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Weekly News - 11/13

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:

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


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. 



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

We can’t wait to “see” you at the Fair


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