Azusa Unified School District will invest $16 million in 2015-16 to strengthen and expand medical and engineering career pathways, provide dual enrollment in college, further develop technology capabilities and continue to develop an International Baccalaureate program 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 to improve student learning. It identifies goals for each year, strategies to achieve those goals and funding sources. Some programs target all students, while others focus on the state’s three high-needs groups: economically disadvantaged students, foster children and English learners.

The Board of Education voted to approve the LCAP and its 2015-16 budget on Tuesday, June 23.

“Azusa Unified is committed to providing each and every student the opportunity to excel academically,” AUSD Superintendent Linda Kaminski said. “Through the development of meaningful real-world programs and activities, we are taking significant steps to ensure our students acquire the skills necessary to embark on a prosperous and rewarding future.”

The 2015-18 LCAP also pledges to provide summer school enrichment for secondary students, expand visual and performing arts programs, bolster support for SAT/ACT exams, boost programs for English learners and foster youths and expand physical education.

“Much progress has been made over the last year to better engage our students in a well-rounded, rigorous curriculum,” AUSD Board President Yolanda Rodriguez-Pena said. “By working closely with our community, we are providing a template for success that will help us continue to narrow the achievement gap while increasing the college readiness of our student body.”

The programs and services being planned that will significantly assist students include:

  • Expand and strengthen Medical and Engineering Pathways
  • Expand language development efforts in preschool and primary grades
  • Open a second dual-language preschool program
  • Boost college readiness by adding more practice opportunities and preparatory courses to support SAT/ACT; expanding Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) to include SAT/ACT topics; providing financial support to students to take SAT/ACT; exploring offering PSAT to sophomores
  • Spend $2 million to expand access to technology
  • Provide professional development and a model for multiple session parent education, from early childhood education and college preparation
  • Expand visual arts programs by providing additional artists for “Meet the Masters” program
  • Buy instruments and electronic equipment for K-12 programs, including strings and mariachi
  • Pilot an ethnic studies course

Azusa Unified instituted a four-step process to inform, consult, draft and finalize the LCAP. District leaders held a series of meetings from January to March to gather input from District stakeholders, consisting of a wide range of parents, students, administrators, certified and classified employees, and community members.

The District Advisory Council (DAC), District English Learner Advisory Council (DELAC), Parent Roundtable, Migrant Education Parents, Foster Youth Parents, Special Education Parents, administrators and classified and certificated bargaining groups held meetings in May to review reports and make further recommendations. An LCAP Parent Advisory Committee was formed to ensure representation of low-income students, English learners and foster students. The Draft LCAP was posted on the District website on June 5 to solicit public comments.

The plan also provides a review of efforts made during the 2014-15 school year, the first year California districts adopted LCAPs to guide their plans for improving student performance.