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The La Canada Unified School District’s strategies for teaching English language arts

If you’re looking for a house and you have school-age kids, proximity to good schools may be your top consideration.
Narrowing your options could be tedious and time-consuming. But when looking at places in California, the city of La Canada Flintridge in Los Angeles County should be on your shortlist. It is home to great real estate and outstanding schools in the state.

About the school district

La Canada Unified School District (LCUSD) operates three elementary schools, a middle school, and a comprehensive high school. Their students at all levels are consistently among the top 10% of all California students.

The schools themselves have been recognized for their achievements. This proves that the K-12 district is, as stated in its website, “high achieving, forward-looking, involved, and supportive.” Its mission as a learning community is to be “committed on personal growth and academic excellence” of the students.

LCUSD’s strategies for teaching English Language Arts deserve special mention. The program stemmed from a Senate Bill that aims to provide for an update of the California Common Core State Standards: English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects (CA CCSS for ELA/Literacy).

It also aims to spark creativity and innovation, develop critical thinking and problem solving skills, foster collaboration, and enhance communication for the greatest benefit of the students.

LCUSD has created strategies with these goals in mind.

Scope of learning

For elementary English Language Arts

  • Kindergarten uses National Geographic: Reach for Reading, Cengage Learning
  • 1st to 5th grades use HMH Journeys CA Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • 6th grade uses Collections CA Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Teachers use supplemental materials and digital resources to differentiate instruction
  • Core literature lists established by teachers are used for each grade level
  • Pre and post writing assessments are used district-wide to measure student improvement in writing
  • Common assessments are used thrice a year to evaluate mastery in ELA standards and guide instruction

For middle school English Language Arts

  • 2 years of English is required for each year-long class
  • 7th and 8th grade ELA teachers use Language of Literature McDougal Littell as a resource
  • Supplemental materials and digital resources are used to differentiate instruction
  • Core literature lists established by teachers are used for each grade level
  • Common assessments are used thrice a year to evaluate a student’s mastery of ELA standards and guide instruction

For high school English Language Arts

  • All students must be enrolled in an English class every semester and must earn a total of 40 units of English credit in order to graduate
  • Classes are held year long
  • Courses comply with the CA CCSS for ELA/Literacy
  • Advanced Placement courses taken in the junior and senior years comply with the curriculum framework written by the College Board
  • Graduation requires the completion of an on-demand writing sample that meets the school district’s research and writing standards
  • English classes include reading and analyzing selected pieces of fiction and nonfiction to establish language skills, learn the essentials of composition, and develop an in-depth understanding of literature
  • Writing accounts for 50% of the grade in all required English classes

Having done your homework for your children’s education, the next step is finding La Canada homes for sale. Browse the best residential options here.

Being in the Top 100 of Coldwell Banker’s Residential Brokerage in Southern California, I’m here to help you find your ideal home. Contact me, Kathy Seuylemezian, at 818.949.5205 or Kathy(at)imuragent(dotted)com. You can also send your message here.