The Weekly Roar

March 6, 2022

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Working Together

Last week, Ms. Nakagawa and I were fortunate to attend an impactful conference on the importance of professional learning communities. One of the biggest take-aways was how valuable it is for all stakeholders to form strong relationships with one another. In fact, one of the highest predictors of a successful school is a term called "Collective Teacher Efficacy". This basically means that when teachers truly collaborate, forming teams where they depend on one another to provide the best instruction, everyone wins.

As one member of this La Ballona Community, I try my best to ensure that we all continue to work together for the benefit of our children. Packed in this newsletter are so many ways for you to contribute to helping me with this goal. When we all put in effort, we all reap the benefits. Join me in participating actively in our La Ballona. You won't regret it, and your children won't either.

Stay PAWSitive!

Dr. Becky Godbey


Wednesday Principal Assembly- March 2

Click on the Image for The La Ballona Times

Enjoy this wonderful newsletter written by 4th grader, Jensen Rivera.
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What's Happening This Week at La Ballona

Monday, March 7th

2:00 Kindergarten Virtual Kindergarten Meet & Greet in Spanish (incoming kinders)

Tuesday, March 8th

School Board Meeting, Elementary Schools Spotlight, 6pm

Wednesday, March 9th

1:45 Dismissal

Thursday, March 10th

6:30 DEI Meeting

Friday, March 11th

Coffee with CCUSD parents with special needs. (See below), 9:30AM

Family Science NIght! 6pm

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Around the School

Bumps, Bruises, and Scrapes OH MY

Lately, there seems to be a rise in the need for First Aid with our students. As we count down to our Spring Break, let's all remind our students of how important it is to play carefully and cautiously. Here are some guidelines that we need you to review with your child:

  • Children may not engage is wrestling, "play fighting", or any interactions where the children become physical with one another. This includes tag, pulling, pulling, pushing, dragging, or using hula hoops, jump ropes etc to help with that.
  • Gymnastics and Acrobats are for home or the gym, not the school. Hands cannot be the only body part touching the ground.
  • Children must look where they are running or walking. Our younger darlings often look one way, and run the other. Tell your children to look ahead of them when they are walking or running.
  • Use the play equipment the way it's intended to be used. Kicking balls over the fence results in fewer recess balls for all children.
  • Remind your children to report any head injury, where they hit their head against a pole, blacktop, another head, or apparatus equipment to a supervising adult. The lunch supervisors have yellow vests so that they can be easily found. Remind your children to not wait until they get home to report a head injury. We want to be as safe as possible.

Also, there were some questions asked about when families should hear about an incident from school. Below is a message we sent in November. Although Covid protocols are less strict, our Health aide's protocols have not yet changed. Thus, our Health Office capacity is still diminished. We are hoping this changes soon. Here's the past article:

From November 6th: Sometimes children come home with bumps or scrapes, and parents naturally would like to know the cause. Some parents have expressed frustration that they are not getting enough communication in this area, so I'm hoping to clarify how we, the staff of La Ballona, make decisions about whether or not a particular incident is serious enough to require a call or email to parents.

As you can imagine, your children are quite active throughout each school day. Children move within and between classrooms, participate in PE and recess, stand in lines, gather supplies, play games with (or without) recess equipment, and so on. Teachers are supervising this activity while also providing instruction, helping children cope with big feelings, managing behavior, and providing conflict resolution. During any of these activities, students may physically bump into others or into objects, get knocked down, trip over something, or in some other way end up with a bump or scrape.

The protocol for staff at La Ballona is for teachers and/or the Health Office to notify families of incidents that involve intent to harm, head injury, or a significant visible injury. In many cases this will be a judgement call, as to what "intent" or "significant" means in context. Please remember your child's teacher is a trained, concerned professional doing their best. They are not infallible (since they are human), but they are caring advocates for your children. Their judgement is informed by years of experience with hundreds of children, and I have confidence they are making good choices about what to report the overwhelming majority of the time.

This year is uniquely difficult regarding student bumps and scrapes, because our Health Office's capacity has been greatly impacted by our Covid protocols. Nurse Maria is required to investigate each staff/student illness absence. We average over 30 student or staff illnesses per day. This by necessity limits our ability to give above-and-beyond attention to small incidents that do not rise to the level of our reporting protocol (above). Please know that we are all trying our best in one of the hardest years of our careers. Most of the time, we get it right. There will be times when we miss something. This is never intentional, but a result of the overwhelming amount of tasks each staff member is handling any given moment. I ask that you please assume goodwill and professionalism on the part of your student's teacher. And I ask for your patience as we handle the very much ongoing fallout of a global pandemic.


As you read earlier this week, the mask mandate will be lifting in April. Below is an except from the messaging you received from the district:

We plan on easing CCUSD’s mask mandate on Monday, April 18, one week after we return from spring break. On April 18, teachers and students will have the option to not wear masks on campus.

The April 18 date will allow CCUSD to test all students, teachers and staff during the week of April 11, in order to detect and prevent any possible surges after spring break. Based on our experience with the large surge after the winter break, we believe it is in the best interest of the community that we stay vigilant for just a little while longer. These additional days give us the opportunity to track and mitigate any cases that are contracted during the two weeks off.

While masks will be optional for everyone in the district beginning April 18, we highly encourage staff and students to continue to wear them. Masks definitively do work in slowing the spread of Covid-19.

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Upcoming Parent Education and Family Events

Coffee Chat !

Have a coffee and chat with other parents of students from CCUSD with special needs. Friday March 11st at 9:30am at 'goodboybob Coffee' (Citizen Public Market - 9355 Culver Blvd, Culver City)

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SAVE THE DATE - Family Astronomy Night!

Our next family night is coming up on Friday March 11th at 6pm and it's all about astronomy. We will have real telescopes to look through and a science show to watch plus some food trucks will be there to purchase dinner and the $1 book sale as well. Please see the flyer below for more information.

Kindergarten Meet & Greets for Incoming Kindergarteners

Pass this information on to any and all future La Ballona Lions!
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The Month of March

Click on the image for the PTA's Cultural Calendar, March 2022

Important Dates (New Dates in Bold)

  • March 7- Kindergarten Virtual Meet & Greet in English, 2:00pm
  • March 11- Family Science Night at La Ballona
  • March 14- After School Assembly, Author Reading (Zoom, flyer above)
  • March 17- Jog-a-thon!

Jog-a-thon, Jog-a-thon, Jog-a-thon!

LARGEST FUNDRAISER OF THE YEAR IS IN LESS THAN 2 WEEKS! Have you asked your family/friends yet for a donation?

Start Fundraising today for our biggest fundraiser of the year, the Lions' Pride Run on March 17! Visit and search by student first name, then send your fundraising link to friends and family. We need all students to participate in order to achieve our goal of raising $50,000 for programs that support our students and teachers. We've raised over $15,000, with just under 2 weeks to go until the run. Students are working in class teams and will earn classroom prizes for fundraising.

Coach Mendoza will wear a BANANA COSTUME for a day when we hit the $35,000 mark, and Dr. Godbey and Ms. Nakagawa will get SILLY STRINGED by the leading class if we hit our $50,000 goal! THIS WEEK we will have a special fundraising challenge for increasing participation by Friday, March 11. This is a great time to jump on board to try to earn an extra recess for your class!

Make a video of your child, post to social media, hold a bake sale... we are seeing lots of students getting creative! Here are two families who have held lemonade stands to support their Lions' Pride fundraising efforts. Remember, any donation amount counts!

Family Astronomy Night, March 11, THIS FRIDAY

SAVE THE DATE - Family Astronomy Night!

Our next family night is coming up THIS Friday, March 11th at 6pm at La Ballona and it's all about Astronomy. We will have real telescopes to look through and a science show to watch plus some food trucks will be there to purchase dinner and the $1 book sale as well. Please see the flyer below for more information and we look forward to seeing everyone there.

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Volunteers needed for our Astronomy Night - Can you Help??

Can you spare 1 hour to help out at the 'Astronomy Night Committee'? We have a few tables (selling drinks, books, t-shirts etc) that have some empty spots that need to be filled and to make this a huge success, we really need your help with all spots to be filled. THANK YOU!

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Community Support Needed

Restaurant Fundraiser - Sharkeys!

Save the date everyone, our next restaurant fundraiser is at Sharky's Woodfire Mexican Grill on March 14-20th. Click the link here for more information.

**address is 4371 Glencoe Ave, Marina Del Rey, CA

La Ballona 5th Grade Recipe Book needs more Recipes!!

The fifth grade committee is putting together a school cookbook for our Class of 2022 legacy project. We would like to have 1-3 of your favorite recipes as soon as possible (we may be able to add more if space permits). We will select one or more of your recipes to be included in our cookbook; your name will even be printed in the cookbook with each of your own recipes! Please include recipes that reflect your culture, holiday recipes, easy weeknight meals, or ones that are special to your family. If your student is in fifth grade, your recipe will definitely be included. We will include recipes from other grades as space permits.


Lions' Pride Fundraiser March 17 / Corrida de Leones 17 de marzo

The La Ballona Lions' Pride fundraiser is underway, and thanks to all of you, we've already raised a bit over $10,000! You're all doing an outstanding job collecting donations!

If you haven't already visited your page to update your photo, please email for your individual link. You can then share your page with friends and family on social media and help spread the word about our event.

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PTA Honorary Service Awards 2022 - Can you nominate someone?

Is there an extraordinary person or organization that you'd like to thank for their contribution to La Ballona Elementary? The California State PTA Honorary Service Award is a great way to say thank you for their service to our children and community. For more information and to nominate someone, please click the link below.

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