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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

LCUSD Has Plan to Keep Campuses Safe From Virus

After 18 months in which it mostly provided virtual instruction — with a stretch of limited on-campus education — the La Cañada Unified School District is ready to return to a traditional, five-day in-person schedule beginning Monday, Aug. 16, with a few notable differences in its health and safety plan.
Meeting in person for only the second time since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, the LCUSD Governing Board voted 5-0 on Tuesday in favor of adopting the district School Reopening and Safety Plan for the 2021-22 school year that adheres to the recommendations made by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

Continue reading “LCUSD Has Plan to Keep Campuses Safe From Virus”

School Board Discusses Students’ Return to LCHS

The La Cañada Unified School District is one of the few districts in Los Angeles County to have brought young learners back for limited in-person learning last November and remained open during an alarming pandemic surge. It has since welcomed the remainder of its elementary school students and is in the process of having students in grades 7-12.
However, that good news, which was presented during an LCUSD governing board meeting on Tuesday, quickly soured when a number of La Cañada Flintridge parents voiced their frustrations over the district’s approach to reopening and asked the governing board to consider a full reopening with five days of in-person instruction.
Superintendent Wendy Sinnette assured community members that the district is committed to fully reopening with a regular bell schedule for the 2021-22 school year and will continue to find a way to expand in-person instruction for the final few months of the current semester. However, she added that such a task cannot be accomplished if parents continue to harass her and staff with messages.
Continue reading “School Board Discusses Students’ Return to LCHS”

LCUSD To Provide ‘Rigorous, Culturally Responsive’ DEI Program

The La Cañada Unified School District is close to finalizing and implementing its three-year diversity, equity and inclusion plan.
Superintendent Wendy Sinnette presented to the governing board and community members on Tuesday the first reading of a mission statement — crafted by a committee that includes board members, staff, teachers and students — and reasons for the DEI initiative.
She felt that it was best to approach DEI through the lens of a student followed by that of its staff members.
“The students are our priority, and the staff work will feed into meeting these objectives for students,” said Sinnette, who hopes to provide a revised statement and more details about the district’s three-year plan to the board in the next month. “It really is the umbrella of students followed closely by staff and the support that we provide staff to make sure that our students are protected and that the environments that we are creating for students are fully inclusive, equitable and diverse.”

Continue reading “LCUSD To Provide ‘Rigorous, Culturally Responsive’ DEI Program”