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The Compass

From the Head of School

February is Black History month and all of our classes will incorporate this theme into the academic program in a number of ways. For example, in our Grade K/1 class, students read the book, Tar Beach, by Harlem born artist and children’s author Faith Ringgold. Connecting this to Art class, the students created drawings that were inspired by Tar Beach. Examples like this will be occurring throughout the month at GPS, and at our assembly at the end of the month we will showcase some of the work done by our students. The assembly is set for Friday, February 26th at 8:30 and I encourage you to participate.

If you are interested in Tar Beach, here is the book read by the author.


The following link will take you to a website where you can explore a well-chosen list of illustrated books for children that embrace black history and identity.

https://childrenslibrarylady.com/books-black-history-and-identity/

Main Parking Lot Closed on February 9th


A film crew from Netflix will be using our parking lot on Tuesday, February 9th and the lot will be closed off all day. On this date please drop off and pick up your children using the side gate by the Preschool section. The check in for all students will be through this gate. The entrance is off of Zelzah Ave. to the left of the sanctuary. There is a small parking lot and you can also park on the side of the lane. A staff member will be there to help direct you. This is a one day only event.


GPS is Growing

With the start of the new calendar year we are seeing some growth in our Preschool enrollment. This is a normal process as children start to become ready to attend school and we see this pattern every year. We will continue to follow all of our school safety protocols to ensure that our growth is managed and does not compromise the high standards that we have set for our community. In the meantime, we are looking to add another part-time teacher assistant to our faculty. If you know of anyone please feel free to have them contact the Head of School.

GPS Memory Book for 2020-21 – Cover Competition


This year we will not be producing the traditional yearbook. Instead we will be commemorating this unusual school year with a memory book, which we will produce as a collaborative effort. Each student will be asked to collaborate (some with parental help) with photos, poems, artwork or written statements/reflections. More details on what, when and where will be sent out in the weeks ahead.


To start with we are looking for a cover design. Themes for design could be anything related to the COVID pandemic, distance learning, safer at home, social distancing and masks, etc.. Students are asked to create their own original artwork to be used as the cover of the publication. I suggest using 8.5 X 11 paper size, however, a larger size will work as we will be working from a jpeg.


Students of any grade level can submit their designs as a jpeg attachment to gmitas@gpsschool.org by February 28th.




From the Head of School


This week Public Health Department Director, Barbara Ferrer, said that Elementary school campuses in Los Angeles County could be eligible to reopen in two to three weeks if countywide coronavirus infection rates continue to drop. This has been picked up by local news sources and you may have seen this in the LA Times or on TV. This is, of course, good news and we hope that this trend continues and the authorization to re-open all elementary grades by the county is granted. In the meantime, GPS has a plan in place, has already received its waiver and thus would be able to move quickly on a re-opening process. To this end, we have completed and filed the newly required California State COVID-19 Safety Plan (CPS) and posted this on our website. We are also encouraged by the push, both at the state as well as national level, to accelerate COVID vaccinations for teachers. Although I am immensely proud of the quality of our distance learning program, I eagerly await the return to normal, or at least somewhat normal, school life in the near future.

Today, at our end of month assembly, we presented Learner Profile Awards to a number of students across all the grade levels. 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 ’Balanced’. It is our goal to guide students to understand the importance of balancing different aspects of our lives, such as the intellectual, physical, and emotional. Our program and activities are designed to help students to achieve well-being for themselves and others and to recognize their interdependence with other people and with the world in which they live. At today’s assembly we recognized some students who in the past month have exemplified the characteristic of being balanced.

For more information on what being balanced means as an IB Learner Profile, I encourage you to watch this short video:


The following link will take you to a website where you can explore illustrated balanced books for children to see characters struggling with a balanced life but also learning how to bring this balance in their life. 32 of the Best Books for Balanced Children


GPS Memory Book for 2020-21 – Cover Competition


This year we will not be producing the traditional yearbook. Instead we will be commemorating this unusual school year with a memory book, which we will produce as a collaborative effort. Each student will be asked to collaborate (some with parental help) with photos, poems, artwork or written statements/reflections. More details on what, when and where will be sent out in the weeks ahead.


To start with we are looking for a cover design. Themes for design could be anything related to the COVID pandemic, distance learning, safer at home, social distancing and masks, etc.. Students are asked to create their own original artwork to be used as the cover of the publication. I suggest using 8.5 X 11 paper size, however, a larger size will work as we will be working from a jpeg.


Students of any grade level can submit their designs as a jpeg attachment to gmitas@gpsschool.org by February 28th.

Get Your GPS Logo Apparel


Show your school spirit and improve your wardrobe with our official GPS logo apparel. To order yours go to this website.

GPS Cares

Sweet Treats


In February we will be sharing how members of the GPS Community are making a difference, both big and small. If you are looking for a way to participate we found something sweet you can do right here in Granada Hills.

Just around the corner from GPS you will find a delightful candy shop called AusSam Candy. They have partnered with Maiden Community to collect handmade Valentine Cards and socks to deliver to Senior Centers all over the Valley. Cards and socks can be dropped off at AusSam Candy (17812 Chatsworth St.) until February 5th. And while you are there you can support their small business by purchasing the sweetest Valentine treats for your special someone or yourself!


What can you do to make the world a better place?

  • Create a free neighborhood library

  • Write positive chalkboard messages on your sidewalk

  • Put up a sign with an inspiring message on your window

  • Send needed items to a shelter

  • Put out snacks for delivery people

  • Write letters to those in need or to thank front line workers

  • Donate toys, books or clothing

  • Send cards or letters to family that you cannot be with

  • Bake cookies for a neighbor

We are looking for stories from anyone in our community that shows us taking action, big or small. A photo and a brief description can be emailed to gmitas@gpsschool.org.

Student Council News

Faculty Spotlight


Meet Gina Boulanger

This week we would like to showcase Gina Boulanger, who joined us this fall to support our Language Arts and Math programs in grades K-3. Gina Boulanger (aka Ms. Gina & Mrs. B) grew up in Bakersfield, CA, but moved to Northridge to attend CSUN for music education and never left the Valley. She has been in the education field for nearly her entire adult, and even teen years.

Prior to GPS, Gina taught at a local preschool where she later became the director and administrator. Her credentials include certificates in Early Childhood Education & Administration from UCLA. She has also owned a small virtual assistant business and worked with clients in several industries.

Gina is married to Coach B and they have two daughters: Faith, age 17 (CHA '17) and Rubimae aged 11. Her hobbies include watching and coaching softball and volleyball, watching Faith play basketball (soon to be a CSUSB 'Yote), playing guitar and ukulele, and various crafts such as crochet, baking, and making natural lotions and lip balms. She says that she “looks forward to being in the classroom with my students soon and I can't wait to see everyone in person!”

We at GPS are fortunate to have Gina Boulanger on our team!


From the Head of School

Thus far, January has been full of activity and events. This past week we had the Martin Luther King holiday, a Pet Day organized by our Student Council, the first in a series of unit presentations, and not to mention the inauguration of our new President and Vice President of the United States. More unit presentations are planned in the week ahead and you will be able to watch these through a link in next week’s COMPASS. We also began working on our Middle School musical that is part of our electives program. This year we are doing ‘The Lion King’ and are planning to give a video, or hopefully live performance, towards the end of the school year. More details on this will surely follow in the weeks ahead.


Our next GPS all-school virtual assembly is scheduled for next Friday at 8:30 on Google Meet with the code ‘Assembly’. We will be giving out Learner Profile awards for Balanced, which has been our focused theme for the month of January.


GPS Memory Book for 2020-21 – Cover Competition


This year we will not be producing the traditional yearbook. Instead we will be commemorating this unusual school year with a memory book, which we will produce as a collaborative effort. Each student will be asked to collaborate (some with parental help) with photos, poems, artwork or written statements/reflections. More details on what, when and where will be sent out in the weeks ahead.


To start with we are looking for a cover design. Themes for design could be anything related to the COVID pandemic, distance learning, safer at home, social distancing and masks, etc.. Students are asked to create their own original artwork to be used as the cover of the publication. I suggest using 8.5 X 11 paper size, however, a larger size will work as we will be working from a jpeg.


Students of any grade level can submit their designs as a jpeg attachment to gmitas@gpsschool.org by February 28th.


GPS Cares

Thinking about connecting GPS to the community, and showcasing our caring community, we are adding a new feature on the Compass called GPS Cares. The goal is to share how our students, staff and families contribute to truly making our community, and our world, a better place. We will feature stories in the weekly newsletter in February but hope to continue once a month. Here are the types of stories we are looking for:

What can you do to make the world a better place?

  • Create a free neighborhood library

  • Write positive chalkboard messages on your sidewalk

  • Put up a sign with an inspiring message on your window

  • Send needed items to a shelter

  • Put out snacks for delivery people

  • Write letters to those in need or to thank front line workers

  • Donate toys or clothing

  • Send cards or letters to family that you cannot be with

  • Bake cookies for a neighbor

We are looking for stories from anyone in our community that shows us taking action, big or small. A photo and a brief description can be emailed to gmitas@gpsschool.org.

Art Corner

Artwork by: Jill D., Brandon F., Aidan S.P.

4th grade did an inquiry into the struggle to share finite resources with other people and living things. We used the trees and other natural resources around us to create a work of art inspired by artist, naturalist, and conservationist Andy Goldsworthy.

Staff Spotlight

Meet Ms. Claudia

This week we would like to showcase our newest member of the Preschool faculty, Claudia Mejia-Fuentes. Claudia joined us right after the winter break when we split the Yellow Room into two groups and added on the Blue Room. She is no stranger to the GPS campus, having worked in the FPPS preschool from 2015 to 2017. Claudia is also closely connected to the school through her sister-in-law, Jennifer Ramirez, who is one of our preschool teachers.


Claudia is very qualified to work with our youngest students. She has a BA in Psychology from CSUN and has previously used her knowledge of developmental and behavioral psychology in working with children at the YMCA and with Behavior Frontiers. She is also a mother and has twin girls who are just over a year old. We are very fortunate to have Claudia on the GPS team.

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