The Weekly Roar

September 16, 2023

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Dear La Ballona Families!

Back to School Night was a blast! We hope you had the opportunity to meet your child's teacher, learn about your child's expectations and goals for this school year. Walking around campus, the air was filled with excitement from students enjoying time in the cafeteria with their peers, parents learning from their child's teacher, teachers sharing the amazing work and classroom culture built with parents, and PTA connecting with families! If you did not have the opportunity to complete the Google Form available during Back to School, please take a moment to fill it out. https://forms.gle/a97rFxaGZTjNVngN7

Let's take a moment to celebrate how quickly our scholars have adapted to returning to school, give them a hug, and tell them how proud we are of them for always doing their best!

*Pictured above*. A brother walking his sister to class. He's definitely showing some responsibility!


In this newsletter:

  1. Around the School
  2. Counselor Corner
  3. School Meal Information
  4. ESL Class Initiative
  5. Community & AfterSchool Opportunities
  6. Our Calendar


Stay PAWSitive!

Dr. Becky Godbey, Principal

Ms. Brenda Selva, Assistant Principal


Our school website https://laballona.ccusd.org/
Our PTA website https://laballonapta.org/
Our facebook: https://www.facebook.com/laballonaelementary
Twitter https://twitter.com/LaBallona
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/laballonaelementaryschool/
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1. Around the School

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Our Weekly Wednesday Principal Video Assembly

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Student Council!

We had an amazing turnout at our Student Council informational meeting! If your student is interested in running for Student Council (4th/5th), please make sure they return their application by Wednesday September 20th. If the application is not received by 1:45 PM on 9/20, they will not be able to participate. There are 12 open positions for Student Council: President (5th grade only), Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and one classroom representative from each 4th and 5th grade class. Applications for officers are printed on blue paper, applications for classroom reps are printed on pink paper. If your student did not get an application today, please make sure they see Mr. Dumas or Ms. Nasser on Monday to get one. If you have any questions, please contact us: georgedumas@ccusd.org, sarahnasser@ccusd.org.

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Leo the Lion's Little FREE Library

Our library will be reopening soon, but in the meantime come visit our little free library in the school entryway. Give an old book a new home! Take as many as you like.
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Leo's Book of the Month!

A Yearlong School-wide Initiative at La Ballona: 2023-2024


September's Book of the Month: Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match/Marisol McDonald no combina by Monica Brown Story Read Aloud (Bilingual)


My name is Marisol McDonald, and I don't match. At least, that's what everyone tells me. Marisol McDonald has flaming red hair and nut-brown skin. Polka dots and stripes are her favorite combination. She prefers peanut butter and jelly burritos in her lunch box. And don't even think of asking her to choose one or the other activity at recess–she'll just be a soccer playing pirate princess, thank you very much. To Marisol McDonald, these seemingly mismatched things make perfect sense together. Unfortunately, they don't always make sense to everyone else. Other people wrinkle their nose in confusion at Marisol–can't she just be one or the other? Try as she might, in a world where everyone tries to put this biracial, Peruvian-Scottish-American girl into a box, Marisol McDonald doesn't match. And that's just fine with her. A mestiza Peruvian American of European, Jewish, and Amerindian heritage, renowned author Monica Brown wrote this lively story to bring her own experience of being mismatched to life.


Selected Resources:

  • Guiding Questions:

    • How does Marisol feel about being “mismatched” at the beginning of the story? In the middle of the story? At the end? How do her feelings change? ¿Cómo se siente Marisol al principio del cuento porque no combina? ¿En medio de la historia? Al final? ¿Cómo cambian sus sentimientos?

    • What does Ms. Apple value about Marisol? How do you think Ms. Apple’s note makes Marisol feel? How do you know? ¿Qué valora la Sra. Apple de Marisol? ¿Cómo crees que la nota de la Sra. Apple hace sentir a Marisol? ¿Cómo lo sabes?

    • Think about the way the English text and Spanish text are laid out in the book. Why do you think the text is presented this way? Are there places where Spanish and English words are used together? Why do you think the author chose to do that? Piensa en la forma en que están distribuidos el texto en inglés y en español en el libro. ¿Por qué crees que el texto se presenta de esta manera? ¿Hay lugares donde se usan juntas palabras en español e inglés? ¿Por qué crees que la autora decidió hacer eso?

    • Reread the Author’s Note on the last page of the book. How are Marisol McDonald and Monica Brown alike? How are they different? How did Monica Brown bring her own experiences to the story? Cite evidence from the text to support your answer. Vuelva a leer la nota del autor en la última página del libro. ¿En qué se parecen Marisol McDonald y Monica Brown? ¿En qué se diferencian? ¿Cómo aportó Monica Brown sus propias experiencias a la historia? Cita evidencia del texto para respaldar tu respuesta.

  • Additional Book: It’s Okay to Be Different/Está bien ser diferente by Todd Parr

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Congratulations La Ballona, a SILVER award winner for PBIS!

La Ballona was awarded the PBIS Silver award! Perhaps you've heard about our PAWS/PATA behavior expectations from your child, our weekly assemblies, posters around the school, and our efforts with restorative practices. La Ballona has worked hard in the past four years to implement Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS). Thanks to the PBIS Team for always supporting our staff and students. Way to go Lions!

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SCHOOL SITE COUNCIL


  • School Site Council meets once a month and looks at the school budget and decisions made to support our scholars. The two parents below have offered to serve on the committee.
  • We are required to hold an election, even though they are both running unopposed. Will you please help La Ballona, by completing the ballot below? Thank you.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeKVzjXaoVJQZDQALQ8zHdvgd2n3rDBWCXNOsjOLRpCkx123g/viewform?usp=sf_link


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2. Counselor's Corner

A Message from Counselor Ulloa-Serrano

We had our first Cafe con la Consejera (Spanish meeting) and Coffee with the Counselor (English meeting). This month's topic was Meet the School Counselor and an overview of the school counseling program. You can find the presentation here. Parents had the opportunity to share topics they would like to learn more about while eating pan dulce (Mexican sweet bread) and coffee. Our amazing PTA provided the pan dulce and coffee. Our next Cafe con la Consejera (Spanish meeting) and Coffee with the Counselor (English meeting) will be on October 6th! The topic will be bullying prevention and problem-solving skills. I hope to see you then!


I also wanted to share that September is Suicide Prevention Month. Click here to access a list of resources and crisis hotlines.


Presentation: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1ZKD5lh6WIG8Lc6Ecj0M6CsAsVn7DIrfLQsM1vnohaKc/preview



Parent Connection Video

La Ballona Counseling Newsletter

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3. School Meal Information

School Meals are Priceless!

YES! All breakfast & Lunch are offered to all students at no cost. Don't forget to fill out your applications.


However, we are asking that families do submit meal applications in order to establish free and reduced percentages for each site so that 1) schools can qualify for much needed funding and 2) to establish percentages that I need to submit for federal and state reimbursement. This is EXTREMELY Important to the health of La Ballona's budget. Each year, La Ballona receives federal funding to support our socio-economically diverse campus. Information below:


Free and Reduced Meal Applications now available at www.linqconnect.com. One application per family.

What's for Breakfast and/or Lunch in September?

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4. Community & Afterschool Opportunities

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Choir Information!

This Thursday, the choir for La Ballona got started! They will meet every Thursday morning before school in the cafeteria from 8:00-8:35am. We will have many opportunities to perform throughout the school year. Choir is free, and no experience is necessary. If you would like to sign up for choir, please register here. If you have any questions, please reach out to Ms. Gallagher at: kimberlygallagher@ccusd.org. We look forward to singing with you this year!

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Need a Chromebook?

La Ballona will loan ChromeBooks out to any families in need of a Chromebook. Please email thomaskalinowski@ccusd.org if you'd like to borrow a ChromeBook.
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Family Success Initiative

The adult school is coming to La Ballona! This class is designed to support English Learner families. The Family Success Initiative (FSI) is a class blending English as a Second language curriculum with parent education modules that empowers families to support student success by teaching the skills to connect, participate, and become leaders within their school communities.If you are interested in participating in this amazing class, please follow the registration steps below. There is no cost to participate. Classes are expected to begin 9/25/23. If you have any questions about the class, please reach out to Victoria Bian at the adult school at 310-842-4300 extension 3535 Mondays and Wednesdays.

1.Register online at the adult school website: ccas.ccusd.org

2. Click on the register button - that will take you to a registration form, where you will enter all your information

3. Select the Family Success Initiative (FSI) class on the registration form.

4. You will then be sent a Calendly Link via email to schedule yourself a CASAS test that will begin at 3 pm at the adult school. All adults/parents who are interested in this class will need to take a CASAS test before entry into the class. Test is a self baseline to assess reading and communication performance.

5. Once you have completed the assessment, you will be enrolled in the class, and be provided with a registration slip.

6. Then you can begin class at La Ballona.


¡La escuela de adultos viene a La Ballona! Estamos ofreciendo una clase para familias que están aprendiendo inglés. Los padres que estén interesados en participar en esta clase de ESL, sigan los pasos de registro a continuación. No hay costo para participar. La clase está programada para comenzar el 25 de septiembre de 2023. Si tiene preguntas por favor de llamar a la escuela de adultos y preguntar por Victoria Bian at 310-842-4300 extension 3535 los Lunes y Miercoles.

1. Regístrese en línea en el sitio web de la escuela de adultos: ccas.ccusd.org

2. Haga clic en el botón 'registrarse' - eso te llevará a un formulario de registro, donde ingresaras toda tu información.

3. Seleccione la clase Iniciativa de éxito familiar (FSI) en el formulario de inscripción.

4. Luego se le enviará un enlace de Calendly por correo electrónico para programar una prueba CASAS que comenzará a las 3pm en la escuela de adultos. Todos los padres/estudiantes que estén interesados en esta clase deberán realizar una prueba CASAS antes de ingresar a la clase. La prueba es para determinar el nivel de lectura y comunicación.

5. Una vez que haya completado la evaluación, se le inscribirá en la clase y se le proporcionará un formulario de inscripción.

6. Entonces puedes empezar la clase en La Ballona


Here's the link to the QR code: http://bit.ly/family9

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Hispanic Heritage Month

Every year from September 15 to October 15, Americans celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month by appreciating the community’s history, heritage, and contributions of the ancestors of American citizens who came from Mexico, Spain, the Caribbean, and South- and Central America.


Hispanic Heritage Month originally started with one week of commemoration in 1968. It was later extended to a 30-day celebration by President Ronald Reagan, starting on September 15 and ending on October 15 and enacted into law via approval of Public Law 100-402 on August 17, 1988.


September 15 is set as the starting date for the month as it is important for many reasons. It is the independence anniversary for Latin American countries El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Honduras. From here onwards, the independence days of Mexico and Chile fall on September 16 and September 18, respectively. Dia de la Raza or Columbus Day also falls within this month, on October 12.


Below are some resources, events and places that families can visit to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (Thanks Mrs. Haro and Counselor Serrano for sharing)

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Back to School Task Force

As promised, we'd like to form a small group of parents and teachers who'd work together to determine whether or not Back to School (and Open House) occur during the day or in the evening. Parents, if you'd like to be part of this small group, please email Dr. Godbey. rebeccagodbey@ccusd.org

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La Ballona DEI Meeting!

Please join us via Zoom for our next DEI meeting on Thursday, September 28th from 6:30-7:30pm. Hope to see you!
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September's Restaurant Fundraiser!

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Backpacks for Kids Program Helps Food-Insecure Families for FREE

Culver City Unified School District (CCUSD) believes that no child in our community should go hungry or have food insecurities, especially on weekends when students don’t have access to school-sponsored breakfast and lunch. The Culver City Council PTA, in conjunction with CCUSD, provides students in need with a backpack filled with non-perishable food and snacks each week to ensure that every child can eat on the weekends.


There is no cost to participate and enrollment is 100% confidential. Each week, filled backpacks will be available for pickup. You or your child, simply pick up the backpack and take it home. Backpacks will not be returned each week; your student will receive a new backpack each week. Enrollment is ongoing so any child in need can sign up for the program at any time throughout the school year.


If you would like your student to receive a weekly backpack, sign up here or complete a form in your school office.

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September is Attendance Awareness Month

Did you know?

  • Missing 10 % of school can make it harder for students to learn to read.

  • Coming to school in September leads to positive attendance habits.

  • Attending school helps children make friends, feel good about themselves, and achieve their goals.


If you have any questions, please reach out to Shamara Johnson-Roque at shamarajohnsonroque@ccusd.org with any attendance questions. We look forward to seeing your child at school every day!

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Nurse Sara's Health Corner!

We need your assistance! Accidents at school are bound to happen and we are running out of additional clothing for these moments. Nurse Sara would love to receive any donation of pants for boys or girls. Also tops and underwear.

Thank you :)


Ongoing: Keep your student home and test if they are experiencing COVID-like symptoms. COVID tests can be provided to you by the front office. Please continue to report to the health staff when your student has tested positive for COVID as we are closely monitoring for any outbreaks. Here is the newly updated guidance from the LA County Department of Public Health.
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DONATIONS NEEDED FROM THE HISPANIC HERITAGE COMMITTEE!

Hispanics Heritage Celebration needs your help

Hispanic Heritage Celebration needs donations for our event on Friday, September 29th.

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Volunteers Needed!

La Ballona PTA relies on parents like you to volunteer!

We have new opportunities every month! Some require volunteer clearance and some do not, some require you to be on campus and some can be done from home. Please check out this month's options with the following QR code.

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PTA Membership Contest and Meeting!

Thank you for supporting PTA! The membership contest, has been extended through September 15th. Please consider joining our amazing PTA for $8! Your membership money goes toward assemblies, field trips, school beautification, school supplies, and teachers' grants. Let's get 100% participation!


All La Ballona School community members are encouraged to join us!

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2023-2024 Reflections Art Program

I AM HOPEFUL BECAUSE…


That’s the theme for the 2023-24 Reflections Art Program, which has been bringing the arts to life for more than 10 million students since 1969. California State PTA and its members, families and kids are on the forefront of this amazing program, which increases community awareness of the importance of arts in education.


All students are invited to participate and submit original artwork inspired by the theme, “I AM HOPEFUL BECAUSE," in one of six areas:

  • Dance Choreography
  • Literature
  • Photography
  • Film Production
  • Music Composition
  • Visual Arts


Artworks are submitted first to school-level PTAs, where they are first recognized, celebrated and judged by five grade level divisions, the Special Artists division celebrates student artists with special needs. School PTAs then choose a selection of entries to be judged by local PTA units, which are then sent on to councils and then districts for consideration.


The final artworks submitted to California State PTA by districts are then considered for Outstanding Interpretation, Awards of Excellence or Awards of Merit. Outstanding Interpretation and Award of Excellence entries then go on to represent California in the final National PTA judging round.


State-level Outstanding Interpretation honorees receive:

  • Onstage recognition at the California State PTA Annual Convention
  • The opportunity to showcase their artwork at the California State PTA Convention Reflections Gallery
  • Prizes including an Outstanding Interpretation plaque, award and certificate


State-level Award of Excellence honorees receive:

  • The opportunity to showcase their artwork at the California State PTA Convention Reflections Gallery
  • Prizes including an Award of Excellence medallion, award and certificate
  • State-level Award of Merit honorees receive:
  • The opportunity to showcase their artwork at the California State PTA Convention Reflections Gallery
  • Prizes including an Award of Merit medallion and certificate


National-level Outstanding Interpretation honorees are recognized at the National PTA Convention, plus their artwork, along with any National Award of Excellence and Merit winners, are featured in Reflections’ popular traveling national exhibit.


Entry forms can be found here: in English and in Spanish


The deadline for entries will be October 2023, so students may work on their projects all Summer long!

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Dance Classes by AVPA Students

Attention! AVPA Dance students will be offering dance classes to our Elementary students. For more information, please see flyers below. This is so exciting!
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Looking for Volunteers!

Our next event is October 4th. Looking for more volunteers to help scan tags as students come to school walking or riding a bicycle or scooter!
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CCMS Bike Day (for any families with middle school students)

This annual event is specifically for CCMS students to encourage them to bike to school more often with safety instruction, lessons on how and where to lock their bikes appropriately and visiting Culver CityBus to learn how to properly load their bikes on a bus. Free helmets, locks and bike lights too (while supplies last)

September 16, 9-12, CCMS Parking lot

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Culver City Walk & Roll Festival

This community event features skills a course and skills stations, group rides, bike repair, prize drawings, food, music, free bike helmets and more.

September 24, 10a - 2p, CCMS Parking Lot

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Parent Travel Survey

We are asking parents throughout the district to describe how they get to school, what barriers exist and additional information to help us make the SRTS program as good as it can be. The survey can be taken online in English or Spanish and soon we will drop off hard copies of the survey at each school.

Links can be found on our homepage

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CCUSD Live Scan Update

Due to an overwhelming number of people showing up for Live Scans, we can no longer take walk-ins. EVERYONE must make an appointment going forward. Please ensure your staff are providing them the attached Live Scan Request Form. Other versions of the form will not be accepted. Many are showing up with no forms at all.


Also, some parent volunteers are being turned away due to poor fingerprint quality. There is nothing I can do about the quality of their fingers. The Live Scan system rejects poor quality prints and it cannot be manually overridden. Most, if not all of the poor quality prints are due to scars, cracked skin, cuts, excessively dry skin, or other abnormalities.


If their prints are being rejected by our system, I am advising them they can try an outside Live Scan provider. Providers may use other types of scanners that may or may not be able to scan through the above listed finger issues.

The link below has the info needed for making an appointment, location map, etc.:

https://safety.ccusd.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=1673516&type=d&pREC_ID=2399124

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5. Our Calendar

This Week at La Ballona

All new events, will be in italics


Monday, September 18

  • PTA Board Meeting, 6:30pm


Tuesday, September 19


Wednesday, September 20

  • Early Dismissal (every Wednesday), 1:45pm

  • Room Parent Orientation, 7:00pm


Thursday, September 21


Friday, September 22

Upcoming Dates (New Dates in Bold)

September 29-PTA Hispanic Heritage Celebration (after-school)

October 3-School Picture Day

October 4-International Walk-to-School Day

October 5- PTA Meeting 6:30 pm (zoom)

October 5-6-Targeted Conferences (by invitation)

October 6-Family Friday Assembly

October 20-November 5-Bidding for Good Auction

2023/2024 CCUSD CALENDAR and IMPORTANT DATES AT A GLANCE

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