The Lion's Roarllef09

The Las Lomitas PTA Newsletter 
                                                                                  Week of September 19,  2011     
In This Issue
School News
From the Principal
Safety Tip
PTA News
21st Century Learning and Strategies
News from Kathy Ruwe, School Counselor
Bus Schedule Changes
Holiday Workshop Planning Meeting
Jump Rope Assembly
Las Lomitas Hot Lunch Program
International Walk to School Day
Join eScrip
Apple for the Classroom
Come Try Chorus!
Cub Scouts
Girl Scout Information Meeting
Halloween Costumes Needed
Lost Parrot
LLESD Governing Board
Community Resources
Community News
Newsletter Submissions
Join Our Mailing List!
Quick Links
Tues. 9/20      Student Picture Day - watch for the order form


Wed. 9/21       Holiday Workshop Planning, 9 a.m., room 22


                      PTA-Sponsored Jump Rope Assembly

School News




Just as children must memorize letters and sounds in order to master the complex task of reading, children must memorize addition and subtraction facts to 20 in order to master more complex and sophisticated operations in math.


Mastery of the addition and subtraction facts is a State Standard required by the Second Grade Math Curriculum. It is a fundamental skill that will allow your child to steadily progress in all succeeding math concepts and skills. It is critical that he/she attain mastery as quickly as possible.


Mastery is defined as the automatic recall of the facts. Fluency and speed can only be achieved through practice. In the classroom, teachers will approach this practice in different ways and at different paces. However, all students take the Five Minute Time Test for the 100 Addition Facts and for the 100 Subtraction Facts. As soon as your child's teacher begins giving this test, your help at home can greatly influence your child's success.


Suggestions for helping your child at home:


Remain calm and encouraging.


Provide short but consistent practice.

  • The fact tests are available on the District Grade Level Web Site, or you may request a copy of the tests so you can make copies.
  • Have your child practice nightly until your child can pass the test.
  • Practice for five to ten minutes and mark where he/she stopped. Go on from there the next night.
  • Do not skip problems. He/she will continue to skip the harder ones.
  • After he/she can pass the test in five minutes with fewer than five mistakes, children can start on a different line of the test.
  • Oral drill, flash cards and math games are also useful practice strategies.
  • There are many practice books in book stores.
  • Talk to your child about how they figure out the problem. Share any strategies you may have.
  • Following initial mastery, make sure they are not reverting to counting on their fingers or counting on in their head. This is a tedious and error-prone strategy.

All standards have increased and are going to continue to make greater demands for mastery at younger ages. You can greatly influence your child's success in school:

  • Provide consistent math drill for those skills that require mastery (fluency and speed) as described above.
  • Regularly review a mastery skill. Continue this review over the summer.
  • Don't forget reading. Provide consistent home reading time that includes being read to and independent reading at the appropriate level. Continue this all year long and over the summer.

We cannot emphasize enough the need for fluency in both math skills and reading - in all grades and for all levels of achievement. Thank you for helping us help your child!


Second Grade Teachers


From the Principal


Dear Las Lomitas Families,


It was great to see so many of you at the Family Picnic. The weather was perfect, but we definitely felt that "fall nip" in the air when the sun went down. Thanks to all the PTA parents who made this such a successful event.


This week I'll wrap up the background articles on our new faculty and staff:

  • Ashley Button has taught kindergarten for five years, most recently in Los Altos. She began her teaching career while she and her husband were stationed with the Department of Defense in Germany. Ashley is another local gal having grown up in the Los Altos community. Ashley graduated from Princeton and holds a Master's degree in Education. Her bright smile reflects her positive outlook on life!
  • Colene McKeon is a long-term substitute for Mrs. Moritz who is scheduled to return in January. Colene received her Bachelor's degree at San Diego State University and completed her credential work at Notre Dame de Namur University. Colene taught fourth and first grades nearby districts and was a summer counselor for several years. She also lives locally, in San Carlos, and is very pleased to start her teaching career at Las Lomitas.
  • Rebecca (Becca) Holland is also a long-term substitute, scheduled to teach until Mrs. Bannister's return in November. Becca completed her credential coursework at UC San Diego, holds a subject-matter authorization in Introductory Mathematics and will soon complete her Master's degree in Education. Becca's family lives in Daly City, so she is happy to be back in the Bay Area to start her teaching career.
  • Kaitlin McGhee is our new Kindergarten Movement Exploration paraeducator and yard supervisor. Yes, she is the daughter of our very own Mrs. McGhee (1st-3rd PE). Kaitlin's professional experience as a camp director, as well as her personal experience as an athlete (track and field) is a perfect match for this position. Kaitlin works closely with the kindergarten teachers to provide physical education experiences for our youngest students.
  • Grete (Greta) Santucci, is our new Language Lab paraeducator and yard supervisor. Grete most recently worked as a library assistant in Los Altos and has several years of experience working with primary students. Her personal experience as an English learner and ability to speak multiple languages makes her a perfect match for the Language Lab.


Thank you to all the parents who attended the first Morning with the Principal last Wednesday. These meetings are informal, open sessions to talk about anything and everything that is of interest to parents. Last week's topics included: yellow jacket control, playground improvements/rules/challenges with soccer, current class size, background about new faculty, how multi-grade classrooms address curriculum, and a bit about strategic planning and 21st century learning. The next session will be an Evening with the Principal on Nov. 16 at 6:30 p.m. in Cano Hall. I hope you can join us. Bring your questions or topics to discuss!


Regarding the yellow jackets, one parent said that fabric softener sheets are a repellant. You might want to put one in your child's lunch box to see if it helps.

Until next time,


Sue Sartor



Safety Tip


No pets or dogs are allowed in the dismissal area or on campus during school hours without permission.  Please keep your pets at home.


PTA News


Join the PTA! We continue to need your support! The PTA funds valuable programs that go directly to your child. A basic membership provides much-needed funds towards school assemblies,  field trips, holiday workshops, the school directory, and much more. Las Lomitas needs the support from every family through the PTA in order to continue to provide the quality programs your child enjoys throughout the year. Remember, your membership does not mean a commitment to volunteer. It demonstrates you care about the programs your child gets to have at school! 

                                     So far, 66% of you have contributed to the PTA but

                                     we're still striving to reach our goal of 90%           

                                     participation! There is still time  to contribute. 
                                     Please feel free to contact me if you have any

                                     questions or need further information at

                           , or visit us at



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *  

We give much thanks to Stacey White and Lindsay Alsadir for co-chairing last week's annual Las Lomitas Family Picnic!  We certainly enjoyed catching up with old friends and making new ones as well as having the opportunity to chat with our children's teachers.  We hope you did too.  Thanks again to Stacey and Lindsay!


21st Century Learning


21st century 


As we continue our investigation into "Learning for the 21st Century," we thank Dr. Ira Lit for speaking to our audience of over 120 parents, teachers, staff and administrators last Tuesday evening. If you were not able to attend the program, please go to our Leading Education web site to read a summary of the speaker's comments.


Please mark your calendar for our next big event - the Strategic Planning Committee Parent Forum, on Monday, Sept. 26, from 7 to 9 p.m. in Cano Hall. We urge you to come and share your ideas and questions about how to improve education for our children.


We also recommend that you read The Global Achievement Gap by Tony Wagner, as this book will form the basis for many of our Strategic Planning discussions. In addition, the Governing Board has set Oct. 3, 7 p.m., for a special board "study session" meeting to have a facilitated discussion of the ideas raised in the book. All are welcome to attend and participate.


Thank you for taking the time to learn about, and participate in, these initiatives.


News from Kathy Ruwe, School Counselor


Many parents in the Las Lomitas community have attended the fall Challenge Success conference in the past. This year's program is going to equally as engaging and informative as past sessions. I encourage everyone who can attend, to set aside Friday, Sept. 30 from 7-9 p.m. to enjoy a thought provoking evening titled: One Size Does Not Fit All. See additional information and links to the website below:


We would like to invite you and members of your community to spend the evening with nationally-renowned experts discussing academic stress, engagement, and well-being. Keynote speaker, Ken Ginsburg, M.D., and Challenge Success co-founders Denise Pope, Ph.D., Madeline Levine, Ph.D., and Jim Lobdell, M.A., will lead an interactive discussion about the meaning of success and how families and educators can help youth thrive in the fast-paced world in which we live. This event is hosted by Challenge Success, a project of the Stanford University School of Education.


Sept. 30, 2011

7-9 p.m.

Memorial Auditorium, Stanford University

Free and Open to the Public, (Suggested Donation $10/Individual, $15/Family)


The link to the registration is

The link to the flyer is


Bus Schedule Changes


At the beginning of each school year, Transportation sets bus schedules based on what we know about students/families and where they need bus service. It is only after school begins that we know exactly how many students will be riding the bus, and how best we can route the buses to serve them.


This year we find we have more students riding the bus ... which is a very good thing. More students on the bus mean fewer cars and congestion in the parking lot each day. We are making several changes to the bus schedules to accommodate theses additional bus riders. While the bus may have the legal capacity to handle 78 or 84 passengers, 80 students on a bus, seated 3 in every seat, is difficult for both the students and the drivers. It takes longer to load a bus that is full to capacity, and the trip to school isn't nearly as much fun when the bus is so crowded.


The changes detailed below are being made to give everyone a little "breathing room" on the bus and to more accurately reflect timing.



We've added a new Bus Stop at Sharon Oaks Apartments on Sharon Road - Bus Stop 89. There are too many students at Stop 5; in order to improve safety at the bus stop we are splitting this group of students into two Bus Stops. You will find Bus Stop 89 added to all pick-up and take-home routes.


1st Session Pick-Up:

We've added a fourth bus to the 9 a.m. pick-up schedule. Bus 2 will pick up Stops 89 and 5 from Bus 3, and Stops 35, 34, 82, and 33 from Bus 4. These changes do not affect the timing of pick-ups, but will give students more room on the bus.


1st Session Take-Home:

With the exception of Stop 19, Walsh Road stops have been removed from the schedule as there have been no students riding the bus from this area. Also, Sand Hill Circle Stops 50, 70, and 72 have been removed from the schedule on Bus 3, as there have been no students riding the bus from this area.


2nd Session Pick-Up:

Walsh Road Stops have been removed from the schedule, as there have been no students riding the bus from this area. Stops 35, 34, 82, and 33 have been moved from Bus 3 to Bus 4.



Stop 81 has been moved from Bus 4 to Bus 2 for the morning pick-up.


New bus schedules have been distributed to those families affected by these changes and are available in the school office. If you have any questions please feel free to call me at 854-6311, x30.


Joyce Massaro

Transportation Supervisor


Holiday Workshop Planning Meeting


Wednesday, Sept. 21, 9 a.m., Room 22


Would you like to help plan for the Holiday Workshop? Do you have an idea for a craft that you would like to share? Come join us at our opening meeting to prepare for this fun event. If you have an idea, bring a sample along to share. Please contact Tracie Nelson if you have any questions:


Jump Rope Assembly


We are kicking off our PTA-sponsored assembly series this Wednesday, Sept. 21, with Rene Bibaud - a professional jump roper! Many of our students have seen Rene's videos in the past during our annual jump rope week, however, now they'll have the opportunity to see her in person! Rene will also be providing an additional "in-service" where she'll work with our PE classes.


Renee has won numerous world championships, traveled the world performing, and even joined the circus! Renee's messages to the children are simple, pertinent, and consistent: give it your best effort, mistakes are OK, set goals, avoid comparing to others, motivation, and fitness.

This is just one example of our PTA membership funds put to use for our children (in addition to school supplies, recess equipment, and much more). If you haven't filled out your membership form yet, please go to today.

It's sure to be a fun assembly for all the kids and teachers!

Las Lomitas Hot Lunch Program


Volunteering to serve hot lunch is an excellent way to be involved with the PTA, see your children at lunch time, and have a great time getting to know other parents! We are in need of volunteers Tuesday-Friday, so if you can help for 30-40 minutes, once per week, every other week, or even once a month from 11:55 a.m. - 12:40 p.m., please contact Stacy May at You can also sign up online at  


International Walk to School Day


October 5 is International Walk to School Day. The County Office of Education, the San Mateo County Health System and the Get Healthy San Mateo County School Wellness Committee are encouraging schools to participate. Thirty-five years ago 66% of children walked to school; today less than 13% walk to school. In addition, childhood diabetes and obesity are rising dramatically, threatening both children's health and their ability to learn effectively. Walk to School Day provides an opportunity for your school community to support the health and wellness of our students, improve the environment and reduce traffic congestion around schools. It is one step toward building a generation of students that can say they walked and bicycled to school and it was fun!   
Join eScrip



Signing up for eScrip is an easy way to start supporting our kids. Almost 100 merchants (including Safeway, Draegers, Molly Stone) will make a donation when you shop with them. On average this is worth $30 per sign-up - amounting to more than $25,000 last year.


Please register now, if you haven't already, and ask your parents and family to sign up too:


Registering is FREE and simple to do: 

  1. To sign up go here:
  2. Type in "LAS LOMITAS" and click the search button
  3. Click the orange link Las Lomitas Education Foundation  (Group ID 125674428)
  4. Click the Next button and complete the forms.

That's it!


Any questions?
Contact Gerald Wluka 


Apple for the Classroom


Are you looking for a way to help further enrich your children's experience at Las Lomitas?


The Apple for the Classroom program is a way for parents to support their children's teachers directly. All the teachers and specialists at Las Lomitas have been invited to create a "wish list" of items that would help to further enrich their classrooms. Wishes may include art supplies, gift cards, books, or donations toward a special activity or field trip. These lists, along with instructions, have been placed in the red Apple for the Classroom binder located in the office.


The next time you are on campus, please stop by the office and pick an "apple" from a wish list.


All donations are tax deductible and receipts are available upon request.


Thank you for supporting our teachers!


Questions? Please feel free to contact Julie Chandik at


Come Try Chorus!


All grades are welcome. We are singing Tuesdays 3:35 - 4:20 p.m., in Cano Hall. It's not too late to register. To arrange a preview, contact Director Pam Donkin at 415-308-4432.   


Cub Scouts



Thursday 9/22 Pack Meeting featuring the Lizard Lady 
Cub Scouts offers fun and challenging experiences for boys and parents to do together, including camping outdoors, learning how to cook, learning first aid skills, using hand tools, completing small community service projects, and learning about our community.


Cub Scout Pack 222 will hold its first pack meeting on
Thursday,  9/22 from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.,
Menlo Park Presbyterian Church (Fellowship Hall),
for 1st through 5th grade boys.  


Come sign up or just learn more about Cub Scouts while the boys enjoy a presentation from the Lizard Lady!  Families are welcome.  New dens are forming now so please join us. 


If you have further questions, please email Jeni Mahon ~    


Girl Scout Information Meeting


Interested in learning more about Girl Scouting at Las Lomitas?  Please attend an informational meeting Monday Oct. 3, 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. in Cano Hall.  This meeting is intended for parents, as we will be discussing opportunities to start new troops to serve the girls at our school. If you will attend please RSVP to


Barrie Shapiro

Las Lomitas school coordinator for Girl Scouts

Halloween Costumes Needed


Please donate your gently used or new costumes for the children of the Haven Family House homeless shelter in Menlo Park (infant through adult sizes needed). The Girl Scout Troops of Las Lomitas will be collecting costumes in a bin at the Flagpole from Oct. 3-14. If you have any questions, please contact Pamela Stang,


Lost Parrot


If you have lost or know someone who has lost a black and gray parrot, it is at CCLC.


LLESD Governing Board

The Governing Board web page ( now lists all scheduled Board meetings and their location, and includes links to agendas for upcoming meetings and approved minutes for past meetings. The site is updated when new information is available, so please visit it regularly. Materials discussed at Regular Meetings (held monthly) are available in both school offices Monday through Wednesday prior to the meeting. Materials from past meetings are available at the District Office by contacting Karen Hiatt at 854-2880.  


LLL Class Calendar


Please go to  for the Las Lomitas League calendar.


Please contact the extra-curricular class teacher if classes have been rescheduled or if  your child will be absent.  Thank you.


Community Resources


The Las Lomitas PTA and the Las Lomitas School do not endorse, warrant or recommend any of these businesses.

  • Remember to mention Las Lomitas at the register and Kepler's donates 10% back to our school. Please check the website for upcoming events.
  • Circle of Friends Pre-School - Looking for a great little pre-school in the Las Lomitas neighborhood? Come see our developmental play-based program where children have opportunities to create, problem-solve, practice skills and concepts, and integrate knowledge in a hands-on supportive environment.  8:30 a.m. - 1:45 p.m.  Debbie 650-854-2468,
  • Take Guitar Lessons in the comfort of your own home!  Experienced and accredited Guitar instructor offers private instruction to students of all ages and levels.  18 years of experience playing the instrument. Proficient in many styles including rock, pop, Blues, and jazz. BA of Music Performance from SJSU.8 years of professional private guitar instruction experience. Ample experience teaching children, teens and adults. Beginners welcome. Multiple references available upon request!  Contact Kenny Corso at (650) 804-8488 or email
  • Creative Art for Young Children  Fall 2011, Sept. 20 - Dec. 10, Portola Valley Town Center Ages 3 though 5th grade. Contact Teresa (650) 851-1700 ext. 200, more info on the town website  Here are a few things we will be doing: Artist Georgia O'Keeffe will take us this session to the desert, then to the big city of New York. Kids will have fun creating cityscapes with pop-up sky scrapers and giant flowers ... they will see desert shapes emerge from watercolor paintings and study the saguaro cactus an all the animals that call it home during its 200 year life span.
  • Auditions for Ragazzi Boys Chorus  By appointment through Oct. 3, Redwood City.
    The Ragazzi Boys Chorus offers a complete music education through a proven, award-winning choral program. Boys begin with one evening per week of choral singing and progress through a full course of choral/vocal and theory instruction. Ragazzi performs its own concert series, sings the National Anthem at a SF Giants Game, tours, and collaborates with other
    prestigious Bay Area arts organizations. Boys eligible for a no-stress audition are between the ages of 7 and 10; no previous singing experience is required.Call for an appointment: 650-342-8785, or email Info: and  If you have questions or want more information about the chorus, feel free to contact Mary Cavendish, 650-234-1134.    
Community News
  • Kepler's Events for Parents - Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. hear Sandra Aamodt, PhD., author of "Welcome to your Child's Brain: How the Mind Grows from Conception to College."  This book helps you know when to worry, how to respond and when to relax. On Monday, October 3 at 7 p.m. come hear Marilyn Wedge, author of "Suffer the Children: The Case Against Labeling and Medicating and an Effective Alternative." This book reframes how parents, health professionals and society can respond to problems of childhood in a considerate and respectful fashion. 
  • Join the Junior League of Palo Alto Mid-Peninsula, the Menlo Park Firefighters and the Stanford Park Hotel for the 11th Annual Pancake Breakfast Benefit on Saturday, Oct. 1, 7:30 -11:00 a.m. at the fire station at 300 Middlefield Rd., Menlo Park. Proceeds benefit the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation. 

The Las Lomitas PTA and the Las Lomitas School do not endorse, warrant or recommend any of these businesses.




SOLO Aquatics offers a year-round program in which swimmers learn excellent swim / stroke technique through outstanding coaching in a fun environment. SOLO, a non-profit USA Swimming organization, has been serving Menlo Park for over 19 years and has over 100 year-round swimmers ranging in age from 5 to 18. Swimmers are grouped by age and ability levels. For practice schedules and fee information, please visit our website at or call us today at (650) 851-9091.




Is your daughter interested in trying the great sport of Ice Hockey? Hannah Onderdonk in first grade plays for the San Jose Jr. Sharks Girls' U8 team and loves it. Here is a great opportunity for your daughter to check ice hockey out, for free!


SATURDAY, Oct. 2 at 7:45 a.m., 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.

East Rink, Sharks Ice San Jose

1500 South 10th St., San Jose, CA 95112


For girls ages 5-12. Skates, sticks and hockey equipment are provided. Space is limited, so CLICK HERE to register today!




Registration is now open at This Redwood Chapter is starting its 9th year and many former players are playing for area High School teams including St. Francis, MA, and Menlo School. Come join us this year for a positive experience in competitive basketball. We offer a rookie league (D4) for grades 1-2 with the ability to form your own team (note friends during registration).  There are no boundary restrictions for D4/rookie league. For grades 3-8 we offer 3 leagues D1 (grades 3-4), D2 (grades 5-6), and D3 (grades 7-8). D1-D3 utilizes a draft to ensure equality on every team and players are restricted to Menlo Park, Atherton, Portola Valley, Woodside, or East Palo Alto. All teams are parent coached and the league affords pre-season coaching clinics. All Divisions (D1-D4) will play a 9-game schedule with a one or two weekend playoff.


Newsletter Submissions


The Lion's Roar is published every Monday. To submit items for inclusion in the newsletter: 


Email submissions by noon, Wednesdays, to Carol Clark at

 Include a brief description of the item in the subject line of the email.
Please include the text (in 10pt Arial) in an attachment to your email.
Flyers will be summarized briefly in the email newsletter, with a link provided to access the complete flyer. Flyers must be provided electronically to enable online access.


Please note: Community announcements are for local children's events only. The title, date and contact number will be listed with a one-two sentence descriptor.


The Lion's Roar is distributed via email every Monday. Printed copies are available in the school office, or the newsletter archives may be viewed online.  If you have trouble receiving the Lion's Roar, please ensure your email reader or service is not blocking the Lion's Roar because it is a group distribution. Please send requests for changing email addresses to Thank you!