Challenge Success: Building Your Path Coming to LCHS on April 8th. Sign Up Today

Challenge Success: Building Your Path Coming to LCHS on April 8th. Sign Up Today

On Saturday, April 8th at LCHS, students grades 7-12 and alumni are gathering for the Challenge Success: Building Your Path event.  The goal of the day is for current and former LCHS students to see various professionals showcase their career and/or education paths with the overarching idea to challenge our traditionally narrow definitions of success.

The day will begin with two short keynotes featuring Dr. Mark Urata of Children's’ Hospital and Chris Buck, animator and director. Then students will be able to choose three speaker sessions before having lunch. The speaker sessions will feature a variety of topics such as career pathway stories; life, education or career lessons learned; current career showcases, and potential how-to talks, all within the big idea of expanding our definition of success.

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Spring Newsletter 2017

Bee in Flower

Bee in Flower

Dear LCUSD Community,

Welcome to the LCUSD Spring Newsletter 2017.  As we head into spring we begin the very dualistic work of focusing on the successful completion of the 2016-17 school year and our beginning planning for the 2017-18 school year.  Because that always feels so compartmentalized, what I especially like about this newsletter is that our administrators remain very mindful of the present and keep their focus on programs, achievements, accomplishments or reflections that are relevant and timely to the what is currently happening (or just recently past) at our school sites and the District Office. The articles are interesting and diverse, but give you a real flavor for the multitude of interesting happenings across LCUSD.  I hope you take the time to peruse the newsletter and enjoy the reporting of our site and district administrators.  Enjoy!

Sincerely yours,
Wendy Sinnette
Superintendent

Less Can Be More

Less Can Be More

By Chief Business and Operations Officer, Mark Evans

One of the goals for our Local Control Accountability Plan has to do with our facilities, and a specific action relates to reducing our carbon footprint. The images of schools bring to mind students, teachers, classrooms and playgrounds. However, there is a lot of infrastructure necessary to operate a campus. The electricity, trash removal, food services, and grounds maintenance draw off the power grid, use water resources, and send waste to landfills. We are working to lessen those impacts and hopefully generate savings where possible. Being “green” is a goal that can be both environmental and economical.
 

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STEM Stands for Fun at LCE

STEM Stands for Fun at LCE

By LCE Principal, Emily Blaney

You may have heard of the buzzword STEM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.There are many STEM-related careers that are currently in high demand, like software designers and electrical engineers. The career possibilities that will be available by the time our elementary students reach adulthood are endless! The best thing about STEM is that these subjects are engaging and fun, and we’ve been having a lot of STEM=fun at LCE.

Even our youngest students focus on the S in STEM. Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten teachers Pam Daniger, Wendy Damico, and Mandy Redfern have  incorporated activities into their centers and built them into students’ playtime. Students made foil boats to test sinking and floating, did a push-pull activity with toy vehicles and tracks, and explored topics like evaporation and clouds. They recently acted as young engineers on the 100th day of school when they were given the task of designing and building the highest tower using 100 plastic cups.

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LCHS 7-12 Course Selection for Academic Year 2017-18

LCHS 7-12 Course Selection for Academic Year 2017-18

By LCHS Associate Principal, Jim Cartnal

lthough second semester is just weeks old, and 2017 is still in its beginning months, LCHS counselors and students are busy thinking about selecting classes for academic year 2017-18. Starting on January 31 and running through early March, students in grades 8-11 will select their classes for next year.

This year, students will select their classes online, by logging on to the Aeries student portal. Students received a series of important emails that described how to access the Aeries student portal and select their classes. Students also will hear or have heard presentations from LCHS counselors about this process. These course selection lessons are taking place in the students’ English classes.

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District Health Benefits Committee Brings Free Health Screening to the LCUSD

District Health Benefits Committee Brings Free Health Screening to the LCUSD

By Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources, Dr. Jeff Davis

The La Canada USD is a progressive high-achieving school district, with many active committees at both the district level and the school sites. One of these committees, the District Health Benefits Committee has been able to develop a partnership with Health Fair, a health and wellness company based in Winter Springs, Florida to bring FREE Mobile Health screenings to our LCUSD employees and their spouses or domestic partners, if both the employee and spouse or domestic partner are on a medical plan through the LCUSD. The free health screenings are also available to retirees that are currently still covered by a medical plan through the LCUSD. These health screenings are sponsored by the district, LCTA, and CSEA.

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The Kindness Campaign

The Kindness Campaign

By PCY Principal, Dr. Debra Cradduck

The Kindness Campaign By PCY Principal, Dr. Debra Cradduck Mark Twain once said, “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” While our school campus is a place where learning takes place, it’s also a place where students do much more than learn new concepts and ideas in the classroom. Not only do they learn how to collaborate and work together as a team, students learn the value of creating relationships with their peers. This year, PCY has placed a heavy emphasis on creating an environment where students feel comfortable coming to school. As the staff continues to advocate for a school that cares for our students’ emotional well-being, our spirit rallies have addressed important anti-bullying tips, as well as way to stand up for others who are being bullied. As our student form these incredibly important bonds at school, the key ingredient to these successful relationships has been kindness.

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New Compassion-Driven Direction for PCR Student Council

New Compassion-Driven Direction for PCR Student Council

By PCR Principal, Karen Hurley

There’s a new direction for the Palm Crest Student Council -- one that reaches out to bring help locally and internationally while instilling values such as empathy and compassion in our own students and our school community.

Under the guidance of new Student Council co-advisors Mariana Valderhaug and Kim Hardash, Student Council responsibilities have been expanded. While Student Council members once focused mainly on planning spirit rallies and local holiday canned food drives, the PCR Student Council has widened its horizons to help underprivileged children both locally and across the ocean.

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Science, The Next “New” Thing

Science, The Next “New” Thing

By PCY Assistant Principal, Carrie Hetzel

NGSS is the newest acronym that you will be hearing about in the educational world these days.  The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are out, and many people are wondering what they are and how they differ from the old standards?  Three key words that we will be looking for as we embark on this new science era are the words “will be able.”  We will be looking for what students can do rather than what students are expected to know.  The new standards might say something like, “students will be able to construct a model that explains student discovered irregularities in the world around them and is able to design and conduct inquiries and investigations into the phenomenon.”

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Individualized Education Program (IEP) Goals and New Year's Resolutions: What do they have in common?

Individualized Education Program (IEP) Goals and New Year's Resolutions: What do they have in common?

By Executive Director of Special Education, Dr. Tamara Jackson  

Is it too late to say Happy New Year?

A New Year's resolution is a tradition in which a person resolves to change an undesired trait or behavior, or they hope to improve a skill or ability.

I would like to draw your attention to the IEP goal writing progress and the similarities involved in developing IEP Goals and New Year’s Resolutions. First, let’s stipulate that the term resolution can be synonymous with the term goal.

Take a popular New Year’s resolution -  to improve physical well-being: eat healthy food, lose weight, and exercise more.  The first step in developing the goal would be to determine the baseline.  What is your current level of performance and what progress do you hope to make in a specified amount of time?

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Two Tips to Help Students Get Organized

Two Tips to Help Students Get Organized

By Chief Technology Officer, Jamie Lewsadder

At a recent PTA meeting, I learned some important tips that went on to transform how my daily tasks are planned and completed. I also learned how students can gain valuable skills to increase productivity and efficiency.

PCR parent Debbie Ourfalian, and JPL efficiency guru Marc Montgomery presented to PCR’s  PTA and most recently LCE’s PTA. Marc opened with his journey of studying his own productivity through experiments and significant gains in time spent on tasks. I was hooked after hearing him describe his first Franklin planner and accompanying directions on cassette. But the gems in the talk included these concepts: We all need finish lines to motivate us; Little changes in behavior can have a big impact; Find ways to create a sense of accomplishment.

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Next Generation Science Standards Implementation at LCUSD

Next Generation Science Standards Implementation at LCUSD

By Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, Anais Wenn

At the end of 2015-16 school year, The Governing Board approved LCUSD’s Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) implementation plan.  It was designed by the LCUSD NGSS Steering Committee comprised of teachers and administrators under the guidance of the K-12 Alliance at WestEd.  The K-12 Alliance at WestEd is a premier professional learning organization for science and mathematics education.   The NGSS Steering Committee received a four day training and at the last training designed a 5 year implementation plan for the District.  The implementation plan is posted on LCUSD’s website for your reference and edification.

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Getting a GRASP on CAASPP

Getting a GRASP on CAASPP

By Chief Director of Assessments, Research and CALPADs, Lindi Dreibelbis

There have been many changes in the landscape of state testing in the last few years and this year is no exception. The California Student Performance and Progress System, known as CAASPP, is the umbrella under which all state assessments fall. It is very important for our schools that each student participate in state testing. Student scores are used to guide our instructional programs and provide individual students with targeted support. The results are also an essential component of state accountability, which lead to La Canada’s top performance.

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Hellhound and Our Trail

Hellhound and Our Trail

By LCHS Principal, Ian McFeat

In early February, 1968, two sanitation workers from Memphis, Tennessee were killed when they were crushed to death by a malfunctioning garbage truck. At the time of the tragedy, the two black men were seeking shelter from the rain inside the vehicle, because they were not allowed to do so under the porches of the white homes where they collected refuse. The local government response to the deaths was barely human.

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LCHS 7/8 Athletics

LCHS 7/8 Athletics

By LCHS 7/8 Principal, Dr. Jarrett Gold

As the former Assistant Principal at LCHS, a coach at the high school level for many years, and an athlete throughout my schooling, I believe athletics play an important role in students’ overall success in school.  Through athletics, there are many core values that students gain, including integrity, teamwork, community, competitive spirit, leadership, and compassion.  I learned many of these as an athlete and tried to instill these same characteristics as a coach.  

I found middle school to be an awkward time in my life, as many of our students do.  In high school I was able bring athletics and academics together, which helped me to find my path.  While I have played sports my entire life, there is a uniqueness about playing for a school team; being a part of a team brought me a sense of pride that I had not previously experienced.  Looking back, I wish I was able to have had the same opportunity in my middle school years.

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From the LCHS 9-12 Attendance and Discipline Desk

From the LCHS 9-12 Attendance and Discipline Desk

By LCHS Assistant Principal, Mary Hazlett

From the LCHS Attendance and Discipline desk we can report positive trends.  Since the start of the year, the school’s attendance rate has increased overall every month.  We credit this improvement to increased education and communication on on attendance requirements and policies with families via our PTSA meetings, student assemblies, auto-dialer phone calls and excessive absence notifications mailed home.  Many families have shared that they’re choosing to schedule college visits on weekends or vacation days as well as making a concerted effort to call the attendance hotline to verify the reasons for absences.  In addition, a school-wide effort to implement consequences at school for unexcused absences has appeared to discourage students from skipping class

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District Health Benefits Committee Brings Free Health Screening to the LCUSD

Free Health Screening Flyer

The La Canada USD District Health Benefits Committee is bringing FREE Mobile Health screenings (provided by Health Fair) to our LCUSD employees and their spouses or domestic partners, if both the employee and spouse or domestic partner are on a medical plan through the LCUSD. These free health screenings are also available to LCUSD retirees that are currently still covered by a medical plan through the district. These health screenings are sponsored by the district, LCTA, and CSEA and will take place between February 23rd and March 3rd. Eligible employees need to call 1-855-342-8378 to register for a time for their health screening. Appointments are limited so call as soon as you can. 
A bonus to all participants that complete the health screening is a $10 Target Gift Card, compliments of ASCIP (Alliance Schools for Co-Op Insurance), who provide insurance for school districts, and serve as our insurance provider. In addition, all participants that complete the screening will also be entered into a raffle to win the following prizes: one of two (2) Kindle Fire Tablets and a Disneyland Family 4 Pack. The raffle prizes have been donated by Health Fair. 
The Health Fair bus has the ability to perform health screenings on two people at a time (there are screening facilities at each end of the bus). On the average screenings take 45 minutes to complete. All eligible employees can take the “Know Your Numbers Risk Assessment” and in addition, individuals 35-44 years of age (with two Cardiovascular Risk Factors) and all enrolled individuals that are 45 years of age and older are also eligible to take the Ultrasound Tests of the Heart & Arteries. 
The district will also provide a 2-3 substitutes (for both certificated and classified employees) on the screening day(s) at each site, so that you can access the screening during the work day if needed. 
The dates, locations and times of the screenings are: 
Feb. 23 – La Canada Elementary School – 7 am – 4pm
Feb. 24 – District Office – 7 am – 5pm
Feb. 27 – Palm Crest Elementary School – 7 am – 4 pm
Feb. 28 – Paradise Canyon Elementary School – 7 am – 4 pm
March 1st thru March 3rd – La Canada High School – 7 am – 4 pm
Kudos got to District Health Benefits Committee members: Sean Mispagel, Wendi Damico, Mandy Redfern, Teresa Pisacane, Barbara Pahk, Melinda Thompson, Dr. Jarrett Gold, Mark Evans, and former Director of Fiscal Services Diane Clinton. 
We encourage you to take advantage of this unique opportunity!

Download flyer here.

Annual Foothill SELPA College Night for Parents and Students

Our Foothill SELPA will hold a College Night for Parents with 8th through 12th grade students receiving Special- Education Service and who are interested in attending college. The schedule is as follows:

Date: Thursday, January 26, 2017
Time: 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. 
Location: Glendale Community College
Student Center, Room 212
1500 Verdugo Road
Glendale, CA 91208 

Please see the attached flyers for more information:
SELPA College Night flyer
Glendale Community College Map and Parking flyer

Kindergarten Parents Orientation

lcusd logo


It’s a new year and with that comes time to register two new classes of students, Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten. Parents of these two groups of students, the Class of 2030 and the Class of 2031, are invited to LCUSD’s Kindergarten Parents Orientation Meeting which will take place at 7pm on Thursday, January 19th at La Canada Elementary in the Cafeteria.  No children please.

The Enrollment Portal will open at noon on January 11 and will provide detailed instructions on the enrollment process. 

Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten Registration Dates: 
February 1, 2017: Intra-District Transfer Requests Accepted. Transfer request must be submitted to the District Office by May 1, 2017
February 2, 2017: Sibling Kindergarten Registration begins at 8am  at your neighborhood school
February 6, 2017: Resident Kindergarten Registration begins at 8am  at your neighborhood school
February 6, 2017: Transitional Kindergarten Registration begins at 8am  at the District Office
April 20, 2017: Kindergarten Parent Orientation and Tour start at 9am at each of the 3 elementary schools - no appointment needed


Please view the following pdf for more information on the Kindergarten Parents Orientation and enrollment dates: Kindergarten Orientation Flyer