District OKs Cloud-Based Security System

First published in the Jan. 13 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The La Cañada Unified School District took a major step in beefing up its security at all school sites with the Governing Board’s approval of a contract that will replace the existing system with one that is modern and cloud-based.
Board members voted 5-0 in favor of purchasing hardware, software and a 10-year licensing agreement from Verkada, a California company that specializes in cloud-based security systems. The total cost amounts to $508,706. The district will also require additional wiring for the cameras, which is estimated at $189,759, but La Cañada will seek funding from the federal government through the Schools and Libraries Program, which was created to give discounts to schools looking to make telecommunications and information services upgrades.
Continue reading “District OKs Cloud-Based Security System”

LCUSD’s COVID Precautions Pay Off

First published in the Jan. 13 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

One week removed from having to postpone the return to in-person instruction following the winter break due to a concerning number of COVID-19 positive cases, the La Cañada Unified School District had better news for stakeholders during the Governing Board meeting on Tuesday.
The precautions taken worked, with the positivity rate dropping from 10% last week to 1.8% on Monday. After having nearly 300 students and staff test positive for the coronavirus at testing sites on Jan. 3 and 4, the district distributed at-home COVID-19 test kits provided by Los Angeles County to families and staff and asked them to test on Sunday and submit the results by the evening.
Continue reading “LCUSD’s COVID Precautions Pay Off”

County Issues Stricter COVID Rules for Schools

First published in the Jan. 6 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health revised its health order for schools last weekend in an effort to combat a dramatic spike in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations across Southern California since Christmas.
All school employees are now required to wear medical grade masks — such as surgical or KN95 masks — while working and the county suggests that students also wear them.
Continue reading “County Issues Stricter COVID Rules for Schools”

It Was a Year of Living Hesitantly

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

The year 2021 is coming to a close much like it did in 2020: with a rise in COVID-19 cases due to families throughout the nation gathering for the holidays amid the discovery of a more transmissible Omicron variant — which has supplanted Delta as the dominant strain.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported nearly 12,000 new coronavirus cases on Christmas, a stern reminder that the pandemic is still very much present and will likely remain in our lives in 2022. The disease has claimed more than 815,000 lives in the United States alone and continues to affect municipalities, businesses and everyday life across the world.
Continue reading “It Was a Year of Living Hesitantly”

Governing Board Appoints Jeffries as President

First published in the Dec. 16 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

In the La Cañada Unified School District’s annual organizational meeting Tuesday, the Governing Board unanimously voted to have Dan Jeffries to serve as president in 2022 and appointed Joe Radabaugh and Josh Epstein as vice president and clerk, respectively.
Jeffries commended outgoing Board President Kaitzer Puglia for her leadership during a difficult time.

Continue reading “Governing Board Appoints Jeffries as President”

LCUSD Board, Families Briefed on DEI Practices

First published in the Dec. 9 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

Four months into the school year and the La Cañada Unified School District is already taking big steps toward the implementation of its diversity, equity and inclusion initiative.
The Governing Board held a special meeting on Tuesday to be counseled in restorative practices and culturally responsive education by Aaron Bruce, a consultant hired by the district six weeks ago to assist in La Cañada’s three-year DEI plan.
Continue reading “LCUSD Board, Families Briefed on DEI Practices”

Mental Health Bills Focus on Students’ Needs

First published in the Nov. 4 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

More than a year of distance learning took a toll on students and educators after schools shut down in March 2020 to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and California is committed to helping them rebound mentally and emotionally.
Gov. Gavin Newsom recently signed a $123.9 billion, 22-bill package to develop mental and behavioral health support as well as expand broadband access — a lack of which proved problematic for students during distance learning. The package represents the highest per-pupil funding in history, according to the governor’s office.
Continue reading “Mental Health Bills Focus on Students’ Needs”

LCF Educational Foundation Donates $2.1M to LCUSD

First published in the Oct. 28 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The La Cañada Flintridge Educational Foundation — with a boost of $100,000 from its endowment fund — contributed $2.1 million to the La Cañada Unified School District at last Tuesday’s LCUSD Governing Board meeting.
“We’re very, very grateful to the volunteers and staff, and all their creative ways to fundraise in such a difficult environment,” said LCUSD Superintendent Wendy Sinnette. “LCUSD would not be the school district it is today without the educational foundation,” she said, noting that the funds allow the district to maintain optimum class sizes, wellness programs and many other programs.

LCUSD Goal: Helping Students Catch Up After Distance Learning

First published in the Oct. 28 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The coronavirus pandemic has posed numerous challenges to students and educators throughout the nation since March 2020, and now the La Cañada Unified School District has made it a priority to begin the recovery process.
The district Governing Board this week unanimously approved Superintendent Wendy Sinnette’s goals for the 2021-22 academic year, two of which focus on helping students continue to make the transition from remote and hybrid learning to regular in-person instruction.
Continue reading “LCUSD Goal: Helping Students Catch Up After Distance Learning”