August 1, 2016
Welcome to the 2016-2017 school year! I truly hope that this school year will be filled with new learning experiences, insights and friendships for your child as well as the entire family. Even though we are a rather large elementary school, we strive to create a close-knit school community where everyone is included and afforded an opportunity to play a role in developing a learning environment that is second to none. My staff and I are committed to providing your children with a balanced elementary school experience focused on vital 21st century skills such as written and verbal communication, collaboration, problem solving, and creative thinking alongside of a full enrichment program to include music, dance, art, fitness, and technology literacy. We believe that this dual commitment is essential to educating well-rounded children.
In this new school year we will carry on with our school-wide, established innovative programs: Singapore Math strategies, Write…From the Beginning, Engineering is Elementary, & MindUP. You can expect to learn more about how these programs are being implemented in your child’s grade level at Back to School Night in September.
With the support of our Carpenter Governance Council, teaching staff, PFC and the hard work of our amazing parents and guardians we all can look forward to the following exciting additions:
- Additional Transitional Kinder classroom teacher with approved funding by Carpenter’s Governance Council (sixth consecutive year)
- Increased focus on providing all school stakeholders opportunities to cultivate cultural competency, promote empathy and deepen inclusion within our school community
- Phase II of our school wide adoption of the Engineering is Elementary program (Grades 2, 4 & 5 will be added to the program and all grade levels 1-5 will engage in at least one major engineering project)
- Singapore Math textbook adoption in grades 1, 2 & 3
- Continued implementation of MindUP - a social and emotional learning program to reduce stress and aggressive behavior, improve focus and academic performance and increase resiliency for success in school and in life
- The continuation of our highly popular 180° Place - a safe, supervised playground area for students with injuries and/or students in need of assistance with interpersonal relationships
- A new concrete foosball table at 180° Place
- A reseeded grass field for students to enjoy during and after school
- Addition of a brand new hutch for our school duck, Lucky, complete with a swimming area
We will have five additions to our teaching staff this year. I am thrilled to announce that we have hired some very experienced teachers. Amy Ahn will be our new special education teacher for our Special Day Class as our own Ms. Green has shifted to a general education position in third grade. Ms. Ahn has previously taught Special Day Class for the past six years at Montara Avenue Elementary. Also joining our third grade team is Jody Newman. Mr. Newman comes to us from Sixth Avenue Elementary where he taught for the past 14 years. This year we are adding a fifth 4th grade classroom to our program. Roxanna Dixon will be joining our fourth grade team. Ms. Dixon comes to us from New Economics for Women Charter School where she taught for the past four years.
Over the summer we had two staff members announce that they would not be returning to Carpenter for the new year.Mrs. Krugel and her family have relocated to Idaho so she will not be returning to teach our TK class as expected.In addition, Ms. Hernandez accepted a position as special education teacher at Grant High School.As a result we were able to hire two brand new teachers to join our staff. Maria Poyner is our newest teacher in kindergarten, and Malary McLaughlin has joined our special education team as a Resource teacher. I am very confident that all five of the new teachers we are welcoming onto our staff possess the enthusiasm and high standards for student learning to be invaluable members of our school community for many years to come.
As you can see great things are happening at Carpenter. I look forward to collaborating with our school community to make this school year one of our very best. Like all of you, I am committed to ensuring that Carpenter remains a source of pride for the Studio City community and a leader amongst elementary schools for many years to come.
Joseph P. Martinez