School is Out for Summer! Now What Do I Do? Keeping Your Cool Over the Long Hot Summer

School is Out for Summer! Now What Do I Do? Keeping Your Cool Over the Long Hot Summer

By Executive Director of Special Education, Tamara Jackson

All children benefit from structure, but it can be especially true for our students with special needs. Children don’t always know how to use leisure time effectively, so in order to keep your cool you will have to plan ahead. 

Summer can be hard to manage. Parents have to find the right summer enrichment program or camp program. If your student has an IEP and is eligible for Extended School Year (ESY), you may have to coordinate their schedule with the Assistance League or the La Canada Educational Foundation courses. At the end of this article I have a few cool resources for summer fun! Once you know the summer schedule review it with your child.  On “free days” it is best to still provide structure.  Having a set time to wake up and a set bed time helps children develop good sleep hygiene.  Remember, teenagers actually need more sleep than younger children. 
Try to keep isolated play and screen time (video games, computer, TV) to a minimum.  Consider a behavior system where the child earns time to engage in these activities. Remember, it can be challenging to wean children off excessive screen time when school starts back. If your child is really into “Tech,” consider some academic computer time in exchange for game-playing.  There are a lot of fun “academic” games.  Ask your student’s teacher(s) for a few ideas. 

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Once Upon a Room: Recasting our Definitions of Success

Once Upon a Room: Recasting our Definitions of Success

By LCHS Principal, Ian McFeat

Forty five La Canada High School students gathered together, holding hands in the grass vestibule outside of Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. Students were decked in pink and blue shirts, behind them radio flyer wagons parked in the sun, full of stuffed animals, keepsakes, blankets, clothes, a bevy of decorations piled high. Name tags were positioned smartly, naming each of the patients who would have their rooms transformed by a determined and excited group of students.

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Technology Standards for Students: Moving Beyond Using Technology to  Transformative Learning

Technology Standards for Students: Moving Beyond Using Technology to  Transformative Learning

By Chief Technology Officer, Jamie Lewsadder

Last summer, the International Society for Technology Education (ISTE) released an update to their Standards for Students. First published in 1998, with a goal of helping students learn the basic skills of tech use, the latest version offers a stretch for even the most savvy student, techie teacher, or driven district. 

LCUSD has been busy laying the foundation for growth in technology the last four years, focusing on updating our outdated classroom technology (we had desktops older than 7th graders in our classrooms!), designing a network that offered a secure environment without impeding learning, and shifting from tech as a management tool to an instructional tool. If you’ll permit another lap around memory lane, five years ago wifi was new to our district and hardly used. Today we have, on average, 1200 devices connected. 

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Every 15 Minutes

Every 15 Minutes

By Assistant Principal, Mary Hazlett

On April 13, 2017 LCHS 9-12 graders witnessed the aftermath of a simulated fatal car crash involving LCHS students.  The simulation is part of a two-day program focused on the dangers of drinking and driving called Every 15 Minutes.  In the early 1990’s when the program was first created, someone in the United States died every 15 minutes in a fatal car accident involving driving under the influence of alcohol.  The program aims to educate high school students and provide them mindful opportunities to think about the choices they make and the effects those choices may have on others.

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Building a Better Mousetrap

Building a Better Mousetrap

By PCY Assistant Principal, Carrie Hetzel

At PCY our 5th-grade students have been spending their Computer Lab time studying Rube Goldberg and competing in their very own Rube Goldberg Mousetrap STEM Challenge!  They have been working under the guidance of Kristine Babish (Elementary Science Aide), Katy Tafoya (Instructional Computer Specialist), and the PCY 5th grade teachers and thoroughly enjoying this cross-curricular project. The goal for the Rube Goldberg Mousetrap STEM Challenge is to encourage critical thinking and problem solving in a student led, non-traditional learning environment, and of course, have fun in the process.

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One Student Who Has Inspired Me

One Student Who Has Inspired Me

By LCHS 7/8 Principal, Jarrett Gold

The other day I attended a meeting with a student, his parents, and the teachers from Small School 3.  Like many middle school students, this student had many strengths but also had some areas for growth.  This student was not unfamiliar to me, as I had seen him around campus over the last year and a half, and I have noticed his kind smile and a friendliness in the way he carries himself.  

As the meeting progressed and teachers began to share their comments, the parents requested that while the student was present the team focus on the positive attributes of this young man, rather than the areas for growth.  Knowing that the family had raised a great young man, along with the tenor of the meeting, I was in agreement with shifting the focus.  

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Foothill Freeway (I-210) Closures for Pavement Rehabilitation

Foothill Freeway (I-210) Closures for Pavement Rehabilitation

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will close portions of the Foothill Freeway (I-210) as part of a pavement rehabilitation project. Residents and local businesses located near the freeway may experience noise, vibrations and dust associated with construction activities.  Noise levels will not exceed state and federal regulations. Water trucks will be used to minimize dust during working hours.

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Facilities Master Plan - Governing Board Study Session Agenda

LA CAÑADA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
SPECIAL MEETING OF THE GOVERNING BOARD


April 27, 2017 in the Round Building at 4490 Cornishon Avenue, La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011

CALL TO ORDER in the Round Building at 4490 Cornishon Avenue, La Canada, California at 6:00 p.m.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

WORKSHOP OF THE GOVERING BOARD: Study Session on the Facilities Master Plan
at 6:00 p.m.

The Governing Board is requested to engage in discussion and review of the draft Facilities
Master Plan. The plan will be presented by architects from LPA. Discussion points and
considerations will include input from stakeholder meetings, prioritization of projects, and
evaluating funding models. Information from this study session will be used by the architects to
finalize the plan for presentation at the June meeting.

ADJOURNMENT

The next regular Governing Board meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 9, 2017,
at 7:00 p.m. at 4490 Cornishon Avenue, La Canada, California

REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION FOR ANY INDIVIDUAL WITH A DISABILITY
Any individual with a disability who requires reasonable accommodation to participate in a Board
meeting may request assistance by contacting the Superintendent’s Office,
4490 Cornishon Avenue, La Cañada, CA 91011; telephone – (818) 952-8381 fax – (818) 952-8331

PDF version of agenda available here.

Nominate A Great Teacher For The Rose Harrington Award

When my daughter Celine was in second grade at PCY, she was inspired by her teacher Shawn Apfell and decided she would become a writer.  Three years later, she was spellbound by the way Sean Mispagel brought the guts and glory of the American Revolution directly into his classroom.  So intrigued in fact, that one night after hearing noises in her bedroom, I walked in just as she, still sleeping, sat up and yelled out, “I’m a Patriot, I’m a Patriot”.  Then, as a senior in high school, Celine had the privilege of taking the last senior AP English class taught by Rick Mohney, who was so creative and gifted, he literally brought literature to life through student acted still life productions on the high school front lawn.  

These La Cañada educators, like so many others, not only taught diverse subjects, they inspired my daughter in significant and immeasurable ways that had a lasting affect on her college experiences and career choice. Two of the teachers have already retired and I wish I had nominated them for the Rose Harrington Award when I still had the chance. Don’t let that happen to you!

Now is the time for you to thank teachers for the wonderful impact they have had on your children and for their contributions to educational and artistic programs LCUSD students enjoy throughout the year. The La Cañada Flintridge Educational Foundation’s Endowment Fund oversees the Rose Harrington Educator of the Year Award, which comes with a cash prize.  

My fellow Endowment Fund trustees and I are seeking nominations for outstanding LCUSD educators. Anyone, including community members, fellow teachers, parents, administrators and past and current students may submit nominations as long as the nominator independently completes the nomination form that can be found at lcfef.org/rose-harrington-award.

There is no limit to the number of nominations you may submit. Completed nomination forms must be submitted by Monday, May 8th via email to endowment@lcfef.org, faxed to 818-952-4297, or mailed to LCFEF – Harrington Award, 4490 Cornishon Ave., Room 211, LCF, 91011. Questions should be directed to endowment@lcfef.org or 818-952-4268.

Valerie Aenlle-Rocha, Trustee
La Cañada Flintridge Educational Foundation Endowment Fund

Download the nomination form here.

Talkin' With Your Teens: Getting It RightBefore the Going Gets Rough

Talking With Your Teen flyer: event info with picture of 5 teenagers sitting next to one another. PDF of flyer available with link


TALKIN’ WITH YOUR TEENS: GETTING IT RIGHT BEFORE THE GOING GETS ROUGH is a six week parenting workshop with Leda Siskind discussing topics such as: The teen brain, limit setting and your future child. 

Ms. Siskind is a Mental Health consultant for LCUSD. She has been helping parents and their children for over 18 years.

Download flyer here.

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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