Stakeholder engagement is the LCAP’s first section. Putting it first reflects the significant role that engagement of parents, students, educators, administrators, and the community plays to support student performance. The type of stakeholder engagement promoted by the LCFF and the LCAP is not the “check the box” or “sign in list” variety. Rather, there is an expectation of authentic engagement that leads to a multi-faceted and communitywide effort to support a productive, student-oriented learning community.
Tips for Stakeholder Engagement
- Plan for Authentic Engagement. Authentic engagement can take many forms, but all forms focus on the contributions that stakeholders can make to develop a plan that is responsive to student needs. The engagement process should consider carefully what type of input is needed and how this will contribute to developing, implementing, and monitoring an LCAP that supports student performance. This process will help identify “who” should be engaged and “what” to ask that will solicit the contributions that further the process of planning for performance. A good rule to follow is, “Don’t ask stakeholders for input that you don’t have a plan for using.”
- Educate Stakeholders. Stakeholders should receive useful background and current information that supports their engagement and understanding of the LCFF and the LCAP, as well as what it means to support a performance-oriented process. Topics that stakeholders may find helpful include a general explanation of the LCFF funding formula, the purpose of the LCAP, a refresher about current strategic plans and/or programs, and budgeting basics.
- Keep the Focus on Students. The LCAP pivots around identifying goals and outcomes that describe “what’s different and/or improved for students.” Keeping the needs and outcomes of students at the forefront may sound like an obvious tip, but it is easy to lose sight of this when topics such as staffing, budget, and data enter the discussion. All stakeholders come to the process with a connection and interest in students. Reflecting on the question of “How will this help us improve outcomes for students?” will keep the conversation grounded.
- Set the Right Expectations. The LCAP’s first year will be a learning year for everyone. A good goal, and one that can be helpful to share with stakeholders, is to develop an LCAP that captures accurately what is currently being done for students, along with a commitment by stakeholders to stay engaged to improve on the quality of the LCAP’s process and content over time.
- Consider Student Voice. Stakeholders include adults, but the adult voice is often a proxy for students. Students care and understand a great deal about their education. Asking students to contribute to the process of planning, implementation, and development engages a critical voice and energy into the process of supporting a culture of performance.
LEAs may find the following tips and resources useful as they develop their LCAPs. The information does not represent requirements or directions endorsed by the California Department of Education (CDE) or California State Board of Education (SBE). The provided information reflect emerging practices that can be considered, but are not intended to be interpreted as providing instructions or guidance from CDE or SBE.
California State Parent Teacher Association: LCFF Planning Guide
Families In Schools: Parent Engagement Diagram
Families In Schools: Reimagining Parent Engagement