LCUSD Board President Talks Bond, Student Wellness

Kaitzer Puglia

La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board’s new president knows education.
A professor of child development and education at Pasadena City College, Kaitzer Puglia has a uniquely thorough understanding of the field. She’s studied it, she’s stood at the front of the class, she’s opened private schools, she’s helped guide her daughters’ academic careers and, yes, she’s served on the school board of one of California’s top-ranked districts for the past four years.
In November, she was elected to a second term on the Governing Board, buoyed by many in the La Cañada Flintridge community who supported her and her campaign as she mourned the loss of her mother, Arpine Hovasapian, just after filing paperwork to run for re-election. Continue reading “LCUSD Board President Talks Bond, Student Wellness”

LCHS Family Lawsuit vs. School District Set for Trial Jan. 22

The family of a La Cañada High School special education student is suing the school district, claiming that negligence by district employees resulted in the boy being seriously injured when he fell from the bleachers during an assembly on May 20, 2016 in Hotchkin Gymnasium.
The case is scheduled to go to trial Jan. 22. Attorney Robert Glassman will argue that the district’s failure to install guardrails on the bleachers from which Ethan Kalnins, who suffers from cerebral palsy, fell. The fall caused a fractured hip and led to resulting physical, emotional and psychological duress, Glassman said.

Guardrails have been added to the bleachers in Hotchkin Gymnasium at La Cañada High School following a lawsuit that stemmed from the fall that injured student Ethan Kalnins, who suffers from cerebral palsy.

Continue reading “LCHS Family Lawsuit vs. School District Set for Trial Jan. 22”

Church Leaders, Educators Discuss Youth Challenges

Photo courtesy Todd Reynolds
Among those who attended a recent summit of church and educational leaders are (front row, from left) Wendy Sinnette, Kip Glazer, Rosemary Johnston, D.J. Severin, Tanya Wilson, Sister Celeste Botello, Allison Clay, Father Christopher Iwancio, Will Moffitt, Lucinda Guarino and the Rev. Chuck Osburn. Back: Connie Knight, Peter Bachmann, Ian McFeat, Katie Phillips-Rector, David Gill, Jim Cartnal, the Rev. Anthony Keller, Rick Callister, Kyle Sears, Andrew Shaw, Eddie Mariel, the Rev. Msgr. Antonio Cacciapuoti and the Rev. Jeff Hoffmeyer.

Church leaders in La Cañada Flintridge recently invited educational leaders to lunch at La Cañada Presbyterian Church. The purpose was to better understand the challenges facing today’s youth and to identify some ways the local churches can be more helpful to students and their families.
Principals, headmasters, counselors and disciplinarians shared many of the most acute and many of the most pervasive challenges their students are facing in their learning experience. The collective wisdom of these educational leaders proved valuable to church leaders and will help them reshape their efforts with young people and their families going forward.
Representatives from La Cañada Unified School District, St. Francis High School, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, Flintridge Preparatory School and the Community Prevention Council had unique perspectives and shared some common challenges — stress, anxiety and depression were common, as were various destructive coping mechanisms (substance abuse, technology and social media abuse, and self-isolation).
Continue reading “Church Leaders, Educators Discuss Youth Challenges”

LCUSD Receives ‘Very High’ Ratings in Education Performance

Photo by Mirjam Swanson / OUTLOOK La Cañada Unified School District will use data provided by the California School Dashboard system to assess growth in various areas.
Photo by Mirjam Swanson / OUTLOOK
La Cañada Unified School District will use data provided by the California School Dashboard system to assess growth in various areas.

The California Department of Education sent out report cards last week, and as usual, La Cañada Unified School District earned high marks. The district received the highest rating possible in nine of 11 measures that are intended to offer a thorough analysis of educational goals.
The new California School Dashboard report, released on Dec. 7, indicated that LCUSD students’ scores slipped slightly in some areas, but they still maintained “very high” performances in the prioritized areas of English language arts, mathematics, graduation rates and English-learning progress. The district’s low level of suspension rates increased slightly. Continue reading “LCUSD Receives ‘Very High’ Ratings in Education Performance”

City, LCUSD Board Move Elections to 2020

At the insistence of the state, the City Council and La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board on Tuesday approved resolutions to consolidate their future elections with statewide elections, a shift that will set election dates for even years and add a fifth year to the four-year terms of both sitting council and board members.
The resolutions are in response to Senate Bill 415, signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2015 aimed at increasing local voter turnout while decreasing local election costs.
The City Council will push back its next municipal election to March 2020, a year later than the previously slated March 2019 election date. LCUSD’s next Governing Board election will be held in November 2020, instead of the previously scheduled November 2019 date. Continue reading “City, LCUSD Board Move Elections to 2020”

Sagal’s School Board Term Ends, Radabaugh’s Begins

The La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board swears in (from left) Joe Radabaugh, Kaitzer Puglia and Dan Jeffries.

Following last month’s election, the La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board on Tuesday welcomed Joe Radabaugh, welcomed the return of Dan Jeffries and Kaitzer Puglia and bid farewell to David Sagal, who opted not to run again and finished his first and only four-year term.
Superintendent Wendy Sinnette thanked Sagal, a Warner Bros. executive and music arts proponent, for efforts that included serving as board president during a contentious and ultimately successful contract negotiation with teachers in 2016. She also announced that he and his wife, McNally, will receive the district’s distinguished Golden Apple Award later this year in recognition for their service. Continue reading “Sagal’s School Board Term Ends, Radabaugh’s Begins”

LCUSD Reaches for the Stars

Photo by Mirjam Swanson / OUTLOOK Jeffrey Nee, a representative of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory education department, welcomes visitors to the JPL Dome during last week’s Family STEAM Night at Palm Crest Elementary School.
Photo by Mirjam Swanson / OUTLOOK
Jeffrey Nee, a representative of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory education department, welcomes visitors to the JPL Dome during last week’s Family STEAM Night at Palm Crest Elementary School.

Billed, appropriately, as a star-studded event, the district’s Family STEAM Night last week at Palm Crest Elementary school wowed 150 attendees, including 4th-grade science fan Aaron Kang, who came to build on his already flourishing astronomical expertise.
“Yeah, this is cool,” he said. “Stars are really cool.”
He and his brother, 1st-grader Elias Kang, spent the evening at school because they wanted to check out telescopes, an iPad stargazing app and, definitely, the JPL Dome stationed inside the school’s multi-purpose room.
Jeffrey Nee, a representative of the JPL education department, led the galactic tour inside the dome — a blown-up tent inside which a projection of space offered 30 stargazers at a time a far-out ride. Continue reading “LCUSD Reaches for the Stars”

Jeffries, Radabaugh, Puglia Earn School Board Seats

Voters on Tuesday elected Joe Radabaugh and incumbents Dan Jeffries and Kaitzer Puglia to sit on the La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board for the upcoming four-year term.
Jeffries, the current board president and a longtime prosecutor with the L.A. City Attorney’s office, was the leading vote-getter with 2,104 votes as of Wednesday morning, according to preliminary results posted by the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder. Continue reading “Jeffries, Radabaugh, Puglia Earn School Board Seats”

Measure LCF Passes With 71% Approval

With overwhelming support, Measure LCF passed Tuesday. According to preliminary figures, the $149 million general obligation bond garnered approval from 71.33% of voters; it needed at least 55% to pass.
“We’re honestly blown away by the support,” said Josh Epstein, co-chair of the Yes on LCF campaign, adding that turnout in La Cañada Flintridge eclipsed totals reported elsewhere in L.A. County. Continue reading “Measure LCF Passes With 71% Approval”

Nearby Arrest Prompts Lockdown at PCY

Paradise Canyon Elementary School was locked down for about 15 minutes Monday morning as Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Deputies struggled to subdue a suspect who reportedly was sleeping in a stolen Prius near campus, according to Lt. Mark Slater.
Deputies responded at 8 a.m. to reports that a man was asleep in the car, blocking traffic at Gould Avenue and Paulette Place. The vehicle was reported stolen in Clairmont on Oct. 16, Slater said. Continue reading “Nearby Arrest Prompts Lockdown at PCY”