LCHS Among Best in U.S. News Annual Rankings

The U.S. News and World Report published its annual best high schools rankings last week and La Cañada High School made the grade with an exemplary scorecard of 98.74, placing it 10th out of 659 qualifying schools in Los Angeles and 27th out of 2,598 in the state.
Superintendent Wendy Sinnette was “thrilled” to congratulate LCHS for its “exceptional performance” and credited the students, LCUSD employees and families for the honor of being recognized by a high profile publication, which ranked La Cañada No. 225 in the nation out of 17,857 schools.
“LCUSD always looks to research-based indicators to assess our performance, and we recognize that this is just one measure, but we are proud of our high school’s achievement here and wish to recognize the performances of our students, teachers, staff and administration,” Sinnette said in a statement. “We are also grateful to our families for their support, which continually allows all of our schools to thrive.”
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Residents Rally for Solidarity Amid Rise in Anti-Asian Violence

In the wake of last week’s shootings at Atlanta-area spas, leaving eight people dead — six of them Asian women — a recent surge of xenophobia, hate and violent incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders across the nation is coming to light, and La Cañada Flintridge residents want to stand in solidarity.
As part of the nationwide call for an “Asian American Day of Action,” this Friday, LCF resident and La Cañada Elementary School mom Nirosha Ruwan is planning a family-friendly walk from the school to Memorial Park to recognize the rise of anti-Asian harassment and violence witnessed since the beginning of the pandemic. The event will be “kid-driven and kid-centric,” she said.
“We are trying to raise awareness in La Cañada and elsewhere, where people might not really understand that this is happening,” Ruwan said. “This is such a huge issue and we want to make sure kids and families know about it and that we stand in solidarity, that we will take a stand and not tolerate the rise of these incidents, as well as empower our kids to stand up when they see injustices.”
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Capitol Riot Becomes Teaching Moment at LCHS

Jim Cartnal had a Zoom meeting scheduled for 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 6. The La Cañada High School principal looked forward to talking to a group of students supporting the Challenge Success initiative, which promotes a balanced, academically fulfilling life for kids.
His eagerness quickly turned to concern as he was notified by friends and family of what was happening more than 2,600 miles away. A violent mob of supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the United States Capitol to disrupt the counting of electoral votes.
“Should we meet or just go home and focus on our families?” Cartnal thought. He ultimately decided to shorten the meeting and allow the students to be with their families.
He reflected on the alarming riot and sent an email to families the following day, advising parents that they limit their children’s exposure to media and have a conversation with them about the events that transpired.
Cartnal also held a Zoom meeting with teachers and administrators last Thursday and encouraged them to slightly alter their lesson plans and create an open virtual space for students to process and reflect on what happened the previous day.
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LCHS Staff Assists as Police Identify Murder Suspect

By Zane Hill and Camila Castellanos
Outlook Valley Sun

It will likely be months before a Pasadena man arrives in Los Angeles County to appear on charges that he stabbed and killed a Glendale woman in the La Cañada High School parking lot last month and then left her body in the park across the street.
Adrian Robert Casey, 26, remains in the custody of the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office in New Mexico after being arrested near Albuquerque on Thanksgiving Day. Officials here expect to take custody of him next year, since delays typically are the case for suspects held in other states.
“Unless he waives extradition,” Bill Grisafe, a special services lieutenant with the Pasadena Police Department, told the Outlook Valley Sun.

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LCUSD Names Saks as High School Athletic Director

Carrie Saks

The La Cañada Unified School District has selected Carrie Saks as La Cañada High School 7-12 athletic director for the 2020-21 school year, and the hiring was approved last week by the district’s Governing Board, the school said in a statement.
Saks, who will assume the position at LCHS in late summer of 2020, has five years of experience teaching in public education. She started her career in the Westminster and Santa Monica/Malibu school districts and transitioned to LCUSD in 2014-15. Saks taught reading intervention at La Cañada Elementary School, and then joined the boys and girls volleyball coaching staff at LCHS 7/8 that same year. Her service and dedication to the district was honored in 2017 when Saks received the LCHS 7/8 PTA Founders’ Day Award. In 2016, she took on the role of LCHS 7/8 athletic director.
As part of her new position, Saks will oversee athletics for the entire campus, grades 7-12.
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LCHS Principals’ ‘Cartnal and Gold’ Podcast Debuts

La Cañada High School Principal Jim Cartnal and LCHS 7/8 Principal Jarrett Gold
OUTLOOK photo
La Cañada High School Principal Jim Cartnal and LCHS 7/8 Principal Jarrett Gold have a new podcast titled “Cartnal and Gold” available on the LCHS and LCHS 7/8 websites as well as Spotify.

La Cañada High School has officially joined the podcast craze with its new show, “Cartnal and Gold,” a tool to spread news about school activities and objectives as well as students’ accomplishments, using a medium with which youth are familiar.
LCHS Principal Jim Cartnal and LCHS 7/8 Principal Jarrett Gold’s podcast debuted recently on both schools’ websites and Spotify.
The show’s name, displayed in its logo over a crossed-out “Cardinal,” arose from La Cañada Unified School District webmaster Toby Lewsadder’s inspiration.
“The school colors are cardinal and gold,” Cartnal said in a recent interview. “That was Toby’s idea. We have heard positive feedback so far.” Continue reading “LCHS Principals’ ‘Cartnal and Gold’ Podcast Debuts”

LCHS Seeks to Reintroduce Peer Counseling Class

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”

LCHS Students Seek to Inspire at Science Camp

Members of La Cañada High School’s Science National Honors Society are serving as mentors at a summer camp this week, teaching 4th-, 5th- and 6th-graders through activities such as slime-making, tower-building and aluminum-foil boat racing for 1½ hours each afternoon.
LCHS students began planning the camp about three weeks ago, brainstorming a “whiteboard full of ideas,” said society member Jon Potter, a senior. The mentors were excited about working with youngsters because they had all been inspired by outreach programs in elementary school and wanted to provide that same spark for the younger students. Continue reading “LCHS Students Seek to Inspire at Science Camp”

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”