The La Cañada Unified School District’s oversight committee met recently to make sure it is properly monitoring progress on both local and state goals to improve and maintain education excellence.
Speaking at Tuesday’s Governing Board meeting, Superintendent Wendy Sinnette said the work of the Local Control Accountability Plan committee is extremely important to the district, adding that it is always a work in progress.
“The oversight committee makes sure that we are on track, that we’re monitoring our metrics and targets, that we are outreaching to the larger community,” she said. “The plan is constantly being revised through the wishes of local control.”
She added that while it’s still early in the school year, she is pleased with the committee’s work so far.
“The first meeting is an update, so they saw we were on track,” she said. “We identify the seven local goals. … As we move through the school year we’ll accomplish more, but here’s what we’ve started.”
Those goals include recruiting and retaining the best teachers and administrative and support staff, reducing class sizes and implementing continued learning, such as technology, Sinnette said.
Sinnette said the plan also incorporates many of the ideas the district is trying to implement all school year.
“It is the plan we create based on stakeholder feedback and input that identifies our local priorities and attaches them to goals and to programs and services we provide,” she said. “It indicates what types of metrics and targets that we are going to measure to ensure to the community that we are following through. These identify the priorities.”
COLLEGE READINESS GRANTS
In an effort to help lower-income or English language learner students achieve the goal of going to college, La Cañada High School Associate Principal Jim Cartnal said at the meeting that a college readiness block grant will be available to help.
The funds from the block grants — totaling $75,000 — must be used to “increase or improve services for unduplicated services,” Cartnal said.
“Unduplicated” students are defined as those who are English language learners, those who are homeless or live in foster care, or those who qualify for free or reduced cost lunches, Cartnal said, adding they total somewhere between 6-7% of all students in the district with about 60 of the high school’s 1,400 students falling in that category.
He added that the top three foreign languages in the district are Korean, Mandarin and Armenian.
The board got a quick look at revenues for this school year, since they remain very much the same as last year as a result of constant enrollment, said Mark Evans, the chief business and operations officer for the district.
Evans said revenues should be just more than $850,000 with an additional $75,000 for the college readiness block grant.