The Weekly Roar

August 8, 2021

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Welcome, Welcome, Welcome!

Dear La Ballona Families,

As we prepare for the start of the 2021/2022 school year, our focus remains the same: ensuring the growth, progress, and social and emotional development for each and every child in our school community.

We have persevered throughout the last 18 months, despite the occasional setback, to keep students connected to school and to maintain open lines of communication with our entire school community. For the 2021-22 school year, CCUSD schools will resume as it did pre-pandemic with a few changes to maintain safety protocols per the LA Department of Public Health guidelines.

  • We will follow our normal schedule. The school day for all students, TK-5th, is 8:45-3:15 except Wednesdays when students are released at 1:45.
  • All students, teachers, and staff on campus will continue to wear masks indoors.
  • Arrival and Dismissal will continue to be at designated gates in order to minimize crowding. This means that students will use the same gate for entry and exit. This should ease drop off and pick up for families. More information will be provided next week.
  • Parents/guardians will not be allowed to walk onto campus at arrival and dismissal.
  • Volunteers will be utilized on a limited basis with the approval of administrators until further notice.
  • Eating will occur outdoors as much as possible at lunch and recess. If/when we utilize indoor seating, we will ensure 3 feet distancing.

We are committed to providing the best environment for our students and believe that schools should be intellectually challenging, motivating, safe, and supportive of students, regardless of their needs. We will continue to foster our culture of diversity through school wide events, celebrations, and culturally responsive teaching across the campus. Additionally, teachers will continue to work together to create inclusive and meaningful classroom activities.

Finally, please join me in welcoming new staff members:

Assistant Principal Kana Nakagawa; Full Time School Counselor, Diana Ulloa-Serrano; ; Special Education Teacher, Angelica Tipon; Dual Immersion Kindergarten Teacher, Genesis Rosales; Kindergarten Teacher, Abby Klein; Second Grade Teacher, Clarice Miyamoto-Kim; Dual Immersion 4th Grade Teacher, Lizette Serrano; and Kimberly Waite, Arts & Innovation Teacher.

Also, welcome back to La Ballona in new/different roles: Jennifer Kowalczyk, Kindergarten English; Debra Arancibia, 1st Grade; Daysi Castro, 5th Grade Dual Immersion; Sandra Haro, Teaching and Learning Partner; MTSS Site Specialist, Brittney Campbell; and 5th Grade English Teacher, George Dumas.

As the weeks progress, we'll highlight new staff members so that you'll get to know them better.

Have a great week!

Dr. Becky Godbey

INTRODUCING: Assistant Principal, Ms. Kana Nakagawa

Dear La Ballona Families,

My name is Kana Nakagawa, and I am excited to introduce myself as the new Assistant Principal of El Rincon Elementary School and La Ballona Elementary School. I am honored to join these two sites, and work alongside our enthusiastic students, an extremely dedicated staff, and a supportive school community. I have been dedicated to the field of education for over ten years at El Marino Language School as a 4th Grade Japanese Immersion Teacher. The most important role that I have as an educator and administrator is being a child advocate. I cannot wait to spend time with your children, get to know them, and have them know they are valued and have a special place in our school community.

On a personal note, I am an alumna of Culver City Unified School District from Farragut Elementary to Culver City High School. I graduated from Loyola Marymount University with my Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies/Elementary Education and a Master’s Degree in Administrative Services. After my undergraduate program, I moved to Japan for one year to teach English in a rural town in Ebino, Miyazaki. Then, I moved back to Culver City and started to work at the very district that developed my passion for learning and teaching. I am excited to serve CCUSD, El Rincon, and La Ballona in a greater capacity!

Not only am I excited to work with your children, but I look forward to working and collaborating together as stakeholders for the success of all our students. My goal is to ensure that all children are healthy, happy, and safe, so they may grow and thrive. I look forward to working together to ensure all children have the best possible experience while at El Rincon Elementary School and La Ballona Elementary School. Again, I am so thankful to have the opportunity to bring my learned experiences to your wonderful community.


Kana Nakagawa

Assistant Principal

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A Special Invitation to Kindergarten Families

Dear TK and Kinder Families,

Before the pandemic, on the first days of school, families brought their children straight to the classroom door at the beginning of each day. Due to the Covid protocols, we will not be allowing families on campus. Thus, it's very important that we give your child (and you) an opportunity to see the campus and to practice entering and exiting the school each day. Please see below for a special invitation, our Kindergarten Ice-Cream Social, on Wednesday, August 18th. You will be emailed your child's classroom teacher placement by August 16th, so you will know what time to come visit the campus. We look forward to seeing you.

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Registration Paperwork Information

Every year, we ask parents/guardians to update their student’s information for our records. At this time, we are asking you to complete/update your student's registration information online. You will find the Parent Access Portal under the Parents tab on the La Ballona website. If you have previously accessed the Parent Portal, just log-in and go to "Register Online." You will be prompted to acknowledge and complete your child's 2021-2022 school year registration. If you are not currently accessing the Parent Portal we will be emailing you the information need. You will need to print, sign, and submit 2 documents to finalize registration

  1. Print Acknowledgement Form (see picture below)
  2. Daily Emergency and Disaster Release Information Download, print, and sign (see picture below)

We are asking that you return these documents BEFORE school starts on August 19th. You can turn them in by dropping them in the front office between 8:00am and 3:00pm Monday-Friday, placing the completed pages in the blue basket that we will leave just outside the school office entrance at any time, or email them to

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Look What's Happening at La Ballona. Save the Dates!

  • Monday, August 16th: Families will be emailed their students' classroom placements
  • Wednesday, August 18: Kindergarten Ice-Cream Social, 1:00-3:30 (see above)
  • Thursday, August 19: 8:45am- First day of school.
  • Saturday, August 21: PTA Hosted Beautification Day
  • Wednesday, September 1: Virtual Back to School Night


Please make sure that La Ballona has your most up to date contact information including emails, phone number, and mailing address so we can stay connected!

Regular School Communication:

  • The Weekly Roar: a weekly email newsletter with upcoming information for families
  • La Ballona Website: posts news and a lot of the same info that goes in the Rocket Review for all to access
  • La Ballona Facebook & Twitter Page: A page for current families with information about La Ballona.
  • School Messenger Emails & Robocalls: a system for email and phone blasts for major event reminders