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Valley Perspective | PERSPECTIVE ON LAUSD

Subdistrict Goals

September 03, 2000|ROBERT J. COLLINS, District C

A sweeping reorganization of the Los Angeles Unified School District, the cornerstone of a reform plan, has placed 11 veteran administrators in charge of new subdistricts that schools chief Roy Romer has said will bring administration closer to families. To better understand the effects of decentralization on the San Fernando Valley area, Valley Perspective asked the leaders of the three Valley-based districts to write about their challenges and goals, the changes parents and students can expect and what the administrators will do to improve education in their area. Here are the essays they wrote:

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District C staff is meeting with students, parents, teachers, administrators and community and business leaders to identify educational priorities that will address improving student achievement and restoring public confidence in our schools. District C staff is committed to addressing these educational priorities quickly and aggressively. To that end, our district is establishing a set of shared goals, commitments and basic activities for each school and office. District C Basic Activities / Commitments to Keep is a document currently being written to clearly identify these priorities and to establish a vision for the coming years.

Each of the following goals, commitments and basic activities is being finalized for implementation, and additional activities are being reviewed. Implementing these basic activities, keeping these commitments and achieving these goals will distinguish District C from the previous Los Angeles Unified School District organization and will ensure that each of our schools is a source of pride for everyone in our community:

* Continuously increase the Academic Performance Index (API) for all schools and the level of student achievement in English language arts and mathematics as measured by the Stanford 9 for all students.

This will be achieved by ensuring the quality and consistency of standards and instruction classroom-to-classroom and school-to-school by regularly monitoring instruction. This also includes the implementation of a systematic, phonics-based reading program in grades K-5 and new mathematics programs in all grades that emphasize the mastery of basic skills.

We will also expand and improve programs for gifted and talented students in each school so that every District C parent can be assured that their child will receive the best possible accelerated educational program. We also will ensure appropriate identification of students with disabilities and provide a quality curriculum for them.

* Provide teachers with necessary instructional materials, textbooks and other resources to meet student needs. Each student will have the appropriate textbooks and instructional materials to do their work. We are developing systems to monitor instructional materials at schools and textbook distribution to students.

* Ensure a clean, well-maintained and quality learning environment for students and staff. A weekly inspection program to monitor this and a districtwide campus beautification program will be instituted.

* Ensure positive, efficient and courteous customer service toward each student, parent and employee. A program based on business models to ensure that every student, parent and employee is treated as a valued customer will be established by November.

* Ensure a safe learning environment for all students. We are developing a district code of conduct, updating school safety plans and investigating new, proactive ways of addressing student behavior. This includes implementation of character education programs in all grades.

* Ensure that every graduate is eligible for a post-secondary education and has the skills to enter the work force. We can no longer view a high school diploma as the end of a student's education. Every student must have a post-secondary opportunity so they can reach their potential. We will institute a post-secondary commitment program as a graduation requirement from District C schools.

Also, the business community has raised concerns about the employability of high school graduates. This year, we will require every graduate to have an employment portfolio as a condition of graduation.

Knowing that college begins in kindergarten, we will institute a wide range of college preparation programs for students and parents at the elementary and middle schools.

* Ensure that parents and businesses become active participants in the development and direction of educational programs. Each school will have an active parent organization that includes a parent booster club and / or PTA. Schools will also develop a plan for working collaboratively with local businesses.

These commitments cannot be met if we fail to ensure the accountability of every employee. Teachers and administrators will be regularly evaluated and the instructional program constantly monitored. These goals and commitments are also the yardstick by which I, as superintendent, and our District C staff will be evaluated.

These goals are high and the activities to achieve them are aggressive and intensive. However, this is a commitment we must make to our students, parents and community.

The quality of life in our community and district depends on the quality of its public schools. It is with this commitment to quality, accountability and pride in each of our schools that we begin the 2000-2001 school year.

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