L-STEM information

See STEM in Action Using Minecraft - Click here:

For teachers: General Internet Start Page

New: For Common Core State Standards information, please click here:
CCSS for Parents

School Vision:  To promote 21st century learning that goes above and beyond a standards-based instructional program in an effort to elevate global literacy for our students through Language immersion and STEM.

"L" - Dual-Language (English/Spanish) will be offered at the Kindergarten level in the fall and will roll up through each year through 5th grade.

"S" - Science will be presented through hands-on units and integrated throughout the curriculum at all grade levels.

"T" - Technology is infused into all curricular areas through systematic technological instruction, schoolwide use of Mobi Boards, Student Response Systems (clickers), state-of-the-art computer labs, students laptops for real-time assessments and monitoring.

"E" - Engineering will be integrated into the instructional program utilizing the Engineering Design Process: Ask, Imagine, Plan, Create, Improve.

"M" - Mathematics will involve whole-brain learning with an emphasis on real-world applications and will be integrated into all curricular areas.

Enjoy your visit to our school website and return often for updates and plans.  For further information and to schedule a visit, please call (818)991-4940.



From STEM to STEAM: Science and Art Go Hand-in-Hand

By Steven Ross Pomeroy | August 22, 2012

In the wake of the recent recession, we have been consistently apprised of the pressing need to revitalize funding and education in STEM fields — science, technology, engineering, and math. Doing this, we are told, will spur innovation and put our country back on the road to prosperity.

Renewing our focus on STEM is an unobjectionably worthwhile endeavor.  Science and technology are the primary drivers of our world economy, and the United States is in the lead.

But there is a growing group of advocates who believe that STEM is missing a key component – one that is equally deserved of renewed attention, enthusiasm and funding. That component is the Arts. If these advocates have their way, STEM would become STEAM.

Their proposition actually makes a lot of sense, and not just because the new acronym is easy on the ears. Though many see art and science as somewhat at odds, the fact is that they have long existed and developed collaboratively. This synergy was embodied in great thinkers like the legendary Leonardo Da Vinci and the renowned Chinese polymath Su Song. One of Carl Jung’s mythological archetypes was the artist-scientist, which represents builders, inventors, and dreamers. Nobel laureates in the sciences are seventeen times likelier than the average scientist to be a painter, twelve times as likely to be a poet, and four times as likely to be a musician.

Camouflage for soldiers in the United States armed forces was invented by American painter Abbot Thayer. Earl Bakken based his pacemaker on a musical metronome. Japanese origami inspired medical stents and improvements to vehicle airbag technology. Steve Jobs described himself and his colleagues at Apple as artists.

At TED 2002, Mae Jemison, a doctor, dancer, and the first African American woman in space, said, “The difference between science and the arts is not that they are different sides of the same coin… or even different parts of the same continuum, but rather, they are manifestations of the same thing. The arts and sciences are avatars of human creativity.”

Despite the profound connection between art and science, art programs across the nation are on the chopping block. In June, the U.S. House of Representatives proposed significant funding cuts to the National Endowment for the Arts. Schools nationwide are eschewing art programs to instead focus on teach-to-the-test courses catered to math and reading. The problem here is that a narrow focus on testing reinforces narrow-minded thinking. Young Americans are being educated out of creativity.


By teaching the arts, we can have our cake and eat it, too. In 2008, the DANA Arts and Cognition Consortium, a philanthropic organization that supports brain research, assembled scientists from seven different universities to study whether the arts affect other areas of learning. Several studies from the report correlated training in the arts to improvements in math and reading scores, while others showed that arts boost attention, cognition, working memory, and reading fluency.

Dr. Jerome Kagan, an Emeritus professor at Harvard University and listed in one review as the 22nd most eminent psychologist of the 20th century, says that the arts contribute amazingly well to learning because they regularly combine the three major tools that the mind uses to acquire, store, and communicate knowledge: motor skills, perceptual representation, and language.

“Art and music require the use of both schematic and procedural knowledge and, therefore, amplify a child’s understanding of self and the world,” Kagan said at the John Hopkins Learning, Arts, and the Brain Summit in 2009.

With this realization in mind, educators across the nation are experimenting with merging art and science lessons. At the Wolf Trap Institute in Virginia, “teaching artists” are combining physical dance with subjects like math and geometry. In Rhode Island, MIT researcher Jie Qui introduced students to paper-based electronics as part of her master’s thesis exploring the use of technology in expressive art. Both programs excited students about science while concurrently fueling their imaginations. A potent blend of science and imagination sounds like the perfect concoction to get our country back on track.

“My kids didn’t grow up in grade school saying, ‘I want to be a technical sound engineer.’ They grew up saying, ‘I want to be a rock star,’” asserts Stephen Lane, CEO of medical device design company Ximedica and a huge proponent of STEAM.

Celebrated physicist Richard Feynman once said that scientific creativity is imagination in a straitjacket. Perhaps the arts can loosen that restraint, to the benefit of all.

About the Author: Steven Ross Pomeroy is the assistant editor for Real Clear Science, a science news aggregator. He regularly contributes to RCS’ Newton Blog. As a writer, Steven believes that his greatest assets are his insatiable curiosity and his ceaseless love for learning. Follow on Twitter @SteRoPo.


Teaching The Future Today

For teachers:  General Internet Start Page

From Our Principal:

Dear Parents:


    I hope everyone had a wonderful spring vacation with family and friends.  I know our 5th graders had a fabulous week at King Gillette Ranch for Outdoor Education earlier in April. They returned to us a bit tired, but happy, and a "bit" more grown up!  And now we're in the "homestretch" of this school year.  It's amazing how quickly time has passed!

            By the time of this publication, we will be almost done with the Smarter Balanced Assessment (pilot testing) for Grades 3 through 5.  Please know that the only "STAR" test left this year is the Science test for Grade 5.  The Smarter Balanced testing is a pilot run for this new State test to work out the glitches with test items, formats and infrastructure in Districts throughout California. There will be NO scores/results generated for these tests; Districts will not receive any scores this year!    

May brings several exciting events:

Friday, May 9th is our first Engineering Fair! Come experience multiple engineering centers and see the many amazing engineering projects our students have created! 


May 12 - 16:   Staff Appreciation Week, sponsored by our amazing PFA!


May 15th is Open House:

5:30 to 7:00 pm:  Jersey Dogs, raffles and more, MPR

7:00 - 8:00 pm:  Classrooms open for visits


Please take the opportunity to celebrate  your children's many accomplishments.  You are also welcome to visit classrooms of teachers in the upcoming grade to familiarize yourselves with grade level expectations.  However, please remember that we balance our classes based on several factors and we do not accept parent requests. So, please refrain from pressuring your child's current teacher as to placement.  We have not yet determined staffing. Thank you!

Thursday, May 16th 8:30 am: Wizard of Oz - school wide walking field trip to AHS Performing Arts Center


Sunday, May 18th:   Mother-Son Hike


Friday, May 30th:  Talent Show, 8:30 am

There are also classroom field trips and other exciting events happening school wide this month!   Looking forward to seeing you soon! 


Carol Martino, Principal





For information on Common Core Standards, please click here: CCSS Parent Resources


Wed 6/11  Last day of School- All classes dismissed at 12:15


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Kindergarten/ Dual

Contact Us

Sumac School
L-STEM Academy

6050 North Calmfield Ave.
Agoura Hills, CA 91301

School Office – 818.991.4940
School Principal – Carol Martino

Office Manager – Cindy Taylor

Office Clerk – Judy Lowenstein

Health Clerk – Edna Sandoval

Sumac L-STEM Academy Website – www.sumacelementary.org

Las Virgenes School District Website – www.lvusd.org

City of Agoura Hills Webs Site - http://ci.agoura-hills.ca.us 818.597.7300

Lost Hills Sheriff Station - http://la-sheriff.org/stations/for1/malibu_lhill/ 818.878.1808

Report Dangerous Driving – 1.877.310.STOP

Agoura Hills City Library - http://www.colapublib.org/libs/agourahills/index.php 818.889.2278

Busing Information – Durham Transportation – 818.880.4257

LVUSD Bus Pass – 818.878.5236

YMCA – 818.707.9622


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