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LAUSD Board Member Mónica García
NEWS FROM THE CRADLE OF REFORM
Leading Change in Los Angeles
 
 
Read, Write, Think, and Believe: 10 Years of Service Towards 100% Graduation
  
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achieve.lausd.net/garcia                                                Board District 2: November, 2015
Dear Education Champion,
 
Come! Meet our students! Everywhere I go I meet amazing young people. I meet young people working hard to prepare themselves for their worlds as adults. 

Natalie and Diego remind us all about the desire for careers that help us reach our dreams and allow for self-sustainability. Liliana and Jose shared their desire to help others and use their skills to bring healing. 

When you ask them "why?" their answer is personal:  they want better, they want to help, they want to appreciate, and they want to make change in the world. At every conversation about what our youth are doing, we hear the intense interest in achieving, being, and creating. Our students challenge all of us to dig deep and show up for each of them who rely on each one of us to be the adults that believe in them, protect them, challenge them, support them and love them. 

We love them! We are the movement that loves our youth and families. We love our schools and communities. We love the miracles we build when we work together. We love the change we can be a part of together.

This November, we celebrate Día de Muertos, Thanksgiving and the college application season, and we are joyous in our celebration of the gift of life, we are grateful for the opportunity to be in a community that demands educational justice and we are excited for the Class of 2016 that will be diligently documenting their best selves in their college applications.

Our ancestors have provided our roots, our ritual of giving thanks, the humbling of our hearts, and remind us to acknowledge our blessings. And our college applicants inspire our collective action for preparing our students and celebrating their path to their full potential.  Love is powerful!
 
Adelante!
 
In the spirit of hope,
 
Mónica
  In the News
Representing you includes sharing success stories of our students, parents, educators, staff, and community partners as well as critical information needed by our LAUSD family with the news media. Our accomplishments are recognized locally and nationally. We lead in Los Angeles. Take a look!
  News Buzz from the Board Room
Advancing A-G for All!
A-G for All was not a temporary moment in time. It was a promise to all our students that adults would come together to make sure every child is college and career ready. We know education is the answer for many of our families, we know your work in this movement saves lives. We continue our work in the boardroom to monitor progress. I also continue to fight for our kids away from the boardroom. Consistent with past... [READ MORE]
 
Investing $100 Million in Boyle Heights
I have great news! We will invest more than $100 million dollars in the Roosevelt High School campus. We are excited for your partnership in fighting to get to 100% graduation... [READ MORE]
 
 
Sacramento's Impact on LAUSD
Every year legislators discuss, vote, and ask the Governor for his signature on potential laws. Being the largest school district in the State of California, with more than 600,000 students and 50,000 employees, many of the laws impact our mission... [READ MORE]

Supt. Cortines Continues Fight for Kids
At the request of the full LAUSD Board of Education, Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines came out of retirement to serve the children of Los Angeles once again. On his most recent assignment, I give him an A+ for accomplishing... [READ MORE]
 
  Improving Our Conversation
Help Us Improve Our Newsletter
I write this newsletter to inform you, to share great news with you, and to learn from you. We want to hear from you to help strengthen our conversation. Help us by filling out a short survey.
 
  In Our Schools and Our Communities - Everyone Matters!
English Language Learners Make LAUSD Stronger!
We continue to keep our eye on insuring that English Language Learners have the resources needed to graduate college and career ready. November is an important month for all of our English Language Learners. During this month, schools across our district will be hosting parent teacher conferences... [READ MORE]
 
US Supreme Court Justice Visits Pilot Schools
On August 31, 2011, we received a letter addressed to every student in Los Angeles from the US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. It concluded with the following: "I encourage you to dream big and to study hard to achieve your dreams... [READ MORE]
 
Celebrating District Partners 
How do we increase resources for a historic school in Boyle Heights? We decentralize and localize with local partners. That is the case with Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, an LAUSD network partner which oversees 17 LAUSD schools and offers strategic guidance to... [READ MORE]
 
Perez Special Education Center Carrying Forward the Legacy of Roosevelt Graduate
Alfonso B. Perez was a proud graduate of Roosevelt High School and returned to LAUSD as a teacher for special needs students.  
The Alfonso B. Perez Special Education Center continues to model the work of Mr. Perez as a location for youth to
... [READ MORE]

Torres Super Pep Rally
Esteban E. Torres High School neighbors may have noticed a burst of energy on a special day in October. Students at the five independent schools
on the campus, like a college... [READ MORE]
 
 
CSU/UC College Applications Due in November
Graduation is not until next year, but college applications are due soon. Remind our future college freshman to visit their college counselor for more information! Remember that other colleges and universities may have different deadlines or admission requirements and that scholarship opportunities are available on college websites, too... [READ MORE]
  Our Super Fabulous Board District 2 Stars!

I am always impressed with our LAUSD family. We have leaders, students, parents, teachers, support staff, principals and education leaders, that do more with less, model excellence, continue to achieve, are responsive to concerns, and inspire those around them. We continue to celebrate the leaders below and those that help us get closer to 100% graduation.

Super Fabulous Torres High School Student Tiquan Gilmore!
We celebrate Tiquan, a student and athlete at Torres High School, for his commitment on an off the field. He excels academically and also leads his peers as captain of the varsity team. Congratulations!
 
Super Fabulous Fernando 
Serrano-Navarro!
Fernando is an outstanding student and musician at East LA Performing Arts Magnet. He was recently invited to play with an adult orchestra in Santa Monica. Congratulations on your commitment to music!

Super Fabulous Teacher Mr. Jocz!
Mr. Jocz we are proud that you have been selected as a California Teacher of the Year! We celebrate and salute you and all teachers that help us get to 100% graduation! Thank you for modeling excellence!
 
Super Fabulous Families in Schools Parent Honorees
I was excited to participate at this year's Families in Schools summit. I would like to recognize the three honorees honored: Johana Juarez, Maria Leon, and Roberto Bustillo. Adelante! Watch a video here: Families in Schools Excellence in Parent Engagement
 
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  Calendar of Upcoming Events!
NOVEMBER
National Family Caregivers Month
Native American Indian Heritage Month
American Diabetes Month
Lung Cancer Awareness Month
 
10        LAUSD Board of Education Meeting
11        Veterans' Day
12        LAHSA presents The Last Days of Judas Iscariot by Stephen Adly Guirgis
14        Magnet School application process closes
23-29   LAUSD Thanksgiving Break
26        Thanksgiving Holiday
 
DECEMBER
Universal Human Rights Month

1          World Aids Awareness Day 
7          Pearl Harbor Day
10        Human Rights Day
13        International Children's Day
25        Christmas Holiday
31        New Year's Eve

JANUARY
National Braille Literacy Month
National Blood Donor Month

11        First day of class!
12        LAUSD Board of Education Meeting
18        Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
19        Succesful School Climate: Progressive Discipline & Safety Committee
  Thank you for reading our November newsletter!
Send your comments, suggestions, and feedback to
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Advancing A-G for All!
 
A-G for All was not a temporary moment in time. It was a promise to all our students that adults would come together to make sure every child is college and career ready. We know education is the answer for many of our families, we know your work in this movement saves lives.  
We continue our work in the boardroom to monitor progress. I also continue to fight for our kids away from the boardroom.
 
Consistent with past assessments, SBAC results  reflected greater achievement from many of our magnet schools.  I and other members of the board wrote to Superintendent Cortines asking to identify the promising practices in our achieving schools and sharing these highlights for potential replication and implementation at schools across the district. For me, magnets are one more option, like our pilot schools, for educators to practice their craft and advance achievement. We look forward to the menu of options that all our schools will be able to evaluate for the next school year.

Additionally, we continue to alert district officials on our concern at the number of “D”s and “F”s distributed to students in middle and high school. We are working towards a common sense solution where students, parents, educators, and schools can expect a standard protocol on establishing the expectations for student success on the first day of school, outlining “D and F traps”, or circumstances in the first days of class that lead to automatic unsatisfactory grades which are unchangeable regardless of stellar performance.

The work continues on A-G.  We have lots to do to support the graduates of 2016. I count on you to help share examples of student success, educator excellence, and system practices that we can highlight to make sure every student graduates college and career ready.

 
 
in 
Boyle Heights
 
I have great news! We will invest more than $100 million dollars in the Roosevelt High School campus. We are excited for your partnership in fighting to get to 100% graduation.

This effort is part of the next phase of the school construction and modernization program funded by you, our taxpayers and education supporters. Now that we have built more than 130 new schools to relieve overcrowding, we will now turn our attention to campuses that need urgent repairs and modernization.

I would like to hear your thoughts about this project – What do you think about investing $100 million dollars in our kids?

 
 
Sacramento's Impact on LAUSD
 
Every year legislators discuss, vote, and ask the Governor for his signature on potential laws. Being the largest school district in the State of California, with more than 600,000 students and 50,000 employees, many of the laws impact our mission to get to 100% graduation.

I followed two very important topics this session: Ethnics Studies and CAHSEE.

As a UC Berkeley student, my courses in Ethnic Studies and Women’s Studies were priceless. I continue to believe in and support the opportunity for all youth to learn about history from different cultural lenses. Here in LAUSD, teachers know that there is no restriction to the incorporation of age appropriate culturally relevant instructional material to help maintain student interest in any particular topic. A math teacher can begin a lesson sharing how math concepts were used in the earliest societies from the Egyptians to the Incas and Aztecs. Science lessons can mention attempts at objective observation in Mesopotamia, and the study of the stars by the Mayans.

The opportunity to make ethno-cultural connections is available for every single discipline. That is why I continue to urge more teachers to infuse their lessons with cultural relevancy. Students should experience their cultural connection to their learning in every grade, not just in high school. Do you know of a great teacher that helps youth see themselves in their learning? Share their stories with me to celebrate culturally relevant lesson plans from kinder to high school!

The California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) was a state mandated assessment whose passage was required to receive a high school diploma. This year, legislators voted to cancel the requirement of this exam retroactively and grant a high school diploma to every student that has attended high school since the graduating class of 2004!

In complying with the State’s decision to reverse and erase a ten year old policy, the Los Angeles Unified School District will be ready to serve any students that are eligible to receive their diploma when this law goes into effect beginning January 1, 2016.

If you know any young adult that may be eligible you can visit http://achieve.lausd.net/cahsee or call (213) 241-8744. You may also email for assistance at CAHSEE@lausd.net

You have representatives serving you in the city, the county, the state, and the federal government – whenever you have a chance, call, visit, or email them and let them know why you want them to fight for education.

 
 
Supt. Cortines Continues Fight for Kids
 
At the request of the full LAUSD Board of Education, Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines came out of retirement to serve the children of Los Angeles once again. On his most recent assignment, I give him an A+ for accomplishing in 12 months what education leaders, including state and district superintendents, strive for their entire careers.
 

1.  A-G for All: Superintendent Cortines continues to urge district leadership in exploring different solutions to ensure all our students have access to a college preparatory pathway. In the past, students made it to 12th grade and graduated from high school - but were ineligible for college because they lacked the necessary coursework. Now, LAUSD continues to lead as one of the few school districts with a graduation diploma most closely aligned with college admission requirements.

2.  English Language Learners (ELLs): He knows that when ELLs achieve, LAUSD is stronger. Mr. Cortines continues to fight not only for ELLs but for our foster children and special education students.

3.  High Quality Schools: Superintendent continues to set high expectations for our youth, for parents, and for educators. He has recommended changes for instructional programs that place children at risk and studied models that show promise.

4.  Balanced Budget, Deserving Raise: He negotiated on behalf of children to limit the impacts of lost instructional time and disruption due to adult demands.

5.  Stabilized Technology: We know technology is here to stay. Computers are an implicit requirement for college and careers. Superintendent Cortines has managed one of the largest technology programs in the nation.

On his one year review – I give our great Superintendent an A+ for his performance.
 
 
 
English Language Learners Make LAUSD Stronger!
 
We continue to keep our eye on insuring that English Language Learners have the resources needed to graduate college and career ready. November is an important month for all of our English Language Learners. During this month, schools across our district will be hosting parent teacher conferences.

If your student is an English Language Learner, this is the perfect time to ask about your student’s path to reclassification. Some students have received passing scores on the CELDT and the basic reading skills test and only need passing grades in their English Language Arts class to reclassify. In addition to your other questions, remember to ask, what does my child need to reclassify and what resources does their teacher and school have to make sure my child is successful.

Hilda Maldonado is the director of the Multilingual and Multicultural Education Department to monitor and ensure English Language Learner success in LAUSD. Ms. Maldonado is an LAUSD champion for kids and is a nationally known English Language Learner practitioner. On November 17 she will continue to advocate for all our kids at the CA State Assembly’s Education Committee hearing regarding strategies to close the English Learner achievement gap.

English Language Learners are double students – they learn the academic content their classmates are learning while also mastering a new language. Data suggests that students which reclassify show resiliency and are strong students as they make progress towards graduation. Every learner matters in LAUSD! 
 
 
 
supreme court  
US Supreme Court Justice Visits Pilot Schools

On August 31, 2011, we received a letter addressed to every student in Los Angeles from the US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. It concluded with the following: “I encourage you to dream big and to study hard to achieve your dreams. I will visit your campus whenever I am next in Los Angeles.”

Fours year later, Justice Sotomayor visited the campus named after her, Sonia Sotomayor Learning Academies.

The Sotomayor Learning Academies is home to several pilot schools, independent school models that give educators greater flexibility to increase graduation rates. It was built to help relieve overcrowding at several high schools in Northeast Los Angeles as well as the Belmont Zone of Choice.

Read the story of her inspirational visit to get to 100% graduation on the LAUSD Daily here: http://lausddaily.net/2015/10/justice-sotomayor-dedicates-athletic-field-in-historic-visit-to-namesake-campus/
 
 
 
Celebrating District Partners 

How do we increase resources for a historic school in Boyle Heights? We decentralize and localize with local partners. That is the case with Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, an LAUSD network partner which oversees 17 LAUSD schools and offers strategic guidance to help strengthen instruction and academic achievement.

How has this partner added value to our schools?

1)      Parent Engagement: This year, more than 550 parents graduated from the Partnership’s Parent College, a seven-month program open to all LAUSD families, which aims to empower parents to become advocates for their child’s education. To date, more than 1,500 have graduated and more than 5,000 parents have attended at least one workshop in the series.

2)      Safer Schools: To improve school climate, over 300 Partnership educators have participated in a 40-hour specialized training to incorporate restorative justice practices and principles in their teaching.

3)      College Readiness: Every year, the Partnership selects approximately 20 students to participate in the Richard and Melanie Lundquist Fellows program, which seeks to develop students who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and commitment to their schools, educations and communities. The program also provides fellows with an academic scholarship, job shadowing opportunities and other academic enrichment tools.

4)      Increase Funding Opportunities: The partnership helps raise additional funds to help support students and educators at our schools. The most recent announcement? A $100K contribution from the Banc of California to support a multi-tiered financial literacy program that will impact Partnership families in South L.A., Boyle Heights, and Watts!

5)      Student and Educator Support: The Partnership’s mission is to transform schools and revolutionize school systems to empower all students with a high-quality education. Most recently, a Partnership school made history by being the first California school to address the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA).

These are only 5 of their most recent highlights in preparing more students alongside the district on the path to 100% graduation. Learn more about Partnership for Los Angeles Schools here www.partnershipla.org
 
 
 
Perez Special Education Center Carrying Forward the Legacy of a Roosevelt Graduate

Alfonso B. Perez was a proud graduate of Roosevelt High School and returned  to LAUSD as a teacher for special needs students.

The Alfonso B. Perez Special Education Center continues to model the work of Mr. Perez as a location for youth to learn and also prepare for jobs and independence as adults.

The Career Transition Center aspect of Perez is amazing! Amongst many of the great opportunities, youth have the opportunity to learn and practice how to be store employees.

We are proud of all our youth in LAUSD!

 
 
Torres Super Pep Rally
 
Esteban E. Torres High School neighbors may have noticed a burst of energy on a special day in October. Students at the five independent schools on the campus, like a college campus with different majors, hosted five pep rallies in the Torres Auditorium. Torres cheerleaders, drill and dance teams participated, along with all of the student athletes.
 
In the spirit of unity, all students were invited to participate in the Homecoming Flashmob Dance in the Main Quad. Go Toros!
 
 
 
LAUSD Magnet Applications Due November 13
 
Students have many choices in LAUSD. Local neighborhood schools can be pilot schools, traditional schools, charter schools, or magnets. Magnets require an application. For consideration to one of LAUSD’s great magnet schools, an application must be submitted before November 13. For more information you can go to: http://echoices.lausd.net/
 
 
 
CSU/UC College Applications Due in November
 
Graduation is not until next year, but college applications are due soon. Remind our futurecollege freshman to visit their college counselor for more information! Remember that other colleges and universities may have different deadlines or admission requirements and that scholarship opportunities are available on college websites, too.

October 1 – November 30: Application submission period for all CSU            (California State University) campuses

November 1 – November 30: Application submission period for all UC            (University of California) campuses

November 30 – 12:00 Midnight: Application Deadline for all UC and            CSU campuses

                     March 2: FAFSA California Deadline for all UC and CSU campuses.                      Please note: Other college and universities may have earlier                      deadlines.

                     January 2 – January 31: Application Deadline for other colleges and                      universities that are not UC/CSU

April 1 – April 31: Colleges notify applicants

May: Energize LAUSD School Board Member García by emailing her            stories of graduating students and the colleges they will attend.

 
 
  Thank you for reading our November newsletter!
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