Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

California One System Serving the Whole Child

Supporting and scaling up an aligned system of resources and supports serving the whole child.

The California Department of Education (CDE) is committed to aligning a system of supports to better meet the needs of the whole child (from cradle to career) and the Local Control Accountability Planning process. Learn more about resources and initiatives that will assist local educational agencies, schools, and local stakeholders as they plan and implement their LCAP or other improvement planning processes.

Twitter @CDEOneSystem External link opens in new window or tab.

Facebook - California One System Serving the Whole Child External link opens in new window or tab.

Instagram CDEOneSystem External link opens in new window or tab.


Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) / Whole Child Resources

Resource Description
LCFF Priorities/Whole Child Resource Map This map provides Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) priorities and whole child resources and supports to help local educational agencies (LEAs), schools, and families serve the needs of the whole child.
California Accountability Model and School Dashboard Provides a display of the performance of LEAs, schools, and student groups on a set of state and local measures to assist in identifying strengths, challenges, and areas in need of improvement.
Data and Statistics Data and statistics collected from California schools and learning support resources to identify trends and educational needs and to measure performance.

Priority X Webinar Series

Webinars dedicated to the LCFF priority areas reflective of (1) California’s multiple measures accountability system, as reported on the California School Dashboard, and (2) the Statewide System of Support.

Title Description

LCFF Prioritiy 6: School Climate webinar recording External link opens in new window or tab. (Video; 1:22:04)

LCFF Priority 6: School Climate webinar PowerPoint presentation (PPTX)

The first webinar in the series occurred on August 20, 2018, and focused on the following topics:

  • The importance of school climate
  • School Climate connection statewide system of support
  • Measuring school climate (State and Local Indicators)
  • Resources and supports for the implementation and improvement of school climate
  • Highlights of promising school climate practices from the field

Symposiums Serving the Whole Child

Title Description

Serving the Whole Learner Symposium - Part I External link opens in new window or tab.

This Serving the Whole Learner Symposium archived video identifies challenges and uncovers solutions. Training materials for the Serving the Whole Learner Symposium External link opens in new window or tab. are available for download. The symposium is presented in partnership with the California Department of Education and the California Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports Coalition, and sponsored by a grant funded by the Council of Chief State School Officers Innovative Lab Network.
Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) Overview Workshop External link opens in new window or tab. This archived video defines what MTSS is, how it is linked to the local control accountability plan and how it is serving county offices of education, districts, and schools across California. The workshop materials External link opens in new window or tab. are available for download.
Improving School Outcomes Through Student Centered Learning & Teaching External link opens in new window or tab. The archived videos and materials include presentations on ways to improve student outcomes through engaging students to participate in their own discovery process and develop the skills for college and career readiness.
Early Math Symposium External link opens in new window or tab. The archived videos and materials include presentations on early math and activities.
Supporting English Learners with Disabilities Symposium External link opens in new window or tab. The archived videos and materials include presentations on English Learners with disabilities in California.
Connecting the Dots: How Early Childhood Assessment Informs High Quality Instruction for Infants, Toddlers, and Preschool Children Symposium External link opens in new window or tab. The archived videos and materials include presentations on Early Learning.
Shedding the Light: Creating Inclusive, Accessible, and Equitable Learning Environments for All Students Symposium External link opens in new window or tab. The archived videos and materials include presentations on the state standards as it relates ALL children and particularly, the Special Education Community.
Blueprint for Improving Instruction, Accessibility, and Outcomes for All Students External link opens in new window or tab. The archived videos and materials include presentations on the state standards as it relates to the Special Education Community.

Key CDE and Local Educational Agencies-Led Initiatives

Initiative/Report Brief Summary

The Superintendent of Public Instruction’s Blueprint 2.0 (PDF)

In 2015, SPI, Tom Torlakson, introduced A Blueprint for Great Schools 2.0   building on the 2011 report A Blueprint for Great Schools which helped guide in a new era in California schools that has included major increases in funding, more rigorous state academic standards, online student assessment testing, and greater support for the students and schools with the most needs.

A Blueprint for Great Schools 2.0’s recommendations were made by a team of 29 education leaders and experts, and details next steps in five identified strategic priorities:

  1. California Standards
  2. Teaching and Leading Excellence
  3. Student Success
  4. Systems Change and Supports for Strategic Priorities
  5. Continuous Improvement and Accountability Systems

These five key recommendations are the basis for further strategic planning by CDE.

Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF)


The LCFF was enacted in 2013–14, and it replaced the previous kindergarten through grade 12 (K–12) finance system which had been in existence for roughly 40 years. For school districts and charter schools, the LCFF establishes base, supplemental, and concentration grants in place of the myriad of previously existing K–12 funding streams, including revenue limits, general purpose block grants, and most of the 50-plus state categorical programs that existed at the time. For County Offices of Education (COEs), the LCFF establishes separate funding streams for oversight activities and instructional programs.

The CDE has created a LCFF system of supports and an internal team made of division representatives to aid school districts, COEs, and charter schools in developing, adopting, and annually updating a required three-year LCAP.  The LCFF team supports the SBE in adopting an evaluation rubric to assist LEAs and oversight entities in evaluating strengths, weaknesses, areas that require improvement, technical assistance needs, and possible interventions.

In addition to the LCFF team and supports, the CCEE was established by the Governor and State Legislature to advise and assist school districts, county superintendents, and charter schools in achieving the goals set forth in their LCAPs adopted under the provisions of the LCFF legislation. The formation of the agency reflects a shift in California’s approach to improving student academic achievement—from the more punitive and compliance-based approach of the federal No Child Left Behind Act to directing focus on control and accountability on a local level. Guided by the five-member board that began meeting in February 2015, the CCEE will play a key role in supporting and assisting school districts with achieving their goals.

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

On December 10, 2015, President Obama signed the ESSA, reauthorizing the federal ESEA and replacing the NCLB, the 2001 reauthorization of ESEA. As part of California’s transition to ESSA, California must submit an ESSA State Plan to the U.S. Department of Education. The State Plan will describe the State’s implementation of standards, assessment, accountability, and assistance programs and will move us toward California’s goal of having a single, coherent local, state, and federal education system. The CDE is committed to ensuring a transparent transition to the new law and developing an ESSA State Plan that is informed by the voices of diverse Californians.

Whole Child Community Schools (WCCS) Strategic Plan External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)

SPI, Tom Torlakson, Transition Advisory Team included “providing comprehensive support for the development of the whole child” in the concepts of several key recommendations in Blueprint for Great Schools 1.0. The Blueprint also linked the whole child approach and community schools, noting that “Full-service community schools are one tested approach to addressing the achievement gap.” 

In 2013, The California Endowment provided funding to support the CDE to create a Whole Child Integrated Action Team (WCIAT) and plan for the integration of whole child and community schools approaches as part of the CDE’s service and support to the state’s education system. The WCIAT was comprised of Branch Deputies, Division Directors, and staff from across the CDE. During the planning process, the team sought feedback on the plan from the CDE Executive Team and the Leadership Team, representing 20 divisions throughout the CDE.

In 2015, the CDE WCCS Strategic Plan was published by the CDE’s WCIAT. The CDE WCCS Strategic Plan represents the completion of the WCIAT’s work in creating a multi-year WCCS strategic plan that includes overarching goals and objectives.

English Language Arts/English Language Development (ELA/ELD) and Mathematics Frameworks

The ELA/ELD Framework provides guidance to educators to help build this new depth of knowledge on a range of topics. It includes strategies to strengthen learning for every student, both in the English language arts classroom and in classrooms where students learn other academic content. It contains information on the qualities of effective professional development, strategies for incorporating technology into the classroom, and effective examples of using formative assessment to guide instruction. The ELA/ELD Framework also features helpful figures and descriptive snapshots that frame new ideas and practices for integrating the literacy demands of both the English language arts and discipline-specific classrooms, offering support to students who come to those classrooms with a wide range of language development needs.

In June 2010, the State of California replaced its existing mathematics standards by adopting the CA Common Core State Standards (CCSSM) for Mathematics. In January 2013, in accordance with Senate Bill 1200, the California State Board of Education adopted modifications to the CA CCSSM, which included organizing the standards into model courses for higher mathematics. California’s new standards define what students should understand and be able to do in the study of mathematics.

Greatness by Design (PDF)

In 2011, a group of 48 California's leading education experts formed by SPI, Tom Torlakson, called for sweeping improvements to the way teachers are recruited, trained, brought into the profession, mentored, and evaluated. The Task Force was formed to address fundamental questions about the education profession: how to recruit the best people into the profession, how to develop their skills before they begin work and throughout their careers, and how to provide useful feedback, including using measurements of learning to improve teaching.

In 2012, the Greatness by Design: Supporting Outstanding Teaching to Sustain a Golden State Report was released and addresses the recruitment of new teachers, including the need to develop a diverse, high-quality workforce of teachers and principals. It also examines quality induction programs that can help teachers improve early in their careers—often the key to keeping promising new teachers in the classroom. The report thoroughly examines how to provide a career development framework that fosters growth and leadership opportunities for teachers throughout their careers. It also takes a close look at how to improve the evaluation process, including how to collaborate with teachers and incorporate valid measures of student learning.

CDE Internal Ad Hoc Work Group Report on the SSETF External link opens in new window or tab. (DOCX)

In 2015, the CDE’s Executive Team called for the creation of a Special Ed Task Force Recommendations Internal Ad Hoc Work Group (Work Group) to:

  • Analyze the current status of Statewide Special Education Task Force (Task Force) Report Recommendations relative to the work of the CDE;
  • Discuss how CDE, as a whole, could support implementation of the recommendations; and
  • Better support a unified education system in which all children, including students with disabilities, are considered general education students first.

On March 11, 2016, the Work Group comprised of 16 division representatives met to continue building the basis for: “one” coherent system, “whole child” support systems, and CDE-wide integration of the “one system” concept. Meeting objectives included:

  • Build increased understanding of the one system concept;
  • Discuss the Task Force Report Recommendations:  what (under CDE purview) has been completed, what is currently being undertaken, and what are the highest priorities for future action;
  • Generate the basis for a summary memo/update report to the State Board of Education (SBE), the Task Force, and the CDE; and
  • Propose next steps.

The group’s final report frames the Work Group’s primary recommendations, provides an overview of the current status of Task Force Recommendations relative to the work of the CDE, offers a LCFF/LCAP Priority and Special Education Indicator(s) Comparison, and compares Task Force and Blueprint 2.0 recommendations. The key recommendation is to form the One System Team to identify CDE-led initiatives, support internal CDE collaboration towards aligning initiatives and resources, and to provide field support.

California Scale Up Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS) Statewide (SUMS) Initiative External link opens in new window or tab.

DEVELOPING, ALIGNING, AND IMPROVING SYSTEM OF ACADEMIC AND BEHAVIORAL SUPPORTS: The national transition from the No Child Left Behind legislation to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides the context for weaving together multiple initiatives into a comprehensive Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) framework to improve student outcomes. This unification effort will address barriers to learning and re-engage disconnected students by creating a culture of collaboration among marginalized and fragmented support systems. The road to every child succeeding involves a statewide transformation that: 1) enhances equitable access to opportunity; 2) develops the whole child; and 3) closes the achievement gap for all students.

To fulfill the California Department of Education’s (CDE) vision of “one coherent system of education”, SUMS will create a universal process for MTSS implementation. California’s vast and complex PreK-12 educational system requires a multi-faceted approach that is scalable and sustainable. By using the principles of Implementation Science, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and the Whole Child approach, the California SUMS Initiative will build the foundation for such a statewide infrastructure.

State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP)


The SSIP contains broad strategies with detailed improvement activities related to data analysis, identification of areas for improvement, and infrastructure to support improvement and build capacity. It addresses plans for increasing student academic performance over a six-year period from fiscal year 2013-14 through 2018-19, as required by the US Department of Education Office of Special Programs (OSEP).  The SSIP is to be developed in three phases over a three year period, with specific sections required to be completed in each year. Phase I was presented and approved at the March 2015 SBE meeting. On March 9, 2016, the SBE approved the Phase II SSIP proposal which contains specific plans for meeting the OSEP requirements and to begin aligning special education accountability with general education efforts.

Phase 2 involves planning and bringing to scale a tiered system of strategically designed and researched-based technical assistance and supports for all districts—those that want to improve their currently successful programs and services and those that the evaluation process ultimately shows need help to meet their measurable targets. The Special Education Division (SED) is creating a robust, tiered system of technical assistance to contribute to the state’s overall system of continuous improvement. Much of what the state is doing to develop the SSIP complements and enhances the larger work of implementing the LCFF and LCAP. The CDE is developing an extensive tiered system of information, supports, and services to help LEAs improve the outcomes of all students.

California Comprehensive Early Learning Plan (CCELP) (PDF)

The CCELP provides key direction for the State in the development of a high-quality birth-to-age-five system that provides all children with the knowledge and skills they need to achieve long-term success. The Plan is based on extensive research and stakeholder engagement, and it suggests changes that, if implemented, would make California’s early learning system more coherent and effective.

Career Readiness Initiative (CRI)


The overarching goal of the CRI is to build and sustain robust partnerships between employers, schools, and community colleges in order to better prepare students for the 21st century workplace and improve student transition into postsecondary education, training, and employment.

Questions:   One System/Whole Child Integration |
Last Reviewed: Friday, December 01, 2023
Related Content
  • LCFF Priorities/Whole Child Resource Map
    This map provides Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) priorities and whole child resources and supports to help local educational agencies, schools, and families serve the needs of the whole child.
  • Whole Child Resources
    Whole Child resources that support schools in creating an environment where all students are safe, engaged, supported, challenged and healthy.
Recently Posted in Transforming Schools: Superintendent’s Initiatives
No items posted in the last 60 days.