Santa Monica, a Lifelong Learning Community

Lifelong Learning Community News - September 2006...

Summer's over.....

Santa Monica College is coming to Malibu!
SMC has made an offer on a 7-acre property in Malibu adjacent to Malibu City Hall in the Malibu Civic Center area. Purchased with funds from Measure S, the new college facility will be developed under an existing joint powers agreement with the City of Malibu and will become a permanent SMC education center. Congratulations to Malibu students and would-be/will-be Malibu students!
SMC honors student Dean Stewart has won the top prize in a national community college literary contest sponsored by the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. Stewart, 66, is a semi-retired entertainment industry accountant who has taken classes off and on at SMC since 1990 -- he sounds like an expert lifelong learner!
The SMC fall session has started and that means there are many, many lifelong learning opportunities -- screenings, lectures, performances, and exhibitions -- available for our community. In addition to Friday night planetarium shows and lecture series for literature, the environment, distinguished scientists, and the entertainment industry, there is now a new Monday Night Political Films Series. Please go to to check out SMC events.
Classes begin for SMMUSD students this Wednesday, September 6th. New Superintendent DianneTalarico is on the job and new principals have been hired for John Adams Middle School (Martha Shaw), Lincoln Middle School (Tristan Komlos), Santa Monica High School (Hugo Pedroza), and Franklin Elementary School (Tara Brown). Welcome and good luck!
API scores have been released and the Academic Performance Index (API) for SMMUSD increased by 11 points to a new high of 817. (The State's target is 800.)

Santa Monica High School showed the most remarkable increase, a 25 point gain! Samohi's Redesign appears to be yielding results. Samo's API scores increased 20 points from '03 to '04; 21 points from '04 to '05, and now another 25 points from '05 to '06! All Samohi subgroups showed increases in achievement:

African American students +20
Asian students +18
Hispanic or Latino students +40
White students +16
Socioeconomically Disadvantaged +31
English Learners +48
Students with Disabilities +59

Congratulations Samohi! Keep up the good work!

Districtwide, again all subgroups showed improvement and here too there is a slight closing of the achievement gap:

African American students +14
Asian students +10
Hispanic or Latino students +17
White students + 8
Economically Disadvantaged + 9
English Learners +20
Students with Disabilities +14

With the hard work of our students, teachers, staff, parents, administrators, board members, and the support of our community, our schools continue to improve. That's good lifelong learning community news!

API reports are available on the California Department of Education website at

Virginia Avenue Park has programming in place for residents of all ages. There are programs for babies, toddlers, and young children every morning and homework assistance and enrichment opportunities for school age children including teens after school until 7 or 8pm. The Teen Drop-In Center is open until 8pm. Senior citizens will find activities scheduled for them too. To see the schedule of offerings for September, please go to

School Supplies Needed
Virginia Avenue Park is accepting donations of school supplies for families who cannot afford backpacks, notebooks, pens, pencils, erasers, rulers, protractors, etc. Those wishing to donate any of these items can drop off supplies in the park office in the Park Center, 2200 Virginia Avenue, Monday through Friday, 9am to 7pm.
Wake up with the Waves! The Santa Monica Pier has a new Saturday morning concert series for children and their families. Pull down the "What's Happening" menu at (or visit our Calendar at )
Insights and Wisdom. The City of Santa Monica Human Services Division and the Commission for the Senior Community are co-sponsoring this September 7th workshop for older adults. Get Updated on Medicare, Part D. Hear what we have learned from people who are 100 years old and older!!! Take part in a discussion group to talk about what you believe the needs of seniors are in Santa Monica! For more information, please go to the Lifelong Learning Community Calendar at

Ray Bradbury Book Signing and Discussion
Santa Monica Public Library will present An Evening with Ray Bradbury on Wednesday, September 27. The program will start with a book signing at 6:00 p.m. in the Main Library's Martin Luther King Jr. Auditorium, 601 Santa Monica Boulevard. A discussion with the author will follow. Books will be available for purchase courtesy of Barnes & Noble.
Join a library book group.... or three or four!
Santa Monica Public Library currently hosts and moderates book groups at the main library and all branches. These include California Classics, Mysteries, Biographies, literature groups, a new Fiction & Fantasy group and a Movie-to-Book group. Please see the LLC Calendar for listings or go to

Celebration of Persian Culture
Speaking of book groups, Santa Monica High School students read "Funny in Farsi" this summer as part of their "One School, One Book" reading program.
On Sunday, September 10th, 4-6pm in Barnum Hall, Santa Monica High School and UCLA's Center for Near Eastern Studies will host a celebration of Persian culture. The event is free and the public is welcome. For more information, please see the LLC Calendar at

Habitat for Humanity will be building in Santa Monica and is now seeking applicants for their new housing project! Please call Habitat for Humanity Greater Los Angeles at 310-323-4663 for information on selection requirements and mandatory orientation sessions for prospective applicants.
"An Inconvenient Truth" – Free Screening on the Santa Monica Pier
SM Environmental Programs Division is hosting a free screening of Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" at 6 p.m. on September 26th on the Santa Monica Pier. Hear from the filmmakers and climate experts before the film. There will be a number of local organizations on hand to help us all reduce our carbon footprint - in style. Film info is at

There are MANY more wonderful lifelong learning events scheduled this month. Please be sure to check out the Lifelong Learning Community Calendar at

That's all for now.

Thanks, Cheers, and Onward,
Louise Jaffe

Please note that Lifelong Learning Community Links include many local theatrical companies – listed under "Local Museums and Special Venues" as well as other useful websites. Please use these links to stay abreast of these wonderful local organizations. Links can be found at

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