IDEA Academy @ Cottonwood

IDEA is Innovation, Design, Engineering, & Art!

SUMMER SCHOOL INFORMATIONWe are pleased to offer summer school programs at the IDEA Academy @Cottonwood for 1st-6th grades. Our summer school classes will provide enrichment experiences and creatively support reading and mathematics learning through STEAM.

Session 1 will run from Monday, June 14th - Friday, June 25th from 8:00 am - 12:00 pm. Session 2 will run from Monday, July 12 - Friday, July 23rd from 8:00 am - 12:00 pm. Students will have a recess break and will receive a grab-and-go lunch to take home. 

Priority registration will be given to students who attend the IDEA Academy @Cottonwood and have academic need/teacher recommendation. Remaining spots will be opened up to all IDEA Academy @Cottonwood students on a first-come-first apply basis, before being available to students who attend other schools in the district.

If interested in having your child attend summer school at the IDEA Academy @Cottonwood, please FIRST review the course descriptions available through this link:

THEN, complete the application for summer school available through this link:

The deadline to register for summer school at the IDEA Academy @Cottonwood is Tuesday, May 25th. If classes fill up prior to May 25th, the registration window will be closed sooner.

We look forward to learning with you this summer! Go Innovators!


The Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) was presented to the District English Language Advisory Committee (DELAC) on May 14, 2021 and to the Superintendent’s Advisory (PAC) on May 25, 2021.

Comments from both the DELAC and PAC are considered when developing actions and services that best meet the needs of our student groups.  

We appreciate all of our stakeholders providing feedback on the LCAP, and we have incorporated actions and services that we believe will most efficiently meet the needs of our student groups. The LCAP Public Hearing will be held on June 8 at the Board meeting.

Wow! We have actually completed the 2020-21 school year amongst unimaginable changes to how schools operate during the pandemic. We are looking forward to seeing what adjustments will be made on June 15th when California reopens. The patience and cooperation of you and your students have made the necessary changes possible, but we are sure looking toward a return to school as it was pre-COVID when summer break ends on August 4, 2021!

Registration is currently underway for our students and be completed online. Congratulations to our 8th grade students who are being promoted to high school. We have appreciated being part of your elementary school journey! Best of luck in high school.

These past few months have been busy as we’ve welcomed back students of in-person learning.  Initially we anticipated that all the students who’d chosen hybrid learning would return when LACDPH allowed reopening, many families preferred to remain on distance learning for the remainder of this school year.  Though this change resulted in some teacher changes, we were able to accommodate the choices of most families, and I thank our staff for their tireless efforts to make those changes possible.  We are pleased to have students back on campus and have appreciated all of your support and cooperation in making this transition.

In this article:

- DELAC Meeting May 14th at 10:00

- Superintendent's Advisory May 25th at 12:15

- Middle School Promotion Ceremonies in June

- Year Long Distance Learning for 2021-22

- 2021-2022 School Year Enrollment and Transfers

- Board of Trustee meeting May 4th and 18th at 6:00 PM - watch via YouTube!

- Honoring Service of Teachers (May 4th), Classified employees (May 18th), Management (June 8)

- Valley View and Greg Anderson Academy become WASC Accredited! 

At a special meeting of the Board of Trustees last night, Memoranda of Understanding with Westside Union Teachers Association were approved, paving the way for the special needs students to return effective Monday, April 19th. Also, the Board of Trustees approved the use of the NWEA as the annual assessment for our students this year.  Our students will have completed 3 administrations of this assessment to measure their academic progress throughout the year, allowing the Board to waive administration of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) for the 2020-21 school year.

In this summary:

Westside USD Reopening plans awaiting approval. Available on District and School Websites.

The TK-6th grade students in mild/moderate special day classes will return February 16th and the TK/K cohorts will return on February 22nd.  

Parents will receive information about the new system for daily check-in which is currently required.  You will find information about that system and directions for using it on the website.  You will also find a video to help you with setting up the system either on your phone or on another device.

Some additional changes that have been made to facilitate reopening schools include the addition of 654 GPS ionizers to all HVAC units district-wide.  These ionizers kill 99% of all germs, bacteria, and viruses, and are Underwriter’s Laboratories certified to deliver clean indoor air that is safe and healthy.

Monday, February 15th is Presidents Day.  Our schools will be closed for that day.

Hello Innovator Families,

Welcome to the launch of the 2020 -2021 school year. I hope all of our school families are safe and well and have had some quality time as a family during this very challenging summer season. I am so pleased to be returning as your principal at the IDEA Academy @Cottonwood, a 2020 AVID Showcase School and home of the newly WASC-accredited Innovators! Joining me as a part of our administrative team are Shameka Andre, our new vice-principal and Lisa Fiore, returning school counselor. 

While we had hoped to begin the year on campus with all of our Innovators,  all WUSD schools will begin the year in full-time distance learning, in compliance with the governor’s orders for counties on the COVID watch list, and under restrictions from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.  I want to thank each of you for your support, patience, and thoughtful encouragement as we have continued to travel through this time of change, uncertainty, challenge and opportunity brought about by the COVID-19 crisis. The WUSD Board of Trustees is monitoring these circumstances closely and will make a decision about our district’s ability to transition to on-campus learning in a hybrid model as soon as it is safe to do so. The safety of our children, families, and staff is always our top priority.

Our staff and I are excited to welcome your children back to school! I also understand that many families are anxious about what this year may bring. Please know that it is our goal to provide all of our students with the best education possible. We are committed to taking these unprecedented circumstances and developing creative new ways to challenge and support your children’s academic and personal growth. We are committed to making 2020-2021 a year marked with memories (the good kind), special experiences and rigorous learning for your children!

Safe Reopening

School Plan for Safe Reopening

Reopening Protocols for K-12 Schools

Please Update Your Back to School Information in PowerSchool for the 2020-2021 School Year

If you have not yet done so, it is imperative that you visit the Parent Portal as soon as possible by logging on to your PowerSchool parent account to update your parent contact and other Back to School information. This is the only emergency and contact information that the school office will have on file for your child and we need to be able to contact you when necessary. You will be able to update your contact information, emergency contacts, and your child's medical information, so that it is current and accurate. See the quick start steps below to get started and refer to this letter for full instructions and frequently asked questions:

Instructions and Frequently Asked Questions Updating Your Child's Information in PowerSchool

From the Parent Portal:

1. Select the student you wish to register along the top.

2. Select "Back-to-School Registration" on the left side.

3. Agree to the terms and conditions.

4. Select Begin Forms.

*Please note, the link above is unavailable in the PowerSchool parent app. You must use a web browser to access this information.

Directions for all Curbside Pick-ups During Distance Learning

  1. You will need to enter the IDEA Academy parking lot from the 2nd driveway on Hubbard and stay in one line curbside, pulling forward to the front of the school.
  2. Please have a clearly labeled sign taped to the inside of your window that includes: Your student’s full name (LAST NAME, FIRST NAME) and grade Level.
  3. Please stay in the curbside pick-up line, in your car. As you pull up to the cone at the front of the pick-up line, staff will bring your child’s items to your car.
  4. For safety reasons, children and family members are not allowed to get out of their cars. You will be asked to pop your trunk and your items will be placed inside.
  5. It is also necessary that for safety and logistical reasons, that each family adhere to their designated pick-up day/time. Do not come earlier or later than your schedule windows. We are still required to meet state mandated guidelines for groups and social distancing standards and your cooperation will be a tremendous help with this.


Teachers will take a daily lunch count each morning. The drive-thru free meal program for all students is in effect at this time. Students may pick up a school breakfast/lunch daily. Breakfast/lunch will be a grab-and-go take home meal, served via a curbside pick-up in the Hubbard Street parking lot (nearest to the cafeteria) daily from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm. Students who have qualified for free/reduced meals previously should still submit a current free lunch application for the 2020-21 school year so that they will continue to be able to receive breakfast/lunch when the drive-thru free meal program ends.

School Communication

Weekly dialer messages will resume with the first week of school, along with announcements posted on Class Dojo and through the IDEA Academy PTA Facebook group. Please also check the district Facebook page, as well as the district and school website frequently. Please be sure that your email address and phone numbers in PowerSchool are accurate so that you will receive important school news. 

So that you can locate school announcements in your inbox, know that all automated e-mail announcements from our school will come from 

The school office is open Monday – Friday, 7:00 am – 3:00 pm for phone service and curbside pick-up/drop-off only. The telephone number is (661) 267-2825.

School Uniforms

School uniforms are not required while attending school during distance learning. School uniform tops (polo or button-down shirts in plain school colors, along with spirit shirts) are always encouraged while participating in live sessions and are a great way to help your child get in “school mode.”

We are a proud AVID school and will continue to promote the wearing of college shirts each Thursday.

Wearing an IDEA Academy spirit shirt on Fridays is also encouraged.

Thank you, families, for your support. We will take these unique circumstances and turn them into a rewarding new year. That is exactly the kind of thing that Innovators do! Take care of yourselves. You continue to be so dearly missed!

Go, Innovators!

Laura Duran



Upcoming Events

News & Announcements

The Palmdale General Plan Update continues! The City of Palmdale is seeking community input on their preferred land use alternative and General Plan Land Use map, which is the blueprint for land uses across Palmdale. A survey is available online at and a live presentation with questions and answers will be held virtually on Thursday, February 4, 2021 from 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM.

COVID-19 continues to be a major concern across our country. Los Angeles County has seen the increase in cases over the past week, and while there are no cases identified by Public Health in the Antelope Valley, we are taking additional steps to keep our school safe for the students, staff and community.

The health and wellness of students, staff, volunteers and families is our highest priority. When any alarming incident like the 2019 novel COVID-19 occurs, we all want honest information. I am writing today to update you on the state of the COVID-19 from our perspective. I also want to share information regarding steps that we are taking to minimize the chance of transmission at our school sites.

The novel COVID-19 has garnered extensive attention worldwide. There are only a very limited number of cases in the United States, but we can expect the number of domestic cases to increase over coming weeks.

At this time, the risk of exposure to Westside students, staff and volunteers is extremely limited but caution should, nonetheless, be observed.

College Wear every Thursday
wear spirit wear every friday
College and Career Ready - Avid Certified
Future Ready - Engineering, STEM, Project Lead the Way
Technology Rich school, 1:1 in 3rd-6th; 2:1 Kinder - 2nd
Character Focused - Service projects, Leadership Groups