Coffee Break Snaphot

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New School Year Off to a Running Start

Laguna public school principals, from left, Jennifer Salberg, Chris Duddy, Carolyn Williams and Michael Conlon.
Laguna public school principals, from left, Jennifer Salberg, Chris Duddy, Carolyn Williams and Michael Conlon.

Sherine Smith, the superintendent of the Laguna Beach school district, along with principals and administrators explained how staff is preparing students for the future, at the school year’s first Coffee Break, the monthly parent education program organized by the PTA Council.

Smith described how schools are integrating technology with the Common Core curriculum standards and exploring interdisciplinary learning.

Using the California state standards as the guideline, teachers are being trained in English language arts and mathematics strategies that fully engage students in understanding the content, said Darlene Messinger, assistant superintendent of instructional services. Teachers are also piloting innovative classrooms that include different furniture, audio systems and large monitors so students can share work as they collaborate on projects, she said.

Thurston Principal Jennifer Salberg and LBHS Interim Principal Carolyn Williams described the progress their schools have made towards “4CLE” classrooms, a classroom environment centered on collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity.

Forty new hires were made, including 17 over the summer, said Leisa Winston, the district’s director of human resources. A candidate for the principal’s job at LBHS should emerge by October, she said.

Leslie Dixon, founder and executive director of The Birds and Bees Connection, will discuss the transition between childhood and adolescence for boys and girls at the next Coffee Break, Wednesday, Oct. 15, at Top of the World Elementary School.

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