February 2011

February 2011 Family of Schools Newsletter

Message from the Dean

Education is at its strongest when all stakeholders collaborate and dialogue is centered on what's best for the students in our community. Through programs and events, the LMU Family of Schools fosters a partnership between the university and the schools in Westchester to support student success.

This edition of the newsletter contains highlights of recent accomplishments within each school served by the LMU Family of Schools. Programs and activities range from college-readiness to professional development and arts enrichment.

A pair of themes emerges when looking at the LMU Family of Schools programs: mentoring and technology. LMU students, faculty and staff have volunteered to mentor students of all ages in our Westchester community. This exposure to college life enhances the college-going culture in our schools. Technology plays a critical role in raising student achievement. By integrating technology into instruction and letting students use technology, education becomes more interactive and engaging.

I close by thanking all the dedicated and caring stakeholders who work together to support the advancement of educational opportunity in Westchester. We must continue on this path of collaboration, conversation and innovation to further improve the academic and personal achievement of all students in our community.

Shane P. Martin, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor, LMU School of Education

Cowan Avenue Elementary School

In collaboration with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the LMU Family of Schools is conducting a series of water conservation and educational assemblies for Westchester schools. Students at Cowan Avenue Elementary School learned about responsible water conservation, the water cycle and how water is provided to Los Angeles during a recent assembly led by Charlotte Golden, Senior Education Program Specialist with the water district. This interactive program will be expanded to other Westchester schools this spring. You can learn more about the MWD's efforts by visiting BeWaterWise.com.

Kentwood Elementary School

The LMU women's basketball team continues to inspire student-athletes in Westchester. The team adopted the fourth-grade class of Greg Liebowitz and meets monthly with his students to have conversations about personal and academic goals. Liebowitz's class visited LMU in December to see the women's basketball team in action – in the classroom and in a game. In a related program, more than 80 members of the LMU Family of Schools received free tickets to LMU sporting events last fall.

Loyola Village Elementary School

Students at Loyola Village Elementary School participated in the LMU Family of Schools Winter Art Exhibition held at the William H. Hannon Library between Dec. 17 and Jan. 10. Student artworks responding to the theme of "Diversity in Community" were exhibited in the library and a reception was held for the young artists, teachers and community members. View some of the artwork.

Westport Heights Elementary School

Through generous support from the Boeing Company, the LMU Family of Schools created artsLINK, a series of professional development opportunities for teachers in the visual and performing arts. artsLINK led to the development of an enriched art curriculum that promoted an arts-centered approach to education across disciplines. Last semester, teachers and students from Westport Heights Elementary School participated in dance literacy workshops, where students made kinesthetic connections to words and literature. Teachers from four other elementary schools participated in this community-building experience. Several teachers were certified as site-based art specialists by creating and publishing a series of art lessons that support the Open Court Reading Program.

Paseo del Rey Natural Science Magnet Elementary School

There is a strong focus on using technology to improve student achievement in Westchester as a result of the professional development and enrichment opportunities provided by LMU. Teachers at Paseo del Rey Elementary School completed their professional development training with the LMU Information Technology Services Department in December. These K-5 teachers were taught to use Photo Story to create videos to use with their students. This was the first time many of the teachers had worked with video as a teaching tool. View the videos.

Orville Wright Middle School

As we continue to strengthen the use of technology in our schools, LMU's ITS Department is researching how to best support students at Orville Wright Middle School by teaching software programs such as iMovie. This upcoming training will teach them how to utilize their digital native skills in everyday learning, elevating information gathering and presentation skills through a new method of self-expression.

College Connections is another program at Orville Wright; some sections of John Wessels' health class have been adopted by the LMU women's tennis team and the LMU residential life group Mentorball. LMU students lead conversations about life choices and academic and personal goal-setting in monthly meetings. The LMU men's soccer team is joining the College Connections program this spring.

Westchester High School

Westchester High students have had numerous opportunities to increase the college-going culture of their campus with visits to the LMU campus and a number of events at the high school conducted by LMU faculty, staff and students.

Events held at Westchester High include Building Bridges, an opportunity for LMU faculty, staff and students to develop the high school students' career and college-readiness skills. In the events organized by LMU's Career Development Services, more than 65 LMU Lions helped more than 280 Westchester High students with life-skills and resume building.

LMU's Office of Black Student Services also contributed to the college-going atmosphere at Westchester High by organizing a speaker series for sophomores. OBSS took 10 African-American LMU students to the high school to talk about getting into college and succeeding once they get there. In partnership with LMU's Ethnic and Intercultural Services Office, the LMU Family of Schools hosted Westchester HS students at the annual Unity Fest, a celebration of diversity within LMU and the surrounding community.

The LMU Family of Schools is very supportive of the arts at Westchester High. LMU's Del Rey Players completed their second annual co-performance with Eric Hankey's Drama and Music Department, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Later this Spring, LMU's independent radio station KXLU will host interested high school students for their second annual seminar on how to run a radio station.