SFUSD Completes Update to Lau Action Plan
June 25, 2015 (San Francisco) – At its regular meeting this week, the San Francisco Board of Education approved the modifications to the San Francisco Unified School District’s Lau Action Plan, which guides how SFUSD provides English Learners with the programs and services to academically succeed.
Recognizing the need to review the efficacy of the plan, which was last updated in 2008, the school district initiated the process to review and update it in the spring of 2012. The new Lau Action Plan is the result of three years of district analysis of English Learner data and best practices as well as outreach to and input from the community.
“The district undertook a comprehensive effort to have ongoing discussions with our English Learner parents and guardians, examine our programs and services, and look at our student achievement data,” said Special Assistant to the Superintendent Christina Mei-Yue Wong, who oversaw the process. “We found areas where we were doing well and areas where we can improve.”
One area where the district has been excelling is moving more students from English Learner status to English Proficient. This improves students’ academic success and opens up more opportunities for electives and other course work in middle and high school to meet high school graduation requirements. Under the new Lau Plan, the district will continue to improve upon its efforts with the consistent implementation of the California English Language Development Standards, Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and the district’s language pathways.
After reviewing the presentation to the board, Board President Dr. Emily Murase was pleased with the plan, noting, “This is high quality work.”
The updated plan addresses the following areas with the goal of creating policy and practices that are sustainable over time: identification and placement of English Learners, access to English Learner services, hiring and recruitment of teachers, professional development of district staff, and parent/guardian communications and engagement. It also includes guidelines for monitoring, reporting and enforcement of the new standards.
Community members and organizations who provided input included: the Asian American Administrators Association, Bilingual Community Council, Chinese for Affirmative Action, Coleman Advocates, Community Advisory Committee for Special Education, District English Learner Advisory Committee, LAKAS/Filipino Educators of San Francisco, Latin American Teachers Association, Parent Advisory Committee, Parents for Public Schools, the Association of Chinese Teachers, United Administrators of San Francisco, and United Educators of San Francisco. An SFUSD staff workshop was also held this past May, and community workshops were held on June 10 and June 22 to gather final comments.
Work to enact the updated plan will begin immediately.
In 1974, a case went to the U.S. Supreme Court where the “Lau Decision” determined that schools throughout the United States were obligated to ensure that limited English-speaking children would not be denied access to education. The decision has set the foundation for schools all over the country to develop programs for English Learners.
Page updated on 06/25/15