The following is from the Sept. 25 Laguna Beach Unified School District board meeting.

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LBHS applauds WASC accreditation

Laguna Beach High School Principal Joanne Culverhouse presented the Western Assn. of Schools and Colleges' six-year accreditation to the board.

Culverhouse recognized the dedication and time commitment of Alonda Hartford and Mark Alvarez, who spearheaded the project.

Alvarez and Hartford spent 2010 and 2011 talking to stakeholders in the community, giving surveys to parents, teachers and students, and assembling 10 leads, or leaders, at the high school. They said the leads were pivotal in their accreditation.

The school will have a three-year visit, and the staff will begin preparing for that shortly, Alvarez reported. A webinar with WASC is scheduled in the coming weeks.

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District successes, goals noted

Deni Christensen led a presentation of the current status of the district and its goals for the future.

She noted high CST scores, a high pass rate of the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE), high Advanced Placement participation, high ACT and SAT scores, and more students placing in advanced versus basic or the less than basic categories.

Christensen mentioned five strategic goals: student achievement, school culture, learning environment, staffing and fiscal responsibility.

El Morro Elementary School Principal Chris Duddy discussed Common Core Standards and improving students' writing skills through more nonfiction reading and argumentative essays. In the past, students have read more fiction and wrote persuasive essays.

Christensen said it's been an issue that children can explain literature but can't dissect nonfiction. She said the kids would go into emotional arguments instead of fact-based ones.

She mentioned that under the new Common Core Standards, literacy will be incorporated into math and science classes as well, so students can explain how they came to their conclusions in written form.

Christensen called this a "huge paradigm shift" that long been overdue nationwide.

joanna.clay@latimes.com

Twitter: @joannaclay