October 16, 2014
JOINT STATEMENT FROM BOARD OF EDUCATION AND SUPERINTENDENT DEASY

Today, Superintendent John Deasy tendered his resignation as General Superintendent of Schools from the District. We thank Dr. Deasy for over three years of devoted service to the District and its students. In that period of time, academic achievement rose substantially despite severe economic hardships, and the students of the District have benefitted greatly from Dr. Deasy’s guidance. We look forward to jointly celebrating all of the successes of our students that have occurred during Dr. Deasy’s tenure as Superintendent. While the District’s investigation into the Common Core Technology Project has not concluded, the Board wishes to state that at this time, it does not believe that the Superintendent engaged in any ethical violations or unlawful acts, and the Board anticipates that the Inspector General’s report will confirm this.  We further jointly desire a smooth transition in leadership. Towards that end, Dr. Deasy has agreed to remain on special assignment with the District until December 31, 2014.

Letter of Resignation from Superintendent John E. Deasy http://bit.ly/1F4ZG7w

September 9, 2014
NO LOSERS HERE: HOW BEYOND THE BELL PREVENTED CRITICAL SUMMER LEARNING LOSS

Beyond the Bell expanded educational opportunities by offering students traditional summer school, credit recovery programs and high-quality learning experiences.

 LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Unified School District’s Beyond the Bell Branch expanded its programs to serve more than 88,000 students in grades K-12 during the summer semester. These included:  Extended Learning Opportunity Summer Program, District Base and CORE Waiver High School Credit Recovery Programs, Comprehensive Summer Enrichment Programs and L.A. Summer of Learning. Many of the students served this summer participated in various Beyond the Bell programs. 

“Through Beyond the Bell, LAUSD offered various unique opportunities for students to become fully immersed in collaborative, supportive and educational summer programs,” said John Deasy, LAUSD Superintendent. “These programs supplement our regular school day efforts to guarantee that every student who enters our schools is prepared for college and the workforce.”

Preparing for traditional summer school, Beyond the Bell developed academic programs that integrated Common Core professional development, with intervention strategies. This helped students meet four-year college entrancement requirements. 

  • Extended Learning Opportunity Program: About 150 elementary and middle schools participated in the program.  This 19-day program served more than 18,600 K-8thgrade students, and focused on reducing academic regression while supporting English Language Arts and Mathematics learning.
  • High School Credit Recovery Programs: Nearly 36,000 high school students attended this five-week program at 77 high schools. Beyond the Bell offered credit recovery courses in health, physical education, and world languages, all classes required for graduation. CORE Waiver credit recovery also was offered in subjects, like science, history, mathematics and English Language Arts. 

Beyond the Bell Branch is committed to connecting students and youth to their home, school and communities through a variety of programs that are provided and operated by the school district and its partner agencies before school, after school and on weekends.

“I wouldn’t be standing here today if it weren’t for after-school programs in the Los Angeles Unified School District,” said Councilmember Tom LaBonge. “These programs gave me opportunities when I attended Ivanhoe and now I continue to see students participating in Beyond the Bell Programs and showing excitement in their eyes. You walk away knowing they are going to reach their goals because they are being pushed, encouraged, and loved.”

  • Portable Pool Program: An all-instructional, two-week swimming program rotated in 31 elementary schools throughout the summer. A total of 5,500 students learned to swim during the season.
  • Comprehensive Summer Enrichment Program: Over 29,000 students participated at 292 elementary, middle, high school programs during the 29-day summer vacation period. Each program, which provided daily activities, included three components:  academic, enrichment, and fitness. 
  • Music and Entertainment Education Programs: For the second consecutive year, music programs were provided during the summer vacation period. Approximately 160 students participated at either middle school sites, or the Fernando Jones Blues Camp at California State University at Los Angeles; the All City Jazz Band; or the All City Honor Marching Band. A total of 10 performances were held at public venues, including the Playboy Jazz Festival, the Central Avenue Jazz Festival, and the Sam Ash Music Center. 

“BTB’s summer school programs worked in unison with LA Summer of Learning by leveraging a student’s accomplishments through digital badges that earned through participation in our programs,” said Alvaro Cortés, executive director of Beyond the Bell.  “The beauty of earning digital badges is this unique ability to validate learning outside of the regular school day and the accessibility to all youth.”

  • L.A. Summer of Learning: Over 50,000 Beyond the Bell students and 1,918 L.A. city and community-based organization youths earned digital badges for remaining engaged in learning this summer. Participants were connected to interactive learning in schools, parks, libraries, and museums, as well as internships at participating companies, organizations and agencies. These students studied in science, technology, engineering, arts and math. Drop-in computer labs remained open to facilitate access to computers and the Internet. 

Beyond the Bell programs are transitioning from summer to the regular school year calendar. The L.A. Summer of Learning program will be expanded to a year-round program, offering students a chance to earn badges and to expand their digital portfolio. 

For more information, visit www.btb.lausd.net or follow BTB on Twitter  @BTBLA or www.facebook.com/BTBLA.

September 9, 2014
Statement Regarding LAUSD Teacher Salaries

L.A. Unified responds to Daily News coverage 

Los Angeles Unified School District teachers deserve competitive salaries, and that is what they currently earn. Even so, it is the District’s intent to provide a salary increase as soon as possible. 

We take issue with the figures tallied in today’s Daily News, as they are incorrect and/or incomplete. New teachers with regular credentials earn beginning minimum salaries of $45,637 per year, $5,000 ahead of the California average. Also, teachers’ salaries are based on 182 work days (two of which are pupil free) and 22 paid holidays, which equals 204 days total. 

Our generous health and welfare packages, with no monthly premiums, cost the District $16,432 for each employee in 2013-14. Beyond that, the District pays 13.92 percent of each teacher’s salary to cover pension contributions to the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) pension, as well as workers’ compensation and Medicare. 

So, the average salary for a District teacher in 2013-14 is $70,000, reflecting the weighted average between elementary and secondary teachers. Then, multiply that number by 13.92 percent to cover CalSTRS pension and workers’ compensation/Medicare, the dollar figure amounts to $9,744. Adding $70,000, and $9,744, plus $16,432 for health and welfare benefits, the average District teacher earns $96,176 in total compensation. This is more than $11,000 higher than the figure the Daily News story cited as the average teacher salary in California. 

We believe our teachers deserve competitive pay and benefits, which is why we are working so diligently to provide raises. What’s more, we have hired 1,300 teachers this year, have reduced class sizes in eighth- and ninth-grade English and math classes, and have bolstered support for the schools in most need.

August 15, 2014
More Than 99 Percent of LAUSD Students Registered and In Class

New My Integrated Student Information System at Schools Being Fine-Tuned

 The following is a statement from L.A. Unified on the new My Integrated Student Information System.

Students at the vast majority of LAUSD schools are in class and learning how to read, write, think and speak for success. Installed at more than 1,000 schools, the new My Integrated Student Information System (MiSIS) serves the District’s 650,000 students. There has been fine-tuning, as with any new program. Those glitches have affected less than 1 percent of students overall.

While the scheduling snags affect only some schools, we want to allow maximum support to fix any issues. At times, the system has been slower than expected. We’ve asked teachers to take attendance offline—for now. Teachers will have a window until Aug. 22 to input the attendance into MiSIS. We are working around the clock to get the system running smoothly. We will not stop until the system provides the services that we expect. We thank our school staff for ensuring that students are enrolled and learning in class.

L.A. Unified is the nation’s-largest school system to adopt an online student record system. Our upcoming Parent Access Support System Portal (PASSport) will provide real-time data for teachers, students and families to monitor the attendance, assignments and progress of students.

December 12, 2013
Today’s Teacher of the Day: Isabel Perez

LAUSD teachers dedicate long nights and weekends to review and prepare their lessons.  Many also use valuable vacation time to explore new and innovative ways of teaching. Like Isabel Perez, a Science teacher at Bravo Medical Magnet High School who spent her summer researching in Ecuador.
“I hope this will help students become aware that they can be proactive in their community or at least get the word out there are ways to prevent invasive species from spreading. This information also will encourage students, their families, and friends to use native species when planting gardens,” said Isabel Perez who teaches biology, chemistry, anatomy/physiology, genetics and zoology at Bravo. Last summer she traveled to Ecuador as part of a fellowship with Earthwatch, an organization of scientists, educators, students and business people who work together to get the fullest benefit from scientific research. “My experiences this summer in Ecuador,” said Perez, “are already paying off in my lesson plans and in igniting the passions of my students.”
Working in an open-air laboratory, she and nine other U.S. researchers studied and recorded their research on raising caterpillars and the effects of climate and the general environment. The fellowship only added to her passion for science, which began when she was a child helping her parents grow mint and wheat on their family farm.
Her unique perspective enhances the learning experience of our students. Thank you for your hard work, sacrifices and continued learning as you find more ways to help youngsters excel.

Today’s Teacher of the Day: Isabel Perez

LAUSD teachers dedicate long nights and weekends to review and prepare their lessons.  Many also use valuable vacation time to explore new and innovative ways of teaching. Like Isabel Perez, a Science teacher at Bravo Medical Magnet High School who spent her summer researching in Ecuador.

“I hope this will help students become aware that they can be proactive in their community or at least get the word out there are ways to prevent invasive species from spreading. This information also will encourage students, their families, and friends to use native species when planting gardens,” said Isabel Perez who teaches biology, chemistry, anatomy/physiology, genetics and zoology at Bravo. Last summer she traveled to Ecuador as part of a fellowship with Earthwatch, an organization of scientists, educators, students and business people who work together to get the fullest benefit from scientific research. “My experiences this summer in Ecuador,” said Perez, “are already paying off in my lesson plans and in igniting the passions of my students.”

Working in an open-air laboratory, she and nine other U.S. researchers studied and recorded their research on raising caterpillars and the effects of climate and the general environment. The fellowship only added to her passion for science, which began when she was a child helping her parents grow mint and wheat on their family farm.

Her unique perspective enhances the learning experience of our students. Thank you for your hard work, sacrifices and continued learning as you find more ways to help youngsters excel.

September 16, 2013
Statement from Board Member Mónica García and Community Leaders on the Resignation of Dr. Jaime Aquino

Dr. Jaime Aquino, Deputy Superintendent of Instruction, announced his resignation today from the Los Angeles Unified School District. 

I am very disappointed and saddened to learn that Dr. Jaime Aquino has submitted his resignation. The Board of Education and many community allies have worked hard to recruit the best talent in the nation to lead this District and to serve our students. Dr.  Aquino brought us focus, energy, talent and expertise that will be difficult to replace.

Dr. Aquino is a distinguished national leader. He has provided this district with a laser-like focus on both instruction and achievement of all students. He has led the District’s efforts in transitioning to Common Core State Standards, spearheaded the A-G Graduation Policy to ensure equity and access for high school students and attain credits aligned with UC requirements. And he has led the district’s efforts to improve instructional programs designed to provide access and rigor for English Learners. As a result, this year’s 28-point growth for English Learners was the highest since 2005-06 when API scores first included this subgroup.

We need District leadership that understands the needs of our English Learners, and Dr. Aquino is that person. I am grateful for his contribution to the students and families of LAUSD and I remain hopeful that he will reconsider.

Statements from Community Members

“Despite the resignation of Dr. Aquino, we demand that the district continues to move forward the key initiatives launched under his leadership, which has benefited the most underserve and neediest students in our communities. Dr. Aquino emphasized the importance of focusing on English Learners, instruction and college access— that’s the direction we expect the LAUSD to continue moving forward.”

-Maria Brenes, Executive Director, InnerCity Struggle

“Students can’t afford to lose key advocates such as Dr. Aquino who truly understand the urgency of meeting their needs.   Dr. Aquino has played a lead role in implementing policies that are especially vital to the success of students of color and low-income students. It’s unfortunate to see the school district lose strong talent.”

-Elise Buik, President and CEO of United Way of Greater Los Angeles

"Jaime Aquino is a tireless public servant and advocate for the teachers, students, and parents of LAUSD. His departure is a loss for all of us who care about ensuring strong public education, and we are sorry to see him leave. Just as we work to attract and retain innovative teachers in public education, we must work vigorously to attract and keep courageous and effective leaders at the helm of our public school system."

-Ama Nyamekye, Executive Director, Educators 4 Excellence Los Angeles

“Dr. Jaime Aquino was a key champion for our students in the District.  As a result of his leadership- parents, students and community members were continuously engaged in key initiatives such as the implementation of A-G college prep, the Common Core and the English Language Learner Master Plan. His departure is an unfortunate loss for the District, its teachers and its parents and students. ABC hopes that the important work that Dr. Aquino has begun will continue to be implemented to ensure the successful preparation of our students for college and career.”

-Angelica M. Solis, Executive Director, Alliance for a Better Community

September 5, 2013
STATEMENT REGARDING THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S INDICTMENT OF SEVEN LAUSD EMPLOYEES

“District officials first learned today of the indictment of seven Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) employees accused of stealing thousands of new and used text books. We are outraged by the alleged behavior of these employees, which is the equivalent of stealing directly from our students. We are taking immediate action to suspend any accused employee currently working for LAUSD. If the allegations are true, we will do everything within our legal power to recoup from the parties involved the resources stolen through these reprehensible acts. The LAUSD will cooperate with the DA’s office in all aspects of this case.”

Contact: Tom Waldman, (213)241-6766

August 21, 2013
Eight L.A. Unified Students Chosen for $1,000 Scholarships

Republic Services Rewards District Students for Essay Writing

LOS ANGELES – College-bound students who wrote winning essays on recycling and the environment will receive a $1,000 scholarship, the contest’s sponsor announced today. 

Republic Services, a Phoenix-based waste management contractor with the Los Angeles Unified School District, selected eight students to receive an award. A ceremony honoring the winners will be held Thursday, Aug. 22, 6 p.m. at the District’s headquarters, 333. S. Beaudry Ave., Los Angeles.  

The contest intended to inspire students to “solve and tackle pressing issues regarding the conservation of our environment,” according to the scholarship program. Republic also said it believes young people “have the potential to create greener living standards, an environmentally sound economy and a measure of sustainability.”

Essay writers, limited to 500 words, wrote this year’s theme on: “I’m Into LAUSD Being Green!” 

Chosen from a pool of 54 seniors, the award winners are:

Rachel Dinh - James Monroe High School, North Hills

Jannette Flores - James A. Garfield Senior High School, Los Angeles

Cristina Marchan – East Los Angeles Renaissance Arts Academy, Los Angeles

Kimberly Madrigal - Phineas Banning High School, Wilmington

Jimena Marisela Martinez - Academic Leadership Community, Los Angeles

Clara Mejia – Esteban Torres High School, Los Angeles

Marc Serrano – Nathaniel Narbonne High School, Harbor City

Armani Taylor –Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy, Wilmington

 

Contact:

Daryl Strickland (213) 241-6766

Travon Grant (562) 254-6686


                                                                                       ###

August 19, 2013
LAUSD Participants Extremely Pleased with iPad Training Sessions

LOS ANGELS (August 19, 2013)- A survey administered by Apple Inc., Pearson Education Inc. and the Los Angeles Unified School District indicates that a vast majority of LAUSD teachers and other staff gave high marks to the training they received on iPads and the digital content that students will use at 47 schools in 2013-14. 

Held at several school sites earlier this month, the training, conducted by Apple and Pearson, was part of the LAUSD’s unprecedented initiative to provide all district students with the devices by 2014-15. This fall, the LAUSD rolls out phase one, which involves 47 schools. 

According to the survey, the overall degree of the satisfaction with the training was 5.5 out of 6, which was the highest score possible. A total of 76 percent of the nearly 1,000 respondents indicated that the experience was relevant, increased their content/process knowledge, and will enhance their instructional practice.

 “We’re off to a great start,” said Jaime Aquino, Deputy Superintendent of Instruction. 
“Congratulations to the trainers and participants for their hard work and dedication.” 

“This initiative, which is tied to the Common Core, will not succeed unless teachers and administrators feel comfortable using the devices,” added Aquino.  “The survey results show that we are proceeding toward that goal.”

Contact: Tom Waldman, (213)241-6766

August 13, 2013

First Day of School for more than 600,000 LAUSD student. Welcome back!

July 31, 2013
More Students Take Advanced Placement Courses and Exams

They Earn College Credit While Still In High School

LOS ANGELES — An increasing number of students are rising to the challenge of rigorous coursework followed by exams that can help open doors to the most selective universities and payoff with college credits.  

Nearly 18 percent of students in grades nine through 12 in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) signed up for Advanced Placement courses in biology, calculus, chemistry, English literature, foreign languages, government and history during the 2012-13 school year.  That compares to barely 12 percent during the 2006-07 school year. Allowed to enroll in multiple courses, LAUSD students took more than 44,000 AP exams in May 2013 as compared to nearly 30,000 five years ago.

“Our students are among the best and the brightest,” said LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy.  “Even as our overall high school enrollment shrinks more students are choosing to take AP classes and exams.  More AP courses and exams were taken by LAUSD students in the 2012-13 school year than in the past five years. I congratulate them, and their teachers.”

In fact, the College Board reported in December 2012 that Schuyler Ross, a student in the humanities magnet at Cleveland High School, was one of five in the world who got a perfect score on the AP Biology Exam. Isaac Rozen of John Marshall High School was one of 17 students in the world, who achieved a perfect score on the highest-level AP Calculus Exam.

Scores are reported on a five-point scale, with three rated as qualified and eligible to receive college credit; four ranked as well qualified and five topped out at extremely well qualified. In general, the percentage of LAUSD students scoring three or above has remained constant at 40 percent over the past four years. 

Notably, 13 schools increased the percentage of AP exams with a passing score and the number of AP exams taken in 2012-13. They are: Torres Hum/Art/Tech, Orthopedic Hospital Magnet; Mendez Learning Center Math/Science; Fremont Senior High; Cleveland Senior High; Bravo Medical Magnet; Roybal Learning Center and Polytechnic Senior High.  

Contact: Tom Waldman, (213)241-6766

July 17, 2013
lausd:

Congratulations to Verline M. for her 50+ years of excellent service.
She began her career with the Los Angeles Unified School District in June 1962 as a substitute Clerk and quickly became permanent. She has served as Clerk Stenographer, Intermediate Clerk Stenographer, School Secretary and finally Administrative Assistant to Board Member.It is an honor to have dedicated employees like Verline. Thank you for serving the students of LAUSD.

lausd:

Congratulations to Verline M. for her 50+ years of excellent service.

She began her career with the Los Angeles Unified School District in June 1962 as a substitute Clerk and quickly became permanent. She has served as Clerk Stenographer, Intermediate Clerk Stenographer, School Secretary and finally Administrative Assistant to Board Member.

It is an honor to have dedicated employees like Verline. Thank you for serving the students of LAUSD.

July 17, 2013
lausd:

Congratulations to Verline M. for her 50+ years of excellent service.
She began her career with the Los Angeles Unified School District in June 1962 as a substitute Clerk and quickly became permanent. She has served as Clerk Stenographer, Intermediate Clerk Stenographer, School Secretary and finally Administrative Assistant to Board Member.It is an honor to have dedicated employees like Verline. Thank you for serving the students of LAUSD.

lausd:

Congratulations to Verline M. for her 50+ years of excellent service.

She began her career with the Los Angeles Unified School District in June 1962 as a substitute Clerk and quickly became permanent. She has served as Clerk Stenographer, Intermediate Clerk Stenographer, School Secretary and finally Administrative Assistant to Board Member.

It is an honor to have dedicated employees like Verline. Thank you for serving the students of LAUSD.

June 19, 2013
School Board Approves Martinez’s Early Education Resolution

Aims to position LAUSD as a national leader in pre-K through third grade alignment

Los Angeles, CA – The Los Angeles School Board voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a resolution, put forward by Board Member Nury Martinez, to reaffirm its commitment to its youngest learners by developing a framework for early education aligned across high-quality pre-Kindergarten through the third grade.

The alignment is a national initiative to transform how children, ages three to eight, learn in schools and is based on decades of research demonstrating that the cornerstone of a successful education occurs in the first eight years of a child’s life. During these early years children are acquiring critical cognitive, social and emotional skills and knowledge.

The resolution builds upon the School District’s longstanding efforts to ensure that all LAUSD students are on the path to college and career readiness by laying an early foundation for success. Also, the plan ensures that gains in social and cognitive skills associated with early education programs do not fade as children advance beyond Kindergarten.

The resolution is supported by the Advancement Project and other early education advocacy organizations, as well as the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce, which asked to be included in a proposed task force to design and implement alignment.

“The benefits of early education are well established but all too often the improvements seen in children’s social and cognitive skills due to quality pre-Kindergarten education fade as children advance into elementary school,” said Board Member Martinez. “By creating continuity between early education and elementary schools, the Board is reaffirming LAUSD’s commitment to our youngest students and has positioned this district as a national leader in early education alignment.”

The district currently educates more than 35,000 young children in early learning programs intended to prepare them for K-12 success.

“It has been my longstanding belief that our schools must be wiring students for success from cradle to career and today’s Board commitment to preK-3 alignment goes a long way toward meeting that goal,” concluded Martinez.  

Contact: Jason Levin, (818) 253-1202

June 19, 2013
LAUSD BOARD OF EDUCATION VOTES TO APPROVE COMMON CORE TECHNOLOGY PROJECT PLAN CONTRACT WITH APPLE INC.

Los Angeles, CA (June 18, 2013) – The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board of Education voted 6-0, with one abstention today to enter into a contract with Apple Inc. to implement phase one of the Common Core Technology Project Plan (CCTPP).

In February 2013, the Board approved the first phase of the CCTPP to allocate $50 million in voter-approved bond funds to fund a computing device for every student at 47 schools.  This initiative will help support the District’s transition to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), and its commitment to provide an individualized, interactive and informative-rich learning environment.   

LAUSD is utilizing a phased roll-out approach for the CCTPP.  Phase one will roll out the program in 47, K-12 schools beginning this August, 2013.  The schools will be equipped with one-to-one access to devices for CCSS-based learning and assessment preparation.  The scope of the first phase includes individual computing devices; storage carts and charging stations; and infrastructure, monitoring and mobile device management systems.

LAUSD staff will present an assessment of the first phase in the fall of 2013 before requesting full funding of the remaining phases.  Assessment will include feedback on the device roll-out at the 47 schools, as well as feedback from teachers, students, parents and other key stakeholders. 

LAUSD Board Member Bennett Kayser disqualified himself from participating in the action.  “I am disqualifying myself from participating in the discussion and voting for the contract award for the Common Core Technology Project Request for Proposals,” Kayser said.  “I have a disqualifying interest in the form of stock holdings in Apple Inc.”  He stepped out of the room until after the Board’s discussion and vote on the item was concluded. 

Thirteen proposals were received in response to the District’s Request for Proposals (RFP) for firms interested in providing computing devices along with professional services, consulting and related items in support of the CCTP.  The selection process was scored according to criteria stated in the RFP for responsiveness and acceptability.  Apple Inc.’s best and final offer was the lowest in price and was scored the highest by the selection panels.   

The vote is another step forward in the District’s plan to equip every one of its students with a device by 2014.  When completed, the LAUSD will become the largest district in the nation to provide each of its students with the technology, according to Jaime Aquino, LAUSD Deputy Superintendent of Instruction.

Contact: Shannon Haber, (213) 241-4575

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