Briefly in Education

Program designed to prepare kindergartners

The Laguna Beach Unified School District will hold a school-readiness program for families of children 5 years old and younger.

Sessions will take place from 12:15 to 3 p.m. March 26 and April 30 in the preschool classroom at Top of the World Elementary School, 21601 Tree Top Lane.

The interactive sessions are designed to help children learn new skills in preparation for kindergarten. Parents and their children can attend one or both sessions.

"We can provide parents and child-care providers with resources for any service they might need, whether it is for health or developmental milestones or just instill a lifelong love of learning," said Julie Olsen, Early Readiness Program facilitator, in a news release.

The sessions will include age-appropriate learning stations, including art activities, language development and health information. Participants will receive a pre-kindergarten kit that includes at-home activities to support school readiness for kindergarten.

Irene White, the district's director of special education and student services, said in the release that the district will use the information to help kindergartners be best prepared for school.

For information or to register by March 21, call (949) 497-7700, Ext. 5327, or email


Explaining the new testing system

The Laguna Beach Unified School District will hold a workshop for parents Tuesday to discuss changes to state assessment testing.

District students in grades 3 to 8 and 11 will be participating in a field test in spring using the California Assessment and Student Performance and Progress system, which replaces the California Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) program.

At the meeting, parents will learn the purpose of the field test, which students will be tested, what the tests look like, how the district is preparing students and what skills students will need.

The meeting will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Laguna Beach High School library. For information, visit


Art gets a new tool

Laguna Beach High School art students are getting the chance to create a distinctive style of mixed media using a new technology-heavy art tool.

The Epilog Laser was funded by school district as well as SchoolPower Endowment Teacher and Festival of Arts Foundation grants.

High school graphic art and design teacher Kerry Pellow said in a news release that the laser has been an exciting addition.

"Our students are so motivated with the latest technology trends we have been able to expose them to that learning the new skills has not really been considered work," she said. "They are truly inspired; this has made teaching fun again."

Students are using the Epilog Laser in many of the art classes, including ceramics, computer art, production art and production design.

— Alicia Lopez

Twitter: @ALopezCityEd

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