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The Compass



From the Head of School


Making school FUN is not only a sound pedagogical practice to enhance learning, but an avenue for students to exercise their creative juices. Today our Student Council promoted “Dress Up As A Teacher Day” and our students had a lot of fun with their interpretation of some of our faculty members. You can check out some of the fun below.

Middle School Electives Program: Best Song Ever Competition


While there is a lack of things to talk about these days, how about engaging in a discussion on what is “The Best Song Ever?”. This new Middle School elective, created by Middle School Social Studies and Language Arts Teacher, Jed Serrano, gives our students a unique way to analyze, evaluate and discuss a topic that they all are passionate about, their favorite songs. Mr. Serrano describes the course as the clash of the students’ varying musical tastes. Each week, students present their favorite song for a certain genre, which the class evaluates and argues about after mindfully listening to them.  The songs are rated on specific criteria:

A. Instrumental Music

B. Word Music

C. Affect

D. Universality and Timelessness

An additional fifth criterion based on the students’ personal reception is also considered. 


Besides mindful listening, students practice analytical reasoning as well as written and oral communication skills. The learner profile attribute of open-mindedness is emphasized, as the students are lead to exercise fair judgment and, perhaps, joy of discovery. 


There are other joys too. Thus far, there's been plenty of dancing, laughter, surprise, and the sheer pleasure of discovering fresh music. Check out some of the top rated songs thus far: 

  • “Dreams” (1977) by Fleetwood Mac

  • “I Am” (2018) by Jorja Smith 

  • “Yuve Yuve Yu” (2019) by The Hu

As this last one by a Mongolian folk metal band called Hu might be a complete surprise for some of you, you can discover their music on YouTube.


So what do you think is the best song ever? Something to talk about!


GPS Clothing Available

GPS branded polo shirts, t-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies and hats are now available through our school spirit wear website:

https://myactivewear.weebly.com/

Starting in January 2021, we will ask that all students coming to the school for on-campus instruction are dressed in GPS branded clothing. Please refer to the school’s student dress policy, which is included in the Family Handbook on Renweb under the Resources tab. 


Items purchased on the website can be sent to your home with a shipping fee or picked up at the school at no cost.  The later is an option available once you get to check out.

Annual Fund 2020-2021


Here We Go...


Annual Fund letters were mailed to you today. Please look for it in your mailbox. Our goal this year is to raise $25,000 toward our Professional Development fund and Consider making your donation before the end of the year to claim the deduction on your 2020 taxes. Reach out to family that would like to support your child's school during this time. Find out if your employer offers a matching donation program. Your contribution, in any way you can, will make a difference. You can find additional information and make your online donation on our website.


Please join us on this journey.

Student Council News

MEND Project


Caring is one of our IB Learner Profiles and we would like to embark on a school-wide activity that supports the idea of caring for others who are in need. For many years the Student Council has adopted an organization to support during the holiday season. This year we have decided to join the First Presbyterian Church in supporting MEND (Meet Each Need with Dignity), an organization based in the San Fernando Valley who helps impoverished families with food, clothing, and other household items. Our students have volunteered there in the past and we feel that they are an organization worthy of support. When this opportunity was presented to the Student Council, they were all in favor of supporting this organization and it was decided that we would sponsor 6 families. MEND has supplied us with the name and needs of each family, and the families will be assigned to a class or group of classes. You will have already received details about the family that your child’s class is sponsoring as well as how the donations will be organized. All donations will be due by Friday, December 4th. Thank you for your support.

Celebrating GPS


Diwali

by Nital Sannidhi, parent of Nandini ('24) and Shiv ('23)


Diwali is the “festival of lights,” also known as Dipawali. It is India’s biggest holiday. The festival gets its name from the row of clay lamps (called diyas) which are lit during Diwali. It celebrates the triumph of good over evil, and the blessings of victory, freedom, and enlightenment. This year, Diwali will be celebrated on November 14th. 


Wishing you a Happy Diwali! 


Faculty Spotlight


Meet Carol Shibel

This week we would like to showcase our Middle School Principal and Science Teacher, Carol Shibel. We asked Carol to write a few lines about herself for the COMPASS, and she did what she does every day in class, she went above and beyond. Here is what she wrote about herself:

Who am I? I am a wife, a daughter, a mother to 3 and a grandmother to 6. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, being the 3rd generation through my elementary and high schools, grew up in the same house that my father grew up in, and have only lived in 3 different houses my entire life. Clearly, change is not my favorite activity. That might help to explain the fact that I have worked at CHA/GPS my entire teaching career. I was there the first day that CHA opened as NSPC (Neighborhood School Planning Corp.) in Sept. 1978, and helped pack the last boxes for the move to our present campus and a new beginning as GPS this past summer. I knew from the time I was little that I wanted to be a teacher, but it took a while to determine what subject. I started UCLA as a foreign language major but a year in discovered there was a major called Kinesiology, and my fate was decided. I love sports and the outdoors and have always been fascinated with how the human body works. Finding a major that incorporated it all was wonderful. I graduated in 5 years with a Multi Subject credential and a single subject PE credential. I student taught in 1st and 6th grades and was hired as a middle school science teacher by NSPC right out of college. I have taught science ever since along with some PE classes, Pre-Algebra and Algebra, Tech in the early years of the Comodore and Apple computers, and coached soccer, volleyball, and basketball. As long as it was about interacting with and challenging kids, I loved it. When I think about how teaching has changed over time, it is amazing. When I first started, we typed worksheets on typewriters and used ditto machines to run off copies. We used encyclopedias and books to do research. There was no looking it up on the internet – there was no internet. I took one of the school Comodore computers home on the weekend to learn programming to try and stay ahead of my students. Facebook, Instagram, Facetime, Google, and Zoom were nonexistent. Cell Phones were a mystery. I still remember where I saw my first one – a parent on the sidelines of a school flag football game made a call on one and I was fascinated. At that time only top executives had them.  We’ve come a long way since those early days, and I’ve loved the journey. 


In my personal life, I like to travel and one of my bucket list items is to visit all 7 continents. I got one step closer 3 years ago when I met my daughter and son-in-law in South America on their journey around the world and we spent Christmas in Antarctica together. When home, I love hiking, camping, gardening, and crafts. My dogs are my constant companions, always making sure they know where “mom” is.  I also enjoy spending time with family and friends. It is so much fun watching the grand kids grow and develop into wonderful little people as they question and explore their world. 

Announcements



Welcome Baby


We would like to welcome a new member to the GPS family. Miss Jennifer, teacher in the preschool class, delivered a beautiful baby girl on Tuesday, November 10. Congratulations to the Ramirez family on their new addition.


Online GPS Scholastic Book Fair ends this Sunday November 15, 2020


Dear GPS Parents and Families:

The Scholastic Book Fair is running through November 15.

  • 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!)

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



From the Head of School

The big event of this week was the return of our Kindergarten and First Grade class for on-campus instruction. This follows the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health decision to permit in-person instruction for students who would be better served with in-person instruction as long as this did not exceed 25% of the student body. At GPS we felt that the greatest need was for our youngest students to be on campus under the direct guidance of a teacher. To make this happen, GPS has put in place all of the protocols set out in our document, GPS COVID 19 SAFETY PROTOCOLS, which you can find on our website.  This included morning temperature checks, masks, social distancing, separate lunch areas, and the class, or pod, not intersecting with other pods on campus. We have also offered a hybrid program, where students not attending on-campus instruction continue with distance learning. That our program is working so well is a testament to the ability, dedication and teamwork of our faculty and staff. A big round of applause to the entire K/1 teaching staff of Ms. Ignacio, Ms. Boulanger, Ms. Mauro, Ms. Veigel, Mr. Silva, Mr. Mendoza, Coach B and our Lower School Principal, Ms. Collins.


Here is what our students said about their return to on-campus instruction:


Siddhartha: I like being with my friends.

Zoe: I want to become a learned grown up so I can teach my kids.

Idan: I like being in-person with my teacher.



Professional Development

Today’s GPS was closed for a Professional Development Day focused on a number of topics. Our Middle School faculty spent the morning working on our Middle Years Program of the International Baccalaureate. We recently found out that our authorization was successfully transferred from Chatsworth Hills Academy to GPS. You can now find our school listed in the IB directory.


Our Lower School teachers attended a virtual workshop on effectively using our Language Arts and Literacy Program, My View. We adopted this brand new, very comprehensive, and IB friendly, program last year and we will be doing a series of workshops on this program during the course of this academic year.

Some of our staff also participated in the first of three workshops on school accreditation put on by our accrediting agency, WASC. This was the first step in a yearlong process that will result in a school self-study and a team visit to our campus in 2021. In addition, all staff took some time to take the on-line CPR/First Aid training program.

GPS Annual Fund


Here We Go...


Next week we launch the Annual Giving Campaign with the goal to raise $25,000 towards Professional Development. The money raised from this drive will continue to provide our faculty with training and workshops necessary to deliver our outstanding International Baccalaureate program. It also provides networking opportunities with other IB schools around the world to share ideas and collaborate for a truly global perspective. Ultimately our Annual Fund benefits the students at GPS as they continue to receive the high quality education that our teachers and the IB Program provides.


We also suggest that you look into your company's matching program as you consider your participation this year. Information on ways to make your pledge or donation will be sent to you next week. We hope you will consider participating in any way you can.

Student Council News


Celebrating GPS

Veteran's Day

Veterans Day is celebrated on November 11 to honor the brave men and women who have served, or are serving our country. Armistice Day was established to honor veterans at the end of World War I. After World War II and the Korean War Congress changed the name to Veterans Day to include all those that have served in American Wars. We are forever indebted to the service men and women who work to ensure the liberties that we enjoy.

As we approach this holiday next week, we wanted to honor members of the GPS community that have Veterans in their families:


Goudy Family (6th Grade)

  • Mark Goudy, Grandfather - Navy, Korean War

  • Antonio Rodriguez, Grandfather - UN Merchant Marines, Korean Way

  • James Goudy, Great Uncle - Navy, Vietnam War

  • James Lux, Uncle - Navy (retired) , Desert Storm

Ignacio Family (JK & 2nd Grade)

  • Staff Sergeant Luis Villaseñor - USMC

  • Sergeant Roland Fernandez - USMC

Weinstein Family (Administration)

  • Dave Barker - Marines, Vietnam War

We thank you for your service!

Art Corner


Art by Nandini S. (5th grade)

4th and 5th graders are learning about motion in their unit of inquiry. We connected that concept in Art where we explored Optical Art which gives the viewer the impression of movement and space.

Staff Spotlight


Meet Cathy Weinstein


This week we would like to showcase another member of the outstanding GPS admin staff, Cathy Weinstein. Cathy has been an administrative assistant at CHA/GPS since 2005. She can be found in the office at GPS or answering the phones daily. Over the years, she has seen many changes at the school: four Heads of School, each with their own unique contributions to the school and its culture; the move to a more technology-rich curriculum and office; the adoption of the International Baccalaureate program; and of course most recently, the move to a new campus and merger with FPPS. Throughout all of these evolutions, there has been one constant, her love of interacting with children and their parents, helping the students to get the best education possible. “My guiding light in life is to make the world a better place each day. For me, that means helping young people on their path to a rich, meaningful life in any way I can. I am most proud of the way the school instills a great self-confidence in all our students.”

When she’s not at work, Cathy is an avid outdoors-person. Camping, bicycling, sailing, kayaking, hiking, and a new bird-watching hobby keep her exploring and learning every chance she gets. (Her most recent new bird sighting is an American Bittern—very exciting!) When travel becomes more of an easily-achieved reality and the work schedule permits, Cathy has a goal of a bicycle trip down the Pacific coast, starting at her son’s home in Vancouver, WA and ending back at home in Simi Valley. Cathy is very proud of her family, which includes her husband, three terrific grown children, and a wonderful daughter-in-law. We are fortunate to have Cathy on our team.

Online GPS Scholastic Book Fair through November 15, 2020


Dear GPS Parents and Families:


The Scholastic Book Fair is running through November 15. Check off those gifts for the young readers on your holiday list.

  • 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!)

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


The big event of the month was the Halloween Drive Though, designed and created by our 8th Grade class as part of their MYP Technology Unit on the Design Cycle. Thanks to our students for all the drive through activities that they designed and built. They certainly learned that the creation of a fun event is actually work and has to be well planned and follow the design cycle. Thanks also to the GPS faculty and staff for their help in the many things that need to be done for an event like this. GPS Halloween Photo Booth and Costume Competition  The winners of the competition are as follows Most Creative: No WIFI - Zoey W. (6th)


Scariest: Scary Gnome - Nikolas W.L. (3rd)


Best Homemade: Kevin from The Office - Juliet R. (6th)

Best Duo: Chicken and Waffles - Zoey A. (5th) and Fisher D. (5th)


WOW!!! Ice Princess - Kataleya G. (2nd)


Thank you to everyone that attended the Drive-thru. We were so happy to see you!


2020 Elections as a Learning Opportunity As we head into the next week, the entire country is focused on Tuesday’s elections. Major events such as this present wonderful learning opportunities for our students. Ms. Green’s 4th and 5th grade class read about the presidential election process in their Time for Kids magazine recently and learned, among other things, that the Electoral College determines the “winner” of the election rather than the majority vote. After discussing the two methods, most students felt that the majority vote should determine the winner. The class also discovered that mail-in voting has increased steadily over time. Due to COVID-19 this year, there will be more mail-in votes than ever, which will probably cause a delay in determining the presidential winner. In thinking about the issues, they shared some of their concerns and posed questions that they would have asked the Presidential candidate: Nandini thinks that if everyone wears masks, it will lower the risk of more people getting covid-19 and will help keep people safe until a cure comes out. So her question is, “Can you make masks mandatory? Eduardo is concerned for the welfare of his favorite animals, penguins. His question is, “Are you going to do something about global warming?” Patris explains that it’s hard to learn online and she misses everybody! Her question is, “Will schools be back open soon?”  The students were also asked how they would improve our country if they were elected President one day, and here are some of their responses: Aidan SP says that he would “make it easier for the homeless to survive and have a happy life. For example, I would make it so people support the homeless, not discriminate against them.” Jill says, “Online school should be a choice. Some kids want to go to school and they should be able to. Other kids like me just want to do online school.” Nandini would like to make a law where “Every time someone buys their first car, it has to be electric. That would help the environment and the air.” Eduardo would “close smoke shops because many young people are getting into them, and they are not good.” The students also wanted to see changes to bedtimes, gaming hours extended, dessert before dinner, and no more homework!  Professional Development Day – November 6 Professional development is a necessary and important part of any professional activity and this clearly applies to those in the field of education. On Friday, November 6th we gave our students a break while we engage in a number of workshops and professional planning activities. Most of the staff will take on-line workshops to update their first aid and CPR skills. Lower School teachers will attend a virtual workshop on effective use of our Language Arts and Literacy Program. Some of our staff will participate in the first of three workshops on school accreditation put on by our accrediting agency, WASC. This is the first step in a yearlong process that will result in a school self-study and a team visit to our campus in 2021. During the day all Lower School and Middle School staff will meet with our IB Coordinators to do required collaborative work on the PYP and MYP.


This Wednesday, the 8th Grade class was given the great opportunity to meet with very special guests; Ms. Shibel, John Mei, and Liam Young, "founder and coordinator of the Master’s degree program in Fiction and Entertainment at Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc). Liam is the preeminent artist and speculative architect whose scholarship and work explore the future of architecture, design, and city using fiction, film and performance as tools to explore the implications and consequences of emerging technologies and ecological conditions."

During the discussion, Mr. Young spoke about how he became one of the world's leading minds for Hollywood films, environmentalists and those who are fascinated with the world of tomorrow. He also shared three projects with the 8th Grade class which he directed and designed recently: Seoul City Machine (2019), an imagined future city "where machines and technology are now the dominant inhabitants of space." Where the City Can't See (2017), the first narrative fiction film captured entirely with laser scanners. And Planet City, an international project taken up by environmental scientists and technologists whose question is: "Could we live in a single city for 10 billion people?" As you could probably guess, the 8th graders had many questions for Mr. Young, such as what his design process looks like and what some of his favorite films and video games are.The meeting spanned over the 40 minute Zoom time limit and into recess, but luckily the morning was blessed with a meeting extension. As everyone hesitantly said their goodbyes and logged off, the eighth grade students were left with a feeling of excitement of the possibilities of the future. We can't wait for another chance to speak with Mr. Young again, but until then, we will keep up with him on Tomorrow'sThoughtsToday.com

Celebrating GPS

Dia de los Muertos Day of the dead is a holiday celebrated on November 1st and 2nd in Mexico. Families create "ofrendas" (offerings) of photos, favorite foods, drinks, flowers, and candles to honor and remember those that have passed away. The "altar" is believed to welcome the spirit of the loved one back to the realm of the living. This cultural celebration is one filled with joy and remembrance. Festivals on these days include parades, costumes, papel piquado, sugar skulls, marigolds and dance. Students at GPS did various projects with Sra. Sandra in Spanish as a way of remembering this celebration.

Design Technology Corner

This Wednesday, the 8th Grade class was given the great opportunity to meet with very special guests; Ms. Shibel, John Mei, and Liam Young, "founder and coordinator of the Master’s degree program in Fiction and Entertainment at Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc). Liam is the preeminent artist and speculative architect whose scholarship and work explore the future of architecture, design, and city using fiction, film and performance as tools to explore the implications and consequences of emerging technologies and ecological conditions."

During the discussion, Mr. Young spoke about how he became one of the world's leading minds for Hollywood films, environmentalists and those who are fascinated with the world of tomorrow. He also shared three projects with the 8th Grade class which he directed and designed recently: Seoul City Machine (2019), an imagined future city "where machines and technology are now the dominant inhabitants of space." Where the City Can't See (2017), the first narrative fiction film captured entirely with laser scanners. And Planet City, an international project taken up by environmental scientists and technologists whose question is: "Could we live in a single city for 10 billion people?" As you could probably guess, the 8th graders had many questions for Mr. Young, such as what his design process looks like and what some of his favorite films and video games are.The meeting spanned over the 40 minute Zoom time limit and into recess, but luckily the morning was blessed with a meeting extension. As everyone hesitantly said their goodbyes and logged off, the eighth grade students were left with a feeling of excitement of the possibilities of the future. We can't wait for another chance to speak with Mr. Young again, but until then, we will keep up with him on Tomorrow'sThoughtsToday.com.

Art Corner

Kindergarten and First Grade started a new unit calledWe Speak for the Earth. In Art, we drew the area surrounding Earth and the areas that make our planet very special like the sky, water, and land. We also drew the living things that call this planet their home. Art by Zoe W. (1)

Faculty Spotlight

Meet Ms. Green

This week we would like to showcase another of the outstanding GPS faculty, Pam Green. Born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, Pam realized early in life what career path she would take. Knowing her future goal gave her a tremendous amount of focus and drive, which would see her receiving her degree in education early. After short-term teaching positions in the area, she headed for California after reading that teachers were in short demand. This was an exciting time of adventure and exploration, which included living in New Zealand for six months! 

With her teaching goal back in sight, she earned her California Teaching Credential and began teaching for LAUSD in 1989. During her seven-plus years spent at Normandie School in South Central L.A., she taught third grade for five years and then worked as the technology coordinator after her daughter was born. A move to the valley in 1997 brought Pam to her home-away-from-home, Chatsworth Hills Academy, for over 20 years. 


CHA (now GPS) provided a multitude of teaching opportunities in many grade levels, including 4th and 5th grade teacher, K-8 technology teacher, and middle school math-literature-science teacher. She has also served as a student council supervisor for most of those years. Since 2008, Pam has taught 5th grade in an integrated, technology-infused, project-based program. With the adoption of the PYP program a few years ago, her students have benefitted from deeper growth and understanding of the concepts in a global setting.


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!

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