Los Altos Elementary School District

Los Altos Elementary School District

The district aims to meet the learning needs of each individual student through strong feedback and processes, learning opportunities that give students choice and passion, and a variable curriculum and assessment system.

State: California Number of Students: 4,638
School Type: Public School District Free and Reduced Lunch: 4.5%
Grade Level: PK-8 English Language Learners: 12.5%

School Context

Individual Learning Needs: Los Altos aims to meet the learning needs of each individual student through strong feedback andprocesses, learning opportunities that give students choice and passion, and a variable curriculum and assessment system.

Support Teachers: LASD’s goal is to support teachers so that they can create relevant learning experiences. They will do this bycreating a strong feedback and observation process and providing ways for teachers to create professional learning networks.

Community Engagement: LASD values local connections and aims to maintain communication with each community.

Engaging Instruction: The district strives to make all instruction meaningful, engaging and at the appropriate level for eachstudent. The district places focus on data-driven instruction, sharing instructional practices with early innovators and developingrelationships with partnering organizations.

Financial Stability: The district will create 10-20 year financial outlooks and hazard plans.

State of Technology

Devices: LASD has 3,500 computers and tablets throughout the district,which brings the student to device ratio to 2:1. The district intentionally has amix of Chromebooks, Nexus tablets and iPads. Tablets are used with youngerstudents and there’s a mix used in the upper grades. The district has a goal ofmeeting a 1:1 student to computer ratio by 2016.

Khan Academy: In 2011, LASD piloted Khan Academy to improve blendedlearning in math for fifth and seventh grade classes. Santa Rita, Covington,and Egan Junior High were involved in the pilot. Based on the pilot’s success,the district expanded the use of Khan Academy to all fifth and sixth gradeclasses, as well as some seventh grade classes. Currently, Khan Academy isbeing used as an instructional tool in fourth to eighth grade.

CSTEM: LASD is one of the few public school districts in the area that exposesevery sixth grader to coding. With funding support from the parent-led LosAltos Educational Foundation (LAEF), a year-long program called CSTEMintroduces programming through creative and collaborative projects likecreating art through code and building video games. In 2013, the districtadded another type of school event to its calendar--a coding showcase andcompetition. In the 2014-15 school year, the district began using an integratedapproach to engineering, ensuring that it is integrated across the curriculum.

Living Classroom: Los Altos promotes collaboration between schools andthe community through the Living Classroom initiative where students usegarden-based learning opportunities that align with STEM education. Theseprograms include hands-on lessons facilitated by volunteers.

Grants for Teachers: Teachers in the district can apply for grants (maximum$500) through the Los Altos Community Foundation.

Virtual Reality: Since spring 2014, the district has been working with ZSpace,a company that creates a 3D learning experience, to develop content for3D instruction. The district is continuing this partnership in 2015-16. Thedistrict sees a great deal of value in engaging and exposing their students toinnovative tools, even if they aren’t a mature product.

Learning Principles: The district has developed seven principles aroundlearning that guide all decisions in the district, including the focus ofprofessional development. These seven principles are connected learningexperiences, personalized learning, nurturing a growth mindset, valuingprocess as much as results, empowering students, leveraging technology andacting to facilitate change.

Tech Needs & Requirements

Tools must be compatible with Chromebooks, iPads orAndroid tablets. They need a learning management system, digital assessments and professional development learning tools.

*Content From 2015

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