INGLEWOOD UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

Background

Inglewood USD is one of two districts referred to CCEE for assistance because of their budget status. In spring 2018 the State Administrator for Inglewood Unified School District (IUSD), requested the support of the CCEE in reviewing the district’s strategic plan and implementation strategies and to help develop stronger, collaborative governance processes. In October 2018, the state legislature passed statute AB 1840, which restructured the support mechanisms for districts with outstanding state loans. Inglewood had received a state loan in 2012 to avoid fiscal insolvency. For Inglewood, this resulted in the State Administrator reporting to the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) instead of the California Department of Education and automatically referred the district to the CCEE for technical assistance to support their instructional systems.

Under the Differentiated Assistance (DA) process under Education Code section 52071, IUSD met the criteria for assistance for the 2017 through 2019 school years whereby at least one student group met criteria in at least two different Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) priority areas. The table below indicates the student groups performance in comparison to the average statewide performance for that student group for 2019 (the most recent year data are available).

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The graphic below shows the enrollment percentage of these student groups relative to the district’s entire student population.

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The district’s enrollment by student group shows the vast majority of students are socioeconomically disadvantaged learners, and nearly one-third are English Language Learners, as reported on the CA Dashboard.

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Systemic Instructional Review Themes

The IUSD Systemic Instructional Review Report was completed in late April 2019. Shortly after the completion of the IUSD SIR report, CCEE provided support to IUSD by aligning Fiscal Crisis and Management Team (FCMAT) pupil achievement actions to the SIR actions. Four themes emerged 1) culture, coherence, and systemness 2) curriculum, instruction, and assessment 3) accountability, and 4) professional learning.

Progress Update

IUSD SIR Action Implementation Status

With the 66 total recommended actions for IUSD, the district has completed 19 of the recommended actions. IUSD is actively working to implement another 41 of the actions and has not yet started six of the actions. Overall, IUSD has completed or was actively working on 91% of the recommended actions over the last two years. CCEE conducted a progress monitoring quarterly update of IUSD in mid-June 2021. In this quarterly update, IUSD showed progress in the areas of use of cycles of inquiry at the central office and principal levels, supporting the continued focus on literacy resulting in increased alignment of ELA and math professional learning plans. In addition, schools are being held accountable by the Educational Services team regarding student assessments and have increased completion rates as evidenced by 85% of students completing the mid-year literacy assessments. During the pandemic, IUSD implemented revised instructional guides to support a focus on priority standards in ELA and math. This allowed for a continued focus on literacy and numeracy in alignment with the IUSD Strategic Plan and Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP). These concerted efforts resulted in 93% of students completing the 2021 Smarter Balanced Assessment virtually. In addition, approximately 85% of past due Individualized Educational Plans (IEPs) were completed showing a concerted effort to maintain compliance during the pandemic, but to prioritize access to services for the students with disabilities student group.

Weaknesses for IUSD vary based on the degree of implementation; for example, accountability structures exist but are loosely outlined. While being utilized in some areas, the cycle of inquiry is still seen as a compliance type of activity, and the learning taking place in professional development has not yet consistently been translated to systemic implementation of classroom practices across the district.

Areas of opportunity identified result from the IUSD community and Los Angeles County Office of Education leadership working together to address systems and structural needs in the district. IUSD’s areas of opportunity include utilizing the current IUSD cycle of inquiry to reinforce effective data practices, build a data-informed culture, and create self-accountability throughout IUSD. In addition, the building of capacity of the central office has been essential to improve the school support, especially as the implementation of effective instructional practices as every school site is accelerated in the coming year. CCEE’s support of these efforts will continue to be critical to ensure consistent and sustainable systems for improving pupil achievement.

A primary threat to the IUSD SIR action implementation is that IUSD is reaching a plateau in actions that are in progress. This is mainly due to the lack of clarity in an instructional plan that is grounded in the implementation of a multi-tiered approach to ensure quality instruction and intervention in academics, social-emotional, and attendance is in place. Additionally, IUSD must prioritize the development of a multi-tiered approach to support school principals and instructional leadership teams at every school site.

To further support sustainability and capacity building, CCEE has provided support to IUSD through ongoing coaching for the Executive Director, Elementary Director, English Learner Director, and the Instructional Coaches. Coaching conversations have included organizing for effort, developing professional learning, strategic planning and aligning curriculum, instruction, and assessment. CCEE professional experts have also provided support in the area of data analysis, cycles of inquiry, and establishing performance indicators. In the area of special education, CCEE staff have provided support and guidance in the areas of compliance to State and Federal requirements, alignment of curriculum, instruction, and assessment for students with disabilities, and reorganization.

Lastly, CCEE currently funds two full-time employees (FTEs), one Director for special education and one Director to support the analysis of data and equity. A new position, Director of Instructional Strategy and Continuous Improvement will be funded for the upcoming school year. This position will support IUSD in their implementation and progress monitoring of SIR and FCMAT actions to improve pupil achievement. LACOE also provides two FTEs to support data organization and analysis and a Director of Student Support Services to support the State Administrator. All of these positions work in collaboration with the IUSD leadership team to ensure capacity is built to further develop and sustain a strong foundation in curriculum, instruction, and assessment.

Next Steps

CCEE has advised IUSD to focus on developing and implementing an instructional action plan grounded in the comprehensive Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) framework and contains instructional expectations built on student graduate competencies and content standards, pupil achievement targets, and identifies instructional strategies for meeting the expectations and targets. Then, based on this instructional plan, develop a one-year professional development plan that provides professional learning at the school sites to address and provide support in the implementation of: multi-tiered systems of support for students and schools, and consistent utilization of cycles of inquiry, to inform the instructional coaches, ILTs, and principals in their roles to support and implement quality instruction.