LCFF Priority 5

Pupil Engagement

Priority Description

LCFF Priority 5 addresses school attendance, chronic absenteeism, middle school dropout, high school dropout, and high school graduation rates.

Statement of Model Practices: African American, Native American, and Latinx students engage in learning when they feel seen and valued. These student groups benefit from strong supportive relationships, accessible social and emotional learning, and data driven strategies to reduce chronic absenteeism, dropout rates while increasing attendance and graduation rates. School leaders and LEA administrators understand that creating welcoming schools, including an intentional focus on relationships, respect, and school connectedness, is key to student engagement.

Issues of Equity

Our students have shared that their engagement in learning and schools is largely based upon being seen and being valued. Disengagement and absences occur when a student does not feel seen, heard, or appreciated. Our young people deserve to have adults at school who see their gifts and continuously shine a light on their capacities and beautiful possibilities. For example, restorative justice and practices only work when there is a prior relationship to be restored. 


Use data systems to accurately assess student progress and develop appropriate interventions and accelerations. While this suggestion might seem like common practice, we might ask:

  • Are our data systems dynamic and easily accessible?
  • How fluent is our entire organization on both formative and summative assessments?
  • Are students and parents included in the creation of assessments and rubrics?
  • How is progress communicated?
  • What triggers interventions and accelerations?
  • Does an intervention feel like a loss to a student? For example, a student needs to give up an elective in order to be in an intervention.

Promising Practices

  • Use data systems to accurately assess student progress and develop appropriate interventions and accelerations 
  • Develop alternatives to suspensions and expulsions at all schools
  • Create a welcome/intake process to co-construct graduation plans, including positive, early monitoring towards graduation
  • Intentionally provide comprehensive support services for students (e.g., offer community-informed cultural connections; align “A-G” high school courses)
  • Only offer A-G high school coursework aligned with supports
  • Provide teachers with professional learning that addresses how to use data to target academic and social needs of students 
  • Create multiple opportunities for student leadership development and engagement, including at district stakeholder meetings
  • Provide opportunities for learning life skills (e.g., study skills, conflict resolution, peer counseling, healthy lifestyles)


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