Thanks so much for your amazing support of all of our activities, but especially for the energy and enthusiasm you've brought to the Gala, Club 80's. On the eve of the event, I can see that the bidding is already robust, that the event will welcome hundreds of Parker families, and the evening's special activities will display the great spirit, commitment and generosity of this community.
Don't forget that the fun will continue with Movie Night on April 26. We already have a great response, and the students have chosen The Lorax for viewing that evening. Please note that we won't be able to begin the movie until 7:45 p.m. (when it gets dark), and the running time is 95 minutes... taking us to a pick-up time of 9:15 p.m. If your family would like to attend, we have plenty of registration forms in the Lower School office.
We appreciate your support of this evening, our collective faculty/staff contribution to the Gala effort, and if it's anything like last year, reminiscent of drive-in movies of our youth, everyone's going to have a great time.
Now, it's off to the gala!
Temporary Internet and Phone Outage Monday
On Monday, April 15 from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM, we will be adding fresh batteries to our battery backup system.
In order to make perform the upgrade, we require downtime of approximately one hour. This is for the Lower School only. During this time there will be no internet or phone service.
Please plan accordingly, and if you need to get through to the campus, please call Bob Gillingham at 619-318-9978.
Lower School strings teacher, Tamara Paige, will be conducting a 40-piece pit orchestra made up of students from all over San Diego County, several of whom are from Parker, including Mia Estrada, a fifth grader. Catlin Mcauliffe, a 4th grader at Parker, will be starring in the show as little Cosette. The production is notable, as it's the first youth theater production of the full professional Broadway Show.
Get your tickets early before they sell out!! Since its triple-cast, Caitlin will be on stage for all shows in some capacity but will only play Cosette on certain nights. (TBA). We'll let you know as soon as the determination is made.
This week, the fifth graders will spend the night on the Californian. The adventure highlights for the students the prelude to the American Revolution as they work as sailors to prepare and operate the ship under the command of a captain (who always seems, in character, to be slightly irritated to have inexperienced sailors he has to train). The kids learn how to move barrels using ropes, raise and lower the sails, sing sea chanties, hear stories from the captain in the belly of the ship, stand watch over perilous San Diego Harbor, and somehow... they always survive, tired but happy.
Girls' Science will be held in Mrs. Imbimbo's room for 3rd-5th grade girls this Thursday from 3:30 p.m. until 4:15 p.m.
This Friday, the fourth graders will present their play, Oh, California, in the Szekely Auditorium in the morning for students and at 1:30 p.m. for parents. Always a favorite, the kids will sing and dance as they share the story of our home state.
I had plenty of time to think last weekend during the Oceanside half-Ironman as I was being mauled on the swim course, passed mercilessly on the bike course by 20 and 30-somethings, and "cheered on" by the pressing crowds every time I tried to walk on the run course. What I thought most about (other than beating my son-in-law) was how fortunate I was to be able to compete, however laboriously, in this beautiful city, with good health and no real restrictions on my physical activity (other than age). Most of all, I realized that I am truly fortunate.
In this spirit, the school is beginning to craft guidelines, both for food, and curriculum, that will help our students and community to know about and live healthy, productive lives. These discussions are always lively, as there are many opionions about what is appropriate and advisable (even possible!), but at the heart of all of them is a mission-driven interest to develop in our students the ability to make good choices that will help them to grow and thrive happily.
We'll hope to entice you into this conversation as it develops, and together, we'll celebrate the wellness of this school community... Just be careful of mass swim starts!
Classroom Creations for the Gala
They're back!!! And wonderful as ever!! And...while we've kept some of the kids class creations the same, we've also changed a few...so, you'll want to make sure to stop in the auditorium on Monday morning after flag raising to see what your child's come up with this year! The actual bidding will take place at the Gala on April 13th, but this is a great opportunity to get a first-hand look!! And don't worry...you can always bid from your smart phone even if you're not planning to attend the Gala!! More details to follow.
The Class Creation will stay in the auditorium until Thursday, April 11 and will then head over to the Hyatt!! So, don't miss out on you're chance to take home a beautiful piece of artwork, made by your child and his classmates reflecting their Parker year!!! All proceeds of the Class Creations will directly benefit our students and faculty...a win/win for all!!
The School's Gala, Club 80's, will be held this Saturday evening at the Hyatt Regency in La Jolla. We hope you can join us!
Eco Kids Club
The EcoClub meets today (Monday) in the Scripps Lecture Hall for grades 3-5 at 3:30 p.m.
This Friday is a dress-down day and BBQ.
There will also be a bake sale. The 4th and 1st Grades will be holding this event at the BBQ this Friday, April 12th. All items will cost $1. Proceeds from the Bake Sale will go to support costs of the Haunted House, which will be produced and hosted by the current 4th graders when they are in 5th Grade. The 1st graders are graciously helping out with providing items for the Bake Sale as the 2013 Halloween chairs are current 1st grade parents.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Walk
Multiple Sclerosis, a neurological disease that impacts muscle control, has affected one of our Lower School teachers. In support of her, the community is rallying to participate in the MS Walk (3 miles) on April 27 in Liberty Station. We'd love to have you join us and support the fight against this disease.
The Boys' Science Club will be meetingthisThursday, April 11th, in lieu of the April 18thscheduledmeeting.The club’s instructor, Trevor Palmer, will be in St. Louispreparing for the International Robotics Competition, so will not be available for the regularly scheduledclub meeting on the 18th.Trevor is part of the W.A.R. Lordsteamwhichwon the FIRST Robotics Competition Regional event held this past week-end.April 11th’s club meeting will be in Mr. Heilman’s Lab from 3:30-4:30. Any 3rd, 4th or 5th Grade Boy is welcome!
Lower School Menu April 8-12, 2013
Mon. Rigatoni (V) Roasted Zuchini Sticks (V) Pb & J, Ham Sandwich Salad Bar (V) Panzanella Salad (greens w/tomato and vinegerette) (V) Italian Pepper Soup (V) Fresh Fruit & Yogurt
Tues. Chicken or Bean (V) Tostadas
Fiesta Corn (V) Pb & J, Turkey Torta Salad Bar (V) Vegetable Posole Soup (V) Fresh Fruit & Yogurt
Wed. Lemon Chicken Mashed Potatoes (V) Fresh Cut Green Beans (V) PB & J, Tuna Salad Sandwich Salad Bar (V) Creamy White Bean Soup (V) Fresh Fruit & Yogurt
Orzo Pasta w/ Broccoli Florets (V) Pb & J, Cheese Sandwich Salad Bar Split Pea Soup (V) Fresh Fruit & Yogurt
I hope all of you are returning rested and refreshed and ready to finish the 2012-13 year in grand style. "Action-packed" probably understates the balance of this remarkable year, but it's going to be appropriately memorable.
In just a couple of weeks, we'll be gathering for the school's Gala, a community celebration that has contributed so significantly over the years to our esprit de corps, but even more importantly to the support of Parker students and teachers. Your participation and generosity are directly strengthening our teaching and learning at Parker, a school where all of us working together allow students to grow and thrive "... as far as the mind can see."
And, before you know it... generations of Parker students, teachers, parents, friends, staff and trustees will come together in an amazing "homecoming," the Centennial Celebration on June 8 to honor Parker, 100 years in the making.
It's going to be a very exciting spring, and speaking on behalf of all of us who work at Parker, we're delighted that you'll be a part of it.
Movie Night, the Lower School faculty's collective effort to support the Gala (which benefits faculty professional development and student financial aid) is on April 26, and the day is a pajama dress-down day. Students who sign up for Movie Night are welcome to stay afterschool (even if they're not a regular part of the afterschool program), or they may join us any time that afternoon in time for a bbq dinner at 6 p.m. We'll have popcorn and water available before and during the movie, which should end at 9 p.m. (though we'll fine tune and communicate that time when we know for sure what time sunset will be and the length of the movie).
The charge is $50 per person (parents are welcome), with siblings being $25. Students coming alone are welcome to bring blankets and chairs to school that day, and we'll store them along the fence until they are needed.
Look for the registration sheets in the Monday envelopes.
Notes from Nurse Maggie:
How to prevent and detect meningitis--
Since January of this year, there have been an unusually large number of cases of meningococcal disease (caused by the “meningococcus” bacteria) in Tijuana, Mexico. Meningitis is a brain infection that can be caused by bacteria or viruses. Most cases have been in children and young adults. Meningitis can result in death, if not detected and treated early. The following are suggestions to prevent meningitis and/or to detect it early:
*Know the symptoms: fever, intense headache, lethargy, stiff neck, and/or a pinpoint rash that does not blanch under pressure.
*Contact your doctor when these symptoms are present.
*Get the meningitis vaccine. The vaccine (known to doctors as MCV4) is recommended for all children between the ages of 11 and 18 years old. The first dose should be given at age 11 or 12. A booster dose can be given at age 16 years. The vaccine is recommended for some adults: those who travel to certain areas where there are very high rates of meningococcal disease (mainly Sub-Saharan Africa), military recruits, college-age students living in dormitories, and adults with certain health conditions.
*Use good hygiene. Frequent hand washing is important. Bacteria can be spread through coughing and sneezing. When a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your own elbow/sleeve (not into your hand).
*Saliva can spread the infection. Do not share food or beverages. Do not share water bottles, eating utensils, lipstick or lip balm.
*Travelers. If you are traveling to Tijuana, be aware of the recent reports of meningitis. Promptly seek care for suggestive symptoms.
If you opened the first link to the PP, you'll appreciate just how far the kids have come and how much they've learned. Check out the latest revision.
Xiaoqing Liao, one of the Lower School's 4th-grade Chinese teachers and also the afterschool teacher, has taken a leave of absence for the balance of the year for personal reasons. Joining us as a long-term sub on Monday, April 1, will be Mary Wu, a very experienced Chinese teacher who has taught extensively in San Diego. We are delighted to welcome Mary to our school and know that you and our students will find her a wonderful addition to our faculty.
Taking the afterschool classes will be Lucy Lu, another wonderfully-accomplished teacher of Chinese. We'll look forward to introducing all of you to Ludy and Mary in the coming weeks.
Legos and Robotics
Legos begins in Mrs. Imbimbo's room this Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. and Robotics begins at the same time in Mrs. Hayman's room. Please see these teachers if you are interested in joining (students) or volunteering (parents).
Girls' and Boys' Science
Girls' Science meets this Thursday in Mrs. Imbimbo's room at 3:30 p.m. and Boys' Science meets in Mr. Heilman's room at the same time. Boys and girls in grades 3-5 are encouraged to get involved.
Lower School Program DVD's
Don’t forget to order your DVD of the 4 Lower School events captured in March.
This has been a very busy, but productive spring, and true to pattern and tradition, the students are really beginning to soar academically. Something about this time of year energizes the growth process, academically and physically, and a glance at a given child's September yearbook photo or a first writing piece is a clear indicator of how far he or she has progressed.
As one of our shared goals this year, the teachers have been working to capture the students' growth in assessments that provide richer, more individualized detail, affording you a clear picture of your child's achievement and challenges still to be met. They've spent hours and hours considering each student, and when you receive the reports in the next week or so, I think you'll be impressed with just how well these dedicated professionals know and support your children.
The Lower School Faculty are among the most dedicated people I know, and what they accomplish with the students over time is remarkable. Sometimes when I look out over the students at flagraising, my gaze will fall upon a student who, not so long ago, was the object of our great concern. I'll remember how we deliberated and planned, rallying the amazing resources available to us. But mostly, I'll think of the whole-hearted collective effort and determination the professional men and women here bring to every student, thriving or not, and how that spirit invariably places students on a path to success.
When you receive the assessments, read between the lines a bit, and I think you'll gain a greater sense of the Parker's mission and the process that's helping prepare our students for truly amazing and productive lives.
Please place your order by Friday, March 22. Thank you!!!
Senior Kindergarten Open House
The senior kindergarteners will switch roles with their parents this Thursday evening as the boys and girls become the teachers, and the parents become the students. The fun begins in the classroom as parents are challenged with a number of activities, and it continues in the Szekely Auditorium where the kids will perform, and the parents may even be invited to participate. All the fun begins at 6:30 p.m. in the classrooms.
Student Council Election
The students will elect their third and final president for the school year this Friday. Candidates will be making speeches at flagraising in hopes of becoming the students' choice.
Junior-Kindergarten Spring Program
The JK students will serenade their parents and friends this Friday at 9:00 a.m. in the courtyard. This program is a long tradition at the Lower School and always a favorite of students who once performed it. The rehearsal the day before is always well-attended by students, teachers and staff.
Students in fifth grade have begun to re-create the Parker Press, and they'd love for you to follow their progress as they build this new publication. The nacent effort can be seen here.
Lower School Parents: The Gala wants YOU! Please get your reservations in and help us make Club 80’s a success! For those of you who are new to Parker, here’s “Gala 101”:
What IS the Gala?
The Parent’s Association Annual Gala is Francis Parker’s largest fundraiser, produced entirely by parent volunteers like you!
What does the Gala support?
Funds raised at the event support student scholarships and faculty professional development.
What happens at the Gala?
Here’s our event timeline:
6 pm: Hosted Cocktails & Silent Auction (*where you’ll be able to bid on those adorable Lower School Class Creations in addition to a fabulous array of auction items).
7:30 p.m: Dinner & Live Auction
9:00 pm: Live Music and dancing featuring “Flock of 80’s”
How do I make my reservations?
What if I don’t know who to sit with?
Indicate the grade and/or activities that your student is in and our reservations chairs will seat you with parents whose children are in the same grade or on the same team to ensure you have a wonderful time!
Where is the Gala being held?
Hyatt Regency La Jolla. Interested in staying overnight? Rooms are available for Club 80’s gala attendees at a discounted rate (www.lajolla.hyatt.com, use Corporate Code: 50751).
Where do I park?
Self-parking is $8. Valet parking is $8 for the first hour, and $4 for each additional hour.
What do I wear?
Channel your 80’s awesomeness! Were you more Madonna or Preppy handbook? Bill Cosby or Billy Idol? Molly Ringwald or Cyndi Lauper? How about wearing a Journey concert t-shirt and jeans? And if dressing in costume isn’t your thing, just come casual!
Why should I go?
It is a fun night out with friends, a great way to meet new ones, and a wonderful way to support our school.
Any questions? Please contact Gala Co-Chairs Marilyn Tobin and Caroline Wohl at email@example.com
Rain forced us into the Szekely Auditorium for our spring program last Friday, affording all of us yet another example of just how flexible this community can be.
Behind the scenes, our teachers were watching students energized by both the rain and their imminent performances; our specialists and librarian were practically sprinting from classroom to classroom to fetch the next performers; Letty Robinson looked like a whirling dirvish as she choreographed a symphony of moving chairs, bodies, music stands and sheet music; and our maintenance staff engineered so many changes on the stage, what they did could only be called "musical chairs." And, depending on when their children were performing, parents moved in and out smoothly and quietly in what one parent called a "performance buffet."
The net effect turned out to be wonderful, if somewhat chaotic. Sound which might otherwise have escaped into the courtyard was acoustically enhanced by the room. The students seemed to elevate their performances, hearing perhaps more clearly than before just how much they've accomplished. And, when all 61 of our strings students joined in together, I got a chill up my spine and a lump in my throat to see just how far our music program has come.
Yet, as wonderful as the music was, and it's only going to get better, I was most impressed by this real-life example of project-based learning and problem solving. Our students are learning from us all the time, and I submit that there were some powerful lessons learned last Friday.
This week, students will enjoy the 5th-grade play on Thursday morning, and parents will see it on Friday at 1:30 p.m. in the Szekely Auditorium. The 5th graders have a strong message about helping to preserve our planet and to conserve our resources, and you won't want to miss it.
The next Boys' Science Club meeting is this Thursday (3/14) from 3:30-4:30 in Mr. Heilman's Lab. If any parent of a Third through Fifth Grade boy would like to add their son's name to the roster, they may contact Kerri Gutekunst at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Friday, we'll enjoy a bbq, a dress-down day with either a green (St. Partrick's Day) or superhero purpose (and perhaps both!). If students choose the superhero option, they may wear any clever combination of clothing, hats, scarves, capes, etc., that will still allow them to fully function as students. They may also create their own superhero if they wish.
Lost and Found
If your child is missing outerwear, you may want to check the lost and found box on the playground in the next 2 weeks. All remaining clothing in the box will be donated to local charities on March 22.
Community Service Office News
The Community Service Office is collecting formal dresses, cocktail dresses, gowns and accessories for the Cinderella’s Attic upcoming Prom Boutique, an event providing free formal wear to high school girls who can’t afford to buy a prom dress.
Check your closet for unwanted gowns, bride’s maid dresses, shoes, purses, shawls and jewelry. Those items will go a long way towards building the confidence and self esteem in a young girl trying to look and feel her best. All donations are tax deductible.
Items may be dropped off at the Lower School, Middle School, Upper School or the Community Service Office located off the faculty parking lot at the Middle-Upper School. Please contact Carol Jensen. Director of Community Programs, for any further information.
Thoughts to Ponder
How Music Can Help Your Child Learn
By Zrinka Peters
Can popping a classical music CD into the player after nap time help Johnnie breeze through his homework? Will Lizzie's piano lessons help her get an A in math?
Research on the effects of music on learning has been in progress for decades. When research on the Mozart Effect - the theory that listening to Mozart's music can temporarily improve performance, and perhaps even IQ - became popularized in the late 1950s, parents everywhere began to try and expose their children to more classical music. The theory became so popular that Georgia's governor even proposed a budget allowing for every baby born in Georgia to receive a classical music CD. Do Georgia's children now have IQs that surpass the national average? Can Mozart really make our children smarter?
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.