Transcript: Prioritizing School Climate Within the Local Control and Accountability Plan
I would like to welcome you to today’s School Climate Data Use Webinar, Prioritizing School Climate Within the Local Control and Accountability Plan. My name is Rebeca Cerna. I’m a Senior Associate at WestEd, and I serve as the Director of the California Center for School Climate. The California Center for School Climate, we provide free support and trainings on school climate and data use practices to schools and districts and county offices of education across the state, and it’s an initiative of the California Department of Education. Today’s session is being hosted in partnership by the California Center for School Climate, the California Department of Education, WestEd, and the Region 15 Comprehensive Network.
So what are we doing today? Today’s webinar, we will provide a brief overview of school climate. Then we’re going to transition to the main portion of the webinar for today where we will be discussing school climate goals in the Local Control Accountability Plans or LCAP for short, and our goal is to have some time at the end for Q&A with the presenters.
So to get us started, I am going to provide a little bit of grounding and framing on school climate. So when we think about school climate, we are offering this definition that it includes the conditions and the quality of a school environment that affects the attitudes, the behaviors, the performance of students and its staff. It’s about the relationships. It’s about the teaching and learning and practices. It’s about the organizational structures. So there’s many different frameworks that school leaders and partners can draw on as they do work around school climate. In the center, we offer these three domains as one framing, belonging and connectedness, the environment, and safety and wellness.
As one of our youth advisory team members, Alexa, once shared with us, a positive school climate is about this. It’s a supportive school environment that encourages students to pursue their interest and focuses on the wellbeing of a student population. So I feel better going to school knowing that teachers and staff want me to succeed both academically and in life. This is what Alexa shared with us last year when she was a sophomore at a high school in California.
So we need to consider all of these aspects in school climate from engaging educational partners to developing relationships, to considering behavioral supports, physical environment, to the emotional, psychological, and physical safety, and to the mental health and wellbeing of supports that are provided to staff and students, and because there’s so many aspects of school climate, there’s also very many ways to measure these domains and sub-domains of school climate. There’s qualitative data, there’s quantitative data, but today, we’re going to focus on the integration of school climate measurement and the goals within the LCAP.
So I’m excited to introduce our two speakers today. So first, we have Lidia Renteria. So Lidia serves as an education programs consultant in the Local Agency System Support Office, LASSO, at the California Department of Education. In this role, Lidia supports districts with the implementation of the Local Control and Accountability Plans, LCAPs, local indicators, and family and community engagement. She brings with her 30 years of experience in programs serving children from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade.
We also have Joshua Strong with us today. He has served as the administrator for LASSO at the California Department of Education for nearly eight years. In this capacity, he and the LASSO team support local education agencies throughout California in the programmatic implementation of the local control funding formula, including the LCAP and the local indicators on the California school dashboard. So we welcome you both. First, I’m going to pass it to Lidia.
Thank you, Rebeca. Good afternoon everyone. Thank you so much for joining us. We would like to begin today’s session with an interactive activity. As always, we seek to make this a two-way sharing opportunity and really, really value the expertise that’s in the room. So we wanted to start by providing the opportunity for you all to share what types of local school climate data your LEA is collecting to inform the LCAP. So the invitation is to type in the chat a list of the local school climate data that your LEA is using to collect to assess school climate. So if you could go ahead and start doing that now. We’ll take a look at the entries in just a minute.
We know while you’re entering your responses that there is so much variance across the state. Our LEAs are unique in local context and the student populations. So while some of them may be serving elementary age students, we have middle school age students in grade spans. We also have those high schools. So the types of data that might be collected could be quite different and applicable to that local community. So we’re really seeking this opportunity to hear from you as to the type of data that you all are collecting.
I see, I’m looking at the chat, I see some of you are saying student leadership. Of course, we have the healthy kids K12 surveys, student and parent surveys with the CHKS. We have data zone. A lot of CHKS in there. We’re also looking at student listening circles. Kathy Morrison, thank you for putting that in, Kelvin surveys, and Jeanette. I see a few of you putting in Panorama surveys. So you can see there’s quite a bit of variety in terms of the type of data that LEAs look at and specifically local data to better assess school climate. So we appreciate you putting that information in there. Please don’t stop if you get the opportunity to put the information in as we’re presenting. Continue to do so. This is an opportunity for you all to share your wisdom with each other. Thank you.
So we move to the next slide. We’ll go ahead and get started. I am Lidia Renteria, as Rebeca said, and I have the honor of working for Josh Strong in the LASSO office. My part of the presentation today will focus on grounding us in the background regarding the LCAP and the goals themselves. Then I’ll be turning it over to Josh, who will be taking us through a much deeper conversation around how to develop well-written goals.
So those of you that have been attending our Tuesdays @ 2, you may recognize some of this, but we know that this webinar may be attended by folks that are new to the LCAP and by a broader community, including possibly those that may be outside of California. So we wanted to start with that grounding so that everybody has access to that understanding.
As you know, LEAs in California are required to develop a Local Control and Accountability Plan using the template that’s adopted by the State Board of Education. That template is the document that contains all of the required prompts and instructions for each prompt. Now, each LCAP must address all applicable state priorities, and that includes Priority 6. There are 10 LCFF priorities, two of which are only for county offices. Priority 6 addresses these three things as you see on the screen.
We’ve got the pupil suspension rates to begin with. Then we have pupil expulsion rates, and lastly, other local measures, which includes the surveys of students, parents, and teachers on the sense of safety and school connectedness. So that is a broad description of the LCAP. We’re going to go deeper, but just keep in mind that the LCAP is basically a plan that tells that story of how the LEA is serving its local students. That’s the big picture there.
So we move to the next slide, and we see the LCAP functions. As we discussed in our prior webinars, it’s really important to remember that the LCAP development process serves three unique and distinct related functions. They include meaningful engagement of educational partners, comprehensive strategic planning, accountability, and compliance. So keeping each of these three functions at the heart of this is very important as it can help to guide us in terms of the local process as we develop the LCAP, as we consult with our educational partners, and as we look to see what types of goals we need to develop to address the needs of the students in our particular community.
So moving forward, we’d like to take a look at the LCAP sections. On the prior slide, what you see is a simple graphic that tells us what’s included in LCAP. The best way to look at this is in terms of the sections of the LCAP, but also to look at it as one whole story. So you’ll see from the left to the right that the first section is the budget overview for parents. This section is intended to provide an overview of the funding that LEA receives and how it’ll be used in the coming year.
That section is followed by a new section. You’ll see right there on the image, the question mark and the annual update. The idea with the 2023-2024 annual update is to help us in moving from the prior three-year LCAP to the next three-year LCAP. It serves like that bridge right between the two LCAPs. The annual update provides an analysis of the prior year goals and actions and helps the community to understand the changes that are being made to the LCAP in the coming year. So that particular section is a look back and an analysis before moving forward.
After that, we have the plan summary, which is intended to help readers understand the local educational agency, its schools, its students, and very importantly, the needs of that local community or the student population. So this section will also identify whether an LEA has been identified for CSI or if it has schools that receive equity multiplier funding. In general, this plan summary, you can think of it like an executive summary of the LCAP. It’s a real overview of it.
Next, we have that engaging educational partners, which is something very near dear to our heart. This section helps to tell the story of how the LEA consulted with its educational partners and engaged them in the development of the LCAP. It also tells the story of what impact that consultation and engagement process had on the actual adopted LCAP.
Then we move to the center of the LCAP, which is the goals. The goals section is where the LEA tells the story of how it is addressing the needs of the students in its community. In this section, we’ll see the types of actions and services that are being provided, as well as the measuring and reporting results, analysis, et cetera. We’ll be talking about the components in the goals section in more detail shortly, but you can see that’s the center of the LCAP, and that’s where you really find the actions and services tied to the unique needs of that community.
Next, we move to the increased or improved services section. Those of you that are very familiar with the LCAP know that LEAs are required to demonstrate how they are meeting the requirement to increase or improve services for unduplicated students. This includes English learners, low income, and foster youth. Well, in this section, LEAs will identify all of the actions that they identified as contributing to the LEAs increased or improved services requirement, and provide the required justifications for such actions. Now, you may remember that those actions should also be in the goals. This year’s template provides LEAs with a table to address each of the required justifications.
Then on the right-hand side, we have the action tables. These tables really do serve multiple purposes, but among them is the ability to identify the funds that the LEA uses to support each action. As LEAs write their LCAP, it’s really important to keep in mind that there should be alignment between the information reported in these sections, for example, in the goals as compared to other sections of the LCAP such as the increased or improved services section and the action tables.
Finally, LEAs are required to write the LCAP in a way that is understandable to the local community. Meaningful engagement in the development of the LCAP is best achieved when the process supports this endeavor. The LCAP document is written in such a way that readers can understand the information. So keeping these concepts in mind is very helpful when seeking to write a well-written LCAP.
Moving forward, we’ll see the LCAP goals slide. On this slide, we remember that, in general, the goals really tell the LEAs plan to address student need as we said before. The goals section, as we said earlier, is the center of the LCAP. It’s where we see what’s being done to address student need. The LCAP must provide a description of the annual goals for all pupils and each subgroup of pupils identified pursuant to education code section 52052 to be achieved for each of the state priorities and any additional priorities identified by the governing board of the school district or of the county board of education or the charter school petition in the case of charter schools.
LEAs must consider performance on state and local indicators, including their locally collected and reported data for the local indicators that are included in the dashboard in determining whether and how to prioritize those goals within the LCAP. Then additionally, we want to remind us all that LEAs are encouraged to consider input from educational partners in the development of the LCAP.
So with that said, we know that the LCAP provides the opportunity for LEAs to support prioritization of goals, and to do so, provides the option of developing four different types of goals. Let’s take a look at those.
What are the types of goals? Well, again, those of you that are familiar with the LCAP will recognize that three of them are the same as last year. Just like in the prior years, LEAs continue to be able to develop the broad goal, the focus goal, and the last one there, the maintenance goal. The difference this year is that third one, the equity multiplier focus goal. This type of goal is a focus goal that’s required when LEAs have schools that receive equity multiplier funding.
Now, please note that there are specific requirements and instructions for each type of goal identified in the LCAP template. So prior to determining what type of goal to write, it can be helpful to review the instructions to get those details for each type of goal, but just in general, let’s talk about the difference between each of these goals.
In general, a broad goal addresses multiple student groups and state priorities, and is less specific in scope, while a focus goal tends to address fewer student groups and/or state priorities and is more specific and, here’s the key, time bound. The maintenance goal is only for those things the LEA is seeking to maintain. So that’s just a brief overarching description of each type of goals, but again, we encourage you to take a look at the instructions for the additional details.
Next, let’s take a look at the components. So now you know we have four types of goals. Regardless of the type of goal selected, each goal has the following components. So here we see the specific components that are included in each goal. Most of these you’ll recognize from the prior template because we’ve always had the ability to identify the goal number, the goal description, the why, the measuring and reporting results, the goal analysis, and the actions. Those were in the prior template.
However, this year, there are new components to support reader understanding. That type of goal in there and the component right beneath that, the state priorities address, those are the two new components in this year’s LCAP template. While an LEA has always been required to address all of the applicable LCFF priorities, within the LCAP, the prior template did not include a space for LEAs to indicate which specific LCFF priorities were being addressed by the particular goal. This year’s template does. The addition of this component helps readers to see that connection easily, and this can be especially helpful for our parents in the community.
The next new component is the type of goal. The type of goal is needed due to the addition of the equity multiplier focus goal in statute. So moving forward when writing a goal, LEAs are to identify the specific type of goal being written.
So now that you have the LCAP background, we’ve talked about the sections in the LCAP, we talked about the goal a little more, we talked about the components in the goal, and we kept in mind the three functions of the LCAP, we’d like to hand it over to Josh, who will be taking us through the LCAP development resource and really helping us to think much more deeply about a well-written goal. Josh?
Great. Thanks, Lidia. Good afternoon everybody. So let’s take a look at the LCAP at a goal within the LCAP here. We’ll be using the LCAP development resources that the California Department of Education developed in conjunction with the Region 15 Comprehensive Center at WestEd. This is an example of one of those that’s available on the department’s LCAP development resources webpage. This is a fictitious goal that we developed related specifically to school connectedness.
This goal is an example of a broad goal. So of the four types of goals that Lidia just covered, this would be an example of a broad goal. So it’s going to be directed towards all students, it’s going to be covering a variety of indicators, and things like that. So what we want to do is we want to take the opportunity to walk through this goal with everybody.
As you’re all familiar, the goal starts with the goal description. We’ve got the goal number, we’ve got the type of goal, but the goal description is the piece where we’re really focusing in on, what exactly is it that we’re trying to achieve. So in this goal description, you can see that the goal is to ensure that all students in grades seven through 12 will feel connected at school as indicated in climate survey data by conducting professional development in social, emotional learning for all school staff and by increasing the number of counselors at school sites.
So we’ve indicated here what grade spans we’re looking at. We’re looking at what it is that we’re intending to change, as well as how it is that we’re looking to accomplish that change. Obviously, the state priorities that are addressed by the goal here are related to Priority 6 school climate, but there’s other priorities that will weave themselves in as we go through.
So having covered the goal description, let’s look at the explanation of why the LEA has developed the goal. Now, the explanation of why the LEA has developed the goal is intended to provide the community with an understanding of the rationale behind choosing this particular goal, as well as connecting what it is that we’re trying to achieve to those measurements and the actions that are included within the goal.
So in terms of our explanation of why the LEAs developed the goal, the first thing that we’re starting off with is a data point related to our local school climate survey data, which indicates that 40% of students in grades seven through 12 feel that they’re connected at school. In looking into that further, our team at the LEA, at this fictitious LEA, conducted a root cause analysis in order to determine those root causes for higher chronic absenteeism and found that it’s this lack of school connectedness that’s one of the main causes for chronic absenteeism.
So in addition, we’ve done engagement with our educational partners. Families as part of this suggested that the district expand their comprehensive counseling programs at schools in order to provide social, emotional learning supports for families and for students. This idea here is to ensure that students grow and are prepared for colleges and careers, and the climate and the culture of the schools, ensuring that the school climate is conducive for making sure that those students are able to grow. Then also through professional development and social, emotional learning for school staff, there’s looking at increasing the access to counselors and really helping students to feel more connected at school.
When we’re talking about educational partners as part of this explanation, those educational partners can really be anybody that’s involved within the school setting. It includes parents, the students themselves, it includes families, it includes teachers, school staff, anybody that is engaged in the educational community. So looking at all of those various people that are involved in this process and really connecting the dots of the input that they bring together in order to identify some specific root causes.
So let’s move to the next slide. This is the first of three slides where we’re looking at the measure and reporting results. So these are our metrics that we’re using to measure progress towards the goal. You’ll see that all of these metrics tie back to the goal itself, what is it that we’re trying to achieve. So we’re looking at tracking those outcomes across the three years.
So our first metric is the percentage of all students in grades seven through 12 that reported they feel connected, that school based on our school connectedness, school climate survey data. Obviously, the baseline is that 40% that was already mentioned in the why statement. So the target is to really move that and shift that to 50% of students feel connected.
Now, when we’re talking about the target, that’s our target for three years. However, that target is not necessarily set in stone. That’s what we’re aiming for at this point in time, but the target is also subject to change. If, for example, we make that progress, that 10% growth within our first year and our year one outcome is that it’s a 50%, then we as an LEA can change that 50% in the target for year three and move that up to higher.
Similarly, if we are at the end of three years and we haven’t met that 50% but we’ve seen growth, we’ve seen improvement, then we know that we’re on the right track, albeit slower than what we wanted to accomplish, but we’re seeing progress. So keep that in mind when we’re talking about these targets.
The next metric that we have in here is the chronic absenteeism rate. The LEA’s chronic absenteeism rate is currently at 14%. We want to reduce that to 8%. Then we have the attendance rate, which the daily attendance rate was 80%. We want to increase that to 90%.
Moving to the next slide, we can see that our fourth metric is related to the graduation rate. We want to increase the graduation rate from 86% to 90%. Our fifth metric is the percentage of students in grades seven through 12 that have requested to see a counselor for social and emotional support. So those first few metrics that you saw, one through four, are largely related to things that are state level data or in the instance of the school climate survey, the very first metric, is related to our local indicator for Priority 6. Two, three, and four, those are state-required metrics that are part of school climate. I’m blanking on the other priority, Priority 5, but it’ll come back to me eventually. Those are state collected and are reported at the state level.
However, when we get into the metric for five, six, seven, those metrics are really based around some specific local data, and local data that we’ve decided to really tie in based on feedback from the community that we discussed in the why statement, as well as what it is that we’re looking to achieve as part of the goal.
So here in metric five, we’ve got the percentage of students in grades seven through 12 that requested to see a counselor for social, emotional support. So we’re specifically tracking how many students are asking to see a counselor, specifically related to social, emotional support. The baseline data that we’ve collected is that 35% of the students are requesting to see a counselor. What we want to do is, based on the implementation of the actions over the three years, we want to reduce that, decrease that number to 25% of the students because we want to ensure that more students are getting proactive support. Therefore, the number of students that are requesting to see a counselor will actually decrease not because we’re not concerned about the student’s mental health, but because we want to ensure that those supports that they need are being provided before they actually need to reach out for a counselor.
So then the sixth metric that we have here is the percentage of students in seven through 12, grades seven through 12 that requested and received counseling support services. So the first one is around who asked for them. The second one is around who asked for them and who received them. So at this point, we’ve got 70% of the students that requested to see a counselor are being seen. We want to increase that to 90% of the students that requested to see a counselor are being seen.
Then if we go to the next slide and we look at the seventh metric, we’ve got the percentage of students that received counseling who reported an increased sense of connection and belonging. So of the 70% of students that we have that are receiving counseling services, what’s the percentage of students that received that counseling that then reported an increased sense of connection and wellbeing?
Now, right now we don’t have any baseline data related to that because it hasn’t been previously collected. So the first time that we’re going to report that data is going to be in the year one outcome. We still have a target. We want to ensure that 70% of the students that have received counseling are going to report that there’s an increased sense of connection and belonging. Obviously, that’s going to be adjusted based upon what we find out in collecting our baseline data, but that sets the stage for how it is that we’re measuring progress related to this specific goal.
Now, if we go to the next slide, we can take a look at the specific actions that are being used to support the implementation of this goal. So the first of our five actions here is related to counseling support and expanding our comprehensive counseling program at school sites. We’re going to add five counselors to identify and address barriers to student attendance and school connectedness and to strengthen relationships with students and families. That’s obviously going to tie into our metrics there that we’ve already discussed, as well as address the educational partner feedback that we received that was mentioned within the why statement.
Our next action is social, emotional training or social, emotional learning training for school staff to provide that professional learning for district-adopted SEL programs. Then our third action is the coaching and supervision of staff, where we’re providing all of the administrators with the professional learning to improve knowledge and skills in order to coach teachers in the implementation of the district-adopted SEL program while creating a positive learning environment for all students. You can see that we’ve provided an action that’s specifically related to supporting the students. We’ve got an action that’s specifically related to supporting the staff, as well as one that’s specifically related to supporting administrators who are then supporting staff.
Our fourth action is our multi-tiered system of support, the MTSS implementation, facilitating the district-wide community of practice in order to support counselors in the implementation of culturally responsive and trauma-informed practices and implementing that tiered approach. So then based on the feedback that we get from our counselors, we can target the levels of support towards specific students, towards specific families and really help that sense of connectedness and involvement to be able to grow.
Then our fifth action, the partnership program for at-risk students. So based on those that are identified by our counselors, based on those that are identified within our MTSS system, we can then plug in these students that need this additional support related to SEL with specific organizations and businesses in the community in order to provide mentoring opportunities and support for those students, so looking at that specifically related to outreach and meeting and mileage with those agencies, those organizations and businesses within the community, and building out those mentorship opportunities that exist there.
So you can see how we’ve developed our goal based upon the needs that were identified both within data and through our educational partners. You can see how it is that the metrics have been thought through in order to determine whether or not we’re making progress towards that goal. You can see how the actions then tie in to support the implementation of the act of the goal and ensure that we’re making progress towards that.
Now, obviously, we’ll have to come back and reevaluate the way that this looks as part of the annual update process and look at our data, both that state level data and that local level data, to see whether or not things are occurring as we’ve planned. There might be a need to make some course corrections. There might be a need to look at some of the metrics and whether or not those are providing us with information that we need. So that’s going to be part of it. So with that, I will turn it back over to Lidia for our next chat activity.
Okay. Thank you, Josh. So in the next slide or on the next slide, you’ll see a chat question for you all. In this case, we want to make the tie from that data to the actions and services. So the question at this point is, what types of actions or strategies have you found that led to a positive impact on school climate and how did you know that that was a positive impact? What type of data supported the success or the impact of that? So if you could take a moment, pop over to the chat and tell us a little bit about any action that you identified to lead to a positive impact on school climate, identify that type of an action or strategy, and then follow that with the data that supported the success or impact of the strategy. To make it easier for your colleagues to understand, it would be helpful if you labeled the action with an A and then follow the action and then the data with a B. That way, everybody can see the connections. So please take a moment to put in your ideas.
If we could advance the slide to the next one, that would be great. There should be a chat activity. I’m going to go ahead and take a look at the chat to see what’s bubbling up in there. So we have grade level activities for ninth graders participating in field day, and that was followed up with a survey of the kids that participated. We’ve got BN Ally Assembly led by leadership as a strategy. Another strategy is creating virtual community groups, a student-led, counselor-facilitated, and then the B part of that, how they knew it was effective in this case was school counseling survey. Thank you for making those ties, by the way. That’s really helpful because then your colleagues can see that and make those connections as well.
I’m going to scroll up and see what else we have at the top. We’ve got elementary and middle school counselors, family nights, data on survey of students feeling connected. So some of those are starting to trickle in. Feel free to enter others. I see a focus on attendance and support through SEL, through the implementation of curriculum, PBIS and restorative justices practices. Definitely, yes, it could be a combination of things that when implemented together lead to that greater impact. So thank you for taking a moment to enter those ideas in there, and please feel free to do that as we continue the presentation and to add to this. This is where we learn from each other and we just glean that collective wisdom. Thank you. The next slide, please.
Thank you, Lidia.
Appreciate you walking folks through that, and please continue to feel free to put those in. So just a few words here related to promoting well-written goals. One of the things that you’ll note through as we went through that goal was there was really an emphasis on trying to ensure that the goal was written in such a way that it was easily understandable, that it was succinct, and that the various components were able to be connected together so that the reader could understand what was going on.
One of the aspects of the LCAP is that it’s this public-facing document that really communicates what it is that the LEA is trying to do to its community and to ensure that that communication is possible and is accurate and is understandable by the community. It’s important to ensure that we’re really focusing on well-written responses to the prompts.
Now, obviously, there’s no manual out there related to what makes a well-written prompt. To a certain extent, it’s going to really depend on your local community because what a well-written response is in a small single school district is going to be significantly different than what a well-written response in a large urban district is going to be. That’s something that you all have to take into account based on your context, but in general, there’s a couple of guidelines that we can offer in terms of considerations, making sure that we’re avoiding a certain level of education ease. There’s a difference between the language that we use when we as educators are talking about the actual implementation of strategies, of learning, the various things that are going on within the classroom or within a school that folks that aren’t educational practitioners would not understand or wouldn’t be able to follow along with.
Keeping those explanations at a high level within the LCAP is going to be beneficial for those that are reading the plan because we don’t really need to get into the weeds of implementation and who’s doing what specifically at what point in time in the same way that we have to do when we’re talking about implementing a program at a specific school site. That level of detail can really be kept to the school site.
When we’re talking about well-written goals, considering how it is that that goal is supporting comprehensive planning, how is it supporting meaningful engagement of our educational partners. When they look at that plan, are they going to be able to read it and understand what’s going on? Then accountability and compliance, have we met those requirements that are in there and have done so in a thoughtful way? Then as we’ve mentioned before, just in the way that the information is aligned within the plan, how is it that the goal description is being supported by the why statement? How is it that the metrics and the actions are also supporting that goal and what it is that we’re trying to achieve, as well as how are those metrics and actions addressing the concerns and the needs that were lifted up within the why statement? All of those are pieces to consider.
If we look at the next slide, just building on this idea of the alignment of the information, looking at this through line, the connection that exists between the goal, the why statement, measuring reporting results and the actions, ensuring that those things are interrelated and that we don’t have these disjointed pieces that are stuck together because we’re not quite sure where to put them. If you’ve got components within the LCAP priorities that you don’t have a dedicated goal for or that metrics that are required that you don’t have a dedicated place for them, then our best suggestion is that you utilize a maintenance of progress goal. Put all of those things in there because they’re probably not going to be things that really need to be focused on in terms of improvement, more in terms of maintenance and just ensuring that they’re not getting worse, but they can just sit there in that goal and hang out together, so to speak. Whereas the things that are really we really need to focus on and that are more high leverage can go in the broad goals or in the focus goals.
We also want to ensure that there’s a unit of measure that’s constant across all of the metrics. So we start with percentages. We’re going to carry those percentages throughout. We’re not going to spot back and forth between percentages and numbers. The metrics should contribute to data towards measuring of progress associated with the goal, again, going back to what I already talked about. Then each action should really contribute towards achieving the goal. The actions should be aligned with what the goal is and what the metrics are seeking to measure. Then obviously, we’re going to learn about this more within the annual update information in terms of evaluating that goal, what its implementation was like, how it was supported, and whether or not the actions were effective. That’s going to inform what it is that we’re doing as well.
Just this final reminder on the next slide to keep explanations simple. Providing the community with the descriptions that are succinct is really going to help them understand both what the needs of the students are or what the goals are and whether or not there’s progress being made towards those goals. So that’s going to be key. So with that, I’ll go ahead and turn it back over to Rebeca.
Great. Thank you, Josh and Lidia. That was very helpful to hear this overview. I know that we have several questions that we have either in the Q&A and the chat. I’m going to probably be able to do just a couple. There was one question that came up about, what is school connectedness on a climate survey, and is that one of the many options that LEAs have for school climate surveys? I know that I can say in the California Healthy Kids Survey School climate, school connectedness is measured with the scale of items like, do you feel close to people at school, are you happy to be at school, do you feel like you’re part of a school, as some examples of the items on the scale, but is that one of the many options that LEAs have for school climate surveys?
Yeah, those sorts of things are certainly components that can be included within that school climate survey. That can also contribute towards your Priority 6 local indicator as well. So there’s multiple components to that.
Great. Following up also on the survey, there was this question about there’s this new requirement for the annual school climate survey. Do you know if there’s a plan for the California Department of Ed to release a potential survey tool that could be used by districts at no cost?
Yeah. At this point in time, there’s not anything. The department’s not looking at that. That’s not to say that that’s not a possibility. It’s just at this point in time, that’s not something that’s being looked at. I will say that along the same lines, when the State Board of Education put that requirement in place back in March of 2023, they asked the department to begin looking into whether or not there’s feasibility in adding a standardized set of survey questions for all LEAs. At this point, we’re in the middle of doing that work based upon the direction and the information that we receive from the State Board of Education related to that moving forward. It could be that the state will have some option available in the future, just not right now.
Then also, just building off of that. There was an email that went out earlier today on an action the State Board took at their meeting today related to the Priority 6 local indicator self-reflection tool. As part of when the board took action in March of 2023, they put in place a requirement that said that the LEAs had to report disaggregated student data based on the student groups in education code section 52052, which are all of the student groups that are then reported on the California School dashboard.
In implementing that and looking at that, it was discovered that a lot of the demographic information isn’t widely available through school climate surveys, whether that’s Panorama, Healthy Kids, Youth Truth, Kelvin, whoever, and based on the grade span that we’re looking at, there may or may not be demographic information because you can ask certain questions to high schoolers that you can’t ask to elementary school students. So based on that consideration, the board today updated, passed a revised self-reflection tool for LEAs to use in 2024 to where if there’s demographic data that’s provided as part of the survey. So if students are asked to self-report demographic data within the survey, that that should be reported as part of their Priority 6 local indicator, but an LEA does not have to go and to try to identify others’ demographic data that is not provided through the school climate survey in order to report that as part of the local indicators.
Great. Thank you, Josh. That’s very helpful. I know that there was some other questions that we’re probably not going to get to. Is there a place that you might recommend for folks if they have additional questions, maybe they could review some of the past recordings? Do you want to share a little bit about the Tuesdays @ 2?
Sure. So on the department’s webpage, if you just go to the homepage and you scroll down, click on LCAP, Local Control and Accountability Plan, on that local control and accountability plan webpage, there’s a link to our Tuesday @ 2 webpage, which will provide all of the recordings of our Tuesday @ 2 webinars, as well as the slide decks for those. There’s also a link to the LCAP development resources webpage, and on that webpage, you can find the sample goals, including the one that we’ve looked at today, as well as resources related to the Engaging Educational Partners resource that have also been developed. So those are both available off of our webpage on CD’s website.
Great. Thank you. Just as a final, if you could give us your 20-second takeaway of what you would want attendees to take with them. Of everything that you share today, what would be one key thing that you would want them to leave with?
I think what we would really like folks to take away is the LCAP can be a daunting document. Some of the comments at the beginning of the webinar were they’re concerned, they’re feeling overwhelmed, things like that. Remember that the focus at the end of the day should be on the kids, and write your plan in a way that’s going to communicate what it is you’re doing for the students in a way that the local community can understand that, and that’s going to be enough, okay? That’s really the focus here is to ensure that those students are receiving the supports that they need so that the outcomes for students are being improved.
Great. Thank you. Thank you so much, Lydia and Josh, for both of your input. We really appreciate it. I know that we had a little technical issue, but we are very happy that you were able to share some information. We appreciate everyone for coming, and have a good rest of your evening today. Thank you.