What’s Coming Up?
Mon Jan. 25 School Experience Survey Begins (Ends Feb. 11)
Mon Jan. 25 STAR Afterschool Play – 5:30 p.m. in the Aud.
Tue Jan. 26 Leadership Council – 1:45 p.m. in Rm 8
Thur Jan. 28 Topanga Family Night at Pedalers Fork: 5 – 8 p.m.
Fri. Jan. 29 Morning Assembly – 8:00 am
Fri. Jan. 29 Field Lab Day: Batz (4th)/ Handler / Galindo)
Sat. Jan. 30 Heal the Bay at Topanga Beach
Traffic Duty for the Week: Ms. Tapper’s Class
Frozen Treat Sales: Ms. Chatham’s Class
Wrapping up this morning’s assembly, I made a serious plea for caution and safety on our school road (still being fixed) – but especially in our parking lot.
Many of us are stressed and pressed for time in the morning, and unfortunately that results in drivers going too fast in a very crowded area. We’ve been dealing with drivers who do not pull all the way up in tandem spaces, and non-staff members who park in “staff only” spaces – but this week something even scarier happened (twice). While, thankfully, no one was hurt, on two occasions this week adults have alerted us to toddlers walking alone in the parking lot area. With the number of cars darting around in this space, it is imperative that you be in physical contact with any little one while crossing through the lot. I appreciate that we have adults who look out for these sorts of hazards – and I hope that parents understand that if we give you a warning – it’s because we care about our children.
Pedalers Fork in Calabasas is graciously hosting a Topanga Family Night this Thursday, January 28th, from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. During that time, 20% of their proceeds will go to our school!
Today we had three successful Field Study hikes on our school trail for a second grade class and both third grade classes. Our third grade classes got to be the first to try out the new binoculars that the school ordered for our still-evolving environmental science program.
The binoculars were first suggested by our Science Committee. While not an official committee aligned with our Leadership Council, the Science Committee consists of parents who are passionate about supporting our science program through volunteering, organizing and funding (while the school purchased the binoculars, the parents got us a very good deal).
Our staff has been looking at changes to the science lab schedule – but the Friday Field hikes (the ones listed every week here in the Focus) have not changed. The funding and hours for Ms. Schoonmaker (our science teacher) hasn’t changed either – we’re just looking for more effective ways for our teachers to collaborate on this important subject that reaches across the curriculum.
The Science Committee is open to all parents, and we meet in the Science Lab afterschool on Friday once a month. We had a brief meeting today, and the remaining dates are: Feb 19th, Mar 18th, Apr 15th and May 6th. During the next few dates, we will be discussing Topanga’s Science Fair, which is scheduled for Friday, May 13 (the day after Open House). Last year’s Science Fair was Topanga’s first in a long time – so we’re very open to ideas and volunteers to make this one even better.
The School Experience Survey
Just as every student gets a Report Card, every LAUSD school gets a “School Report Card.” If you didn’t get one for Topanga (we sent them home the week before the winter break), they are online, or we may be able to give you a copy if you come to the office.
The School Report Card is an important way for our school to gather and respond to feedback from students, parents and staff. The window for participating in this survey ends February 11th. Last year our participation rates for students was 93% and for the staff it was 90% (both above District averages) – but our parent participation level was only 41% (a big rise from the previous year’s 23% - but still . . .)
Next week we will be sending home envelopes with the School Survey for you to complete. They give one out one per family, so expect to see from your oldest child who attends our school. The paper form inside can either be filled out and then sent back to school – or there are instructions on how to go online and do it that way. Either way – please send back the form so we can check you off our list, reassure the District that we are doing our best, and then let your voices be heard. Thanks for your help.
Take Good Care,
Mr. Steve Gediman, Principal
The latest news from Topanga Elementary Charter School and TEP, including the TEP Newsletter and the Friday Focus.