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Weekly News - February 12

From the Head of School

As we look forward to the long weekend ahead, we have three important events to celebrate, Valentines Day, Presidents’ Day and the Lunar New Year. This has naturally given our teachers and students a lot of themes to focus on and I am happy to see the wealth of creative activity in the school.

Our Student Council has declared today as a dress up day with students invited to show up for their classes wearing ‘Valentines’ colors or patriotic attire. On campus this week we have seen Preschoolers make dragon masks, Junior Kindergartners make Valentines cards for their parents, and Kindergartners/1st graders make “Love” posters, no mention just a few activities.

Today our Virtual Cooking Club, organized by the student council, had its first meeting. Our guest chef for this event was Mrs. Shibel, who led the participants through the making of snicker doodles. The club meets Fridays at 2:45 and is open to students in grades 4-8. Each week the club members will learn a new recipe.

Learner Profile - Open Minded

Our IB Learner Profile focus for the month of February is open-minded. Students who are open-minded understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories, and are open to the perspectives, values and traditions of other individuals and communities. They are accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of points of view, and are willing to grow from the experience. In all of our classes, GPS teachers will help our students embrace this concept at a level that is developmentally appropriate. At home, parents can also support our learner profile of the month and help develop students who are open-minded through the following activities:

  • Model open and accepting behavior for all humans

  • Nurture respect and love for all living things

  • Expose your child to a variety of cultural experiences

  • Read and tell stories from around the world

  • Watch movies that show other countries cultures

  • Listen to a variety of types of music

  • Read and write different forms of poetry

  • Learn about how different cultures celebrate holidays

  • Prepare and taste foods from other countries

The following link will take you to a website where you can explore a well-chosen list of illustrated children's books that deal with the idea of being open-minded.

WASC Accreditation and IB Evaluation

During the 2021-22 school year we will be hosting two external visiting teams to renew our accreditation status and IB authorization. These are scheduled visits in accordance with the normal cycle and are required of all schools that are part of these organizations. The IB Evaluation visit will take place in the fall and the WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) accreditation visit will take place in the spring. Work is currently underway in preparing the self-study reports for each of these organizations. The self-study process will involve the participation of all components of the school community and the findings will be made public to the entire community. In the near future we will be sending out a survey to all parents to get important feedback that we will need for the reports. I will keep you up-to-date on all the details of the accreditation and evaluation through the COMPASS. If you have any questions please send them to me directly at


GPS Celebrates

Lunar New Year

Today marks the start of the Spring Festival based on the lunar calendar, which begins on the first new moon of the year. Families celebrate this time of renewal with fireworks, family and food. 2021 will be the year of the Ox. Known as hard workers, intelligent and reliable, Oxen think logically and make great leaders.

The Kwon Family, William (PS), shares how they celebrate Lunar New Year in both Chinese and Korean traditions.

(Left) Enjoying home-made dumplings is a popular tradition during Chinese New Year.

(Right) Traditional Korean cloths (Hanbok) is what children in South Korea wear on Lunar New Year's Day.

Gong hei fat choy!


Happy Valentine's Day!


Happy President's Day!


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