Trustees approved the 2022-23 Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) at the June 23 Winters Joint Unified School District board meeting.
Essentially, the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) gives districts flexibility in how it uses state funding to meet the needs of its students. Particularly, foster youth, English learners and low-income students.
The LCAP itself was revised a number of times using multiple data points as well as input from parents, students, educators and an LCAP Parent Advisory Committee.
“The meaningful engagement of our partners whether they’re staff, students, parents or the community, that’s the heart of the work. And because the LCAP is a plan that demonstrates how we’ll utilize the local control funding, you have to have that partnership and ongoing feedback cycle in order to really build a plan that’s representative of local needs,” said Phoebe Girimonte, Acting Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services. “We have ongoing input from site-based committees and district committees. Through those we continue to present our progress and make amendments to the plan.”
Broken down into three goals, the LCAP seeks to prepare students to be and career ready, foster conditions of learning that promote student success and engage all stakeholders in creating a safe and welcoming environment for learning. While reaching these goals in the wake of a pandemic is paramount, they also encompass access to mental and emotional support.
Winters JUSD has been utilizing a new coordination platform called CareSolace. Families can access CareSolace through its website or by phone, and regardless of income or insurance status. CareSolace works to partner individuals with counseling services and mental health care. All Winters JUSD staff members, students and their family members, guardians are eligible.
“It (CareSolace) just cuts out the challenge of having to work through your provider,” said Girimonte.
Girimonte said another aspect of the LCAP is utilizing a universal screener.
“We have a social and emotional curriculum in place, but what we haven’t utilized in the past is a screening mechanism that helps us identify students who may need additional support. So, we will be implementing that this upcoming school year,” Girimonte said. “Then we also have positive behavior interventions and support (PBIS). We have varying degrees of this program implementation at different school sites, but PBIS is founded in the idea that expectations for behavior, just like academics, have to be taught to students before we can expect that they’ll meet those expectations.”
The LCAP expenditures and budget come out to a fiscal impact of $6,124,100. As it bolsters the well-being of students and their families, so too does it positively impact the staff as well, the school district said.
“If we don’t take care of the people who are delivering direct service to students, then we’re not doing our job,” said Girimonte. “Especially coming out of these last couple years, staff have been so resilient and have risen to the occasion and we really do have to meet their needs as well if we’re going to meet the needs of the kids.”