Tuesday, July 01, 2008



Office of the Senior Deputy Superintendent

Inter-Office Correspondence

To: LAUSD Staff  Date: June 30, 2008
From: Ray Cortines   (originally circulated to the Superintendent, Board of Ed and the public on June 9th)

Subject:         Operational Plan of Action 2008-2009

The following is a copy of the district’s operational Plan of Action for the 2008-2009 school year. It builds on Superintendent Brewer’s transformational plan that was implemented in the 2007-2008 school year.

This plan is not a quick-fix document but rather a road map for effective change. The dynamics are such that when reviewed and evaluated, it will be modified to ensure systemic improvement.

It is focused in five specific areas: high academic achievement, graduation rate, counseling, parent/community involvement and safe and orderly schools. The elements are not only practical but measurable and can be implemented in a short period of time.

The goals are outlined on how to provide every student the opportunity to achieve their maximum potential, narrow the achievement gap, recognize the requirements of students with special needs and provide all students the necessary pathway to post-secondary education. The plan also encompasses the importance of improving parent/community services and communication and very importantly, maintaining safe and orderly school campuses.

The document advocates the shift of authority and responsibility of services from the Central Office to the Local Districts and their schools. It is a truism that quality teachers and quality administrators make quality schools. By shifting authority closer to the school, they who know the needs of their students can provide more effective instructional practices for them.

The following are the five primary goals that are the essence of this plan. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call me.


Senior Deputy Superintendent’s Goals 2008 – 2009

High Academic Achievement



Strategy with Benchmark


Improved academic
achievement for all

There have been sustained gains in API scores at the elementary level from 1999-2007. However, gains for middle schools and high schools have leveled off for the past two years. In addition, the achievement gap continues to be a challenge at all grade levels. English learners constitute 35% of our total enrollment. They come from homes that speak 84 different languages. Over the past five years, the district has increased reclassification rates from 2.1% in 2002- 2003 to 14.6% in 2007, an increase of 12.5 percentage points. For the past five years, the California Standards Test results in mathematics show strong gains in grades 2, 3, 4 and 5. However, beginning in grade 6 and continuing through general math, algebra, and geometry much needs to be done. For the past five years, the percent of students performing at basic, proficient and advanced on the California Standards Test in English Language Arts has only increased modestly at the elementary level. Grades 6 and 7 show minimal growth, and there is almost no growth in grades 8-11. In all Local Districts and at all levels there are schools whose students have exceeded the district and state averages for all these measures. In each of these schools promising practices abound.

By June 13, 2008, each Local District will present a plan of action ensuring that English learners develop English proficiency as rapidly and effectively as possible.

By July 1, 2008 the offices of English Learners and Standard English Learners will report directly to the Chief Academic Officer.

By September 5, 2008, each Local District will identify schools with promising practices in standards-based instruction and present these schools and practices to the Senior Deputy Superintendent.

By October 15, 2008, each Local District will present a plan to the Senior Deputy Superintendent focusing on:

• Improving middle schools including focusing on English Language Arts and Mathematics standards in all grade levels.

• Improving senior high schools including the number of students enrolled and the number of students successfully completing A – G requirements.

• Building school capacity at each level with effective educators. This can be accomplished with professional development but should also include taking advantage of promising practices at various schools.

• Increasing the use of periodic assessment results at the school and local district level to change instructional practice and expanding the use of periodic assessments by middle schools and high schools.

• Increasing gifted and talented identification

• Providing career tech choices This plan is to be developed in concert with schools in each of the local districts.

The Central Office role is to provide guidance and tactical support. Each local district plan should be unique to the district and its needs.

By January 28, 2009, each local district will present an implementation progress report to the Senior Deputy Superintendent.

Each of the following outcomes has a base year of 2007-2008.

The outcomes are for the 2008-2009 year ending June 30, 2009 with data available approximately two months later:

INCREASE the median district API score at each level by 5%.

INCREASE the percentage of students in grades 2 through 11 scoring proficient or advanced on the California Standards Test in English Language Arts and Mathematics by 4%.

Reduce the percentage of students in grades 2 through 11 scoring far below basic and below basic on the California Standards Test in English Language Arts and Mathematics by 4%.

DECREASE the achievement gap between White students and African- American and Hispanic students in grades 2 through 11 on the California Standards Test in English Language Arts and Mathematics by 2%.

INCREASE the percentage of English Learners scoring early advanced and advanced on the California English Language Development Test (CELDT) by 4%.

INCREASE the percentage of English Learners annually reclassified as Fluent English speakers by 3%.


Graduation Rate



Strategy with Benchmark


Improved graduation
rates for all students
in our high schools

Across the nation more than one-third of students are not graduating high school. The number of non-graduated African Americans and Hispanics is greater.

LAUSD, like many other districts throughout the nation is in crisis.

The graduation rate is defined as a four-year completion rate based upon the definition established by the National Center for Education Statistics. This graduation rate includes information on high school graduates as well as dropouts aggregated over a four-year period.

By any measure our high school graduation rate is below an acceptable level.

By July 1, 2008, all Pupil Services and Attendance workers will be under the supervision of the Dropout Recovery Program.

By September 5, 2008, as a component of the Plan of Action, identify, monitor and provide assistance to students who are in the following categories:

• elementary, middle and high school students at below basic or moving from basic to below basic on the California Standards Test

• 9th graders not on track to graduate

• 10th graders not passing the CAHSEE

• 10th graders not on track with A-G requirements

• Any student with five or more absences in the current year or nine or more in the previous year The monitoring of this data is to be done at the local school with the assistance of the Assessment and Student Data unit.

By July 1, 2009, increase small learning communities and small schools.

By January 28, 2009, increase the use of the Los Angeles Virtual Academy (LAVA).

Increase the use of appropriate learning strategies for English Learners and Standard English Learners.

By January 28, 2009, provide a report by Instructional Support Services Office and the Dropout Recovery Office to the Superintendent and Board of Education on progress made with the new strategies including recommendations for augmentation(s) to the strategies.

By June 30, 2009, the graduation rate will improve by a minimum of 3% over the 2007-08 base year.


Effective Individual Counseling



Strategy with Benchmark


Effective individual counseling for academic, career and personal/social growth in middle and high schools

According to the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), “Effective school counseling programs must encompass academic development, career development and personal/social development”.

School counseling services, are at best, a “hit or miss” proposition with too many of our students failing to achieve their maximum academic and social potential. Reasons for the present situation are: budget reductions, failure to coordinate support services, lack of a comprehensive District training program for school counselors and counselors without teaching credentials.

Additionally, there exists a lack of understanding by many school administrators regarding how a school’s master schedule is constructed so as to reflect the needs of every student.

Principals will certify to Local District Superintendents (LDS) that their school counselors, college counselors and career advisors have received intensive training in conferencing methods and completion of Individual Transition Plan (ITP for middle school students) and the Individual Graduation Plan (IGP for high school students).

The training will include the effective use of data which will better identify at-risk students and those with special needs.

Principals will ensure to LDS that parent and/or student conferences are documented in SIS.

This will assist in reviewing plans agreed to by all participants. A newly assigned counselor will have the benefit of reviewing past agreements.

All counseling services will be placed in one unit, allowing for better communication and coordination among support service personnel, i.e. PSA, drop-out recovery, psychological services, etc.

Professional development for all administrators will be conducted by personnel highly qualified in master schedule construction.

This will include orientation to the Columbia Scheduler now in use.

As part of the reorganization of the secondary division in 2008-2009, the majority of counseling services will report to one person.

By June 30, 2009, there will be an 80 % increase in the number of students enrolled in appropriate classes leading to the completion of the AG requirements and their choice of a Career Pathway.

By June 30, 2009, the graduation rate will improve by a minimum of 3% over the 2007-2008 base year.


Strong Parent, Community and School Connections



Strategy with Benchmark


Each school will
develop a strong
relationship and
communication with
parents, community
and other school

There are a number of
parent organizations
that receive support
from the Parent
Services unit.

The unit provides support and leadership for all
Education Programs.
The centralized work involves monitoring
the various parent
processes that include a variety of parent

The most important and significant
interaction with
parents and the
community occurs at the local school level.

A Parent Involvement
Questionnaire was distributed in October
2007 to receive input on a variety of parent
issues. The majority
of parents surveyed
said that they
generally receive
adequate information
about the academic
performance of their child.

The issues of
major concern were safety, a welcoming
atmosphere at schools and accessibility to
teachers and

There were also concerns
about school
cleanliness and the cost and quality of the

Seventy percent of those surveyed
responded that there were parent centers on
their campuses but they would like more
parent training at
these centers.

engagement is a key element to operating a
successful school and maintaining a positive climate with the
businesses and
extended community.

By September 5,
2008, all schools, with
the assistance of their Local District office, will make certain there is a welcoming
environment for
parents and
community members.

Schools will engage
parents with courtesy
and respect.

A parent satisfaction
survey will be
administered in
Spring 2009. This will serve as baseline
data for 2009-2010

This survey will be
developed by
Research and
Planning and
throughout each local  district.

Training at parent
centers will address
current concerns of
safety, cleanliness and  food service issues, as  appropriate.

will also include a strong focus on the
academic standards
required by district,
state and federal

Schools will actively reach out to local
business and civic groups to solicit their  involvement in the school.

Local District
offices will help
identify methods to do  this, using models
from successful

Schools, with the
assistance of their
Local District, will provide parents with
relevant and timely
information regarding
school operations.

The following
outcomes will be
measured during the
2008-2009 school
year: The parent
satisfaction survey
from Spring 2009 will indicate that a
majority of parents
are satisfied with the overall operation,
parent training,
relevance and
timeliness of
information provided by their schools.

Each school without a parent center will
determine if one can be added.

Any school
without one must
have specific approval
of the Local District


Safe and Orderly Schools




Strategy with Benchmark



Students will attend safe and orderly

School safety is a
primary concern in the Los Angeles
Unified School
District communities.

Serious gang
problems in Los
Angeles continue togrow and impact both
the schools and their
Campus disturbances
are prevalent at some middle schools and
high schools. Students
cannot learn under such conditions.
Procedures are in
place that connect
schools, school police and local law enforcement in the
event of any situation.
Orderly schools start with high expectations
from everyone –
parents, teachers,
administrators, staff, and students.
Everyone is
responsible for every child. Rules are few,
simple and
consistently enforced.
All classrooms have the same standards of
behavior. New
teachers are shown
how to establish and enforce classroom
discipline. Staff,
student and parent
communication is
intense at the outset and then the standards
of behavior become the culture of the
school. Unfortunately,
these principles are not applied in all schools.
The school
environment is
sometimes lacking
structure and
orderliness which
interferes with the
education process. As
a result establishing
and maintaining
discipline within the classrooms has
become a serious
problem in some

Local district
superintendents are responsible for the
safety of their schools.

When an incident
occurs at a school, the
school must
immediately inform the local district
superintendent who is then to inform central
office of the

The communications
staff is to immediately
help the school handle the situation with the
media as well as the school community.

Each individual
school will establish a
relationship with
school police, local law enforcement and
the community to
ensure effective levels of security in and
around schools,
giving students, staff and families a sense
f security.
Pertinent information
generated from these ongoing relationships
will be shared
regularly with the
entire school

As appropriate, this information will be
added to school safety

Accordingly, each
school will continue
to review, modify and update their school safety and discipline
plans yearly.

As part of a parent
survey being
conducted in the
2008-2009 school
year, the perception of  school safety and
other issues will be

Local districts must determine the
necessary staffing of their office to address  the frequency of
incidents that occur at  their schools.

Principals will report
to their district
superintendents if
they are not being
adequately supported.

Local districts will
ensure that each
school has high
expectations from
everyone – parents,
administrators, staff, and students for the
same standards of
school behavior.

Each new teacher will
be trained on how to establish and enforce classroom and school standards of behavior.

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