Harry Potter Afterschool!
Harry Potter Afterschool!
From Dr. Tommy Chang, Supt., Intensive Support and Innovation Center
We absolutely agree that Jefferson Senior High School students deserve a quality education, which is why we have made extra investments to hire more teachers, counselors and other staff to support students to graduate ready for college and career.
And, yes, Jefferson High has a new leader named Donald “Jack” Foote. He may be new to Jefferson, but he is an experienced administrator who brings to his role a track record of success.
It is also true that administrators made some changes in the master schedule last week, all in the best interests of students. We learned that parts of the previous schedule were unacceptable: all Advanced Placement classes were slotted in the same period, limiting students’ access to a college curriculum. The same was true for core content classes for English Learners, limiting their access to various subjects as all were scheduled at the same time.
L.A. Unified is about creating opportunities for all students to take the necessary rigorous courses that prepare them for success. We have a sense of urgency, just like the students.
Continued Emphasis on Help Instead of Criminalization
LOS ANGELES – Expanding successful efforts to help students improve behavior and succeed academically, Los Angeles School Police are continuing to embrace proactive, non-punitive enforcement strategies. Tickets no longer will be issued for minor violations, such as most campus fights, petty thefts, vandalism, trespassing or possession of tobacco or a small quantity of marijuana. Instead, most offenders will be referred to the school administrators or FamilySource centers for intervention, problem solving and support.
“This is another of many policy shifts intended to decriminalize student behavior, when possible, and to keep youth in school and out of the juvenile justice system,” Superintendent John E. Deasy said. Coupled with efforts to support social emotional learning, attendance improvement, and Wellness clinics, District staff are teaching students what is expected of them and providing resources to facilitate positive behavior.
Board Member Mónica García said, “Change is good. Change is necessary to move this District towards 100% graduation.” She added, “When the Board passed the School Climate Bill of Rights in May 2013, we united with this community that wanted to see investment in learning and not incarceration. The policy change we announce today will change rules for our District. Our expectation is that it changes outcomes for children, behavior for adults and the world we live in.”
School Police Chief Steve Zipperman explained the new, graduated response as mutual cooperation between members of the Los Angeles School Police Department and school administrators. “Our officers will work with school administrators to provide the most appropriate intervention and resolution of an incident without an arrest or a citation for certain offenses.” For example, an officer may talk to a student, issue a warning or provide an opportunity for the youth to de-escalate the behavior. Next step for a first-time offender would be a referral to a school administrator or to a diversion program. The changes apply to students, ages 13 through 17.
Today’s announcement is part of an overarching Restorative Justice philosophy L.A. Unified is rolling out via the School Discipline Foundation Policy and the School Climate Bill of Rights. These are intended to help youth make better decisions, engage them in school and encourage them to invest in their own success. Depending on the offense, the process would involve their families and encourage students to accept responsibility, repair any harm caused and address the root causes of the conduct to prevent reoccurrence and, if necessary, support healing.
Arrests, suspensions and expulsions would still occur depending on the severity of the offense to keep schools safe and prevent disruption to instruction. Exceptions to the new Diversion Referral policy include: one of the combatants or victims has an injury requiring medical treatment by paramedics; officers break up a fight using reportable force; one or more of the combatants has a documented history of disturbing the peace or battery citation; and/or arrest; or has failed to complete a prior diversion for the same offense; the subject has a warrant or the victim demands an arrest. All marijuana violations shall include the assistance of school police for purposes of contraband recovery.
Earlier successes of L.A. Unified discipline changes, included a sharp decline in suspensions, a reduction in student arrests, as well as using a diversion program in place of most truancy citations.
Students 12 and younger are neither arrested nor ticketed for minor law violations.
Executive Director Alvaro Cortes is recognized for his work in Beyond the Bell and after school programming.
New My Integrated Student Information System at Schools Being Fine-Tuned
The following is a statement from L.A. Unified on the new My Integrated Student Information System.
Students at the vast majority of LAUSD schools are in class and learning how to read, write, think and speak for…
LAUSD Pupil Services, Homeless Education Program
Pupil Services, Homeless Education Program
Graduate Recognition Luncheon
The Homeless Education Program celebrated the class of 2014 for their diligence and pursuit of excellence. The Graduate Recognition Luncheon was a way of showing seniors that their achievement is both commendable and significant to our community. McKinney Vento eligible graduates were honored for reaching such an important milestone in their lives. The goal of the luncheon was to recognize graduates for their accomplishments and to encourage them to keep achieving academically.
The Graduate Recognition Luncheon featured speakers such as board members Monica Ratliff and Steve Zimmer, as well as Jessica Martinez who is one of the original members of Freedom Writers. All graduates received gift bags and H.O.P.E Scholarship recipients were recognized. This event shined a much-needed light on the persistence and hard work put forth by graduates to earn their high school diploma despite the barriers they face. It is a motivation for all students within the district to strive to reach their academic potential.
Pupil Services and Attendance Counselor Highlight
Shining Examples of Great Attendance in Sun Valley
Norm Wallace, PSA Counselor at Sun Valley Magnets MS highlighted their Perfect Attendance students with a Rays of Sunshine Bulletin Board. The names of students with Perfect Attendance for the month of April are listed on the sun’s rays. Monthly attendance recognitions like these have boosted Sun Valley’s overall attendance rate up by .6 % this year compared to last year. That may not seem like much, however, Principal Robert Lee knows this adds up to 1,052 days of in-seat school attendance over last year.
Great job Norm! Thank you for your dedication to our students!
FOSTER CARE PROGRAM
FOSTER CARE MONTH CAMPAIGN
Each May, National Foster Care Month provides an opportunity to shine a light on the experiences of the more than 550,000 children and youth in the foster care system. The campaign raises awareness about the urgent needs of these young people and encourages citizens from every walk of life to get involved - as foster or adoptive parents, volunteers, mentors, teachers, employers, social workers or in other ways. In recognition, the Pupil Services Foster Care Program will be organizing the following events:
Backpack/School Supply Drive: For the whole month, bins will be placed on various floors at the LAUSD headquarters building at 333 S. Beaudry Ave, Los Angeles, to collect backpacks and school supplies for foster youth.
For more information on any of activities taking place for Foster Care Awareness month, please call the Foster Care Program at (213) 241-3842.
Pupil Services, City Partnership Program
Growing up, William C. explored parts of the world some of us have yet to see. He has visited places such as Nevada, Florida, Pennsylvania, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Hawaii and Australia. Although William recognizes he has been fortunate, his travels weren’t under positive circumstances.
Throughout his life, William’s father has been incarcerated and continues to be away from his family. What’s more, his mother also was incarcerated when William was 12 years old; consequently, leading to so much movement. While William’s mother and father were incarcerated, both William and his brother moved around from family member to family member. This is the sole reason why William never finished high school. It appeared that every time he started a new school, just as he made new friends and adjusted, it was time to move again. As PSA Counselors, it is known that when so much movement occurs, transcripts tend to get lost, sometimes they’re incomplete and sometimes students end up repeating courses.
Nonetheless, William still wasn’t defeated. Eventually, he was reunited with his mother and decided that it was time to get back on track. William came into the YouthSource Center (YSC), Brotherhood Crusade a little over a year ago and enrolled in the WIA program. He was set on getting his GED and also gaining employment. Initially, William appeared to be motivated. However, as time progressed, he started to engage in extracurricular activities that weren’t advantageous to him. For an entire summer William disappeared from the YSC and returned in October. In October, he re-engaged in GED prep, re-took the two sections that he had previously failed and passed.
It’s hard to say what happened, but PSA counselor, Ms. Betsy Lara strongly believes that William realized that he had the potential for more. William returned as a different person. He gave up his bad habits, acknowledging that they weren’t going to pay his bills or get him further in life.
William took on responsibilities at the front desk answering phones. Initially, this was not a task he was willing to take on. But now, William can handle the front desk all by himself and won’t hesitate in taking charge. Moreover, William has also been volunteering, for the last two months, at LAX’s IT Department. He’s constantly networking, letting his colleagues know that he’s available to assist and is ready to take on any tasks that are given to him.
William is a determined and successful young man who has a vision and is working towards more in life. William has yet to determine his exact career path, but what’s important is that he’s learned the skills needed to be successful and self-sufficient.
Great job William! Thank you to our PSA Counselors for all of their hard work!
Baby2Baby Sponsors Mother’s Day Event!
On April 24th LAUSD, Pupil Services partnered with Baby2Baby to give 40 mothers the opportunity to share a wonderful interactive experience with their TK/Kindergarten children. Sponsored by tinyprints, parents and their children were transported to Baby2Baby, which was transformed to provide participants an opportunity to interact in many ways. Activities included children painting self-portraits on canvass; mothers enjoying manicures while their children picked flowers from an indoor flower market; a D.J. and dance floor; lunch with a coffee and milk bar centered around a chocolate fountain. Finally, parents and their children had a chance to rub elbows with celebrities from film and television as they received tote bags filled with gifts for both mothers and children! To see more pictures of the event click here.
This program, event or activity is not presented, endorsed, recommended, supervised, approved or sponsored by the Los Angeles Unified School District. The District assumes no liability or responsibility for any loss or injury arising out of participation and is merely permitting this material to be disseminated at this facility because of the possible interest of students and/or faculty.
Distribution Authorized: Erika Torres, 5/8/14
The Human Resources Division would like to extend its thanks and appreciation to all of the dedicated teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Teacher Appreciation Week provides us with an opportunity to recognize and commend our professional educators who are committed to providing LAUSD youth with a high quality education that prepares them for both college and career. Thank you for being a positive influence in the education and lives of your students!