What's Happening in Ed Services?

September/October 2016

Message from Ed Services:

Welcome back!!! We are excited to be working with each and every one of you. The CCUSD Educational Services Department will be sending this monthly newsletter out to inform you of upcoming events, professional development dates, and tips. Feel free to contact us with any questions/concerns.

Tracy Pumilia: tracypumilia@ccusd.org

Alejandra Valencia: AlejandraValencia@ccusd.org

Carla Zimmermann-Madrid: CarlaMadrid@ccusd.org

Claudia Benetiz: claudiabenitez@ccusd.org

Pamela Greenstein: pamelagreenstein@ccusd.org

David Ross: DavidRoss@ccusd.org

Diane Randall: DianeRandall@ccusd.org

Allison Brown: allisonbrown@ccusd.org

Monica Bell: monicabell@ccusd.org

Upcoming Professional Development Opportunities

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News and Tips from C & I (Alejandra Valencia and Carla Madrid)

What is Balanced Literacy?

Balanced Literacy is when students are reading authentic text and writing original pieces at their instructional level; this is where the building blocks of grammar and syntax, semantics and word study are taught. Grammar instruction is incorporated into the literacy instruction and doesn’t necessarily require a separate time block.

The Interconnectedness of Math, Science and English Language Arts

Powerful learning can happen when the lines between subject matter begin to blur and we, as teachers, have opportunities to artfully craft lessons that tap into multiple disciplines in one sitting. The thoughtful design and crafting of the practice standards associated with our state's ELA, Math and Science standards have created a framework for lesson design that blends seamlessly with the best practices that we have in place in CCUSD. The foundation is strong (you), the beams are in place (Guided Reading, Writers Workshop & CGI Math) and your building materials are at your sites (robust guided reading libraries including 100's of math and science-based fiction and non-fiction selections, math manipulatives and resources, technology assigned to or available to all teachers, and district and site-based TOSAs and mentor teachers to work with). Please open and peruse the document below and pay particular attention to the gray- if we can find time to live in the gray for a piece of every day within our classrooms, the learning will be limitless!

EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY #ccusdtech (David Ross)

Blended Learning Spotlight: (How tech is being used in our classrooms)

Mike Levy (8th Grade Social Studies CCMS): Mike is using Canvas LMS and GAFE Apps to help students learn and prefect much needed 21st. century skills in his U.S. history class. He has divided the social studies curriculum into learning modules in which students respond to prompts, have online discussions, and reflect on their learning while creating online portfolios.

Check out the activities by clicking here

Melanie DeArmond (Spanish3, CCHS): Melanie has students reviewing homework from the past three days, doing checks for comprehension over a cultural powerpoint , a check for comprehension on a review of Spanish 2 grammar, watching a bit of Lord of the Rings in Spanish, posting their thoughts about the books/movies, and replying to other student postings. All activities are done on within her Canvas LMS classroom.

Check out the activities by clicking here

Tech Tips:

Chromebooks in the classroom:

Please click here to see our growing list of chrome extensions and add-ons to use in the classroom with your students. Let me know if you need some help or have questions about adding extensions to student Google accounts.

Tools for Instruction: Thank you Dr. Arnold for sharing these great resources.

Periodic Table of Education Technology: This chart contains a lot of tech ideas for your classroom)

Social Voting and argument construction tool: Free online tool for easy brainstorming and voting. For decision making, crowd-sourcing and idea generation.

ED Tech Support

I want to make myself available to you if you have some ed tech questions or want to discuss using technology more in your classroom. We can meet in your classroom or in the teachers lounge. Please put topics that your would like to discuss or need help with. I can help you out with Chromebooks, iPads, anything Google or Canvas. among other tips on sites for the classroom.

Here is how you sign up:

1) Please click here to select a 30-60 minute time slot that works for you and I will meet you in your classroom or in the Teacher's Lounge to work with you.

2) Click on a time that works for you

Canvas PD Course is up and running. Please click here to view the informational flyer and learn about the course. You can attend classroom sessions in person or complete the course entirely online.

Congratulations our Canvas Level 4 Master Teachers:

Donna Bergonzi, Culver City Middle School

Stanley Allen, Culver City Middle School

Leah Thomasson, Culver City Middle School

Kelley Wilcox: Culver City Middle School

Stacey Harding, Culver City High School

Upcoming Ed Tech Conferences:

Google Apps for Education Summit- October 15-16, La Tijera K-8 Academy of Excellence Charter School.

Become a Chromebook Expert in 1 Day: Free online workshop through Simple K-12

GATE (Diane Randall)

Orange County Council of Gifted and Talented Education (OCCGATE) is holding their annual conference on October 22, 2016 at UCIrvine from 8:00am-1:30pm. The keynote speaker will be Ian Byrd and there will be incredible breakout sessions in which to choose from. If you are interested in attending, please contact Diane Randall at DianeRandall@ccusd.org

NEW TEACHER INDUCTION (Diane Randall and Kelley Wilcox)

Rick Morris will be joining us for one last time (he is retiring in December). He will be in the Annex on October 25th from 8:30-3:00pm. Even if you are not a new teacher and want to brush up on your classroom management skills, you are invited! Please contact Diane Randall at DianeRandall@ccusd.org if you are interested in attending.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT (Pamela Greenstein and Claudia Benitez)

CCUSD and the Culver City Julian Dixon Library joined forces to encourage summer reading activities for our elementary students this past summer break. From June to August, CCUSD students participated in the Summer Reading Challenge-Read for the Win! Program. After registering at the Julian Dixon Library, children kept track of their own reading progress by recording minutes read and the books they read over the summer months. Aside from earning library incentives and being entered for a bicycle drawing, CCUSD has pledged an additional $500 worth of books in the names of the TOP readers at EACH of our elementary school sites!

We had phenomenal participation from all school sites and will be announcing our top readers very soon!

CELDT Testing Update

Thank you to all the examiners who worked with us this summer to give the CELDT test to so many students, TK-12.

Students came for appointments, and we also partnered with both the elementary ELD summer program at La Ballona, and the middle school ELD summer program to test students enrolled in those programs.

We now have an examiner at each site (at some sites there is additional help as needed) finishing up the rest of the Initial and Annual CELDT testing. New students that we test are called Initials, and after testing and unofficial scoring, there is follow up paperwork. Initials are either designated as English Learners (ELs) or Fluent English Proficient (FEP), depending on their scores on the CELDT. There is paperwork for both. Paperwork goes to the parent and the cum, and in elementary schools to the teacher. At the secondary level, the ELD site chair has access to all the paperwork and annual score sheets. Please ask her if you would like additional information on any of your students.

Students who continue to take the CELDT each year are called Annuals. We also have unofficial score sheets for these students.

Elementary teachers should have received paperwork and folders from their ELD Site Chairs. You should have received paperwork for all Initials tested in the summer, both ELs and FEP. As students test now, you will receive their paperwork. You should receive a progress folder for every EL in your class, both Initials and Annuals. You should also receive the unofficial score sheet for all annuals. Please review them and let us know if you think students are ready for releveling.

If parents have questions, please direct them to us, or ask your site chair for more information. Also, ELAC (English Learner Advisory Council) meetings for parents should start to be scheduled at each of your sites.

ELD Site Chairs:

Lin Howe: Lili Glassman

El Marino: Anna Hebert

El Rincon: Sarah Mergian

Farragut: Stacy Thompson

La Ballona: Nicole Wilson

CCMS: Julie Groya

CCHS: Magali Bourget

District ELD Specialists:

Claudia Benitez (310) 842-4220 Ext. 4408

Pamela Greenstein (310) 842-4220 Ext. 4407



Many thanks to the K-5 Spanish Dual Language teachers for their patience while we await delivery of our new SLA materials from Benchmark Adelante! Asunción and his team have been working tirelessly to get the materials out to your sites; it is a huge job due to the many components of the program and we really appreciate their hard work! In the meantime, remember that the materials can also be accessed online at


Username: culver_edu

Password: password

Contact monicabell@ccusd.org if you need assistance with navigating the website. There are some great resources/step-by-step lessons for getting your students used to the routines in the first several days.

ENIL Assessment Data and Training:

Teachers in Cohort 1 of ENIL Training have been busy assessing their students’ Spanish reading levels. Our next training for Cohort 1 will be on October 6, at which time all of their students will have been assessed. For those teachers in Cohort 1, your Leveled Book Boxes are also in the process of being barcoded and should be delivered to your classrooms shortly. Another thank you to Asunción for making this happen!

We would like to begin ENIL training with a second cohort this year, so be on the lookout for information about signing up (3-5 grades). We look forward to having clear and uniform data on ALL of our Spanish DL students in the near future!

Pathway to Biliteracy Award:

As we begin our third year of implementation of the Pathway to Biliteracy Award, we will be taking a closer look at its purpose and criteria. Be on the lookout for an email seeking DLP teachers from both Japanese and Spanish Immersion programs to be part of a committee to clarify the purpose and criteria of the Pathway. The first meeting will be held at CCMS on September 27 from 3:30-4:45. There will also be a second meeting, date and time TBD. Teachers will be paid for their time. If you are interested, please complete this quick survey (which will also be sent via email): https://goo.gl/forms/0xXPbSIAqyTpLims2

Questions? Please contact monicabell@ccusd.org.

Special Education (Allison Brown)

The Educational Services team is thrilled to announce that CCUSD now offers in house induction for our special educators looking to clear a Mild/Moderate or Moderate/Severe Education Specialist credential - free of charge! Participants in our program, Building Bridges and Beyond, work in close collaboration with their general education counterparts as they build upon their preliminary teacher preparation and engage in professional goal setting throughout the formative assessment process. If you have any questions about induction for Education Specialists, please review the FAQs or contact:

Allison Brown

Special Education TOSA

Educational Services

(310) 842-4220 ext. 4206


In addition to providing support to new special educators via induction, the special education team is committed to providing ongoing professional development for all teachers to ensure that the skill set of our educators matches the needs of our students. In order to guide and inform the special education PD opportunities and offerings in the future, we ask that you take this brief survey:

All teachers who complete the survey will be entered in a raffle to win leveled book bundles for their classroom library!