Cluster Association launches initiatives for better education


By Sharon Jones

La Jolla Cluster Association

About 85 elementary school educators in La Jolla came together on Jan. 18 at La Jolla Elementary School to learn new strategies for teaching mathematics, at a training supported by the La Jolla Cluster Association (LJCA). The gathering marked the first time that different public schools in La Jolla brought their teachers together for professional development. The principals of La Jolla, Bird Rock and Torrey Pines Elementary Schools organized the event. San Diego Unified School District math experts showed a video and led grade-level group discussions.

The LJCA provided lunch, courtesy of Girard Gourmet, which gave the group a discount rate.

LJCA represents the five public schools in La Jolla — La Jolla High, Muirlands Middle, and the three elementary schools. The five principals sit on the governing board, along with 10 teachers and 10 parents. The board meets regularly at the Muirlands Middle School library.

In other LJCA news:

1) At its most recent meeting, the board heard an update on efforts by the community education committee to start a speaker series. Chair/parent Sharon Jones shared information about three events that have been scheduled this spring:•

Screening of the documentary

, “Race to Nowhere,” 6:30 p.m., Thursday, March 22 at Parker Auditorium, La Jolla High School. Tickets $10 at jolla-high-school-parker-auditorium•

Talk and book signing

by Lynn O’Shaughnessy, author of “The College Solution: A Guide for Everyone Looking for the Right School at the Right Price,” 6:30 p.m., Thursday, April 26, Parker Auditorium. Tickets: $10.

• Talk and book signing

by Richard Louv, author of “Last Child in the Woods and the Nature Principle,” 6:30 p.m., Thursday, May 17, Parker Auditorium. Tickets: $10. Copies of the books will be available for purchase.

2) To relieve traffic

around Muirlands Middle and La Jolla High, the Cluster is working with the La Jolla YMCA on neighborhood bus service. Parent Fran Shimp explained how the busses would begin to transport students to Muirlands and La Jolla High on Monday, Jan. 30 for $75 a month. The application form is available at the YMCA or



committee chair/parent John May, described a recent meeting of all the campus Foundation leaders in the cluster. He said the group discussed the district’s dire financial situation and shared information about what programs the various foundations are supporting.

4) Governance

is another priority of the Cluster. Muirlands’ teacher Rob Tindall said LJCA is moving forward with efforts to create a partnership agreement with San Diego Unified School District. After a year of surveying teachers and holding open meetings, the agreement committee is preparing to contact labor union and district representatives.