The Lion's Roar  

The Las Lomitas PTA Newsletter  
                                                                         Week of January 23, 2012     
In This Issue
News from the Governing Board
From the Principal
Las Lomitas League
PTA News
DELAC Meeting and Technology Night
Green Team in Need of Compost Volunteers
LLESD Governing Board
Community Resources
Community News
Newsletter Submissions
Join Our Mailing List!
Quick Links



For Las Lomitas League class schedules, please see their website at



 This Week

  • 1/24 Governing Board Study Session 6-7:30 - LE Lib
  • 1/25 Class Group Pictures
  • 1/25 SSC Mtg. 3 p.m. - room 27
  • 1/27 Registration closes for LLL classes


Coming Soon

  • 2/1 PTA Bd. Mtg. 9 a.m. - room 20B
  • 2/6 LLL classes begin
  • 2/7 DELAC Mtg. - 6 p.m. - LE - room 51 
  • 2/8 School Bd. Mtg. - 7 p.m. - LE MUR


PLEASE NOTE:  Las Lomitas League classes begin the week of February 6th. 

News from the Governing Board


This Tuesday, Jan. 24, the Governing Board will hold a special "study session" on the proposed new Strategic Plan, Part One:  Our Four Strategic Directions.  The meeting will take place from 6 - 7:30 p.m. at the La Entrada Library.  Parents, students and community members are encouraged to attend. 


Last May, the Governing Board appointed a Strategic Planning Committee  (SPC) to develop a new five- to ten-year plan for our District.  Working in connection with the "Leading Education" speaker series last fall (, the SPC held two faculty Forums and one parent/community Forum to solicit ideas about what our students should be able to do to achieve college and career success in the 21st Century.  The SPC took these ideas and worked for several months to incorporate them into a new strategic plan.


Please plan to join us Tuesday evening. 


From the Principal


Dear Las Lomitas Families,


As I lead incoming kindergarten parents on tours of the school, I am often asked why we have a staggered-session schedule at Las Lomitas. The following article from the second grade team addresses the importance of a small group setting for language arts instruction. Although it is written primarily about second grade skills, the pedagogical rationale holds true for kindergarten and first grades as well.


Until next time,


Language Arts Instruction in Second Grade


Language Arts instruction time is one of the most important and intensive teaching periods of the day. A child must know how to read and write in order to be successful in any academic subject. Second Grade Teachers want to let you know about the kind of instruction that happens during the Language Arts period, which is typically taught during small group time (1st and 2nd sessions).


Each child is an individual. Every aspect of a child develops at a different rate; this includes intellect, social/emotional, and physical development. Our goal during small group time is to meet each child at his/her level and provide each student with individual instruction in the area of Language Arts. Some examples of individualized instruction follow.


Children come to second grade with a varied level of reading abilities. Small group instruction time allows teachers to focus on individual children. We run guided reading groups with very small groups of children using leveled books. At this time we teach strategies for decoding which include using phonics, spelling patterns, pictures, and context clues. Children learn to use reading mechanics strategies such as rereading, looking for chunks within a word, or reading beyond a word to use context clues. We work with kids at their level on fluency and comprehension skills. John Steinbeck said, "Some people there are who, being grown, forget the horrible task of learning to read. It is perhaps the single greatest effort that the human mind undertakes, and he must do it as a child."


Even children who are good readers are still learning to read. They need to learn to gain knowledge from reading different genres, including nonfiction books that often incorporate headings, captions, diagrams, and charts. They must learn strategies to read and follow directions, and to recall facts from text, recognize character, plot, and setting. As the level of text becomes more advanced, children must learn new strategies for comprehension. Sentence structure becomes more complex and vocabulary more advanced. Children must begin to learn from their reading!


Writing skills usually develop behind reading and are also very complex. Second grade writing skills include phonetic spelling, spelling patterns, base words and affixes (prefixes and suffixes), syllabication, sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, capitalization, penmanship, writing for content, and beginning paragraph writing. Children learn to do all of this in the context of fiction and nonfiction writing. They begin to write for an audience. Again, small group instruction time allows teachers to meet the students at their level, provide immediate feedback, and focus on their specific needs. The teacher may work with one child on putting spaces between words and work with another on quotation marks and contractions within a paragraph.


Research states that small group instruction (fewer than 15 students) greatly benefits children in the primary grades. *In classes where the teacher to student ratio is 1 to 14 or less the following was noted:

  • reading achievement was higher for all grades in the small classes
  • student test scores, measured by norm- and criterion-referenced tests, improved
  • fewer students were held back
  • students receive more individual attention
  • smaller classes are friendlier, more intimate, and have fewer discipline problems
  • students who are in small classes K-3 remain significantly ahead in 8th grade

Las Lomitas teachers are committed to providing our students with the best academic instruction possible. Second grade teachers value small group instruction because it provides the highest quality teaching time, which allow us to get to really know the children, meet them at their level, and nudge them along in order to achieve their maximum potential. Small group instruction time is the most important academic period of the day.


Written by the Las Lomitas Second Grade Teachers


*Project STAR (Student Teacher Achievement Ratio).


Las Lomitas League



Thank you for the overwhelming response in our first week of registration for LLL after-school classes. 

Due to popular demand, we have added another Hip Hop Dance class.  Additionally we still have spaces in classes like Yoga for Kids, Young Inklings for Grades K-1, TGA Premier Junior Golf, Mad Science Section C, Spanish 2B and Chinese 2B.   

For a full listing of classes that are still available, please visit our website and log into your account, then select the appropriate grade and this will display the classes that are still available for your child's grade. 

Spaces are going fast! So hurry register on our website before registration closes this Friday Jan 27th at 7pm

(Note: Please note that once registration closes, we no longer accept late registrations. And parents who have registered on a wait list will only be notified IF a space becomes available - we appreciate your understanding that admittance is not guaranteed.)

Las Lomitas League extra-curricular winter session classes begin on February 6th. We have a couple of guidelines I want to clarify with you: 

  • Kindergarten students taking 2:15 classes will be dismissed to meet their LLL teacher or parent volunteer by Room 1. Classroom teachers cannot escort children to the various classes. If there is confusion, your child will be brought to the office so we can clarify where he/she should be. 
  • Please provide your Las Lomitas classroom teacher with your child's dismissal plan so she knows your child needs to go to the LLL class or sport on a given day. Without written instructions stating otherwise, your child will be sent to the flagpole, bus or CCLC as usual.
  • Please report your child's absence from an LLL class or sport by contacting the LLL instructor or parent coordinator directly. The school office is not involved in absence reporting for LLL classes.
  • Be sure the LLL teacher knows who will pick up your child at the end of class.


If you have questions about the classes, times, dates or procedures, please contact Alison Yap at or 650-644-6599. Thank you for your cooperation.


PTA News


******     VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!!     ******


Calling ALL Las Lomitas Parents!


We have wonderful events coming up at Las Lomitas this spring! We are looking for additional volunteers to help with the following activities:


* Pancake Breakfast - Saturday, March 10. We need parents to help set up and clean up, flip pancakes and serve breakfast. Come join the fun!! Contact Linda Mills at


* Science Wonders - Wednesday, March 21. We need parents to help publicize, organize or set up for this special science fair event. Contact Diana Sunshine at


* Grandparents Day - Friday, June 1. We need parents to help with this wonderful family event. Contact Kelly Holzrichter at


We also have an URGENT need for additional parents to help our Green Team with composting during lunch.   Any shift is appreciated, however we would love to find one or two more people to help on Mondays. Contact Monica Albers at to help keep our school green!


These are all great opportunities for you to interact with students, staff and families. If you have already signed up to volunteer for these events, no need to sign up again. Please e-mail if have questions or need details on any of the volunteer positions.


Thank you!

Cindy Anderson

PTA Volunteer Coordinator







Thank you for your support of the Las Lomitas Education Foundation!
The Foundation challenged the community again this year to increase its commitment and we are thrilled to announce that we raised more money, more quickly than ever before.  As of Jan. 15, we have raised more than $1,857,000 for our schools. Over 68% families have contributed.  The generosity of the community is inspiring.  We will continue to encourage those who have not yet donated to join us and ask them to help us to achieve our goal of more than 80 percent participation.  Thanks to your responsiveness, the School Board will be able to plan next year's budget with this strong commitment from our families, focusing on reduced class sizes and enhanced curriculum for all the students at Las Lomitas and La Entrada.


Meanwhile...the 2012 Spring Auction is underway! This is the event of the year that made it possible for the Foundation to contribute $2,400,000 to the district last year.  WE NEED YOU to help make it the best event ever!  Help us create a fantastic auction portfolio by soliciting or donating wonderful items, events or experiences to the live, silent and online auctions.
All item donations are tax deductible. 
Donating an item is easy and can be done via our online donation form at our website.  Click on to donate an item now.


Need some ideas to help kick start the brainstorming?  Here are a few:
Tickets from your season subscription: sports, concerts, theater, etc.
A week or weekend at your cabin, condo or vacation home
Sponsor a one-of-a-kind event or getaway that we can't get for free
Host a parent or kid party - and get your friends to co-host with you!
Set up a behind-the-scenes experience somewhere you work or at an organization you support
Use your cooking skills and host a dinner party for four people or more
Share your hobby or passion by taking a group sailing, geo-caching, mountain biking or on any adventure you especially enjoy
Ask a business you frequent to give a gift certificate.  If they say yes, we can send them a form or give them our online web address.  (Think restaurant, fitness gym or personal trainer, hair or nail salon, retail store, house cleaner, dog sitter ...)
Teach a skill in which you are an "expert," such as baking, pitching, photography, knitting, soap making, and so on.
The opportunities are endless.  And don't forget, it's not what you know but who you know ... hit up all your friends, family, business associates, neighbors or anyone else you can think of that might have something unique and wonderful to share.
Thank you in advance for your generosity and support!
If you have questions or want to talk over an idea, contact Auction Solicitation Chair Pamela Stang at or (650) 996-6991.

DELAC Meeting and Technology Night


The District English Language Advisory Committee (DELAC) invites you to our DELAC Meeting and Technology Night Tuesday, Feb. 7 in the La Entrada Computer Lab.  The evening begins at 6 p.m with the DELAC meeting. Then, at 7 p.m., ELD teachers and Suzanne Mitchell will demonstrate how technology is used in ELD classrooms.  Childcare is available and refreshments will be served.  Please RSVP to Lesli Leong at Las Lomitas, or 854-5900 ext 219 if you need childcare.  Please click here to view the flyer.  


Green Team in Need of Compost Volunteers


Our very successful Green Team Composting Program is need of a few more lunchtime volunteers.  Please consider helping the kids and our planet out during the lunch hour (12:10 - 1 p.m.).  By doing our part, we are diverting 25 bags of biodegradable waste per week from the landfill.  Shifts are available monthly and weekly.  Please contact Monica Albers, Green Team Chair at for more information.  


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 the Superintendent's Secretary at 854-2880.  


Business Sponsors News


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 6% back to our school. Please check the website for upcoming events and remember Kepler's has a Storytime every Sunday at 11:30 a.m.
  • DECATHLON SPORTS CLUB  Looking for the best way to spend your summer?
    Decathlon Sports Club is registering girls and boys, ages 6-12 for its 32nd summer of fun!  We offer virtually every sport under the sun PLUS Capture the Flag, swimming, arts & crafts, dance, and more. Special Friday events include field trips, carnival games, pizza, and prizes.  Camp will once again be held at Woodside High School from 9 a.m. - 3:45 p.m. Extended care is also available from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. For more information and to check on availability for your child's age group, please email or visit   

 Community News


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


Parents Place is offering Social Skills Groups for children in PreKindergarten, Kindergarten and First Grade.  These groups are for children who are experiencing difficulties in social settings such as play groups, school or the playground.  Ten weekly sessions begin quarterly at Parents Place in Palo Alto or San Mateo.  For more information or to schedule an intake interview, please contact Kirk Stuepfert, 650-688-3049 or Flyers are in the Las Lomitas office.  


Ladera Community Church Preschool is holding its annual Open House on Saturday, January 28th, from 10 - 11 a.m. Bring your children to meet our fantastic teachers and visit our preschool in a lovely rural setting at 3300 Alpine Road, Portola Valley. We welcome all families with children 2 years to 5 years old. To find out more, please visit our website at or contact Director Sandi Snider at 854-0295.
Come see the 'Spirit of Uganda.'  This is an amazing performance for the whole family, on Sunday, Jan. 29, 6 p.m. at the Performing Art Center at Menlo-Atherton High School.  Come see this talented and inspiring group of children from Africa (age 11-18) perform riveting dancing, drumming, and singing from East Africa.  This performance is organized by and benefits Empower African Children (, a non-profit organization working to help the young people of Uganda develop leadership skills, get educated and tell their own stories through the arts.  "Invigorating the stage with that elusive thing called joy." - The New York Times.  Purchase your tickets on-line now at http://spiritofugandamenlopark2012.eventbrite.comTickets will not be sold at the door.  This is the only local performance as part of their 4 month tour of the United States.  Questions? Please email


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. To change your email address, please click 'Update Profile/Email Address' below. Thank you!