LCUSD Seeks to Improve Messaging to Community

Jamie Lewsadder, La Cañada Unified School District’s chief technology officer, said she learned recently that a relative’s school in Porterville was locked down when a LCUSD intern told her. He’d seen it on Twitter before Lewsadder or any of her family members learned of the situation, she said.
“So I really experienced that panic first-hand,” she said during Tuesday’s Governing Board meeting, at which she introduced a first draft of board policy revisions to improve LCUSD’s communication plan.
“We need to create a plan that allows us to have fast and reliable communication,” Lewsadder said. “News travels so fast; we have to be prepared for it.” Continue reading “LCUSD Seeks to Improve Messaging to Community”

LCHS Class of 2018 Is College Bound

Brent Kuszyk

By Brent Kuszyk
Special to The Outlook

One of the true highlights of serving on the LCUSD Governing Board is having the privilege of distributing diplomas to our graduating seniors each spring at graduation. Their sense of optimism and excitement is contagious.
The future looks very bright for our class of 2018 graduating seniors. This year our students will be disseminating around the country to 33 states as well as to South Korea and the United Kingdom. Of the 322 who reported matriculating to a college 202 (63%) will be attending institutions in the state of California. The second most popular destination is the state of Washington with 13 students headed to our northern neighbor. Among the students who will be attending two-year schools, Pasadena City College is the most common destination with 60 students. Continue reading “LCHS Class of 2018 Is College Bound”

LCUSD Task Force Tackles Student Safety, Traffic, Wellness

Photo by Mirjam Swanson / OUTLOOK
Superintendent Wendy Sinnette addresses the newly formed community task force at its first meeting last week on Thursday, May 24. The task force was created to help the La Cañada Unified School District improve its safety, security and student wellness policies.

The especially sobering thing about discussing safety, security and student well-being is how deep those conversations go, La Cañada Unified School District Superintendent Wendy Sinnette said last week during the first meeting of the district’s task force to address those topics.
“Everything’s connected,” she said. “And as soon as you talk about one thing, it makes you think of another. The work will never be done, but it’s really empowering to have such wonderful people here committed to doing the work.”
Twenty-three members of the community — including parents, students, administrators, teachers and staff members — joined district administrators and Governing Board members in the district’s meeting room on Thursday, May 24. They signed up for subcommittees and got an overview of what they’re expected to accomplish in the next year. Continue reading “LCUSD Task Force Tackles Student Safety, Traffic, Wellness”

PCY Principal Promoted to District Role

Debra Cradduck

Paradise Canyon Elementary School will have to share Debra Cradduck with the rest of La Cañada Unified School District after the school year ends.
The current PCY principal was appointed Tuesday to serve as the district’s executive director of personnel services, following the Governing Board’s unanimous approval.
“It’s pretty amazing, I’ve been here for eight years, so I’m definitely ready for a new challenge,” said Cradduck, a La Cañada High School graduate. “But I’m going to miss PCY.”

Cradduck’s new duties will include recruitment; coordinating assignments, promotions, leaves, transfers and retirements; managing evaluation programs; serving on the district’s negotiating team and much more. She’s scheduled to step into the new role at the close of the current school year, Superintendent Wendy Sinnette said. Continue reading “PCY Principal Promoted to District Role”

Local Investors Can Consider LCUSD Bonds

Representatives for Stifel Financial Corp. have been spending time recently in La Cañada Flintridge — where 71% of voters supported La Cañada Unified School District’s Measure LCF general obligation bond on the ballot last November — informing community members that the bond offering is expected to be available in the first half of May.
Their message to local constituents has been: “Basically, as voters, you approved this measure, the first part of which is coming onto the market, so we wanted to reach out and make sure to keep you in the loop,” said Hovick Babajanian, an associate vice president for Stifel Nicolaus & Co.
Babajanian grew up nearby in La Crescenta and spoke of frequent visits to See’s Candies and Sport Chalet. Continue reading “Local Investors Can Consider LCUSD Bonds”

‘Data Queen’ of LCUSD to Retire

Photo by Mirjam Swanson / OUTLOOK
Lindi Dreibelbis will retire from La Cañada Unified School District on June 29.

As titles go, Lindi Dreibelbis’ is substantial: She is (deep breath) La Cañada Unified School District’s Chief Director of Assessment, Research, Consolidated Programs and CALPADS.
Her duties put her in charge of state-mandated assessments and have her making reports to the state and federal government, as well as monitoring the state accountability system for school and district progress. She’s charged with pursuing grants, overseeing daily attendance practices and providing leadership for the English Language Development Program. She’s also tasked with maintaining individual-level data on student demographics, courses, discipline, assessments and staff assignments.
In essence, she’s the district’s “data queen.”
And on June 29, after 20 years with the district and 38 in the field of education, Dreibelbis plans to retire. Continue reading “‘Data Queen’ of LCUSD to Retire”

LCUSD’s Mathematics Battle Rages On

La Cañada Unified School District 4th- through 6th-grade students are diligently preparing for the fifth annual Mathzilla competition from 4:45-7:30 p.m on Thursday, May 3, at Palm Crest Elementary School.
About 200 students will vie for medals in the individual competition, which consists of a speed round and a problem-solving test.
After the individual competition, teams from each of the district’s three elementary schools will compete in the always exciting team relay competition. Palm Crest Elementary hopes to defend its title and the coveted Mathzilla team trophy on its home turf.
Continue reading “LCUSD’s Mathematics Battle Rages On”

LCHS Announces Franey as Girls’ Basketball Coach

Photo by UCSB Athletics
Jordan Franey

La Cañada High School has officially found the coach to take over its varsity girls’ basketball program after the La Cañada Unified School District approved the hiring of Jordan Franey on Tuesday.
Franey succeeds Sarah Beattie, who resigned as varsity girls’ basketball coach last month after three successful seasons.
Dean of Athletics Kristina Kalb said Franey’s knowledge of the school and community gave her an edge over the other candidates.
“It amazes me what people don’t know going into an interview,” Kalb said. “She was smart and had seen us in tournaments. She knew who we were and what makes us special and different. That’s important because not all schools are the same. What she shared with us matches our own vision of where we see the program going.”
Continue reading “LCHS Announces Franey as Girls’ Basketball Coach”

LCUSD Outlines Wide Range of Security Measures

The crowd was smaller than at the past few meetings, but the main topic remained the same — safety and security at school.
La Cañada Unified School District officials spent much of Tuesday’s Governing Board meeting, which had a large number of discussion topics, focused on security measures, from fencing to the formation of a task force.
Safety concerns were front of mind recently following the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, and also some drug-related incidents at La Cañada High School that resulted in arrests or hospitalization.
LCUSD detailed plans to dedicate funds from the $149 million Measure LCF bond — the first $30 million issuance of which could be approved by the County Board of Supervisors on May 9 — to begin the process of installing perimeter fencing at its three elementary school sites.
Continue reading “LCUSD Outlines Wide Range of Security Measures”