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School plans aim to improve student performance
flexible seating
One of the strategies that schools in the Turlock Unified School District are using to provide an enhanced learning environment is flexible seating (Photo contributed).

Schools throughout Turlock Unified School District are doing everything they can to help students perform at their best — and they all have a plan.

Campuses are currently implementing their individual School Plans for Student Achievement, which are comprehensive and strategic plans that provide details about the school’s planned actions and expenditures to support student outcomes and overall performance. According to TUSD Director of English Learners, Assessment and Special Programs Alice Solis, State law requires these plans to be developed, reviewed, updated and approved annually by each school’s School Site Council.

The plans not only align with the District’s Local Control Accountability Plan, but also specify how categorical funds through the Consolidated Application will be used to accomplish the goals outlined in each plan. The LCAP goals include Curriculum and Instruction, Safety and Security, Academic Achievement, Parent Involvement and Social/Emotional Supports.

Each plan varies from site to site, Solis explained.

“School plans vary in their strategies/activities,” Solis said. “For example, our two comprehensive high schools have strategies/activities related to Advance Placement exams, whereas this does not apply to elementary, middle school and junior high school.”

One of the components of the School Plan is student performance data, like the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress Test results, Dashboard data and English Language Proficiency Assessments for California, all of which were the main points of reference for the District and schools when creating their plans.

“Student performance data lets administration know trends and areas of strengths and needs,” Solis said.

According to the most recent TUSD Dashboard data, which shows school achievement ratings in several key categories, only one campus met the state standards for both English Language Arts and Mathematics — Walnut Elementary School. Every school either maintained or decreased the number of chronically-absent students on campus, save for Wakefield Elementary School, which saw 16.3 percent of students chronically absent for an increase of 3.6 percent.

In order to reduce the number of chronically-absent students at Wakefield, the school’s plan includes strategies like No Bully Implementation and student assemblies, as well as incentives and recognition for positive attendance and positive discipline. Social-emotional support via organizations like Jessica’s House, CSUS Mentors and Center for Human Services is also provided to make school a place where students feel comfortable.

To promote student performance, each school takes a different approach. An example of this are the various themes each school has implemented to support student learning, like Cunningham Elementary School’s Agriculture Science theme.

At Crowell Elementary School, a strategy to provide guaranteed and viable learning that has been implemented is flexible seating.

“A flexible seating classroom is one in which traditional seating charts are replaced with seating arrangements that allow the students to sit where they choose,” Solis said. “Examples include students choosing to sit at desks with various heights, or on a bouncy ball. Flexible learning environments support and enhance where learners can move around freely and work in places in the classroom that best suits their learning style or needs.”

To implement this strategy, TUSD utilized $15,000 from the General Fund and $10,000 from the Eligible Student Support funding source, a portion of the Supplemental Concentration Grant from Local Control Funding Formula.

Several of the site plans also include strategies to increase technology access. While TUSD now has a Chromebook for every student, funding is also being used to increase access to online programs that support student achievement, like math intervention programs and standard technology equipment for classroom instruction.

To view each school’s site plan, visit and locate item XI.B on the Dec. 3 agenda.