Little Lake Schools to Strive for Improving Basic Skills

Times Staff Writer

A philosophy statement that calls for strengthening basic skills and formation of a foreign language class was unanimously approved Tuesday by the Little Lake School District Board of Trustees.

The statement--which was formulated during more than 30 meetings with community members, district personnel and school staff--sets general goals the district wants to achieve, Supt. John Pulice said. "It's something we can turn to to see the direction the district wants to take."

Board members first drafted a statement in May, 1984, Pulice said, and decided at that time to let everyone in the district have input. Little Lake School District has students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

At a study session Nov. 5, a phrase was deleted from the statement that declared that all basic skills--listening, speaking, reading, writing and mathematics--were to be taught in English.

No Need for Phrase

"We felt that it was basically common knowledge that everything (is taught) in English," board President Richard Moore said in an interview. "We couldn't see any need to have that phrase in there." Despite a comment at the meeting that it might be the community's wish that skills be taught in English, he said there was no opposition to taking the phrase out.

The district, which includes part of Norwalk and all of Santa Fe Springs, is 52% Hispanic. This year, almost 600 students have been identified as non-English-speaking.

Another goal originally listed urged that students learn a second language. That was deleted and "foreign language" was added to a list of subjects--such as science and literature--that the district is committed to providing for its students. Currently there are no foreign language classes taught in the district. Moore said the district is considering adding a foreign-language class at the junior high level.

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