The Compass

From the Head of School

This week saw the return of all of the Lower School classes. The GPS campus is again buzzing with activity in the classrooms and on the playgrounds, and the excitement has been felt by all. The news of our return to on-campus instruction has also been heard by the greater community, and this week we welcomed seven new students to the school. We now look forward to seeing our Middle School students when their on-campus classes start this coming Monday. Students who are not able to return to campus are continuing with remote learning and participate with their classmates and teachers online.

5th Grade Exhibition Unit Begins

Our 5th grade class wasted no time in gearing up for their next unit of inquiry, which is the highlight of the year, and indeed the entire Primary Years Program. This is the Exhibition Unit, where students work in small groups to pick a topic that they are interested in, carry out research and present their findings to classmates and parents at the end of the unit. Each group has a mentor that guides the group in their work and meets with them a couple of times each week to check on progress. As such, this becomes a community endeavor with various members of the GPS faculty and staff involved in the mentoring.

2021-2022 School Calendar

We are now ready to share our school calendar for 2021-22. The GPS campus will be open for classes on Wednesday, August 25 and the school year will run through to Friday June 3rd, 2022. Here is the complete calendar.

Learner Profile for March

In all of our classes this month we will focus on the attribute of being ‘principled’. As defined by the IB, students who are principled act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness, justice and respect for the dignity of the individual, groups and communities. They take responsibility for their own actions and the consequences that accompany them. Universities and colleges have found that in general, IB students are infused with the academic integrity that is a fundamental value of post-secondary education.

Parents can help to develop students who are principled at home. Here are some things you can do:

  1. Connect behavior to character.

  2. Provide opportunities for your child to make their own decisions, discuss the consequences of their decisions.

  3. Read and tell stories in which the story characters demonstrate making principled decisions.

  4. Discuss how being principled is life long commitment and well sought after as a characteristic to have.

Here you can find some good books on integrity and being principled.

End of Trimester and Parent Teacher Conferences

Today is the last day of the 2nd trimester. Report cards will be sent to you this coming Thursday so that you will have them as a focus for discussion at the parent-teacher conferences, which take place next week. Please remember that the school day will end at noon on Thursday, March 11th and we be closed all day Friday, March 12th for the conference schedule.

Student Council News

8th Grade Community Project

The big news that everyone is excited about is the start of in-person classes for Grades 2-5 starting this Monday, March 1, and for Grades 6-8 on March 8. After a almost one year of distance learning, students and their teachers are eager to see each other in person on a day-to-day basis. Naturally we have had to impose many procedures to ensure for the safety of our community. Please read carefully all of the communications that we have sent out over the past few weeks and refer to the documents that we have posted on our website. Although there will be tremendous excitement on Monday morning when we arrive at school, I ask all of you to make sure that we are wearing masks and exercising the correct social distancing. We will be spending much effort to get our students to follow the best COVID practices and we ask that you support and model this at home and in the school parking lot. Another item of good news is that teacher vaccinations are moving forward at a good rate. LA County has declared March 7 as teacher vaccination day at all of their clinics. Many of our staff and teachers have already been active in finding vaccination opportunities and already over 50% have either received their first shot or have an appointment within the next few days.

Celebrate Black History

Today we celebrated Black History Month with a mega on-line assembly with every student involved. This was a fantastic assembly celebrating an important part of our community and all of our students went above and beyond in their enthusiasm and presentations. All the GPS teachers came up with unique and creative ways to showcase and honor the accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history. A big thank you to Gioconda Mitas who spent countless hours putting together the video presentations and jumping through all the problem-solving hurdles that came up. Learner Profile Awards for February The learner profile is made up of ten attributes, or characteristics, that all IB schools promote on a daily basis. In all of our classes this month we have been focusing on the attribute of being ’open minded’. It is our goal to guide students to understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories, and be open to the perspectives, values and traditions of other individuals and communities. Our program and activities are designed to help students be accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of points of view, and are willing to grow from the experience. At today’s assembly we recognized some students who in the past month have exemplified the characteristic of being open minded. The following video is a great summary of the IB trait of being open-minded:

Also, here is a delightful song about keeping an open mind:

Parent Teacher Conferences Our Spring Conferences are scheduled for March 11 & 12. Look for an email early next week with sign up instructions. There will be no classes in the afternoon on March 11, and on March 12 there are no classes scheduled for the entire day.

8th Grade Community Project

Information for one of the 8th Grade Community Projects can be found below. From Kayden M. and Isabella D.

From the Head of School

As we look forward to the long weekend ahead, we have three important events to celebrate, Valentines Day, Presidents’ Day and the Lunar New Year. This has naturally given our teachers and students a lot of themes to focus on and I am happy to see the wealth of creative activity in the school.

Our Student Council has declared today as a dress up day with students invited to show up for their classes wearing ‘Valentines’ colors or patriotic attire. On campus this week we have seen Preschoolers make dragon masks, Junior Kindergartners make Valentines cards for their parents, and Kindergartners/1st graders make “Love” posters, no mention just a few activities.

Today our Virtual Cooking Club, organized by the student council, had its first meeting. Our guest chef for this event was Mrs. Shibel, who led the participants through the making of snicker doodles. The club meets Fridays at 2:45 and is open to students in grades 4-8. Each week the club members will learn a new recipe.

Learner Profile - Open Minded

Our IB Learner Profile focus for the month of February is open-minded. Students who are open-minded understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories, and are open to the perspectives, values and traditions of other individuals and communities. They are accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of points of view, and are willing to grow from the experience. In all of our classes, GPS teachers will help our students embrace this concept at a level that is developmentally appropriate. At home, parents can also support our learner profile of the month and help develop students who are open-minded through the following activities:

  • Model open and accepting behavior for all humans

  • Nurture respect and love for all living things

  • Expose your child to a variety of cultural experiences

  • Read and tell stories from around the world

  • Watch movies that show other countries cultures

  • Listen to a variety of types of music

  • Read and write different forms of poetry

  • Learn about how different cultures celebrate holidays

  • Prepare and taste foods from other countries

The following link will take you to a website where you can explore a well-chosen list of illustrated children's books that deal with the idea of being open-minded.


WASC Accreditation and IB Evaluation

During the 2021-22 school year we will be hosting two external visiting teams to renew our accreditation status and IB authorization. These are scheduled visits in accordance with the normal cycle and are required of all schools that are part of these organizations. The IB Evaluation visit will take place in the fall and the WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) accreditation visit will take place in the spring. Work is currently underway in preparing the self-study reports for each of these organizations. The self-study process will involve the participation of all components of the school community and the findings will be made public to the entire community. In the near future we will be sending out a survey to all parents to get important feedback that we will need for the reports. I will keep you up-to-date on all the details of the accreditation and evaluation through the COMPASS. If you have any questions please send them to me directly at pmetzger@gpsschool.org.

GPS Celebrates

Lunar New Year

Today marks the start of the Spring Festival based on the lunar calendar, which begins on the first new moon of the year. Families celebrate this time of renewal with fireworks, family and food. 2021 will be the year of the Ox. Known as hard workers, intelligent and reliable, Oxen think logically and make great leaders.

The Kwon Family, William (PS), shares how they celebrate Lunar New Year in both Chinese and Korean traditions.

(Left) Enjoying home-made dumplings is a popular tradition during Chinese New Year.

(Right) Traditional Korean cloths (Hanbok) is what children in South Korea wear on Lunar New Year's Day.

Gong hei fat choy!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy President's Day!

Granada Preparatory School
10400 Zelzah Avenue, Northridge, CA 91326
  • Facebook
  • Instagram