California Educator

August 2016

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We Are Family School district finds novel use for LCAP funds By CYNTHIA MENZEL C redit Modesto Teachers Association member Ron Boren for a unique way to show parents and community the importance of educating the whole child . Boren, a sixth-grade teacher and chorus director at Tuolumne Elementary School, used Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) funds to sponsor a music concert in mid-May featuring school students in the historic State eatre in downtown Modesto. A key component of LCAPs is to demonstrate to parents and the larger community how education funding is used to meet the needs of local students. e concert allowed parents and others to experience and understand what their students are learning in the area of visual and performing arts. " We had a packed house of 550 — this was the first time most of them have been to any event at the State," says Boren. Parents and families were bused in to see the performance. "None of our school s have a cafet eria with a stage, and many of our parents don't have automobiles." Photos: Kemoyah Levi Educator Ron Boren, far left, used LCAP funds to stage a vibrant community music concert featuring Tuolumne Elementary students. LCAPs outline how a school district will spend state school funding received through the Local Control Fund- ing Formula. The idea of utilizing LCAP funds for the concert came from Modesto City Schools' focus on visual and performing arts and from Boren's principal, Heather Contreras. Boren has been writing songs for and about his students and various academic subjects for 15 years. "We Are Ready to Learn" was the theme for the evening. Some 125 students sang, danced and performed origi- nal and cultural music. Parents also enjoyed "Voices of Tuolumne," a multimedia presentation of student poetry. "We ended with all staff on the stage singing 'We Are Family — Tuolumne Elementary!' e syllables fit per- fectly to the old-school Sister Sledge song," Boren says. C h e c k o u t R o n B o r e n ' s F a c e b o o k p a g e (Boren2tchtunes) and his videos such as "Don't Be a Math Hater" on YouTube. 42 teaching & learning

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