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Welcome Letter

August 1, 2017

Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year! This year promises to be extra special with many events and developments that are either “out of this world” or completely new to Carpenter. To illustrate that point, we will kick-off the year on August 21 with a full solar eclipse, the likes of which have not been seen in North America since 1979. As a school, under the direction of Mrs. Belateche (our amazing science teacher) we will safely join millions of people in North America to observe this once in a generation occurrence.

We have many changes to our school that are new to Carpenter’s stratosphere. Some of the new additions include the introduction of a new English Language Arts textbook, a modernized fire alarm system, and the unveiling of a new lunch program we are calling “Cougars Dine Together.” This is a new school initiative to help students create relationships, build leaders and exercise self-confidence by accepting others. 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. However, one thing that will remain constant in our universe is my commitment to work with you all to create a learning environment here at Carpenter that encourages each child to reach for the stars.

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 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:

  • A brand new schoolwide adoption of the English Language Arts textbook, Wonders for grade levels TK-5
  • The unveiling of Cougars Dine Together, an initiative to ensure that ALL students have a companion at lunch
  • Additional Second grade classroom teacher with approved funding by Carpenter’s Governance Council (seventh consecutive year
  • Implementation of LAUSD’s English Language and Literacy Plan in grades K-2
  • A continuation on providing all school stakeholders opportunities to cultivate cultural competency, promote empathy and deepen inclusion within our school community/li>
  • Full implementation of the Engineering is Elementary program in grades K-5
  • Lego Robotics in grades 2-5
  • Schoolwide adoption of the math textbook My Math for all grade levels K-5
  • The use of Singapore Math Model Draw booklets to supplement our math program for students in grades 1-5
  • Implementation of Phase I of Lego Robotics in our science lab for grades 2-5
  • 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 canopy on the kindergarten yard
  • A reseeded grass field for students to enjoy during and after school
  • A modernized fire alarm system (construction will be done after school hours until spring 2018)

We will have six stellar additions to our staff this year. New to our office staff is Ripsime Arakelian who will be serving as our School Administrative Assistant. Joining our enrichment staff this year are Kho Roberts (part-time P.E. coach working with Coach Marty) and Melissa St. John (part-time music teacher working with Mrs. Taweel). We are also thrilled to announce that we have hired some very experienced and dynamic classroom teachers. Diana Dibie will be our new special education teacher for our grades 3-5 Special Day Class. Mrs. Dibie most recently served as a Resource teacher at both Dixie Canyon and Rio Vista Elementary schools. Also joining our second grade team is Jill Saletta. Mrs. Saletta is returning to Carpenter after a three-year family care leave. This year we are also welcoming a new assistant principal to our team. Jacqueline Román will be serving as our second part-time assistant principal along with Ms. Lesa Jones who oversees our special education program.

As you can see we are ready to blast off the new school year at Carpenter. I look forward to collaborating with our school community to make this school year eclipse all the others. 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 in Los Angeles and throughout the galaxy.

Joseph Martinez 2015
Joseph P. Martinez