HomeBlocksFront-GridStudents Return to School; Hopes High for ‘Normal’ Year

Students Return to School; Hopes High for ‘Normal’ Year

First published in the Aug. 18 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

It was the first day of a new school year full of new faces for the La Cañada Unified School District on Monday, and with it came a feeling Superintendent Wendy Sinnette had not sensed since before the coronavirus pandemic.
“I think that everyone is very optimistic that we’re sort of entering this new normal where we can rely on schools being open and in class and people being healthy,” she said. “We have our protocols in place, and families did a wonderful job of taking care of themselves and helping us keep our schools open and safe. There really was just a strong optimism to the start of this year.”
That optimism comes after more than two years of experience of leading a school district through a pandemic and managing to stay open throughout all of 2021-22.
“I think we now know how to navigate in a way that least impacts learning,” Sinnette said.
The first day of the 2022-23 school year was a success with few students missing instruction due to COVID-19. The district required parents and guardians to submit a COVID-19 test result to site administrators prior to Monday, and Sinnette said that they had about 25 students test positive for a positivity rate below 1%.
“Everything went really, really well,” Sinnette said. “It was great to see kids back on campus. We had two very successful days with teacher development [prior to the first day], and we have a wonderful staff. I really am happy to be back.”
Palm Crest Elementary students and teachers returned to school to find the state-of-art classrooms in the new building that was constructed.
“The classrooms look beautiful,” Sinnette said. “We are still modernizing some classrooms, but when you’re looking at the new building from a certain area, it just looks majestic.”
Sinnette also visited La Cañada High School this week and saw nothing but smiles.
“The kids seemed so happy, and the high school will be doing assemblies regarding behavior expectation,” she added. “The new administration team is gelling nicely.”

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