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children. To achieve its goals, the Education Committee works with elected officials, school representatives in the public and private sector, local residents and others in the community. The types of activities the committee engages in varies, but include: • Serving as a forum for local residents to express community concerns related to schools. The committee attempts to facilitate productive school and community relations and problem-solving partnerships. • Serving as a resource for local schools to engage community, city and county support. • Recognition of outstanding local education successes. • Collaborations with other local education groups including the LMU Family of Schools, LAX Coastal Chamber Education Committee and the Westchester/Playa Education Foundation. One of these collaborations yielded a document to help address questions about the accessibility, function and options available to families with school-aged children. As a coordinated effort with the LMU Family of Schools, the NCWP Education Committee developed a FAQ to “demystify” the local school options for our community’s residents. This FAQ for neighborhood stakeholders is available for download at ncwpdr. org/westchesterplayaschools-faqs-neighborhoodstakeholders. (continued on page 14)

PHOTOS COURTESY WSCS.

The Neighborhood Councils in Los Angeles were established to promote more citizen participation in government and make government more responsive to local needs. The communities of Westchester, Playa del Rey and Playa Vista have their own Neighborhood Council and among its committees is one solely focused on education chaired by Dr. Michele Cooley-Strickland and co-chaired by Grace Yao. The Committee meets the fourth Wednesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. at the Westchester Municipal Building Community Room. These meetings are open to the public. The NCWP Education Committee’s primary goal is to engage the Westchester, Playa del Rey and Playa Vista community in support of advancing the success of the local elementary, middle and high schools, as well as that of the local colleges and universities. We work to do this by enhancing school resources and students’ educational experiences; encouraging parental involvement and through community partnerships. The committee believes that it is in the best interest of all of the stakeholders and residents of Westchester/ Playa, whether or not they have school-aged children, to support the success and improve the quality, access and structure of our local schools. It enhances property values and, importantly, contributes to the health and well-being of our most valuable citizens: our

Top photo: Sixth grade students enjoy an interactive exhibit on a field trip to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Bottom photos (left to right): Middle school students practice the triangle pose in yoga class. Students compete in Get Lit’s citywide spoken word competition.

WSCS starts semester at new location, raising funds for programs Westchester Secondary Charter School (WSCS) is thrilled to have a space for the next couple of years at the First Baptist Church of Westchester, located at 8540 La Tijera Blvd., where we hope to build a longterm home. In our third year, we will serve more than 300 students in grades 6-11 and are boasting a student faculty ratio of 14:1. We’re offering not only several AP courses to our current sophomores and juniors, but also continue to provide a thriving elective program that includes yoga, guitar, theatre and art. All of these curricular offerings fulfill our vision of

creating a comprehensive liberal arts program that is rigorous, personal and communityfocused. Last year, over 90% of our 10th grade students passed the CAHSEE (high school exit exam) at their first sitting. We had over 60% of our drama students place in the Regional DTASC Shakespeare Competition and had two middle school students place (second and third) in the nationwide Selma Reflections writing contest sponsored by Charity Jordan, one of the stars of the movie. Additionally, five of our students were selected to sit on the prestigious Mayor’s

Youth Council where they work regularly with Mayor Garcetti and advise him on issues related to young people in Los Angeles. WSCS is currently in the middle of our Dream Fundraising Campaign; our goal is to raise $20,000 for the school in less than 60 days through direct donations from the school community, local foundations and businesses and individuals who support public education and the school. Now firmly rooted in Westchester, its time for the school to thrive and this campaign supports a firm foundation in the community. To donate, visit westchestercharter.org.

A Message from the HomeTown News It’s Back to School season and we are proud to present the Third Annual “Celebrating our Local Schools” section in the pages of the HomeTown News! For this special section, we invited our local Westchester/Playa schools to share information with us that

they would like the community to know about their campuses, so we could share that information with our readers. There are great things going on at each of our local public, private and charter schools that the community can be proud of! The information provided in these

pages is proof that the local schools are working hard to provide their students with innovative programs, engaged teachers and robust arts, sports and science programs. The HomeTown News is a proud supporter of our local schools. We support education through

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

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our sponsorship of events like the Race for Success and the Teacher Eddy Awards; by donating to silent auctions; and of course, by inviting all of our schools to contact us with their achievements so we can share them with you, our readers! Here’s to a great school year! September 2015 • Page 13


Getting involved can help make schools flourish “Schools that are serious about fulfilling every student’s promise must develop structures and relationships that nurture the strengths and energies of each student.”– Dennis Littky, The Big Picture. While this idea is both insightful and provocative, it cannot be assumed that schools will accomplish the task of developing adequate structures and relationships without the support of all stakeholders. Schools are microcosms of the larger society and must work collaboratively with community partners to identify, understand and commit to meeting the needs of all learners. In the Loyola Marymount University Family of Schools, our students come from diverse social, cultural and economic backgrounds. They are middle class, economically disadvantaged, gifted and talented, have special needs and learning disabilities, live with their biological parents, are being raised in foster homes, U.S. citizens, immigrants and of a variety

of cultures, ethnicities and faithbased traditions. As a result, each year we work to support our partner schools as they continue to develop environments where all children are able to thrive. In support of inclusive education, culturally relevant and responsive teaching, Title I programs, English language development and other intervention and enrichment opportunities, the LMU Family of Schools seeks to engage civic, business and educational leaders in the co-creation of school cultures that are affirming and student centered. We believe all children should receive an education that prepares them for college and career success and provides the tools for them to serve others as responsible and compassionate citizens. The LMU Family of Schools also recognizes the negative impact that societal biases, prejudices and discrimination have on the lives and schooling of our children. As we work to support schools in building healthy environments, we will reduce the ill

effects of these factors and level the academic playing field. However, in order to do so, WE MUST SOLICIT YOUR HELP because education is everyone’s business (Littky, 2004) and strong schools are a present and future asset to everyone in our community. I went to school in the Westchester/Playa community and I know it is replete with entrepreneurs, community activists, parents, educators, coaches, mentors and a host of other educational stakeholders. With the start of the 2015-2016 school year comes new opportunities to operationalize your passion to care for the socialemotional well-being and foster the academic achievement of our children. Today, we are challenging and encouraging all community members to join with us and take advantage of the opportunities to know, grow and positively impact your local educational community. GET INVOLVED! You don’t have to know all the terminology, nor all the key players, you just need to exercise

Darin Earley, MS.ed Director, LMU Family of Schools.

the courage and willingness to contact our office or the local school of your choice and let them know you want to help. We look forward to hearing from you! Darin Earley, MS.ed is the Director of the LMU Family of Schools.

NCWP works to promote education (continued) • Participating in community outreach events, including the LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce’s Local School Expo. • Obtain objective understanding of the community’s views on local education. A brief (and ongoing)

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survey was developed by the NCWP Education Committee and the initial results are posted on our website. You can participate in the survey by visiting SurveyMonkey.com/r/5JNVD8X. In the future, the NCWP Education Committee plans to host a Westside

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Public School Education Event featuring elected officials and local school representatives so parents and stakeholders will have the opportunity to have a Q&A with their local officials to understand their plans for strengthening the quality of our local

publicly-funded schools. The event is being planned for late Fall 2015. Please visit the NCWP Education Committee at ncwpdr.org/education to learn more about education in the community and to get involved.

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News


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September 2015 • Page 15


St. Jerome welcomes students back to school

St. Jerome faculty and staff are pleased to be back to school and welcome all new and returning students and their families. The energy was positive and we know that with this kind of enthusiasm, it will be a terrific year! The Mini Pep Rally in the courtyard and the ice cream social in the afternoon were some of the highlights of our first day of school. We are off to a great start and we hope you will join us at some of the amazing events we have in store of the upcoming year. Please visit our website at st-jeromeschool.org to get more information about our events and to schedule your school tour!

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Westside Neighborhood celebrates 35th anniversary of creating lifelong learners Celebrating its 35th anniversary, Westside Neighborhood School’s (WNS) mission is to create a community of lifelong learners that nurtures students from diverse backgrounds to reach their full potential and inspires them to contribute to the world with confidence, creativity, curiosity, conscience, and compassion. As a DK-8 independent school located adjacent to Playa Vista with a forward-thinking curriculum and an emphasis on project/problem-based learning, WNS gives its students a solid foundation for success in the 21st century. Social learning and social thinking are an integral part of the learning environment and emphasized at every grade level. In addition, a plethora of leadership and activity opportunities are available for students including sports teams, electives, performing and visual arts, robotics, family groups, after school classes and so much more. This past summer, WNS also implemented a new Global Studies Program for middle school students, which culminated in a summer trip abroad to Costa Rica. WNS uses a co-

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During a trip to Costa Rica, WNS students had the opportunity to zip line in the rain forest, juice sugar cane at a local organic farm and learn about sustainability at an eco-lodge.

teaching model and has a 12:1 student to teacher ratio, allowing us to provide each child with an individualized education that meets the needs of different learning styles and a range of abilities. With our four pillars of success– academic excellence, character,

diversity and community– forming the backbone of our education model, WNS continues to provide an exceptional environment for our students and their families. For more information and to learn about what makes the WNS community so special, please visit wnsk8.com.

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September 2015 • Page 17


WISH inspires learners to reach highest potential These last five years have proven to be an incredible journey and we are so grateful to begin a sixth year with the Westchester community. The WISH community has enjoyed support from the Westchester community in so many ways. This year the elementary program continues to co-locate with Wright STEAM Magnet and WISH Middle school is now co-locating at Cowan Elementary School. We love being a part of the community and are grateful that so many of our families can walk and ride their bikes to school! WISH Charter Elementary and WISH Middle are free public, independent charter schools authorized by LAUSD. The WISH mission is to maximize every scholar’s learning potential within an atmosphere of caring and belonging. The WISH instructional philosophy rests upon the concepts of hands on learning, meaningful instructional activities, systematic instruction and a collaborative group of professionals working together to make the learning environment exciting for students. Core tenets of the WISH model include: • Optimal class size. All kindergarten through 3rd grade classrooms have approximately 20 students. Grades 4 through 8 have

Page 18 • September 2015

WISH students work on creating a solar oven during a hands on learning assignment.

approximately 25 students. • Collaboration and co-teaching. Highly qualified, credentialed educators are partners in planning, teaching and assessing each child. In addition to classroom teachers, teaching specialists support each grade level and move between classrooms to enrich learning opportunities. Music, art, PE, technology and specialty teachers utilize a co-teaching model to increase adult to student ratios, provide tailored instruction and demonstrate best practices for all scholars. Each staff member

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participates in a 30-minute debriefing session daily. During this time, staff members reflect on the day and share a success, challenge and action plan for serving children better. • Differentiated instruction. WISH empowers and inspires learners to reach their highest potential. With an emphasis on academic achievement using a variety of modalities, developing character, building technology skills and a deep understanding of the world, WISH prepares students to be leaders. • Family partnerships. The

WISH Community Association (WCA) is comprised of parents, students, teachers, staff members and community members. Working together, we have built an incredible public school that is responsive to each student we serve. Volunteers are central to the success of WISH. The partnerships built with families have led to a rich and nurturing environment for children. • All students growing and thriving. Each class builds a strong, inclusive community together! Important academic, social and ethical skills and attitudes are developed when students with various strengths, needs, and backgrounds learn together. During the summer, teachers attend professional development institutes on gifted and talented education, technology and differentiated instruction. Come visit one of our open houses and see our learning environment where you can expect passion, rigor, joy and meaningful and engaging lessons! We have the very best teachers and we are grateful for their service every single day. For more information, visit our websites at wishcharter.org and wishmiddle.org.

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News


Visitation works to enhance sports program for students

Visitation students practice their dribbling skills at the St. Bernard High School gym.

Visitation School is off to an amazing start this year! With the addition of several new staff and faculty members, the school is poised to continue its tradition of excellence. Additionally, Msgr. Jim Forsen, pastor at Visitation, has been instrumental in creating a culture of growth at the school. Most recently, Visitation has welcomed Nicholas Galvan to its team as the new athletic director. Director Galvan has been working hard since the end of last year and all summer to revolutionize the sports program at Visitation. Most recently, he coordinated a full scale basketball skills camp for all levels of competition at the school with the help of parents and community

stakeholders. The fall sports teams have been working out and practicing all summer as well. Under Mr. Galvan’s athletic leadership, Visitation sports will now, without a doubt, be a driving force in athletic competition in Westchester. Mr. Galvan will be continuing a tradition of excellence at Visitation, whose athletic accomplishments includes many CYO championship titles, most recently in girls’ soccer. Visitation School is led by their principal, Christopher Watson. For more info, please visit visitationschool.org or email cwatson@visitatonschool.org.

St. Bernard High School continues positive momentum At St. Bernard, we are proud of our continued growth and positive momentum. The school celebrates a tradition of academic excellence that continues with the addition of the class of 2019, as well as incoming transfer students from 39 different schools. New students are coming from local schools, including Visitation, Westchester Lutheran, St. Jerome, St. Augustine, Culver City Middle, Wright Steam Magnet, Westchester Secondary Charter and Animo Westside Charter Middle. Our incoming students come with a rich background in academics, community involvement, student leadership and athletics. St. Bernard High School proudly boasts a 100% college acceptance rate for students who applied to a 4-year institution. The graduating class of 2015 did not disappoint! 96% of 65 seniors will be attending a 4-year or 2-year college this fall. As the end of last semester, 65 St. Bernard students had been accepted to over 167 colleges and universities

and received an extraordinary $1,500,000 in grants and scholarships. Students have been accepted to the University of Notre Dame, UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Irvine, UC Davis, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, USC, Howard, Gonzaga, LMU, Fordham and St. John’s just to name a few. St. Bernard graduates were not only strong academic candidates, but also were accomplished student leaders, athletic champions, and active participants in our thriving ASB, cheer, drama and campus ministry programs. Said St. Bernard Vice Principal, Rosie Roberts, “The key to our students’ success is their desire to reach higher and go farther. We just try to help them get there. We are so very proud of our students.” We invite you to campus to discover the St. Bernard community. Please contact Christina McCole at (310) 823-4651x 113 or at cmccole@ stbernardhs.org for more information or to arrange a campus tour today.

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September 2015 • Page 19


Westport Heights incorporates next generation science standards in classrooms We have built a community within our school where students, teachers, staff, parents and administration work together to provide an educational setting that is conducive to good learning and understanding. We are still an Instructional Technology Initiative School with one-toone iPads for all students. We are excited to share with you upcoming programs at Westport Heights this year like our new partnership with Playa Vista Elementary and LMU to begin incorporating Next Generation Science Standards in the classroom instructional program. Our dedicated staff has formed professional learning communities to offer focused specialties such as robotics, coding, and arts to our students! In addition to all of the good teaching and learning that takes place in our school, we also have a schoolwide Positive Behavior Plan to foster positive relationships with a focus on our three school rules: Be Respectful, Be Responsible and Be Safe; “Character Counts!” expectations, and Bucket-filling socio-emotional learning activities. Our Booster Club at Westport had a very fruitful year. We had our inaugural “Mother and Son Dance,”

Paseo del Rey Natural Magnet Dates: School Tour Dates: September 15 October 13 November 17 Paseo Island Festival: Saturday, May 7

St. Bernard High School Dates: Admissions Tour, BBQ and Football Game: September 4, starting at 4 p.m. September 18, starting at 4 p.m. October 9, starting at 4 p.m. November 6, starting at 4 p.m. Open House: November 14 Special Reception with Principal Lynch: December 3

St. Jerome Dates: High School Information Night: October 7, 7 p.m. St. Jerome School Tours: October 13, 10 a.m. November 10, 10 a.m. December 8, 10 a.m. January 12, 10 a.m. February 9, 10 a.m. March 22, 10 a.m. April 12, 10 a.m. May 10, 10 a.m. Spring Carnival: April 21 to 24

Westchester Secondary Charter Dates: Prospective Family School Tour: September 16, 9 a.m. Music Department Fall Concert: October 6, 6 p.m.

Page 20 • September 2015

which had a phenomenal turnout! Our Booster Club constantly celebrates our dedicated staff with catered food donated from our community partners. We also had successful community days in partnership with our stakeholders to revitalize both of our playgrounds with murals and to repaint our play areas. We are ecstatic about the opportunity to partner up with our new Booster “sister school” West Hollywood Elementary this year. This new partnership will allow us to increase community-building among stakeholders across the district. We believe education doesn’t stop when summer begins, so we had amazing summer programs for our students including LMU arts training sponsored by Loyola Marymount University (LMU), Scholastic Summer Lit Camp sponsored by LitWorld and LMU, YMCA camp sponsored by Kiwanis and school shopping sponsored by Kiwanis We invite you to visit our school website at westportheights.org for any of our upcoming events and school news or to see the wonderful activities going on around our campus through our school and classroom blogs. GO CONDORS!

WISH announces reduced price meals in the national school WISH announces reduced-price meals in the national school lunch program lunch program

WISH Charter recently announced today announced itsWISH policyCharter for providing free and its policy for providing and rereduced-price mealsfree for children duced-price meals for children served served under the California National under the California National School School Lunch Program. Each school Lunch school and/orProgram. the centralEach office has a and/ copy of or the central office has a of the the policy, which may be copy reviewed by policy, which may be reviewed by any any interested party. interested party. size and income The household The household size and income criteria identified below will be used criteria identified below will be used to determine eligibility for free, to determine eligibility for free, reduced-price, or full-price meal reduced-price, or full-price meal benefits. Children from households benefits. Children from households whoseincome incomeisis at at or or below below the the levels levels whose shown here are eligible for free or shown here are eligible for free or reduced-pricemeals. meals. Children Childrenwho who reduced-price receive Food Stamp (FS), California receive Food Stamp (FS), California WorkOpportunity Opportunityand andResponsibility Responsibility Work to Kids (CalWORKs), Kinship to Kids (CalWORKs), Kinship GuardGuardianship Assistance Payments ianship Assistance Payments (Kin(Kin-GAP), or Distribution Food Distribution GAP), or Food Program Program Indian Reservations on Indian on Reservations (FDPIR) (FDPIR)are benefits are automatically benefits automatically eligible for free meals the income eligible forregardless free mealsof regardless of the of the household in whichin they reside. income of the household which they Eligibility for a foster is child basedison reside. Eligibility for achild foster abased separate and solelyand on the on aapplication separate application amount of the child’s “personal use” solely on the amount of the child’s income.

WSCS Haunted Harvest (community Halloween festival): October 31, 10 a.m.

Westside Neighborhood School Dates: Admissions Presentation and Tours: September 29, 9:30 a.m. to noon October 6, 9:30 a.m. to noon October 20, 9:30 a.m. to noon November 12, 9:30 a.m. to noon November 19, 6:30 to 8:30 pm (middle school) December 10, 9:30 a.m. to noon January 7, 9:30 a.m. to noon WNS Speaker Series, Christine Chaille: October 7, 7 to 9 p.m.

WISH Charter School Dates: Elementary School Open Houses: December 2, 6 p.m. January 13, 9:30 a.m. February 10, 9:30 a.m. March 9, 6 p.m. Middle School Open Houses: December 1, 6 p.m. January 12, 9:30 a.m. February 9, 9:30 a.m. March 8, 6 p.m.

Wright STEAM Dates: School Tour Dates: October 7, 9 a.m. October 15, 9 a.m. October 21, 9 a.m. October 29, 9 a.m. November 4, 9 a.m. November 12, 9 a.m.

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“personal use” income. Application forms are being disApplication forms are being tributed to all households with a letter distributed to all with informing them ofhouseholds the availability a letter informing them of the of free and reduced-price meals for availability of free Applications and reduced-are enrolled children. price meals for enrolled children. also available at the principal’s office Applications are also available at the in each school. To apply for free or principal’s office in benefits, each school. To reduced-price meal houseapplymust for free or reduced-price meal holds complete an application benefits, mustfor complete and returnhouseholds it to the school processan application andmay return it to the at ing. Applications be submitted any timefor during the school year. The school processing. Applications information households on the may be submitted at anyprovide time during application will be used to determine the school year. The information meal eligibility and may be application verified households provide on the atwill anybetime during the school year by used to determine meal school or program officials. eligibility and may be verified at any Requirements school time during the for school yearofficials by school to determine eligibility for free and or program officials. reduced-price benefits are asofficials follows: Requirements for school For households receiving Food to determine eligibility for free Stamp, and CalWORKs, Kin-GAP, or FDPIR benreduced-price benefits are as follows: efits – applications need only include For households receiving Food the enrolled child(ren)’s name, Food Stamp, CalWORKs, Kin-GAP, or Stamp, CalWORKs, Kin-GAP, or FDFDPIR benefits – applications need PIR case number, and the signature of only include the enrolled child(ren)’s an adult household member. For housename, Food Stamp, CalWORKs, holds who do not list a Food Stamp, Kin-GAP, or FDPIR case number, and the signature of an adult household

member. For households who do CalWORKs, or FDPIR case not list a FoodKin-GAP, Stamp, CalWORKs, number, the include Kin-GAP, orapplication FDPIR casemust number, the the names of all household members, application must include the names of thehousehold amount and source ofthe theamount income all members, received by each household member, and source of the income received andeach the signature corresponding by householdand member, and the Social Security number of anSocial adult signature and corresponding household member. If the household Security number of an adult household member who signs the application does member. If the household member not have a Social Security number, the who signs the application does not household member must indicate on have a Social Security number, the the application that a Social Security household member must indicate on number is not available. theUnder application that a Social Security the provisions of the free and number is not available. reduced-price meal policy, the deterUnderofficial(s), the provisions of the freeby the mining as designated and reduced-price meal policy, the sponsor/agency, shall review applicadetermining official(s), as designated tions and determine eligibility. Parents by the sponsor/agency, or guardians dissatisfiedshall withreview the eligiapplications bility ruling and maydetermine discuss theeligibility. decision Parents guardians dissatisfied with with theor determining official on an the eligibility ruling maymay discuss informal basis. Parents alsothe make decision thefor determining official a formal with request an appeal hearing of the decision and may do somay orally or on an informal basis. Parents in writing the sponsor/agency’s also make with a formal request for an hearinghearing official.ofParents or guardappeal the decision and ians should contact their child(ren)’s may do so orally or in writing with school(s) for specific hearing information the sponsor/agency’s official. regarding the name of the determining Parents or guardians should contact official and/or hearing official for a their child(ren)’s school(s) for specific specific school, agency, or district. information regarding the name of the If a household member determining official and/orbecomes hearing unemployed or if the household sizeor official for a specific school, agency, increases, the household should contact district. the school. Such changes may make If a household member becomes the children of the household eligible unemployed or if the household for benefits if the household’s income size increases, the household should falls at or below the levels shown contact above. the school. Such changes may make the children of the Sponsors/agencies thathousehold use direct eligible for benefits if thethe household’s certification should add following income falls or below levels paragraph toattheir publicthe release: shown above. Households that receive Food Stamp, HouseholdsKin-GAP, that receive Stamp, CalWORKs, or Food FDPIR CalWORKs, orcomplete FDPIR an benefits may Kin-GAP, not have to benefits mayfor notFree haveortoReduced-Price complete an Application Application forMilk. Free or Reduced-Price Meals or Free School officials Meals or Free Milk. Schoolforofficials will determine eligibility free meals based on documentation obtained will determine eligibility for free meals directly the Food Stamp, Calbased onfrom documentation obtained WORKs,from Kin-GAP, or Stamp, FDPIR office directly the Food that a child isKin-GAP, a memberorofFDPIR a household CalWORKs, office currently receiving Food Stamp or that a child is a member of a household FDPIR benefits or an assistance unit currently receiving Food Stamp or receiving CalWORKs or Kin-GAP FDPIR benefits or an assistance unit benefits. CalWORKs School officials will notify receiving or Kin-GAP households of their eligibility, but benefits. School officials will notify those who do not want their child(ren) households of their eligibility, but to receive free meals must contact the those who do not want their child(ren) school. Food Stamp, CalWORKs, Kinto receive free meals must contact GAP, and FDPIR households should the school. Food Stamp, CalWORKs, complete an application if they are not Kin-GAP, and FDPIR households notified of their eligibility by Septemshould ber 15, complete 2015. an application if they are not notified of their eligibility by September 15, 2015.

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News


Westchester Lutheran starts school year celebrating 65th anniversary Westchester Lutheran School began its 65th year on Wednesday, September 2. With a humble beginning of fourteen kindergarten students meeting in the church kitchen area in 1950, we have grown to serve preschool through eighth grade. Westchester Lutheran offers a classic, foundational academic education presented with forwardthinking methodology. Our students benefit from being in a community where being well-rounded is encouraged and excellence is the norm. Our S.A.T. scores continue to be well above average, our athletic program is outstanding and our performing arts presentations top quality. We have been blessed to have outstanding teachers that have touched the lives of thousands of children throughout the years. Our teachers are the heart of our program

WLCS’ float took home top honors in this year’s Fourth of July Parade.

and continue each year to give above and beyond to ensure that their students receive the best possible learning experience. It is interesting to

note that eleven of our staff members attended Westchester Lutheran School as students. Our student body also includes children of former students.

Westchester Lutheran School parents have always been an important part of our program. We are thankful to them for being dedicated and dynamic partners in the education of their children. They contribute many hours of time and talent to help make Westchester Lutheran the best it can be. Working together, staff, parents and students are planning for another terrific year. We look forward to a year of excellence in academics, athletics, and the arts. We congratulate our students on past achievements and anticipate more of the same for 20152016. At Westchester Lutheran School, all are welcome, all are valued and all are enabled to excel. Check out website at wlcs.org. or call to arrange for a tour at (310) 6705422.

Paseo provides academic excellence and cultural diversity Located in Playa del Rey since 1962, Paseo del Rey Natural Science Magnet started as a small, neighborhood school. Over the past 50 years, it has grown into a Natural Science Magnet with a diverse student population from throughout the greater Los Angeles area. Teachers, parents, students and alumni, as well as the local residents and business community, enthusiastically support Paseo. This support has provided our children with opportunities for greater academic excellence and cultural diversity, without losing the personal caring, nurturing, safety and intimacy of a neighborhood school. Some of our school’s highlights include: • Seven of our teachers are proudly part of the Cotsen Foundation for the Art of Teaching Fellowship. The mission of the program is to develop gifted teachers through mentoring to promote high quality teaching. • We are a Common Core Lab School for LAUSD Educational Service Center West. Other schools come to learn from us! • We are a Natural Science Magnet with a science and computer lab. • This year, Planet Bravo will teach a full technology curriculum for all grades in our on-site upgraded computer lab. • We offer elementary art and dance and have a school orchestra!

Paseo students learn about plants, succulents and cacti during a field trip.

• We have a school library and librarian. • We offer STAR before and after school programs and a Beyond the Bell after school program. • We offer the STAR physical education program for all grades. • We offer pre-k and kindergarten to residents who live within the school’s boundaries. • We offer STAR preschool onsite. Paseo del Rey is tried and true. Our caring staff, teachers and active Parent Teacher Organization all work together to support our students and make Paseo del Rey a wonderful place to attend elementary school!

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September 2015 • Page 21


Things have been very busy at Saint Anastasia Catholic School. Two years ago, our school developed a social emotional learning committee that included teachers, parents and community supporters. The mission of this committee has been St. Anastasia school administrators learn more about how to improve the “emotions matter”at a training this summer at Yale University. social and emotional so that they can focus, learn and development of do their best in school. Increasing our students. After much research, our students’ emotional intelligence the school has adopted RULER, a is important because: emotions research based program to develop influence teaching and learning, the skills of emotional intelligence in emotions influence decision making, all educators, staff, students and their emotions influence physical and families. Four staff members spent a mental health and emotions influence week at Yale University’s Center for the quality of our relationships. The Emotional Intelligence this summer, faculty and staff are inspired by the learning how to apply the RULER process and looking forward to a Approach. This group then facilitated wonderful school year ahead. a week-long training with the entire For more information about Saint faculty and staff of the school in Anastasia Catholic School and our preparation to roll out the program at social emotional learning program, the beginning of the school year. please visit our website at Research shows that students with school.st-anastasia.org. higher emotional intelligence are better prepared to manage their lives

Wright STEAM Magnet’s Week of Welcome promotes collaboration Wright Middle School STEAM Magnet launched into the 2015­ 16 school year with our 3rd annual Week of Welcome (WOW). During this opening week of school, students participated in grade level team activities to promote collaboration, gender break-out sessions and arts integration lessons that promote creativity. This week offers our diverse student population an opportunity to become acclimated with our school community and connect with their peers both academically and socially. Wright Middle School STEAM Magnet is an engineering and design school supported by the Magnet School Assistance Program (MSAP) grant. Project Based Learning (PBL) is our teaching method for building 21st century skills and the capacity to investigate and respond to complex questions, problems and challenges. In addition to interdisciplinary projects, our students are challenged and excel in elective courses that include Project Lead the Way (Green Architecture, Energy and the Environment; Design and Modeling; Flight and Space and Automation and Robotics), orchestra, music production, theatre, fashion design and Spanish.

PHOTO BY GLENN MARZANO.

St. Anastasia rolls out new emotional learning program

Orchestra students show off their drum skills at this year’s Fourth of July parade.

Our interdisciplinary PBLs are showcased during our STEAM in Action events on November 10th and March 17th. Please join us on these dates as our students showcase and present their STEAM projects. This is also a great opportunity to meet our staff and experience our curriculum. Our future families are invited to see how we design and engineer learning at Wright Middle School STEAM Magnet on the following tour dates at 9 a.m.: • October 7, 15, 21 and 29 • November 4 and 12 If your student desires a future in engineering and design, then apply to Wright Engineering & Design through echoices.lausd.net beginning October 1, 2015.

The Loyola Marymount University Family of Schools would like to welcome our partner schools and stakeholders to the 2015-2016 school year. • Cowan Avenue Elementary School • Kentwood Elementary School • Loyola Village Elementary School • Wright STEAM Magnet Middle School • Paseo Del Rey Natural Science Magnet • Playa Vista Elementary School • St. Anastasia Catholic School • St. Bernard High School • St. Jerome School • Visitation Catholic Elementary School • Westchester Enriched Sciences Magnets • Westport Heights Elementary School • WISH Charter Elementary and Middle School

Page 22 • September 2015

Back to School

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

Profile for Westchester/Playa del Rey HomeTown News

Hometown News September 2015 Back to School edition  

Celebrating our local schools 2015-2016

Hometown News September 2015 Back to School edition  

Celebrating our local schools 2015-2016

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