LCUSD Commits to ‘Quality’ Distance Learning to Start Year

The La Cañada Unified School District has mulled over scheduling and instruction for the upcoming school year for the past eight weeks, but its governing board’s disclosure this week that the district is going with distance learning simply confirmed an earlier decision by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
The governor announced new guidelines last Friday that would prevent California schools, public and private, in counties on the state’s COVID-19 watch list — which monitors trends in infections and test positivity and hospitalization rates — from providing in-person instruction when the academic year begins.
“Learning is non-negotiable,” Newsom said. “The virus will be with us for a year or more, and school districts must provide meaningful instruction in the midst of this pandemic. In California, health data will determine when a school can physically open — and when it must close — but learning should never stop.”
In a special meeting Tuesday, the LCUSD announced it will open the school year with distance learning at all levels, but officials are hopeful of returning students to campus when it is safe to do so. Details of those plans, whether at half or full capacity, have not yet been finalized.
For the district’s schools to reopen, Los Angeles County must be taken off the watch list, which can happen only if coronavirus cases drop for 14 consecutive days. The recent surge in COVID-19 cases made California the state with the most confirmed infections in the nation, surpassing New York.
“The good news about our virtual academy is that it’s much better than it was before,” LCUSD board President Joe Radabaugh said by phone. “It’s going to be quality education.”
Continue reading “LCUSD Commits to ‘Quality’ Distance Learning to Start Year”

LCUSD Changes Course, Will Appoint New Board Member

A temporary position on the La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board is up for grabs after the four-member panel voted in favor of appointing one of 10 applicants who had previously interviewed for the position, reversing its June 17 decision to leave the seat vacant and allow voters to choose a new member in the November election.
“To me, the decision not to fill was the best outcome at that time,” board President Joe Radabaugh said during Tuesday’s virtual meeting in an effort to clarify what transpired during the previous session. “I did have regrets that we surprised applicants and others with the decision.
“But [after the meeting], I listened to feedback from the community. I know people didn’t have the full story. I realize fair points were being made. In closing, we value the trust and support of the community. Because of that, we felt it was important to agendize this item for more discussion and allow folks to weigh in.”
Most people who commented Tuesday expressed a preference for appointing a temporary board member. The position would still be permanently filled in the November election.
Continue reading “LCUSD Changes Course, Will Appoint New Board Member”

LCUSD Board Leaves Seat Vacant, Discussion Will Resume

OUTLOOK file photo
The La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board voted 3-1 last week to keep the vacant school board seat empty and let voters choose a new member in the November election. The matter has been posted as an agenda item for discussion at a June 30 meeting.

By Camila Castellanos and Oscar Areliz
Outlook Valley Sun

Despite having interviewed 10 applicants to fill a temporary vacancy on the panel, the La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board ultimately decided last week not to fill the seat, indicating that doing so might give the appointee an unfair advantage in the November election that will permanently fill it.
Continue reading “LCUSD Board Leaves Seat Vacant, Discussion Will Resume”

LCUSD Deliberates on 2020-21 School Year

In a regular meeting of the La Cañada School District Governing Board on Tuesday, Superintendent Wendy Sinnette tackled an update on what many students and families have been anxiously — and with trepidation — waiting to hear: What the future of learning holds in La Cañada Flintridge.
In short, Sinnette summed up, nobody is certain on a plan, but the district is working hard to create various scenarios on how it intends to open the 2020-21 school year, with possible options including staggered student schedules though an “a.m. or p.m.” possibility or even alternating days. Whatever approach is considered and decided upon, Sinnette said, she will be informing the LCUSD community as it happens.
“I know everyone is listening to the news and I think we all have more questions than answers right now,” the superintendent said, “but [we] are creating timelines for plan implementation; we are engaged in educational research looking at all kinds of options, we are identifying strengths and limitations of various scenarios, and so I want our community to be rest assured there is in-depth research taking place and we will begin to communicate in a transparent fashion all of our plan development over the next weeks and months.
Continue reading “LCUSD Deliberates on 2020-21 School Year”

Parcel Tax Renewal Crucial, Says LCUSD Board Leader

Joe Radabaugh
Joe Radabaugh

Joe Radabaugh, who has been a La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board member since December 2017, was recently selected by his peers as the panel’s president after serving most recently as vice president.
Radabaugh, a resident of La Cañada Flintridge since 2007, has lots of experience working in the community.
He is the president of the La Cañada Baseball Softball Association, was a member of the LCUSD parcel tax renewal advocacy team and belongs to Kiwanis. Radabaugh is a past director of the La Cañada Flintridge Educational Foundation and a past member of the Measure LCF bond committee team. Continue reading “Parcel Tax Renewal Crucial, Says LCUSD Board Leader”

Radabaugh to Lead LCUSD Governing Board

Joe Radabaugh
Joe Radabaugh

La Cañada Unified District Governing Board members this week selected their new leaders for the next year, choosing Joe Radabaugh as president, Ellen Multari as vice president and Dan Jeffries as clerk.
Radabaugh, who was elected to the board on his first try in November 2017, takes over for outgoing President Brent Kuszyk. Congratulating Radabaugh — who touched briefly on his objectives — and the others at the general meeting on Tuesday, Kuszyk handed his successor a document he had prepared that included Governing Board tips and a calendar.
“This is a sign I have some homework to do,” Radabaugh said. He was selected as vice president last December, when Multari was chosen as clerk. Continue reading “Radabaugh to Lead LCUSD Governing Board”

School Board OKs Financial Figures

The La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board unanimously voted on Tuesday to approve a summary of district revenue and expenditures for the 2017-18 fiscal year, including an unaudited fund balance that increased by about $2.1 million from the previous fiscal year.
The California Education Code requires that unaudited financial information for the previous year be submitted to the board and the county Office of Education by Sept. 15, according to a report from Mark Evans, assistant superintendent of administration and business services.
Even though the previous fiscal year ended on June 30, final totals are not completed by the district and the Office of Education until the end of August, Evans wrote. A state-approved firm then audits the reports and documentation, and everything is finalized for submission to the LCUSD board and the state by Dec. 15.
Continue reading “School Board OKs Financial Figures”

LCUSD Ready for Phase I of Facilities Improvements

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”

LCUSD Governing Board Considers More Safety Measures

The 17th school shooting in the nation this year occurred Tuesday morning at a high school in Maryland. On Tuesday night, concerned members of the La Cañada Unified School District community reconvened at a Governing Board meeting to talk security locally.
“Everything we can do, we will,” Superintendent Wendy Sinnette said.
That includes anything from inviting a pack of drug-sniffing dogs to visit the La Cañada High School campus to scheduling conversations with architects about fencing at all of the district’s traditionally open campuses. Continue reading “LCUSD Governing Board Considers More Safety Measures”