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”

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”

School Board Likes Late Start in 2018-19

After hearing that students at La Cañada High School are getting more sleep this school year, Governing Board members voted unanimously Tuesday to recommend that the school bring back its “late start” bell schedule next fall.
For 2017-18, La Cañada Unified School District became one of the first districts in the state to start the school day at its high school at 8:30 a.m. (later than the previous 7:45 a.m. start). The initiative was inspired by the Challenge Success program, which is focused on improving students’ overall well-being.
A series of surveys were conducted and an oversight committee composed of students, parents, faculty and administrators met four times to evaluate the later start, said Jim Cartnal, executive director of pupil and personnel programs and services. Continue reading “School Board Likes Late Start in 2018-19”

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”

‘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”

Leininger Honored for Service to City

Photo by Mirjam Swanson / OUTLOOK
Longtime La Cañada Flintridge resident and educator Mike Leininger encouraged his audience to find ways to give back as he was recognized by the Noon Kiwanis Club as La Cañadan of the Year on Wednesday at Descanso Gardens’ Van de Kamp Hall.

Mike Leininger challenged the 110 people who came to lunch Wednesday, including grandsons Jeff and Johnny, to get involved in their community, citing a saying he learned as a coach at Bellflower High School: “What you do will speak so loudly,” he said, “I can’t hear a word you’re saying.”
Leininger’s actions since moving to La Cañada Flintridge 30 years ago this month with his family have spoken volumes. Several accounts were shared by fellow community leaders during the Noon Kiwanis Club of La Cañada’s annual La Cañadan of the Year recognition luncheon at Descanso Gardens’ Van de Kamp Hall.
For 26 years, Leininger was a member of the La Cañada Unified School District, moving up the ranks as a La Cañada High School assistant principal, principal and then as LCUSD assistant superintendent. He earned his doctorate of education from the University of La Verne during that span and was known for hosting homecoming float building sessions in his front yard.
Continue reading “Leininger Honored for Service to City”

LCUSD Injury Lawsuit Settled Before Trial

The lawsuit by the family of a La Cañada High School student injured as a result of a fall from the La Cañada High School bleachers during a 2016 assembly was settled April 11, according to documents filed with the Superior Court of California.
The trial, which was continued three times, had been scheduled to begin April 17. Instead, La Cañada School District and attorneys representing student Ethan Kalnins reached a settlement. Continue reading “LCUSD Injury Lawsuit Settled Before Trial”

Delayed Again, LCHS Injury Trial Set for April 17

The trial involving a La Cañada High School student injured as a result of a fall from the school bleachers during an assembly was continued a third time Monday, said Robert Glassman, the attorney for the family of LCHS senior Ethan Kalnins.
Glassman said the trial, which he expects could last several weeks, now is set to begin on Tuesday, April 17, at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Los Angeles.
“We showed up to court ready to go and the lawyers for the district came up with another excuse for delaying this trial,” Glassman said Monday. “It’s quite frustrating and I voiced that to the judge this morning. I told him, ‘We really would like to see this trial start and they just keep coming up with one excuse after another for delaying the truth from coming out.’” Continue reading “Delayed Again, LCHS Injury Trial Set for April 17”

LCUSD Governing Board Considers More Safety Measures

The 17th school shooting in the nation this year occurred Tuesday morning at a high school in Maryland. On Tuesday night, concerned members of the La Cañada Unified School District community reconvened at a Governing Board meeting to talk security locally.
“Everything we can do, we will,” Superintendent Wendy Sinnette said.
That includes anything from inviting a pack of drug-sniffing dogs to visit the La Cañada High School campus to scheduling conversations with architects about fencing at all of the district’s traditionally open campuses. Continue reading “LCUSD Governing Board Considers More Safety Measures”