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Weekly News - October 9

From the Head of School

Today marks the halfway point of our first trimester and over the next week or so most of our classes will be ending their first IB Unit. Breaking up our academic program into units is a characteristic of the IB, which provides a framework within which we fit our curriculum. This framework is consistent in all IB schools around the world and is one of the features that make this program so powerful as a learning approach that has both structure and flexibility. The end of every unit is always accompanied with a summative assessment which often includes a student presentation of a unit project. 

Today I was delighted to watch our 4th graders give their end of unit presentations. This unit is on the influence of geography on social, political and natural climates, and like all IB units is very broad based and allows for student inquiry to go in many directions. Students put together a slide show as a final project working from articles and videos provided by their teacher Ms. Green, along with their individual research, and using skills learned in their IT class,. They also enhanced their understanding of physical geography by creating a map of the regions, as seen in the photo of Brandon proudly displaying his work. Over the next few weeks I look forward to sharing with you what our other classes have done for their units.  

Another one of the powerful aspects of the IB Program is the Learner Profile. These are the characteristics of a learner that great IB schools, like GPS, promote on a daily basis. In all of our classes this month we have been focusing on the ‘Inquirer’ Profile since it is our goal to allow students to develop their natural curiosity. We help students to acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research and show independence in learning. Students should actively enjoy learning and this love of learning will thus be sustained throughout their lives. At today’s assembly we recognized some students who in the past month have exemplified the characteristic of being an inquirer. Certificates for these students will be given out during the Parent-Teacher Conferences.

For more information on the IB Learner Profile, please watch this short video:

Parent Survey

This week we sent out our start-of-the year parent survey and I thank those of you who have already completed it. This is very important for us and I hope that we will receive a survey from every family with a student in the distance leaning program.  If you have not already done so, please take a few minutes to reply to the Distance Learning Survey, Fall 2020 to help us out. The survey will stay open until Wednesday, October 14 and we will report on the results in the next COMPASS.

Also this week the LA County Department of Public Health initiated a waiver program for students in Kinder to 2nd grade. GPS is submitting an application but we do not expect to be granted authorization for some weeks as the DPH will only approve 30 waivers per week with priority given to schools with high risk student populations defined by students eligible for free or reduced lunch services. As always, I will keep you up to date with developments on this front. 

Parent Teacher Conferences

Next week we will have Parent-teachers Conferences on Thursday and Friday. Thursday will be a half-day with noon dismissal and on Friday there will be no classes. These meetings are extremely important for parents to get a clear understanding of how their child has started the school year and establish some goals for the rest of the year. If you are coming on campus for the meeting, please use the main parking lot and wear a face mask when attending the meetings. 


Art Corner

4th graders were inspired by Van Gogh to create their own version of Starry Night. We created contrast in our work by using warm and cool colors in the night sky. We used cross hatching lines to show farmland in California's central valley region where farmers grow crops.  We added farms, barns, and silos to complete our picture.


Staff Spotlight

Meet Jennifer Ramirez

Each week we have been introducing a member of our talented and dedicated faculty. This week we are pleased to introduce Miss Jennifer Ramirez.  Miss Jennifer has been teaching preschool at First Pres., now GPS, for 10 years. She enjoys the school because of the openness to new ideas and the family environment, which she thinks is very important to make connections with our students' families. She started at First Pres. single and now she has a family of her own. She currently has a 4 year old daughter, Scarlett, enrolled in the three day Kinder Prep class at GPS and she loves her class. Miss Jennifer soon will be a mommy of two. She is expecting her second daughter in November and is very excited and ready to meet her! When she’s not at school, Miss Jennifer enjoys scrapbooking, spending time with her family, and getting as much sleep as she can for now, because soon she will have her hands full with a newborn. We are fortunate to have Miss Jennifer on our team and wish her all the best on the birth of her baby girl.



Boo Grams

From October 13 to 28 the GPS 8th Grade students will be holding a fundraiser called Boo-Grams to raise funds for the Halloween Drive-through that they are creating as part of their design class as well as for their Legacy Gift. For $1 each, students, parents and teachers can send a ghostly treat with a pre-printed message to a student, friend, or teacher at GPS. Boo grams will be delivered on Friday, October 30 at the Drive-Thru event.

Halloween Drive-Thru

We will not be able to have a Halloween Carnival this year but that doesn't mean we can't still have a fun, and safe, community event.

As part of their Design Class, the 8th grade students have created a Halloween Drive-Thru experience for all GPS families on Friday, October 30th. The Halloween Drive-Thru will be safe with fun activities to do along the way, while you stay in your car.

*Halloween Trivia *Halloween Scenes *Haunted Tunnel

*Students are encouraged to wear a costume *a photo station.

All students and their families are welcome.

You're sure to have carloads of fun!

October 30 is a Noon dismissal day for grades K-8 (regular day for Early Childhood students)

Drive Thru schedule:

  • 12:15 - Preschool half-day and Preschool On-line (right after 12:00 pick-up)

  • 1:00 - Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grades

  • 1:30 - 3 rd, 4th, and 5th grades

  • 2:00 - 6 th, 7th, and 8th grades

  • 2:30 - Preschool full day, Pre-K, and Jr.-K (right after 2:30 pick-up)

Download the Boo Gram order form and information about the Drive-thru here.

After School Basketball Training Program

Co-ed basketball practices with Coach B has ongoing registration. Here are the details:

Practice Days: 

  • Grades 2-5-- Tuesdays and Thursdays from October 6 through November 19, 2020

  • Grades 6-8-- Mondays and Wednesdays from October 5 through November 18, 2020 (except Veterans Day, Nov. 11)

Time: All practices will be on campus from 3:45 – 5:00 pm

Dress code: Wear appropriate athletic clothing--shorts, t-shirt, and laced sports footwear.

Details: Due to current COVID restrictions, there will be no games played and all students will be required to wear masks. A quick COVID-19 screening and temperature check will be completed before students may enter the campus. 

Program Cost: $125 to be billed to your Smart Tuition account 

Registration Forms: Please use one of these links to sign up

Boys and Girls in grades 2-5:

Boys and Girls in grades 6-8:


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