By Juliette Funes
Pomona – Pomona Unified School District plans to expand dual-language immersion programs and full-day kindergarten programs, and boost spending for secondary athletics, online Advanced Placement courses and technology support as part of its 2015-18 Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP).
The plan – a requirement of the state’s school funding system – guides District efforts in improving student learning, with particular emphasis on foster youth, English learners and students who are socio-economically disadvantaged. It identifies goals for each year, strategies to achieve those goals and funding sources.
“During the course of our outreach efforts, we have found that the priorities of our parents, community members and stakeholders include rigorous academics and programs to ensure all students – including our foster youth, English learners and socio-economically disadvantaged – are college- and career-ready by the time they graduate high school,” said Board President Andrew Wong. “This plan builds on our District’s successful programs and creates new avenues for student support.”
The 2015-18 plan pledges to continue programs that have shown success in improving graduation rates and reducing absenteeism, dropout and expulsion rates, including professional development, the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) college preparation program, reducing student-teacher ratios in elementary and middle school math and English Language Development sections, improving access to technology and broadening the course of study.
The District will expand its dual-language immersion offerings to include an English-Spanish program at Montvue Elementary School and an English-Mandarin program at Pantera Elementary School. Full-day kindergarten will be added at 11 additional schools. All elementary schools will now have the program.
The District will also bring new programs forward, including a literacy focus program and extra support for arts and music programs. Schools will add learning support by way of more nurses, counselors, school site specialists and math coaches for elementary and high schools. Funding for technology devices and additional computer technicians will also be increased to boost student and adult learning.
Pomona Unified developed the LCAP after analyzing a District survey that drew more than 3,000 stakeholder comments, reviewing data on student performance and consulting parent, faculty, staff and student groups, including the Associated Pomona Teachers Union and California School Employees Association during more than 20 meetings between January and June.
Stakeholders asked for continued safe and clean schools, increased staff and a broader range of coursework, technology and health services. Top bright spots included PUSD staff; the rigorous academic courses offered; the academic and social/emotional support provided to students; parent involvement; and Adult/Career Education.
Other avenues the District expects to explore in the future include more science labs, school modernization projects and disaster preparedness.
“This year, the District has had a number of amazing successes, and we believe that with these expanded programs and new actions, our students will continue to excel in reaching their college and career goals,” Superintendent Richard Martinez said. “I want to thank our students and families, our teachers and staff and our community partners for generously contributing their thoughts and time to help us create a plan that truly reflects local control and accountability in education.”