Topanga Messenger - August 27, 2015 - By Messenger Staff
It was an exciting day at Topanga Elementary Charter School as nearly 300 students began the fall semester on Tuesday, August 18.
The kids ran around the playground before the morning bell as their parents stayed close by for announcements.
This was especially true for the first-timers—those kids who started in Transitional Kindergarten (TK) and in the two Kindergarten classes.
After the TK and Kindergarten kids were safely installed in their classrooms, their parents gathered in the lower garden to meet Principal Steve Gediman, who assured them their children would be safe and sound.
“Our goal is always to provide a clean and safe learning environment with high expectations for academic achievement for all students,” he said. “In addition to our emphasis on fully implementing the California Common Core standards in all subject areas, we will continue to stress the arts (especially visual arts, dance, music and theater) and continue to draw on the artistic expertise of our parent volunteers.”
For the upcoming school year, Gediman was especially proud of the new science teacher, Catherine Schoonmaker, an environmental biologist who worked for years for the National Park Service in the Santa Monica Mountains, and was a zookeeper with the Los Angeles Zoo.
Schoonmaker will work with a committee of science-minded parent volunteers and a team headed by Rosi Dagit, Senior Conservation Biologist for the RCDSMM (Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains).
Sign on School Road in Topanga announcing the start of school for the fall semester.
Gediman told the Kindergarten parents that the new science program is “place based” in that the learning is centered around investigations and field studies from the amazing network of trails above the school that are still part of the campus.
“The program is called T.R.E.E.S. (Topanga Resource Ecosystem Exploration for Students),” he said. “I am very excited about our new science program. I believe we need to unlock the potential given to us in this unique school location and create a true outdoor classroom for students to explore and learn.”
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