Tolling of the Bells in Honor of Board Member Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte

The Superintendent of Schools, Dr. John E. Deasy, has directed that all bells be tolled at schools and facilities in honor of Board Member Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte, who passed away on Thursday, December 5, 2013. “Tolling” a bell refers to the slow ringing of a bell, about once every four to ten seconds and is the type of ringing that is most often associated with honoring those who have passed away.

Due to Ms. LaMotte’s extraordinary service and commitment to the District, the tolling of the bells at every school will be a fitting tribute to Ms. LaMotte, whose heart was at each school as she tirelessly advocated for students, teachers, site administrators and parents throughout her long career with LAUSD and during her tenure on the Board of Education.

This morning a moment of silence will take place at 8:59 and the tolling of the bells will commence simultaneously at 9 in all schools and facilities and should last 40 seconds in duration.

STATEMENT ON MARGUERITE POINDEXTER LAMOTTE             

Board President Dr. Richard Vladovic and Superintendent Dr. John Deasy issued a joint statement today on the passing of Board Member Marguerite Poindexter Lamotte.

LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Superintendent John Deasy expressed his profound sorrow as he praised Los Angeles Board of Education Member Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte, who passed away today in San Diego.

“Ms. Marguerite LaMotte dedicated her life to the students of LA Unified. She advocated passionately and without apology for all students,” Deasy said. “She was a fighter for civil rights and for quality education.”

“She will be missed by her former students, her fellow teachers and principals, by the members of the Board and the entire Los Angeles Unified School District family,” the superintendent added.

Board President Dr. Richard Vladovic worked for years with Marguerite LaMotte when they were principals of schools in L.A. Unified, before they were elected to serve as Board Members. “She was my dear friend, colleague and inspiration.  She was always a terrific educator, always committed to ‘her babies,’ which is what she called her students. Her rich experiences as a teacher and principal informed her decisions. She never stopped fighting for them on the school board,” he said.

Board Vice President Steve Zimmer commented, “I am heartbroken at the loss of my friend, my mentor and my colleague in the lifework of raising the lives of children throughout Los Angeles. She was my strength, my wisdom, and my conscience whenever I wavered. There is not a member of the LAUSD family not touched by this loss. Ms. LaMotte was an education pioneer throughout her life.  The students, teachers, principals and staff of the District have lost their greatest champion.”

 

“Years ago, I attended a board meeting as a teacher/UTLA member. I vividly remember watching Marguerite speak up for teachers and I so admired her.   I was so grateful for her endorsement and support during my election.  I was touched that at my swearing in, she gave flowers to my mother.  After my election, she took me under her wing and provided support and guidance.  She consistently called it like she saw it.  She believed in treating people like professionals but never wavering from the fact that we are here for one reason only - to support and uplift our students - all our students. I will miss her tremendously,” Board Member Mónica Ratliff said.

 

Board Member Bennett Kayser said, “Ms. LaMotte was a large part of the reason we still have a democratically elected school board in Los Angeles. As one who was denied the right to vote in her home state of Louisiana, she more than anyone valued the importance of freely elected school board members and was a true civil rights leader. I will miss her and vow to continue her efforts to include standard English language learners in curriculum discussions.”

 

“Ms. LaMotte fought for what she believed in every day,” said Board Member Mónica García.  “Her life work broke barriers for people of color, women, and children. She will always be remembered as someone who cared deeply about her community and dedicated herself to lifelong learning.”

 

“I mourn the passing of a colleague and friend, who tirelessly and passionately advocated for the children of Los Angeles, and the employees of this District. Today I honor her, and will carry on her efforts to fight for social justice in this city and our schools,” said Board Member Tamar Galatzan.

First elected in 2003, Marguerite LaMotte represented Board District 1, which stretched from parts of South and Southwest Los Angeles, including the Crenshaw District, pushing up against the boundaries of Beverly Hills, Culver City and Inglewood.  Re-elected, she was serving her third term.

Her numerous accomplishments included: Closing the achievement gap between African American students and others; addressing the dropout rate; pursuing additional resources for instruction; seeking physical improvements such as the new auditorium and gymnasium at Dorsey High School and the construction of a number of new schools, such as Knox Elementary, throughout her district.

As a veteran educator, she began her career with LA Unified in the classroom at Drew Middle School in 1973, and quickly moved up, working as head counselor of Edison Junior High, and as principal of Horace Mann Jr. High. She promoted to senior administrative positions, but in 1991 returned to her first love, a school.  In her last position with the District, she served for ten years as the principal of Washington Preparatory High School, where she was lauded for raising student achievement. 

Even in sunny Southern California, there was snow in the forecast this morning. Mounds of it.  Wet.  White.  Fluffy.  At 112th Street Elementary School students and staff wore scarves and mittens as they played in the snow as part of Mattel’s “Winter Wonderland, Days of Play” events. Mattel wishes to bring holiday cheer to kids in need and provide long lasting memories. The school playground was transformed into a toy land with activities for boys and girls like Hot Wheel racing, Barbie dress-up, powered riding toys and dancing. Los Angeles Unified School District thanks you for sharing your gifts and time with our students and families. Click here for more snowy photos.
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Camera
Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS
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200
Aperture
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1/250th
Focal Length
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Even in sunny Southern California, there was snow in the forecast this morning. Mounds of it.  Wet.  White.  Fluffy.  At 112th Street Elementary School students and staff wore scarves and mittens as they played in the snow as part of Mattel’s “Winter Wonderland, Days of Play” events. Mattel wishes to bring holiday cheer to kids in need and provide long lasting memories. The school playground was transformed into a toy land with activities for boys and girls like Hot Wheel racing, Barbie dress-up, powered riding toys and dancing. Los Angeles Unified School District thanks you for sharing your gifts and time with our students and families. Click here for more snowy photos.

Hey Florida! We’ll have recruiters in Orlando at The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Annual Convention and World Languages Expo!

Interested in working with LAUSD? We have high need for Foreign Language Mandarin and Korean teachers! We’ll also be interviewing for Special Education positions in the area. See you there!

Mr. Arturo Avina is our featured Teacher of the Day from Olympic Primary Center in Los Angeles. Arturo has shared his vision of art with his students with hands-on experience in video production and musical performance. 

He has a strong interest in the performing arts and strives to blend pop music into creative pieces that both children and adults can enjoy. As students sing and dance, the audience is able to reflect on the meaningful message that Arturo hopes to instill in his students. In their previous performance his message emphasized the importance of loving yourself and always showing love, kindness, and respect to others no matter who they are. Regardless of ethnicity, race, sex, gender, religious creed, or sexual orientation, he teaches everyone is worthy of love. For their opening performance, this year’s kindergarten participated in a fabulous adaptation of Marcus Pfister’s classic “The Rainbow Fish.” 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doMLfAZtnkw

Thank you for sharing your talent with our students year after year. 

To view more of the amazing performances by his students visit his YouTube channel at:
http://www.youtube.com/user/artavina?feature=watch

Attendance Improvement Program Highlight

Click to see highlights of the amazing work of Pupil Services staff who serve in the Attendance Improvement Program

Did you know that 1 in 2 Kindergarten students and more than 1 in 3 Grade 9 students do not meet the Superintendent’s Performance Meter because they miss more than 7 days of school each year?  Excessive absences in these critical transition grades have been linked to lower academic achievement and decreased graduation rates.  Since September 2011, Attendance Improvement Counselors have supported selected schools with increasing student attendance in these grade levels through coordinated absence prevention and intervention programs.  For the second consecutive year, schools served by the program have seen significant gains in student attendance rates, outpacing improvements seen district-wide.

Pupil Services staff are committed to engaging parents, students, school staff, and community members towards a common vision of graduation for all students.

To learn more about the program, visit http://pupilservices.lausd.net/attendance-improvement-pilot-program-k9.

https://www.facebook.com/PupilServicesLausd

Hope, Faith and Perseverance Drives A Student to Achieve Her Goals!

In April 2013, Alma Fernandez, City Partnership PSA Counselor met Ziteya, a 20 year old female who had previously dropped out of school.  Ziteya was referred to the Watts Labor Community Action Center by Debbie Torres, Case Manager for the Work Investment Act program at Maxine Waters, a sub-contractor for WLCAC.  

At the time of the educational assessment, Ziteya was in dire need of assistance, counseling and guidance pertaining to her academics to remain on track and obtain her high school diploma.  Alma was impressed with Ziteya’s introduction when she stated, “I am homeless, I want to finish school and I need help, I know I can do it, look at my mock test results.”  Alma reviewed her mock GED test results and she was absolutely correct-her scores were in the 500s. Over the next two months, Ziteya came everyday to utilize the computer lab to look for work. 

Life circumstances remained challenging for Ziteya. She was awarded a $50.00, emergency fund grant from the Friends of School Mental Health which allowed the PSA Counselor to purchase a hot plate and toaster oven allowing the family to cook their meals and save money. At that time, Ziteya resided with her younger brother and mother in a motel. She then decided to move to a homeless shelter in Hollywood in order to complete school.  She received tokens from the homeless shelter to attend school.

Ziteya completed all of her school requirements and graduated.  All of her hard work, dedication and perseverance had paid off!  Ziteya is now at El Camino College taking four classes.  She works at Chipotle part-time and has an apartment that she shares with a roommate.  Ziteya wants to major in Accounting and minor in Dance. Her story demonstrates how much a student can achieve if provided with a foundation and path to follow, in order for them to succeed.  Ziteya’s story will be also be featured in the upcoming KLCS documentary series ”A Student’s Life.” 

http://pupilservices.lausd.net/city-partnership

https://www.facebook.com/PupilServicesLausd

Come see the Grad Van at the 12th Annual College and Career Convention!
On Wednesday, November 6th, the LAUSD Grad Van will be at the Cash for College Family and Community Night. This event will take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  Pupil Services and Attendance (PSA) Counselors will be there to provide students and families with information regarding attendance, graduation requirements, and college and community resources.
http://pupilservices.lausd.net/
https://www.facebook.com/PupilServicesLausd



http://www.lacashforcollege.org/home.html


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, 11/5/13
Come see the Grad Van at the 12th Annual College and Career Convention!
On Wednesday, November 6th, the LAUSD Grad Van will be at the Cash for College Family and Community Night. This event will take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  Pupil Services and Attendance (PSA) Counselors will be there to provide students and families with information regarding attendance, graduation requirements, and college and community resources.
http://pupilservices.lausd.net/
https://www.facebook.com/PupilServicesLausd



http://www.lacashforcollege.org/home.html


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, 11/5/13

Come see the Grad Van at the 12th Annual College and Career Convention!

On Wednesday, November 6th, the LAUSD Grad Van will be at the Cash for College Family and Community Night. This event will take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  Pupil Services and Attendance (PSA) Counselors will be there to provide students and families with information regarding attendance, graduation requirements, and college and community resources.

http://pupilservices.lausd.net/

https://www.facebook.com/PupilServicesLausd

November is National Homeless Youth Awareness Month 
The LAUSD Homeless Education Program is sponsoring activities to commemorate November as National Homeless Youth Awareness Month.      
Support November awareness efforts by:

Downloading a school Awareness Month Toolkit

Visiting California Pizza Kitchen 7th St. Market Place (735 S. Figueroa St. Los Angeles, CA), during the month of November to benefit the Homeless Education program.  If you visit CPK, mention the LAUSD Homeless Education Program or bring the attached flyer.   
For more information regarding National Homeless Youth Awareness Month Activities or to download our Toolkit, please visit the LAUSD Homeless Education Program website at http://homelesseducation.lausd.net.
https://www.facebook.com/PupilServicesLausd
November is National Homeless Youth Awareness Month 
The LAUSD Homeless Education Program is sponsoring activities to commemorate November as National Homeless Youth Awareness Month.      
Support November awareness efforts by:

Downloading a school Awareness Month Toolkit

Visiting California Pizza Kitchen 7th St. Market Place (735 S. Figueroa St. Los Angeles, CA), during the month of November to benefit the Homeless Education program.  If you visit CPK, mention the LAUSD Homeless Education Program or bring the attached flyer.   
For more information regarding National Homeless Youth Awareness Month Activities or to download our Toolkit, please visit the LAUSD Homeless Education Program website at http://homelesseducation.lausd.net.
https://www.facebook.com/PupilServicesLausd

November is National Homeless Youth Awareness Month 

The LAUSD Homeless Education Program is sponsoring activities to commemorate November as National Homeless Youth Awareness Month.      

Support November awareness efforts by:

  • Downloading a school Awareness Month Toolkit
  • Visiting California Pizza Kitchen 7th St. Market Place (735 S. Figueroa St. Los Angeles, CA), during the month of November to benefit the Homeless Education program.  If you visit CPK, mention the LAUSD Homeless Education Program or bring the attached flyer.  

For more information regarding National Homeless Youth Awareness Month Activities or to download our Toolkit, please visit the LAUSD Homeless Education Program website at http://homelesseducation.lausd.net.

https://www.facebook.com/PupilServicesLausd

Truancy Citations Continue To Drop At LAUSD

A 78 PERCENT REDUCTION BETWEEN 2010 AND 2012

LOS ANGELES – The numbers tell the story of a significant and steady decline in truancy citations that school police have given to students. So far, during this school year, only 77—that’s no typo—have been handed out. 

Students are now cited by the dozens, no longer by the thousands—3,356 in 2010; 2,625 in 2011 and 726 in 2012.  Attribute that progress to a change in policies that are more proactive than reactive.  Students who are truant s are now directed to a non-court, district-sponsored, diversion program. Also, a youngster is no longer ticketed when close to the campus as the first bell rings; late, yes; talked to, yes; intervention and support at the school, consequences definitely; but no citation.

In addition, the Los Angeles School Police Department has been an active partner in the Los Angeles County Student Attendance Task Force, and works with other multi-partner committees to address schoolwide positive behavior practices, various student safety awareness, and quality campus programs. The results are more than promising.

In 2012, the last year for which complete data is available, there was an overall reduction of 22 percent to African American students from the previous year.  In that same time period, there was an overall reduction of 44 percent to Latino students.  Specifically, fewer minority students received tickets, and in general, fewer citations were given to L.A. Unified students. 

Dramatic progress like this should be celebrated. Instead, the Community Rights Campaign zeros in on a statistic that is not illuminating. Is there still a higher concentration of minority students who get citations? After all, wouldn’t that be expected in a 91 percent minority school district? That said do the math: compare 2010 with 2012.  So, 40 percent of 3,356 is 1,342 citations versus 40 percent of 726 equals 290 tickets.  Remember, only 77 have been written so far this year.

The District and the Los Angeles School Police Department continue to analyze the most appropriate means to address student law violators. We will continue to address many issues administratively within the school environment.  We will continue to work to identify and evaluate non-penal alternatives to various minor violations.

Each year, we continue to reduce crime, reduce arrests, reduce suspensions and increase positive relationships with students. Truancy citations have plummeted. For that, we deserve an A, not an F. 

Contact: Ellen Morgan, (213)241-6766

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