The Compass

From the Head of School

We are only two weeks away from the end of the school year and what an unusual year 2020-21 has been. Planning for the next year has been in full swing for some time now. In the theme of getting back to normal, we will be opening the GPS library this fall. Last week we sent out an invitation for library volunteers and we are still looking for more parents that might be interested in joining the library team. We are also planning on re-instating our Parent Teacher Organization, which was dormant this year due to COVID. It's a wonderful way to get involved, plan fun activities and give back to GPS. If you are interested in helping out the school in either of these ways, please send an email to our office at office@gpsschool.org.

Today our Middle School students are busy getting ready for the performance of the Lion King, Jr.. All students and parents are invited to see this well-known and fun musical on Thursday afternoon at 5:00 pm. However, we ask that you reserve your seats.

All School Assembly Join us for the last all school assembly of the year on Friday, May 27 at 8:30 a.m. on Google Meet. We will be celebrating birthdays, giving out Learner Profile awards and celebrating our 8th graders. We hope you can join us.

From the Head of School

Our Preschool students have been engaged these past few weeks in a very exciting, and hands on unit on farms. Students have been wondering and learning about how things grow and change. This had led to a variety of great inquiry based activities from planting to milking, and the students are very excited to see the eggs hatch that they have been incubating in the classroom. According to a calculation by Preschool Director and teacher, Miss Mary, this will happen on Monday. Look for exciting pictures in the next week’s COMPASS.

Yesterday we have heard some very encouraging news from the Center of Disease Control. According to the CDC, mask wearing in most cases is no longer necessary for people who have been vaccinated. This is a great development, but at GPS we will continue to wear masks even if we are vaccinated. It is important to be good role models for our students and we ask all parents to continue to wear masks when coming to the school. During the month of May and into the last days of school in June, we are focusing on two IB Learner Profiles. One is that of being a thinker. Students who are thinkers exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to recognize and approach complex problems, and make reasoned, ethical decisions. In our classrooms, every day, we see that our IB students contribute to discussions in a meaningful way. They do not shy away from challenging questions and, once they know the answer, follow up by asking “why?” At home, parents can help to develop students who are thinkers in the following ways:

  1. Encourage your child to engage in pretend play, children are naturally curious and imaginative.

  2. Pause and wait...give your child time to think for him/herself, be patient.

  3. Don't intervene immediately, it's okay to let your child explore on their own.

  4. Ask open-ended questions.

  5. Help children develop hypotheses.

  6. Encourage your child to retell stories, put on plays with story props.

  7. Leave time for unstructured play.

  8. Encourage your child to play and explore outside.

  9. Let your child experience failure, and then let him/her figure out how to turn their failure into a positive learning experience.

The following website has a list of picture books to promote independent thinkers:

One of the consequences of this year’s COVID pandemic, and the resulting safety measures, was the closing of the library to student use. For the 2021-22 school year we will re-open the library. Historically, we have had a team of parent volunteers work in the library to help with its running. We are looking to re-constitute our library volunteer team for the fall. If you would like to help out in the library and have a morning or two free, please send a note to office@gpsschool.org.

Middle School Production of the Lion King All GPS families are invited to the Middle School production of the Lion King that will take place on May 27 at 5:00 pm under the tent in the GPS parking lot. To attend, you must sign up so that we can organize suitable seating arrangements. Look for a special email next week. In the meantime, mark your calendars.

From the Head of School

This week, our 8th graders presented their MYP community service projects. These projects involved our students in a wide range of activities to extend their knowledge and understanding and to develop their skills and attitudes.

In these student-planned learning activities, 8th graders worked in teams and over the past few months:

  • decided what they want to learn about, identified what they already know, and discovered what they would need to know to complete the project

  • created proposals or criteria for their project, planned their time and materials, and recorded developments of the project

  • made decisions, developed understandings and solved problems, communicated with their supervisor and others, and created a product or developed an outcome evaluating the product/outcome and reflected on their project and their learning.

The projects that our students choose were

  1. Cleaning up the Los Angeles River

  2. Protecting the native ecosystem, which included planting trees

  3. Helping with the socialization of children impacted by the COVID imposed school closures and stay at home orders.

The presentations were judged by a panel of faculty and administrators and were a pleasure to watch. I was truly impressed not only with the skills and confidence of our soon-to-be graduates, but also their passion for issues that were important to them. A big thank you to Mrs. Shibel, who was the advisor for the Community Project program and to Mr. Mendoza and Mr. Serrano who were faculty mentors. COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic This week we also had our one-day vaccination clinic. Getting our community vaccinated is very important to the health and safety of our students and we thank Capital Drugs for supporting us all at GPS.

Teacher Appreciation Week GPS faculty and staff felt the love this week. Thank you to our wonderful parent and student community who provided treats and reminders that we are appreciated. We thoroughly enjoyed the bagels, donuts, coffee, Portos danishes, empanadas and lunches, among other fun surprises. We have the best community around and we couldn't be more grateful.