Lynwood – Nearly 400 Lynwood Unified educators returned to the classroom to receive training and discuss lesson planning in preparation for the new school year during a professional development event Aug. 14-16 at Firebaugh High School.

The three-day Summer Institute gathered teachers of all grades, along with select administrators, to learn new programs like the Journeys Reading and Literacy Common Core curriculum that will be implemented this year. The comprehensive K-6 English language arts program will help students develop mastery of speaking, listening and writing when they return to the classroom on Aug. 22.

“I have demoed the Journeys curriculum and I think it can really enhance our classroom environments,” Will Rogers Elementary third-grade teacher Rosalie Roybal said. “It’s nice to come together before the school year begins, I feel like it gives us a head start on the year to come.”

Roybal was joined by other third-grade teachers who were learning how to plan a week’s lessons using the Journeys program.

This year’s annual institute was themed “Planting the Seeds of Greatness,” and was guided by internal District presenters who tackled various branches of education in daily workshops.

Educators were immersed in English language arts and learned how to facilitate math centers, which are classroom stations that engage learners with hands-on activities in small groups. Secondary teachers discussed strategies for better inspiring students. On the final day, all teachers were given the opportunity to choose from 18 different workshops, ranging from social and emotional topics, technology, and AVID strategy.

“We accomplished a lot of great things at this year’s Summer Institute, where we adopted new teaching methods and shared important experiences that will help us grow as educators,” LUSD Assistant Director of Educational Services Christine Arostigue-Manson said. “As we collectively define our curriculum, we set a clear standard that our students can work to achieve.”

Part of the benefit of Summer Institute is the connectedness that happens when the District’s educators come together for a shared purpose of improving their craft.

In 2017-18, Lynwood Unified enjoyed its first-ever collaborative guided planning in which teachers collaborated across school lines to develop networking and recommend lesson plans.

The Summer Institute built on that approach and provided a constructive environment for educators like kindergarten teacher Stephanie Zarate, who shared behavioral techniques with her colleagues.

“As a District committed to continuous learning, we recognize the importance of collaboration and the importance of learning from each other,” LUSD Superintendent Gudiel R. Crosthwaite said. “Summer Institute was a great opportunity for us to refresh and reenergize together before we open the doors to our young learners.”

Participants in the Summer Institute received $50 gift cards that could be used at Lakeshore Learning Store or Taj Office and School Supplies store. Some educators made a group outing to bolster their classrooms with new supplies.

“A new school year always begins with summer preparation,” LUSD Board of Education President Alfonso Morales said. “Our District is committed to always ensuring we’re ready to lead our students long before they return to school.”


082118_LUSD_SUMMERINSTITUTE1: LUSD teachers review curriculum during the District’s Summer Institute, which helped educators prepare for the new school year.

082118_LUSD_SUMMERINSTITUTE2: LUSD educators discuss Journeys Reading and Literacy Common Core curriculum at the Summer Institute. Journeys will be implemented into the classroom beginning when students return on Aug. 22.