LCUSD Listens to Parents’ Concerns on Devil’s Gate Project

The La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board on Tuesday took time to hear from concerned parents over the initial process of sediment removal from Hahamongna Watershed Park behind the Devil’s Gate Dam to increase flood protection and to restore habitat within the Arroyo Seco Watershed.
During the discussion, board members said that they were writing down questions and suggestions of attendees and that they plan to measure the air quality surrounding the schools during the sediment removal project, known as the “Big Dig,” with an air-quality monitor. Continue reading “LCUSD Listens to Parents’ Concerns on Devil’s Gate Project”

LCHS Challenge Success Set to Confront Student Pressure

Trying to get through school under the pressure of teenage social norms, good grades, high test scores and multiple extracurricular activities, all with the aim of gaining acceptance to a top-tier college, can feel a little like Sisyphus rolling a boulder uphill for La Cañada Unified School District students.
“LCHS is a very competitive school,” said Nicole Johnson, a 17-year-old senior. “We take pride in our grades and all of that. But it gets to the point where we’re like enemies. It’s not a very healthy environment. That’s why I really like Challenge Success. Because I want to create that community environment where we’re all trying to help each other and we can get there together.” Continue reading “LCHS Challenge Success Set to Confront Student Pressure”

LCHS Orchestras to Spotlight Work of Women Composers

Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK Jennifer Munday, La Cañada High School advanced orchestra director, instructs her musicians as they perform Yoko Shimomura’s “Kingdom Hearts.” They’re preparing for a concert on Oct. 17.
Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK
Jennifer Munday, La Cañada High School advanced orchestra director, instructs her musicians as they perform Yoko Shimomura’s “Kingdom Hearts.” They’re preparing for a concert on Oct. 17.

Toward the end of last year, La Cañada High School music instructor Jennifer Munday and LCHS 7/8 instrumental colleague Jimmie Myers were discussing the possibility of a concert featuring the music of women composers only.
“It’s just a thing that came up,” said advanced orchestra director Munday after a recent rehearsal. Both agreed it would be a great idea, and she later determined that “we really need to do this.” Continue reading “LCHS Orchestras to Spotlight Work of Women Composers”

Student Wellness, Safety Upgrades Figure in LCUSD Goals

Wendy Sinnette
Wendy Sinnette

Ensuring students’ mental and emotional health as part of their overall safety, allocating money from bond measures and retaining accreditation for La Cañada High School were key goals that gained the approval of the La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board on Tuesday night.
Superintendent Wendy Sinnette, who presented the goals for the academic year, said she and the board had worked on them since July, adding that they incorporated ideas that came from subcommittees.
Such subcommittees tackle issues including campus security, parking and traffic; whether to open or close the LCHS campus during lunch; and how to communicate with the community. Continue reading “Student Wellness, Safety Upgrades Figure in LCUSD Goals”

LCUSD Scores Big in California Student Assessment

La Cañada Unified School District has outdone itself once again, continuing its upswing in academic performance and outpacing other high-achieving local school districts to top the statewide charts in English and finish second in math, according to test scores released this week by the California Department of Education.
The California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress System mean scale score results show that LCUSD scored in first, second or third place in the state in all grade levels in the testing for English language arts. The district improved its overall English score from 2017 by 1.89 percentage points. Continue reading “LCUSD Scores Big in California Student Assessment”

National Merit Semifinalists Win Honors, Could Gain Even More

Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK La Cañada High School seniors who recently became National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalists include Kevin Mo (front row, from left), Kyle Lee, Jared Cheng, Harrison Cho, Andrew Kwon and Justin Hyon. Back: Ryan Choi, Amanda Laus, Diya Razdan, Jared Ahn, Veronica Muller and Andrew Chae.
Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK
La Cañada High School seniors who recently became National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalists include Kevin Mo (front row, from left), Kyle Lee, Jared Cheng, Harrison Cho, Andrew Kwon and Justin Hyon. Back: Ryan Choi, Amanda Laus, Diya Razdan, Jared Ahn, Veronica Muller and Andrew Chae.

The 12 La Cañada High School seniors named semifinalists in the prestigious National Merit Scholarship Program recently had some tasty treats — think small cartons of orange juice, blueberry muffins and Smarties — to recognize their talents. But they could be in line for a greater award.
Students who were honored recently included Jared Ahn, Andrew Chae, Jared Cheng, Harrison Cho, Ryan Choi, Justin Hyon, Andrew Kwon, Amanda Laus, Kyle Lee, Kevin Mo, Veronica Muller and Diya Razdan.
They are among approximately 16,000 semifinalists nationwide, or less than 1% of U.S. high school seniors, according to an announcement from National Merit Scholarship Program. The semifinalists, who include the highest-scoring entrants in each state, took the 2017 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, according to the release. Those who later become finalists would be eligible for scholarships through the program and other sources.
Continue reading “National Merit Semifinalists Win Honors, Could Gain Even More”

May 7/8 Athletes Skip P.E.? LCUSD Studies Issue

Whether LCHS 7/8 students in competitive sports should be granted their request to be excused from physical education because of injuries or other health concerns was an issue taken up by the La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board this week.
How to offer an independent study education course to support such student athletes — if that’s even possible — was a related question at the board’s meeting on Tuesday night.
The amount of time the athlete trains, the athlete’s objective (to reach the Olympics, play in college, etc.) and participation in three sports all figured into questions asked at the meeting.
“We can at least start a conversation,” said board President Kaitzer Puglia.
There is no alternative to a physical education class and excusing students from P.E. does not comply with the California Education Code, according to the meeting’s agenda report.
Continue reading “May 7/8 Athletes Skip P.E.? LCUSD Studies Issue”

LCUSD Elementary Schools Star in Ranking of County’s Schools

The La Cañada Unified School District long has enjoyed a solid reputation for academics, and now a review website has ranked the system’s elementary schools among the best in Los Angeles County.
Palm Crest Elementary School ranked No. 2, La Cañada Elementary School was No. 3 and Paradise Canyon Elementary landed at No. 4 among public schools in the county, according to Niche.com.
No. 1 was Carver Elementary School in San Marino.
Last year, Palm Crest ranked No. 4, with La Cañada at No. 5 and Paradise Canyon finishing at No. 9.
Continue reading “LCUSD Elementary Schools Star in Ranking of County’s Schools”

LCHS Hopes to Build Off First Victory in Nearly Two Years

It was a long game between the La Cañada High School varsity football team and New Design Watts of Los Angeles last Friday. Penalties and injuries often stopped the clock, making the first half last 1 hour, 34 minutes.
But the Spartan players and coaches relished every single minute of it. For the first time in nearly two years, they knew the feeling of building a lead and maintaining it for a victory.
“It feels so good,” said senior quarterback Matt Bromley, who was part of last year’s winless squad. “It’s been 14 games since we last won. We put in so much work in the offseason with everyone showing up since the beginning of spring. It’s such a relief to get a win and actually earn it.”
Not only did the Spartans earn it, but they deserved it with their attitude the past year despite being on the wrong side of the history of the program. La Cañada lost a record 14 consecutive games before defeating New Design Watts, 37-6, but the players always kept their heads up and battled, regardless of the score.
Continue reading “LCHS Hopes to Build Off First Victory in Nearly Two Years”

Spartans Shut Down Knights, Snap 14-Game Losing Streak

Photo by Oscar Areliz / OUTLOOK
Matt Bromley, Jacob Hardy and Dezin Delgatty celebrate La Cañada’s first victory since the Spartans’ 28-13 win over San Marino on Nov. 4, 2016.

The La Cañada High School varsity football team was determined to end its losing streak, and its resolve showed on the opening kickoff against visiting New Design Watts of Los Angeles last Friday.
Dezin Delgatty returned a pooch kick 57 yards for a touchdown, giving the Spartans a lead that they wouldn’t relinquish in a 37-6 nonleague victory last Friday.
Jason Sarceda finally picked up his first win as LCHS head coach and snapped a 14-game losing streak that plagued the program.
“It feels really good,” Sarceda said. “I’m proud of our guys. We’ve been working a lot more on eliminating special teams errors. Our goal this game was to have zero turnovers.”
Continue reading “Spartans Shut Down Knights, Snap 14-Game Losing Streak”