District sets spending priorities

IDENTIFYING PROBLEMS – Moorpark Unified’s local accountability and monitoring plan update shows grades of multilingual, low-income and disabled students have been most affected by the various disruptions the pandemic has had on education . School leaders are taking action to ensure students are catching up.

The lingering concern over declining grades is a reminder of the lingering effects of the pandemic on Moorpark students. It’s a problem felt nationwide, but local school leaders are working on ways to fix the problem and get students back on track.

The update to the Moorpark Unified School District Local Control and Accountability Plan, discussed at the June 14 board meeting, shows that grades for multilingual, low-income and disabled students have been most affected by the various disruptions that the pandemic has had on education.

The board met last week to discuss the district’s three-year accountability plan, which sets out how the board will use its money to improve grades and student learning.

The Accountability Plan, required by all California school districts, is reviewed annually to help make adjustments to district operations. To make these decisions, MUSD leaders use feedback the district receives from surveys it gives to students, parents, and staff.

The council approved the plan on June 21.

Report card data among multilingual learners saw about a 25% drop in math, while high school students also saw a generalized 5% drop in math scores.

“Our data definitely indicates that our multilingual learners, our low-income students and our students with disabilities are those who have been most affected by the challenges presented by remote learning and COVID-19,” said Marcia Hamilton, Deputy Principal of district education. services.

Families made several suggestions on how to improve their children’s grades.

The first was intervention learning, which allows teachers to pause at different stages of a lesson so struggling students have a chance to catch up on material.

Offering college prep courses, summer schools, and recovery classes are other programs the community will continue to support.

Spanish-speaking families were particularly supportive of more counseling, as indicated by surveys conducted in English and Spanish.

According to Deputy Superintendent Jane Wagmeister, adding more bilingual and wellness counselors to each campus was a “specific request.”

“They felt their kids were responding really well to advice and recognizing mental health needs during the pandemic,” Wagmeister said.

Safety was also an important topic.

“While the goals remain the same, the action steps are updated as needed,” Wagmeister said. “Some of next year’s offerings will include active shooter response training, social and emotional learning, instructional strategies to support learner variation, and kindergarten transitional literacy.”

Superintendent Kelli Hays will conduct security audits on each campus with the assistance of law enforcement and threat assessment experts.

“We will be reviewing all entry points, classroom and office doors, gates, perimeter fencing, etc., to determine if any upgrades or additions would be recommended,” Hays told the Glans.

Before classes begin in the fall, surveillance cameras will be installed at each school, Hays said.

“Law enforcement will direct us where to place them for best results,” she said.

A comprehensive security plan will be updated to include COVID-related issues.

Wagmeister said safety issues were important to those who responded to the survey, and it is the school district’s duty to listen to those concerns.

“When we consider writing and updating our actions and goals, we take that as consideration for what actions we need to take,” Wagmeister said.

Now that distance learning is over, Hamilton and Wagmeister believe the drop in grades should rebound.

On a positive note, LCAP showed that graduation rates increased this year and all high school students performed better on California’s alternative assessments for English language arts and math.