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Lower School Blog

Jan. 4, 2016; Vol. #25, Issue #16

Dear Lower School Parents:

 

A new calendar year beckons, and a clear path rises to meet us with abundant promise.  Truly, one of the great joys of working at an elementary school is the inevitable sense of unbridled enthusiasm and joy which emanates from its students, and I've often thought that our job, our responsibility, is to nurture and preserve it as possible.

In recent years, our teachers have created an environment which promotes authentic learning... the kind of engagement and love of learning that make your heart sing when you see them.  And, as these students have moved on to the Middle and Upper Schools, their connections to their elementary years and the special memories made there remain strong, as do their general feelings about school and the wonderful experiences they've shared.  

I believe we're in the middle of a significant cultural shift at Parker where collectively we're pivoting away from a time when content ruled and teachers shared what they knew to a new era in which our students, your children, will be able to access, analyze and apply far more information than we were ever required to negotiate. Additionally, armed with 21st century skills allowing them to communicate, collaborate, create and think critically, they will be the architects of their own destinies.

But for now... we'll begin the new year with lots of giggles, sparkly eyes, unlimited potential and a whole lot of happiness.

Happy New Year!

Bob Gillingham 


ADMISSIONS NEWS


Lower School Admission Open House

We look forward to welcoming families to our Mission Hills campus for a second Open House on January 14th from 3-5pm.  As current members of our community we invite you to share the details of this event with friends, coworkers, neighbors who you think would be a nice addition to Parker's Lower School.  Interested families can rsvp directly through the Admissions website, http://www.francisparker.org/page.cfm?p=509.  Feel free to contact Kelly Tedrow, Associate Director of Lower School Admission with any questions 619.298.9110 ext. 6234
Parker Lower School Admission Dates and Deadlines:
Lower School Open House-January 14th
Application Deadline-February 1st

Admissions Testing

This coming Saturday, prospective JK-4th grade students will be testing from 8:30-11:00 a.m. at the Lower School.  Interested applicants should contact Kelly Tedrow at ktedrow@francisparker.org.


Dress-Down Day, BBQ and Pet Day Bake Sale


This Friday will feature our first dress-down day of 2016. Additionally, there will be a BBQ and a Bake Sale to support Animal charities and Welfare organizations in San Diego (see below).  All items will be $1.

 

Pet Day

 

Pet Day is a well loved tradition at the Lower School  and will be coming up February 5th.   In order to raise money for our student selected Pet Day charities, we will be having our annual Pet Day Bake Sale on Friday, January 8th, 2016! Please consider making a delicious home baked treat for us to sell during the first lunchtime BBQ of the new year!  Drop off your individually wrapped baked goods at the tables on the playground Friday morning.  Sign up here:

 

Senior-Kindergarten Parent Coffee

The SK parent coffee will be held this Friday morning in the Considine Library beginning at 8:20 a.m.  Come have a cup of coffee and gain additional insights into students at this level, the program and what awaits them on their Parker journey.


More DVDs of Lower School Programs



Attention Parker Parents--- Don’t forget to order your DVD of the fabulous Thanksgiving Concert (AKA the hiya-hiya show) and also don’t forget the 2nd & 3rd Grade Showstoppers DVD.  To order, please visit www.FrancisParkerDVD.com  Thank you very much!!!
Oh, and if you happen to be in the area of the lower school between 4:30 and 11:00 pm nightly, check out our grand Holiday Lights and Window display at 1738 W. Arbor Drive, just 2 blocks west of the school.  Happy Holidays from Shot On Site Video!!!

Lunch Menu


Posted by ls-newsletter on Sunday January 3 at 09:19AM
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Dec. 14, 2015; Vol. #25, Issue #15

Dear Lower School Parents:

 

The Season of Gving continues this week as we ask students and families to extend their charitable reach to the many countries being visited by our Middle and Upper School students this coming spring.  This JK-12 connection has long been a goal of the school, in this case uniting all of our students in the cause of making the world a better place for everyone, and particularly its children.

Grade levels will be reaching out this week for donations of specific items ** to be gathered for specific countries, and our first student council of the year will be using funds gathered in the hot chocolate sale and the bake sale to purchase in January any remaining items that are needed.

The faculty and staff count ourselves fortunate to be a part of this remarkable community, and we hope to help our students see and understand the great good that can be done by those who have been given so much.  

As we begin the new year, let's all work together to equip our students with the perspective and skills to make a meaningful difference in the world.

Happy holidays and a wonderful new year to all of you!

Bob Gillingham

**

JK: India
Markers, stickers, scissors, glue sticks, scrapbooking tools and supplies - fancy paper, etc.
 
SK: The Philippines
Personal hygiene items for girls including brushes, combs, hair ties, travel-size shampoo, soaps and make-up.
 
1st Grade (North America): Cuba; 2nd Grade (Europe): The Czech Republic; 3rd Grade (South America): Colombia:
School supplies of any kind, including spiral notebooks, paper, markers, colored pencils and gel pens.
4th Grade (Asia): Cambodia
Bubbles, balloons, sidewalk chalk, deflated soccer balls, school/art supplies including pencils, crayons, markers and notebooks.
 
5th Grade (Africa): South Africa
Stickers, markers, crayons, colored pencils, glitter pens, construction paper, coloring books, and stationery.

 

This Festive Friday

 

This Friday is a holiday dress-down day (any festive clothing and/or combination of colors appropriate for all regular school activities).  The day will also feature a bake sale (complete with coffee and cider sales) to be held at the same time as the Sing-Along (1:45 p.m. in courtyard).  All items will be $1.

The Sing-Along is a great holiday experience for everyone.  Song sheets are passed out, and everyone is invited to join in on the wide array of holiday songs chosen from many cultures and countries.

The Junior-Kindergarten Holiday Program will begin at 12:30 p.m. in the Szekely Auditorium, and those parents/friends are more than welcome to join us for the Sing-Along that follows. 

 

Admissions news

Lower School Admission Open House
We look forward to welcoming families to our Mission Hills campus for a second Open House on January 14th from 3-5pm.  As current members of our community we invite you to share the details of this event with friends, coworkers, neighbors who you think would be a nice addition to Parker's Lower School.  Interested families can rsvp directly through the Admissions website, http://www.francisparker.org/page.cfm?p=509.  Feel free to contact Kelly Tedrow, Associate Director of Lower School Admission with any questions. 
Kelly Tedrow
Associate Director of Lower School Admission

Parker Lower School Admission Dates and Deadlines:
Lower School Open House-January 14th
Application Deadline-February 1st


Health Alert and Plea for Assistance

 

Please note that the reality of lice is that it is and will be an ongoing problem in elementary schools of all kinds, everywhere.  However, at the Lower School, we have become very efficient in dealing with it and minimizing its spread, particularly when we know about it as soon as possible.  

While it may seem embarrassing to call the school to report that your child has been afflicted, it's enormously helpful to us. Please know that the sources of lice are vast, and anyone, even a principal and his kids, can fall victim!

Thanks for your assistance in letting us know asap!

 

Notes From Nurse Maggie

 

The immunization laws have changed, and Nurse Maggie has provided an article to help you understand current requirements. 

 

Lunch Menu

Menu for the Week of December 14

Posted by ls-newsletter on Saturday December 12, 2015 at 12:47PM
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Dec. 7, 2015; Vol. #25, Issue #14

 

Dear Lower School Parents:

 

The spirit of giving, so well supported by our Parker parents and staff over time, has transferred beautifully to our students.  We see this over and over again as students enthusiastically embrace leadership opportunities benefiting our school, local and greater communities; charitable causes of all kinds; and daily small acts of helping others.

As we move deeper into the holiday season, we're grateful to have been able to help the McGill School with our latest book drive.  Boys and girls there haven't had the abundant access to books enjoyed by our own students, and they were understandably thrilled to receive the hundreds of books already lovingly read by Parker students.

In this same spirit, we're extending our reach during this Season of Giving to connect with our Middle and Upper School students on their global adventures.  Their trips in the spring will take them all over the world, and we'll be helping them to collect supplies that will benefit children beyond our own borders.

This JK-12 initiative will come full circle when these same Parker students return from their trips and share their stories with the Lower School students and show them how their charitable giving has made a world of difference.

We'll wrap up the Season on Dec. 18 with the Sing-Along, an event that has become one of our most cherished activities, and a must-attend for anyone wishing to feel the full effect of the holiday spirit.

Happy Holidays!

Bob Gillingham 

 

Math Morning

 

This Monday, Annemarie Behrens and Heather Gray will be giving a presentation on bar modeling, the key problem-solving technique involved in the Singapore Math approach.  For parents at any grade level, this presentation has proven in the past to be most valuable in promoting understanding of the principles and techniques involved. Curious about how to help your child with their math homework?  Join us for this very informative workshop in the  Szkeley Auditorium right after flagraising.

 

(Monstrous) Book Faire

 

The Monstrous Winter Holiday Book Fair Starts Tomorrow!

The Lower School Scholastic Book Fair begins tomorrow morning at 7:30 sharp.  Get yourself to our mammoth lair of books early to put your monster paws on all your favorite titles!

The fair runs Monday, December 7th-Thursday, December 10th, 7:30 am-5 pm and Friday, December 11th, 7:30 am-1 pm in the Considine Library.

There are volunteer shifts still open!  Working the Book Fair is a fun and easy way to meet other parents and help raise funds for the library. Please sign up to volunteer by accessing the Google Doc link below:

http://bit.ly/1GX8VuR

To preview the books available at the fair, visit this website:

http://bookfairs.scholastic.com/homepage/francisparker

Thank you, and see you at the Fair!

Book Fair Co-Chairs

 

Season of Giving

 

Chair Anne McManus beautifully captured the essence and current purpose of The Season of Giving in the following message:

The Lower School's Season of Giving kicks off this Monday, Dec. 7th and will run through Friday, Dec. 18th.

The Season of Giving has become a new tradition at the Lower School over the past few years as a way to celebrate the holiday season and give back to our local community.  We have so much to be thankful for in our lives, and we are reminded, especially at this time of year, how important it is to give to those in need.

Our mission and vision statements inspired this year's theme of "Global Giving."  Parker is committed to developing students with a global perspective, as well as an appreciation and understanding of other cultures, so we are expanding the focus of our Season of Giving beyond our local community to the global community in order to promote global awareness and involvement at the Lower School.

Upper School students participating in the Global Studies Program will be traveling around the world in February to Cambodia, Colombia, India, South Africa, the Philippines, Cuba and The Czech Republic, and we will be holding a "supply drive" from Monday, Dec. 14th through Friday, Dec. 18th to gather items for those students to deliver to those in need on their respective trips. Collection bins will be set up in the hallway outside of the front office during that week.

Each grade level at the Lower School already has ongoing curriculum focused on one of the seven continents, so we have assigned supply donations based on those connections to further foster the students' goodwill to the people in those areas of the world. JK and SK curriculum focus on Antartica and Australia, respectively, which are not part of our Global Studies Program, so we are asking those grades to bring in items for donation to India and The Philippines.

JK: India
Markers, stickers, scissors, glue sticks, scrapbooking tools and supplies - fancy paper, etc.

SK: The Philippines
Personal hygiene items for girls including brushes, combs, hair ties, travel-size shampoo, soaps and make-up.

1st Grade (North America): Cuba
School supplies of any kind, including spiral notebooks, paper, markers, colored pencils and gel pens.

2nd Grade (Europe): The Czech Republic
School supplies of any kind, including spiral notebooks, paper, markers, colored pencils and gel pens.

3rd Grade (South America): Colombia
School supplies of any kind, including spiral notebooks, paper, markers, colored pencils and gel pens.

4th Grade (Asia): Cambodia
Bubbles, balloons, sidewalk chalk, deflated soccer balls, school/art supplies including pencils, crayons, markers and notebooks.

5th Grade (Africa): South Africa
Stickers, markers, crayons, colored pencils, glitter pens, construction paper, coloring books, and stationary.

In addition, the student council will sponsor a hot chocolate sale this Friday, Dec. 11th (also a dress down day) and coordinate a bake sale with cider and coffee during lunch and the holiday sing-along on Friday, Dec. 18th to generate additional funds for the purchase of larger items upon the students' arrival in their destination countries.  Ms. Sharpe is also working with our students to create artwork highlighting global peace that will be displayed around the Lower School.

Please use the following link to sign up to bring items for the Season of Giving Holiday Bake Sale or to volunteer to help out with set-up or sales:

Also, don't forget that our book drive benefitting The McGill School runs through Monday, Dec. 7th, so please take a moment over the weekend to clear out any books you'd like to donate.

We need everyone's help to make the Season of Giving a success. Thanks in advance for your generosity and support!

Anne McManus
Season of Giving Chair

Prospective Parent Coffee (JK)

 

This coming Wednesday, prospective junior-kindergarten parents are invited to attend an informational coffee hosted by Lower School Admissions Associate Kelly Tedrow, Bob Gillingham and Heather Gray in the Szekely Auditorium beginning at 8:30 a.m.  The three will share information about the Lower School and the junior-kindergarten program in addition to answering questions about the admissions process.  If you are aware of someone who might want to attend, please feel free to invite them.

 

First-Grade Parent Coffee

 

This coming Friday, Heather Gray and Bob Gillingham will host current first-grade parents to share information about children at this level, the first-grade program and how the year transitions to later grade levels.  Come enjoy a cup of coffee, bring your questions and deepen your understanding of the mission and vision of Parker.

 

Thanksgiving/Grandparents' Day Program DVDs

 

Attention Parker Parents--- Don’t forget to order your DVD of the fabulous Thanksgiving Concert (AKA the hiya-hiya show) and JK parents can also get a DVD of the special Grandparent’s Day program which took place in the auditorium and also includes classroom activities as well.  To order, please visit www.FrancisParkerDVD.com  Thank you very much!!!


Notes From Nurse Maggie

 

The importance of a good breakfast can't be overstated.  Check out this article for more information.

 

Lower School Menu

Menu for the Week of Dec. 7

Posted by ls-newsletter on Friday December 4, 2015 at 03:05PM
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Nov. 30, 2015; Vol. #25, Issue #13

Dear Lower School Parents:

 

Happy Holiday Season!

On the tails of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, we have Giving Tuesday, a day to show our gratitude. 
On December 1, #GivingTuesday, we ask our Parker families to show their gratitude for a teacher or staff member by making a gift of any amount to support the School in their honor. Featured this year are the Spirit of Excellence (teaching) awardees: www.francisparker.org/givingtuesday. Check out the fun facts about them when you scroll over their pictures. 

On #GivingTuesday, we join in the global effort of giving thanks. Our goal is 200 new gifts on the day. Every gift counts, and we encourage all to participate!

Lower School faculty will be focusing their collective giving efforts on Mary Moore, a long-time senior-kindergarten teacher at Parker who still participates in the Hiya program she developed.

Thanks for teaming with us on this special effort.
Best wishes, and welcome back!
Bob Gillingham



The Monstrous Winter Holiday Book Fair Coming Next Week!

 

The Lower School Scholastic Book Fair is coming up, fast on the heels of Thanksgiving Break.  Enjoy a respite from the season’s stresses by stopping in to shop, or by working a shift or two, in our mammoth monster lair of books.

The fair runs Monday, December 7-Thursday, December 107:30 am-5 pm and Friday, December 11, 7:30 am-1 pm in the Considine Library.

There are volunteer shifts still open!  Working the Book Fair is a fun and easy way to meet other parents and help raise funds for the library. Please sign up to volunteer by accessing this Google Doc link: http://bit.ly/1GX8VuR

To preview the books available at the fair, visit this website:

http://bookfairs.scholastic.com/homepage/francisparker

 Thank you, and see you at the Fair!   Book Fair Co-Chairs


Thanksgiving and Grandparents' Program DVDs

 

Attention Parker Parents--- Don’t forget to get your DVD of Friday’s Thanksgiving Concert, and JK parents can also get a DVD of the special Grandparent’s Day program which took place last Thursday in the auditorium and also includes classroom activities as well.  To order, please visit www.FrancisParkerDVD.com  Thank you very much!!!

 

Mission Hills Menu

Menu for the Week of Nov. 30

Posted by ls-newsletter on Wednesday December 2, 2015 at 06:58AM
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Nov. 16, 2015; Vol. #25, Issue #12

Dear Lower School Parents:

 

Colonel Francis Parker relished the idea of students learning by doing, but his lab school background also influenced his desire to share what he was achieving through application of his Progressive philosophy.  It was his strong hope that what was learned through that approach could be shared with a wider audience, including the public schools at the time.

Over the last few years, Parker's Lower School teachers have carefully examined our program and their teaching methods to ensure that they are as purposeful and effective as possible, and we expect that this  improvement cycle will be continuous into the future.  The changes have resulted in much deeper learning, much greater engagement among the students, and the kind of thinking they will need to marshal to deal with an increasingly complex world. 

A byproduct of this change has been the interest generated by schools near and far.  We are constantly hosting visiting teachers and administrators who are interested in what we're doing and eager to learn more, even as we're seeking to further strengthen our teaching and learning.

As we pause our school year for the Thanksgiving Break, I can say, on behalf of everyone who works in this school community, that we are most grateful for your support, incredible volunteerism and collaboration in giving us the opportunity to bring Colonel Parker's vision to life as manifested in the achievements and growth of our students.

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Sincerely,

Bob Gillingham

 

First-Grade Coffee

 

The first-grade coffee originally-scheduled for Dec. 4 has been moved to Dec. 11 at 8:20 a.m. in the Considine Library.  Come see what first graders do all day in their regular and special classes and learn a bit more about kids at this age and what's in store for them at Parker.

A Monstrous Winter Holiday Book Fair Coming Soon!

 

The Lower School Scholastic Book Fair is coming up, fast on the heels of Thanksgiving Break.  Enjoy a respite from the season’s stresses by stopping in to shop, or by working a shift or two in our mammoth monster lair of books.

The fair runs Monday, December 7th-Thursday, December 10th , 7:30 am-5 pm and Friday, December 11th, 7:30 am-1 pm in the Considine Library.

Please sign up to volunteer by accessing the Google Doc link below:

http://bit.ly/1GX8VuR

To preview the books available at the fair, visit this website:

http://bookfairs.scholastic.com/homepage/francisparker

Thank you, and see you at the Fair!

Book Fair Co-Chairs



Coming to America DVDs


Attention Parker Parents--- If you wish to purchase a DVD of the 2nd grade play “Coming to America”, please place your order by Friday, November 20 by visitingwww.FrancisParkerDVD.com  Thank you very much!!!Candy Buy Back News

The student council was given the chance to contribute to the San Diego Community following our recent candy buy-back program.   Thanks to local dentists Dr. Charles Briscoe of La Jolla Dental Care and Dr. Allen Job of All Smiles Pediatric Dentristy, the kids were able to donate $360  (a dollar per pound of candy collected) to local charities.

Music Programs

This Wednesday, the JK students will offer their parents the chance to see their Grandparents' Day program in a special preview performance at 12:30 p.m. in the Szkeley Auditorium.  All JK parents are invited.

This Thursday, we celebrate Grandparents' Day with a JK program at 11:50 a.m. and the SK-5 program at 1 p.m.  JK Grandparents check in on the J. Crivello playground at 11:30 a.m. and SK-5 Grandparents check in at 12:30 p.m.   Both programs will be followed by classroom visits.

This Friday, the Thanksgiving Program will be presented at 1 p.m.

 

Thanksgiving-themed Day

This Wednesday, we'll dress down with a Thanksgiving theme, and we'll enjoy a Thanksgiving-themed lunch as well.  This unusual opportunity comes to us as the result of a gala offering from our very own Head of School.  Kevin Yaley's power lunch with the two students included the chance to request anything.  After reasoning with the two that taking the whole school to Disneyland was a bit prohibitive, they settled on the themed day so that everyone could benefit from their very enjoyable day with the Head of School.

McGill Book Drive

The book drive continues (with amazing success so far) through December 7.  We and the school are most grateful for your generosity in helping all of the deserving boys and girls at the McGill School to enjoy new stories and adventures.

Boxtops for Education

We've learned that a wonderful source of student council funds is going into the trash or recycling every week, and we'd like your help to reverse that situation.  We've joined Boxtops for Education, a free service that will pay us $.10 for every eligible boxtop we collect.  This easy program, simply involving clipping and turning in boxtops from hundreds of products (see the website) could result in a valuable new source of funding for the student council's community service activities, at no additional cost to our community.
The student council will be launching this program in the next few weeks.
For more information on this program, please follow the link below: 

http://www.boxtops4education.com/how-box-tops-works

  


Gently-Used Clothing Collection

The gently-used clothing collection continues this week through Friday.  The clothing will be sorted and stored until the spring at which time we'll have our next Lands' End Used Uniform Sale.  Thanks in advance for your contributions.

Notes From Nurse Maggie

Flu Season:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging better, more frequent hand washing as the first line defense against the spread of influenza. Vaccination each year is considered the single best way to prevent seasonal flu, however, rigorous hand hygiene, with proper hand washing, is essential to avoid spreading the flu virus. It is best to wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. When water is not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Always wash hands:

- Before preparing or eating food

- After going to the bathroom

- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing

- After playing outside

- After handling an animal

Other flu precautions include:

Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick, too. Stay home when you are sick and you will help prevent others from catching your illness.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, throw out the tissue in the nearest wastebasket, and immediately wash hands or use a hand sanitizer. Or cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth before hand washing.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill since germs can live on those surfaces. This includes your computer keyboard and television remote control. Questions? Please contact me at mwest@francisparker.org or 619-717-0235.

 

Lower School Menu

Menu for the Week of November 16

Posted by ls-newsletter on Friday November 13, 2015 at 05:53PM
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Choose groups to clone to:


As Head of the Lower School and member of the Parker administrative team, Dr. Gillingham is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Mission Hills campus. In addition to overseeing curriculum and instruction, Bob also works closely with the school's Parents' Association in coordinating parent volunteers and campus activities. He also... Read more.


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Lower School Calendar

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Mission Hills Campus
Lower School
4201 Randolph Street
San Diego, CA 92103
619 / 298-9110
Linda Vista Campus
Middle/Upper School
6501 Linda Vista Road
San Diego, CA 92111
858 / 569-7900
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