Lancaster School District
2022–23 Community Schools Implementation Plan (Attachment II)
Lancaster School District is seeking funding for 22 schools via the California Community Schools Partnership Program. Each school has a detailed plan for their community schools work aligned with the broader community schools vision of the district and community.
Discovery Elementary School (Principal: Elizabeth Lobos)
Discovery is seeking funding to invest in our plan to build a whole-child focused community school. We recognize that the key components of a community school include integrated student supports, family and community engagement, collaborative leadership practices, and extended learning time and opportunities. We have designed our implementation to focus on integrated student supports in Year 1, and will continue to build and develop across the comprehensive school model over the course of the 5-year grant.
School Overview, Needs and Assets:
We serve a beautifully diverse community, including significant populations of students who have been historically underserved:
● 23% African-American, 71% Hispanic, 0.6% Native American
● 92% eligible for free or reduced lunch
● 27% English learners
● 14% students with IEPs
● 2% foster youth
Summary of Assets Overview: We have invested significantly in our school model to support these student populations. For example, we have the following systems of support in place:
● Foundational MTSS systems where students are identified, a multi-skilled team collaborates to support, and tiered interventions are implemented
● Full-time counselor to support students experiencing challenging personal and academic situations
● Trauma-informed practices training for all staff members
● Designated SEL time and resources built into the school day
● Monthly events to engage families that are culturally relevant
● 100% of our teachers have been trained on Capturing Kids’ Hearts strategies with a high implementation in the classroom
● Grades UTK-5th grade use Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports-PBIS to redirect and engage students with positive interactions.
● All teachers Kinder to second grade are continuously being trained in Early Literacy Skills, cognitive science and instructional strategies that support the Science of Reading
● Through highly structured professional development following Professional Learning Communities, staff is being trained in evidence based practices to support English Language Learners as well as our other significant subgroups
● Homework support is offered 3 times per week to support our students and families in grades Kindergarten through fifth grade.
● Continuous training in our signature practice, Small Group Instruction which support collaborative learning structures for students in UTK-5th grade
● Daily use of ParentSquare to communicate and engage our families
● Bilingual Family Ambassador to act as a liaison to the community and inform parents of upcoming events, attendance/health supports and student PBIS rewards
Summary of Needs Assessment: However, we continue to have significant needs that we must address holistically:
● Chronic absenteeism continues to be a significant challenge for Discovery School. It hinders from providing consistent academic, behavioral, and social/emotional support to our students
● Students safety before, during and after school by increasing the number of our safety staff to supervise our students
● Additional professional development on evidence-based educational practices for our significant subgroups of students
● In-person tutors and counselors to assist students the various academic and social emotional needs
● Significant increase in students who have experienced trauma/ACES since 2019
● Social-emotional learning and strength continues to be a challenge for our students, especially coming out of the pandemic (e.g., behavior referrals)
● Student SEL and mental health screener results demonstrate significant needs in student emotional wellbeing ○ 45% of students say that they do not feel like they belong at school ○ 43% of students say they struggle to stay calm and focused
Core Commitments: Describe the school’s commitment to implement core principles, including the Cornerstone Commitments identified in the Framework. Describe the developmental phase for exploration, emerging, evolving, and excelling the core commitments.
As a leadership team, we are deeply committed to the Cornerstone Commitments identified in the CCSPP Framework. We would categorize our commitments and structures in support of these commitments as evolving; that said, our emergence out of the pandemic has tested many of our baseline practices in a way that requires new thinking and approaches.
● Assets-Driven and Strength-Based Practice: We recognize that our community has significant strengths alongside needs. For example, students and families demonstrate incredible resilience in the face of challenges. We seek to extend that strength to the academic environment.
● Racially Just and Restorative School Climates: We have invested in a positive behavioral interventions and support system over several years, including restorative practices to support students in conflict, discipline and community.
● Powerful, Culturally Proficient and Relevant Instruction: We have made a concerted effort to recruit and hire staff members that reflect the demographic profile of our students; for example, 30% of teachers identify as persons of color. All staff members engage in consistent professional development to ensure instructional practices support our scholars in culturally relevant and responsive practices, particularly in support of English learners.
● Shared Decision Making and Participatory Practices: Our school has a committed Instructional Leadership Team that includes teachers and other core staff members; all significant data and decisions related to instruction are vetted through this team. Further, we have recruited highly engaged parents to lead our School Site Council
Measurable Goals and Activities: Identify the school’s goals and activities, and describe how progress towards goals will be measured (i.e., SMART goals).
Using these grant funds, our school will invest in the following over the course of our five-year plan:
● Full-time counselor / social worker / school psychologist to support the significant emotional needs of our student community.
● Access to additional medical, dental and emotional support on campus
● Assistance for providing safe routes to and from school
● Ongoing professional development and training to ensure all staff members are aligned and committed to the core aspects of our community school practices (includes internal and external training opportunities). ● A comprehensive social-emotional growth system (Sown To Grow), where students can share their emotional wellbeing and experience at school and also build critical SEL skills over time.
● Full-time safety supervision staff to support our campus
We have established clear, measurable goals in support of our plan:
● 100% of teachers will be trained on the core aspects of our community school practices and how new roles/partnerships will expand whole-child supports.
● 100% of students will have access to high quality Tier I emotional wellbeing support on a weekly basis. We will begin with a weekly emotional check-in, and expand into academic check-ins and social-emotional skill-building. We will adjust the master schedule to include at least 20 minutes of SEL-focused learning time each week.
● 100% of students will have access to high quality Tier II and Tier II interventions based on their determined needs. We will expand our MTSS system to include emotional wellbeing inputs, and we will demonstrate a response to those inputs in a timely manner. Families will be a collaborative partner in this process.
● Students will improve their social-emotional learning capacity, as measured by pre/posts on an annual SEL screener. By 5th grade, 80%+ of students will show improvement or high levels of capacity in Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, Responsible Decision Making, and Relationship Skills.
● Students will experience a stronger sense of belonging, as measured by pre/posts on an annual SEL screener. By 5th grade, 80%+ of students will show improvement or high levels of capacity in Sense of Belonging measures.
Key Staff: Explain the plan for establishing and/or maintaining a Community School Director/Coordinator (Leader) to work with steering committees/advisory councils, key staff and partners within the school to execute the Implementation Plan.
The following roles are designated as leaders of the community school approach at our school:
● Community Schools Implementation Leader =School Counselor, Jose Lopez
● Leadership Team = Principal, Assistant Principal, Instructional Coach and one teacher per grade level
● Planned Implementation Structures
○ Weekly implementation meeting of key roles and leadership team
○ Monthly progress updates to Instructional Leadership Team
○ Quarterly progress updates to all staff
LCAP Connections: Our community school goals are fully aligned with our district’s LCAP, specifically under the following objectives and goals: LCAP Goal 2 Equitable Learning Practices and Positive Learning Environments – We will provide the necessary resources and supports to create and maintain positive learning environments to eliminate barriers to success for all students.
● 2.1 Counselors will provide small group and individual support targeted towards foster students to ensure their social/emotional and behavioral needs are addressed through social-emotional programs (such as but not limited to Second Step) based on their needs.
● 2.3 The Department of Equity, Access, and Student Outcomes will provide a tiered system of support for academics, social/emotional, and behavior through the implementation of a Multi-Tiered System of Support that targets low-income students' need for individualized, small group, and personalized, equitable learning environments.
LCAP Goal 3 Safe and Supportive Environments – We will provide safe, secure, equitable and operationally efficient environments at all facilities for students, staff, and community members
● 3.4 The district will provide additional certificated, and administrative support, to ensure and increase safety at all schools and facilities with increased monitoring as we implement various campus safety programs and equitable environments for our low-income student group.
● 3.5 School sites will provide alternative schools/programs to offer placement for low-income and foster students as an alternative to suspension and expulsion, while increasing low-income student access to mental health services, and social emotional learning.
LCAP Goal 4-Family and Community Engagement – We will build positive partnerships with families and the community by increasing participation and active involvement on campuses and at site and district events.
● 4.1 School sites and the district will implement programs and supports for families to increase their engagement, and sites will be offered specific feedback on their increased capacity towards family engagement throughout the school year.
● 4.3 The district will assist sites in implementing parent support and training programs and opportunities for both virtual and face-to-face environments that increase parent capacity to assist students in academic achievement and the social development of low-income students. Subsequently, staff will also be trained in a dual capacity framework in order to provide for expectations at the site level for families.
● 4.5 The district will provide each school with a family ambassador who will serve as a liaison between the school and low-income families, provide resources for parents, recruit volunteers, and both coordinate and assist in the communication of parent workshops.