(Image Source: Salinas Union High School District)
On November 9, the Salinas Union High School District held one of its bi-monthly meetings. One of the main points of the agenda was a quarterly update presentation on the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) with accomplishments and challenges of specific actions.
The LCAP is important because it is a way for schools to set community goals to improve their students with the help of community members.
Dr. Glenn first presented on Action 1.1, this goal focuses on increasing access and opportunities of work for students with disabilities and English Learners through career and technical education (CTE) coordinators. The main accomplishment of this action was on the success of increasing accessibility to CTE courses.
Ms. Pio Garcia then presented on Action 1.4 about the AVID program in the district. The most prominent challenge of this action had to do with AVID tutors. According to the program, every AVID section needs one tutor per every seven students. Yet, there have only been two tutors hired this year. According to Ms. Pio Garcia, hiring tutors becomes difficult as the hiring process takes time, and the tutor might take another job during that period.
A question asked by Trustee Rubio was why the district couldn’t enroll more students into the program, since it focuses on helping students. Superintendent Burns responded by saying that AVID was considered an exclusive program for students with a 2.5 through 3.5 GPA and are first-generation college students. He added that instead of enrolling all students into AVID, all classrooms could implement the teaching methods of the program. According to Dr. Baltazar-Sabbah, it is also difficult to increase more sections of AVID if there are competing electives in the students’ schedules.
After that discussion, Mr. Garcia presented Action 1.7, which focuses on implementing a comprehensive English Language program (EL). One highlighted accomplishment was the collaboration with teachers that happened during the summer to revise the ELD curriculum. Another accomplishment mentioned was that the reclassification percentage rates were above average in the district compared to counties around the state that have similar programs.
One challenge in the action was finding staff. According to Mr. Garcia, the lack of substitute teachers has impacted the EL program because it limits the professional development (PD) offered. He mentioned that it is important to be “strategic about staffing and master scheduling” for the next year.
Mr. Garcia spoke about Goal 2.2, which focuses on recruiting, developing, and keeping staff. Overall, he noted that the staff has been stressing about the return of in-person learning. He also included that there has been high participation in the PD courses that happen after school and on Saturdays and that teachers have felt that the courses help. A challenge that was mentioned had to do with the teacher shortage and how curriculum specialists have had to step in, causing limited PD opportunities.
Goal 3.3 on parent engagement was the final goal presented by Ms. Pio Garcia. She talked about the success of weekly parent meetings that were offered by community liaisons at each school site. She also discussed that families wanted college awareness workshops to be implemented. The district listened by having a four-week-long series of college awareness workshops with topics ranging from applications to scholarships.
After the LCAP presentation, the board moved on to public hearings and action items. They were able to discuss board policies and consent to items on the agenda. Due to Thanksgiving Break and Winter Break, the next meetings are to be held on December 14, 2021, and January 11, 2022.