PTA coffee at Madison Square & Garden Café will welcome new families to Laguna schools

Families that are new to the Laguna Beach Unified School District are invited to attend the PTA Coffee Talk “New Families Welcome Tea” on Wed, Oct. 4, from 8:30 -10 a.m. at Madison Square & Garden Café, located at 320 N Coast Hwy.

This is a chance for new parents to meet other families who are also new to the district. You will get to know a little bit more about your new schools and our charming town. 

Longtime residents are welcome to join us to help welcome the new families. Complimentary light refreshments and coffee will be served. 


Local students show improvement in state testing: LBUSD ranks second in OC overall

Laguna Beach Unified School District ranked second in Orange County for overall percentage of students who met or exceeded state standards on the 2017 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), the results of which were released a couple of days ago by the California Department of Education (CDE).

Last spring, LBUSD students in grades 3 through 8 and 11 participated in the CAASPP, which includes the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments for English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics. These tests are based on California’s challenging academic standards, which include the ability to write clearly, think critically, and solve problems— skills needed to succeed in college and a 21st century career. 

The percentage of LBUSD students who met or exceeded the ELA standards for grades 3, 5, 7, and 11 increased from 2016 to 2017, and grade 8 remained unchanged.

The percentage of students who met or exceeded the math standards for grades 3, 4, 6, 7, and 11 increased from 2016 to 2017. 

Sixth grade math and seventh grade ELA score highest in the County

LBUSD average scores in sixth-grade math and seventh-grade ELA were the highest in the county and seventh-grade math increased by 11 percent since 2016.  In addition, math and ELA scores for English learners and socioeconomically disadvantaged subgroups in LBUSD increased between 2016 and 2017, including a 7 percent increase in ELA among English learners.  

“Our focus on continuous improvement as an organization is evidenced in our students scores as we continue to show growth in almost all areas and grade levels.  Though this is just one indicator we use to report the success of our students and schools we are proud of the results,” said LBUSD Superintendent Dr. Jason Viloria. 

“It helps recognize the hard work of our students and staff, as well as the continued effort of our families, staff and district leadership in supporting our students ongoing academic growth.”

The California Department of Education (CDE) provides a wide range of tools to help parents, teachers, and schools understand and use CAASPP results.  These resources include an understanding student CAASPP scores website that provides parents and teachers with grade-by-grade, subject-by-subject information at all levels of achievement; detailed online guides for parents and teachers to use in analyzing results; and practice tests at every grade level in English and mathematics. 

Complete district results are available on the CAASPP website.  The Board of Education will receive an informational report regarding the CAASPP scores at its Oct 10 meeting. 


LBUSD parent Brent Martini receives SchoolPower’s Hall of Fame Award

SchoolPower presented its top honor, “The Hall of Fame Award” (aka The Claes Award), to LBUSD parent Brent Martini. The award was created in honor of Claes Andersen, owner of The Hotel Laguna and Claes Restaurant. Andersen opened his restaurant to SchoolPower back in 2001 and underwrote an annual dinner for seven consecutive years, in addition to other generous donations. The Andersen family contributions totaled more than $200,000 to SchoolPower.

With the Andersens as the benchmark, this award is not given lightly. However, it would be hard to find a more deserving recipient than Brent Martini. Mr. Martini has given his money and his time to Laguna Beach schools. As a former SchoolPower trustee and a current member of SchoolPower’s Endowment Board, Mr. Martini and his family have given approximately $300,000 to LBUSD. In recent years, his commitment has focused on helping LBUSD make substantive improvements in technology, an area where Laguna schools once lagged. 

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

From left: Robin Rounaghi, SchoolPower Executive Director, applauds Laguna Beach parent Brent Martini as he receives SchoolPower’s Hall of Fame Award while LBUSD Superintendent Jason Viloria looks on

Working closely with LBUSD Chief Technology Officer Mike Morrison, his commitments have helped transform classrooms at every school in the district. 

“Brent’s support for technology and innovation has helped to propel LBUSD into one of the top leaders in California for technology. I love working with Brent because he focuses on results and how they directly impact our students,” Morrison said.

Mr. Martini’s enthusiasm has also inspired giving in others. Whether raising his bid card over and over (and over) again for LBUSD’s Social Emotional Support Fund-a-Need, which then encouraged others to raise their cards, or providing matching funds for SchoolPower’s Community Campaign or just taking the time to learn about what LBUSD needed so that he could help them attain their goals faster, he has been a force for positive change at Laguna Beach schools.

After receiving his award, Mr. Martini said, “This has been the most satisfying thing I’ve done in my life. To see our kids prosper, to see our schools prosper…it’s a good thing.”


TOW Elementary wants retired staff and alumni 1967 – 2017 to join a 50-year anniversary event

TOW Elementary wants retired staff and alumni 1967 – 2017 to join in celebrating its a 50-year anniversary celebration of education during the Back-to-School Bonanza event on Oct 6 from 3 – 6. The celebration will take place on the school fields.

These outfits are likely what the well-dressed teachers of 1967 were wearing

Guests will check in to get a button, “class of” badge, buy a 50th T-shirt and sign the memory book. At 5 p.m., Principal Michael Conlon will offer a few remarks and a birthday cake will be served.

The annual Back-to-School Bonanza features food, drinks, games, silent auction and live music. The fundraiser helps support field trips and speakers and fund classroom supplies. Click on tinyurl.com/TOW50 to respond to the invitation.

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