Per EC Section 64001.4, district and school leaders shall use these data analyses to create specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals that can be easily measured to evaluate student progress toward closing the achievement gap. Such analysis should be conducted in a timely manner and include all major stakeholders.
Role of the School Site Council (SSC)
California Education Code (EC) Section 64001 requires that a SSC develop the SPSA. The SSC must approve the plan, recommend it to the local governing board for approval, monitor its implementation, and evaluate the effectiveness of the planned activities at least annually.
Legal Requirements for the SPSA
EC Section 64000 requires schools and districts that receive state and federal or other applicable funding through the district’s ConAp/CARS process to prepare a SPSA for any recipient school. The SPSA is a blueprint to improve the academic performance of all students to the level of the performance goals, including both the Academic Performance Index (API) and the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) measures. SPSA requirements are also included in the Categorical Program Monitoring process.
EC Section 64001 establishes the following requirements for school plans:
Section 64001 establishes the following requirements for school plans:
- School districts must assure that SSCs have developed and approved the SPSA for schools participating in programs funded through the ConApp process and any other school program they choose to include.
- Any plans required by programs funded through the ConApp/CARS and Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) program improvement (PI) must be consolidated into a single plan. Schools may add other funding sources.
- The plan must be “reviewed annually and updated, including proposed expenditures of funds allocated to the school through the ConApp/CARS, by the SSC.”
- School goals must be based upon “an analysis of verifiable state data, including the API…and the California English Language Development Test…” and may include any data voluntarily developed by districts to measure student achievement. In addition, schools should include an analysis of school progress on the AYP and other measures of student achievement.
- The content of the plan must be aligned with school goals for improving student achievement
- School plans must be developed with the review, certification, and advice of any applicable school advisory committees.
- The SPSA must address how ConApp/CARS funds will be used to “improve the academic performance of all students to the level of the performance goals, as established by the API.”
- The SPSA must align with the local educational agency (LEA) plan and be submitted for approval to the LEA governing board, which may return it to the SSC for revisions as deemed necessary.
- The SPSA must be reviewed and approved by the governing board of the LEA “whenever there are ’material’ changes that affect the academic programs for students covered by programs” funded through the ConApp/CARS
Implementing and Monitoring the SPSA
Once the plan is approved and implemented, the SSC is responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of planned activities and modifying those that prove ineffective. At least annually, the SSC must evaluate the effectiveness of planned activities. In the cycle of continuous improvement of student performance, evaluation of the results of goals will provide data for the following year’s plan.
Schools continue to monitor their SPSA throughout the year with their School Site Councils (SSC). In addition to the site’s Annual School SPSA Evaluation and Monitoring Report, schools complete a comprehensive Mid-Year Monitoring Report to evaluate the progress of the SPSA relative to Goals and Objectives, Personnel, Materials and Supplies, Budgets and Expenditures as well as reviewing student progress and achievement using formative assessments administered throughout the school year.
SPSA Monitoring should follow the calendar of events established by the SPSA to verify timely implementation and achievement of objectives critical to the success of the plan, such as:
- Assignment and training of highly qualified staff to positions identified in the plan
- Identification of student participants
- Implementation of services
- Provision of materials and equipment to students
- Review of the calendar for initial and ongoing assessments to measure student performance against benchmarks indicated in the plan
- Verification of evidence of progress made toward SPSA goals
As the implementation of planned activities unfolds, the SSC should verify the success of each major event for identified students and share this information with advisory committees and other interested parties.
Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF)
The California Department of Education (CDE) budget package has replaced the previous K–12 finance system with a new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). For school districts and charter schools, the LCFF creates base, supplemental, and concentration grants in place of most previously existing K–12 funding streams, including revenue limits and most state categorical programs. For county offices of education (COEs), the LCFF creates separate funding streams for oversight activities and instructional programs.
The goal of the LCFF is to significantly simplify how state funding is provided to local educational agencies (LEAs). Under the new funding system, revenue limits and most state categorical programs are eliminated. LEAs will receive funding based on the demographic profile of the students they serve and gain greater flexibility to use these funds to improve outcomes of students. The LCFF creates funding targets based on these student characteristics.
As part of the LCFF, school districts, COEs, and charter schools are required to develop, adopt, and annually update a three-year Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP). In addition, the SBE is required to adopt evaluation rubrics to assist LEAs and oversight entities in evaluating strengths, weaknesses, areas that require improvement, technical assistance needs, and where interventions are warranted on or before October 1, 2015.
The Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP)
The LCAP is an important component of the LCFF. Under the LCFF all districts are required to prepare an LCAP, which describes how they intend to meet annual goals for all pupils, with specific activities to address state and local priorities identified pursuant to EC Section 52060(d). Each school district must engage parents, educators, employees and the community to establish these plans. Parental and community engagement of all stakeholders is critical to the development of the district LCAP. CUSD continues to work with all stakeholder groups in holding various district and school committee meeting and forums designed to gather information on various specific areas of importance.
The plans will describe the school district’s overall vision for students, annual goals and specific actions the district will take to achieve the vision and goals.
The LCAPs must focus on eight areas identified as state priorities. District plans will also demonstrate how the district’s budget will help achieve the goals, and assess each year how well the strategies in the plan were able to improve outcomes.
Annual & Mid-Year Revisions, Monitoring and Evaluations to the SPSA
Any of the following factors may indicate a need to amend the SPSA during the school year:
- A major service or activity proves ineffective, and students are at risk of not meeting achievement goals
- Staff, equipment, or materials essential to the plan cannot be procured (e.g., unfilled positions, or materials that could not be supplied)
- Material changes occur that affect the academic programs
- School boundaries or demographics suddenly change
- An activity is found to be non-compliant with state or federal law
- A planned activity is not supported by staff, parents, or students
The SSC may amend the plan at any time. Any revisions that would substantively change the academic programs funded through the CARS must be reviewed and approved by the local governing board.
Each CUSD School receiving categorical funds completes both an Annual and Mid-Year Evaluation and Monitoring Report as it relates to their Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA). Schools are committed to promoting excellence and high expectations for all students and work to ensure meaningful involvement in decision-making by students, teachers, parents, and community members. These Evaluation and Monitoring Reports contain information about the status of their goals and objectives articulated in their SPSA. The Evaluation and Monitoring Reports are shared with staff and community members and presented and reviewed at the various parent and staff meetings on an annual basis. The data is used in the development of the SPSA and for program evaluation. Each site develops a SPSA in collaboration with their School Site Council (SSC) and school staff. The purpose of the SPSA is to create a cycle of continuous improvement of student performance, and to ensure that all students succeed in reaching academic standards set by the State Board of Education. As part of the cycle, annually, schools are required to complete an Annual and Mid-Year Evaluation and Monitoring Reports indicating if their site met the goals and objectives established in the fall by the SSC and school staff. In addition, schools review the status of their SPSA at mid-year and again review and evaluate in the fall once student achievement data is received. Once state and local student achievement is received each site completes the annual report declaring if the goals and objectives were; “Attained”, “Not Attained” or “In Progress” based on what was outlined in their SPSA. Student achievement data (assessment scores) are reviewed, both by the district and the school site in the fall when scores are received from the state.
Both Annual and Mid-year School Evaluation and Monitoring Reports are completed by the school, presented and reviewed by the SSC and ELAC. Reports are then submitted to the CUSD Department of Special Projects for review. Documents are completed and reviewed with school, district administration and Curriculum and Instruction Department. School reports are filed in their School’s Categorical Files annually.
The SPSA serves as the organizer for an individual school’s improvement process. The plan should be developed with a deeper understanding of root causes of student academic challenges and identify and implement research-based instructional strategies to raise the achievement of students who are not yet proficient at state standards. It is critical that each school’s SPSA:
- Builds on a premise that students are capable of learning with effective instruction
- Includes school goals aligned with activities and goals included in the LEA Plan to maximize school reform efforts
- Is based on verifiable data analysis
- Focuses on student achievement and academic interventions
- Implements high leverage school improvement actions
- Directs resources where they will most directly improve student academic achievement
- Ensures that all resources are aligned to serve identified students’ needs
- Uses research based strategies
- Implements strategic coordination of resources
To set school goals, the SSC needs to carefully review district priorities as stated in the LEA Plan, assess both state and local quantitative and qualitative student achievement data to evaluate instructional program effectiveness, and come to consensus about solutions.
Seven Recommended Steps for Developing the SPSA
In addition to meeting the requirements common to all school plans, the SPSA must meet the specific requirements of each categorical program operated at the school. The SPSA involves a continuous development, implementation, and monitoring cycle. The starting date of the annual planning cycle is a local decision. However, every school needs to have an approved plan guiding the work of the school. The SSC should develop a calendar of tasks and meetings to seek input from applicable advisory committees to develop the plan. The seven steps of this continuous cycle are:
- Analyze student achievement data. Summarize conclusions and identify needs.
- Measure effectiveness of current improvement strategies to determine critical causes of student “school” underachievement.
- Identify a limited number of achievement goals, key improvement strategies to achieve goals and fiscal resources.
- Attach timelines, personnel responsible, proposed expenditures, and funding sources to implement the plan.
- Recommend the SPSA to the local governing board.
- Receive local governing board approval and implement the plan.
- Monitor and evaluate effectiveness of the implementation.