How to Improve School Attendance

A Practical Guide for Schools and School Districts
A Project of the Los Angeles County Education Coordinating Council

Module 3: Parent Involvement—2

Parent Toolbox (Los Angeles) 83

The Parent Toolbox page of the Los Angeles Unified School District's website includes links to a number of resources for parents and families of district students. Sections are available on:

❖  Enrollment Choices

Square Bullet  A school finder tool to locate neighborhood schools

Square Bullet  The CHOICES Program, with information on magnet schools, permits with transportation, and the No Child Left Behind Public School Choice program

Square Bullet  Public School Choice, a 2009 school board resolution to support innovative school plans to improve academic achievement in low-performing schools and to open new schools

Square Bullet  Zones of choice, where a family may choose from different campuses or among small schools within the same campus

Square Bullet  Charter schools

Square Bullet  Open enrollment at specific campuses

Square Bullet  Schools for Advanced Studies for gifted and talented youth

Square Bullet  Transitional kindergarten, for students who turn five years old between November  2 and December  2

Square Bullet  No Child Left Behind–Public School Choice (NCLB–PSC) and Supplemental Education Services (SES)

❖  Testing and Accountability

Square Bullet  Academic Performance Index (API), a score that annually measures the academic performance and progress of individual California schools

Square Bullet  The School Report Card, published each year by the district in collaboration with various community-based organizations and foundations, that summarizes the performance of over 600 individual schools

Square Bullet  School Experience Surveys (for the School Report Card), which ask respondents about the opportunities they have to learn and be leaders at their schools, how welcoming and collaborative the environment is, the cleanliness and safety of the campus, and parent engagement

Square Bullet  Academic Growth over Time, which measures the growth students have made on standardized tests from one year to the next and compares each student's performance to the performance of other similar students in the district

Square Bullet  The School Performance Meter, which measures achievement against the district's goals of 100 percent graduation, proficiency for all, 100 percent attendance, parent and community engagement, and school safety

❖  Dropout Prevention

Square Bullet  Links to the Pupil Services web page that includes information for students and families about earning a high school diploma, attaining a GED, and passing the CAHSEE (California High School Exit Exam).

Square Bullet  Attendance/dropout school plans and attendance improvement action plan templates

Square Bullet  The Pupil Services newsletter

Square Bullet  Information on School Attendance Month (September) and Student Recovery Day

Square Bullet  A list of Youth WorkSource Centers and PSA Counselors

❖  Parent and Family Centers, located at nearly two dozen schools, that:

Square Bullet  Build parental capacity to support student achievement in school and help parents expand their capacity to support their children emotionally, socially, and intellectually

Square Bullet  Provide leadership training and information to parents in multiple languages

Square Bullet  Link families to critical public and community services

Square Bullet  Align parent engagement efforts to the district's performance goals

Square Bullet  Engage parents and staff in developing and implementing school compacts

Square Bullet  Train staff and parents on the Parents' Bill of Rights and Responsibilities (Table 9)

Square Bullet  Increase parent access to LAUSD online tools, programs, and resources

Square Bullet  Foster parent/teacher relationships that welcome parents as partners and that help parents
effectively support learning and high achievement

Square Bullet  Cultivate and develop parents to serve as leaders and as advocate for all children

Square Bullet  Create partnerships with the broader community to garner additional resources that benefit the academic, health, and social well-being of children

❖  Parent Engagement Research

Square Bullet  Links to key research and resources on parent and family engagement

❖  Special Education

Square Bullet Links to the Special Education Division's page including sections on:

        •  Least restrictive environment
        •  Supports and services
        •  The special education process
        •  Disability/Eligibility
        •  Parent resources
        •  eLibrary
        •  Professional development
        •  Research-based practices
        •  Modified consent decree
        •  Newsletters

❖  Gifted and Talented Programs

Square Bullet  Links to the LAUSD's Gifted and Talent Programs web page that includes sections on the programs' purpose, philosophy, and history, as well as details of changes legislated in 2001 and specific program features including:

        •  Accelerated or advanced content
        •  More complex understandings of generalizations, principles, theories, and the structure of the content area
        •  Abstract concepts and thought processes or skills
        •  Level and type of resources used to obtain information, acquire skills, and develop products
        •  Appropriation of longer/shorter time span for learning 
        •  Generating new information and/or products
        •  Transfer of learning to new/different disciplines, situations
        •  Development of personal growth and sophistication in attitudes, appreciations, feelings, intuition
        •  Independence of thought and study

❖  The Academic Growth over Time (AGT) Tool

Square Bullet  Comprehensive searches for and comparisons of individual schools' achievement

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83 Adapted from the Los Angeles Unified School District's Parent Toolbox web page