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The latest updates from the campaign:

Wednesday, October 31, 2018 2:57 PM

California Alliance for Arts Education Candidate Survey

I participated in the California Alliance for Arts Education 2018 Candidate Survey Project. "The candidate survey project offers local school board candidates across California the opportunity to go on record with their views about the role of arts education in public schools. I hope you'll read the results and see that I am the candidate who will support funding for the arts in our district.

My answers are posted here:

What meaningful experiences with the arts (visual arts, dance, drama and/or music) did you have growing up?
My father is a painter and sculptor, so art has always played an active role in my life. I fondly remember painting by his side, learning by example, and proudly helping him set up his art shows. In my public elementary school visual arts were not offered, but in fifth grade we could sign up for band. I learned to play the clarinet and participated in band—marching band, chamber orchestra, concert band, pit orchestra for the spring musical production—through my senior year in high school. In band, I had a sense of community that all children need, so that they connect to the school and have a safe place to be. I also took ballet classes at the local dance studio, and loved the integration of classical music with such beautiful physical activity in ballet. I didn’t have room in my school schedule to pursue my interest in visual arts, but as an adult I had the time and resources to take painting and photography classes at community colleges, UC Extension programs, and a community art school. I am so fortunate to be able to explore these forms of art. Creating and viewing art fills my soul in a unique way. Our elementary school fundraising parent foundation makes it possible for my 3rd grade daughter’s elementary school to have an art lab and give all of the students in grades TK-5 regular opportunities to create and learn about art. I love volunteering with her class during art lab. Art is such an important part of education, as a School Board Member I will look for ways to prioritize funding arts programs so that all students can explore their talents and interests.

What role do you think the arts can play in supporting key education priorities such as closing the achievement gap, reducing the dropout rate and preparing more students for college eligibility and the 21st century workforce? If elected, how will you promote the role of arts education in meeting the eight new priorities for the State's Local Control Funding Formula?
The arts are crucial to supporting the priorities of the LCFF. As a teacher and a parent, I have heard students say, “I didn’t want to miss school today because I have art/music.” The arts give students a connection to school beyond the typical reading, writing, and arithmetic curriculum. I’ve seen the most active students quiet their bodies to focus on creating visual art or music. Students discouraged by academics sparkle with pride when they have the chance to express themselves artistically—whether for a project or a whole arts course. Art sparks enthusiasm for school, which draws in parent participation. In my experience, parents tend to support athletic students quite naturally—weekly sporting events create an obvious opportunity to watch and cheer for your child. If a student is not athletically inclined, art offers a venue for them to shine. Children need to experience a sense of pride in their own work and approval from their parents and coaches. The arts create that opportunity. A robust art program improves the school climate, student achievement, and pupil outcomes. Any time we achieve connection and self-expression, humans feel more valued and compassionate toward others. When students feel safe and valued, they are free to concentrate on their studies and challenge themselves to reach their goals. Additionally, arts develop mathematic and logical parts of the brain, which results in higher academic achievement. The common core standards lend themselves to incorporating art into academics as subjects are weaved together in an in-depth study of a topic.

In keeping with the State Education code, each school district is to provide every K-12 student with a standards-based, comprehensive arts education. In addition, the arts are critical for developing job skills vital in the creative economy and the 21st century workforce. If elected, how will you promote the role of arts education in a complete education for students?
My concern for equity throughout the district is one of the core reasons I chose to run for office to be a Los Alamitos Unified School District School Board Member. The rich art curriculum at my daughter’s school is possible because of parent fundraising. In a public school district, it breaks my heart that not all students have equal access to equal resources. As a School Board Member, I will comb our district’s budget to make sure money is not being wasted on anything that does not directly improve our students’ educations, and direct money to build and enhance our art programs and make them available to all students. A school is more than test scores and trophies. It’s a culture. As with any organization, the leaders set the tone. The School Board is responsible for creating a safe culture in our school district. Giving every student an equal opportunity to participate in the arts is part of building that culture. Every student should feel safe and valued. All kids. Every ability. Every orientation. Every race. Every gender. Every nationality. Every human being. They should all see themselves and their families represented in the media and books used in their classes and media center. Art is too important to be a lesson from a box—there should be qualified artists and art teachers sharing their knowledge and passion for the arts at all levels. When I am a School Board Member, you can count on me to be a champion of the arts and of opportunities for our students to explore their creative potential.

Saturday, October 20, 2018 9:37 PM

PTA Council Survey Responses: everything you'd ever want to know and more

Rather than hold a candidate forum for the public to get to know the five candidates for School Board, the district PTA Council decided to send a survey to each of the candidates so that we could offer our written responses.

These responses were sent to the PTA Presidents at each school, so that they could email them to their members or include them in the weekly newsletters.

The questions ranged from "What is your favorite holiday/book/thing in your house?" to school board policy.

You can read my responses here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018 9:46 AM

Los Alamitos TV interview


"Meet" me now on Los Al TV in an in-depth interview about my vision for Los Alamitos Unified School District. Topics include: school safety, Measure G, fiscal responsibility, transparency, curriculum, teacher support (I'm endorsed by Los Al Teachers Association), and the invaluable perspective I'll bring as the ONLY current parent and former high school teacher on the Board.

Los Al TV Interview with Olaina Anderson for School Board

Thursday, August 30, 2018 12:32 AM

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Parent Information Night, Tues., Sept. 4, at 6 pm at LAHS

In Case You Missed It (ICYMI):

BYOD Education Night for Parents/Guardians of Middle & High School Students

Tuesday, Sept 4, 6pm in the Performing Arts Center at Los Alamitos High School 3591 Cerritos Ave., Los Alamitos, CA 90720

As a Los Alamitos USD parent, I got an email invitation to a Parent Education Night about the BYOD Program.

Los Alamitos USD has a Bring Your Own Device Program in grades 3-12. That means the students use devices such as iPads or Chromebooks in the classroom, and they are welcome to bring their own devices from home.

On Tuesday, Sept. 4, at 6 – 7:30 p.m., there will be a Parent Education Night about the program and about the BYOD program, Internet/Web safety, the district’s curriculum on digital citizenship, and their new Securly web filter. The invitation says the night is for middle and high school students, but since my 8-year-old-third-grade child now carries a Chromebook back and forth to school each day, I'm guessing elementary school parents would benefit from the information, too.

Please click on the headline of this summary to read the whole email letter from the district office (John Poiratos, Director of Information Technology).

I'll tell you more about how I feel about a BYOD program later, and I hope you will share your thoughts with me, too.

In the meantime, I want to make sure you know about the information night--I know my email about it got buried in my inbox and I couldn't find anything about it on the districtwide calendar, so I hope everyone who would like to attend such a thing knows it is happening.

Friday, August 24, 2018 8:10 PM

District Policies Posted after Olaina Anderson Meets with Superintendent

I want to be a Los Alamitos USD School Board Member so that I can change the district's culture to one of transparency.

I don’t need a fancy title to get to work--I’m already leading Los Al Unified toward a culture of transparency as a concerned parent.

Last Friday, at Superintendent Dr. Sherry Kropp’s request, we met so that we could get to know each other. I told her some of my concerns--including that the board policies are not posted on the district website. It’s impossible to follow the rules if you don’t even know what they are.

Tuesday, the policies were added to the website.

You can still read them here, too: Policies of Los Alamitos Unified School District

Sunday, July 15, 2018 11:54 AM

Los Al District Policies on, but not district website

The policies of the Los Alamitos Unified School District Board of Education are not posted on the district website or accessible through a simple Google search, but I acquired them and have posted them in the Resources tab on

You can go directly to the policies by clicking the link below:

Policies of the Los Alamitos Unified School District

Tuesday, June 26, 2018 3:13 PM is Live

You must do one thing that you think you cannot do.
--Eleanor Roosevelt

 I made my campaign website! Holy moly, that was a new experience. It’s one thing to write all the text, it’s another thing to put it into a useful format. Whew! I need a helper. How about you? Please?

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to check it out. You can learn about my campaign, sign up to volunteer (I’d be grateful for just one hour!), make a monetary contribution (any amount from $3 to the sky is the limit is deeply appreciated—I had no idea it costs hundreds of dollars to have a maximum 200-word candidate statement printed in the voter guide, did you?).

You can also register to vote and find your polling place! It would be a teacher’s dream come true if my campaign inspired you to vote for the first time ever, or to wisely vote down ballot for a change. If that’s the case for you, leave me a comment so I can do a happy dance.

Committee to Elect
Olaina Anderson for School Board 2018
FPPC #1405948
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