August 14, 2022
Dear Grant Families,
It is my honor and a pleasure to welcome you to the 2022 – 2023 school year! I hope you all have had a relaxing and fun summer break. I am extremely proud to serve as the Principal of this amazing learning community for the 5th year and to continue to support the students of Sunset Park! The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s theme this year is “Emerging Stronger”. As we can all attest, the last few years have been challenging, but the Grant Learning Community has emerged on the other side more resilient, more unified, and better equipped to handle an ever-changing landscape. This new school year brings the promise of a renewed dedication, focus, and energy to the mission of teaching and learning. With that said, the Grant staff and PTA are ready to kick this year off in true Gecko fashion!
I would like to welcome all of our new families, whether you are joining us from another school in the district or have relocated from another city, state, or country. We are excited to share all that Grant has to offer with you and believe you will soon feel as we do, that Grant School is a special place for all children. Our teachers, support staff, and families are ready to welcome you into the Gecko Nation.
The dedicated staff at Grant has been working tirelessly to finalize classes and schedules, fine-tune our instructional models, engage in professional learning opportunities, and update class routines and expectations, all with the goal of fostering academic success. In addition, many of the campus construction projects have been or are close to being completed. Our teachers are eager to meet their new students and begin this year’s journey with them. Our primary goal is to ensure student proficiency in core academic subjects, so we will continue to refine Tier I instruction, analyze data, conduct observations, and review classwork to guide instruction and intervention. We will also engage our students in Project Based Learning through the Deep Learning philosophy and strategies we immersed ourselves in three years ago. Additionally, we will continue placing a focus on the integration of the Social Justice Standards, Responsive Classroom community-building techniques, Restorative Justice practices, and social and emotional support strategies into our students’ daily school experience. We will work together to create a solid foundation for our students so that they have the opportunity to become self-directed learners, collaborative teammates, critical thinkers, and responsible citizens. We will continue to offer intervention services for neurodiverse learners through specialized programs, counseling when appropriate, and the implementation of Tier II and Tier III programs and learning strategies.
Please be sure to read the Gecko Gazette each Sunday night as it contains important information from the school, PTA, Santa Monica Education Foundation, the City of Santa Monica, and other community partners. Links to each week’s Gazette are posted on our website.
We will be holding our traditional, in-person Back-to-School Night presentations on Tuesday, August 23rd for Transitional Kindergarten, Kindergarten, First grade, and Second grade, and Tuesday, August 30th for grades 3-5. Both nights’ programs will begin with a short presentation in the Auditorium where you will meet our teachers, Assistant Principals, and me. While in your child’s classroom, your child’s teacher will present an overview of the year’s instructional program, schedules, digital resources, and expectations for the coming year.
As I have always said, Grant’s outstanding teachers create the foundation for your child’s academic success. In addition, a large part of the Grant Learning Community’s success can be attributed to its active and engaged parents who are involved in the PTA. Please consider contributing to the Grant PTA so that we can continue to fund engaging enrichment programs, assemblies, and much-needed supplemental equipment and supplies that will support teaching and learning this year. Your donations directly affect your child’s education. Last year your contributions enabled us to provide digital learning resources in literacy, math, and science, musical instruments, field trips, new lunch tables, and a variety of outdoor equipment. Please visit the Grant PTA website at https://www.grantpta.org/ to become a PTA member and learn of the many opportunities available to volunteer at Grant. In addition, we hope you consider donating to the Santa Monica Education Foundation. Donations to SMEF enable us to provide our students with a well-rounded and world-class education through music, visual arts, and instructional assistant support. Please visit https://www.smedfoundation.org/ to donate today! Last year’s donations allowed us to purchase supplemental science programming and other important instructional tools!
I look forward to the start of the new school year and to continuing our collaboration of providing your children with an effective and engaging educational experience. As always, we will look to our families to be positive partners in this year’s journey. The Grant staff has always made a priority of working together as a caring and compassionate learning community with professionalism, teamwork, action, and expertise. We will always put the best interests of our students at the center of our purpose. Join us in ensuring the success of all of Grant’s students. Stay healthy, stay positive, and stay connected.
As always, my door is open and our team welcomes your input. Please feel free to contact me via email at the address below or call to make an appointment to speak with me to discuss any ideas you feel will make this the best year yet!
Facebook: Grant Learning Community
*Students enrolled in Grant School are not required to pay any fee, deposit, or other charge for participation in an educational activity offered by the school or the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, except as authorized by law and consistent with the California constitution and Hartzell v. Connell (1984) 35 Cal.3d 899. Donations are sought and accepted for various activities and supplies, and are at times critical to the continued success of classes and activities, but donations are always voluntary, and no child will be denied the right to fully and meaningfully participate in any activity because he/she has not donated money or supplies. For more information, go to http://www.smmusd.org.