Santa Monica, a Lifelong Learning Community

Lifelong Learning Community News - AUGUST 2008...

Wow. It’s August already. Summer seems to be just hurtling by!

The biggest, most immediately important Lifelong Learning Community News is that the Board of Education has hired Tim Cuneo as Interim Superintendent. Mr. Cuneo came on board in July and is hard at work meeting people, getting the lay of the land, and working with school faculty, staff, administrators, parents, and community members for the next school year. For more information on Mr. Cuneo, please go to


The School District is continuing to focus on improving their special education program and there have been additional staffing changes, recommendations, and actions. Interim Superintendent Cuneo sent a letter to the Santa Monica City Council outlining some of the changes that have been made to date. To read his letter, please go to

The PTA Council Special Education Committee has met several times throughout the summer. Their next meeting will be Monday, August 11, 12:30-3pm. in the District Board Room. Everyone is welcome to attend.
SMMUSD and SMC are proud and happy to congratulate our Young Collegians on completing Speech 5 (Interpersonal Communication) and Counseling 1 (Study Skills) at SMC this summer. The goal of the Young Collegians Program, which is intended for high school students who are the first in their family to attend college, is to help students obtain a high school diploma and accrue college units simultaneously. This is a promising new collaboration between the school district and the college and this summer’s 24 students are the first cohort. Research indicates that high school students who are successful in college level classes are more likely to continue to and be successful in college.
State Awards Funding for Construction of Boys & Girls Club at John Adams Middle School!!
This is wonderful news. In the most recent distribution of state funding for capital projects, SMMUSD was awarded $943,945 from $21 million designated for joint use projects. The JAMS project, years in the planning, will cost close to $3 million to build with additional funding coming from the School District ($300,000) and the Santa Monica Boys & Girls Club ($1.5 million). Construction of the 5, 5000 square foot facility is planned to begin in August. Credit and thanks go to the Boys & Girls Club and the School District for their perseverance and vision in seeing this project to fruition. Congratulations.
Congratulations also go to Y.E.S. - Youth Education/Entertainment Series. This local children’s theater company, based at the Morgan-Wixson Theater and partnering with the SMMUSD public schools and the Santa Monica Public Library, has been awarded the 2008 Outstanding New Children’s Theatre Company by the American Alliance for Theater and Education. Y.E.S. shows, five youth productions per year, are selected to support school reading lists. For more information about Y.E.S., please go to or check out the Morgan-Wixson Theatre at
SMC Seeking Alum from 1958 Junior Rose Bowl Team
Santa Monica College is looking to reunite members of the undefeated 1958 Corsairs football team that won the Junior Rose Bowl half a century ago. Anyone with information about former players is asked to contact the SMC Athletics Department at (310) 434-4311. For the names of the 1958 team members, please visit
Any Line, Any Time starts this coming semester!
Beginning this fall, Santa Monica College students, faculty, and staff can ride any Big Blue Bus for free! Just show your SMC id card to the bus driver. Enrollment for the Fall Semester is now in progress. (Fall Semester begins Monday, August 27.) For more information on class offerings and/or to enroll, please go to
As I write this, there is still no approved state budget out of Sacramento. However, there is some good news: Our own Assemblywoman Julia Brownley is the new Chair of the State Assembly Education Committee. With this important chairship added to her already impressive education credentials, Ms. Brownley is in a strong position to guide and establish state education policy. Congratulations Julia and thank you for all of your work on behalf of children and public schools! To read more, please go to

And now for some August events:

Tuesday, August 5, 6pm-8pm
National Night Out Against Crime
In front of the Public Safety Facility
333 Olympic Drive
Everyone is invited to the Santa Monica Police Department's National Night Out Block Party. Join the SMPD in a celebration of our community-police partnerships and help us give a "Going Away Party to Crime and Drugs."
This year's event will have a carnival theme and includes a rock climbing wall, a dunk tank, and carnival games with prizes. There will be performances by a neighborhood rock band, a ballet folklorico dance group, and a martial arts demonstration by the Police Activities League (PAL). The neighborhood rock band is my husband’s band The Grant Street Blockheads so I will definitely be there! :) If that isn’t motivation enough for you, the first 500 to register at the event will receive free buttons, balloons, and flashlights.
Free parking will be available in the new Civic Center Parking Structure located directly across the street from the Public Safety Building.
Monday, August 11, 12:30-3pm.
PTA Council Special Education Committee
SMMUSD District Board Room
1651 16th St. 2nd Floor
The Santa Monica Malibu Council of PTAs Special Education Committee has been formed to help develop a supportive culture of inclusion for all students in our school district. All community members are invited to participate!
Documents, including minutes from prior meetings, are archived at:
Saturday, August 16, 5pm
Retirement Party for Samohi’s Dr. Frank X. Ford

Douglas Park
After years as the head of the Santa Monica High School Theater Department, Dr. Ford is retiring. Past and recent alumni and friends are invited to this celebration to honor Dr. Ford. It’s a potluck so please bring something to share, as well as chairs and blankets for yourself. Families welcome. Please spread the word!
Monday, August 25
SMC Fall Semester Begins!

For more information on classes and programs offered at SMC, and/or to enroll, please go to
Also don’t forget to enjoy the Thursday night Twilight Dance Series on the Santa Monica Pier (, the Sunday afternoon (5pm) Jazz On The Lawn Series in front of City Hall, and special events hosted by the Santa Monica Public Library ( For these and other August events, please check out the lifelong learning community calendar at
Please also use the links at to keep up with different organizations’ and theaters’ regular special events.
Sadly, I close this month in memory of Joey Lutz, a 25 year old Santa Monica High School English teacher who was swept out to sea by a riptide off the coast of Panama. Mr. Lutz’ body has been retrieved and brought home for his funeral. His family welcomes donations to help defray the associated costs. To help, please send your contribution to Washington Mutual Bank Account Number 0494-0000054121-5.

The Joey Lutz Memorial Fund
Washington Mutual Bank
10970 Jefferson Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90230

For more information about this tragic accident, please go to

Much of the news that I’ve included here has previously been covered by the online daily newspaper The LookOut. I encourage you (to continue to read the Lifelong Learning Community News of course but also) to read The LookOut at
And, if you haven’t already, please subscribe to the Santa Monica art pallette at for a weekly e-update on local arts happenings.
That’s all for now.

Thank you for forwarding this email to others who may be interested.

Enjoy the rest of the summer.

Cheers and Onward,
Louise Jaffe
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