Annual IUSD Survey Closes Nov. 27


lcap-2016Please take a few minutes to complete our IUSD Annual Survey, which includes the LCAP school funding survey and portions of the state Healthy Kids survey.  The LCAP is an important part of the District’s annual process because it aligns IUSD’s strategic planning with the budget to ensure we accomplish both State and District goals to best meet our students’ needs.  Your feedback, insights and ideas are critical components of this process.

We know that this is a busy time of year and we appreciate you dedicating a few moments to provide us candid and constructive feedback.  The survey will be open until November 27, 2016.

All responses to this survey are anonymous and will be kept strictly confidential.  Please click here to take the survey.


LCAP School Funding Survey Now Open


Dear IUSD Community,

I would like to encourage your participation in the 2016-17 school-funding survey, which is part of the 10-month Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) process.  This is the second of two funding surveys.  The first survey was sent to the IUSD community last September and asked for your feedback about District priorities.  Based on your responses, the District developed a series of proposed actions.  This survey is to review those actions and investments with you, and to request your input.

The survey is divided into four brief sections:

  • New proposed actions and investments
  • Ranking of additional funding priorities, should the District receive additional state funds this May
  • A review of actions, using one-time funding, recommended for extension for one or two additional years
  • Open comment section

This interactive process helps IUSD identify annual goals, take action on those goals, and measure progress on academic achievement, school climate and parent engagement.  Your input is critical to IUSD’s decision-making process and will help guide investments in the District’s priorities.

To learn more about the state’s funding system, including the Local Control Funding Formula and the LCAP, and to see the results of the fall 2015 survey, visit iusd.org/LCFF-LCAP/.  To view an informational summary of the proposed LCAP actions, click here.

To take the survey now, click here.  

Thank you in advance for your participation.  Your engagement, partnership and support continues to enable IUSD to best serve our students.

T-Walker2-smooth-sm

 

 

Terry L. Walker
Superintendent of Schools, Irvine Unified School District


Board of Education to Hold Public Hearing March 1 on Facilities Measure


Dear IUSD Community,
I recently wrote to you about the Irvine Unified School District’s (IUSD) plans to update our aging schools to a similar standard as our newer schools, so that all of IUSD’s more than 32,000 students have access to 21st-century instructional technology and learning tools. To achieve this important goal, IUSD is considering placing a School Facility Improvement Measure on the June 7, 2016 ballot to provide a dedicated and locally-controlled funding source for the most urgent upgrades in our aging schools.SFIM Mailer Feb. 2016 Image_Page_2

Updating Aging Schools
More than half of IUSD schools are more than 30 years old and are in critical need of upgrades and modernization. While some of our more recently built schools have modern classrooms and science labs, others do not. IUSD has worked to develop a Comprehensive Facilities Master Plan for the improvement of our school facilities. This process included a thorough expert assessment of each of our school campuses and input from teachers, principals, parents and students to identify the highest priority needs.

Planning for the Future of Our Schools and Students
With the District’s school facility needs identified and prioritized, IUSD is now evaluating options for funding improvements to our schools. On March 1, at 6:30 p.m. at the IUSD Administration Center (5050 Barranca Parkway, Irvine) the IUSD Board of Education will hold a public hearing about placing a School Facility Improvement Measure on the June 2016 ballot. The public is invited to attend this meeting and share their thoughts.

Continuing IUSD’s Standard of Excellence
IUSD is proud that our students continue to perform among the best in Orange County and in the state. We are fortunate to have outstanding teachers, challenging and innovative academic programs and a community that supports Irvine students and schools. These are all essential elements of maintaining the top quality education for which Irvine is known. If passed, a School Facilities Improvement Measure would help support outstanding student achievement by ensuring students have equal access to facilities that support 21st-century education and career opportunities.

Your Feedback Is Important
We asked for your priorities for updating our schools and by clicking here, you’ll find information about the school facility planning process and how we are using your comments and feedback.  If you would like more information, please click here for frequently asked questions or visit our website iusd.org/schoolimprovements.  Thank you for your interest in IUSD schools and your ongoing support for our students.

T-Walker2-smooth-sm

Terry L. Walker
Superintendent of Schools, Irvine Unified School District


Message from Terry Walker: School Funding Survey


Dear IUSD Community,

I would like to encourage your participation in the 2016-17 school-funding survey, which is part of the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) process.  This first survey kicks off the 10-month LCAP process for the 2016-17 school year, which will help IUSD to identify annual goals, take action on those goals, and measure progress on academic achievement, school climate and parent engagement. 

Your input is critical to IUSD’s decision-making process and will help guide investments in the District’s priorities.  We will reach out to you throughout the current school year, including a second survey in the spring, for your continued feedback. 

To learn more about the state’s funding system, including Local Control Funding Formula and the LCAP, visit iusd.org/LCFF-LCAP/.

Click here to take the survey now. 

Thank you in advance for your participation.  Your engagement, partnership and support continues to enable IUSD to best serve our students. 

T-Walker2-smooth-sm

 

 

Terry L. Walker
​Superintendent of Schools, Irvine Unified School District​  


Message from Superintendent Walker: School Funding Update


Dear IUSD Community,

Thank you to the nearly 2,500 stakeholders who participated in the Irvine Unified School District’s recent additional investments survey, as part of the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) process.  The LCAP is an important part of our annual process because it aligns IUSD’s strategic planning with our budget to ensure we accomplish both State and District goals.

Your input, insights and ideas have been critical components of this process.  As a result of your feedback, the Board of Education, during the August 18, 2015 Board Meeting, approved the proposed additional investments.  These investments support the following District focus areas for the 2015-16 academic year:

1. Direct Student Instructional Support
2. Mental Health Support
3. Increase School-Site Funding
4. California Standards Aligned Materials and Support
5. Equity and Safety

We are excited about how these additional investments will positively impact our students, staff and school sites, as we prepare our students for a competitive 21st Century college and career environment.

Survey results, an updated LCAP and budget presentation, and additional information will be posted this week on the District’s LCAP webpage.

As we begin the next phase in the LCAP process this September for the 2016-17 school year, we will continue to seek your feedback throughout the year.  This process will enable the District to further refine and enhance our planning and budget development. Recommendations will be brought to the Board in June 2016 for approval.

Thank you again for your continued participation.  It is your engagement, partnership and support that continues to enable IUSD to best serve our students.

Best wishes for a wonderful and safe 2015-16 school year.

T-Walker2-smooth-sm

 

 

Terry L. Walker
Superintendent of Schools


IUSD continues to seek feedback for Local Control and Accountability Plan


IUSD would like to know what you think about the new three-year accountability plan and seeks your input on future actions to improve student achievement.

Online Input Forum for IUSD's LCAPAs mentioned in previous posts, California’s new funding model for K-12 education requires every school district and county office of education to develop, adopt and annually update a three-year Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) with input from parents, students, and other key stakeholders.

Districts will use these plans to identify yearly goals, take action and measure progress for student subgroups across multiple performance indicators, including academic achievement, school climate, access to a broad curriculum and parent engagement.

IUSD’s LCAP isn’t due to the county until July 1, but you can get an overview by checking out this slide presentation from the Board of Education’s November 18, 2014 meeting and you can access the latest draft of the plan by clicking here.

Parents, students, district employees and community members are encouraged to review Irvine’s LCAP and submit feedback by way of this online input form before the plan is adopted in June. This is an important part of the process for budgeting and setting priorities for the district. Please take the time to share your thoughts.


Board selects new president, certifies financial health and OKs advisory committee


The IUSD Board of Education voted unanimously to elect Lauren Brooks to a one-year term as president and Paul Bokota to a one-year term as clerk before turning its attention to the budget and other matters on Tuesday.

LaurenBrooks2The school board’s annual organizational meeting — and the final session of 2014 — began with Superintendent Terry Walker administering the oath of office to incumbent members Sharon Wallin and Ira Glasky, who were the top two vote-getters in the November election. Moments later, Brooks (pictured to the right) was announced as president, and her first act was to commend the leadership of her predecessor, Wallin.

The five-member board also approved school site liaison assignments, appointed representatives to various committees and established meeting dates through next December. The first two regular meetings of 2015 are scheduled for Jan. 13 and Feb. 3.

Latest budget update includes ‘positive’ news

Later in the evening, Assistant Superintendent John Fogarty presented a brief budget update, and the board voted unanimously to certify IUSD’s First Interim Report of 2014-15 as “positive,” meaning the district is expected to meet all of its financial obligations over the next few years.

Every school district in California is required to examine and certify its financial condition as positive, qualified or negative twice during each fiscal year. Positive is the ideal certification, while qualified indicates a district may not be able to meet its financial obligations for the current year and the two subsequent years. (A negative certification is rare and would indicate a district was unable to meet its financial obligations.)

Recognizing the volatility of the state economy and Sacramento’s heavy reliance on income taxes, the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office has outlined three possible scenarios for California’s economy, ranging from a slowdown to a temporary surge. Fogarty, who oversees business services for the district, told the board that the LAO’s most likely scenario projects moderate growth through 2019-20, which may lead to steady increases for K-12 schools.

“It was very unusual for (the LAO) to have three scenarios,” Fogarty told the NewsFlash afterward. “They’ve never done that before. While things look good right now, we know they could change very quickly.”

California’s new Local Control Funding Formula, meanwhile, has increased the amount of base funding for school districts and allocated more dollars to serve English-language learners, low-income students and foster youth. Projected increases have also enabled IUSD to strategically invest the reserves it built up to weather the state’s fiscal crisis, Fogarty said.

That said, there are a number of potential challenges and uncertainties for school districts, which must take a multi-year approach to budgeting. The state’s plan to address the unfunded liability in the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, or CalSTRS, requires districts to contribute significant dollars to help close the gap, and temporary tax increases that went into effect under Proposition 30 will begin to expire in 2016, eliminating a dependable source of state revenue.

As we’ve mentioned here before, the state’s new funding model mandates that school districts develop comprehensive accountability plans with stakeholder input that show how local resources are being directed toward measurable objectives for student achievement and school climate, and because these are three-year plans, funding is often earmarked in advance. IUSD crafted its first Local Control and Accountability Plan last year and will soon be reaching out to the community to update priorities for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years while considering options for 2017-18.

Board approves new education advisory committee

Lastly, the board voted to establish a new education advisory committee that will review and discuss critical educational issues and district initiatives.

The committee, requested by board members in November, will comprise two appointees from each board member along with the superintendent, the assistant superintendent of education services, a PTA representative, three teachers, a student representative and a representative of the California School Employees Association.


IUSD will seek input from local stakeholders during update of accountability plan


Parents, teachers, students, staff and community members are once again being encouraged to weigh in on IUSD’s goals for achievement and school climate as the district begins the months-long process of updating its three-year Local Control and Accountability Plan.

You may recall that the LCAP was introduced last year as a requirement under California’s new funding formula, which increased local control while allocating more resources to schools that serve low-income students, English-learners and foster youth. By law, each district’s accountability plan must be submitted by July 1, outlining annual goals as well as plans for taking action and measuring progress on a number of fronts, including academic achievement, school climate, access to a broad curriculum and parent engagement.

LCAP 111914At Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting, Alan Schlichting, IUSD’s director of student support services, previewed the process that will be used to update Irvine’s plan. You can scroll through his presentation here, but essentially the timetable begins with community presentations and district communications in November and December, followed by stakeholder meetings to gather input in January and February.

In March and April, the community will get to review a draft of the LCAP and offer additional feedback, both in person and through an online survey. The school board is expected to hold a public hearing and adopt the finalized plan in May or June.

Because districts must annually develop LCAPs that cover three years, Schlichting said the task facing IUSD is to update priorities that were drafted for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years, while considering options for 2017-18.

“Remembering that this is a three-year plan, many of the actions that we put into the plan are multi-year steps that will grow in cost over time,” he said, “and those have been budgeted through 2016-17.”

“We may have additional funds that are available,” he added. “We’ll learn about that with the release of the governor’s 2015-16 state budget in January, and at that point we’ll consider additional actions to our LCAP.”

Schlichting noted that IUSD is also moving forward with a number of state and local initiatives, including implementation of Common Core standards, new state assessments, the establishment of Next Generation Science Standards and technology integration. The LCAP, meanwhile, requires progress in eight areas — credentials and instructional materials, academic standards and implementation of the Common Core, parental involvement, pupil achievement, pupil engagement, school climate, access and enrollment, and pupil outcomes.

With those in mind, IUSD identified four goals for its 2014-2017 LCAP. They are: Ensure all students attain proficiency in the current content standards; ensure access to rigorous and relevant learning tools, resources and skills for all staff and students; cultivate a positive school culture and system of supports for student personal and academic growth; and communicate effectively and form strategic alliances to secure the support and resources necessary to deliver our vision.

Progress will be being measured using a number of metrics, including results from the California English Language Development Tests, universal screening assessment data, California High School Exit Exam pass rates, graduation rates, statistics that show completion of UC and CSU requirements, as well as drop-out, attendance, suspension and expulsion data.

“We’ll be sharing with the board data on how we’re progressing in those areas as we move through the year,” Schlichting said.

IUSD NewsFlash will post more LCAP information in the weeks and months ahead to promote opportunities for public input. In the meantime, you may want to peruse Tuesday night’s slide presentation, which includes details about IUSD’s objectives, along with funding information and next steps. You can also learn more by exploring these links:

IUSD’s Local Control and Accountability Plan 2014-2017
IUSD’s LCFF and LCAP informational webpage
California Department of Education LCFF Overview and Frequently Asked Questions
A Vision For IUSD: Irvine Unified School District’s Strategic Initiatives

Also Tuesday night:

  • The Board of Education and staff engaged in a lengthy discussion of dual language immersion programs, with a specific emphasis on Spanish, to understand the pros and cons and to determine if such a program would benefit a significant number of Irvine students. You can scroll through the accompanying slide presentation here.
  • The board also approved a formal request to the Irvine Public Schools Foundation, outlining priorities for the 2014-15 school year. Funding areas will once again focus on class-size support, music in kindergarten through the third grade, instructional assistants for music classes in grades four through six, school nurses, athletic trainers and the Naviance counseling program.

IUSD Board of Education approves accountability plan, adopts budget for 2014-15


The IUSD Board of Education has adopted a spending plan for the 2014-15 school year.

The plan, which reflects the state’s latest projections from May, as well as the district’s priorities from a brand new accountability report, outlines $257.8 million worth of expenditures – both restricted and unrestricted – against $246.9 million worth of total revenue. The difference will be offset by one-time dollars, as IUSD looks to strategically spend down reserves it built up to weather the state’s fiscal crisis.

IUSD 2014-15 Adopted BudgetJohn Fogarty, assistant superintendent of business services, led a brief presentation on the district’s finances on Tuesday, June 24 before the board approved the plan by way of a 3-0 vote. (The “yes” votes came from President Sharon Wallin and members Lauren Brooks and Ira Glasky. Michael Parham and Paul Bokota were not in attendance.)

This is actually IUSD’s second budget under the state’s Local Control Funding Formula, which has increased base levels of funding for K-12 education while channeling greater resources toward English-language learners, low-income students and foster youth. Yet it’s the first budget to factor in priorities from the district’s new Local Control and Accountability Plan, or LCAP, which documents measurable objectives for achievement and school climate with input from parents and other community stakeholders.

Based on the new funding levels and the district’s LCAP, IUSD’s budget calls for a decrease in class sizes by two students in kindergarten through grade six and one student in grades seven through 12. In addition, the district is investing in professional development opportunities for staff, as well as curriculum development, technology and mental health.

Before the budget vote, board members unanimously approved the Local Control and Accountability Plan, which had been recently revised based on stakeholder feedback. Alan Schlichting, director of student support services, said changes included the addition of a full-time mental health coordinator and an online learning coordinator, along with the restoration of site mental health support, including guidance assistants at the elementary level and Project Success staff at the secondary level. (You can access IUSD’s completed LCAP here.)

Here are some other takeaways from Tuesday night’s budget presentation:

●  Governor Brown’s new formula — the aforementioned LCFF — establishes a target level of funding for school districts for the 2020-21 school year. Until then, districts can expect to receive annual increases called “gap funding,” referencing the gap between what they currently get and the target amount for 2020-21. IUSD’s gap funding in 2014-15 is approximately $20 million, and an increase of nearly $18 million is projected for the 2015-16 school year, meaning IUSD will go through a similar process of analyzing its needs and priorities next year. (By contrast, IUSD was forced to make approximately $38 million worth of one-time and ongoing reductions during the state budget crisis.)

●  California’s proposed budget includes a plan to address the unfunded liability in the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, or CalSTRS. Though the remedy asks employers, employees and the state to contribute additional dollars to resolve the shortfall — which has been estimated at $74 billion — much of the burden would fall on employers, which would see gradual increases through 2021. Under the plan, IUSD would pay $800,000 in 2014-15, part of a projected cumulative total of more than $15 million by 2020-21.

●  Though the state budget picture is bright for school districts, there are still a number of challenges and unknowns. Fogarty said there are no guarantees that the Local Control Funding Formula will continue to be implemented as planned — or that school districts will receive their targeted levels of funding. Moreover, the temporary tax increases that went into effect under Proposition 30 will begin to expire in 2016, drying up a source of state revenue. Enrollment growth, the Affordable Care Act and shifts in the state and national economies could also impact IUSD’s budget, Fogarty said.

●  IUSD’s budget projections were developed with the guidance of the Orange County Department of Education, School Services of California, the California Association of School Business Officials and other agencies.


Superintendent responds to your questions on IUSD’s new Local Control and Accountability Plan


A new district webpage features your questions about IUSD’s emerging accountability plan and responses from Superintendent Terry Walker.

As we’ve said previously, the state’s new funding model requires school districts to develop and annually update three-year Local Control and Accountability Plans, or LCAPs, with input from parents and other key stakeholders.

LCAP Questions and Answers webpageIUSD began soliciting feedback back for its plan in March, but there’s another major step in the process: Superintendents are also required to respond in writing to LCAP submissions. In the interest of transparency, Walker has decided to post all of his responses on the following webpage:

The questions and comments addressed by the superintendent include those generated during recent Irvine Unified Council PTA meetings and District English Learner Advisory Committee meetings, as well as those collected through online surveys and paper forms from the June 3 Board of Education hearing. Some submissions that were similar were consolidated to avoid redundant replies.

The development of the LCAP represents a new process for California’s school districts, which must identify annual goals, take action and measure progress for student subgroups across multiple performance indicators, including academic achievement, school climate, access to a broad curriculum and parent engagement.

LCAP requirements were first introduced during the current year, resulting in a compressed timeline for 2014-15. In subsequent years, however, IUSD anticipates having more time to present information and collect feedback from its stakeholders, including parent groups, bargaining groups, school sites and the community.

Once again, IUSD’s LCAP isn’t due to the county until July 1, but you can get an overview from this slide presentation, or you can access the latest draft of the plan by clicking here.

And if you haven’t weighed in yet, there’s still time to express your thoughts through this online input form.