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Read Our 2016-2021 Competitive Advantage Plan (CAP)

To read the full Competitive Advantage Plan, click here
The Competitive Advantage Plan (CAP) for the Duarte Unified School District is the result of an unbiased report of findings based on a data collection process administered by the Claremont Graduate University’s Evaluation Center. The nine-month process was comprehensive. It included a community-wide survey that yielded over 4,200 respondents. Additional details and strategies were collected through focus group sessions with students, parents, certificated and classified staff at all school sites, a variety of members of the community, including civic and business leaders, parents exiting DUSD, alumni, and faith leaders in the community. All of the data were vetted through the Community Education Council, comprised of representatives from all stakeholder groups, who together with the District Leadership Team met regularly throughout the year to examine the data, discuss strategies, and develop the actionable items contained in this plan. The plan is immediately actionable with each action item supported by a resource allocation plan.
The single dominant theme in the CAP is rigor. Rigorous academic standards, rigorous accountability standards, and the rigorous pursuit of identifying and addressing the individual needs of students. While our stakeholders identified the rigor of our Early College Program at Duarte High School, specialized STEM and engineering courses, Computer Aided Design (CAD), Advanced Placement classes, City of Hope internships, and the International Baccalaureate program at Maxwell as examples of rigor and areas of strengths, rigor was also identified as a primary need desired by our stakeholders. As a result of these findings, rigor has been woven throughout the CAP as the standard by which all actions and expenditures will be measured.
Other needs that emerged from the findings included more support around classroom technology, digital learning resource specialists on site, focused professional development targeted at instructional context and the Common Core, vocational programs for non-college bound students, more specialized courses, electives, and career technical education (CTE) programs in careers such as culinary arts/hospitality, health careers, biotechnology, computer science focused on designing, building, and understanding interactive media, expansion of the Early College programs, recruitment of highly effective teachers and a competitive salary and benefits structure to attract and maintain those teachers, defining clear standards of behavior, and site autonomy.
Converting PK-6 elementary schools into neighborhood PK-8 schools was dominant in focus group discussions. Student safety, student support, and logistical implications central to the planning process of restructuring the District were central to the PK-8 discussion and became actionable items in the CAP. Regarding extra-curricular programs, the desire for improvements in the arts, athletics, facilities including playgrounds, courts, fields, and the DHS gym and locker rooms all emerged in surveys and focus group sessions as a primary need and became actionable items in the CAP.
The final product has been a year in the making. It started with the Board of Education’s decision to direct the Superintendent to study and remedy declining enrollment. The CAP creates optimal learning conditions despite the fiscal, educational, and human resource challenges that have been caused by fourteen consecutive years of declining enrollment and the organizational instability it has created.
The CAP Steering Committee identified four pillars (see page 4) that served as the foundation for the Plan. The pillars represent the voices of our students, parents, staff, and community members. Subsequently, they form the foundation for our Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) goals.
The CAP is a living document and will serve as a blueprint for the future and a report card for the past as we evaluate it annually. Our foundational principles are rooted in our commitment to embrace diversity, partners, high expectations for all, and service. Together these principles are threaded throughout the CAP and are reflected in each of the seven primary strategies that drive the plan.