Bolstering your district’s LCAP stakeholder engagement might not involve the term ‘LCAP’
A California Collaborative for Educational Excellence-hosted webinar offered tips on communicating to engage rather than to simply inform during the Local Control and Accountability Plan process.
‘Defining what authentic means’
Before even conducting meetings, other interactions or sending surveys to community stakeholders about the LCAP, district leaders should understand a groundwork of their system and culture, said guest speaker Daniel Thigpen, communication and community engagement director for Folsom-Cordova Unified School District, which is just east of Sacramento, serves 21,000 students, operates 33 schools and uses its LCAP as its strategic vision. The governance team of administrators and board members must consider its attitudes on transparency, dealing with healthy tension and brokering trust and awareness with its stakeholders, Thigpen said.
‘Make it clear’ and connect with audiences
With a strong culture of transparency and engagement in place, governance teams should then focus on marketing and conveying information in a way that grabs people’s attention and encourages engagement, said staff from the Orange County Office of Education communications team. The office, for example, produced an animated video providing an overview of the LCAP for the community — without ever using the term “LCAP.” By thinking like a busy parent or community member, leaders can target communications to a more general audience.
Further insights and partnership opportunities
In addition to district and county office of education perspectives, the CCEE webinar featured information from two organizations, Californians for Justice and The Education Trust-West.

Californians for Justice helps facilitate workshops and support in gathering the student voice and promoting shared decision-making processes. The group pointed to two success stories in the Bay Area, the first an overhauled student survey program in East Side Union School District (Santa Clara County). The LCAP survey soared from 800 responses in 2017 to close to 6,500 responses in 2018, a student response rate of about 82 percent. Across the bay, Oakland Unified School District is collaborating with community-based organizations to promote LCAP engagement: Bay Area PLAN, Black Organizing Project, Californians for Justice, Oakland Community Organizations, Public Advocates and Youth Together.

Elsewhere, Ed Trust-West’s external relations manager Anthony Chavez shared information on the effectiveness of data equity walks, a 45-90 minute activity for any audience that helps them engage with education data to discuss equity issues.

Additional LCAP Engagement Resources