Report 2012-108 Recommendations and Responses in 2015-041

Report 2012-108: School Safety and Nondiscrimination Laws: Most Local Educational Agencies Do Not Evaluate the Effectiveness of Their Programs, and the State Should Exercise Stronger Leadership

Department Number of Years Reported As Not Fully Implemented Total Recommendations to Department Not Implemented After One Year Not Implemented as of 2014-041 Response Not Implemented as of Most Recent Response
California Department of Education 2 4 3 3 3
Los Angeles Unified School District 2 5 4 2 0
Sacramento City Unified School District 2 8 6 4 1

Recommendation To: Sacramento City Unified School District

To ensure that it is effectively preventing and addressing incidents of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying in its schools, Sacramento City Unified should ensure that school site staff complete the training required under its anti-bullying policy.

Response

During the 14/15 school year, the District has continued its training of school administrators, district staff, after school program providers, and staff on all aspects of bullying prevention and intervention.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: September 2015
  • Response Date: October 2015

Recommendation To: Sacramento City Unified School District

To ensure that it is effectively preventing and addressing incidents of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying in its schools, Sacramento City Unified should measure the effectiveness of its school safety programs at both the district and school site levels.

Response

During 2014-2015 school year two measures were taken. A district wide survey was given to all 5th grade students through our Social and Emotional Learning initiative. Students were surveyed regarding their safety, connectedness to school, and social and emotional skills. In partnership with Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) a school climate and bullying prevention survey was given at two schools sites. The district will continue working with SCOE to refine this assessment and integrate assessment further into district practices.

- 5th grade district wide climate and culture survey (inclusive of school safety and bullying) completed in 2013-2014 and 2014-2015. Results indicate an improvement in "Sense of Belonging-School Connectedness" and an improvement in social and emotional skills (see attached 5th Grade Climate/Culture/SEL) (B)

- Two school sites, Pacific Elementary and Bowling Green McCoy Elementary, participated in the SCOE student survey. Rating scale was 1-4, with 1 being low or negative and 4 being positive or high. Prevalence of Bullying mean score was a 2.3 and Perceived Safety of School was a mean score of 3.1. (see attached of scores).

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented
  • Estimated Completion Date: July 2015
  • Response Date: October 2015

Recommendation To: Sacramento City Unified School District

To ensure that it is effectively preventing and addressing incidents of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying in its schools, Sacramento City Unified should ensure that school sites follow the complaint procedures established in its policies.

Response

The district has continued its full implementation of this recommendation since the initiation in August 2014. The District conducted is annual harassment prevention training on August 2015 to site administrators, supervisors, and managers which included addressing complaints in accordance with district processes and procedures. The District, through the Human Resources Department (HR Directors), continues its annual fall "one-stop" visits to each school site and department where, review of complaint procedures and resolution strategies are discussed along with staffing and certification analysis. Additionally, we work directly with school leadership to guide, assist, in the performance of investigation activities toward resolution as needed.

Complaint instructions to Investigators (Attachment (1)

Time frame to file:

http://www.scusd.edu/sites/main/files/file-attachments/annual_notification_letter_of_ucp-2015-16_0.pdf

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented
  • Estimated Completion Date: August 2015
  • Response Date: October 2015

Recommendation To: Sacramento City Unified School District

To ensure that it is effectively preventing and addressing incidents of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying in its schools, Sacramento City Unified should update its policies and procedures to calculate the state-mandated time limit for resolving complaints in accordance with state regulations.

Response

Effective March 5, 2015, the District updated Board Policy/Administrative Regulation 1312.3 to reflect the state-mandated time limit for resolving complaints. See District website at:

www.scusd.edu/uniform-complaint-procedure.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: March 2015
  • Response Date: October 2015

Recommendation To: Education, Department of

To provide stronger leadership with respect to school safety and nondiscrimination laws, Education, with direction from the superintendent of public instruction, should prioritize the review of parent, student, guardian, or interested party appeals to ensure that the EO office follows state regulations by processing appeals more promptly, notifying LEAs of when appeals are filed, and obtaining the investigation files and other documents when reviewing complaint appeals.

Response

Education continues to review the Uniform Complaint Procedures (UCP) and update/revise the process on an as-needed basis to remain in compliance with

state regulations. In 2014-15, Education Equity UCP Appeals Office (EEUCPAO) was established. The EEUCPAO consists of a Staff Services Manager I, an Associate Governmental Program Analyst, and a part-time retired-annuitant. The main purpose of the EEUCPAO is to review and process all appeals and complaints in accordance with all applicable regulations and timelines.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented
  • Estimated Completion Date: April 2015
  • Response Date: October 2015

Recommendation To: Education, Department of

To provide stronger leadership with respect to school safety and nondiscrimination laws, Education, with direction from the superintendent of public instruction, should use data from the kids survey and reported suspensions and expulsions to evaluate the levels of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying students encounter and to determine the effectiveness of its own and the LEAs' efforts, and report the results to the Legislature by August 1, 2014.

Response

The suspension and expulsion information collected through CALPADS is collected annually. The CALPADS data is located on Education's DataQuest Web site: http://dq.cde.ca.gov/dataquest/.

Education and WestEd have expanded the reports available to districts that elect to participate in the California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS) — referred to as the "kids' survey" in the State Auditor's report. A participating district can now obtain information on the reason a student felt bullied; e.g. bias, disability, race/national origin, sexual orientation, et cetera. Reports aggregated by these subcategories are available on the CHKS Web site: https://chks.wested.org/indicators.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Will Not Implement
  • Completion Date: February 2014
  • Response Date: October 2015

Recommendation To: Education, Department of

To provide stronger leadership with respect to school safety and nondiscrimination laws, Education, with direction from the superintendent of public instruction, should within the next six months and annually thereafter, update and replace the resources on its Web site to provide more relevant information on best practices, such as preventing and responding to incidents related to a protected characteristic or that occur through cyberbullying, the U.S. DOE report on state bullying legislation, and best practices in other states, such as the Massachusetts law on LEA staff training requirements.

Response

To provide stronger leadership with respect to school safety and nondiscrimination laws, Education has: (1) maintained the School Community Violence Prevention Training Grant Regional Safety Coordinator system; (2) provided training in safe school planning and bullying/cyberbullying prevention; (3) reviewed training materials to maintain quality and consistency of quarterly training; (4) presented bullying and cyberbullying breakout sessions at the California Parent Teacher Association Conference and the 6th Annual Safe Schools Conference; (5) provided technical assistance to parents and local educational agencies; (6) created guidance on Assembly Bill 1266, regarding transgender youth and equal access to facilities and programs; and (7) participated in the Legislative Women's Caucus Task Force on sexting.

In addition, Education is in the process of updating and replacing the resources on the Web site to provide more relevant information on best practices.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented
  • Estimated Completion Date: August 2014
  • Response Date: October 2015

Recommendation To: Los Angeles Unified School District

To ensure that it is effectively preventing and addressing incidents of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying in its schools, Los Angeles Unified should ensure that school sites evaluate the effectiveness of the programs they choose to implement.

Response

5A. RESPONSE: The 30-day timeline for reviewing bullying complaints is memorialized into multiple documents:

- BUL-5212.2 Bullying and Hazing Policy (Exhibit 5a1)

o Section VIII, Responding to Bullying and Hazing (page 8)

o Section X, Resolution of Incidents of Bullying (page 10)

- Bullying Complaint Response Worksheet, Attachment C (Exhibit 5a2)

- School Safety Plan, Section 4.3.1 Bullying and Hazing (Exhibit 5a3)

- The Administrators Online Certification System directs the respondents to BUL-5212.2 timeline for review and resolution (Exhibit 5a4)

5B RESPONSE: The Rubric of Implementation (ROI) is a Discipline Foundation Policy monitoring tool. The operations coordinator, director and the principal review evidence and collaboratively rate the school's implementation of the School-Wide Positive Behavior on a Likert scale (Exhibit 5b1). The composite score classifies the school as Fully Implemented, Partially Implemented or Targeted. Targeted Schools receive additional support from the local district and the School Operations. At the Spring 2015 submission, 543 schools (69.3%) were "Fully Implemented," 241 schools (30.7%) were "Partially Implemented," and 0 schools were "Targeted." (see tabs "CHART" and "Spring 14-15," Exhibit 5b2).

5C RESPONSE: The Safe School Plan is a three-volume annual assessment in which principals rate their school's progress towards implementation of 63 overarching goals on a Likert scale. Two revisions were made to Goal 4.3.1, Bullying and Hazing for 2015/16 Safe School Plan pertinent to this audit: (Exhibit 5a2):

Safe School Plan, Volume 1, Section 4.3.1, Bullying & Hazing Policy— The school and all personnel shall take proactive measures to promote respect and acceptance among students, staff, and the school community.

- Administrators review the School Experience Survey data to inform bullying prevention efforts.

- Reported incidents must within 30 days; resolution must be achieved within 60 days.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: July 2015
  • Response Date: August 2015

Recommendation To: Los Angeles Unified School District

To ensure that it is effectively preventing and addressing incidents of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying in its schools, Los Angeles Unified should resolve complaints within 60 calendar days regardless of the complaint process selected.

Response

RECOMMENDATION #6 management disagrees that 90-days is an appropriate timeline. It is the opinion of the office at [sic] all complaints should be resolved in 60-calendar days. Also I looked at your UCP bulletin 5159.3, p. 9 and it still says 60 days it does not say 60 calendar days per regulations. Next year when you respond to this recommendation we hope to see the change to the UCP bulletin to confirm to regulations.

Recommendation 6 has two components:

a. Complaints of bullying should be resolved in 60 calendar days.

b. The UCP bulletin should define "day" as "calendar day."

RECOMMENDATION 6A. Complaints of bullying should be resolved in 60 days.

6A RESPONSE. The District has memorialized the 60-day timeline for resolving bullying complaints in multiple documents:

- BUL-5212.2 Bullying and Hazing Policy, November 26, 2014 (Exhibit 5a1)

o Section VIII K. Responding to Bullying and Hazing (page 8)

o Section X, Resolution of Incidents of Bullying (page 10)

- Bullying Complaint Response Worksheet Attachment C (Exhibit 5a2)

- BUL-5212.2 Bullying and Hazing Policy Attachment M, Title IX/Bullying Complaint Manager Log (Exhibit 6a1)

- School Safety Plan, Volume 1, Section 4.3.1 Bullying and Hazing (Exhibit 5a3)

- The Administrators Online Certification System directs the respondents to the timeline for reviewing and resolving incidents of bullying delineated in BUL-5212.2 Bullying and Hazing timeline and the Safe School Plan, Volume 1, Section 4.3.1 (Exhibit 5a4)

RECOMMENDATION 6B. The UCP bulletin should define "day" as "calendar day."

5B. RESPONSE: The Uniform Complaint Procedures bulletins define days as "Calendar days, unless designated otherwise" in Section III Related Definitions, G: Days (page 6):

- BUL-5159.3, May 15, 2014 (Exhibit 6b1)

- BUL-5159.4, November 14, 2014 (Exhibit 6b2)

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: November 2014
  • Response Date: August 2015

Current Status of Recommendations

All Recommendations in 2015-041