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Weekly News - August 28


Schools all across LA County have been opening the academic year with Virtual Assemblies. At GPS we had assemblies for both Lower and Middle school students and families this past Wednesday. While getting a head count of participants is not that easy, it would seem that most of the students and parents logged in and listened to the GPS faculty and staff talk a bit about themselves and their goals for the school year. The big theme was that of a new adventure and of course we highlighted a number of the IB attributes that we would have to practice as we start with a distance-learning program. Mentioned were being open-minded, being a risk taker and being a good communicator. We also thanked Pastor Jim Sillarud and the First Presbyterian Church community for their collaboration in this joint adventure that we are embarking on. The FPP project of repaving the parking lot and the school hard court play area to coincide with the start of the school year is greatly appreciated, and will be much enjoyed and used by our students when we begin attending school on campus.  During the assembly we also gave a shout out to all of the members of the Chatsworth Hills Academy and First Presbyterian Preparatory School transition Board for their hard work in making this dream come true.

I know most of our students and parents were looking forward to being in a classroom again. While our Early Years Program is able to start on campus, for Kinder through Middle School we will begin the year with distance learning as we mentioned. The good news is that in the last few days we have been hearing that the COVID infection rate in LA County is declining and has gone under the threshold level of 200 cases per 100,000. The LA County Health Department has taken a cautious approach and has decided to wait and see if these numbers are sustained in the days ahead. Hopefully this will be the case and they will start the waiver application for K-6 programs. We also hope that LA County will soon be taken off the state watch list, which will allow all grade levels to return to the classrooms. In the meantime, our faculty is well prepared for distance learning and gave much information during student/family orientation. As we make our plans for the next few months, you will receive a survey to give us important data and concerns that you may have with a re-opening of on-campus instruction. Look for details in next week’s COMPASS.

This year we had a unique orientation program with individual teacher-student/family meetings. Getting to meet your teacher in person and seeing what your classroom looks like, is a great way to put the new year into perspective and create the excitement that always accompanies a new school year and a new adventure. I am overjoyed to report that every student showed up for orientation.


Thank you to everyone that brought in a photo for our GPS Community board. It's not too late to be added. Preschool students can bring their photo to class and give it to their teacher. Lower and Middle School families can drop off their 4x6 photo in the office or email it to


Paving on the main school parking lot will begin next week and should be completed by the end of the week. In the mean time, please continue to use the back parking area and gate. To ensure the security of the campus, this gate will only be open until 8:45. After this time, please come to the front gate by the school office where we will check you in.


You have probably seen information about these camps that help families who cannot support their children with distance learning due to work commitments. First Presbyterian Church has opened a camp in Lee Hall and they already have a number of students attending from various schools. For more information on this I refer you to


Christopher grew up in the heart of Silicon Valley and has always been surrounded by Technology. From childhood video games to navigating college using all the tools Google has to offer, tech has always been a part of his life. He learned much of what he knows leading technology summer camps in Los Angeles in the past years, and his goal is to pass that knowledge on to his students today. He loves helping people with their technology, literature and the San Jose Sharks. He is a graduate at CSU Northridge and has a Bachelor's degree in English.

The summer might be over but many memories linger on. Over the past few days, we have been hearing about some adventures that our students and their families had this summer so we decided to add a section to the COMPASS next week to showcase some fun photos. Please send in a photo with a few sentences to our Admissions Director at and watch for next week’s edition of the COMPASS. Here is what a few of our teachers and staff did this summer.


Mr. Metzger went hiking in Oregon where the wide-open and empty trails guaranteed a social distance of 6 feet. Often it was more like 6 miles. 

Mr. Mendoza took a course in scuba diving where he clearly kept his social distance from any sharks in the area. 

Mrs. Mitas headed to Lake Tahoe for some paddleboarding, kayaking, and tubing. But the best part of her trip was morning yoga on the deck among the pine trees.

Mrs. Shibel (Middle School Science) Early in the summer I flew back east to help a long time friend move from Massachusetts to Rhode Island. Although most of the time was spent packing and unpacking boxes, I was able to escape for one day to spend time on the beach. It lasted only about an hour as a thunder storm came in and required everyone to clear the beach. I made the most of the day by taking the car and going exploring along the Rhode Island coast where I happened upon this light house. Later in the summer, our family welcomed our 6th grandchild, Anthony. Needless to say there was a lot of good cuddle time.

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