The Lion's Roar  

The Las Lomitas PTA Newsletter  
                                                                         Week of August 27, 2012     
In This Issue
School News
PTA News
Las Lomitas League
Las Lomitas Education Foundation
Community News
Newsletter Submissions
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This Week 


Mon., Aug 27       1st/ 2nd sessions begin


Wed., Aug. 29     Choicelunch service starts



Coming Up 


Mon., Sept. 3      No School - Labor Day


Thur., Sept. 6      Parent Information Night:

                          Grades K & 1:  6:30 - 7:15 p.m.

                          Grades 2 & 3:  7:15 - 8:00 p.m.


Wed., Sept. 12     Morning with the Principal: 9:00 a.m. Cano Hall


Thur., Sept. 13     Family Picnic: 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.


Tue., Sept. 18      Student Picture Day  



School News

Dear Las Lomitas Families,


Welcome to the 2012-2013 school year! District and site employees were very busy over the summer preparing the campus for all of your wonderful children. New play equipment is in place on the kindergarten yard including a sandbox. The rooms are bright and clean, ready to welcome the children back to school.


New faculty members include Colene McKeon (2nd), Julie Propp (3rd), Danielle Garcia (1st - in for Mrs. Berta while she is on leave), Kimberly Fields (RSP- in for Mrs. Leonard while she is on leave) and Jonathan Alcober, Special Education paraeducator. I am thrilled at the depth and breadth of knowledge and expertise that these talented people bring to Las Lomitas. I will tell you a bit more about each of our new staff members in future articles.


There were also a few changes in assignment for returning teachers. Kathy Kobara moved from Kindergarten to Teacher on Special Assignment in the Math Lab this year and Anna Pong moved to Kindergarten. Giena Vogel accepted an offer to teach in Piedmont closer to her home in Berkeley, so she will not be returning to Las Lomitas.


Although this is my 25th year at Las Lomitas, the start of a school year never ceases to bring excitement and anticipation for what is to come. I look forward to getting to know each of you better over the course of the school year. Communication is essential to maintain a positive climate and build community relations. To facilitate both of the above, Mornings with the Principal are offered again this year; the first is set for September 12th. There will also be two Evenings with the Principal. Watch the Lion's Roar for details. Parent involvement is a key component of an effective school. We are most fortunate to have an active PTA, School Site Council, Las Lomitas League and Foundation to support student learning and provide an optimal learning environment. I encourage you to participate in one of these organizations and wish you all a successful start to the school year.


Safety is always uppermost in our minds at Las Lomitas, so please take a moment to review the tips in the following section regarding arrival and dismissal. Your children are precious. Please help us keep them safe.


Several parents told me they enjoyed hearing the Advice from a Horse that I shared at the PTA Welcome Coffee on the first day of school. I've included it below for your enjoyment.


Until next time,

Sue Sartor, Principal


Advice from a



Take life's hurdles in stride

Loosen the reins

Be free spirited

Keep the burrs from under your saddle

Carry your friends when they need it

Keep stable

Gallop to greatness!


By Ilan Shamir  





Safety comes first at Las Lomitas. Camino al Lago, the parking areas and neighboring streets are very congested during arrival and dismissal times, especially on Wednesdays and minimum days.


Please take a few minutes to review these safety tips. With everyone's cooperation, we can be sure that our students are safe and help traffic move smoothly. 

  • PLEASE DRIVE SLOWLY and PAY ATTENTION, even on neighboring streets. Our students are young and not easily seen.
  • BE READY TO UNLOAD; have backpacks ready so the queue doesn't back up.
  • ALWAYS UNLOAD CURBSIDE; please do not ever unload from drive-through lane. If you must get out of your car, watch for cars in the drive-through lane before opening your door.
  • ALWAYS USE THE CROSSWALK! Be a role model for the children, even when tempted to cut across the drive-through or loading lanes. Remember, even when you are alone, other children may be watching your example.
  • LOOK BOTH WAYS before crossing! Cars may not see you - watch for them.
  • APPROACH THE CROSSWALK AREA SLOWLY! Be especially cautious if you are in the drive-through lane.Turn off your cell phone.
  • DRIVERS, CHECK TO SEE IF THE CROSSWALK IS CLEAR of students and parents before driving forward.
  • PARK IN DESIGNATED PARKING SPACES; please honor the no parking signs and only use the handicapped parking spaces if you have a placard. Do not block neighbors driveways ~ please model courteous behavior. 

Thank you in advance for your cooperation. We appreciate everyone's courtesy and patience in the parking area, on Camino al Lago and surrounding streets at arrival and dismissal times.

PTA News




We had a wonderful turnout at our PTA Welcome Coffee and Volunteer Fair on the first day of school. Thank you so much to all of you who were able to attend! It was a great opportunity to hear from Lisa Cesario, our new Superintendent, Alain Camou, our new Assistant Principal, and Sue Sartor, our fearless Principal, who had valuable words of advice to all of us parents!

A special thank you to the following PTA volunteers who made it all happen; Cindy Anderson, Rebecca Grant, Wendy Malacek, Lisa Puccetti and all of the Committee Chairs

Cindy Tipton
PTA President



Your membership contribution directly funds all of the enrichment programs that our children at Las Lomitas enjoy.  These programs include: Science Wonders, Holiday Workshop, Class Field Trips, School Wide Assemblies, and the upcoming Family Picnic just to name a few!  It also supports supplies that your children use on the first day of school.  Joining the PTA has never been easier.  Just click on "join the PTA" button below to use Pay Pal or print up and fill out the membership form and return it to the office.  Copies of the membership form are also available in the Membership basket in the school office.  100% of your membership fees and contributions directly support these and other wonderful programs.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need further information contact Jennifer Williams, PTA Membership VP, ( or visit us at the PTA website.




The Family Picnic is right around the corner--Thursday, September 13!  You don't want to miss it. For new families, it's a fabulous opportunity to meet your child's new friends, get to know their teacher and meet other Las Lomitas families. For those of us returning families, it's always great to catch up with one another and meet some of the new families.  If you can help out by volunteering your time at the Family Picnic, please visit us here or contacting Cindy Tipton ( 




It is super easy to help out and a great way to meet other Las Lomitas families. Even if you have young kids, they can hang out with you while you help.  There's even opportunities to contribute on your own time, from home.  Please sign up below or contact Cindy Anderson ( with any questions!



The Green Team would like to welcome everyone back to school!  We would like to carry forward our efforts for waste free lunches with encouraging smart meal packing and resumption of our lunch time composting program. 

Here are three smart reminders/tips for earth-friendly lunches :
  1. Pack the whole and all parts (drinks, fruits and veggies, sides, main dish, sandwiches and/or sweets) of snacks and lunch in reusable containers.  Cloth, metal and safer plastic reusable containers are widely available locally at Living Greene, Target, Ikea, Wholefoods, Pottery Barn and online at,, and others (query "reusable lunch containers").  Don't forget reusable utensils, cloth napkins and lunch box/bag!
  2. Avoid single serving packets and buy in larger quantities (standard packages of pretzels/crackers/chips/cookies, yogurt, bunch of carrots/grapes/apples, juices) and pack in reusable containers, saving money and wasteful packaging from entering the landfill.
  3. Avoid plastic bags.  Plastic bags are harmful to marine and wildlife, are a major source of litter, and take forever to decompose in landfills.  While reusable containers are the better alternative, wax paper bags are also an option (available at Whole Foods).  
To help with our efforts, Live Greene, a local Palo Alto business, is offering a 10% discount on waste free lunch essentials.  Please mention Las Lomitas School to claim the discount.  Live Greene is located a 158 University Avenue at the corner of High Street in downtown Palo Alto.

Please consider joining our Composting Team during lunch time (12:00 - 1:00 p.m.).  With our efforts, we are able to divert an incredible 600+ bags (six bags per lunch) of compostable materials from the landfill each school year!  Composting is a nice way to help our earth and see your kids at lunch time!  For questions, please email Monica Albers, Green Team Chair (



The Las Lomitas Hot Lunch Program will begin Wednesday, August 29.  Hot lunch is available for children in grades 1-3.  Kindergartners do not participate in the hot lunch program.  


Choicelunch will continue to provide our hot lunch program. They offer a large variety of healthy, daily entrees with local, sustainable ingredients and their packaging is compostable. 


If your family had a Choicelunch account last year, you do not need to re-register as your child or children will be automatically moved up a grade and placed in the proper class. If you would like to add a student to your account, make changes to your existing information, or create a new account, please visit the Choicelunch website. If needed, the Las Lomitas Registration code is "Atherton". 


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 every day, so if you can help for 30-40 minutes, once per week, every other week, or even once a month from approximately 11:55 - 12:40 p.m., please contact Ozge Goker ( You can also sign up online.


Las Lomitas League


Las Lomitas League
Registration for Fall 2012 LLL before/after-school classes is now open! Hurry register your child for a LLL class before registration closes next Monday September 3rd!  
For schedule of the classes and to register online, please visit our website under "Classes", under "Las Lomitas". For more information, please refer to our FAQ 
(Note: Please note that once registration closes, we no longer accept late registrations. And parents who have registered on a wait list will only receive an email IF a space becomes available.  We appreciate your understanding that admittance is not guaranteed.)


Las Lomitas Education Foundation


foundation logo



Thank you parents, teachers, and community members for your donations last year which resulted in a gift of $2.4 million to the school district for the 2012-13 school year.  Your generous donations made a difference in adding staff, programs and resources to make our schools better!  Here are some key results for this school year:


  • 19 Additional Teachers
  • Reduced Las Lomitas average class size from 29 to 22
  • Reduced La Entrada average class size from 30 to 24
  • Music & P.E. instruction
  • Broad 6th-8th grade curriculum: Geometry, Foreign Language, Art, Drama
  • Guest Artist Instruction at Las Lomitas
  • Counselors at both schools
  • Reading Recovery at Las Lomitas
  • Science and technology enrichment




If you are interested in helping Las Lomitas maintain its tradition of educational excellence and go beyond to prepare our children to thrive in the 21st century, join the Board of the Las Lomitas Education Foundation this year!  We still have a few open positions, and would love to have your skills and talent in our mix to help us continue to raise funds for our schools.  We are looking for volunteers on the Grandparents, Community/Alumni, Business Partner, and Auction teams. We are also searching for a Volunteer Coordinator.  Please contact MJ Crousore ( to hear more about these leadership opportunities.
Community News

Check out Cub Scouts while enjoying ice cream and water rockets!
Cub Scouts offers fun and challenging experiences for 1st through 5th grade boys and their parents to do together, such as 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 annual kickoff informational event on Sunday, September 9, from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. at Oak Knoll School (playground area) for 1st through 5th grade boys interested in joining Cub Scouts. Enjoy ice cream and shoot off water rockets to kick off the 2012/2013 Cub Scout year!  Families are welcome and encouraged to join in on the fun.  New dens will be forming this fall.  If you have further questions, please email Stacey White ( or visit the Pack 222 website.
Alpine Strikers FC - Early Childhood Soccer Programs 
Alpine Strikers offers early childhood soccer programs for children ages 5-6 (Alpine Strikers Attack) and for younger children (Alpine Strikers Ants). If your young child shares a passion for soccer and is interested in developing skills with professional coaches, check out these local programs - held at either Burgess Park or Portola Valley Town Center. For more information, please visit our website.

Studio Rincon on Alameda in Menlo Park. Don't miss Hip Hop dance workshop for all ages 7 & up and all levels Tuesday, August 28, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. with the 2012 World Hip Hop Dance Champions-"The Crew"!   All youth classes start the week of September 10.  Signup here!   For grades 1-3 Hip Hop classes at Las Lomitas on Wednesdays from 2:15-3:10 p.m. please signup through Las Lomitas League.

Redwood National Junior Basketball (NJB) Sign-ups Are Open - Sign up your son or daughter nowNJB Winter Basketball registration is now open on our website This Redwood Chapter is starting its 10th year.  We're proud of the positive growth of thousands of kids in our program, and of our NJB alumni continuing to play recreational and competitive basketball.  Our focus is on skills-based instruction, personal growth, and positive competition for kids from 1st through 8th grades.  Come join us this year for a great basketball experience.  The season runs from November through February.  Many kids play NJB as well as school ball; it is definitely possible for those who enjoy basketball.  For questions, see our website or contact Dan Steere ( 

Registration for Alpine/West Menlo Little League Fall Baseball is now open. Hurry, as teams are being formed August 31.  Details can be found on our website.


CALLING ALL MUSICIANS - Musical Service Organization
District parent Paula Hamilton has started a musical service organization named 'Calling All Musicians.'  The organization visits senior residential centers and provides music by performing solos, duets, etc. or by leading and participating in sing-alongs.  This group was written up in Inmenlo this past summer here and is looking for more musicians.  All ages and ability levels are welcome in this group.  If you, your children, or other family members or friends are interested in participating, we'd love to have you join us for one or more performances.  Please contact Paula ( if you're interested in performing or being added to our email distribution list.

Newsletter Submissions

The Lion's Roar is published by the Las Lomitas PTA as a service to the Las Lomitas families and community. Before submitting an article, please read our newsletter policies.

To submit an item, email Carol Clark ( by 12 noon on the Wednesday prior to the Monday publication date.

Submission Requirements:
  • In the subject line of the email, please include the section in which you wish your item to be placed (see our newsletter policies for the list of our regular sections); for example, the subject may read "PTA News" for any item related to PTA programs;  
  • DO NOT send the article as an attachment but in the body of the email: submissions sent as a Word doc will be rejected;
  • Clearly indicate the title of your submission;  
  • DO NOT send flyers but provide a link to them;
  • DO NOT send pictures but provide a link to them;
For past issues, visit the PTA Newsletter archive

Donna Hall
Lion's Roar Editor


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!