In 2022, the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) implemented a new initiative referred to as Aligning for Student Success: Integrated Guidance for Six ODE Initiatives, requiring Oregon school districts and charter schools to undergo a comprehensive needs assessment and application process to continue receiving funds from six key grants. The intent of the Integrated Guidance initiative is to streamline the grant application process while simultaneously aligning strategies to provide better outcomes for students. The six grants that are a part of the initiative include:
High School Success (HSS) is focused on improvement of graduation rates as well as career and college readiness.
Student Investment Account (SIA) is focused on reducing academic disparities while increasing academic achievement and meeting the mental and behavioral health needs of students.
Continuous Improvement Planning (CIP) is focused on continuous improvement of educational opportunities.
Career and Technical Education (CTE/Perkins) is focused on development of academic knowledge in addition to technical and employability skills for secondary students.
Every Day Matters (EDM) is focused on addressing chronic absenteeism through increased attention on student engagement, school culture, climate and safety, culturally sustaining pedagogy, and family and community involvement.
Early Indicator and Intervention Systems (EIIS) is focused on creating and supporting cohesive systems of data collection and analysis, interventions, and supports.
This new process places a greater emphasis on equity, community engagement and a more well-rounded education.
2023 Grant Agreement
The process of this Aligned Guidance initiative has provided the Forest Grove School District with another wonderful opportunity to engage with our students, staff, families, and community. Engaging with these stakeholder groups has been informative and allowed stakeholders to reassess previous goals and outcomes and to refocus on top priorities that have surfaced after the past three years during the pandemic.
Through careful analysis of the data collected from multiple surveys, hundreds of student and family empathy interviews, and detailed committee work, several areas of emphasis were identified.
- Continue to fund and prioritize behavioral health and wellness and mental health care coordination.
- Further prioritize the academic progress of all students with an emphasis on English Language Learners (EL) by funding positions such as Equity/Migrant/ELD Coordinator, ELD TOSAS, ELD Teachers, Instructional Coaches, Literacy Coaches, and Math/Science Facilitators.
- Ensuring all students have the knowledge of and access to career and college readiness resources with an emphasis on underserved students.
- Increase the capacity of current staff through professional development, retain current staff, and further diversify the workforce.
- The need to support improved attendance rates, especially on behalf of underserved students.
- Enhance parent involvement and communicate in modalities that are culturally responsive.
FGSD data shows academic disparities for our historically underrepresented groups. By providing capacity for instructional coaching to employ collective teacher efficacy activities, the District will seek to enhance learning outcomes for ELD, Latinx, SPED and Economically Disadvantaged students. As a result, the District expects to see an increase in our Longitudinal Growth Goals which include increases in literacy scores for grades K-6, 9th grade on-track, and high school graduation rates. Furthermore, we expect to see a steady rise in overall attendance rates for all grade levels, which will further fuel academic achievement.
What strengths do you see in your district or school in terms of equity and access?
The strength of our equity work is that it is executed by committees. The Equity Leadership Team in our district, which is formed by a strong representation of seasoned equity advocates including teacher leaders and administrators, has a very flat organization. We have equity teams in each of our schools. These equity teams plan and present all of the equity professional development to their staff throughout the school year. Some representatives from each of the school teams also participate in our districtwide equity systems support team meetings. This team is in charge of planning out the direction of our equity efforts in the district. Student Investment Account funding pays for a half time equity coordinator that helps to facilitate this process. Because the organization is flat, a lot of people have input into the direction of our equity work. This makes for slow decision making, but we have come to value this organization for its strength. We have worked with Dr. Fryberg of the University of Michigan for the last five years around the importance of filtering all decisions through an equity lens and the culture cycle. Specifically, understanding the importance of fostering identity safety, interpretive power, and the symbiotic relationship between independent vs. interdependent ways of being. We have recently reconnected with this group to contract for another five years as we continue to educate our staff around these concepts. We do this learning about equity in a two day summer experience for our school equity teams.
What needs were identified in your district or school in terms of equity and access?
Through the district’s engagement with students, staff, and families – with an emphasis on our historically underserved groups – the following needs were identified as the most critical for us to address within our holistic plan:
- Increase counseling support, behavioral health and wellness support, and mental health care coordination.
- Honoring bilingual education districtwide
- Investing in English Language Learners (EL) by funding positions such as Equity/Migrant/ELD Coordinator, ELD TOSAS, and ELD Teachers.
- The need to invest in professional development opportunities that enable the implementation of effective teaching strategies and high leverage practices that support instructional improvements and interventions on behalf of underserved populations of students.
- Funding positions such as Literacy Coaches, and Math/Science Facilitators.
- Continuing to diversify the workforce.
- Enhance parent involvement and communicate in modalities that are culturally responsive.
- Allocation of resources equitably rather than equally. The need to increase resources to positively affect the school culture, sense of belonging, and identity safety.
- Increase student supervision and develop new technology to enhance safety and security.
- Need to continue to address the social and emotional needs of students and staff.
- The need to support improvement on attendance rates, especially on behalf of underserved students.
Upload the equity lens or tool you used to inform and/or clarify your plan & budget. Describe how you used this tool in your planning.
We have used the following tool as our Equity Lens. We worked hard to ensure that the members of our needs assessment team included representatives from our underserved populations. As we reviewed the data from our community engagement, we specifically used questions from our equity lens. As part of our community engagement, we also engaged in a series of empathy interviews with parents, students, and staff. In particular, we engaged in 40 empathy interviews with parents of color and 100 empathy interviews with students of color. Additionally, our high school has engaged 340 students in empathy interviews more broadly. By the end of the year, the high school will have interviewed close to 1000 students on what is working for them, and what is not working for their success in school.
Describe the potential academic impact for all students AND focal student groups based on your use of funds in your plan.
This holistic plan allocates important resources to the most critical needs of mental and behavioral health and academic improvements for all students, with critical focus on our historically underserved student groups.
We are committed to improving the academic performance of our underserved students by allocating funds for three, full time ELD teachers and a dedicated ELD TOSA and Success Coach. Additionally, two full time Student Success Coaches for the K-8 grade levels have also been hired. These individuals have already made progress in assisting students across the district to make progress. Additional efforts are underway to enhance and deliver content in students' native language in earlier grades which will increase progress and allow for additional opportunities in later grades. Additional training and support for our bilingual teaching and support staff will result in better delivery of grade level content, further augmenting student performance.
What barriers, risks or choices are being made that could impact the potential for focal students to meet the Longitudinal Performance Growth Targets you’ve drafted, or otherwise experience the support or changes you hope your plan causes?
The biggest risk the district faces in relation to our LPG targets is if the investment in the critical areas already identified does not continue. Through our community engagement with staff, students, and families, it is evident that they see the progress being made in our focal areas and the changes the dollars are effecting. It is critical that the funding continues for the district to maintain its direction and progress.
What policies and procedures do you implement to ensure activities carried out by the district do not isolate or stigmatize children and youth navigating homelessness?
At the school-building level, names of McKinney-Veno supported students are shared only with principals and counselors. At the secondary schools, the registrar and attendance team are aware of students with chronic absences. The names of students in SpEd., TAG, Migrant Ed, and ELD are shared with those department heads. Programs such as the Backpack Weekend Meals Program are open to all students on recommendation of the school counselor. Grants (eg., OSBA Brady Fund) are open to all students on recommendation of school counselors. Free/reduced breakfast/lunch: All students enter a PIN for school lunches, regardless of status.
What strengths do you see in your CTE Programs of Study in terms of equity and access?
Student input is regularly sought to provide guidance on career pathways, course offerings, recruitment, and retention. We have removed all prerequisites and barriers for introductory / entry level classes. We also educate, promote, and recruit all students with regards to all pathway opportunities. Another strength is the opportunity to increase participation and awareness with cord recognition - each career pathway participants and program completers earn cords/medals recognition at graduation and students are celebrated at awards assemblies. Community engagement with industry partners is vital to ensure representation on Program of Study advisory boards which also help provide work-based learning opportunities. Bilingual instructors to support ELD students are a critical priority for us as is intentional hiring of teachers with industry experience. Finally, an increase in participation with students of color and underrepresented student populations in many dual credit / CTE classes has also been observed.
FGHS is a member of the PACTEC Consortium for our region which allows us to receive and utilize Perkins funding to support program recruitment and retention of underrepresented populations and non-traditional students. In the spring of 2023 FGHS CTE teachers will be participating in an equity and recruitment professional development.
What needs were identified in your CTE Programs of Study in terms of equity and access?
Balancing course demographics with district demographics, building relationships with 8th grade students and parents is a great challenge. Providing additional funding for extra hours, field trips, subs, curriculum development, industry visits is a large need as the amount of time it takes to schedule and create the extra experiences CTE programs require is significant. Bussing availability is a huge challenge with a very limited timeframe for any industry visits. Better use of data used to make planned decisions (by industry pathway) - we use data for individuals, not for whole groups, whole school, specific planning and management. Look at the possibility of different entry points for students needing layered supports to access content. Student retention issues within specific career pathways/programs of study was identified as an area of emphasis; specifically our ELD and SPED identified students. Using data to look at specific underrepresented populations (ELD, SPED) to identify systems that need to be changed to support all students.
What is your recruitment strategy, and how does it ensure equitable access and participation in CTE Programs of Study?
Teachers with Programs of Study and other career pathways utilize forecasting videos to recruit students during the spring. Posters are placed around the school, in the counseling office, and in CTE classrooms showcasing pathways/programs. CTE teachers visit the middle school prior to 8th graders forecasting for high school in order to promote career and technical courses available. We are constantly using multiple data sources to assess recruitment strategies for our identified student populations and for course participation as well as retention. The High School Success class is required for all 9th graders to help promote programs and pathways as students set life and career goals. In the High School Success class, 9th graders learn which high school courses and programs will help them meet their life and career goals. Program of Study courses are dual credit. Latinos in Action will be dual credit starting in the 23-24 school year and is part of the Leadership Pathway.
How will you ensure equal access and participation in your CTE Programs of Study among focal student groups? How will you ensure there is no discrimination for focal student groups?
Panorama is a data collection tool which helps keep track of student participation in courses, specifically the focal groups of ELD, Houseless, Free and Reduced Lunch status, non-traditional students, SpEd, Migrant, etc. Current data suggests that overall participation in CTE courses closely mirrors our overall student population - while individual programs and pathways are continuing to improve their recruitment strategies in order to match participation to our general school population. Our newcomer students up through ELD 200 will receive core content instruction in their native language starting during the 22-23 school year. Offering core courses in their native language will free up more class periods in their schedule to take more electives/CTE classes earlier in their high school career. We are hopeful to see more ELD/Migrant students completing our programs of study starting in 22-23 and beyond.
Well Rounded Education
Describe your approach to providing students a well rounded education. What instructional practices, course topics, curriculum design, and student skills development are part of this approach? Describe the approaches by grade band (elementary, middle, and high).
Comprehensive high school with open enrollment for all classes, elective and college credit. AVID / WICOR strategies, standards based proficiency grading to emphasize continuous learning. PK-6 elementaries with instruction and content in the areas of Literacy, Math, Science, PE, Music, Library, Art, STEM, and Social Studies and a renewed focus on direct, explicit, and systematic grade level instruction for all. Dual language schools practice a Gomez and Gomez model with strategies used to foster collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and enrichment.
Which disciplines (theater, visual arts, music, dance, media arts) of the arts are provided, either through an integration of content or as a separate class?
Visual and performing arts, visual arts, music, mariachi and media arts are all offered at the high school as open enrollment to any student interested.
How do you ensure students have access to strong library programs?
All schools have library assistants who oversee libraries in each of our buildings. Libraries for each school PK-12 are provided funding annually to replenish, build, and develop library programs which include literacy knowledge, access to books, and activities that increase reading interest. All master schedules PK-6 include weekly opportunities for students to access our libraries.
How do you ensure students have adequate time to eat, coupled with adequate time for movement and play?
Our district annually reviews the time students have to eat breakfast and lunch in addition to meeting the adequate time for movement and play. This entails examining any changes to school bell schedules that may negatively impact these priorities. We monitor bell schedules annually as part of our Division 22 standards review process and make any needed adjustments accordingly.
Describe how you incorporate STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) instructional practices, including project-based learning, critical thinking, inquiry, and cross-disciplinary content.
Our district employs STEM instructional practices across grade levels in multiple core content subject areas in addition to science, health and CTE and elective courses.
Describe your process for ensuring the adopted curriculum (basal and supplemental) consists of a clearly stated scope and sequence of K-12 learning objectives and is aligned to all state and national standards.
At the high school level each PLC (professional learning committee) has identified the essential standards that are tied directly to Common Core State Standards or Industry Standards. Vertical alignment and articulation is done annually in grades 9 -12, and includes middle level grades periodically. Every course completes a Planned Course Statement that clearly identifies all of the standards required in that course, as well as the crossover standards with other disciplines. In a standards based system, students are required to meet all essential standards to pass the class - whether for graduation or the next level of study. At the PK-6 level, our adoption committees vet state approved curricula using a set of criteria and metrics set forth by the state in conjunction with district priorities. That criteria includes a clear CCSS scope and sequence with systematic and explicit units of study at each grade level. Staff collaborated with district leaders to identify and develop priority standards for units of study in curriculum maps, PK-6 for Math and Literacy.
Describe your process for ensuring classroom instruction is intentional, engaging, and challenging for all students.
Walkthrough Observations - intentional and consistent professional development and feedback involving best practices of student engagement, SEL strategies, WICOR. Through the PLC process, common formative assessment data used to provide timely interventions and extensions for all students.
How will you support, coordinate, and integrate early childhood education programs?
PK trainings & Professional Learning Community for PK teachers. PK/Early Learning Coordinator works with each principal to have alignment across programs. Coordinated PK & Kinder Registration Nights. In addition, we support a Migrant Preschool Program for Migrant students who are not yet developmentally ready for attending regular schooling. We provide parents with the professional development they need to assist their own children at home. We accomplish this by modeling activities at both their respective homes and also at our district Migrant Welcome Center.
What strategies do you employ to help facilitate effective transitions from middle grades to high school and from high school to postsecondary education?
VIK Crew orientation (8th-9th), Advisory - School-wide communication on systems, supports, etc. 9th grade success team, High School Success class, AVID, 8th Grade Family Night - promoting CTE & College / Career, Juntos, LIA (Latinos In Action), Career exploration opportunities, College Camp, Athletic Program, Senior parent nights, FAFSA nights, College and Career Fair, Empathy Interviews, Freshmen orientation, Dual Credit / AP classes - credits towards college, academic accountability, empowering parents, SMILE club (science and math) focuses on college pathways. CLC, Aligned grading practices.
How do you identify and support the academic needs of students who are not meeting or exceeding state and national standards, particularly for focal student groups?
Data Teams, Panorama, Empathy Interviews (8.5), ELPA, Math Support and Reading Workshop classes, Intervention and extension activities with use of data in PLCs, Content classes in native language, Tier 2 & 3 interventions, Homeless liaison, sped referrals, 504 plans, Identify needs on two entrance / placement tests, Formative assessment data + state test scores + individual concerns, School day support, Tutorials, Study Skills, Attendance Interventions, Credit recovery progress, After school clubs, Reading Scores + grades, Math scores + grades, K-6 early indicator reading screener designed to identify which students are on track to meet grade level standards and which need early intervention. CLC programs (After school, Saturday School, Summer School); Migrant Liaison support; Care team (Middle school)
What systems are in place for supporting the academic needs of students, including for focal student groups, who have exceeded state and national standards?
AP, Honors, Dual Credit, FAFSA, scholarship support, Pathways, Clubs, Extension activities, Differentiated instruction, newly adopted K-6 LIteracy curriculum with extensions and enrichment opportunities embedded in core curriculum.
How do you provide career exploration opportunities, including career information and employment opportunities, and career guidance and academic counseling before and during CTE Program of Study enrollment?
Yearly college and career fair which includes industry partner presentations and demonstrations as well as internships/apprenticeship opportunities. Our counselors are knowledgeable about CTE/career guidance. We host family nights where CTE programs are on display for families. Students receive mini-lessons in advisory about our programs during forecasting. Career and Technical Student Organizations (FFA, DECA, HOSA) are widely available for all students. We have hired highly qualified industry-experienced teachers who are knowledgeable about the career opportunities within their industries and the skills necessary to earn those jobs. Oregon CIS is completed by all freshmen in the High School Success course. 8th grade family night introduces CTE classes and programs to our incoming 9th graders and CTE programs actively recruit students while still in middle school. Our forecasting incorporates a long term/program of study planning as well as 4-6 year plans/goal-setting/courses that align to those goals.
How are you providing equitable work-based learning experiences for students?
Simulated work-based environments and project-based simulations (school store, Viking House, coffee shop, plant sale, graphic designing, catering) are available to all students in a career pathway or program of study. FGHS has a College and Career Specialist who creates partnerships and mentorships within our business community and she also hosts the ASPIRE program for students. Teachers of CTE provide professional expectations and experiences within their classrooms and students build/complete industry standard products. Students have one-to-one devices with cloud based learning platforms which mirror technology used in industry.
Describe how students’ academic and technical skills will be improved through integrated, coherent, rigorous, challenging and relevant learning in subjects that constitute a well-rounded education, including opportunities to earn postsecondary credit while in high school.
FGHS provides 40+ dual credit articulations with local community and state colleges. Dual credit articulations with PCC, Willamette Promise, SOU, LaneCC - close relationship with PCC in regards to CTE programs. Perkins requires industry alignment, partnerships, and advisory boards. Mechatronics partners closely with community-based partners and business, specifically Intel and Qorvo. Health Sciences partners directly with Virginia Garcia to provide training to current students and work-based learning opportunities so students can graduate and go directly into jobs at Virginia Garcia after graduation. CTE teachers and College and Career Counseling help match students to relevant internships and externships. FGHS also provides numerous AP courses for students to earn college credit during high school.
What activities will you offer to students that will lead to self-sufficiency in identified careers?
All 9th grade students are enrolled in High School Success where they plan their four and six year goals and start building resumes that they will utilize in each CTE course during their high school career. Teachers of CTE provide professional expectations and experiences within their classrooms such as abiding by due dates, industry-based expectations, project based learning, individual and group projects and goals. Students also have the opportunity to earn multiple certificates as well as their food handlers permits. Many work-based learning opportunities are provided to students while on campus using the industry level equipment in their different courses (culinary catering, Vik Shop t-shirt press, cabinetry shop where they build the custom cabinets for the Viking house, etc.)
How will you prepare CTE participants for nontraditional fields?
Most of our Career Pathways and Programs of Study focus on ways to recruit and retain non-traditional students in their classes. A variety of methods are utilized including non-traditional teaching, industry skills and preparedness, flipped classrooms, problem solving and critical thinking activities that transfer across careers.
Data about our underrepresented demographics is utilized during multiple points of the school year to assess successful recruiting and retention of non-traditional students in our programs. CIT time is utilized to discuss and implement new ideas about how we recruit and retain underrepresented and non-traditional students in our programs. We have non-traditional teachers teaching some of our CTE programs which encourages non-traditional students to join programs (ie female students in Metals).
Describe any new CTE Programs of Study to be developed.
FGHS has a few new programs of study in the works. We are in the start-up phase of Videography & Film, Protective Services, and we will be starting a Theater program in 22-23. We also plan to finish building our Education Pathway once our Preschool and Early Learning Center is built. We are excited for our Videography & Film, Theater and Music department to collaborate as we head into the 22-23 school year. Videography & Film will be producing and showing daily morning announcements starting in the 22-23 school year and live streaming theater productions, music concerts, and sporting events. Our Protective Services pathway consists of our Intro to Fire Science class and planned course statements have been written for Wildland Fire courses. We are hopeful to expand to law enforcement classes in the future.
How will students from focal groups and their families learn about CTE course offerings and Programs of Study that are available? This is an additional question that was not initially provided by ODE.
- 8th grade family night - students and families are introduced to high school and all programs and course offerings.
- Back to School night - students and families are introduced to high school and all programs and course offerings.
- CTE videos that we created and posted online to showcase programs
- Program visits to the middle school / counselors go to the middle school for forecasting
- Forecasting process at the high school - individual student support provided by counselors
- High School Success course introduces students to programs and all courses / college & career pathways
- 8.5 Summer School - they learn about programs at high school and tour classrooms, visit Viking House
- Intentional recruitment by programs during lunch times
- Business partners coming to present to students about career opportunities within our community and that are supported at FGHS (i.e. Intel/Mechatronics)
If the goal is meaningful, authentic and ongoing community engagement, where are you in that process? What barriers, if any, were experienced and how might you anticipate and resolve those issues in future engagement efforts?
We have been engaged in community engagement and outreach for the last five years. With the development of our original SIA plan, we did over 35 community meetings. This time around, we have continued our outreach, but have really focused on empathy interviews to talk directly with students and parents. We have a Superintendent's Student Advisory that is composed of 40 students who we directly engaged in the aligned guidance process and who provided direct feedback. We also have multiple types of digital surveys and climate and culture instruments we have used to collect feedback. However, the most beneficial means of collecting feedback has been our direct engagement using empathy interviews to meet with students and parents. To date, we have held empathy interviews with 450 students and 40 parents. 100 of the students and the 40 parents all came from our underserved groups.
What relationships and/or partnerships will you cultivate to improve future engagement?
We currently enjoy strong relationships with our local community based organizations. Adelante Mujeres, Centro Cultural, Virginia Garcia are all close partners. We hold regular meetings and utilize each other's communication pathways to communicate with our students and families who work with these organizations. We also work closely with PCC and other higher education partners in a number of ways. Dual Credit, Early High school, Mechatronics are just a couple of ways we seek to help our students transition to college and careers.
What resources would enhance your engagement efforts? How can ODE support your continuous improvement process?
Software such as ThoughtExchange, that allows us to survey stakeholders and quickly summarizes and disaggregates data for multiple State funded grants would significantly enhance our district's capability for community engagement and continuous improvement processes.
How do you ensure community members and partners experience a safe and welcoming educational environment?
While we are always working to make sure we have a safe learning environment, we have started conversation in our school equity teams about how we can improve our efforts to create welcoming environments for students and families. These conversations come up in our equity teams which are focused on ensuring that all students are identity safe. Our equity work is primarily focused on improving our systems so that students' identities are validated, develop interpretive power, and understand both the independent and interdependent ways of excelling. The district office equity team has begun discussions about how we make parents and community members feel welcome, safe and engaged at the central office building. Schools conduct numerous outreach activities to families and community members by inviting them into the schools to partner with staff on a variety of events and activities. We continue to work on increasing our bilingual and bicultural staff, as we have seen great progress in more welcoming school environments when students can see themselves in their teachers and other support staff.
If you sponsor a public charter school, describe their participation in the planning and development of your plan.
Our district sought feedback from the district sponsored charter school. As a result, the charter school identified the need for an additional PE staff, safety upgrades, instructional aide time, and a student support coach that was funded through SIA funds.
Who was engaged in any aspect of your planning processes under this guidance?
In our community engagement process we engaged the community through face-to-face school meetings with principals. Digital climate and culture surveys were sent to students grades 5-12 and to all parents in the district. We engaged 40 high school students on the Superintendent’s Student Advisory through three face-to-face meetings over two months. We conducted 450 student empathy interviews and 40 parent empathy interviews. Additionally, a Student Investment Account sub committee with 25 diverse students, parents, and staff members was convened. Finally, we are running a strategic planning design committee with 51 students, parents, administrators and staff members.
How were they engaged?
We engaged our students, staff, administrators, and parents through:
- Face to face meetings
- Empathy interviews
- Superintendent student advisory
- SIA sub-committee meeting
- Strategic planning design committee
- Digital survey around climate and culture
Evidence of Engagement
You will be asked to upload your top five artifacts of engagement. Smaller districts, as outlined above, are required to submit their top two artifacts.
- Parent & Students Empathy Interviews Summary Data
- FGSD Climate Culture Survey
- Aligned Guidance Community subcommittee January 26, 2023
- Superintendent Advisory Committee Dec 2, 2022
- FGHS Empathy Interviews
Why did you select these particular artifacts to upload with your application? How do they show evidence of engaging focal student populations, their families and the community?
We chose these articles to show the breadth of our engagement. When it came to the specific focal communities we utilized direct communication in the form of empathy interviews utilizing staff of color to hear directly from those students and parents. We also ensured we used bi-lingual staff so the parents could choose a language that they were most comfortable in. We also more broadly utilized empathy interviews at the high school utilizing our counselors and main office staff to interview another 350 students. By the end of the year, the high school has a goal of talking with 1000 students. We chose the Superintendent Student Advisory as another artifact because that work was an interactive process over several months discussing with high school students their thoughts on our investments paid for through SIA and HSS.
Describe at least two strategies you executed to engage each of the focal student groups and their families present within your district and community. Explain why those strategies were used and what level of the Community Engagement spectrum these fell on.
Our underserved populations are LatinX, Migrant, ELL and Special Education. Here is how we engaged those populations. For our LatinX students we did 100 empathy interviews directly with LatinX or Migrant students, we had half of our Superintendent’s Student advisory composed of LatinX students, 46% of the student respondents on the Climate Surveys were latinX. To engage our ELL/ Migrant students we held 100 student empathy interviews with our migrant liaisons and 40 parent empathy interviews in Spanish through our migrant liaisons, Migrant and ELL parents and students were also involved in the SIA sub committee that developed the needs assessment. The special education students, parents and staff served on the SIA sub committee, the Strategic planning design team, and had direct conversations with parents.
Describe at least two strategies you executed to engage staff. Explain why those strategies were used. Explain why those strategies were used and what level of the Community Engagement spectrum these fell on.
The first way we engaged staff was through staff meetings with principals. We also sent out a digital climate and culture survey seeking feedback to all staff. Our staff is represented on the SIA subcommittee reviewing our data and developing the needs assessment. Our staff is also represented on our Strategic Planning Design committee taking the needs assessment and developing our strategic planning moving forward.
Describe and distill what you learned from your community and staff. How did you apply that input to inform your planning?
From the hundreds of empathy interviews conducted with students and families several main areas of emphasis surfaced – behavioral/mental health access, college/career preparation, student safety, and further engagement with our Latinx community. With the addition of eight school counselors and care coordinators, we have increased focus on mental and behavioral health and improved student and family access to critical resources – in schools and community.
Making sure students and district families are aware of all the opportunities available at the completion of high school is an important area that the district identified for improvement. Utilizing counselors and other instructional staff, additional emphasis will be given to improving student organization, responsibility, study skills and perseverance to succeed in whatever path a student chooses. Working with focal student schedules will also be a point of emphasis, as they experience some challenges with having enough room in their class schedule to participate in and experience the college and career options that are available. Additionally, we are also looking at ways to deliver content in students' native language earlier - which will open up more opportunities. Additional training and support for our bilingual teaching and support staff to effectively deliver grade level content and skills.
Lastly, student safety is being addressed by engaging with students who have participated in empathy interviews and larger committees to find alternative ideas on how to improve some areas of concern. Additionally, the 13 staff placed throughout the buildings are helping to improve supervision and triage of certain situations.
How will you intentionally develop partnerships with employers to expand work-based learning opportunities for students?
Industry partners and advisory boards are a critical aspect to all programs of study, creating strong partnerships. A school-wide college and career day helps connect employers to staff and students, making connections and increasing awareness. Our College and Career Specialist establishes and maintains connections with local industry partners, colleges and trades to offer internships, mentorships, career opportunities with application, and scholarship support for all students. Our highly-qualified teachers from industry are well-connected throughout our community and the partnerships they have created support opportunities for students to engage in internships and externships.
Affirmation of Tribal Consultation
If you are a district that receives greater than $40k in Title VI funding or have 50% or more American Indian/Alaska Native Students, you are required to consult with your local tribal government. As evidence of your consultation, you will be asked to upload documentation of your meeting(s) containing signatures from tribal government representatives as well as School District representatives. As this consultation includes all aspects of the Integrated Plan you will be asked to upload the "Affirmation for Tribal Consultation" within this application.
Tribal consultation was not required.
Strengthening Systems and Capacity
How do you recruit, onboard, and develop quality educators and leaders? How are you recruiting and retaining educators and leaders representative of student focal groups?
The district attends various job fairs throughout the state to recruit qualified and representative staff. Furthermore, we advertise job openings through recruiting services and our district website. We send BIPoC administrators and teachers to attend job fairs to recruit BIPoC certified teachers and currently are developing future BIPoC educators through two Grow Our Own grants for BIPoC classified staff to work towards becoming a licensed teacher in our district. We support opportunities for dialogue such as BIPoC Staff Affinity Groups and BIPoC Student Affinity Groups.
What processes are in place to identify and address any disparities that result in students of color, students experiencing poverty, students learning English and students with disabilities being taught more often than other students by ineffective, inexperienced, or out-of-field teachers?
Prior to any certified hire, the principal checks the licensure of the successful applicant to ensure that they are properly licensed. Previous to this year, we had no teachers teaching out-of-field. Any teachers teaching out of field are done on an infrequent basis and only temporary for the year. In addition, we take their professional development very seriously. Every building has an experienced ELD Facilitator that shares their expertise and provides direct support to teachers and ensures that our district EL (LAU) plan is being followed as well as our independent adoption curriculum is being implemented with fidelity. Similarly, we have a Migrant Family Liaison in every building and two Migrant Graduation Specialists at the high school to ensure that our service delivery plan for Migrant students is implemented as designed. Moreover, all staff participate in ongoing equity PD opportunities such as culturally responsive teaching sessions that allow them to strengthen the quality of instruction on behalf of students at-risk.
How do you support efforts to reduce the overuse of discipline practices that remove students from the classroom, particularly for focal student groups?
At the middle school, we pre-teach all expectations to our students (and staff) and regularly come back to these expectations. Teachers use a number of strategies prior to removing a student from the classroom- Fluent Corrections, Collaborative Problem Solving. We also use our counselors and advisory for lessons around SEL. At the high school level we utilize tiered systems of support for student behaviors that include Restorative Practices and SEL strategies - with multiple strategies utilized prior to a referral written to the office. These (Tier 1 & 2) are all taught in Advisory and practiced in the classrooms. Discipline and attendance data are reviewed regularly with the lens of our focal student populations and disparities within the data.
How do you align professional growth and development to the strengths and needs of the school, the teachers, and district leaders?
In order to determine what professional development is needed. We have looked at the student performance, we have queried our staff, and we determined what our professional development needs are to support the new literacy adoption. We have also been diligently working on preparing a district purpose and promise along with a portrait of a graduate. These are all related to the way in which the district is ensuring all students are leaving the district with 21st century learning skills.
How do you provide feedback and coaching to guide instructional staff in research-based improvement to teaching and learning?
District coaches (literacy coaches Pk-6 and student success coaches Pk-8) currently implement evidence-based coaching practices (Jim Knight Impact Cycle). PK-6 Ongoing PD where instructional coaches provide ongoing research-based education, based upon the needs of teachers and Literacy PD scope and sequence. We use our data and strong research to inform and guide our practices towards instructional improvement. We also provide district level facilitators with the professional development they need to execute their duties. ELD Facilitators attend GLAD training, CM symposiums/seminars, Alaina Aguilar coaching models, and a number of equity PD opportunities. We hold regular meetings to ensure the needs of our teachers are being met.
What systems are in place to monitor student outcomes and identify students who may be at risk of academic failure? How do you respond and support the student(s) when those identifications and observations are made?
Continued expansion of SEL survey grades 3-8 to support a whole child focus in school MTSS meetings. A system of district benchmark assessments are given and evaluated three times a year in our core content areas. Teachers and administrators come together to evaluate progress of instructional goals based on benchmark date. Our goals are skills and standards based with the comprehensive goal for our classrooms to reach 80% at grade level, 15% needing Tier 2 support and 5% needing intensive support. Our system monitors Tier 1, 2 and 3 instructions through the consistent use of benchmark testing and progress monitoring. As data is evaluated 3x a year for benchmark and 4-6 weeks for progress monitoring, staff identify those students who need reteaching, preteaching, or remediation outside of core instruction and develop a plan to ensure instruction is provided to those students.
How do you facilitate effective transitions between early childhood education programs and local elementary school programs; from elementary to middle grades; from middle grades to high school; and from high school to postsecondary education?
At each transition, we use information from the previous level to place each student at the next level. Parent letters to explain the process, Parent Night at the new school, and guided tours. Counselors, special education facilitators, and principals from each school meet with the counselors, special education facilitators, and the principal at the next level to talk about students and set students up for success at the next grade level band. In the fall, we host a soft start for our new grade level of students (eg. PK, Kinder, 5th grade, 7th grade, and 9th grade) to be at the new school before returning students with orientation activities. From HS to post-secondary: Career exploration opportunities, College Camp, Senior parent nights, FAFSA nights, College and Career Fair, Dual Credit / AP classes - credits towards college.