, we have the Biotechnology Program at NIM High School, the Cybersecurity Program at Magnolia High School — all of these being different opportunities for us to collect stories and artifacts and have folks take surveys that are part of these different experiences at each of our sites. We’d like to speak to a couple of them in particular, one being our Parent Learning Walks and the other one being our RSVP programs that we have at each of our sites.
With our Parent Learning Walks, about 15 years ago, we instituted our Teacher Reflective Learning Walks, which allowed teachers to visit their colleagues’ classes and engage in teacher-led reflective discussions, facilitated by trained teacher leaders. This practice encouraged teachers to reflect on their own instructional practices and really cultivated a culture of sharing and inviting others into the classroom. Once we established this culture in our district, we were able to institute the Parent Learning Walks at each of our sites. And again, the goals of the Parent Learner Walks were two, as you see on the slide there. You see the objectives: to increase awareness of 21st century skills in the classroom, increase understanding of the rigorous standards and expectations of education, identify tools to support the high expectations that are set for the students, and really to be empowered and to advocate for their student. The Parent Learning Walks happen pretty much quarterly, one to two times a quarter, a minimum of at least once a quarter at all of our sites. We have 16 com sites in our district, and we have two other non-comp sites, so they happen at all of our sites. We do provide interpretation for some of our languages spoken at all of our sites. For example, we have Spanish, Arabic, Vietnamese, and Korean, which are the four top non-English speaking communities in our district. And then really the essential question revolves around, “How can I, as a parent or guardian, support my child to be college career in life ready?” The principal along with our FACES, which is our Family and Community Engagement Specialist, provides an overview of the district and school vision, mission, initiatives, things like that that our visitors, our parents, and guardians should expect to see when in the classrooms. Then in small groups, they are able to visit classrooms for about seven to 10 minutes using a Parent Learning Walk discussion guide to reflect, take notes of what they observe, how they see the student learning. After each classroom visit, they then engage in a reflective dialogue that is completely evidence-based around 21st century learning they saw in the classroom. This discussion is guided by set protocols as well. This experience, it really helps to build their knowledge and their confidence and really their voice and their capacity to be able to better advocate for their students.
The next slide, you see some quotes from some of our parents regarding their experience in the PLWs. As you read those quotes, I just want to speak a little more to some of these quotes. And again, look in these quotes, this is really street data. This is street data that is key because it puts healthy tension on our system to help us continue to reflect and improve on how we are serving our students and our community. Parents walk away feeling welcomed, feeling heard, feeling empowered, and feeling really like they are an integral part of our school community because they are. And with this said, again, going back to the LCAP process and to other opportunities for parents to become engaged, we see a higher percentage of parents wanting to be involved, whether it’s an LCAP process or School Site Council or attending the Coffee Chat or these Parent Reflective Learning Walks or our Parent Leadership Academy, we see a much, much greater percentage of our parents becoming involved.
Then when it comes to parent engagement, again, it’s definitely we’re looking to build relationships between our school and our staff and our families. All of our sites, we have our FACES. Now at 13 of our sites we have our community schools model being implemented. We’re working on and continue to build upon welcoming environments, and seeing our parents as partners, building partnerships for student outcomes, and you see some of the things that we’ve already mentioned that help to accomplish this goal. And really as we’re doing these things and providing our parents with authentic opportunities for them to be involved, we’re building their skills, we’re giving them a voice. What we see now are our parents as a big part of the decision-making process and the opportunities to do that in our district and at our sites, whether it’s the District English Learner Advisory Committee, or DELAC, or the School Site Council, or again, the LCAP process.
So, now with our students, and again, one of the unique programs we want to highlight is our Raising Student Voice and Participation. This is a program that’s at each of our sites. RSVP provides an opportunity for non-elected students to voice concerns, address issues at the site and district level, community level. RSVP is tasked to discuss issues and concerns with the student body. Students work alongside the administration at their school to learn more about their campus and their community and how they can make an impact at their site and within their local community. Students develop self-advocacy and leadership skills. Everyone is a part of it. For example, at a school like Anaheim, we have 2,900 students, all 2,900 students take part in this experience.
And again, so the skills that they learn, and through the process of how change can be made at their site and community level and even the district level, we see more students wanting to contribute, we see more students participating in other opportunities like the LCAP process. Again, it’s a system not happening at one site or a couple, much like our Parent Reflective Learning Walks where our Parent Learning Walks are happening at every site at least once a quarter. For the RSVP, it’s once a quarter at each site. There’s an RSVP officer board that plans and prepares the facilitators for our summit. These facilitators then go into the classrooms and they facilitate and gather student feedback in the areas of community, facility, and the social aspect of the campus. Once the collection has been completed, it is then sorted and the greatest concerns are brought back to the attention of whether it’s the school site administration, district personnel, city personnel, etc.
We have a video from one of our school sites.
Student 1 (from video):
Hi, Oxford Patriots. My name is [Student 1] and I am the Oxford Academy Student Ambassador and RSVP president. In RSVP, we facilitate three summits over the course of each school year to gain student input and create plausible changes. Each committee is going to present what they’ve been working on this year to ensure that your voices are being heard. RSVP as a whole has been working on implementing Oxford Academy Processing Circles to encourage meaningful dialogue in the Oxford community through student-led discussions. We’ll be continuing this to next year and are hosting an Oxford Academy Day of Dialogue to discuss the surge of anti-Asian hate. We’re also partnering with our Oxford Academy District Social Worker, Miss Bristol Lopez, to provide students with additional mental health resources and connect with the students directly. Make sure to check out her Instagram _social worked_ to watch her Mental Health Minute 4 Me series. I will now pass this over to our committee leaders to discuss some of the changes that they have implemented this year.
Student 2 (from video):
Hi, my name is [Student 2] and I am RSVP Social Committee Leader. This year, our committee focused on building strong and effective communication between the students and the counselors.
Student 3 (from video):
Some things that we completed this year, we’re sending out a Google form to student body regarding questions we had for the counselors, as well as publicizing the council newsletter every Friday, which contains a lot of viable information for the students. Speaking of the council newsletter, go check it out.
Student 4 (from video):
We’ve gathered all of the frequently asked questions from our Google form and are planning to present them to the counselors. We’re hoping to host a few live sessions where the counselors will address and answer some of these questions. Another project we had in mind was creating an OA podcast where we could share and spread positivity and information to the student body as well as many other things.
Perfect. All right. So again, just an example of a program now that helps to really empower our students and build those leadership skills. But again, really what we focus on is what’s happening in the classroom in the day-to-day lives of our students. As obviously this is a program that happens once a quarter, we want to make sure that this is happening on a daily basis. And so, other examples of what’s going on at each school site are the civic engagement projects that our students are taking part in at a minimum, at an entire grade level, and at some of our sites all grade levels. Then first best instruction. Again, knowing our students by name, need, story, and engaging them in the instruction, making sure that they do have a voice, they’re finding their purpose. We’re making that experience for them relevant to their real-life experiences as much as we can. The Capturing Kids’ Hearts program that we have — I’m not sure how many of you’re familiar with that — but ensuring that we are building the culture where students do feel safe and welcomed and connected, and they have trusting adults that they can go to. At the end of the day, again, the intention is to continue to ensure that our students feel cared for, have a voice. We’re building their capacity in those leadership skills so that when time comes, they are participating in things like the RSVP, the LCAP process. At the end of the day, we see the results in terms of the amount of students that are participating in these types of opportunities.
So, areas of growth and next steps. We have some great things going on in our district, but we always know that there’s room for growth and there’s always room for us to do things better. So, what’s next? We continue to look for areas of growth, the next steps, and we identify ways to better understand our school climate and our school data. And we do this with being more intentional and identifying and understanding the various types of data, and in particular the street data, to continue to help us inform or help inform the LCAP. This is where our community schools approach and model come in. The data that we are collecting as a part of this approach and how we will use the data becomes vital to informing things like the LCAP to help continue transforming our school community. So with that said, I’m going to go ahead and pass the torch onto our Director of Community Schools, Mr. Carlos Hernandez.
All right. Thank you, Robert, and good afternoon, everyone. Thank you very much for the opportunity. We are transitioning now to talk about an example of that climate data going deeper with that kind of data that informs LCAP through the lens of the Community Schools grant. Big shout out to the California Department of Ed. Thank you so much, State Superintendent Tony Thurmond. The California Community Schools Partnership Program grant is this grant that we were blessed to receive $24 million worth. 13 now of our schools have been identified as community schools, and this is really, we appreciate the advocacy work across California to increase community schools really as a transformative approach to schooling. In this slide, we talk about the Four Commitments and Four Pillars of Community Schools.
The four pillars are really at the ground, the structure that we’ve followed, that is part of the grant, that is research proven. Zooming in, we have integrated student supports, family, community engagement, collaborative leadership, which we’ll talk about, and then extended learning time and opportunities, which is really at the heart of the work in the classroom, in this classroom, every period, every day across the district’s sites. We will talk about instruction again. And then the four commitments and essential components of these community schools really are about assets-driven. We talk a lot about the needs part, but we want to focus on the assets of our community and the families that we serve, and the students that come to us and the educators that are surrounding them. So. strength-based practices, racially just, restorative school climate, all of that impacts the work that we’re doing through the lens of that deeper climate data that we are looking at capturing through our surveys, focus groups, and individual conversations. So, this is shared decision — we’re going to talk about shared decision-making — and participatory practices are all part of the Community Schools Grant that we have received.
If we go to the next slide, we talk about street data. Now, how do we use street data through the lens of the community schools approach? While through that lens of the Needs and Asset Assessment, the collection of data, this street data, and there’s a wonderful quote in that street data book that has been referenced multiple times. We talk about, if we accept that success can be defined by a metric, if we hold true that a child’s test scores or grade point average are determinants of their future, we will find ourselves forever suspended in a hamster wheel chasing external solutions, curricula, and validations. But if we believe that every student is more than a number, is in fact a complex layer human being with endless potential, brilliance, and access to community cultural wealth, we can choose a pedagogy, a voice that transforms everything from our classroom to our adults. This is really the pedagogy that says, “I see you, I believe in you. You are safe to grow and thrive here, and I want to hear your voice.” And that’s really, we’re bringing them in, inviting them to hear their voice in the classroom and outside of the classroom. So, through that lens of needs and assessment, we look at the purpose of capturing this is to look at services and needs, but also capturing those strengths and assets that foster our students, our adults, and our educators.
So, this data that we are collecting, the street data, the climate data, really informs the direction that we will move forward in through the community schools work at the site and across the district. And it also informs our School Site Council and expressed in our school plan. It also informs our LCAP. All of these connections that are across the different systems and structures, not only at the site but across the district, really impact and will be impacting our schooling moving forward. And these are examples: surveys, focus groups, interviews, evaluations, and reporting. We’re going to zoom in on the Needs and Asset Assessment, the survey component, just for some context.
Well, what do we do and how do we look at the data that is provided? The Community School Collaborative Leadership, one of the pillars of community schooling, is looked at. An example for us here is the collaborative leadership through the District Steering Committee. This is the community school-wide steering committee that looks at the data that is informing our work around community schools. And it is shared leadership including Anaheim Union administrators, our teacher association, our families, students, the city of Anaheim — for us, we’re living here in the city of Anaheim — and community-based organizations. And this creates that governance to insure that all voices not only are heard, but they are engaging in the decision-making.
And it looks very similar, if you go to the next slide, at the site level, the Community School Site Team led by our two positions that we’re brought in through this grant, the Community School Coordinator, one at every site, and the Community School Teacher Lead, a very unique position. The Community School Teacher Lead, a very unique position for us in our district. There’s one at every site that teaches and also is supporting the community school work outside of their classroom. We’ll talk about the instruction and what their role is, but again, they’re using the data here to inform the work at the local level.
And so, if we look at the next slide, we’re going to be seeing our examples of what a needs and asset street data assessment looks like. For us, this is our first wave of data because we are collecting data in waves. Our first one is the Family Needs and Asset Assessment. Over 65% of our families, over 19,000 families, completed the needs and asset data across all sites, not just that the 13 community schools, but across all sites. We’ve averaged around 30% across the district when we do take our surveys, our families take survey and this go-around, because we were very intentional about hearing their voice. What do we include from our families and our students? What do we include in the data that we are collecting? And so, we asked our educational partners to help develop the assessment. And here we are with almost more than double the percentage of families that have completed the Needs and Asset Assessment. Again, all schools are engaged in this type of assessment collection. In fact, our educator assessment data is going to be closing in the next couple weeks, and then our student assessment data and then our educational partners, our community-based organizations, they will also be connected to capturing their needs and their strengths through this assessment. And so, I want to zoom in on the instruction because Robert and Roxanna both talked about instruction and how important that street data is through the lens of impacting learning for our students.
If you go to the next slide, you will see how our unique approach to community schools starts with this idea of the whole child learning. Taking a look at how important it is that we capture the assessment data that we just shared with you, in terms of across the sites, we are looking at how we use the assessments and needs to identify the resources and also identify who’s able to inform instruction and be able to make an impact in the classroom. So, we use that assessment data to impact the classroom experience. Our Community School Teacher Leads are helping build a system at every school and our Five C coaches, which are instructional leaders across the sites, as well as other teachers to develop performance tasks and project-based learning that are tied to the Needs and Asset Assessment data.
So that when the student shows up to the classroom and we’re asking them. . . as Robert mentioned, 17 California Democracy Schools in our district, they are civically engaged. Our students are expected to use their voice and to engage in community action in their classroom and outside of the classroom to impact change, social justice, and environments. We’re using that assessment data to give them real and tangible needs and assets in their local community to help with a civic engagement project. Perhaps their call to action is based on housing because they saw that at the local level there’s an issue with housing and that has bubbled up as a theme for their local community. And so, maybe they’re taking their action to the apartment complex that they live in to talk to the landlord. These are examples of how this climate data, this real street data, that we are capturing is truly informing instruction. And not only that, the Capstone, which is the last component of this, is that our students are so proud of their relevant, real, authentic learning that is happening in the classroom using the data that is being captured by these assessments and others to inform instructions that they want to share with others what they have done. They are reflecting around these civic engagement project-based learning, and they are curating their portfolios around the Capstone to capture those artifacts that they’re very proud of. And they’re sharing that, they’re showcasing that. Perhaps in a TED Talk, perhaps in an interview we call a capstone at some schools. Across the district, every single school is developing these capstones where they are creating and capturing those artifacts, those relevant, real-life, authentic learning, and that they’re most proud of. And they are choosing it, the students are. And again, we’re giving them the tools, we’re giving them the climate data, we’re giving them the assessment data that is both focused on strengths and needs to help impact a call to action for them.
So again, it’s systemic, it’s across the district, and it’s all students, all classrooms, first best instruction is key, using climate data. This is how we’re going to sustain the community schools approach in the classroom, with our teachers, across the sites. Whether they’re officially a community school or not, this is what is happening across the site for us. This is how we are going to sustain community schools work and transform schooling. And then the LCAP, as Robert will end here, will be a huge asset to sustain the community schools approach as well. Robert, I’m going to turn it back to you.
Okay. So, thank you, Carlos. And to really conclude here our presentation, if you go back one slide before that, on the final day of our LCAP process, we have close to 300 folks in the room. And each site is represented. As Carlos talked about, we’re talking about shared leadership with the steering committee for the community schools model to the LCAP process. We have stakeholders from each site, representative students, parents, families, administrators, staff, teachers, counselors, city folks, our partners from our collaborative, which are our higher ed partners, are all there. And you really have authentic engagement and input given back to the LCAP to really help put together our plan. And how do we know it’s working? Going back to some of the data that we look at, we’re always looking at dashboard data, local data, street data. Well, you have to look at data to ensure that this is all working. So you see, for our district, our graduation rates, our A-G rates, our CTE pathway completion rates, are all on the move. Our State Seal of Biliteracy rates are improving. So again, we see the change, we see the correlation between what we’re doing and some of the data.
If you go to the next slide, a little bit more data here, this is some data that’s being collected by one of our partners, UC Irvine. They’re looking at our students from the district that are attending their school in comparison to the rest of the students at UCI — again, UCI just recently named one of the top schools in the nation. And in the state, you see AUHSD students, the student retention rate is at 95% to 99%, where for all other students it’s between 86% and 88%. So again, if you know the makeup of our district, this speaks volumes to our students who are outperforming and in terms of the retention data over at UCI.
And just to end measures of success, we have thriving students, thriving families, thriving communities, and thriving Anaheim. We appreciate you guys taking the time. I’m hoping there’s time for Q&A. And I will hand it back to our facilitators so they can open up the Q&A session. Thank you.
Thank you. We are going to jump into our question-and-answer portion. Thank you, folks, for loading the Q&A. We have about seven or eight minutes to jump in. And so, for our first question, “Within your LCAP process (at the district level), are all divisions part of the process for most districts? Or does this responsibility stay in Ed Services mostly?” So, it looks like how you are engaging other divisions in your LCAP process.
Is that for Anaheim?
It’s for Anaheim, yes.
Roxanna, you want to share just the-
Yeah, absolutely. We start early with the steering committee and those steering committees are pretty much facilitated from all of our directors at the district office. We also have parent leads, student leads, student ambassador leads, so that everybody takes a part in the process in facilitating and having those conversations that will ultimately help build the LCAP. All directors are involved from fiscal services, maintenance and operation, up to a division, student support services, they all take a role in leading some of those steering committees.
Thank you. This is also for Anaheim. “What are the other student committees? So you mentioned your social and your facilities, but what are the other ones?”
The students basically with RSVP select a focus area that they want to build upon or dig deeper in, but it becomes systematic across the sites. Our students selected within RSVP to focus on the social committee facilities where they felt there was a need. So, it is ever evolving, it is student-led and student-inspired. And those students then come to our LCAP larger steering committee, they bring their voice, they bring the work that they’ve done at their site, and then we listen and utilize that information to build upon the work that we’re doing with the LCAP.
Thank you. This is another question for Anaheim. “What is the attendance like for the Parent Learning Walks?”
That’s a great question. I think on average, we have to limit the participation because we do have a lot of parents that are interested in participating. When it’s in-person, we’re averaging anywhere from 25 to 35 parents. When we had to pivot and we went through virtual learning, there was obviously no room limit, so we went, at some sites, up to 80+ parents that were visiting our classrooms virtually. It is something for us to consider if to do a hybrid model and move back to some virtual, some in-person, but right now we are leaving that to site discretion. But they’re very well attended, and the parents are able to see what’s happening in the classroom and then they’re empowered to speak to what those needs are when it comes time to meet as a steering committee at the district office for LCAP.
Thank you. So, this is more of a general question. “What is a Democracy School?”
Through the LA County of Ed, we have opportunities across the state to be recognized as a democracy school, which basically what that means is at least, an entire class of students, if not your entire school, is participating in civic education. And there’s proof of that. Then there’s an application process, every school is allowed to apply. And if you do apply and you are selected as a potential school to receive that accolade, then they send down a team to review the work that is going on, to interview teachers and students and parents and other staff members, to ensure that it’s authentic and that it is happening. So again, it’s fairly new within the last few years and I’m not sure if anyone else from my team would like to add a little more.
Okay. “What was different in the schools who received about an 80% to 90% completion rate?”
I think they were talking about the Needs and Asset Assessment there. Really, there are 13 community schools were on the higher side of the percentage increase. Those are schools that met the criteria, 80% free and reduced rate. The other schools didn’t meet the criteria, perhaps there’s less need there. So, we were very intentional. But we have a Community School Coordinator and a Community School Teacher Lead at every one of those 13 sites. We started with capturing data in the registration, during registration in the summer, and then we continued following up with families to ensure from our two Community School Coordinators and Community School Teacher Lead to ensure that the data increased. So, they had incentives from, “Come in, hang out with us and come do a barbecue and learn about our school.” And then, “Oh by the way, take our Needs and Asset Assessment because we would love to hear your voice.” So, really truly intentional use of their time capturing the data at those 13 community schools, which is evidenced by the higher rates of those schools.
And along with community schools, how did AUHSD facilitate the process for all schools, even the ones that aren’t community schools?
The system was the registration in the summer. So every school has a Family Community Engagement Specialist, Robert mentioned that. So they’re a part of the registration development, the registration team at the sites. So we said, as part of the system that at registration, that was going to be one of the stations our families needed to participate in. So as they walked through and they did turn in the emergency card, the FACES welcome them to their school and said, “We would love to hear more.” And so, during that summer registration prior to school is how we got all schools, followed up by those Family and Community Services via email and via any opportunity, Back to School Nights, they were present and they were available to have our families submit and complete the Needs and Asset Assessment. So that is how across the sites, regardless of community school or not, the assessment was completed.
Thank you. We have about one minute left. “Which adults and staff members are involved in the RSVPs at each site?”
So, you have one staff member, it’s a teacher that is the lead for that group of students and there is a board that’s selected. I believe it’s usually about eight to 10 students ranging from freshmen to seniors who will then go through a training to understand how the implementation of RSVP is going to happen over the course of a year. There’s three different summit days, the first summit day, students are trained to go into all of the classrooms, we’re on assembly type schedule. And the board will then recruit other students to be a part of this process so that there’s enough students going into each and every classroom during a particular period. And there’s questions that are asked of all students in every class about the school site and in terms of what are some of the needs, what things that could be better, things that they enjoy about the school, what are some of the strengths, and then all that information is brought back. The same students that were a part of it usually disaggregate the data, put it together, some things will surface. And then the second summit will be a follow-up with, again, going into the classrooms and asking more specific questions in terms of the themes that surfaced. And then once they do that, the third summit is them coming to administration or to district folks or to city folks, whoever, whatever theme they choose to go with to address some of these issues or themes. And having a dialogue around any next steps, that potential next steps to address those needs. And then all that is given back to students in the third summit in terms of what are the next steps or if we’re able to address these issues or challenges, how it’s going to be done. So, that was kind of a brief summary, but again, there’s a few people involved, and the entire school goes through it.
Thank you. I’ll pass it back over to Melinda.
So again, on behalf of the California Center for School Climate, Region 15 Comprehensive Center, Anaheim Union High School District, as well as our CDE partners, thank you for attending our webinar today.