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Principal's Message

Welcome back!

July 25, 2019

Dear Chatsworth Park Urban Planning Magnet Families,

Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year!  We are truly excited to begin our school’s journey as Chatsworth Park Urban Planning Magnet with amazing students, staff, and families.  Not only will we inspire our students to achieve standards-based learning goals, we will implement engaging project-based learning around the theme of urban planning and our focus elements: Water, land use/economy, community assets, open space, resilience, and conservation.  As principal, I am eager to start our innovative instructional program and provide your child with the 21st Century skills necessary to be not only college and career ready, but also responsible community advocates

Our magnet vision is to pioneer culturally relevant standards-based curriculum that will engross students in a forward-thinking, conscientious, interdisciplinary, and collaborative learning environment. We are dedicated to educating the future of our community and inspiring all students to become active participants in planning, building, and sustaining the community they wish to see twenty years from now.  As a community that strives to preserve our culture, while celebrating diversity, we encourage and promote active involvement from all members of the community, students, staff, and parents. Together, we shall form the foundation that drives decision making and develops the future of our community.”

Our Palomino staff is committed to enabling students to meet the challenges of an ever-changing world and empowering our students to create, collaborate, communicate well, think critically, and be global citizens prepared to take on the challenges of their future!  Furthermore, I am delighted to invite our Palomino families to join us in meeting the needs of our 21st Century learners.  Your active participation in your child’s education is appreciated.  Together, our Palomino students will achieve success!

On Monday, August 19, we are inviting all students and parents to our Welcome Back Ice Cream Social at 3:30 p.m., hosted by our wonderful PTA.  PTA will begin the meeting in the auditorium, followed by ice cream. Afterwards, there will be several tables set up in our main quad where you’ll be able to find out who your child’s teacher is, receive a map of the school, sign up for LAUSD’s Parent Portal, purchase school spirit wear, and sign up for our fabulous PTA.  Plus, every family member who signs up for this year’s PTA (from August 19-September 4, 2019) will be entered into a raffle for free Dodger tickets!  

Our first day of school is Tuesday, August 20.  School staff will be available on the yard at 7:30 a.m. to provide you with your child’s classroom assignment, in case you were unable to attend the ice cream social.  Your child will be expected to line up on the yard by their room number once the warning bell rings at 7:55 a.m. 

School hours are from 8:00 a.m.-2:23 p.m. every day except Tuesday.  On Tuesdays, school hours are from 8:00 a.m.-1:23 p.m. due to teacher professional development.   Parents of kindergarteners and first graders MUST pick up their child from the classroom by dismissal time.  Afterschool care will be available through Youth Services at no charge for grades 2 to 5 until 6:00 p.m.  Creative Kids provides both before and after school care for all grades from 6:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. and dismissal to 6:30 p.m., for a nominal fee.  Enrollment forms may be obtained from the Chatsworth Park’s Creative Kids Director in room 13.  Their phone number is 818-481-4583. 

Campus safety is our number-one priority.  This year, we will continue to implement our “closed campus” visitor/volunteer policy that will go into effect the second week of school.  For the first week, parents will be able to wait with their children on the main playground until students are picked up by their teacher at 8:00 a.m.  On Monday, August 26, Chatsworth Park will officially become a “closed campus” where only adults who are scheduled to volunteer or have an appointment with a teacher will sign in at the main office.  We follow our closed campus policy to ensure the safety of all of our students.  Please note that for dismissal time, our gates will open promptly at the dismissal bell, not 5 minutes earlier. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding.

Our school will continue to follow a MANDATORY uniform policy Monday-FridayIf a child arrives to school not in uniform, the child’s parent will be contacted and asked to immediately bring a uniform to school.  However, we would appreciate your effort to ensure your child is in uniform daily.  There will be specific spirit days, designated by our K-Kids council, earmarked as free dress days throughout the year.

For the safety of our Palomino students, we have the following options for dropping off and picking up your child:

  • If you are walking to school, you can use the gates available at Devonshire Street, the main entrance, or Hiawatha Street.  These gates are open at 7:30 a.m. and close promptly at 8:00 a.m.  Do not drop off children to school before 7:30 a.m. because there is no supervision before that time. The gates open again at 2:23 p.m. and close at 3:00 p.m.  Students in Creative Kids and Youth Services must be picked up at the Hiawatha gate, which is locked and can be accessed with a code (provided by Youth Services and Creative Kids). 
  • If you are driving thru, you can use the traffic circle available off Devonshire Street both before and after school.  Children must exit the car on the righthand side.

I encourage you to either walk or use the traffic circle.  If you are walking to campus, please do not cut through the staff parking lot located on the corner of Topanga Canyon and Devonshire.  Additionally, this parking lot should never be used to drop off and/or pick up students nor park your vehicle. There are a few designated parking spots in the second parking lot available off Devonshire.

On the first day of school, you will receive an opening school bulletin and important attachments with valuable information about the school.  All applicable attachments must be returned to your child’s teacher no later than Wednesday, August 21

Please note the following announcements:

  1. The school office is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  2. Creative Kids is located in room 13 (in our main quad area).  Drop-off and pick-up for this program will be located at our Hiawatha gate, starting the first day.  (Not the front parking lot.)
  3. We have a beautiful new urban planning-themed mural being painted near room 13, thanks to you—our Palomino families!  Stop by the quad and check it out!  We hope to raise more funding during this year’s Color Walk so we can add another mural on campus.  We love adding color to our campus!  J
  4. For new kindergarten students, there will be a “new student” orientation on Tuesday, August 13, at 9:00 a.m.  New 1st-5th grade students are invited to an orientation on Monday, August 12, at 9:00 a.m.
  5. If you wish to volunteer in your child’s classroom or another location on campus, you must adhere to LAUSD’s Volunteer Program policy and complete a volunteer application through our main office.  All volunteers must complete the application (on a yearly basis), have a signed volunteer commitment form, Megan’s Law clearance, Tuberculosis test clearance, and fingerprinting.  Safety is our number-one priority and LAUSD’s Volunteer Program policy ensures that all of our students are protected.
  6. You can now submit your child’s meal application online.  The application will be processed within 24 hours, and you will not have to fill out a paper application and mail it or turn it in to the Food Services Manager at our school. Go to to access the online meal application.  
  7. If you are interested in making a difference in the governance of our school, I encourage you to become a member of School Site Council (SSC) and/or the English Learners Advisory Committee (ELAC).  An orientation and election of members has been scheduled on Thursday, September 12, at 8:15 a.m.  This meeting will provide you with an understanding of the purpose of the council and committee and elect members.  We look forward to your participation.
  8. Back to School Night is scheduled for Wednesday, September 4, at 6:00 p.m.  At this time, your child’s teacher will share with you their classroom routine and procedures, grade-level expectations, and answer any of your questions.  There will be special presentations on safety, LAUSD’s Parent Portal, and the gifted, English learner, and special education programs at 5:30 p.m. on this day as well.  There will also be a fifth-grade parent meeting at 7:00 p.m.
  9. Chatsworth Park’s website has a new design!  Our website offers a current school calendar as well as information about our curriculum, programs, and resources.  We encourage you to surf onto the internet and check out our Palomino website!
  10. Many parents want to take advantage of school supply sales during the summer months.  Attached you will find a list of basic school supplies you can donate to your child’s teacher (listed by grade level).   By supplying our school with the following donations and basic school materials, you can help Chatsworth Park save hundreds of dollars that can then be directed toward the purchase of reading, writing, and math materials.
  11. Thanks to the generosity of our families last year, our Bond Paper Drive was a HUGE success and we had paper for the entire school year…and we’re going to do it again!  This year’s Bond Paper Drive will take place August 20-September 6.  The top 3 classes who collect the most reams of paper will receive a popsicle and dance party!
  12. As we said goodbye to Chatsworth Park Elementary last year and hello to Chatsworth Park Urban Planning Magnet this school year, we are excited to announce that we have six amazing teachers joining our Chatsworth Park magnet team.  We welcome Mrs. Blanca Walters, Miss Kira Hobbs, Mr. J.R. Mendoza, Mrs. Victoria Romero, Ms. Samantha Kang, and Mr. Jimmy Lansing to the Palomino family!  Our new teachers are committed to the academic and personal growth of children, and their enthusiasm and collaborative natures will be assets to Chatsworth Park Urban Planning Magnet.

The dedicated Chatsworth Park staff and I feel privileged to be part of your child’s academic journey.  We thank you for entrusting us with your children and we look forward to an incredible 2019-2020 school year!

All the best,

Rachelle Ratner, Principal  J