First published in the Sept. 2 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.
The La Cañada Unified School District’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiative once again took center stage at a Governing Board meeting on Monday, with stakeholders voicing their concerns — and in some cases launching accusations — regarding whether critical race theory is being taught in the classroom.
The debate was recently resurrected when an anonymous account with the username of “vlancer” posted a series of edited videos which allegedly show a private, virtual book club meeting among La Cañada Elementary School teachers and administrators. The videos seemingly depict the staff 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 “Edited Video Reignites Debate Over School Diversity Plan”
Hoping to cultivate student wellness, school district officials recommended at Tuesday’s Governing Board meeting that the district reintroduce a peer counseling elective for the upcoming academic year.
“The goal here is to have a class which, in essence, trains schools in peer counseling skills for about three quarters and the last quarter [students will] begin to work with students,” said Jim Cartnal, the La Cañada Unified School District’s executive director of pupil and personnel programs and services. Continue reading “LCHS Seeks to Reintroduce Peer Counseling Class”
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”
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”
Carrie Hetzel was appointed Paradise Canyon Elementary School Principal and Kristina Kalb was named assistant principal at La Cañada High School on Friday, May 18, when the members of the La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board voted to confirm both appointments at a special meeting. Both appointments will take effect on July 1. Continue reading “LCUSD Reorganizes Its Staff”
At a special meeting last Friday, the La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board discussed Measure LCF projects and oversight as district administrators gear up to begin implementing the Facilities Master Plan.
Discussion touched mostly on cash flow and priority-setting for nearly $30 million that will initially become available from the $149 million bond passed by voters last year. Continue reading “LCUSD Ready for Phase I of Facilities Improvements”
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”
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”
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”
Parents at Tuesday’s La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board meeting demanded to know whether their children would be safe attending La Cañada High School on Wednesday morning after a parent speaker shared that a student has allegedly made threats to the school on Instagram. Continue reading “LCUSD Parents Unleash Safety Fears at Board Meeting”