Message from Tammy Townsend, executive officer of State and Federal Programs for Fresno Unified

Fresno Unified School District received tremendous input on the 2016/17 Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) and budget from members of our community.

The district held 73 meetings and workshops starting in the beginning of the school year and concluding in May.

One parent arrived to a regional meeting with a postcard invitation in hand reporting, "The superintendent called to invite me to this meeting!"

Along with postcards and recorded messages sent to homes, Parent University assisted by making phone calls in home languages to inform families about the opportunities to provide feedback at the workshops held throughout the district.

Students were also invited to share their thoughts with the district.

Two lunch meetings were held at each high school in the spring and the first ever district-wide student meeting was held at Edison High School on April 28. Students felt valued when asked for their opinion.

Senior Kienetra Garcia reported to the Board of Education on May 25, "This is a unique leadership opportunity for students to give feedback and engage their peers and students from other schools about the decisions that impact us."

Grisanti Valencia, a lead organizer with Californians for Justice, stated in her comments to the Board of Education, "This is an example of what true collaboration looks like."

Other outreach included school site presentations, a Parent University module, and meetings with community organizations. One type of meeting unique to Fresno Unified is the Foster Youth Roundtable.

Fresno Unified staff, city and county-wide organizations working with foster youth came together to optimize supports for foster youth.

One social worker offered, "The Foster Youth Round Table has not only been an effective way of understanding what Fresno Unified is doing for foster youth, but I am able to network with other agencies I usually doesn't have access to."

In addition to workshops, the community had access to a survey, both online and in paper form. Over 30,000 responses and ideas were received from the survey.

All of the input was gathered and presented to the Board of Education on Feb. 24.

The draft LCAP was posted on the district's website in April allowing more input from the community and finally a public hearing was held in May to provide an opportunity for individuals to speak to the Fresno Unified Board of Education about the LCAP.

The final LCAP was approved by the board on June 1 and is available on the district's website.

Please watch for opportunities to be involved next year as we prepare for the 2017/18 LCAP beginning next fall!