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The Compass


I was happy to watch more end of unit presentations this week. Our Junior Kindergarten class did a unit on relationships, including families, friends, communities and cultures. Each student gave their family members a personal and highly descriptive tour of the various projects that were displayed in the classroom. Our Grade 2/3 class did a unit called "Crossing Cultures". Each student gave a presentation on a specific country that they had researched. In many of the presentations the students used slide shows and these were extremely well done. These end of unit events are not only celebrations of the work done during the unit but also give our students a chance to practice public speaking and presentation skills which help them learn to be good communicators.

This month we are focusing on the learner profile of being a communicator. Being a good communicator is a very important skill to have and our teachers strive to give their students many opportunities to develop a wide variety of communication skills. The IB defines a good communicator as one who expresses themself confidently and creatively in more than one language and in many ways. It includes the ability to collaborate effectively and listen carefully to the perspectives of other individuals and groups. 


Communicators at GPS


An important component of the GPS mission is to ‘build community’ and communication is critical to achieving this. To quote Rollo May, a well know American existential psychologist:


“Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing.”

In the learning environment, communication is all about the sharing of ideas. Our students in Grade 4/5 have been doing an excellent job of this in connection with their literacy program. After reading a book, the students shared their impressions in both written and artistic format. I was greatly impressed by the creativity and originality that Ms. Green’s class has shown.


I encourage you to watch the following short video which gives a good overview of the communicator profile.



At our next whole school assembly on October 30, we will present IB Learner Profile Awards to students who have been excellent communicators this past month.

Art Corner

Second and Third grade students learned about positive and negative space while

creating jack-o-lanterns. We had so much fun making funny, scary, and silly jack-o-lantern faces.  

Staff Spotlight

Meet Caryn Allen


This week we would like to showcase another of the outstanding GPS faculty. Caryn started her journey in the world of Preschool education about 20 years ago when she got her first job as a preschool teacher. She began working at CHA about 2 years ago as an EDC teacher for preschoolers before we moved to this campus and became GPS. She is currently one of the teachers in the Junior Kindergarten room. Caryn says,“I have always had a passion for kids and I absolutely love what I do every day. I always come to work with a positive attitude, excited to see the kids. The way their minds work and watching them grow, for me, is one of the reasons I love teaching. They are the next generation and we, the teachers, are here to make sure they have the tools they need to succeed and learn while having lots of fun!!”We are fortunate to have such an experienced and dedicated teacher on the GPS team.

Announcements


Online GPS Scholastic Book Fair: Nov. 2 - 15, 2020

Dear GPS Parents and Families:


The Scholastic Book Fair is back! While the Fair will be exclusively held online this year, we still plan on making it a fun and joyous experience for our kids. Features include:

  • Granada Preparatory School's own online store, with a large selection of titles, at the right price points

  • A Virtual Fair so you and your family can experience the magic of the school shopping experience. Browse titles by grade, meet popular authors, and discover the comfort and joy of our Fair

  • Every dollar you spend will benefit our school directly (25% back in rewards!)

Save these dates and view our school’s Fair site:

Fair Dates: Monday, November 2 – Sunday, November 15, 2020

Online Store: https://www.scholastic.com/bf/gpsschool

We can’t wait to “see” you at the Fair beginning Nov. 2!

Boo Grams


From October 13 to 28 the GPS 8th Grade students will be holding a fundraiser called Boo-Grams to raise funds for the Halloween Drive-through that they are creating as part of their design class as well as for their Legacy Gift. For $1 each, students, parents and teachers can send a ghostly treat with a pre-printed message to a student, friend, or teacher at GPS. Boo grams will be delivered on Friday, October 30 at the Drive-Thru event.


Halloween Drive-Thru


We will not be able to have a Halloween Carnival this year but that doesn't mean we can't still have a fun, and safe, community event.


As part of their Design Class, the 8th grade students have created a Halloween Drive-Thru experience for all GPS families on Friday, October 30th. The Halloween Drive-Thru will be safe with fun activities to do along the way, while you stay in your car.

*Halloween Trivia *Halloween Scenes *Haunted Tunnel

*Students are encouraged to wear a costume *a photo station.

All students and their families are welcome.

You're sure to have carloads of fun!


October 30 is a Noon dismissal day for grades K-8 (regular day for Early Childhood students)


Drive Thru schedule:

  • 12:15 - Preschool half-day and Preschool On-line (right after 12:00 pick-up)

  • 1:00 - Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grades

  • 1:30 - 3 rd, 4th, and 5th grades

  • 2:00 - 6 th, 7th, and 8th grades

  • 2:30 - Preschool full day, Pre-K, and Jr.-K (right after 2:30 pick-up)

Download the Boo Gram order form and information about the Drive-thru here.


Co-ed basketball practices with Coach B has ongoing registration. Here are the details:

After School Basketball Training Program

Practice Days: 

  • Grades 2-5-- Tuesdays and Thursdays from October 6 through November 19, 2020

  • Grades 6-8-- Mondays and Wednesdays from October 5 through November 18, 2020 (except Veterans Day, Nov. 11)

Time: All practices will be on campus from 3:45 – 5:00 pm


Dress code: Wear appropriate athletic clothing--shorts, t-shirt, and laced sports footwear.


Details: Due to current COVID restrictions, there will be no games played and all students will be required to wear masks. A quick COVID-19 screening and temperature check will be completed before students may enter the campus. 


Program Cost: $125 to be billed to your Smart Tuition account 


Registration Forms: Please use one of these links to sign up


Boys and Girls in grades 2-5: https://forms.gle/RDM3uEdPfL5xfGGx8


Boys and Girls in grades 6-8: https://forms.gle/6cxexsP8zbrCkF2NA


From the Head of School


On Thursday GPS participated in the Great Shakeout. This is a national day for earthquake preparedness with organizations, businesses and schools across the country participating in a simulation of an earthquake. This drill, as well as all of the emergency drills we do throughout the year, gives us an opportunity to put into practice our evacuation plan, schoolwide communication, and emergency procedures we have established to keep everyone on our campus safe. We were only able to practice with our preschoolers but our drill went smoothly. Please take this time to make sure your family has a plan and is prepared in case of an emergency. You can find information about the Great ShakeOut on their website as well as resources to help you prepare at home.


Creativity at GPS


This week I participated in a video meeting with our 8th Grade class to discuss their Design project, which they are doing with Mr. Mendoza. The object of the project is to plan the Fall Festival using the design cycle. This is a unit project that 8th graders have been doing every fall since we started with the International Baccalaureate Program some years ago. This year, however, was different as the project had to work around the restrictions imposed by COVID 19. In fact it required our students to do some creative problem solving. In other words we were asking our students to follow our school mission and “THINK CREATIVELY”.

At GPS we believe in the importance of giving our students the opportunity to exercise their natural creativity in all aspects of our program. One of the world’s experts on creativity in education, Sir Ken Robinson, states:


“Creativity is possible in all areas of human life, in science, the arts, mathematics, technology, cuisine, teaching, politics, business, you name it. And like many human capacities, our creative powers can be cultivated and refined. Being creative is not just about having off-the-wall ideas and letting your imagination run free. It may involve all of that, but it also involves refining, testing, and focusing what you’re doing. It’s about original thinking on the part of the individual, and it’s also about judging critically whether the work in process is taking the right shape and is worthwhile, at least for the person producing it”


Much of Ken Robinson’s ideas about education are well incorporated into the educational philosophy of both the IB and GPS. For example, he also underscores the importance of reflection, another of the important components of the IB and, in fact, one of our learner profiles. To hear more Ken Robinson’s ideas on creativity I encourage you to watch his interview on CBS.


Parent Teacher Conferences


For the past two days we have had parent-teacher conferences, both on-campus and on-line. These meetings followed the mid-term progress reports that were sent out earlier in the week and gave both teachers and parents a point of reference in discussing student progress up to this point. It is important that clear goals are set early in the year and that the communication with our families supports student growth. In this year, even more so than in the past, the collaboration with our parents in essential as we move forward with our distance learning program. 


Parent Survey

We were delighted by the fact that the surveys received represented 86.4% of our student population. Apart from the responses to the specific questions, we were happy to get a lot of additional feedback in the comments sections. This is invaluable information for us and will help us in our own evaluation of program delivery. Here is a brief summary of the survey:

  1. The first question was about work assigned. Homework is very subjective and finding the right measure is hard at the best of times when the students are in the classroom, and much more challenging with on-line teaching.  However, of the responses 87.6% thought the amount was good/excellent, 8.9% felt it was satisfactory and a small percentage felt it was unsatisfactory. Some concerns were more about timelines being too short.

  2. The amount of feedback given by teachers to students was also well received with 80.7% indicating good/excellent, 12.3% being satisfied and 7% seeing a need for improvement.

  3. With distance learning, we know how much is being asked of our parents to support the learning process. Based on the survey we see that 47.7% feel the amount of support is appropriate, 33.3% say it is manageable, 10.5% say it is substantial but still manageable and 8.8% say it is a lot and hard to manage. Hopefully some productive discussions were had during the conferences. 

  4. The school’s communication and organization in implementing the distance learning program was seen as good to excellent by 82.4 % of the responses, satisfactory by 10.5% and in need of improvement by 4.8%. Some commented favorably on the Managebac program but others were not so thrilled.

  5. For the question about how your child is responding to the distance-learning program, 66.7% indicated excellent to good adjustment, 15.8% were satisfied and 19.3% were having some to significant difficulty. Concerns ranged from technology related issues to that of keeping students focused.

  6. The distance-learning program had naturally caused an impact on family routines and work commitments. How families have been able to adapt depends very much on a broad series of factors that are very subjective. With all that, 29.8% indicated that they were able to adapt easily, 49.1% had to make some adjustments, 12.3% needed to make significant adjustments, 8.8% had difficulty or significant difficulty in adapting to the distance learning program.

  7. GPS has developed a Pandemic Response Plan and COVID Safety Protocols for a return to campus when this is possible. 77.2% are in general or total agreement with the plan, 19.3% feel it is satisfactory and 3.5% do not agree with the plan.

  8. On the question about sending students for on-campus instruction, 56.1% will definitely or probably send their children, 40.4% are still uncertain and 3.5% will not send their child at this point in time.

Our Administrative team will review all of your feedback to see where we can address some of the issues that have been brought up. If you would like to have a follow-up conversation with the Head of School about your concerns, please send an email to pmetzger@gpsschool.org. 

Art Corner





The second and third graders started a new unit: "Sparking Change". To kick off the unit in art, they learned about the Italian artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo. He sparked change when he decided to do something different; paint portraits made entirely out of food! The students created their own works of art by drawing, collaging pictures and gluing real food onto their portraits. So surreal!



Staff Spotlight

Meet Tom Boulanger (Coach B)


This week we would like to showcase another of the outstanding GPS faculty, Thomas Boulanger. Tom is a New England transplant who moved to Southern California permanently in 1993. A Beach Boys fan as a boy, he moved to California because of the beaches and warm weather. Known by all students as Coach B, he began working for GPS/CHA in 2007. Not only has Coach B been a teacher here at CHA/GPS but also a parent of a CHA graduate. His daughter, Faith, graduated in 2017 after attending CHA since preschool. 


Before becoming a teacher, Coach B was Youth Program Director at the North Valley YMCA, developing youth fitness programs for children ages 3-15, as well as developing PE programs for several local LAUSD elementary schools. While working at the YMCA Coach B completed his psychology undergraduate studies at Cal State University Northridge. Coach B is a huge supporter of Matador athletics, although, that may change when his daughter, Faith, begins playing college basketball next year. 

Coach B’s philosophy is that fitness and athletics should be for every student not just for the gifted athlete but also for the student with limited physical abilities. All students should develop a life-long love for fitness and a healthy lifestyle. When not teaching at GPS Coach B enjoys playing competitive sports, cooking, and most importantly spending time with his family.


Coach B is currently running the after school basketball clinic for students Grades 3-8. Although there are no competitive school sports at the moment, our students are having fun and are getting ready for the season when it opens up.

Announcements


Online GPS Scholastic Book Fair: Nov. 2 - 15, 2020

Dear GPS Parents and Families:


The Scholastic Book Fair is back! While the Fair will be exclusively held online this year, we still plan on making it a fun and joyous experience for our kids. Features include:

  • Granada Preparatory School's own online store, with a large selection of titles, at the right price points

  • A Virtual Fair so you and your family can experience the magic of the school shopping experience. Browse titles by grade, meet popular authors, and discover the comfort and joy of our Fair

  • Every dollar you spend will benefit our school directly (25% back in rewards!)

Save these dates and view our school’s Fair site:

Fair Dates: Monday, November 2 – Sunday, November 15, 2020

Online Store: https://www.scholastic.com/bf/gpsschool

We can’t wait to “see” you at the Fair beginning Nov. 2!

Boo Grams


From October 13 to 28 the GPS 8th Grade students will be holding a fundraiser called Boo-Grams to raise funds for the Halloween Drive-through that they are creating as part of their design class as well as for their Legacy Gift. For $1 each, students, parents and teachers can send a ghostly treat with a pre-printed message to a student, friend, or teacher at GPS. Boo grams will be delivered on Friday, October 30 at the Drive-Thru event.


Halloween Drive-Thru


We will not be able to have a Halloween Carnival this year but that doesn't mean we can't still have a fun, and safe, community event.


As part of their Design Class, the 8th grade students have created a Halloween Drive-Thru experience for all GPS families on Friday, October 30th. The Halloween Drive-Thru will be safe with fun activities to do along the way, while you stay in your car.

*Halloween Trivia *Halloween Scenes *Haunted Tunnel

*Students are encouraged to wear a costume *a photo station.

All students and their families are welcome.

You're sure to have carloads of fun!


October 30 is a Noon dismissal day for grades K-8 (regular day for Early Childhood students)


Drive Thru schedule:

  • 12:15 - Preschool half-day and Preschool On-line (right after 12:00 pick-up)

  • 1:00 - Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grades

  • 1:30 - 3 rd, 4th, and 5th grades

  • 2:00 - 6 th, 7th, and 8th grades

  • 2:30 - Preschool full day, Pre-K, and Jr.-K (right after 2:30 pick-up)

Download the Boo Gram order form and information about the Drive-thru here.


Co-ed basketball practices with Coach B has ongoing registration. Here are the details:

After School Basketball Training Program

Practice Days: 

  • Grades 2-5-- Tuesdays and Thursdays from October 6 through November 19, 2020

  • Grades 6-8-- Mondays and Wednesdays from October 5 through November 18, 2020 (except Veterans Day, Nov. 11)

Time: All practices will be on campus from 3:45 – 5:00 pm


Dress code: Wear appropriate athletic clothing--shorts, t-shirt, and laced sports footwear.


Details: Due to current COVID restrictions, there will be no games played and all students will be required to wear masks. A quick COVID-19 screening and temperature check will be completed before students may enter the campus. 


Program Cost: $125 to be billed to your Smart Tuition account 


Registration Forms: Please use one of these links to sign up


Boys and Girls in grades 2-5: https://forms.gle/RDM3uEdPfL5xfGGx8


Boys and Girls in grades 6-8: https://forms.gle/6cxexsP8zbrCkF2NA


From the Head of School


Today marks the halfway point of our first trimester and over the next week or so most of our classes will be ending their first IB Unit. Breaking up our academic program into units is a characteristic of the IB, which provides a framework within which we fit our curriculum. This framework is consistent in all IB schools around the world and is one of the features that make this program so powerful as a learning approach that has both structure and flexibility. The end of every unit is always accompanied with a summative assessment which often includes a student presentation of a unit project. 

Today I was delighted to watch our 4th graders give their end of unit presentations. This unit is on the influence of geography on social, political and natural climates, and like all IB units is very broad based and allows for student inquiry to go in many directions. Students put together a slide show as a final project working from articles and videos provided by their teacher Ms. Green, along with their individual research, and using skills learned in their IT class,. They also enhanced their understanding of physical geography by creating a map of the regions, as seen in the photo of Brandon proudly displaying his work. Over the next few weeks I look forward to sharing with you what our other classes have done for their units.  


Another one of the powerful aspects of the IB Program is the Learner Profile. These are the characteristics of a learner that great IB schools, like GPS, promote on a daily basis. In all of our classes this month we have been focusing on the ‘Inquirer’ Profile since it is our goal to allow students to develop their natural curiosity. We help students to acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research and show independence in learning. Students should actively enjoy learning and this love of learning will thus be sustained throughout their lives. At today’s assembly we recognized some students who in the past month have exemplified the characteristic of being an inquirer. Certificates for these students will be given out during the Parent-Teacher Conferences.


For more information on the IB Learner Profile, please watch this short video:


Parent Survey


This week we sent out our start-of-the year parent survey and I thank those of you who have already completed it. This is very important for us and I hope that we will receive a survey from every family with a student in the distance leaning program.  If you have not already done so, please take a few minutes to reply to the Distance Learning Survey, Fall 2020 to help us out. The survey will stay open until Wednesday, October 14 and we will report on the results in the next COMPASS.


Also this week the LA County Department of Public Health initiated a waiver program for students in Kinder to 2nd grade. GPS is submitting an application but we do not expect to be granted authorization for some weeks as the DPH will only approve 30 waivers per week with priority given to schools with high risk student populations defined by students eligible for free or reduced lunch services. As always, I will keep you up to date with developments on this front. 


Parent Teacher Conferences


Next week we will have Parent-teachers Conferences on Thursday and Friday. Thursday will be a half-day with noon dismissal and on Friday there will be no classes. These meetings are extremely important for parents to get a clear understanding of how their child has started the school year and establish some goals for the rest of the year. If you are coming on campus for the meeting, please use the main parking lot and wear a face mask when attending the meetings. 

Art Corner

4th graders were inspired by Van Gogh to create their own version of Starry Night. We created contrast in our work by using warm and cool colors in the night sky. We used cross hatching lines to show farmland in California's central valley region where farmers grow crops.  We added farms, barns, and silos to complete our picture.

Staff Spotlight

Meet Jennifer Ramirez


Each week we have been introducing a member of our talented and dedicated faculty. This week we are pleased to introduce Miss Jennifer Ramirez.  Miss Jennifer has been teaching preschool at First Pres., now GPS, for 10 years. She enjoys the school because of the openness to new ideas and the family environment, which she thinks is very important to make connections with our students' families. She started at First Pres. single and now she has a family of her own. She currently has a 4 year old daughter, Scarlett, enrolled in the three day Kinder Prep class at GPS and she loves her class. Miss Jennifer soon will be a mommy of two. She is expecting her second daughter in November and is very excited and ready to meet her! When she’s not at school, Miss Jennifer enjoys scrapbooking, spending time with her family, and getting as much sleep as she can for now, because soon she will have her hands full with a newborn. We are fortunate to have Miss Jennifer on our team and wish her all the best on the birth of her baby girl.

Announcements


Boo Grams

From October 13 to 28 the GPS 8th Grade students will be holding a fundraiser called Boo-Grams to raise funds for the Halloween Drive-through that they are creating as part of their design class as well as for their Legacy Gift. For $1 each, students, parents and teachers can send a ghostly treat with a pre-printed message to a student, friend, or teacher at GPS. Boo grams will be delivered on Friday, October 30 at the Drive-Thru event.

Halloween Drive-Thru

We will not be able to have a Halloween Carnival this year but that doesn't mean we can't still have a fun, and safe, community event.


As part of their Design Class, the 8th grade students have created a Halloween Drive-Thru experience for all GPS families on Friday, October 30th. The Halloween Drive-Thru will be safe with fun activities to do along the way, while you stay in your car.


*Halloween Trivia *Halloween Scenes *Haunted Tunnel

*Students are encouraged to wear a costume *a photo station.

All students and their families are welcome.

You're sure to have carloads of fun!


October 30 is a Noon dismissal day for grades K-8 (regular day for Early Childhood students)


Drive Thru schedule:

  • 12:15 - Preschool half-day and Preschool On-line (right after 12:00 pick-up)

  • 1:00 - Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grades

  • 1:30 - 3 rd, 4th, and 5th grades

  • 2:00 - 6 th, 7th, and 8th grades

  • 2:30 - Preschool full day, Pre-K, and Jr.-K (right after 2:30 pick-up)

Download the Boo Gram order form and information about the Drive-thru here.


After School Basketball Training Program

Co-ed basketball practices with Coach B has ongoing registration. Here are the details:


Practice Days: 

  • Grades 2-5-- Tuesdays and Thursdays from October 6 through November 19, 2020

  • Grades 6-8-- Mondays and Wednesdays from October 5 through November 18, 2020 (except Veterans Day, Nov. 11)

Time: All practices will be on campus from 3:45 – 5:00 pm


Dress code: Wear appropriate athletic clothing--shorts, t-shirt, and laced sports footwear.


Details: Due to current COVID restrictions, there will be no games played and all students will be required to wear masks. A quick COVID-19 screening and temperature check will be completed before students may enter the campus. 


Program Cost: $125 to be billed to your Smart Tuition account 


Registration Forms: Please use one of these links to sign up


Boys and Girls in grades 2-5: https://forms.gle/RDM3uEdPfL5xfGGx8

Boys and Girls in grades 6-8: https://forms.gle/6cxexsP8zbrCkF2NA

Granada Preparatory School
818.368.7254
10400 Zelzah Avenue, Northridge, CA 91326
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