LCUSD Welcomes Stanford's Dr. Denise Pope

Dear LCUSD Community,

Seal of La Cañada Unified School District

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.

I hope to see you there.

Superintendent Wendy Sinette

Wendy Sinnette
LCUSD Superintendent

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

LCE Collaboration Day Summary November 18th, 2016

First Grade:  The 1st grade met to begin planning their Grinch Day Holiday activities and began looking at upcoming Everyday Math Units in order to develop exit tickets.  They created shared folders in Google Drive and began drafting a series of exit tickets for their measurement unit. They will continue this work during upcoming collaboration days with the goal of completing Exit Tickets for each lesson in 2 units of EDM.

Second Grade:  Second Grade met and worked on developing an iPad Task Card for the students’ country reports. The students have been assigned a heritage doll project. All of the second grades will be using Explain Everything or Book Creator to do a country report in class. The teachers also discussed logistics, props, and costumes for their December 20th Music Performance. They confirmed their schedules for the Natural History Museum field trip on December 7th as well as the day they make gingerbread houses.

Third Grade:  Third Grade spent the afternoon reviewing English Language Arts Curricula. The team has planned to pilot a unit for each series. This will begin after winter break.

Fourth Grade:  The 4th grade teachers met to revamp their second trimester historical fiction book report.  They decided to change the end product so as to obtain further reading depth from our students. In addition, all teachers felt a need to change the 4th grade mission report and are in the beginning stages of formulating a California History Project that will give a snapshot of California through its eras of change with collaborative and individual components. In addition, each teacher put together their ime Capsule cabins and day groups an organized notebooks and journals for the trip.

Fifth Grade:  The Fifth Grade team discussed the MobyMax program and how to utilize it with their students. They discussed the Science curriculum and their use of a Science notebook. They also planned out the remaining field trips for Adventure Week, which occurs in February as an alternate experience to Valley Forge.

Sixth Grade:  The sixth grade team plus Mrs. Burns met to plan out Pali Mountain cabin groups, activity groups, and coordinate the details of the upcoming trip.

PE:  The PE teachers reviewed how they grade students as well as shared about feedback they received from parents about how they grade in PE. They discussed the need for PE staff to have a safe place to store personal belongings. They also discussed the challenges of best utilizing the PE aides, and how they can train them more efficiently. With winter coming, they also brainstormed ideas for rainy day PE.

Special Education:  Mrs. Stassel attended a Google training with many other special education staff from the district’s other schools.

ELD:  The elementary ELD teachers met with the director, Lindi Dreibelbis, to finalize the revised reclassification criteria. They invited Carrie Hetzel to provide more in-depth information regarding appropriate grade level cutpoints especially related to the District Writing Assessment and the new Fountas and Pinnell reading assessments. The finalized recommendations will be presented to the elementary principals and submitted to the Governing Board for approval. They also discussed some successful iPad apps for newcomers at the upper elementary grades.

Library Specialists:  The library specialists discussed strategies for recommending books to students. Mrs. Bahrami explained LCE’s 6th Grade “Reading to Classes” program. They shared new books about Martin Luther King Jr. and Black History Month as well as books about the winter holidays.

Computer Specialists:  The computer specialists met at PCY with the representative from MakerBot. He explained the history of 3D printing and helped PCY set up their printer. He had several samples of things that were printed on the MakerBot printer.


LCE Collaboration Day Summary October 28th, 2016

First Grade:  The 1st grade team met to review report and finalize plans for their upcoming Wild Things parade. They then headed to the District Office to hear presentations on potential ELA pilot curriculum and discuss the implementation of the upcoming ELA pilot.

Second Grade:  K -6th went to the District Office to listen to presentations for the ELA Adoptions. They heard from McGraw Hill Education’s Journeys Program as well as Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
All Grade Level leaders will be picking up kits to have at their site as well as technology codes to use.

Third Grade:  K -6th went to the District Office to listen to presentations for the ELA Adoptions. They heard from McGraw Hill Education’s Journeys Program as well as Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
All Grade Level leaders will be picking up kits to have at their site as well as technology codes to use.

Fourth Grade:  K -6th went to the District Office to listen to presentations for the ELA Adoptions. They heard from McGraw Hill Education’s Journeys Program as well as Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
All Grade Level leaders will be picking up kits to have at their site as well as technology codes to use.

Fifth Grade:  K -6th went to the District Office to listen to presentations for the ELA Adoptions. They heard from McGraw Hill Education’s Journeys Program as well as Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
All Grade Level leaders will be picking up kits to have at their site as well as technology codes to use.

Sixth Grade:  Sixth grade science and math teachers met to research materials for the implementation of the NGSS, review students’ progress using the Math in Focus program and collaborated on ways to support students struggling in mathematics.  The team also discussed the progress of the implementation of the science notebooks.

Sixth grade ELA teachers attended the publisher presentations at the district office.

PE:  Physical Education focused on activities and methodologies for the various grade levels. Time was spent on assessments.

Special Education:  The RSP teacher met with her RSP partner to discuss various special education issues. The most important topic discussed with how to implement Response to Intervention (RTI) strategies with students who have not, or possibly will not qualify for special education.

ELD:  The three elementary ELD teachers met with the director.  They discussed the updating of the reclassification criteria. More information is needed to determine inclusion of DWA scores and Fountas and Pinnell data.  A meeting will be arranged to gain more expertise with Fountas and Pinnell.  A variety of successful supplemental materials were reviewed and considered for re-purchase this year.  Pass/fail grading policies for students at CELDT level 1 or 2 in grade levels 3-6 should be decided as a team with parents involved on an individual basis.

Library Specialists:  The library specialists met to read and report on new books. They discussed new holiday books, what they are planning for the election, and they discussed some of the character actions in children’s books.

Computer Specialists:  The computer specialists met at PCY and organized the lab. They discussed the 3D printer lessons that they are going to cover and the Google CS First lessons.  It was decided to have the rep from MakerBot printers meet with them on the next Collaboration day in November.



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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Daily Highlights from Halloween Haunt Spirit Week

Daily Highlights from Halloween Haunt Spirit Week

This week, the LCE Lions are gearing up for their biggest fundraiser of the year--The Halloween Haunt! Every year, the LCE PTA provides this highly anticipated extravaganza!  This year's Haunt will be held on Saturday, October 22, 2016, from 10am to 4pm, on the LCE campus. 

Leading up to the big day, students and staff are already dressing up in fun, whimsical ways! (Great practice for the costume contest...)

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LCE Adults Learning Together

LCE Adults Learning Together

By Principal Emily Blaney

This summer, a group of LCE parents met regularly with Principal Emily Blaney and LCE’s Library Specialist, Kay Bahrami, to talk about a wonderful book called Mindset for Parents: Strategies to Encourage Growth Mindset in Kids by Mary Kay Ricci and Margaret Lee. Many other LCE parents who couldn’t attend the book club meetings read this book on their own. Mindsets for Parents follows the principles developed by Carol Dweck in her book, Mindset. Learning about growth mindsets vs. fixed mindsets is something the LCE staff has been doing since last year. We have learned that success can be achieved by persevering, learning from failure, and practice.  This learning resonates if one has a growth mindset as opposed to a fixed mindset, which conversely equates success to innate talents or to a “you either have it or you don’t” point of view. The book discussed ways that parents can change their own mindsets and the mindsets of their children. It also included brain research on how we can strengthen our neural pathways by practicing difficult tasks over and over again. Book club members had great feedback, including the following:
“I have been trying to catch myself whenever I tell my daughter that she is not a ‘natural’ at something... The most important take away for me was to pay attention, all the time, about the message I am giving and to rephrase those messages in a way that would teach my daughter that as long as she works hard at something and applies herself to it, she is going to benefit from it.” - LCE Parent

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