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By Dr. Mary Sieu
It’s hard to imagine that our school year in the ABC Unified School District is soon ending on June 15, 2016. There were many highlights during the 2015-16 school year including the celebration of nine elementary schools selected as California Gold Ribbon Schools, the designation of the District as an “Honor Roll District” with fifteen Honor Roll Schools by the Educational Results Partnership and the Campaign for Business and Education Excellence, the selection of Ross MS Academy as a “ CA School to Watch/National Model Middle School”, Whitney HS selected as the #1 high school in California by U.S. News & World Report, winning two Golden Bell Awards from the California School Boards Association and the recognition by the National School Boards Association for our Multi-Tiered System of Support.
Our District’s graduation rate increased from 93.5% to 94.4% with a decline in the dropout rate from 2.3% to 1.7%. In the mid-year report, our attendance rate increased from 96.7% to 97.7%. The District’s suspension rate decreased from 2.5% to 1.1% with no expulsions for over three years.
Like all districts in California, the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) was the driving force behind many of the services and programs in the District to address the State’s and District priorities. Here is a recap of some of the efforts during the 2015-16 school year:
•We purchased new math instructional materials that were aligned to the California State Standards for elementary and secondary schools.
•Professional development was provided for 2039 TK-12th grade teachers in the new math materials. Training focused on problem based learning and math practice standards. Secondary teachers were trained in the Expository Reading and Writing Course as well as the Next Generation Science Standards.
•The LCAP Parent Committee was formed to include parents of English learners, Title I and non-Title I schools representing all schools in the District. The District’s Parent Leadership Academy was reorganized to provide monthly modules related to the LCAP goals.
•We provided the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) Program for all secondary schools to prepare students for college readiness. We increased access to Advanced Placement Courses as well as increased support to schools with English Learners through the Imagine Learning Program and Reading Plus Program. We provided Edmentum, an online program to support credit recovery.
•We increased the use of school wide positive behavioral support systems across the district including the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports Program, PeaceBuilders and Restorative Justice Program to improve school climate.
•We added 12 Wellness Coordinators for all elementary and middle schools to support students with social-emotional behavioral issues.
•Naviance, an online college and career readiness exploration program was available to all middle and high school students.
•We convened the first College and Career Forum with higher education and industry sectors. We launched an Education Business RoundTable with our local Chamber of Commerce partners.
•Class sizes were reduced to 26:1 in K-3 classrooms.
•We expanded the Science, Technology Engineering Math (STEM) Program and activities to 13 elementary schools through a Boeing Grant.
•District benchmarks were developed and implemented to monitor students’ progress towards proficiency in English Language Arts and Math Standards.
We recognize that the LCAP is a planning document that will be revised and modified over the next few years. We thank all those involved with providing input towards the LCAP at the District and at the school site level. The LCAP is available on the District’s website at: www.abcusd.us. Your feedback is always welcomed. The ABC Board of Education will be voting on the LCAP for 2016-17 at the June 21 Board Meeting.
The Board of Education recently created a new Ad Hoc Board Advisory Facilities Committee comprised of community members and district staff. They will be reviewing the facilities needs of the District and provide progress reports to the Board throughout the 2016-17 school year.
Finally, congratulations to all our graduates in the Class of 2016! We wish them the best of luck in their postsecondary options. We wish everyone a safe and memorable summer!
Follow me on Twitter: @abcsupt
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