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Education Matters


 

 

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Education Matters is our monthly column published in the Napa Valley Register and American Canyon Eagle

The fourth Tuesday and Thursday of each month, we discuss a topic of interest to students, parents and the greater community. 

Education Matters

Napa Valley Register -- February 25, 2019
American Canyon Eagle -- February 28, 2019

Parents, please share your thoughts via LCAP survey

In education in California, spring is marked not by the return of migratory birds or the bloom of daffodils in the garden, but rather by the annual work to update the School District Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP).

Simply put, the LCAP is a three-year plan, updated every year, that school districts, county offices of education and charter schools are required to submit to the State as a main component of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). You may remember that the LCFF was enacted statewide in 2013-2014, replacing the K-12 funding system that had been in place for about 40 years. The old system was quite cumbersome, with more than 50 restricted funding streams for specific programs. The LCFF, in contrast, has essentially three:

-- A base amount per student

-- Additional amounts per students who are English learners, foster youth or socio-economically disadvantaged.

-- Concentration grants, which provide additional funds to districts where English learners, foster youth and socio-economically disadvantaged students make up more than 55 percent of the total enrollment.

In our LCAP, NVUSD describes how we intend to meet annual goals for all students, including specific activities to address a slate of state and local priorities, such as ensuring that teachers are credentialed, students have access to appropriate curriculum materials and school facilities are well maintained. It’s an extensive list and those who are interested can find detailed information on the California Dept. of Education website.

Measuring Parent Engagement

Three of those priorities (School Climate, Student Engagement and Parent Engagement) are grouped together in the LCAP under the heading of “Engagement.” They represent the extent to which parents and students feel safe, welcome, engaged and informed at school. Because the point of the LCAP is to measure status and progress of various efforts, we need a way to measure those feelings.

We have a few methods of measuring Parent Engagement, such as participation in school meetings or governance groups; volunteerism, etc. To gather enough data to be statistically representative, each spring we offer an LCAP Parent Survey, which parents can take online or on paper, in English or in Spanish.

Our 2019 version is now live at www.nvusd.org/parentsurvey or in paper form at your student(s)’ school. It asks parents to agree or disagree with statements such as “I am invited to meetings at the school or district and asked to contribute to group discussions,” or “I receive information on what my student should learn and be able to do in each grade at school.”

A new feature in this year’s survey is the ability to answer the questions for more than one school, in order to capture feedback for specific schools. Parents can complete the survey for up to three different schools.

Our request to NVUSD parents is to please complete the survey, preferably online, by March 22, to help us focus our efforts in the area of Engagement over the next three years.

We very much appreciate the time you are willing to give to help us improve the educational experience for your students and for you!

Again, you can find the survey at www.nvusd.org, on your school website home page under District News or in hard copy at your school.