The Weekly Roar

October 22, 2022

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The Weekly Roar is long, so my message will be short. Thank you to the students, staff, and families for your continued dedication to creating the safest schooling for our children. I feel grateful to lead such a caring, loyal community. Enjoy your weekend.

In this newsletter:

  1. Around the School
  2. Counselor Corner
  3. Handbook Highlight
  4. School Meal Information
  5. Community & Afterschool Opportunities
  6. Our Calendar

Stay PAWSitive!

Dr. Becky Godbey & Ms. Brenda Selva

Our school website
Our PTA website
Our facebook:

Pictured: Where else but Southern California do you have classroom teachers with surfboards? Mr. Biagiotti models to his students how important it is to practice self care.

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1. Around the School

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Our Weekly Wednesday Principal Video Assembly

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Vocal Music Updates from Ms. Gallagher

TK/K/1/2 Vocal Music:

Vocal music at La Ballona has started off wonderfully this year! If your student is in TK or Kindergarten they have vocal music every Thursday with Mrs. Gallagher. 1st and 2nd graders have music every other Thursday. We have been having so much fun singing, dancing, and moving to music together!

If you are in TK or Kindergarten, please ask your student for their "Ask Me" sheet that was handed out to them in music class. You can ask them to sing Oh My, No More Pie, Hop, Ol' Squirrel, and Frog in the Meadow. Additionally, you can ask them to dance our Celia Cruz dance, "La Vida Es Un Carnival"

If your student is in 1st grade, ask your student to sing Oh My, No More Pie, Blackbird, Blackbird, and Pass the Pumpkin. 2nd graders can sing our "Hello Song" in 6 languages and can teach you the game "Zapatito Blanco". You can also ask your student to tell you about our friend Armando the Avocado and demonstrate what their head voice is!

If you have any questions about the vocal music program, feel free to reach out directly to Mrs. Gallagher at:

We hope you are having fun listening to your students' wonderful singing voices!

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School Site Council

Our first School Site Council (SSC) meeting is Tuesday, October 25th at 3:30pm. The SSC is La Ballona's governing board that makes decisions about our budget and our school goals. Look below to find the agenda. Note- the public is welcome to attend.
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ELAC Thanks

Thank you parents who attended our ELAC meeting on Wednesday morning. We hope you gained some information on what the purpose of ELAC is and the importance of your input in meetings. We look forward to seeing you again at our next meeting on November 30, 2022 at 9:00am. For our families that were unable to attend, here are the slides we shared with everyone.

See you at our next meeting!

Gracias a los padres que asistieron a nuestra reunión de ELAC el miércoles por la mañana. Esperamos que hayan obtenido información sobre cuál es el propósito de ELAC y la importancia de su voz en las reuniones. Esperamos verlos nuevamente en nuestra próxima reunión que serrá el 30 de noviembre de 2022 a las 9:00 am. Para nuestras familias que no pudieron asistir, aquí está la presentación que compartimos con todos.

¡Nos vemos en nuestra próxima reunión!

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Recording of 4th & 5th Grade Instrumental Music- Parent Information Night (Repeated)

4th & 5th Grade Instrumental Music
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Halloween Event at La Ballona Oct. 31, 2022

Halloween Parade 9:00

We will be holding our annual costume parade on Monday, October 31st, at 9 a.m. Students will walk a large loop around our playground. Students are invited to wear a costume, but if they choose not to, they will still be able to participate in the parade. Any student not wishing to wear a costume and not wishing to participate in the parade will have the opportunity to listen to a story in the library for a special story time. Parents are allowed on campus (Parent directions below).

Costume guidelines:

  • Amended: No Costume masks may be worn to and during school. If your child can see out of it, they can wear it during the parade only.

  • No face make-up

  • Students must show respect for other students by not choosing costumes that are insensitive and/or offensive to the diverse background represented by La Ballona students and families.

  • Students must show respect to other students by not touching, defacing or insulting other students' costumes.

  • No weapons of any kind. (No fake guns, swords, knives, etc.)

  • No fake blood or other substances allowed.

  • Students will be allowed to wear wigs, hats and accessories during the parade, but must be removed if causing a distraction during class time.

  • After the parade, it will be a regular instructional day. Your child may stay in their costume IF the costume is easy to sit and learn in. If the costume impedes school learning, please bring a change of clothes for the school day.

Directions for Parents

  • Families are welcome to come to watch our parade on campus.

  • We will section off areas for parents to stand.

  • All parents may enter through the Back Gate 1.

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Shout Out to 5th Grade

Special shout out to 5th grade for their generous teacher treats this week! The La Ballona staff thanks you for your kindness!

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Please Report Health Issues to Health Staff

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2. Counselor's Corner

October Parent Newsletter

Click here for all kinds of resources to support your children.
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Belonging and Ability Assembly

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3. Handbook Highlight

Cell Phone Policy

As we continue to shift towards our normal schooling, it's important for all of us to remember the particular policies and procedures of our school and CCUSD district. Each week, I will try to highlight a few of these policies so that we are all aware and can move forward together. Here is the Student Handbook in its entirety. (It's on our website

Cell Phone Policy

Students are strongly discouraged from, but may bring cell phones for use only after school, or in the case of a major catastrophe. In the event that students choose to bring cell phones to schools, La Ballona Elementary School is not responsible for lost, damaged or stolen items. All cell phones must be turned off during the hours of 8:00-3:15. These devices are a disruption to the learning environment. In case of an emergency, parents should call the school at (310) 842-4334.

Any cell phone that is seen, heard or used between the hours of 8:25 am and the dismissal bell at 3:15 pm will be confiscated. This policy also applies to “Smart Watches” and any other forms of electronic communication.

1st Offense – The cell phone will be confiscated and a parent/guardian must pick up the phone at the end of the day from the principal’s office.

2nd Offense – The parent/guardian of the student must pick up the cell phone the following Monday between 3:00-3:30 pm from the principal’s office.

3rd Offense – The school will confiscate the cell phone and keep it until the end of the current semester. Please note that cell phones will ONLY be returned on Monday afternoons for first and second offenses. Students, parents, or guardians who are unable to pick up cell phones on Monday afternoons should call Administration ((310) 842-4334 to arrange another time for pick up. The alternate pick-up time must be after the Monday of release.

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At what age should kids get a cell phone

An article from EdWeekly:

Children are getting cellphones at younger and younger ages.

That’s according to a report from Common Sense Media based on data from its 2015 and 2021 surveys on children’s cellphone and social media use. The research and advocacy organization found that the proportion of 8-, 9-, and 10-year-olds with smartphones nearly doubled in those years. But the majority of parents give their children a cellphone around the ages of 12 and 13. The percentage of 12-year-olds owning a cellphone has leaped from 41 percent in 2015 to 71 percent in 2021.

Does that mean that 12-13 is right age for children to own cellphones? Some pediatricians said they are agnostic on that point.

“As a pediatrician, I don’t recommend one specific age [since] I think much of it depends on the reason for the need for the cellphone,” said Dr. Nusheen Ameenuddin, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Mayo Clinic, and the chairperson of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Communications and Media.

According to Ameenuddin, if the reason for providing children with a cellphone is safety, then it is advised to give them one with fewer features, just enough to connect in case of an emergency.

“You can also disable certain features of smartphones with certain plans, so that’s something I would encourage parents to look into and take advantage of so that a cellphone is not an all-access pass for a child who might need some boundaries in place,” she said.

The pediatrics academy recommends “parents and caregivers develop a plan that takes into account the health, education, and entertainment needs of each individual child as well as the whole family.” It provides a customizable family media plan on its official website for families to follow together, which the family can revise as needed.

According to the report, The Common Sense Census: Media Use by Teens and Tweens, released in 2021, 8- to- 12-year-olds use about five and a half hours of screen media everyday while 13- to-18-year-olds use about eight and a half hours. Social media use has increased in 8- to- 12-year-olds, from 31 percent in 2019 to 38 percent in 2021, and almost 1 in 5 tweens say they use social media every day. A Flourish chart

“Kids who have increased screen time, which is now something that smartphones can provide, [that] can affect sleep, mood, and academic performance, especially if they are using the time to compare their lives to what they see online and feeling less than adequate as a result,” Ameenuddin said.

According to Mike Robb, Common Sense Media’s senior director of research, “when we look at the effects of media and technology, it oftentimes has as much, if not even more, to do with what [kids] are doing with that time.”

“So if you are, for example, on social media, and you’re exposed to content that promotes negative body comparisons, or cyberbullying, or hate speech; that can have negative impacts on your mental health. Conversely, those kids who are using social media to connect with their friends and be artistic and creative ... are more likely to say that social media is having a positive effect on their mental health,” he said.

Experts say that while technology can have some positive impact on children through the use of educational apps or by providing ways to stay connected in times of limited face-to-face interaction, there isn’t enough evidence of benefits for development related to screen time or apps.

“There is far more evidence that shows that passive consumption of media, including so-called educational media, can actually have the opposite effect on development for very young children,” Ameenuddin said.

According to experts at Common Sense Media, it is unlikely that media use is going to go down, which is why it is imperative to ensure both a high-quality and a safe media experience for children.

“I think it’s really on parents, schools, and other stakeholders in kids’ lives, to help children learn how to use the technology responsibly and safely,” Robb said.

At the end of the day, pediatricians say that waiting until 13 to give children cellphones is a good rule to follow as a general guideline, but since “parents know their children and their level of maturity and ability to handle a cellphone the best ... that takes precedence over general recommendations,” according to Ameenuddin.

La Ballona's Recommendation: A cell phone is a perfect gift for your child's 5th grade graduation.

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4. School Meal Information

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What's for Breakfast and/or Lunch?

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5. Community & Afterschool Opportunities

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New STAR NOVA Class Offerings- Begins Week of October 31

Registration Day starts on October 13 @ 10 AM and until October 28 @ 10 PM

English Flyer

Spanish Flyer

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LA County Library Bookmark Contest 2022

Culver City Julian Dixon Library would like to invite La Ballona students to participate in LA County Library’s 43rd Annual Bookmark Contest, an annual program that encourages a love of books and reading while also promoting creativity, artistic expression, and community engagement. Students will have the chance to see their bookmark designs featured at their local library and throughout Los Angeles County. Participants compete in the following age categories:

• Kindergarten – Grade 2

• Grade 3 – Grade 5

• Grade 6 – Grade 8

• Grade 9 – Grade 12

Completed entry forms can be dropped off at individual library locations, sent in by mail, or submitted digitally via a link on the Library’s website. The deadline for entry is October 29, 2022.

The winning bookmarks from each library will be shared with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, who will select winners that reside in their District from each category. Winners selected by the Board of Supervisors will be recognized by the Board in the spring of 2023.

The pdf Entry form is below

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Hip & Historic Halloween in Downtown Culver City

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Book Fair Coming soon

Can you help with Book Fair?

The Book Fair is coming to La Ballona October 31 through November 5. We plan to have the event open from 8:15 to 4:15 Monday through Thursday (with hours extending to 6:30 on Tuesday) and then again during Fall Festival on Saturday. We need a lot of volunteer help to make this happen! If you are able to sign up to help us staff the event, please sign up here. Volunteers working during school hours must have volunteer clearance, and all volunteers will receive a discount toward their purchases.

Remember that you can begin shopping online at our Book Fair website or you can visit and search for La Ballona.

Please email Christine if you have any questions.

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Bidding for Good Silent Auction

Our 2nd largest fundraiser of the year has now opened! An exciting year for La Ballona Elementary School with much to celebrate! It is from Oct 21 ~ Nov 6, 2022

New Items arriving DAILY so check often!

Get ready to bid bid bid!


We can still receive items up until Nov 5th.

Looking for specialty’s like Gift cards, personal services, restaurants, Hotels, handyman, art, etc.

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Join the PTA!

School has now started and so does our PTA membership drive! Joining the PTA is a great way to get involved and show your support for La Ballona students. Membership dues are just $8 per person and all dues-paying members can vote at PTA meetings, which are held the first Thursday of each month. Member dues are used for programs, resources, and activities that benefit our students. Click below on the link to pay your membership today, thank you so much for your support

Sign up with TOTEM:

Sign up with Squareup:

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Walktober and Pedestrian Safety Month

La Ballona continues to encourage families and students to walk or bike to school This website provide great tips. Also, check out the video below.
Safe Travels - 4 Ways, Always
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PTA Sponsored Before/After School Enrichment (forms attached):

After School Enrichment (forms attached):
Session 2 for the PTA after school enrichment is now available.
Register by Monday, October 24th. Instructions on flyer. Sign up here or print & complete the pdf below.
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Running Club- Fridays at 8am

Running Club with Coach Gary is underway. Join us Fridays 8am at gate 1. Open to 3rd grade- 5th grade.
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Please join our DEI Committee meeting:

Thursday, October 27, 2022 on Zoom
6:30pm - 7:30pm
(Meeting ID:898 5866 8508 Passcode:lions)

Contact:Candice or Ti to get involved

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Fall Festival....Saturday, November 5th!

Fall Festival tickets are on sale before school in front by the lion or after school at gate 1. Come out for a fun filled day Saturday November 5th! Dunk staff like Coach Gary, Ms. Aurelia and Ms. Campbell in the lion dunk tank! Enjoy the dance party with Leo the lion! Or dance to the live tunes from the band The Rusties! Don’t miss out!

Please donate unopened candy for the upcoming Fall Festival in the donation box at the office.

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The Tri-City SELPA will be hosting a 3-part parent training and support series on navigating the IEP process!

November 8, 9, 10. Please register here:
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6. Our Calendar

This Week at La Ballona (One-time events in italics)

Monday, October 24

  • PTA Board Meeting, 9am
  • PTA Enrichment Tennis, 3:15 pm - 4:15 pm

Tuesday, October 25

  • Picture Make-Up Day
  • School Board Meeting,, 6pm
  • School Council Meeting, 3:30 (See info above)
  • PTA Enrichment Class Chess, 3:15 pm - 4:15 pm

Wednesday, October 26

  • Early Dismissal Every Wednesday at 1:45
  • PTA Enrichment Class Tennis, Group A 1:45 pm - 2:45 pm and Group B 2:45 pm - 3:45 pm
  • PTA Enrichment Class Garden Club 1:45pm - 2:45 pm
  • PTA Enrichment Class 24th Street Theater 1:45-3:15

Thursday, October 27

  • Library Closed
  • Vocal Music Classes K-2
  • Choir, 8:00
  • Young Storytellers, 5th Grade

Friday, October 28

  • Tea with the Counselor Antibullying Parent Session, 9:00 (English)
  • Té con la Consejera, 10am "Prevención del Acoso Escolar" en Español
  • Symphonic Jazz Orchestra Lessons, 5th Grade
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Upcoming Dates (New Dates in Bold)

October 29- 9 AM - Equal Access Coffee at Baked Bar LA

October 31- La Ballona Costume Parade, 9am (Parents welcome on campus)

November 3- PTA Meeting, 6:30

November 4- How to Help my Child with Math Part 1 (for TK-2nd families), 9am (Traducción simultánea en español)

November 5- Fall Festival

November 8- School Board Meeting

November 11- Veteran's Day School Holiday

November 18- End of Trimester 1

November 18- How to Help my Child with Math Part 2 (for TK-2nd families), 9am (Traducción simultánea en español)

November 21- Thanksgiving Holiday

November 30- 5th Grade to Pali Camp!

December 2- How to Help my Child with Math Part 3 (for TK-2nd families), 9am (Traducción simultánea en español)

December 5-14- Parent Conference Schedule. All Students dismissed at 1:45 daily.

December 15- 3:15 Dismissal

December 16- Early Dismissal

December 19-January 2- Winter Break.

January 3- School Resumes

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