As you know, at Sunnyvale School District (SSD) we’re all about growth. We set goals for our students and regularly track their growth so we can be sure we are addressing their needs appropriately.
As a district, we are always learning, too! For us, it starts with planning. For decades, SSD has embraced planning as key to ensuring that we provide each student with what they need. This practice not only helps us better support our students, but it aligns directly with the State of California’s requirement for school districts to create and operate according to a Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP).
An LCAP is a strategic plan that outlines the district’s approach to ensuring growth for all students, especially those who have historically lacked equitable access to learning opportunities, such as those who are low-income, English Learners, or foster youth.
While priorities are established at the state level, individual districts and schools are tasked with developing strategies that will work best for their individual and unique communities and to engage student families every step of the way. Parents and guardians provide input, as do students, school personnel, parents of English Learners, and other key community members. By shaping our plan with community input, we assure transparency, accountability, and relevancy. LCAPs are refreshed every three years, and progress is reported annually to the Board of Education, the County Office of Education, and the California Department of Education.
OUR LCAP embodies some of our most foundational beliefs — that all students can learn and it’s our responsibility they do; that those students will be more successful when we celebrate and build upon each one’s unique gifts and perspectives; and that family engagement can help us design practices and interventions that help every student succeed.
Our LCAP for 2021-2024 includes five key goals, each with associated actions and metrics, and all are focused on improving outcomes for all students.
- Ensuring all students have equitable access to positive learning conditions — strong teachers, well-maintained facilities and equipment, and standards-aligned learning materials
- Providing equitable and responsive instruction that prepares all students for college and careers
- Teaching and modeling social-emotional skills and creating culturally responsive environments so all children can reach their learning potential
- Support student success by fostering an inclusive and welcoming environment for all district families
- Accelerate learning outcomes for English Language Learners
At its core, LCAP is about providing equitable learning outcomes for all children throughout the district.
Investing in our students
We are midway through the first year of our three-year LCAP plan. While it’s a bit too early to see how we’re performing against our goals, we do have some highlights to share.
We have received some great input from families. Parent/Teacher Associations (PTAs), School Site Councils, and English Learner Advisory Committees are all directly involved in planning, and families are invited to share their thoughts through surveys, Coffees with the Principal, and other events.
We are building safe places. By investing in facilities and equipment upgrades and maintenance, we are working toward continuously improving our school environments, so they are safe for students and staff and are a point of pride for our community.
AND we’re building safe SPACES. We are making significant investments in professional development for our teachers as we work toward the common goal of providing a strong school climate and an emotionally safe place for children to learn and grow. Teachers are tasked with instructing and modeling social-emotional skills and cultural respect, developing a common district language. This creates a space where ALL students, regardless of their backgrounds or circumstances, can be seen, included, and do their best work.
The LCAP is a work in progress, and we are watching closely to see where we need to correct course — or stay the course — to yield the benefits for students. Be on the lookout for LCAP news as we progress!
Article submitted by Lighthouse Blue Communications with contributions by Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Director Christina Ballantyne.