Santa Monica, a Lifelong Learning Community

Lifelong Learning Community News - June 2006...

Well, one thing is for sure: change is constant.

Chief Jim Butts who has served as our police chief for the past 15 years has taken a new job as head of security for four LA airports. See

In announcing his resignation Chief Butts reports that the Santa Monica Police Department is in very good shape with new state-of-the art facilities, a lowered crime rate, resident complaints at an all time low, and an 80% approval rate. I wish him luck in his new position and am inspired by his statement that, at 52, he's "still young enough to take on another challenge." Good luck, Jim and thank you for all the support and leadership you have given to our community and our schools.
Tuesday, June 6th is election day for California. There are several items on the June 6th ballot that are of great consequence to lifelong learning.

Proposition 81 is a library construction and renovation bond that would providing funding throughout California to improve libraries. Here in Santa Monica, we have a beautiful new library and three branch libraries. Elsewhere in the state, libraries are in sore need of renovation and/or construction. Prop 81 would provide much needed funding to improve libraries statewide.

Proposition 82 would provide access to a voluntary, quality preschool education for all four year olds by adding a 1.7% tax on that portion of income that exceeds $400,000 for individuals and $800,000 for couples. Prop 82 would be phased in over ten years, beginning with areas of greater need first. Currently only about 20% of California's four year olds attend a quality preschool.

Research, anecdotal evidence, and common sense all tell us that a quality preschool experience prepares young children to be more successful in K-12 and life by preparing them with the skills to play and learn cooperatively, listen attentively, communicate verbally, and be exposed to a curriculum that promotes emerging literacy and a love of learning. Quality preschools also provide support, guidance, and education to the parents of young children.
A RAND 2005 study found that California will see a return of $2.62 for every $1.00 invested in quality preschool, due to reduced crime and dropout rates and increased graduation rates and tax revenues.

Prop. 82 provides a comprehensive approach to early childhood education. It allocates funds for teacher training, credentialing, and preschool attendance for all with built in safeguards for auditing and strict compliance. It builds on the existing preschool system and may be delivered by both public and private providers.

Prop 82 establishes a separate dedicated preschool fund that can only be spent on Preschool For All programs. It ensures state-level authority and local flexibility. The program will be overseen by the state Superintendent of Public Instruction and delivered through county and local administrators. Local advisory committees will create, implement and monitor the county administered programs to ensure they meet the diverse needs of families.

Proposition 82 has been endorsed by key local organizations including the Santa Monica City Council, Early Education and Child Care Task Force of Santa Monica, Community for Excellent Public Schools and the Santa Monica Malibu Council of PTAs. These organizations are convinced that supporting Prop. 82 is in the best interest of our children, our schools, and our community.

Please join me in supporting Propositions 81 and 82 on June 6th. They present a historic opportunity for improving access to lifelong learning statewide!

Also on the June 6th ballot is the primary election for our next assemblymember. Fran Pavley has been termed out. SMMUSD School Board President Julia Brownley is running in a tough race to win Fran's seat. Julia's top priority is to improve California's public schools. Improving public education is no easy task (as anyone who follows national, state, or local news knows) but with her knowledge, experience, and commitment, she can be an impact player in Sacramento. Julia's supporters include Assemblymember Fran Pavley, Senator Sheila Kuehl, the California Democratic Club, the Santa Monica Democratic Club, the Malibu Democratic Club, the Classroom Teachers Association, Community for Excellent Public Schools, and (you guessed it) me too! In the past I have never used this newsletter to endorse or discuss candidates but because Julia's agenda and experience so thoroughly align with lifelong learning and improving public education, it seems appropriate to me to do so. For a full list of Julia's endorsements, please go to

Please be sure to vote on June 6th! Polls will be open from 7am-8pm.
To find the location of your polling place, go to

Speaking of improving schools... there are several upcoming meetings and events to highlight:

This Thursday's Board of Education meeting has been moved to Barnum Hall to accommodate the large number of community members expected to attend. The meeting will include a report on the qualities that have been identified as priorities in the search for a new superintendent and also a report (as a discussion item) by Samohi's Committee On Redesign Efficacy (SCORE), a committee comprised of representatives from the school administration and the teachers' union to oversee the ongoing redesign work at Santa Monica High School. SCORE will report on the successes and challenges to date at Samohi and offer recommendations for the future.

Meanwhile, Dr. Ilene Straus, Samohi's Chief Educational Officer/Principal for the past four years has announced that she has accepted a position with the district as Senior Director of Secondary Education, effective following the close of this school year. It has been my privilege as a former Samohi PTSA President, current PTSA Boardmember and Samohi parent to work very closely with Dr. Straus for the past four years. I wish her well in her new position and I hope that the work she has undertaken to make Samohi a better school for all students will be sustained.

If you have input that you would like to give to the Board of Education re the implementation of Redesign at Samohi thus far and/or next steps, please attend the Board meeting and speak:
Thursday, June 1, 5:30 pm
Board of Education Meeting
Santa Monica High School, Barnum Hall
601 Pico Blvd.

Friday, June 2, 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm
Hands-On Community Workshop re School Facilities Plan

Santa Monica High School Cafeteria
601 W. Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA
RSVP is recommended. Please RSVP by calling 310-450-8338 x100 or by emailing

Are you interested in the future of Santa Monica High School and/or the Lincoln/Ocean Park Blvd. Campus*?

Do you want to see what the future of the Santa Monica-Malibu School
District may look like? If so, you don't want to miss this workshop!

The Project Team on the Facilities Master Plan has compiled the information
from their previous workshops, surveys, and facility assessments. Now they want the public to tell them how we'd like to see the school facilities configured
to meet our community's vision for SMMUSD.

This is a hands-on workshop. Models of Santa Monica High School and the
Lincoln/Ocean Park Blvd campus* will be available for your review and feedback. This is the opportunity to tell the District about your specific ideas for the school facilities. Don't miss it!

If you have any other questions related to the Facilities Master Plan visit or call 310-450-8338 x100

*The Lincoln/Ocean Park Blvd. Campus currently houses Olympic High School, Adult Education, the Infant Family Support Program, Pine Street Preschool, Special Education Pre School, and the Special Education Full Inclusion Program Team.

Saturday, June 3, 2 and 8pm
Final performances of "Showstoppers"
Santa Monica High School Campus, Humanities Center Theatre
601 Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90405
Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online or by calling 310-458-5939.

(Forwarded from the Santa Monica Art Palette:) Some of you were lucky enough to see the Samohi Theatre Arts Workshop students performing excerpts from their revue show Showstoppers on the Santa Monica Youth Stage. If you missed them, or simply want to see more of these amazing young people, head on over to Santa Monica High School on June 3 to see the full-length Showstoppers in the Humanities Center Theater featuring show-stopping numbers from CHICAGO, DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS, HAIRSPRAY, THE LAST FIVE YEARS, THE PRODUCERS, RENT, SPAMALOT, 25th ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE, THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE and WICKED.

(If you would like to subscribe to the Santa Monica Arts Palette and receive a weekly email announcing cultural events here in Santa Monica, please send a blank e-mail with the word "Subscribe" in the subject line to:
Sunday, June 4, 7:30pm
Chorale Concert: Mozart's Requiem, Dr. James Smith, Conductor

First United Methodist Church
1008 11th Street, Santa Monica
Admission $15/$10, free underground parking across the street from the church

In honor of the 250th anniversary of WA Mozart's birth, the SMC Concert Chorale will join with the Chancel Choir of the Santa Monica First United Methodist Church and the Los Angeles Concert Orchestra to present Mozart's Requiem. Also on the program will be John Rutter's Mass of the Children, featuring the South Bay Children's Choir.
Tuesday, June 6th, 7am-8pm
Please be sure to VOTE!!!!!
To find your polling place, go to

Wednesday, June 7, 7 p.m.
Talk at the Library: Stanton Macdonald-Wright's Life and Art
Santa Monica Public Library, Martin Luther King Jr. Auditorium
601 Santa Monica Blvd.
For more information , call (310) 458-8600, or visit

Dr. Will South presents "Color, Myth, and Music: An Overview of the Life and Art of Stanton Macdonald-Wright." Raised in Santa Monica, Stanton Macdonald-Wright (1890–1973) was a pioneer of American and European modernism. A revolutionary figure, he helped establish the provocative theory of Synchromism, which understood art primarily as an intense experience with color. Macdonald-Wright's works reflect many of the other major art movements of the 20th century, and his poetic synthesis of East and West, spurred by his interest in Eastern philosophies and the art of Japan and China, mark him as a prophet of a global culture.

This slide-lecture by Dr. South, who is Curator of Collections at the Weatherspoon Art Museum at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a leading expert on Stanton Macdonald-Wright, provides an overview of this artist's fascinating life and of his importance in the history of American Art, with a special focus on the WPA murals recently reinstalled in the Santa Monica Public Library's new Main Library.
Speaking of libraries (remember Prop 81??!!) and programs at the library.....

Are you missing Citywide Reads? Don't despair!
The Main and Branch libraries all have regular book discussion groups.
For a listing of library book groups, go to or refer to the calendar listings on the Santa Monica Lifelong Learning Community website at
Tuesday, June 20, 6:45pm
City Council Meeting to approve City Budget for 06/07
City Hall Council Chambers
1685 Main Street
For more information on the proposed $444.8 million budget, please read City Manager Presents "Aggressive" Budget at or go to the City's home page at
Sunday, June 24, 10am-1pm
Community Workshop: CreativeCapital: culture: community: vision

Ken Edwards Center
1527 4th Street

Be a part of Santa Monica's creative future - participate in the cultural planning process -share your ideas and vision!

The City of Santa Monica is preparing a master plan to guide the continued development of the community's cultural resources. The goal of the planning process is to forge a common vision for the future of the arts and culture in Santa Monica. The plan will identify community priorities and articulate the policies and strategies that will be required to achieve those priorities and make Santa Monica an even better environment for creativity in all forms.

The planning process will offer many different opportunities for participation, beginning with this workshop and including a broad array of workshops, community meetings, and a phone survey. The city will be developing an on-line directory of the many creative people who live and work in Santa Monica. So tune-in, drop-in, sign-up and let your voice be heard! Please check the project website at for the latest information.
In his speech (,) at the most recent Gang Violence Prevention Workshop in March, Chief Jim Butts mentioned a visit and conversation he had with Father Greg Boyle of Homeboy Industries. Now, Father Boyle is coming to Santa Monica to speak to the congregation at St. Anne's and the public is invited too.
Sunday, June 25th, around 11am
Father Greg Boyle, Homeboy Industries will celebrate mass at 10:00am and then address the community, probably around 11am.

St. Anne's Church
2013 Colorado Avenue

Father Mike Gutierrez has invited Father Greg Boyle, Founder and Executive Director of Homeboy Industries, to speak to the community about gang prevention. Father Boyle is one of the nation's foremost experts on gang prevention and a truly dynamic speaker. He is an amazing resource for us as we continue to tackle the issue of youth violence in Santa Monica. Father Boyle will celebrate the mass at 10:00am and then address the community after the 10:00am mass, probably around 11am. For more information on Homeboy Industries and Father Boyle, please go to

Saturday, July 1st, 5pm
Celebrate America
Santa Monica College, Corsair Field
1900 Pico Boulevard
Free ($5 parking fee)

SMC's Independence Day Celebration—the biggest, most sensational patriotic community event on the Westside! Bring your family and friends to SMC for a star-spangled salute to our nation's independence. Come early, picnic on the lawn, enjoy continuous entertainment and special exhibits (with plenty of refreshments available for purchase), and cap off the evening with a spectacular fireworks salute to America. This annual celebration is a wonderful community event. Bring all your friends and neighbors!
Just two more final notes before I sign off....

Warm Line for parenting tots
call 310-281-9770

The Early Childhood Parenting Center (ECPC) is a non-profit organization that operates this free Warm Line telephone service which originated over 30 years ago at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Specialists in the field of early childhood development answer the calls and provide guidance and education to parents and caregivers who are concerned about issues such as sleep, toilet training, behavior, eating, growth and development, and other non-medical challenges. Calls are returned within two business days by professional volunteers. To reach the Warm Line, call (310) 281-9770. For more information on the Early Childhood Parenting Center (which just recently moved to Santa Monica) please go to

Santa Monica offers an amazing array of recreational and educational camps and classes for kids of all ages--check our colorful guide (in downloadable PDF format at to decide which ones are right for your family. Then visit RecEnroll at to sign up for an account and register on-line!
For additional events throughout the month, please remember to check the Lifelong Learning Community Calendar at

Please, please note that the 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

Thanks, Cheers, and Onward, and please be sure to vote!


For more information about the Lifelong Learning Community, contact

Louise Jaffe











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