Special to the Village News
Anyone who wants to learn about local public schools will find that the information is readily available on the district web pages for each public school in the area. Trustees of the elementary and high school districts in Fallbrook have approved the annual School Accountability Report Cards to be published on their respective web pages.
The reports, required of all public schools in the state that receive public funds, are aligned to each school’s Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP), which describes how the school intends to meet annual school-specific goals for all pupils, with specific activities to address state and local priorities.
The Fallbrook Union Elementary School District approved its report card at its Jan. 17 board meeting. Dr. Kimberly Huesing, assistant superintendent of educational services for the elementary district, gave a report to the board, noting that the accountability report cards have been around since 1988.
“Every year, schools need to report on their progress,” she said. “It's a law that if we receive state and federal money, we need to share our progress. The purpose of the School Accountability Report Card is to share with parents and the community.”
“The school accountability report card is like an end to closure to one year,” Huesing said. “It’s really about the last school year. There’s a lot of information but it highlights demographic data, school safety and climate data, academic progress, class sizes, teacher and staff information, curriculum adoptions, and then fiscal and expenditure data.”
The report shows there were 4,927 students in the elementary district last year and 31% came with a language other than English as their primary language at home.
“In addition to learning all of the subjects and being students in our schools, they're also learning English,” she noted. “We have 75% of our students socioeconomically disadvantaged and 15% of our students last year were students with special needs.”
These statistics are districtwide, but the individual schools each have their own figures. Those district schools are Fallbrook STEM Academy, Fallbrook Homeschool Academy, La Paloma Elementary School, Live Oak Elementary School, Maie Ellis Elementary School, Mary Fay Pendleton School, San Onofre School, Santa Margarita Academy, William H. Frazier Elementary School and Potter Junior High School.
Huesing said other information in the report is about safety and climate, the cleanliness of the schools, what the restrooms and sinks look like, structural integrity, fire safety reports, play structures and the school grounds, as well as the opportunities for parents to engage at the school and how events and celebrations are shared.
She noted that academic data comparison was difficult because of the interference of Covid in the school classes. There are additional academic reports in the SARC document as well as data on per pupil expenditures, average teacher salary and the types of services funded.
As an example, she showed a slide of the report card for Frazier Elementary School.
“They all look very similar to this,” she said. “I love the consistency that all of our data will look the same and present the same in this district so there's the school’s name, logo and then it begins the explanation about what SARC is. The reports are available on our website and at the school websites.” (https://www.fuesd.org/lcap/)
The Fallbrook Union High School District also approved its SARC report at the board’s Jan. 24 meeting. There was no discussion, and it was adopted unanimously.
Looking closer at the 27-page report for Fallbrook High School gives an example of the information in the SARC for the two other schools in the district, Ivy and Oasis, as well as other schools in the area. Ivy is the district’s continuation school and Oasis provides an independent study program.
The FHS report begins with area demographics, then gives a description of the district:
“Fallbrook High School has long been a focal point in the area as it offers a variety of programs for students to explore: AVID, Dual Language Immersion, visual and performing arts, athletics, MJROTC, honors and advanced placement, International Baccalaureate, Career Technical Education pathways, and dual enrollment courses. FHS employs 95 faculty members and has an enrollment of approximately 1,950 students. FHS serves a diverse population, predominantly White and Hispanic/Latino students. A significant number of our students are considered highly transient due to parent/guardian active duty military service. Another 10% of students are considered to live within a migrant or a traveling family for employment purposes.”
It also stated the school’s mission: “Fallbrook High School staff recognizes that education requires the collaboration of students, educators, family networks, and community members. Together we share the responsibility to pursue academic and vocational rigor and excellence through standards-based instruction, curriculum and assessment in a safe learning environment that will increase achievement for all students.”
The report added, “Staff emphasizes respect among our culturally and linguistically diverse population through opportunities to pursue academic excellence through a comprehensive, standards-based curriculum in a safe learning environment.”
The report identified the number of students in each class in the 2021-2022 school year: 516 in grade 9, 574 in grade 10, 436 in grade 11 and 434 in grade 12. It noted there are more males, 52.3%, and the majority is Hispanic/Latin with 69%. White students are next at 23.7%. English learners account for 18.3% and migrant students represent 12.3%.
The report states 72.2% of students are socioeconomically disadvantaged and 14.4% are with disabilities.
Textbooks for all the classes are specified in the report, as well as science laboratory equipment. It noted school facility conditions and planned improvements were given a 98.18% score (good).
Other interesting facts:
• The average teacher salary was $76,887.31 in 2020-212.
• The superintendent’s salary of $185,400 was less than the state average of $193,259.
• The total expenditures per pupil was $10,399.04.
• 20.4% of students took AP courses at the school.
• The average class size was 31 in English language arts, 30 in mathematics, 31 in science and 29 in social science.
• The dropout rate was 9.9% in 2020-2021, with graduation rate of 83.6%
There is also a lengthy review of the school safety plan
Test results of English Language Learners, in addition to all students in math and other courses were reported.
The report also addresses parental involvement, chronic absenteeism by student groups, suspensions and expulsions. See the report at https://www.fallbrookhs.org/fallbrook/sarc-report.
Districts are required to update the information annually and three times a year to compare the content of its SARC to a model format adopted by the state board. Variances among school districts are permitted where necessary to account for local needs.
The information for all schools in the state is available on the California School Dashboard, https://caschooldashboard.org.