LCUSD Welcomes Stanford's Dr. Denise Pope

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On January 17th I am excited to welcome Dr. Denise Pope, co-founder of Stanford University's Challenge Success program, to LCUSD to present research and information on the Challenge Success Program.

As you likely know, both LCHS 7/8 and LCHS 9-12 had applications approved to partner in 2016-17 with Stanford University's Challenge Success program. Challenge Success has for the past 12 years worked with over 130 high performing middle and high schools on how to implement policies and practices which increase academic engagement and wellbeing for their students.

Challenge Success is a research based program whose data compellingly demonstrates that, especially in high performing schools, a narrow definition of success often leaves young people lacking the skills they need to thrive in a rapidly changing world.  The work Challenge Success engages in with partner schools encourages educators and communities to create school programs which value and foster in their students the interpersonal and collaborative skills, adaptability and resiliency, and the critical thinking and creativity needed to solve complex problems.

The January 17th Challenge Success presentation by Dr. Pope is one not to be missed.  We are anticipating a full-house and are asking that attendees RSVP.

Parents 7-12, Elementary Parents, all LCUSD staff and interested students in grades 9-12 are invited to attend.  The program will begin promptly at 6:30 P.M. in the LCHS Auditorium.

Superintendent Wendy Sinette

I hope to see you there.

Wendy Sinnette
LCUSD Superintendent

Event Details
Date: January 17th
Time: 6:30pm
Location: La Canada High School Auditorium

PCY Collaboration Day Summary November 18th, 2016

Kindergarten:  The Kindergarten team participates in full day collaboration five times during the school year.  Nov. 18th was not a collaboration day for Kinder teachers.

First Grade:  The first grade team went over our December themes and projects, discussed how Everyday Math is going. We also discussed our Common Assessment #2.

Second Grade:  The second grade team discussed language arts materials that are being considered for adoption next year by the district.  They also discussed math instructional pacing.

Third Grade:  The third grade spent the afternoon determining the components of our next EDM common assessment. We aligned our assessment to mirror those of our district counterparts. We also discussed review questions that we will be administering to the students. In addition to math, we also discussed plans for certain grade level functions over the course of the next month before the winter holidays. These plans included details for: 1) the Cabrillo Beach Museum field trip;  2) The Christmas Carol field trip; 3) and our Holiday Feast Party.

Fourth/Fifth Grade:  The fourth and fifth grade teams met to discuss the transition for students in relation to assignments, homework, tests, grading and classroom expectations.  The discussion was informative for both teams as they adjust their programs moving forward to help students become more independent as they progress in upper grades.

Sixth Grade:  The sixth grade team met to discuss our math program and updating our technique on teaching. We created math stations and put together math activities and games that we feel will greatly impact learning. 

ELD:  The elementary ELD teachers met with the director, Lindi Dreibelbis to finalize the reclassification criteria.  We invited Carrie Hetzel to provide more in-depth information regarding appropriate grade level cutpoints.  The finalized criteria will be presented to the elementary principals and the Board for approval.  They also discussed some successful iPad apps for newcomers.

La Canada Kiwanis Club Honors Terrific Kids

La Canada Kiwanis Club Honors Terrific Kids

Throughout the year, Kiwanis Clubs all over the world honor students who have been chosen by teachers and classmates to be Terrific Kids. Many students are surprised to discover that they have been chosen, because it is not the kind of award that a person sets out to earn, rather it is an award that celebrates genuine kindness  and helpfulness, especially when they are selfless. 

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Precious Memories

Precious Memories

By Dr. Debra Cradduck, Principal Paradise Canyon Elementary

We can all think back, to a moment in our past, when we met someone who influenced our lives. For some of us, it was a parent, a friend, or even a neighbor. For the kindergarten and first grade students at Paradise Canyon, they have their fourth and sixth grade buddies.  One of the longest, ongoing traditions at PCY has been the buddy program.  The buddy program was implemented as a way for upper grade students to acquire leadership skills, while mentoring some of the youngest faces on campus.  It comes as no surprise that this is one of the most highly anticipated and cherished programs for students in their years as a PCY Cougar.
It takes a tremendous amount of planning and collaboration between the grade levels (first and fourth grades, Kinder and sixth grade), for the teachers to put together meaningful opportunities for their students. During the first few weeks of school, the upper grade students are assigned to a younger buddy they will work with throughout the year.  Then about once a month and on special occasions, teachers craft special projects and lessons to build leadership, foster care, and provide a platform for collaborative learning.

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LCUSD's New Elementary Reading Assessment Program: Fountas and Pinnell

LCUSD's New Elementary Reading Assessment Program: Fountas and Pinnell

By PCY Assistant Principal, Carrie Hetzel

LCUSD’s primary grade teachers have been very busy learning and implementing a new reading assessment program.  The teachers were trained at the end of the last school year on the Fountas and Pinnell assessment program.  Fountas and Pinnell are two highly esteemed professors and experts in the field of literacy education. Their lives’ work has been to publish research-based materials which support students as well as classroom teachers. Their tools are widely used across the country, and they are considered the gold standard in literacy education.  The program’s established reading levels are the product of 20+ years of research and each point on the text level gradient represents a small but significant increase in text difficulty.  The levels are so gradual that each assessed student will be reading at precisely the correct reading level as opposed to a very general Lexile level that gives a broad numeric range.
This school year, every first and second-grade student has received an Independent Reading Level as well as an Instructional Reading Level by their classroom teacher.  The teachers are monitoring to ensure that students are reading at their Independent reading level and being supported at their Instructional reading level.  Teachers are also using these levels to match appropriate books to student readers, establish flexible reading groups, and refer students for academic assessments and reading intervention. As teachers work with students, they will note the literacy characteristics of each level as well as the predictable text features students will encounter by level. This provides teachers with intensive knowledge of the reading behaviors to notice, reinforce, and support.

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