Flintridge Prep Falls to Pasadena Poly in League

First published in the Oct. 7 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

Polytechnic’s varsity girls’ volleyball team took care of business and swept host Flintridge Prep, 25-22, 25-21 and 25-15, in a league match on Monday.
Poly’s Emily Wen recorded a match-high 21 kills as Flintridge Prep had no answer for her powerful attack. She also had seven assists, four digs, one block and one ace, helping her team move its record to 7-1 in league play (12-2 overall).
“[Wen] is very consistent, and I think that’s what we can rely on her for,” said Katrina Damasco-Dicipulo, Poly’s head coach. “She comes in almost every game and gives it her best, and Emily is … a leader by example on the court. That’s why we love her and turn to her in most of our matches.”
Continue reading “Flintridge Prep Falls to Pasadena Poly in League”

District Updates COVID-19 Safety Plan

First published in the Sept. 30 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The La Cañada Unified School District modified its reopening and safety plan for the year in an effort to mitigate any more possible disruptions to in-person instruction due to COVID-19.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health recently gave schools the option of adjusting their quarantine policy to allow unvaccinated students in kindergarten through 12th grade who were exposed to an asymptomatic person testing positive with the coronavirus during a school day to remain on campus. Unvaccinated students who are in close contact with a positive case while at school are not required to go home and quarantine as long as both were seen wearing their masks properly. The exposed unvaccinated student is required to wear their mask indoors and outdoors except when eating or drinking. They also must practice social distancing whenever their mask is off.
Continue reading “District Updates COVID-19 Safety Plan”

La Cañada Defeats South Pasadena, 14-4

First published in the Sept. 30 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

La Cañada High School’s varsity girls’ tennis team cruised to a 14-4 Rio Hondo League victory against visiting South Pasadena on Tuesday afternoon. Six Spartans earned sweeps en route to their second league victory of the season.
LCHS’ No. 1 singles player, Maya Urata, was immaculate, winning each of her sets, 6-0, against Tigers Talia Yoo, Kyra Campbell and Claire Chen. La Cañada’s No. 2 singles player, Maren Urata, won sets against the same opponents by scores of 6-0, 6-1 and 6-0, respectively. South Pasadena’s Campbell and Chen earned 6-1 and 6-3 wins, respectively, over La Cañada’s Nicole Sorensen.
Continue reading “La Cañada Defeats South Pasadena, 14-4”

LCUSD Defends DEI Initiative, Approves Oversight

First published in the Sept. 30 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board dedicated the majority of its five-hour meeting Tuesday to formally address the elephant in the classroom that has become critical race theory amid efforts to create curriculum including diversity, equity and inclusion.
Some stakeholders have voiced concerns and reignited accusations regarding whether critical race theory — an academic movement developed decades ago that examines the dynamics of how race and racism are expressed throughout American history and its institutions, especially law — is being taught in the classroom. A series of edited videos was leaked online in early August, allegedly showing a private book club meeting among La Cañada Elementary School teachers and administrators discussing “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism” by Robin DeAngelo, a professor who researched whiteness studies and critical discourse analysis.
Continue reading “LCUSD Defends DEI Initiative, Approves Oversight”

LCHS Student Receives Heart Association Scholarship

First published in the Sept. 23 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

Jenna Milbrodt

Jenna Milbrodt of La Cañada High School is among five high school students who were awarded $1,000 scholarships by the American Heart Association in recognition of their commitment to wellness and community health.
The association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all, offers an in-school fundraising program that prepares students for success by offering leadership development opportunities, community service hours and a college application booster in addition to supporting their physical and emotional well-being.
Juniors and seniors across the country who participated in their in-school or virtual American Heart Challenge program for the 2020-21 school year were eligible for the scholarship program. Continue reading “LCHS Student Receives Heart Association Scholarship”

PCR, PCY Named Blue Ribbon Schools

First published in the Sept. 23 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The La Cañada Unified School District prides itself on delivering a robust education, and it received affirmation of such work Tuesday as two of its elementary schools were recognized as National Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education, a coveted honor given to 325 schools nationwide.
Palm Crest and Paradise Canyon elementary schools were among 28 California schools to be recognized by Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona for their “academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.” Continue reading “PCR, PCY Named Blue Ribbon Schools”

To Keep Campuses Open, LCUSD Widens Testing for Virus

First published in the Sept. 2 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

At the suggestion of community members and medical experts, the La Cañada Unified School District will update its campus reopening and safety plan and take extra measures to mitigate the possibility of coronavirus transmission on campuses.
The LCUSD Governing Board unanimously approved stricter health protocols recommended by the district staff in a meeting on Monday. Superintendent Wendy Sinnette said the reopening of schools for in-person instruction was “hugely successful but extremely challenging, given the surge of COVID-19 infections as a result of the Delta variant.” Continue reading “To Keep Campuses Open, LCUSD Widens Testing for Virus”

Edited Video Reignites Debate Over School Diversity Plan

First published in the Sept. 2 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The La Cañada Unified School District’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiative once again took center stage at a Governing Board meeting on Monday, with stakeholders voicing their concerns — and in some cases launching accusations — regarding whether critical race theory is being taught in the classroom.

The debate was recently resurrected when an anonymous account with the username of “vlancer” posted a series of edited videos which allegedly show a private, virtual book club meeting among La Cañada Elementary School teachers and administrators. The videos seemingly depict the staff discussing “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism” by Robin DeAngelo, a professor who researched whiteness studies and critical discourse analysis. Continue reading “Edited Video Reignites Debate Over School Diversity Plan”

Back to School: Students’ Resocialization and Psychology

Annette Ermshar, CEO of Dr. Ermshar & Associates

While we find ourselves grappling with the new norms of our changing world, a return to a regular school year for our students is imminent. Youth are transitioning back to a traditional classroom-based academic year with regular school-based and extra-curricular activities. This transition is certain to have implications for resocialization and for the ever-shifting identity development that naturally occurs in childhood and adolescence.
School provides important opportunities for critical development, not only for academic advancement, but also for socializing, peer support, experiencing memorable events and moments, and self-expression. Certainly the increased isolation and removal from typical socialization that has resulted from the pandemic may have short- and long-term consequences that we still cannot fully know.

Continue reading “Back to School: Students’ Resocialization and Psychology”

LCUSD Celebrates Full Return to School

Photo by Mary Emily Myers / Outlook Valley Sun La Cañada High seniors enjoyed returning to a normal, five-day bell schedule and were welcomed with an early breakfast hosted by ASB, which includes Katharine Franklin (front row, from left), ASB President Isabella Oh, Leslie Dick, Shreya Anand, Emma Donaghy, Shaina Clorfeine and Nicole Kim. Back: Axel Frame, Jack Kim, Andrew Shaklan, Ty Reynolds, Brandon Cho, Sophia Penuela, Brooke Cooper and Niki Samudrala.

The La Cañada Unified School District officially reopened for business on Monday, giving students and teachers a semblance of normal with a five-day-a-week bell schedule for the first time in 17 months.
“It was great,” La Cañada High School Principal Jim Cartnal told the Outlook Valley Sun on Tuesday. “I checked in with the kids all day Monday and [Tuesday] and the general sense was that it is super great to be back. Students enjoyed meeting their teachers and being back in the rhythm of school.”
For some, it was a whole new experience. From transitional kindergarteners to 7th- and 10th-graders, some students had never set foot on the campus, let alone attend a class in person at their new school site.

Continue reading “LCUSD Celebrates Full Return to School”