Culture of Care

Initiative Two:

Create an intentional culture of care.

a. All students, parents, and staff will work together to improve the district's attendance and truancy rates. There will be a 50% reduction in the district truancy rate by 2014-15, a reduction of 41% to 20.5%.

b. All schools will create culturally competent learning environments where all students feel safe, engaged, respected, and valued. Cultural competency is the process by which individuals and organizations integrate and transform awareness of assumptions, values, biases, and knowledge about themselves and others to respond respectfully and effectively across diverse cultures, language, socioeconomic status, race, ethnic, background, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and ability. Cultural competence recognizes, affirms, fosters, and values the strengths of individuals, families, and communities and protects and preserves the worth and dignity of each. Every student will have an identified staff member as an advocate at school. An effective measurement system will be developed to assess students' feelings of safety, engagement, respect, and value.

c. We will focus efforts on recuiting a bilingual/multilingual workforce. While we need to be cognizant of fair and effective hiring practices, we believe that, by intentionally seeking individuals who speak the languages of our students and families, we will promote cultural understanding and provide support for students and families who are learning English. We will refine our data collection process to identify employees who speak language(s) other than English, and we will increase the percentage of bilingual employees in our teaching, administrative, and classified staff by October 2014, as indicated in our district information system.

d. Counselors will implement the district's Standards-Based Counseling and Guidance program focusing on the topics of: teaching acceptance and respect, a community of caring, asset development, peer-helping programs, and collaborative relationships with community agencies that have similar missions. The counselors will facilitate and support the academic and social success of all students. A measurement system will be developed to assess this progress on an annual basis.