Welcome to 2016-2017!

Welcome back Gardner families!

For weeks now, our amazing team of educators, custodians, and office staff have been preparing for your return to school.  The floors are shiny, the rugs are clean, the classroom libraries are organized, the lessons are planned, and the rooms are decorated.  Stepping onto campus Tuesday morning you will know that what we do at Gardner, we do out of love for everything that makes Gardner the great community of learners that it is.

I am proud to announce that all indicators of achievement – from student, staff, and parent surveys to Smarter Balanced Assessment data and English Language Learners’ reclassification rates – demonstrate we are a school on the move and performing better. In fact, the percent of our students meeting and exceeding standards on the Smarter Balanced Assessment doubled from the prior year.  Our significantly improved scores in language arts are a testament to the impact of our ongoing professional development on the teaching of reading and writing and the effectiveness of the workshop approach to teaching reading and writing that we adopted three years ago.  And while we made good progress in math, we are sharpening our focus to improve our math program so that it is rooted in the workshop approach too.

Because we firmly believe that a good education is one that puts as much emphasis on creativity, physical fitness, and social/emotional learning as it does content knowledge and critical thinking, we can all thank the Friends of Gardner, our hardworking, parent-led booster club, for supporting our music, art, organic garden and PE programs that wouldn’t be possible without the annual donations from families like yours.  I urge you to help Friends of Gardner increase the impact of the annual giving campaign by participating for the first time if you haven’t before or continuing to generously invest in your child and everyone else’s.

Safety and security at school are of the utmost importance – on the yard, in the classrooms, and around the campus as students arrive and depart each day. As parents, we know that how we behave is the most powerful model of what we expect from our children.  It also establishes the climate and culture of our school.  When dropping off kids, follow the rules of the road and use common sense so that everyone arrives safely and emotionally ready for the day. When speaking with students and adults, practice kindness and show respect.  And when problems arise, focus on our mutual objective of providing students with a safe and caring place where they can all reach their potential.  Don’t solve school related problems on your own - concerns should be brought directly to teachers and then to me whenever necessary.

Working together, I know that we will continue to move forward and enjoy a wonderful year of learning.

Sincerely,

Michael Rosner, Principal

Welcome to 2015-2016!

Even though it marks the end of summer, I love starting a new school year.  Like the new students I have met since the office opened in July, my heart is full of nervous hope and high expectations for all the wonderful things that this year holds. 

The children’s optimism is a great reminder of the importance of what our staff is called to nourish, build, and grow as we welcome our students and families into our school and classrooms. 

Last year we saw many wonderful developments, including:  increased parent involvement and support of Friends of Gardner, our parent led fundraising group; the start of our Art Studio program; expansion of our music program to include ensembles; school-wide implementation of Writing Workshop; teams of teachers, many of them new to our school, working together to plan instruction aligned to the Common Core Standards and support each other in meeting our students’ needs; implementation of social/emotional learning through the Way of Council, a methodology that builds community and develops skills across the curriculum; Farm to Fork’s garden based STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program; and so much more.

This year we are a school that is on the move again.  We started the summer with a four-day training in Reading Workshop and will expand our classroom libraries as we implement this methodology so students have loads of reading material and instruction that is just right for them.  We are revamping our art curriculum and relocating the art studio so that it’s more spacious and better organized for creating.  We will implement a new math curriculum that is aligned to the Common Core and use new instructional technologies installed in classrooms just last week to improve learning.  All our great programs – music, drama, PE, tech, Farm to Fork, and more – will continually be refined and improved to better meet students’ needs and raise the bar on depth and complexity throughout our whole curriculum.

Of course, with all new beginnings, anxiety is mixed up in the excitement.  Most of the anxiety will rest in the hearts of parents who entrust to us what they cherish most and of our students who are full of expectation too.   Here at Gardner Street School, the staff and I understand that what we have done year after year is a first step for our students and their families.

That is why, long before school started, our staff has been preparing for the year.  When our students come to school on the first day they will enter classrooms that are decorated, with desks arranged, floors waxed, carpets cleaned, and lessons prepared to engage them.  By the end of the first day, we expect all anxieties will have melted away and that our students will understand that not only have they come back to school, but that they have come home too.

Welcome back to school Gardner families!

Important Updates for Gardner Street Families

Dear Gardner families,

We are working every day to improve our campus procedures and value your feedback and assistance in making all our routines effective and efficient so that students have an enjoyable day full of learning in a safe and caring environment.  From the moment students begin their journey to school until the time they arrive home, we are concerned about their safety and well-being.

Here are some reminders about old and new procedures that we think will help everyone – students, staff, parents, and community members – have a better Gardner experience.

Morning Drop-Off
Make drop-off and pick-up of students safe!

We have three drop-off spots including the lower yard (Gardner), the pre-school (Vista), and the main entrance on Hawthorn.  At all three locations it is important that parents use common sense and follow the law even without police being present.  Pull into the drop-off lane and wait until you reach the front of the line to let students out of cars.  Avoid the red curb and the bus zone.  Don’t let students out in the street and respect our neighbors.

After school, please stay out of the bus zone east of Vista and allow yourself enough time to keep students safe when entering cars – pull over to the curb in a legal parking zone.

Visiting Campus During School
Keep our campus secure and our learning free of interruptions!

All visitors to our campus must come directly to the main office.  If you are volunteering during the day you will be given a volunteer’s visitor’s pass and be asked to sign in upon arrival and to sign out upon departure.  Volunteers must be pre-approved by the classroom teacher and/or the principal.

If you arrive early to pick your child up at the end of the school day, please respect our classrooms and the learning happening in school by waiting off campus until our doors open at 2:40 pm.

After 3:00 pm, the doors to the main building on Hawthorn are kept closed.  You may enter through the large gate just west of the auditorium after 3:00 pm.

Arriving Late = TARDY!
Form good habits by leaving home early and arriving on time!

Students who arrive late must come directly to the main office to receive a tardy slip.  Parents of pre-schoolers and kindergartners may escort their child to class.  1st – 6th graders will be assisted to class by school personnel.

Food for Class Parties/Celebrations
Feed students healthy treats that please everyone!

When bringing treats to share for birthday parties or class celebrations, please remember that some students have food allergies and intolerances to certain ingredients.  Before shopping, please ask your classroom teacher about specific allergies/intolerances including, but not limited to, dairy, nuts, wheat and food dyes/coloring.

The following ingredients are not allowed for shared foods:

  • Peanuts and tree nuts
  • Food coloring (this mainly applies to cakes and cupcakes with brightly colored frosting) 

Thank you for your ongoing devotion to our students and our school.

Warmly,

Michael Rosner, Principal

 

Welcome to 2014-2015!

Dear Gardner families,

Welcome to the 2014-2015 school year!  In all my 24 years working as an educator in LAUSD I have never been more excited to begin school.  This is going to be an incredible year of learning and growth for all of us who are part of the amazing Gardner Street School learning community – students, parents, staff, educators, everyone – as we build on the foundation laid in years past and work in partnership to ensure that our children have the very best education possible.

We will continue to enjoy the wonderful enrichment programs we already have in place for students – our art studio;  theater; “Farm to Fork,” our edible schoolyard project; physical education; music instruction; and the computer lab – while also enhancing each of these programs so that they better meet the needs of our students.  For example, this year our edible garden program will incorporate science, technology, engineering, and math instruction to deepen the purpose of the garden and student learning.  And for the first time in years, we will re-open our library with a part-time library aide.

You’ll hear more about how you can help ensure that our programs continue and improve from our wonderful Friends of Gardner, the parents who work tirelessly to raise the funds that make all this happen.  Without your participation, these most important educational programs may be discontinued.

This past year has been a time of many changes, none more significant than the retiring and moving away of past employees and the hiring of new staff members.  While I’m excited for all those who have chosen to move on and do different things, I am even more excited about the team we have assembled to serve you and your children this year.

We have a wonderful new custodian, Jorge Caceres. He and our Plant Manager, Mario Cortes, have cleaned up the school like never before.  If you see them, please thank them for their incredible efforts.  We are in the process of hiring a new office manager to replace our beloved Ms. Alba who has taken a job much closer to home, and we have many new teachers.  I am happy to welcome Janet Glazer (Kinder), Jasmine Agito (1st), Lisa Watts-Lawton (2nd), Angela Ranganathan (5th), Kandra Jacobson (6th); and David Panzer (SDC).  Because of rising enrollment, we will hire a 2nd/3rd grade teacher this week, and until we find an outstanding new Resource Specialist Teacher, we will have a highly qualified sub for that program.  When you meet our new staff members and see the results of their efforts, I’m sure you will be as inspired by them as I am.

It’s the school’s responsibility and my mission to ensure that our children have the best-prepared and most skilled teachers possible.  To that end, I work with the faculty to provide and bring in quality professional development and training.  I’m so proud of our faculty who spent a week of their summer here in training so that they can better help our children learn.  As a follow up to last year’s investment in the Writing Workshop approach to instruction, we will continue to bring in experts to guide teachers’ professional growth in the areas of writing and reading.  We will also invest in high quality fiction and nonfiction classroom libraries so that all readers have access to vast amounts of reading material and we are prepared to fully implement Reading Workshop a year from now.  Additionally, this year we will dive deep into the Common Core Standards in math and the Next Generation Science Standards while we revamp instruction in these areas as well.

I look forward to getting to know each of you and to the relationships that will be built as we work together to make our students’ school experience one that is rich and rewarding in an environment that is safe and caring.

Sincerely,

Michael Rosner, Principal
michael.rosner@lausd.net

Spruce Up Sunday ROCKED!

Our last beautification day - known at Gardner as Spruce Up Sunday - was an incredible day of cleaning, painting, and planting.  The cafeteria has been transformed into a bright white space and our kindergarten/first grade wing has received the first elements of a mural that will be completed at our next spruce up.  Do you have a desire to beautify Gardner?  Join us for the next sprucing on Sunday, March 23rd at from 9am - 2pm.