LAUSD Announces Environmental Steps, New Platform for Student Data

A student on his way to school walks pas

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner today announced a new system intended to consolidate information about the district's 600,000 students.

“Teachers, principals, and counselors currently spend too much time searching for information about each student, taking away valuable time that can be better spent addressing the needs of students,” Beutner said. “Student data is kept on over 80 different databases and this new platform will provide all of the information in one place.

“In order to better serve the individual needs of students, Los Angeles Unified is launching the Whole Child Integrated Data Platform. The new platform integrates all relevant student information from over 80 data platforms into one system. The new platform will make it easier for educators to access the information they need in a timely fashion.”

Beutner added that the platform will be piloted at three schools before being expanded to include all schools.

Separately, district officials announced Tuesday that they are working to expand the number of eligible charge codes for diversion to reduce overall arrests and citations at schools.

The Los Angeles Unified Youth Diversion and Development (YDD) Working Group, established by Beutner, will provide recommendations to the Board of Education on specific plans to address the issues.

“Los Angeles Unified is committed to increasing diversion programs that help reduce the number of student arrests and citations, particularly among African American males and other students of color,” Beutner said. “We are working with local community organizations to establish additional partnerships to provide the services students need.”

The LAUSD launched a youth diversion referral program in 2014 to address the high number of youth being introduced into the criminal justice system. Over the past five years, nearly 2,000 students have been referred to these diversion programs and about 90 percent of those students have successfully completed the program, officials said.

The YDD Working Group is a joint effort that includes UCLA Bunche Center for African American Studies, Million Dollar Hoods, the Social Justice Learning Institute, Brotherhood Crusade, Suits in Solidarity, and the Los Angeles School Police Department.

Also Tuesday, the district's Board of Education voted unanimously to approve board member Nick Melvoin's resolution -- promoting Clean Air Day on Wednesday -- to protect students from the harmful effects of air pollution. Those steps include partnering with the Coalition for Clean Air and the district's Office of Environmental Health and Safety to provide more air quality monitoring devices to schools, designating “idle-free” zones where feasible and providing school communities with information about how to reduce their own carbon footprint.

“Less than two weeks ago, young people across the world raised their voices to demand that the adults in charge do more to protect our planet from the damaging effects of climate change,” Melvoin said. “With this initiative, I want all these students to know: We hear you.”

Additionally, the Board:

-- voted unanimously to approve a $5.5 million resolution to provide funding for grant opportunities to ease the burden of charter school co- location for district schools, with funding from bond money that has been set aside to support charter schools.

-- approved the amended 2017-2020 Local Control and Accountability Plan, which includes feedback from the Los Angeles County Office of Education, public advocates and other stakeholders -- all intended to provide more transparency.

-- approved a resolution supporting October as National Principals Month, commending “the work of school site leaders and their efforts to ensure that our students have the greatest opportunities, most effective educator and strongest, safest learning environment.”

Photo: Getty Images

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