Board Approves Dr. Frances Gipson as Head of Instruction

LOS ANGELES (Dec. 8, 2015) – The Board of Education today approved the promotion of Dr. Frances Gipson to serve as chief academic officer for the Los Angeles Unified School District. She will oversee instruction for more than 600,000 students in L.A. Unified.
She will take the top instructional position after serving as the regional superintendent for schools in the eastern section of the District. There, she created “Team Kid,” a strategic focus on boosting academic achievement for all students.

“An instructional leader is a critical aspect to ensure that every student receives the highest quality instruction each day,” said Board Vice President, Dr. George J. McKenna, III. “We are excited that it will be Dr. Gipson who is intensely involved in curriculum and instruction; the key elements of delivering a comprehensive instructional program.”

“Frances Gipson is a learner’s leader,” said Board Member Mónica García, who represents the geographic area in which Dr. Gipson last served. “She believes in all children and demonstrates it every day, all day long. We join teachers, principals and stakeholders across the district in welcoming Team Kid to LAUSD."

Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines selected Dr. Gipson as head of instruction after tapping her only months earlier to lead Local District East, where she was supported by a staff she dubbed “Team Kid.”

"I am thrilled by the selection of Dr. Frances Gipson as our new Chief Academic Officer,” said Board Member Ref Rodriguez. "Her instructional expertise, thoughtfulness, and humility is what makes her a leader for all educators, students, and families in our district."

Dr. Gipson previously served as principal of the award-winning El Sereno Middle School and Magnet Center, where she launched dual-language learning in Spanish and Mandarin. The campus also was recognized as the first California Gold Ribbon school in East Los Angeles. The California Gold Ribbon Schools Award was created to honor schools by The California Department of Education (CDE) for outstanding educational programs and practices.

“Dr. Gipson has a remarkable track record,” Superintendent Cortines said. “Her expertise and leadership will undeniably shape the futures of all students in LAUSD.”
In her new role, Dr. Gipson will be responsible for implementing the District’s instructional plan. She will oversee a variety of academic programs, including core elementary and secondary instruction; gifted and talented education; advanced placement courses; and multilingual and multicultural education, among others.

"I would like to thank the Board for their trust and support. It is a privilege to serve colleagues, community, and student scholars of the united LAUSD family,” Dr. Gipson said. “As a learning leader, I embrace the opportunity to support ‘Team Kid’ as we model and propel excellence for all.”

Dr. Gipson started her 20+ year career in public education teaching primary grades at 107th Street Elementary School. She later held several administrative positions, including head of instruction for what was formerly known as Local District 5 in L. A. Unified.

In addition, she has taught at the UCLA Teacher Education Program; the Principal Leadership Institute at the University of California at Berkeley Graduate School of Education; and at California State University at Los Angeles. .

At the start of the 2015-16 school year, she was named chairperson of the Instructional Technology Initiative taskforce, after Dr. Judy Burton, who formerly performed the role, stepped down for personal reasons. Dr. Gipson expects to continue leading the bi-weekly meetings as taskforce members prepare recommendations for a three-year strategic plan, which will guide instructional technology integration throughout the District.

Contact: Monica Carazo (213) 241-6766