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School Day

April 2, 2006 | Debra J. Miller, Debra J. Miller teaches English at a private high school in Los Angeles.
On Thursday, Oct. 8, 1964, the day the police decided my mother killed my father, I woke up late, the kind of late that snaps you out of your favorite dream, the one where you're wrapped in the arms of your favorite TV hunk--mine was Dr. Kildare--and he's just about to . . . when bang your unconscious tells you the sun is out, the lights are on all over the house and you're going to be late for school because nobody got you out of bed. We were a family of five. I was 14 and the oldest.
April 25, 2014 | By Howard Blume
The Los Angeles Unified School District will seek the approval of parents before sending iPads home with students, under an updated policy. "That is a wonderful development," said school board member Monica Ratliff. "Parents need to be clearly notified that the device is going home, and that it will go home only if they agree to it.” Officials chose this approach in response to families who objected to earlier plans, which would have distributed tablets for home use among all students.
August 23, 2010 | By Emily Sohn, Special to the Los Angeles Times
A later start to the school day may sound good — but what about the inconvenience factor, and how do you get your school district to sign on? "Eight Major Obstacles to Delaying School Start Times," at the National Sleep Foundation's website, , covers issues such as altered transportation schedules and the effect on after-school activities and on the time teachers have available to spend with their families. "General Advocacy Tips for Changing School Start Times," also at the sleep foundation website, provides information for those who want to see later start times implemented in their school district.
February 26, 2014
Re "Some libraries too quiet," Feb. 24 Imagine a city where at every school there is a fully staffed library bustling with students throughout the day. Imagine even extending the school library's hours so students, staff and parents can make use of it beyond the school day. Monica Ratliff, a member of the Los Angeles Unified School District's Board of Education, is correct to lead an exploration of what has happened to L.A.'s school libraries....
Just about every year at this time, nostalgia over foods eaten in school cafeterias years ago rears a maudlin head. How good or bad those school day foods actually were matters not. It's how well remembered, adored and revered they are today that counts. Judy Gilges of Long Beach writes: "In the cafeteria in the early '60s, they used to make a tuna sandwich and a killer peanut butter cookie. . . ." Ellen Vakovich remembers a crumb cake sold during nutrition break.
July 5, 2010 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times
Here's a question for all you high school students out there in cyberspace: If it were up to you, would you rather start your school day at 8 a.m. or 8:30 a.m.? (Sorry, noon is not an option.) Sleep in school start time too early If you chose 8:30, you get an A+. According to a new study, students were far more likely to get eight hours of shut-eye at night and were less likely to report being unhappy, depressed, annoyed or irritated when they began their first class at 8:30.
March 22, 1996
More than 200 students from four Westside schools are gathering in a Santa Monica park today, coming together to meet and make friends with teenagers from other cities. Sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders from schools in Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades and Culver City are participating in Field Day '96, organized by parent volunteers as a "celebration of education," said parent Sandra Ruch of West Los Angeles.
October 14, 1997 | LESLEY WRIGHT
By this time next year, Orange Unified School District students might be sitting in classrooms a little longer each day. With a 6-1 vote, the school board agreed to study extending the school day by as much as an hour or adding days to the academic year. "We have looked at a lot of alternatives to improve educational quality," said Trustee Robert H. Viviano, who proposed the study.
September 29, 2000 | ANNA GORMAN
With a goal of increasing pedestrian safety on city streets, several Ventura County schools will be participating in Walk to School Day on Wednesday. Students and adults will be encouraged to walk to school together in hopes of raising awareness of safety when crossing the street and walking to school. It is also meant to highlight the importance of crosswalks, sidewalks and crossing guards. Organizers say they hope the event will encourage students and their parents to walk together.
November 28, 1991 | ADRIANNE GOODMAN
The Ventura Unified School District is working with city officials on a plan to close for part of each school day a portion of Poli Street that cuts through the Ventura High School campus. Under the proposal, a quarter-mile section of the street, between Catalina Street and Seaward Avenue, would be closed during the school lunch period, from about 12:15 to 1:30 p.m., officials said.
January 15, 2014 | By Michael Muskal and John M. Glionna
ROSWELL, N.M. - The 12-year-old boy who shot two classmates inside a middle school gym fired a shotgun three times, randomly striking the students, officials said Wednesday. Investigators have completed searches of the suspect's school locker, his home and a duffel bag he allegedly used to bring the shotgun into the building. They believe the boy planned Wednesday's attack at Berrendo Middle School, New Mexico State Police Chief Pete Kassetas said. The chief said he could not name the suspect because of his age. But after 60 primary interviews and the searches, police are still seeking a motive for the morning attack.  “I believe when the incident occurred the victims were random,” Kassetas said.
December 18, 2013 | Jenny Deam
As she does every day, Kay Cates asked her 10-year-old son how his school day went. He shrugged. "We did math. We did reading. We had a lockdown," the Boulder fourth-grader replied. She froze. When pressed, the boy matter-of-factly explained the protocol he has rehearsed since kindergarten: "We hid so in case a man with a gun came he can't find us. " That was Dec. 4. Nine days later, across the Denver metro area in Centennial, a man with a gun came to Arapahoe High School.
December 14, 2013
Re "Can U.S. students get smart?," Opinion, Dec. 14 Solomon Friedberg presents a thoughtful analysis of the new Common Core learning standards and what will be needed to raise student achievement. Regarding the implementation of the new standards, he states that "the keys to implementation are textbooks, teachers and testing. " He analyzes the needed changes in each of these areas. But as is the case with too many education experts, Friedberg ignores perhaps the most important variable: what happens in the lives of students between 4 p.m. and 11 p.m. As an educator for 36 years, it was clear to me that what students do when they leave the classroom more often than not is the essential ingredient to academic achievement.
October 21, 2013 | By Melanie Mason and Ari Bloomekatz
SPARKS, Nev. - A middle school crowded with parents dropping off their children and students hurrying to class erupted into chaos Monday morning as a student drew a semiautomatic handgun and opened fire, killing a teacher and wounding two students before fatally turning the gun on himself. The unidentified shooter was dressed in khaki slacks that are part of Sparks Middle School's required uniform, witnesses said. He shot one 12-year-old boy in the abdomen and another 12-year-old boy in the shoulder, Sparks Police Department Deputy Chief Tom Miller said, adding that both wounded boys were listed in stable condition.
October 16, 2013 | By Stephen Ceasar
Six-year-old Joseph Bonner cried frequently in school. He struggled through tears to write his ABCs. He broke down on the playground. He wept when his pencil broke. He could barely get through a school day, his mother and teacher said. The typically calm, quiet boy missed his father. For the last six months, Air Force Master Sgt. James Bonner has been in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on an unexpected deployment, his first in nine years. Joseph couldn't quite understand why his father had left.
September 30, 2013 | By Rosalind C. Barnett and Caryl Rivers
It's back-to-school time and parents' worries abound. Will the new teacher be any good? Will my child have friends in the new class? Will budget cuts limit the offerings in art, music or sports? There's one worry that's universal: Are my kids safe after school? The combination of shorter school days and the lack of after-school child care creates a mismatch for many full-time employed parents, especially mothers. Imagine that you have a child whose school day ends at 2 p.m. but you don't get home until 6 p.m. or later.
May 9, 1991 | JANICE KAMENIR-REZNIK, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES; Janice Kamenir-Reznik is a partner at the Sherman Oaks law firm of Reznik & Reznik
When I was invited to be "principal for a day" at a public school, I was inclined to say no. Could I really spare a day from my law practice? Upon allowing myself to be drafted, I was assigned to visit Lokrantz School in Reseda, under the auspices of the Valley Industry and Commerce Assn. I am glad I did. The experience left me inspired and hopeful. Lokrantz is an unusual school. It serves the most severely emotionally and physically disabled children and young adults ages 3 through 22.
Crawling out of bed at an ungodly hour every weekday, 25,000 California youths make their way to Mormon churches in darkness to attend classes on faith, Scripture and prayer--before they even start their regular high school days. Two dozen students in Newhall, for example, begin their hourlong religious class at 6:30 a.m. "It's hard, but worth it," said Jake Young of Valencia one morning this week. He's lucky. In the Antelope Valley, 31 classes start at 5:45 a.m.
August 28, 2013 | By Patt Morrison
It was a spur-of-the-moment thing that became momentous. Monica Ratliff, outspent by nearly $2 million, improbably won election to the L.A. Unified School District board. She's a second-generation teacher - her mother teaches Spanish at a charter school in Phoenix - and her new view, from the 24th floor of "Beaudry," the district's headquarters, is far different than it was from her schoolroom at San Pedro Elementary, on the edge of downtown. Voters in her San Fernando Valley district figured that if she could handle a classroom full of fifth-graders, she could manage the affairs of the second-largest school district in the country.
July 30, 2013 | By Teresa Watanabe
Fourth-grader Tiffany Duke said she was happy to hear her teacher announce that bullying would be strictly punished. Kathy Duncan is thrilled that her sixth-grade son will be placed in a regular class this year instead of separated with other special education students. And even though 9-year-old Jodeth Orellana said she was unprepared for multiplication problems on her first day of school, her father was impressed by the rigor. "That's what I want: The kids have to be challenged," William Orellana said after dropping his daughter off at school Tuesday.
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