A message from TOPANGA ELEMENTARY CHARTER SCHOOL
What’s Coming Up?
Fri. Aug 26 Morning Assembly – 8:00 am
Fri. Aug 26 Opening Packet and Comfort Bags Due
Fri. Aug 26 Volunteer Training – 9:00 am in Room 8
Sat Aug 27 Movie Night – “Zootopia” – 5:30 pm in the Aud (Movie starts at 6:00 pm)
Tue Aug 30 Back to School Night 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Tue Aug 30 Voting for Leadership Council Parent Representatives
Fri Sept 02 Admissions Day – No School
Mon Sept 05 Labor Day – No School
It was good to see so many parents join us for our first Friday morning assembly. One highlight was when I had the chance to introduce our new staff members. Our three new classroom teachers, new P.E. coach and science teacher have completed their first week at Topanga Elementary, and we’re glad to have them aboard!
The “principally” part of my presentation was on two subjects: the heat and the traffic. Concerning the heat, I reiterated my firm belief that we should all use sun screen daily. I have no recommendations for a particular brand, but District policy allows students to protect themselves from the sun with sunscreen, hats and sunglasses (the hats and sunglasses, however, have to come off indoors).
And then there’s the traffic . . . hats off to the parents who helped out all week with traffic duty – you are appreciated! Patience is also a virtue for those waiting in line for pick up or drop off, and we should always let children out using the door facing the sidewalk, not the street. I’ve also been told that folks have been parking on the bridge down at the bottom of the street, which can create a hazard as parents drive up and down our School Road.
In addition to car traffic, I gave a gentle reminder to parents that we should all respect the school dismissal time (2:40 pm on MWF, 1:35 pm on Tuesday and Thursday). I make sure our school gates stay locked until one minute before dismissal, but some parents who are coming into the parking lot before dismissal are walking onto campus and waiting by classrooms, which make it difficult for teachers to keep the attention of their class as they get them ready to go home. Mostly we’ve seen it in front of our two second grade classes – but after my little talk this morning, this afternoon looked a lot better! Thank you.
The price of everything is going up – and that includes breakfast and lunch in our cafeteria. Student breakfast is now $2.25 and lunch is $2.75. If your child didn’t have enough money this week, don’t worry – our cafeteria manager won’t let anyone go hungry, and we can settle the money part later.
The Opening Packet documents are due in one week – but where are the “Annual Pesticide Use Notifications” and “LAUSD Publicity Authorization and Release” forms listed on the big white Opening Packet? You’re not the only one to notice. The other forms are ours, but those two forms come in the District’s Student/Parent Handbook – and this year the District is late sending it to us. We will get them out to you as soon as possible, or we will provide you with a link so you can complete the form and print it electronically.
Leadership Council at Topanga Elementary Charter
The Leadership Council is the decision making body at Topanga Elementary. As outlined in our charter, the council is composed of ten representatives: five teachers, three parents, one classified staff member and one administrator. The parent representatives are elected for a two year term, and this is the year we will elect three new parent representatives.
Interested? Contact me via email, phone – or just come by the office (but let me know by Wednesday, August 24 so I can put this together in time). Before Back to School Night, I will put a ballot together with all the candidates’ names, and I would like the candidates to also give me a short paragraph to go with their name on the ballot.
The voting will be here on campus. The election will be by secret ballot, with ballots distributed, one per family, at our Back-to-School Night in a manner to assure that each family that is entitled to vote will receive a ballot. Ballots will be counted by two Leadership Council members and me, and will be available for review until the next election.
If you want to be involved in Leadership but would rather not commit to being a parent representative, you can join a leadership committee. You don’t need to be voted in – just show up on Committee Meeting Tuesdays, which are always the week before Leadership Meeting Tuesdays. These dates can be found in the Opening Packet.
Back to School Movie Night - Zootopia
Next Saturday, August 27th, TEP is hosting Movie Night here in the Topanga Elementary auditorium. Doors will open at 5:30 for seating and eating (it’ll be floor seating – so bring your own blanket or floor pillows) and the film will screen at 6:00 pm. It’ll be a fun event for the whole family, and 100% of the proceeds (food, drinks and suggested donation) will go to TEP to pay for all the extras our school gives our students (teacher aides, our new P.E. coach, our science teacher – not to mention allowing us to open a new position in 4th grade so we could unsplit the 4/5 split class).
Environmental Science Training for Parents
Our new Science Committee (now a part of TEP) will be meeting next week on Friday to help kick off the next phase of our science program at Topanga Elementary. When we roll out our new enrichment schedule, we would like to see parents volunteering to come along on our science hikes to help out (not to mention it’s a lot of fun)!
As many of you know, we have partnered with the RCD of the Santa Monica Mountains in developing our program, and now the RCD is offering training that could help you to help us on the trails. Here is their message:
On Tuesday, September 20 at Topanga State Park, 10-12:30pm, there will be a Program Orientation. Learn about environmental education from those in the business. Meet dept. educators while enjoying refreshments and hearing about what we do.
All interested parties welcome. RSVP by Tue Sep 13 to Stephen Vodantis, Education Supervisor: email@example.com
Frozen Treats After School
Annual frozen treat pass sign up flyers will be going home in the backpacks next week, and you can also sign up via online. You’ll be able to sign up for frozen treat duty when the sheets start going around.
STAR Nova After School Enrichment
Next Tuesday, August 23 at 2 pm, online registration for STAR Nova Session 1 Enrichment Classes opens: http://topangacanyon.starinc.org
Classes include: Art, Eco Station Junior Animal Keeper, Chess, Improv Comedy, RockSTAR and Kinder ROCK, Basketball, Soccer (with Coach Daniel), Minecraft Intro and Gardening. A broad array of topics for every area of interest, with programs aligned to S.T.E.A.M. initiative, covering disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics)
For questions, please call 310-502-7231 or email our site Director, Angela Lopez at firstname.lastname@example.org
Enrollment Open until Sept 9. DETAILED BROCHURES AVAILABLE IN SCHOOL OFFICE & ONLINE.
(Is this the lengthiest Friday Focus ever? Maybe . . .)
Thanks for reading,
Mr. Steve Gediman, Principal
The latest news from Topanga Elementary Charter School and TEP, including the TEP Newsletter and the Friday Focus.