By Mary O’KEEFE
The summer is not quite over. There are still a few more weeks to hit the beach but soon – very soon – it will be time for school to begin again.
Throughout Crescenta Valley moms and dads will spout early morning wisdom like, “I told you to go to bed earlier,” and “You should have laid your clothes out the night before.” And of course the tried and true cry from parents: “What do you mean it is due today?”
Yes, it’s time to send the children, young and old, back to school. When they are elementary age they are excited to see what teachers they may get for the year; when they are in middle school they can’t wait to see friends; and in high school – well – they dread their homework, look forward to socializing and will eventually come up with creative and inventive reasons they just must have a car to function.
Most schools will welcome familiar faces as students begin the school year – with one exception. Principal Bill Card, formerly of Lincoln Elementary, will be greeting students at Toll Middle School while new principal Stephen Williams will be taking the helm at Lincoln. Williams left Franklin Magnet Elementary.
Principal Cynthia Livingston at Rosemont Middle School and Crescenta Valley High School Principal Michele Doll will both begin their second year at their schools.
“I love it,” Livingston said of Rosemont. She had been principal at Fremont Elementary before the “promotion” to middle school.
La Cañada Unified School District will see a change with new Superintendent Wendy Sinnette. Jim Stratton had been LCUSD superintendent for six years when he announced his retirement at the end of the school year. Sinnette had been with the district beginning as an elementary school principal in 2002.
Beyond personnel changes there are two more technical requirements that must be made this year. The first is immunization.
All 2011-12 students entering seventh to 12th grades will be required to provide documentation proving that the student has received the Tdap (pertussis) booster, or adolescent whooping cough, shot. Signed into state law in September 2010, the requirement goes into affect in the 2011-12 school year. This requirement is in response to an epidemic-like spread of whooping cough.
“As of January 7, 2011, there were more than 8,300 cases of pertussis with onset in 2010 reported statewide to the California Department of Public Health, the most reported since 1947,” according to CDPH.
Last month Gov. Jerry Brown allowed a 30-day grace period for parents to get their children the pertussis vaccination. Students have 30 days after school begins to get the vaccine and provide proof to their school.
This year, program and club leaders will have to take a new approach in getting money for everything from band uniform to stethoscopes.
“We are taking this year to evaluate [the ruling],” said Glendale Unified School District Superintendent Richard Sheehan.
According to their website, the California affiliates of the American Civil Liberties Union announced a settlement with the State of California that will establish a comprehensive monitoring and enforcement system to ensure school districts do not unlawfully charge fees to students for educational activities.
The settlement, which requires court approval, is contingent on enactment of legislation that would empower students and parents to use the existing Williams Uniform Complaint Process to identify, and receive reimbursement for, illegal school fees and that would amend the annual independent audits of school districts to determine if schools collected illegal fees.
What that translates into is school programs like music can no longer require a student’s family to pay for rental of an instrument. In fact, no program within the public school system can require money for any equipment or other supporting items. The clubs and programs can only ask for donations, not require a student to pay.
This is the first year for this ruling and Sheehan said so far everyone has been very cooperative but the concern is what will happen as the school year progresses.
“[For example] what do we do with elementary instrumental music? [Before] we asked for a $95 rental fee,” Sheehan said. “The worst case is the program will go away, but that is the last-case scenario.”
California is still in budget trouble but Sheehan is more positive with Gov. Brown leading the way.
“Gov. Brown has made education funding a priority,” he said.
Glendale Unified School District:
Kindergarten through 12th
Aug. 29 First Day of School
Oct. 31 District Staff Development Day
Nov. 11 Veterans’ Day
Nov. 23, 24, 25 Thanksgivings Recess
Nov. 28 Student Holiday
Dec. 22-Jan. 6 Winter Recess
Jan. 16 Dr. Martin Luther King Holiday
Feb. 13 Lincoln Birthday
Feb. 20 Washington Birthday
April 9-13 Spring Break
April 16 District Staff Development Day
May 28 Memorial Day
June 14 Last Day of School
For Information on GUSD schools in Crescenta Valley
Dunsmore Elementary School
Phone: (818) 248-1758 | Fax: (818) 249-7918
4717 Dunsmore Ave. La Crescenta, CA 91214
John C. Fremont Elementary School
Phone: (818) 249-3241 | Fax: (818) 249-7921
3320 Las Palmas Ave., Glendale, CA 91208
Mountain Ave Elementary School
Phone: (818) 248-7766 | Fax: (818) 248-6352
2307 Mountain Ave., La Crescenta, CA 91214
La Crescenta Elementary School
Phone: (818) 249-3187 | Fax: (818) 248-3168
4343 La Crescenta Ave., La Crescenta, CA 9121
Lincoln Elementary School
Phone: (818) 249-1863 | Fax: (818) 249-7876
4310 New York Ave., La Crescenta, CA 91214
Monte Vista Elementary School
Phone: (818) 248-2617 | Fax: (818) 248-5263
2620 Orange Ave., La Crescenta, CA 91214
Valley View Elementary School
Phone: (818) 236-3771 | Fax: (818) 542-6480
4900 Maryland Ave., La Crescenta, CA 91214
Rosemont Middle School
Phone: (818) 248-4224 | Fax: (818) 248-3790
4725 Rosemont Ave., La Crescenta, CA 91214
Clark Magnet High School
Phone: (818) 248-8324 | Fax: (818) 957-2954
4747 New York Avenue, La Crescenta, CA 91214
Crescenta Valley High School
Phone: (818) 249-5871 | Fax: (818) 541-9531
2900 Community Ave., La Crescenta, CA 91214
College View School
Phone: (818) 246-8363 | Fax: (818) 246-0708
1700 East Mountain Street, Glendale, CA 91207