A New School Year Message from Mr. Pethtel

Dear LACS Families,

It is my sincere hope that this summer has been a wonderful time of fun, family, friends and refreshment for everyone. Our administrative staff and teachers have blended times of rest with times of preparation for the upcoming school year.  Many of us received professional training this summer through conferences, college courses, and seminars from Los Altos all the way to Yale University in New   Haven, Connecticut.  We are eager to have returning and new teachers, students, and parents on campus soon!  As we begin our 36th year, LACS is poised to continue the legacy of excellence our dedicated teachers and staff have always provided combined with several initiatives which will help us to better prepare each student for a future of brilliance.

Our key verse for the school year is taken from Ephesians 3:17b-18 (NIV) which reads, “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.” In line with these verses, we want everyone who is involved in our school community, or who comes on our campus, to know the deep love of Jesus Christ and be filled with a desire to follow God based on His love working through us.

LACS is committed to hiring and retaining the most qualified and dedicated teachers and staff possible to provide individualized   student attention and excellence in learning both inside and outside of the classroom.  Mrs. Florence McClure, who previously served as our 4th grade teacher, will serve as our new Kindergarten teacher.  Mrs. McClure holds a B.S. in Education from Liberty University and has over 15 years of experience teaching students at the pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and lower elementary levels.  Through her energetic, loving, and gentle spirit, Florence has become an integral part of the fabric of LACS as our 4th grade teacher these past two years.  She will continue to bless and encourage students and families as well as bring new vision, stability, and creativity in our kindergarten.      Mrs. Stacie Lawhorne will serve as our new 4th grade teacher.  Mrs. Lawhorne holds a B.A. in Child Development and a M.Ed. from     Bethany University with a Professional Clear Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential.  She most recently taught 5th grade at Santa Clara Christian School for the past 10 years while also leading the Advanced Learning Program to help students go beyond the standard      curriculum in science, math and writing.  With all other teachers returning, we are blessed to have such a strong and wonderful staff whose loving efforts are what make our school so special.  This combined with the admissions and enrollment efforts of Mr. Bob Bryant, Mrs. LaSha Heard, Mrs. Meg Roundy, and Mrs. Cathy Robinson have led us to have over 180 students in grades K-8 coming to LACS this fall.

The administration, school board and Parent Teacher Fellowship (PTF) continues to make plans to enhance our campus facilities and educational programs.  With funds generated through the combined efforts of our school, PTF and Bridges Community Church (BCC), we recently upgraded the security and beauty of our playground area by installing new fencing between the playground and creek as well as new fencing and secure gates at all access points to our main playground facility.  IT Systems Administrator, Brian Neal, worked with our technology committee to upgrade phone and internet fiber throughout campus so that we will experience nearly perfect     up-time with our phones and internet this year.  More advanced fiber connection also gives us the ability to increase our technology usage on campus.  Our administrative staff will meet with students and parents in our middle school to roll out a one-to-one laptop program using HP Elite Books later this fall!   More details regarding our new middle school one-to-one laptop program as well as    special meeting times for students and parents will be provided soon.  Our middle school science teacher, Mrs. Dana Pethtel, will    develop a new program in our 8th grade science class in conjunction with the Quest for Excellence at Valley Christian School and NASA to upload student experiments to be run by astronauts in micro-gravity through the international space station.  In grades K-5,  teachers are  planning to enhance hands-on science opportunities in the classroom, through field trips, and in our school garden.  The adoption of a new reading curriculum and more focused lessons for students in reading and writing spells great success in the new schoolyear.

Please print and save the attached copy of our First Week of School at-a-Glance as well as the Middle School Orientation flier as  needed.  Sejin Lim, Administrative Assistant, will send our Lions’ Roar newsletter this week with several details including K-8 dress code, our updated Parent-Student Handbook, Hot Lunch welcome letter, PE uniform information, and more.  Please contact Sejin at Sejin.lim@lacs.com if you have any questions regarding school communications.  Mrs. Cathy Robinson, Director of Learning and           Instruction, will send a letter dedicated to sharing the specifics of plans and advancements in teaching and learning very soon.

It is an honor to serve as your Head of Schools.  Please know that I am always open to receive parent or student needs and requests.  Appointments scheduled in advance are appreciated.  However, do not hesitate to contact me as needed using the email and phone number listed below, or simply stop by my office at any time.  Thank you again for choosing to be part of an outstanding learning      community focused on nurturing leadership, pursuing academics, building character, and placing service above self, to the glory of God.

Gabe Pethtel
Head of Schools
Los Altos Christian Schools
650.948.3738 x123