FROM YOUR SCHOOL LEADER
I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe in the midst of the nearby fires. In this week’s message, Andi and I wanted to focus on one of the “behind the scenes” parts of school life for teachers and administrators – our teacher observation & evaluation system. It's the perfect time to spotlight this process for you all this week because Andi and I have been immersed in formal observations of all lead teachers, enrichment teachers, and academic specialists over the past few weeks. These formal observations take place three times per year in addition to countless other “informal” walkthroughs.
Like all professionals, teachers want, need and deserve evaluation processes that accurately identify their strengths as well as areas for growth. The emphasis for Larchmont, rather than simple rating scales like in many district schools, is high-quality feedback that takes into account each teacher’s individual goals for the year. At the beginning of the year, each teacher and school leader work together to identify yearlong goals that will help guide written feedback during lesson observations or walk-throughs. These goals fall into the domains of (a) assessment/progress monitoring, (b) communication, (c) constructivist teaching, (d) differentiation & student engagement, (e) planning instruction, and (f) professional collaboration. During the course of the year, across many observations (as well as through other avenues) we celebrate the many successes of our teachers and we also coach and consult with them to develop even greater utilization of best practices.
During this round of observations we’ve seen so many examples of exemplary teaching practice we thought it would be a great window into the classroom to share just a few samples of some of the things we’ve observed…
- In one class, we recently observed a math lesson about addends which add together to make ten. The teacher used a great tool called a rekenrek (a version of an arithmetic rack) to help students visualize the various addends which can make ten. There was a great deal of accountable partner talk (turn and talk) between classmates to help solidify the learning and to provide practice with academic language development. Boy, were the kids engaged with this really neat rekenrek tool! As they moved on to solving a problem independently, students were able to select from three different number sets (with varying degrees of complexity) to work with - this is one example of a method from our CGI math approach for greater differentiation for all levels of learners.
- A reading lesson in one of our older grades was focused on the objective of teaching students new strategies to tackle unknown words. Students got to be "word detectives" as they analyzed the lines from the Star Spangled Banner. This integration of a reading lesson with content from the social sciences is one example of constructivist teaching because an interdisciplinary approach makes the learning much more meaningful and relevant.
- Another lesson used a hand-on experiment to help guide the learning about circuits during a Science unit. Students used bulb sockets, wires and battery holders to create their very own circuit. If that wasn't engaging enough, the experiment directly connects to the grade level's novel study of "The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind" where the main character (who comes from rural Malawi) strives to create a windmill that generates electricity. A book with diverse characters and an emphasis on the environment and science goes a long way toward our goal of ecoliteracy.
Don't forget to check the important updates down below, too.
As always, we thank you for all of your support,
Mersedeh and Andi
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR MESSAGE
The news can be hard to take these days especially with the story of spreading wildfires and a mass shooting of college kids hitting so close to home this week. I’m heartened to be part of this community that inspires me daily and that thankfully has lots of good news to tell.
It’s application season and already the number of applications to attend Larchmont is up from last year. At the same time as families are clamoring to get into Larchmont, our seniors have been hard at work. Amidst taking part in a fabulous performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream, AP courses, jobs/internships and sports, they've been completing their college applications as submission deadlines loom. This is the culmination of their journey at Larchmont.
My highest hope for them is that they leave us with a deep sense of who they are and what brings them joy and meaning, that they’re prepared academically and socially and emotionally – to navigate and persevere in a world that will be very different next year no matter where they go to college. This stands in stark contrast to the malaise across many college campuses described in a book I’ve just started reading - Excellent Sheep by former Yale Professor, William Deresiewicz. It speaks to the rat race of getting into college and the consequences namely, higher rates of depression and anxiety, high achieving kids who are lost after years of a rigidly prescribed path, and the homogenization of post college pursuits. My hope is that our graduates will avoid this, that they’ll be ready to build strong new friendships, that they’ll be curious to learn all they can, and to continue exploring the world around them and how they can improve it in their own unique way. It’s a tall order but it’s Larchmont’s mission.
Some timely reminders of a few upcoming dates:
November 9 & 10 - Fall play A Midsummer Night's Dream SPECIAL FAMILY MATINEE SATURDAY @11am TICKETS HERE
November 10 - Free Pop Up Art Show at Keller Williams benefiting Larchmont Charter 6-9pm
November 12 - Veteran's Day (NO SCHOOL)
December 8 - Harvest Festival & Bake Sale 11:30am-3pm
Thank you for all you do for our community,
ANNUAL GIVING DRIVE
841 out of 1103 Larchmont families are participating = 77%
$1,186,760 raised = 95%
Annual Giving Drive goals are:
If you have not yet given to the Annual Giving Drive, please give now. We need EVERY family to join in for us to make our goal.
These funds have already been figured into our annual budget this year.
Our goal must be met in order to keep our programming.
PLEASE DONATE NOW TO GET US THERE
STUDENT PARTICIPATION CONFERENCES
Please note that our first round of Student Participation Conferences will be coming up during the week of Dec 13-18. We have early release on Dec 13th, 14th, 17th, 18th AND 19th...K dismissal 12:10 pm; Grades 1-2 dismissal 12:20 pm; Grades 3-4 dismissal 12:30 pm. After school will still be open until 6 pm on early release days.
In the next few days, you'll be receiving a Signup Genius to sign up for conferences. Please be sure to sign up right away to get your preferred time. And remember, your child will join you for the conference. We'll share more about how conferences work in next week's email blast. Thank you.
HARVEST FESTIVAL (SAVE THE DATE)
THE HARVEST FESTIVAL & BAKE SALE
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2018
11:30 A.M. TO 3:00 P.M.
LCS FAIRFAX CAMPUS - 1265 N. FAIRFAX AVE
A delicious seasonal lunch including Stone Soup from the kids
Scrumptious treats & holiday meals from the Bake Sale
Special teacher driven workshops in art, cooking, needle felting and more!
and performances from….
THE LCS Caroling Choir
I.L.T.H. - the Selma Band
Farifax Chorus, Band and Stone Soup Performers
Selma Native American Story Tellers
Hollygrove Band - The Deadly Angels
Selma Get Lit Poetry Slam
LOST AND FOUND
Our lost and found is filled to capacity! We will be donating all items from the lost and found on November 16th (just before Thanksgiving break). If your child has any clothing items missing, please be sure to check before items are donated! Our lost and found rack is located by the back carpool benches. Thank you.
FREE POP UP ART SHOW AT KELLET WILLIAMS
November LUNCH MENU
2019-20 Lottery Application Opens November 1st
We will be accepting lottery applications for our 2019-2020 school year beginning November 1st on our website at www.larchmontcharter.org/admissions.
Faculty/Staff or Sibling Preference: If you would like to be considered for faculty or sibling preference, you must submit an application for children who will be entering from TK-12, if they are not currently enrolled at LCS. Please only submit 1 application per child.
Important Lottery Dates
November 1, 2018 : 2019-20 Lottery Application Window Opens
February 13, 2019 @5pm: Lottery Application Window Closes
February 23, 2019: 2019-20 Lottery Drawing at LFP at 9am
February 27-March 8, 2019: Lottery Notifications Sent of either Offer or Wait List position
Should you have any questions, please contact Esmeralda Sandoval, Director of Compliance & Operations at email@example.com or 323-380-7893 ext 302.
2018-19 LCS Calendar
start making plans
Larchmont Charter's 2018-19 calendar is now available. To view, click:
2018-19 LCS Calendar
Do you know that last year Larchmont DOUBLED the amount of money earned from using our link when shopping on Amazon? Let's pump it up again! Please use this Amazon School Rewards Program link when shopping Amazon: https://bit.ly/shopLCSamazon. There's NOTHING To sign up for. Just click on that link before you shop and that's it!
Copy & share it with your friends and family. ANYONE who shops on Amazon can use it and earn money for Larchmont - so easy!