Lanai Weekly: December 11 - 15, 2017

Principal’s Message:

Dear Lanai Families,

This has been a most unusual week with the fires, poor air quality, and school closure. I want to let you know that throughout this entire event our teachers, staff, and volunteers worked together to ensure that our students and staff were protected. We were in a modified “shelter-in- place” plan. The only time students left their classroom was to use the restroom or to attend a specialist class. Doors remained closed and all air units were turned off. Food from the cafeteria was delivered to their classrooms. Prior to your child(rens) return to school on Monday, our custodial staff will be working on-site Friday, Saturday and Sunday following District clean-up procedures to ensure that all school interiors, restrooms, air units, floors, roofs, outdoor facilities and equipment, etc., have been cleaned and checked to make the environment safe.

I want to commend so many people for making Lanai as great as always: Our morning drop-off volunteers for being outside and running drop-off through thick and thin; Marcos and Coach who ran around checking every room for vent openings, air systems and monitoring the site; our entire office staff who ran the control center—taking and delivering classroom food orders, attendance, covering and re-arranging schedules, providing and updating information about changing plans and events, and responding to the enormous amount of parent inquiries; our cafeteria who made sure each student got his/her snack and lunch; our TAs who covered other classes in need of support; our teachers who stayed with your child(ren) the entire day, their first concern, keeping all children protected; our parent volunteers who continued the programs and events on campus without interruption; and finally to all our families who entrust your child(ren) to us each day and know that we will do everything possible to make sure he/she is safe, happy, and learning.

Hoping that all our families are safe,

Lisa Elan

Read More

Lanai Weekly: December 4 - 8, 2017

Principal's Message

Welcome back from the Thanksgiving holiday. I heard about wonderful trips; yummy dinners spent with friends and family; and some full-on “TV marathons” in jammies! Very fun! It’s beginning to feel a little like fall; 70-80 degree days, and fairly cool nights. Although it warms up by noon, please make sure your child brings a jacket or sweatshirt to school, as our mornings are quite cold.

Responsibility is the buzz word for the month of December. We learned about it in our morning, student presentation and later Character assembly on Wednesday. Everyone participated and showed spirit by wearing green! As always, our school message is the 3 B’s—Be Safe, Be Respectful, and Be Responsible. On Friday, we highlighted students demonstrating good character and growth at our Principal’s Awards and Lunch with the Principal.

Creativity is the word in our computer lab this week! If you ever need a room plan drawn on a computer, just ask our third graders how to do it. This week they were busy using Google Draw to make models of their classroom, homes, and our playground in the computer lab. I saw many of our students changing arrangements, size, shape and scale as they were reconfiguring the plans. I know I can certainly get some great student suggestions for “rearranging” my living room over the vacation. Our second graders were busy coding with scratch animation! They made butterflies fly, birds flap their wings, carrots dance, and even robots perform somersaults! It’s awesome to see how skilled and confident our young students are as they produce colorful and fun animations.

Finally, our Musical Theater is presenting two shows: one tonight and the second on Saturday. It’s sure to be a hit! Looking forward to seeing you there!


Lisa Elan

Read More

Lanai Weekly: November 27 - December 1, 2017

Dear Parents,

This has been a full week and a great lead-off to Thanksgiving vacation.  As I walked through the classrooms this week, I got to see wonderful learning in our Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten classes.  Sometimes it’s easy to forget the simple things that are full of enjoyment: Singing!  It’s going on in full-force in our TK class!  Our students were leading songs and body movements to each letter of the alphabet.  Thursday’s letter was “Z.”  Ask your TK’er what Zelda does and if there are any students in the class with the letter “Z” in their first name.  In kindergarten, our students were reading a big book and using the story elements of plot and characters as they read about barn animals hiding in a shed.  They were fully engaged in the Common Core standards of citing evidence in the text and visual text (illustrations) as they discovered what the animals were doing.  Later, the students illustrated and wrote stories explaining their predictions about what happens next in the story.  

Today was also a very BIG day at Lanai!  Our kindergartners had a Thanksgiving celebration; our 5th graders participated in super, high-energy drumming circles lead by noted percussionist Mona Tavakoli; and our parents had an opportunity to meet School Board Vice President, Nick Melvoin.  He shared his ideas and initiatives for LAUSD.  In addition, our parents asked questions to seek ways that Mr.  Melvoin can assist us as we continue to make improvements to our school.

Finally, good wishes to everyone this Thanksgiving vacation.  I know at my table, we will share all the things we are thankful for:  family, friends, food, shelter—and this year, we’ll sing!  

Have a safe holiday week,

Lisa Elan

Read More

Lanai Weekly: November 13 - 17, 2017

Principal’s Message

Dear Parents,

Parent/Teacher Conferences, Island of the Blue Dolphins and Veterans Day.  This has been a full week in only four days!  Most likely, you’ve had a conference with your child’s teacher and reviewed the new report card.  Hopefully, the expanded information in the new report card, which is aligned to the Common Core, provides you with a fuller picture of how your child is doing in school.  Many teachers expressed that the new report card delineates more specific information and allows them to give students grades that are more reflective of achievement.  

This week I had the opportunity to see fourth graders digging into the book Island of the Blue Dolphins. They were finding evidence that supports the themes of survival, loneliness, and nature.  The students wrote journal entries from Karana’s (the main character) perspective, illustrated survival, and cited evidence of how nature impacts Karana’s decisions.  The students then charted their findings in cooperative groups and discussed the theme.  Finally, each group shared their learning with the class. It was powerful for the students to see that even though the groups investigated different aspects of the story, the theme is the universal.  It’s been so many years since I read Island of the Blue Dolphins, but after that lesson, it’s on my list for this weekend!

Finally, today we honored nine veterans who are family members of our students and staff at Lanai!  The whole school sang songs, saw flags from the 5 branches of service, heard a veteran speak, and learned about the meaning of Veterans Day.  There were many pauses for applause (and a few tears) as our students and families showed how much we appreciate their service to our country.   A particular highlight for our students was seeing our TA, Isiah Smith, sitting among the veterans.  We tip our hat as we show our appreciation to these veterans’ dedication and service.  

So, enjoy your weekend, and thank a veteran!


Lisa Elan

Read More