The San Marino Unified School District recently received its progress results made public by the 2023 California School Dashboard.
The dashboard is an online tool designed to help communities across the state access information about kindergarten through 12th grade schools and districts, with the purpose of providing data on progress to improve student learning.
During the Jan. 23 Board of Education meeting, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services Lena Richter presented an overview of the dashboard findings to highlight the progress being made in the district, as well as steps needed to build upon that trend.
When looking at 2023 dashboard results versus 2022, SMUSD scored the highest color performance ranking for nearly every category, including English language arts, mathematics, graduation rate and suspension rate.
“We are extremely pleased to see San Marino has made favorable progress across most state indicators and all local indicators when compared to last year,” Richter said.
The state has identified eight priorities, including student engagement, student achievement, basic services, Common Core standards, access to a broad curriculum, parental involvement and other student outcomes. These priorities play a critical role in the overall success of students. As required, the eight state requirements must be reported in the California State Dashboard. School districts are required to address the state priorities, as well as any local priorities identified by their respective districts in their Local Control and Accountability Plan, known as the LCAP.
Additionally, the priorities fall into three main categories: academic performance, academic engagement, and culture and climate, and the dashboard utilizes state and local indicators for progress monitoring each of the priorities.
The six state indicators are academics, chronic absenteeism, college and career readiness, English learner progress, graduation rate and suspension rate. The five local indicators include basic conditions (teacher assignments, safe and clean buildings, instructional materials), academic standards, school climate surveys, parent involvement and family engagement, and access to courses.
The 2023 dashboard color-codes performance levels, known as the Five-by-Five Placement Report. School districts receive one to five performance scores for each eligible state measure, except for college and career readiness.
Performance level or color is determined by both status — how well one scored according to the most recent year of data — and change — how does current performance compare to prior years. For each indicator there are five status and change levels.
The different status levels are blue or “very high,” green or “high,” yellow or “medium,” orange or “low” and red or “very low.” Under change, the levels are labeled “increased significantly,” “increased,” “maintained,” “declined” and “declined significantly.”
For the local indicators, reporting remains the same, with districts receiving one of three ratings for each of the four local measures: “met,” “not met” or “not met for two years.”
In English language arts, SMUSD saw a 9.4-point increase in performance progress — 105.3 points above the standard. In ELA, San Marino earned blue status, or the highest possible performance color.
SMUSD also scored blue in mathematics, graduation rate and suspension rate. Mathematics saw a 14.9-point increase — 98 points above the standard. The graduation rate increased 3.5 points to 99.5%. Suspension rates, on the other hand, increased by 0.2%. Though it’s not an increase the district would like to observe, Richter said they still scored blue because the percentage is low.
English learner progress decreased by 0.3% at SMUSD, earning a green performance color.
Chronic absenteeism, or when a student is absent 10% or more of the days they are enrolled in school, saw an increase of 2.3%, in the orange range.
A first-time category was college and career readiness, for which SMUSD high school students were rated “very high.”
To continue to build upon SMUSD’s growth and to make more progress in the areas that are not in blue, Richter said the district aims to strengthen learning and teaching through its activities and programming. Some examples, she said, include Universal Design for Learning, restorative practices and professional learning days — all of which are in alignment with LCAP goals and board priorities.
For more information about SMUSD’s dashboard results, visit caschooldashboard.org/reports/19649640000000/2023.
First published in the Feb. 1 issue of the San Marino Tribune