STORY BY MELODY XU, PHOTO BY EMILY MCNALLY
The Palo Alto Unified School District approved its 2021–2024 Local Control Accountability Plan, a goal setting and planning tool required for educational agencies in California at Tuesday’s board meeting.
Key highlights of this three-year LCAP include goals for early literacy, equity, additional social-emotional development support, wellness and home-school connection. Specific steps in order to achieve these goals are also outlined, which include training elementary teachers in teaching phonics, expanded summer school programs and providing devices and hotspots to families.
The plans were initially introduced and given a public hearing at a June 8 board meeting along with district staff’s annual LCAP update for 2019–2020.
Along with the LCAP, Assistant Superintendent Yolanda Conaway announced structural reorganization of the Department of Equity and Student Affairs, which focuses on the experiences of historically underrepresented students in the district.
The department was established by Superintendent Don Austin in 2019, and now plans to reorganize in order to avoid “duplicative efforts around student support.”
“This allows us to look at student services through the lens of equity,” Conaway said. “And it also allows us to really be creative and innovative about some of those initiatives that will be coming out of the department. So in the future, you will be hearing lots about mental health, a lot about attendance.”