School Campus Improvement Plan Gets Plentiful Feedback

Lindsay Hayward, one of the project designers overseeing the development of La Cañada Unified School District’s building facilities master plan, said she’s never had more early-stage community feedback than on this project.
“Anywhere we left a blank where anyone could fill in an answer, I’ve never received so much input in any district that we’ve worked in,” Hayward told the Governing Board during Tuesday’s meeting. “And it was all fantastic. Whether or not it applied to the question at hand, it was all helpful information.”
Her firm, LPA Inc., expects to field more ideas at a town hall meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 23, at La Cañada High School. The interactive, informational session will offer an overview of the first draft of the plan, said Superintendent Wendy Sinnette, who along with board President Dan Jeffries encouraged public participation.
Following the forthcoming master plan diagram, community poll and report on cost estimates, LPA is expected to deliver a final document in July. The plan could serve as a precursor for a general obligation bond measure in November.
On Tuesday, Hayward and her colleague, architect Rick Musto, offered preliminary highlights that reflected ideas culled from the district’s school sites — including a popular fill-in-the-blank response that dealt with creating additional workspace.
The wide-ranging master plan — which serves, Musto said, as a “10,000-foot” look — also addresses potential improvements ranging from new bleachers and lockers at LCHS to parking improvements at La Cañada Elementary School.
It also takes a look at the technological infrastructure in order to support “21st-century learning and making sure classrooms can teach kids for the foreseeable future,” Musto said.
On Tuesday, the board also indicated it will support the district’s plan to consult LPA architects for services beyond the compilation of the facilities master plan. The board will vote at its next meeting, on Jan. 31, about whether to put in place a limited agreement to work with the group on recommendations for improvements separate from the plan.

CHALLENGE SUCCESS

District representatives also recommended that the public attend the Jan. 17 meeting focused on Challenge Success initiatives. It’s scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the LCHS auditorium.
Co-founder Denise Pope will lead a presentation about Stanford University’s Challenge Success program, which for the past 12 years has worked with more than 130 high-performing middle and high schools striving to implement practice and policies that improve both academic engagement and student well-being.
LCUSD was selected to begin working with the program this academic year, sending a small contingent of educators, administrators, teachers, parents and students from LCHS and LCHS 7/8 to Stanford University for a conference this past fall.
“Challenge Success believes that our society has become too focused on test scores and performance, leaving little time for kids to develop the necessary skills to become resilient, ethical and engaged learners,” Sinnette said. “[It] will help us to provide families, teachers and administrators with information and strategies to create more balance and academically fulfilling lives for our kids.”

MATH UPDATES

Board members voted to add two new math courses: LC Math 3 and LC Math 3 Advanced, which have been created to better align with Common Core State Standards. Last year, the district introduced LC Math 1 and LC Math 1 Advanced; this year, LCHS has added LC Math 3 and LC Math 2 Advanced and now, with board approval, the next courses in the sequence will be offered next year.
The board also expressed its support for the adoption of a new math textbook, McGraw Hill-Glencoe: Algebra 2, Common Core Edition. LCHS Associate Principal Jim Cartnal explained that after reviewing a variety of options, the math department determined that the selection best met the needs of students and teachers. Board members will vote at their next meeting.
Board member Brent Kuszyk was not in attendance Tuesday.

ASSISTANCE
LEAGUE RATE

The board also voted 4-0 to approve a $10,000 increase to the rate charged to the Assistance League of Flintridge, which has offered summer school to the community since 1978. Sinnette said the hike — previously agreed to by the group — results from the additional tech support that’s being provided during the summer enrichment sessions.

DATE CHANGE

The board agreed to move its meeting next month to Feb. 15 from Feb. 21 due to a scheduling conflict with district administrators.

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