California’s Community Engagement Initiative Grows by Six School Districts

SAN BERNARDINO – Six public school districts from across California have been selected to join the Community Engagement Initiative (CEI), an ongoing and innovative effort to create dialog and build relationships with stakeholders.

The five-year initiative is a component of the state’s System of Support, which seeks to strengthen outreach and collaboration, address inequities and build the capacity of local education agencies (LEAs) to improve student outcomes.

The CEI is a joint project by the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE), San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools (SBCSS), the California Association of Bilingual Educators (CABE), and Families in Schools (FIS).

The Fall 2020 Cohort II districts join 12 others that have been selected as Peer Leading and Learning Networks since CEI began in 2019. The participants utilize research, policy and peer-to-peer relationships to boost success for diverse populations, including English learners, low-income students and foster youth.

Below is the list of the six newly selected districts with details about their community engagement initiatives and contact information.

Victor Valley Unified School District in San Bernardino County

Example: Consistent Communication with the Community

“VVUHSD has worked closely with the CCEE in the past, with positive results. This is a great opportunity and an honor for our district.” – Ron Williams, Ed.D., Superintendent

Contact: ShaKenya Edison, Director of Student Services; sedison@vvuhsd.org

Santa Ana Unified School District in Orange County

Example: At SAUSD, the practice of family and community engagement (FACE) is embedded throughout all 56 school sites and across departments and disciplines.

“In the continued growth and implementation of our practice of family and community engagement (FACE) at SAUSD, we wanted to join the CEI to join a cohort of peers whose focus is around the development, practice and implementation of effective FACE.” Superintendent Jerry Almendarez

Contact: Dr. Susie Lopez-Guerra, Director, Community Relations; maria.lopezguerra@sausd.us

Bakersfield City School District in Kern County

Example: An area of strength we feel could benefit other districts is with our work to engage stakeholders during our Parent University LCAP Community Forum. We provide a structured plan to share information with staff, parents and the community, and allow thoughtful dialogue from all stakeholders to be captured through input and feedback collected at the event.

“It is of great interest to engage with other districts on how they are continuing the work to engage and involve parents in this new virtual format.” – Superintendent Doc Ervin

Contact: Dee Dee Harrison, Coordinator, FACE; harrisonj@bcsd.com

Parlier Unified School District in Fresno County

Example: Our school district has partnered with a parent education organization that has provided courses and topics in a structured manner to present to our parents.  The courses and instruction are taught in languages of Spanish and English as our primary language in the community is Spanish. 

“Parlier Unified is excited about learning from other districts.  We have provided a strong foundation for learning with our students and community, but we are always looking for new ways to connect with our parents and community.  We are hoping CEI will allow us those opportunities to connect, share and learn from each other.” – Dr. Altagracia Guerrero, Superintendent

Contact: Ruben Diaz, Assistant Superintendent; ruben.diaz@parlierunified.org

Oakland Unified School District in Alameda County

“We believe building relationships and academic partnership with our families is critical to eliminating bias and inequity in our system. While we have some best practices in place, we look forward to sharing and learning from other district system wide efforts to improve and reflect upon our practices." – Dr. Kyla Johnson-Trammell, Superintendent

Contact: Sara Nuño-Villa, Family Community Engagement Specialist; sara.nuno@ousd.org

Salinas Union High School District in Monterey County

Example: Our district will continue to collaborate with Student Support, English Learner, and Pupil Personnel departments to continue to bring to families conferences and workshops based on the needs of students, parents and our community.

“The SUHSD believes that the District is a representation of the community it serves and vice versa. With that being said, as a continuous improvement District, we want to engage in learning best practices from our peers in order to create growth in our District.” – Superintendent Dan Burns

Contact: Alma Pio-Garcia, Director of Special Projects; alma.piogarcia@salinasuhsd.org

Contacts

Steven Sterling Mitchell, CCEE
(916) 619-7501
smitchell@ccee-ca.org

SBCSS Communications
(909) 386-2413