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Welcome Letter

August 1, 2020

Welcome to the 2020-2021 school year!

For the first time in Carpenter’s 97 year history, the school year will begin with all of us at home participating in remote learning as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The year will no doubt be filled with various obstacles and challenges that will test the fortitude of our school community like never before. My staff and I are committed to using this opportunity to grow as educators. We will provide 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 a full enrichment program including music, dance, art, fitness, and technology literacy. This dual commitment is essential to educating well-rounded children and is integral to our mission included in our recently renewed school charter.

LAUSD is expected to announce its remote learning plan in early August. Since our procedures are contingent upon the District’s plan, a Carpenter-specific plan will be forthcoming before the start of the school year on August 18. In this new school year, we will carry on with our school-wide, established innovative programs: Write…From the Beginning, Engineering is Elementary, Lego Robotics & 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 many exciting continued and added programs this year, although some will have to wait until we’re back on campus.

  • Immediate formation of a Diversity/Equity/Inclusion Committee Task Force consisting of teachers, administrators, and parents to fortify and maintain an anti-racist school community at Carpenter
  • Adoption of a new math textbook that incorporates Singapore Math strategies (Eureka Math)
  • New science textbook adoption (FOSS)
  • Phase IV of our implementation of LAUSD’s Restorative Justice practices to promote and strengthen positive school culture
  • Two Restorative Justice team members (Mrs. Easley & Mr. Rivera) to oversee our implementation of the program
  • Full-time librarian (third consecutive year)
  • Additional Second grade classroom teacher funded by Carpenter’s Governance Council (tenth consecutive year)
  • Full implementation of the Engineering is Elementary program in grades K-5
  • Classroom Robotics Instruction for Grades 2 - 5
  • Expansion of the VEX IQ Competition Team, an after school robotics program for grades 4-5
  • Renovated patio outside the first grade building
  • Continuation of the mentor program, Skate Straight, for select upper grade students
  • Continuation of the mentor program, The Builders, for select primary students
  • 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

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. New to our administrative team is Assistant Principal, Melissa Kishner, who will be serving part-time. Ms. Kishner will be overseeing our special education program now that Ms. Perez-Kennedy has retired. I am also thrilled to announce that we have hired a fantastic classroom teacher, Sheri Lawson, to join our kindergarten staff. Ms. Lawson completed her student teaching right here at Carpenter last year. During that time, she proved herself to be extremely professional, very creative at teaching the standards, and truly masterful at motivating and engaging students. I, along with our kinder staff, feel strongly that Ms. Lawson will be a tremendous asset to our school community for many years to come.

I truly look forward to working with our entire school community this year to roll with the punches of remote leanring, COVID-19, and (hopefully soon) welcoming students back to campus. Muhammad Ali famously once said, “It’s lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believe in myself.” I have been blessed to be a member of this school community for what will now be twelve years. I know this community. I believe in this community. Together, we will continue to be a model of what public education can achieve, and we will also make this a great year of learning for our students.

Joseph Martinez 2015

Joseph P. Martinez