A message from TOPANGA ELEMENTARY CHARTER SCHOOL
What’s Coming Up?
Mon May 15 Last Day of 3rd Grade SBAC test
Tue May 16 Committee Meetings – 1:45 pm
Thur May 18 Open House – 5:30 – 7:00 pm
Fri May 19 Friday Morning Assembly – 8:00 am
Wed May 24 GATE Parent Meeting - 8:00 am in Room 8
Traffic Duty for the Week: Ms. Batz’s Class
Frozen Treat Sales: Ms. Santora’s Class
Thanks to all the students, parents and families that made this year’s Staff Appreciation Week so special. This week the teachers and aides got flowers, fruit, sweets, heartfelt cards and (most importantly) words of gratitude and appreciation. Now we can all get back to taking them for granted . . . (that was a joke).
3rd Grade has one more day of testing on Monday, and then we are done except for make-up tests. Speaking of tests, parents who have questions about the 2nd Grade OLSAT test, GATE and differentiated instruction are invited to come to a parent workshop on May 24th (a week from this coming Wednesday) at 8:00 am to meet with me and Ms. Tobisman, our GATE coordinator.
Parking here at Topanga Elementary is always a challenge, which is why we allow parents to use the lower playground as a parking lot before and after school. The lower playground is a playground during school hours, but it should not be used as a playground when it is a parking lot (i.e. when cars are present). Let make sure we aren’t allowing children to play on the lower playground when cars are still moving – it’s just not worth the risk.
Open House . . .
. . . Is next week! There will be lots of interesting exhibits on display in the classrooms on Thursday night (including an elaborate 4th grade construction that non-4th grade families are being asked only to observe from the outside . . .). You’ll also have a chance to visit the science lab, see the science fair exhibits in the auditorium, and visit with fellow Topanga Elementary families. Open House is from 5:30 – 7:00 pm, and we hope to see you them.
Kindergarten and First Grade: The Great Dismissal Experiment
Thank you, parents of Rooms 1, 2, 3 & 4, for participating in our week-long dismissal experiment. The teachers and I decided that while there were big advantages to bringing all four classes up to the quad area for dismissal, there were also some drawbacks. We are going back to the drawing board, so beginning on Monday, dismissal will once again be from the classroom.
The biggest advantage of bringing the Kinder and 1st grade classes up for dismissal was that the lower garden was clear soon after dismissal – which addressed our concerns about kids running up the hills and climbing trees without supervision. I hope parents can work with us to make sure all students are accounted for as we dismiss from the classroom, and we’ll put our heads together and decide the best way to dismiss for the upcoming school year.
Toys at School
As I’m sure you are aware, fidget spinners are all the rage and sweeping school campuses across the country. These colorful devices are advertised as concentration tools, however our faculty and staff members are finding the spinners to be a distraction not only to the student who has it, but to those around them as well.
At Topanga Elementary we are very supportive of the benefits of sensory tools to help students who struggle with focus and attention, however we are finding that the fidgets have become more of a fad, and are being used as a toy, rather than as a concentration tool. Not only have they become a distraction in the classroom, but they are also being tossed around at recess and lunch. They may be small in size, but they could seriously hurt someone. Students are also starting to sell and trade spinners on campus, which has led to even further problems.
For all of these reasons, Topanga Elementary faculty and administration decided to put a ban on fidget spinners on campus. Although they were once believed to be a much-needed solution to a common classroom problem, they're now causing more issues than they solve both in the classroom and out.
The school is sensitive to the sensory needs of our students and our teachers use a variety of tools and strategies for those students identified as having sensory needs. If students are found with spinners at school, they will be asked to put them in their backpack. If this becomes a challenge for them to comply with, their spinner will be held in the school office until a parent is able to retrieve it.
Please share this policy with your child(ren) and let us know if you have any questions. Thank you for your support and understanding.
The Science Fair is Coming! (Next Week!)
To learn more about the upcoming science fair, here is the link to the website: https://tinyurl.com/topsci
Help Our School's Girl Scouts Help Animals!
As you might have heard this morning at the assembly, Topanga Junior Troop # 1375 is having a collection drive to support the Agoura Animal Shelter.
A BIG THANK YOU to those who have already donated items!!!
The shelter is in need of the following:
Thank you so much for your support and generosity!
Peace, Love and Girl Scouts from Troop #1375
For more information, please contact Mariam Mack (818-261-9286)
or Tracy Kennedy (310-963-9444)
The Topanga Elementary 2016-2017 yearbook is coming!! Order forms will go home next week and you can purchase online too! All orders will be due by Thursday May 25th.
For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy Mother’s Day,
Mr. Steve Gediman, Principal
The latest news from Topanga Elementary Charter School and TEP, including the TEP Newsletter and the Friday Focus.