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. Continue reading “Capitol Riot Becomes Teaching Moment at LCHS”
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.
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. Continue reading “LCUSD Names Saks as High School Athletic Director”
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”
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”
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”
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”
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”
The “tip line” that district officials promised at a Governing Board meeting last month went live last week and immediately began receiving reports, La Cañada Unified School District administrators said.
“It’s being used,” said Jim Cartnal, the district’s executive director of Pupil and Personnel Programs and Services. “It’s being used somewhat regularly, and in particular with the events leading up to the [walkout] on March 14, it was a venue where various people and students reported concerns related to rumors they heard on social media about possible negative behavior toward the school.”
Superintendent Wendy Sinnette said last week that rumors were unsubstantiated, that there was no threat to campus on March 14 and, with additional security on site, the walkout proceeded peacefully. Continue reading “Spartan Tip Line Offers Anonymity”
Midway through the school year, La Cañada High School and 7/8 students seem to be taking the experiment of late start well, although administrators await the winter and spring sports seasons to hit their stride for additional input.
Jim Cartnal, executive director of pupil and personnel programs and services for LCUSD, shared preliminary data at Tuesday’s La Cañada Unified Governing Board meeting. Surveys have indicated the students are “by and large” in favor of the later school start times of 8:30 a.m. as opposed to 7:45 a.m., even if it didn’t necessarily mean they were getting additional sleep as intended.
“Openly, it’s a mixed bag,” Cartnal said. “Kids are getting some more sleep, but not all kids are getting more sleep.” Continue reading “LCUSD Says Late Start Reaction Trending Positive”