Bright Spots 2020: Alisal Union School District

The Alisal Union School District has created systems that consistently produce positive results for kids, especially those who have historically been most disadvantaged. Alisal has a very high number of Bright Spots in both math and English across multiple grades and student groups. 10 of these student groups are 50% or more of their students, which is more than any school at any level of poverty (and as a district they serve families in the highest level of poverty). They also show a strong connection to their community. The majority (61%) of students at Alisal have parents who are not high school graduates. Yet the district is a Bright Spot in both English and math with students 20 percentage points and 17 percentage points above the county, respectively.

Leadership at Alisal took the time to visit districts around the state who have implemented new systems to improve outcomes for low-income, Latinx, and English learner students. Alisal empowered teachers to define their own professional development needs, work together to identify and solve problems, and test new instructional strategies. Administrators support this work by setting aside time for teachers to work together, listening to parents and students in the community through the LCAP process, and investing in programs and services that the community demands. At Alisal Union, they are making upward mobility a reality, starting in the youngest years, which sets their kids on a path of success from the start.