La Cañada school board gives update on state of district

While President Obama delivered his annual State of the Union address Tuesday night, members of the La Cañada Unified School Board updated the public on several matters related to the state of the district, from School Accountability Report Cards (SARC) to progress on guest access to the district's wireless network.

A SARC provides a snapshot of school sites within the district and is annually made available for the public's information according to Proposition 98, a K-12 school funding measure adopted into the state budget.

Board members had a chance to comment on the 2012-13 report cards, which reflect a wide range of analyses, including test performance, student demographics, faculty and staff, and the quality of facilities provided.

Their discussion covered class sizes, teacher credentialing and physical fitness indicators. Ultimately, the SARC information will be displayed online for access by current and prospective parents, and could be a way to market LCUSD to the outside community.

The board also voted Tuesday to approve terms and conditions pertaining to parents and guests visiting district websites through an exclusive guest network operating on all campuses.

In the past, visitors and parents applied for temporary log-in information to access the district websites while on campus. Now visitors will be able to use an automatic guest log-in once they agree, as a condition of use, to allow their activity to be monitored by the district.

"This really opens up our guest network," Supt. Wendy Sinnette said. "It's about parents on campus being able to access the wireless system."

The board also discussed what access students currently have to the Internet and email servers while in school, and how exactly monitoring of guest activity would work before voting unanimously to approve the terms.

And finally, in the spirit of giving credit where credit is due, the board recognized some notable achievements within the district.

La Cañada High School 7/8 was congratulated for being recently named a 2014 "School to Watch" model middle school in recognition of its commitment to academic excellence and student development. The title is bestowed by the California League of Middle Schools through a rigorous selection process.

Also, former school board member Susan Boyd was named the recipient of a Golden Apple Award, an honor recognized by the Assn. of California School Administrators for her long service to La Cañada's schools.

Sinnette acknowledged the award in her report to the board.

"We'd like to congratulate Susan and her many contributions to the district over the years," Sinnette said, indicating formal recognition will come in February. "Many thanks and deserved accolades to our former board member."


SARA CARDINE is a freelance writer. She can be reached at s_cardine09@yahoo.comALSO:

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