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Welcome Letter

August 1, 2018

Welcome to the 2018-2019 school year! I am extremely proud to announce that Carpenter celebrates the start of this new year with two of the most significant accomplishments in our school’s 94 years of operation. Carpenter is the recipient of the 2018 Distinguished School Award for academic achievement by the California Department of Education. In addition, we are just 1 of 2 LAUSD schools to receive the coveted 2018 Exemplary Arts Award. Those two awards are a great indication that the collaboration between our faculty and parent groups is excelling. We look forward to welcoming you and your child to our school community and finding new ways to improve our school for the future.

We have a number of new and exciting initiatives that we will be introducing this year. Some of the new additions include two new Enrichment teachers to support our science and music programs for the primary grades, a new outdoor science lab area to enhance our innovative science program, the creation of a Learning Center to strategically service students, and an additional fifth grade teacher to reduce our class sizes in the upper grades. Another exciting change to our school this year is the arrival of new teachers and staff members who are all very eager to become active members of our community.

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. With the support of our teaching staff, Carpenter’s Governance Council, PFC, PTA and the hard work of our amazing parents and guardians we all can look forward to the following exciting additions:

  • A new outdoor science lab area
  • An additional science teacher for primary grades
  • 2:1 ratio of students to Chromebooks in grades 3-5
  • A full-time librarian (first time in 8 years)
  • A refurbished library with new lighting, carpet and furniture
  • Additional First grade classroom teacher funded by Carpenter’s Governance Council (eighth consecutive year)
  • Additional Fifth grade classroom teacher to reduce class sizes in the upper grades
  • A continuation on providing all school stakeholders opportunities to cultivate cultural competency, promote empathy and deepen inclusion within our school community
  • Full implementation of the Engineering is Elementary program in grades K-5
  • A pilot program of the VEX IQ Robotics System in the upper grades
  • The use of Singapore Math strategies to supplement our math program
  • Implementation of Phase II of Lego Robotics in our science lab for grades 2-5
  • Phase II of our implementation of LAUSD’s Restorative Justice program that emphasizes community building and commits to restoring positive relationships
  • 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 reseeded grass field for students to enjoy during and after school
  • 2 new security gates with passcode entries on Carpenter Ave.

We will have six stellar additions to our administrative team and teaching staff this year. New to our administrative team is Edward Gorton who will be serving as our part-time Assistant Principal. Mr. Gorton is highly skilled at working with students to create and maintain a positive school culture and climate. Joining our Enrichment staff this year are Sandra Maestas (part-time science teacher working with Lori Belateche) and Lucia Marco (part-time music teacher working with Mrs. Taweel). We are also thrilled to announce that we have hired some very dynamic and inspiring classroom teachers. After successfully serving our community for the past few years as a substitute teacher, Alisha Jenkins officially joins our staff as a fifth grade teacher. Also joining our fifth grade team is Adam Brandy. Mr. Brandy previously taught for the past few years at Riverside Drive Charter where he was a member of their governance council and a technology specialist. Also joining our fourth grade team is Virginia Wait. Ms. Wait has taught art at our school for the past few years with our Enrichment program. I am very optimistic that all of these educators will have a profound impact on our school community for many years to come.

As you can see there has never been a better time to be a student at Carpenter. It is always wonderful to receive recognition for a job well done, but there is no place for complacency. My staff and I are dedicated to working alongside all members of our school community to ensure that Carpenter remains a source of pride for the Studio City community and a leader amongst elementary schools in Los Angeles and nationwide.

Joseph Martinez 2015
Joseph P. Martinez