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Weekly News - April 9

From the Head of School

I am happy to see that our students have come back from Spring Break well-rested and with renewed eagerness to learn. We are now down to our last two months of the 2020-21 school year and with the ever-improving situation in LA County we are busily planning some end-of-year events for our community. These include our 8th Grade Graduation, 5th Grade Promotion, 5th Grade Exhibition presentation, 8th Grade Community Project presentation and the Middle School performance of “The Lion King”. As we move higher in the COVID tier structure and review the guidance from the LACDPH, we will provide more details in the upcoming weeks.

One of the highlights for our Junior Kindergarten class this week was to build their own house. This was a fun activity to end their unit titled “Home Sweet Home” whose central idea was that “Homes differ due to environment, needs, and resources". Helping the students was actual home-builder, Kevin McCann, father of Jr. Kinder student, Damian. We are grateful to the McCann family for sharing their time and talent with us for this project.

I am also happy to announce that GPS will be hosting a vaccination clinic that is being put on by Capitol Drugs. An email went out to the entire GPS community this week letting you know of this opportunity, which is open to all GPS families, their relatives and friends. We will hold the clinic in Lee Hall as soon as we can get an estimate of the numbers that would like to get the Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccination. Getting vaccinated is critical in our fight against COVID and I urge you to take this opportunity offered by Capitol Drugs. Getting everyone in our community vaccinated is in the best interests of our students. In writing this I am reminded of the very articulate piece on the community fight against COVID that 8th grader Arlene L. wrote in the magazine, “Humanism Now”. If you haven’t read it here is the link.

During the month of April we are focusing on the IB Learner Profile of being a risk-taker. Students who are risk-takers are able to approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought. They have the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas and strategies. Risk-takers are brave and articulate in defending their beliefs. There is also a close correlation with the ability to take risks and having a growth mindset, which you have probably been hearing a lot about. Growth mindset is a valuable attitude that encourages children to have perseverance, to approach difficult tasks with confidence, and to focus on what is achievable with hard work. Below are some suggestions on how parents can help to develop students who are Risk-Takers at home.

  • If your child is feeling uneasy about trying something, encourage them to attempt it and have them reflect on how it felt.

  • Set short-term goals. Consider activities that push your child out of their comfort zone. Encourage them to offer their opinion, spend time learning a new activity, try a different food, learn a new game or even to spend time with someone they don't usually spend time with.

  • Explain the difference between being a risk-taker (trying new things) and engaging in dangerous activities.

  • Ask, "What's the hard part?" to identify the challenge and brainstorm ways to fix it.

The following link gives some ideas for Elementary school children's picture books that exemplify the IB PYP Learner Profile trait of being a risk-taker.


Staff Spotlight

Genevieve (Jenny) Ellena joins the GPS Team

We are happy to announce that Miss Jenny has joined the GPS Preschool team. Jenny has had a long relationship with this campus, having worked as a Preschool teacher with the First Presbyterian Preparatory School for 32 years and this year helping to run the POD, which supports students in various distance-learning programs. With our growing Preschool program, we are excited to have added Jenny to the GPS faculty.


Our Preschool camp will run from June 7 to August 6. Here is the link for more information and registration forms.


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