VALLEJO CITY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

Background

CCEE and VCUSD began working together through a joint request made by the Solano County Office of Education (SCOE) and VCUSD in 2018. Additionally, in October of 2018, a statute was passed by the State Legislature (AB1840) that restructured support for districts with outstanding state loans and automatically referred the district to the CCEE for technical assistance around their instructional systems.

Under the Differentiated Assistance (DA) process VCUSD met the criteria for the 2017 through 2019 school years whereby at least one student group met criteria in at least two different LCFF priority areas. The table below indicates the student groups performance in comparison to the average statewide performance for that student group (the most recent year data are available).

VCUSD 2019 CAASPP DATA_Page_2

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

CCEE_Report_Graphics_Vallejo

Vallejo City USD serves a diverse student population, with nearly half of its students being Hispanic, and nearly one-third of the student body being African American, as reported on the CA Dashboard.

vallejo_race_ethnicity_2020

Systemic Instructional Review Themes

The Vallejo City USD SIR report and VCUSD SIR report executive summary were completed in early February 2020. Four themes emerged from the SIR report, identifying the need for: 1) effective communication systems, 2) a coherent continuous improvement framework, grounded in data analysis, to organize the work, and 3) a comprehensive, multi-year professional learning plan grounded in the district’s strategic vision, and 4) establishing a culture of accountability to achieving stated goals.

Progress Update

VCUSD SIR Action Implementation Status

Throughout the disruption to schools caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, VCUSD continued their implementation of SIR recommended actions. They worked to improve communication to their parent and family community by providing weekly updates from site leaders and regular updates from the superintendent. VCUSD created instructional and social-emotional learning (SEL) guardrails to ensure consistent expectations across the system in distance and hybrid learning. Additionally, ELA and math instructional priorities were identified and sites began implementation. VCUSD provided ongoing and professional development opportunities to staff on new initiatives and programs for example in the areas of support to students with disabilities, English Learners, SEL, and student engagement.

CCEE held a progress monitoring quarterly update of Vallejo USD in mid-June 2021, making note of progress in the areas of communication within and across the system launching structures like Parent Square, Peach Jar, and the use of YouTube videos in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Data protocols that were constructed collaboratively with the Solano County Office of Education include a uniform data management system - 5Lab - to house multiple data sets into one warehouse for easy access. In addition there has been continued development of a framework for multi-tiered supports, primarily at the elementary level.

Several opportunities were identified during the June 2021 progress monitoring cycle. One opportunity is expanding the work around Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) across the entire system using the newly hired Assistant Superintendent of Student Services to keep moving that work forward. This will further ensure implementation of the work at the secondary as well as the elementary levels. Another opportunity is filling the position of a full-time employee to focus specifically on communications to further engage the community around the work being done in VCUSD. Lastly, there is an opportunity to continue and expand the work of the improvement science training and connect that with the use of the data protocols and the new data warehouse to ensure consistent implementation of the instructional and social-emotional learning guardrails system-wide. 

The threats and weaknesses surrounding implementation of the SIR recommended actions in VCUSD include practices around data done as a simple compliance activity rather than as a best practice for moving forward and developing a culture of continuous improvement, implementation of MTSS is solely occurring at the elementary level with secondary not fully engaging in this work yet, and there continues to be a lack of clarity and consistency of expectations and implementation across the system.

During this cycle CCEE provided ongoing support to VCUSD with several different support providers. There was a coach providing support and working to build the capacity of principals, assistant superintendent and the superintendent to further implementation of SIR actions. Pivot Learning, an educational nonprofit focusing on systems implementation was brought in to support the development and implementation of an MTSS framework, the implementation of MTSS best practices along with the use of data to improve student outcomes. Lastly, CCEE has funded a District and School Improvement Liaison located at the Solano County Office of Education who supports and regularly engages with district leaders to build the capacity of the central office in the implementation of SIR recommended actions.

Next Steps

CCEE has advised VCUSD to create a clear prioritization plan that highlights which SIR actions are the priority areas with metrics to analyze for the cycle that can clearly define expectations for consistent use and implementation of district goals. Also, VCUSD would benefit from delineating the roles and responsibilities of the Assistant Superintendents of Teaching and Learning and Student Services to provide clarity of expectation, leverage resources, and avoid fragmentation and duplication of work. Additionally, continue to provide on-going professional learning to administrators and instructional leadership teams around data analysis using continuous improvement cycles and how to incorporate multi-tiered (Tier 1 and Tier 2) practices that address learning acceleration and disproportional rates of suspension and academic achievement between student groups.