SOLEDAD — The series of Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) workshops for the Soledad Unified School District is underway, with the fourth of seven having taken place on Feb. 13 at Frank Ledesma Elementary School.
“The purpose of tonight is to hear from the parents what’s important to them,” said Randy Bangs, assistant superintendent of education services.
The meetings have a goal of providing an opportunity for the community to offer input that can be used to improve services for students in the future. LCAP is a three-year district-level plan that is updated annually, which outlines the district goals in how to achieve goals and measure progress.
At the meetings, parents and community members are updated on the process, then given the time to go to two of six different focus areas based on district goals, such as equity and access for all, or safe and secure environments.
“Anything that you want to say, tonight’s the night to do it,” said Richard Radtke, principal at Frank Ledesma Elementary. “All the information goes to a committee and then goes to the school board, so it goes all the way to the top.”
“They’ll have brief presentations with data related to the goal and then they’ll be able to tell the facilitator what’s important to them,” Bangs said.
There are also votes held to determine what is the most important factor to meet within each goal. Those sets of data are then collected by the district and analyzed. In addition to the LCAP meetings, there are staff meetings, parent groups and advisory groups that also pitch in feedback.
“So by the time we’re done, we’ll have about 35 sets of data that will help us put the resources for next year into our plan,” Bangs said. “We listen to and look at the data and add programs and services that come into play the following year.”
Radtke said some programs implemented because of LCAP input have ranged from anti-bullying resources to including more music classes.
Feedback can range from asking for more mental health services for students, increasing access to tutoring, expanding after-school programs or starting safety programs.
“This year we added mental health services as a result of last year’s feedback,” Bangs said.
He said they also added support for PSAT and NSAT testing, the college entrance exams, which were once limited to students who could pay for them.
“We do that for everybody now so students have a college-going mindset,” he said of expanding the tests.
This is the third year of LCAP meetings, and the year with the largest roster.
“Before, it was fewer meetings and we found parents weren’t having the chance to get us the feedback they wanted to give us,” Bangs said.
Now, each school site will host one meeting.
“When we go to their schools, they’re comfortable with being here,” Bangs said.
The final LCAP meetings are planned for Feb. 19 at Main Street Middle School, Feb. 20 at Rose Ferrero School and Feb. 27 at Soledad High School. All three meetings begin at 5:30 p.m.