Lanai Weekly: January 14 - 18, 2019

Principal’s Message:

Dear Parents,

Happy New Year! This first week back at school has been filled with lots of twists and turns with the negotiations between LAUSD and UTLA. Hopefully it will be resolved quickly. At this time, the teachers’ strike will begin on Monday, but I am still hopeful that the parties will come to terms. In the meantime, parents have asked, “How do I explain this to my child?” This is an opportunity to explain to students that this is the heart of American democracy and workers’ rights. We are fortunate to live in a country that allows people to voice their opinions and dissatisfaction and try to make things better. Our students can understand that teachers are passionate about finding ways to improve education for all children in LAUSD.

Onto more exciting stuff! Our kindergartners were very busy in music class learning how to read notes, making fruit salad music with boom-whackers, and identifying the musical scale with points on their body! In science, our second graders were learning about force, axis and balance as they explored and designed spinners using straws and discs. Ask your second grader what he/she did to make the spinner work. In addition, at our school assembly, students with perfect attendance for December were awarded their tags and our Lexia students were provided their certificates!

I know 2019 is going to be a great year. On Monday, I visited every classroom to say welcome back to all our students. In a first-grade class, as we were talking about their holidays and how nice it is to be back at school; one boy said, “I love school. It’s like a big playdate!” That’s the energy and enthusiasm that our students have and why the teachers and staff love Lanai.

Please join me in sending lots of good energy to the folks who have important decisions to make.


Sincerely,

Lisa Elan

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Lanai Weekly: January 7 - 11, 2019

Principal’s Message:

Dear Parents,

I hope you enjoyed the Winter Concert as much as I did! The cheerful songs, joyful dance moves and 576 smiling faces with lovely voices!  The best way to begin the Winter Break and holidays! Wishing all our families a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Joyful Kwanzaa! Have a wonderful holiday with your family and friends.  I hope the 2019 brings you much sweetness and peace.

Warmly,

Lisa Elan

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Lanai Weekly: December 10 - 14, 2018

Principal’s Message:

Dear Parents,

The electricity of the holidays are evident at Lanai this week!  Our students made beautiful cards with the help of our art docents.  Those cards will be sent to children and folks in hospitals to make their holidays bright.  I know you will love seeing the cards which will be displayed in the auditorium during the Winter Concerts next week.   Our students have also been rehearsing their songs during music and I know our families will truly enjoy it. In addition, our students had an opportunity to visit an amazing book fair this week!  Books of all types were there - sure to please every child in your family! Reading books to children is one of my favorite things to do - story time here we come!

On another note, I’d like to share some information about bullying with you.  The word, bully, has a lot of weight and emotion tied to it. For good reason.  A child who has been bullied can be fearful of attending school; afraid to use the restroom or eat at lunchtime; avoid playing in areas the “bully” frequents; may not be able to tell others; or feel embarrassed or ashamed. Bullies employ many different types of harassment on his/her targets:  name calling, shaming, laughing, embarrassing, teasing, shunning, or it can be physical such as hitting and kicking. One thing that bullying isn’t, is a one-time event. Thus, if your child comes home and tells you that a child called someone a name; said something mean to your child; or even was physical with your child, that does not usually amount to bullying.  It does mean that “bad behavior or poor choices” ensued and that the matter needs to be dealt with, but not necessarily reached the level of “bullying.”

When a child or parent tells us of a matter they consider bullying or even if it’s just a single, serious issue, we investigate them in the same manner.  All students involved, as well as witnesses and adults who may have seen or heard it are interviewed and statements are taken. Older students often write their own statements.  The statements are reviewed to determine what actually happened. Parents are informed and often meet with administration. Then the students may be brought together to work on repairing the “issue” if that’s possible.  Appropriate consequences and/or resolutions are determined and enacted. Students involved are monitored for a period of time to make sure the situation has settled. If similar issues arise again, the same process begins, with harsher consequences - progressive discipline.  

Certainly, every incident is unique and there is never a one size fits all, cause and effect scenario.  The point I want to drive home is this: We take all issues of student harm seriously - whether it’s physical or emotional.  All students should feel safe at school. Our staff works very hard every day to provide that for your child. There are times when students have conflict with each other - just like adults.  Our job is to help them find appropriate ways to resolve conflict and frustration. And when students do “slip-up” we need to support them, the harmed and the harmer, to understand the effects and the consequences for the choices they made.

As always, I am available to speak with you regarding issues of concern.  Simply email me or call the school. Usually you can expect a reply within 24 hours.  

Warmly,

Lisa Elan

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Lanai Weekly: December 3 - 7, 2018

Principal’s Message

Dear Parents,

This has been a great week back!  The weather is crisp, a rainy day, hanging out with buddies, and lots of prep for the upcoming holidays!  Today, our students had their first Buddy Lunch of the year!  They ate lunch and then played on the yard together!  Our students look forward to spending time with their buddies.  Ask your child who is his/her buddy and what did they do together.  Your children have also been busy with visits from the art docents as they prepare cards and decorations for our winter concert! Their lovely voices are warming up and there’s lots of festive songs coming from the auditorium as our music teachers ready them for the concert!  Top that off with lots of hats, scarves and sweaters as the children are coming in “bundled-up” each morning and it’s definitely, almost the holidays!

There has been lots of high-level math this week.   In second grade, our students are adding with regrouping (that’s an “old-fashioned” term).  They use the vocabulary of “bundle” and “exchange” as they move numbers into different place-value columns.  They also know how to add vertically and horizontally and ways to rewrite the problem using a simpler form.  Ask your second grader to show you how he/she draws a place value chart with discs when solving 25 plus 18.  They also are applying story problems and explaining their processes and reasoning.  Applying the math practice of explaining your solution in written form is an important skill and required on all forms of standardized testing. Thus, an important goal in every grade is that students are consistently given math problems that require explanation.

Our fifth graders have been presenting famous explorers in social studies.  On Thursday, Chief Powhattan (Sophie), and Squanto (Dylan), shared their stories in authentic dress to fellow classmates.  Chief Powhattan told us that he controlled vast Indian tribes and that one of his daughters is the very beloved Pocahontas.  Squanto shared in video form how he helped the settlers as they learned about their environment.  The students in class were a wonderful audience - they listened attentively, took notes, and then gave feedback to the presenters.  I’m looking forward to meeting other explorers next week!  

On a traffic note:  Please remember that cell phone use in the drop-off line is prohibited. This includes the exit ramp where parents and children are crossing directly in front of the vehicles.  We need parents to be completely aware of other drivers, pedestrians, and the valet volunteers.  Also, making a left turn out of the parking lot in the morning backs up the entire drop off line and causes traffic to stop, thus making the road dangerous.  Please, turn right and drive a short distance onto Hayvenhurst Drive.  

Finally, I hope you’ll have a chance to see our students perform in our musical theater, “Lights Up Lanai” tonight and on Saturday.  Our performers always have so much fun and present a great show!  

Warmly,

Lisa Elan

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