NEWS FROM PAPA BEAR Charles Bermudez, Principal
May 1, 2013
I am so proud of all the wonderful work our students are doing day in and day out. Even though we are nearing the end of the school year, our students continue to be focused on academics. Yes, we are giving them a little bit more space, like letting them learn chess. We have over 200 chess boards for our students. We also have students getting ready for the talent show. The talent show is always a fun and exciting event for all of us. We have fifth graders who went to Sea World. This is a wonderful trip that is fun and is academically oriented. The Sea World Trip is a wonderful experience for our fifth students. Next year we would like to take our fourth graders to the Phoenix Zoo. What are your thoughts on this trip as an incentive trip as well as academic trip? There’s a lot of science at the Phoenix Zoo. We had two teachers this year run an Odyssey of the Mind class for our students. Ms. LeFaive and Ms. Barrett didn’t only run the class, they took the class and became judges of the actual competition to learn more about the higher level, creative thinking competition. We are plan on having a number of Teams that will represent Grijalva Elementary next year regionally, Nationally and maybe even make to it to World Competition. We’ve had our kindergartners and first graders work on their reading skills every day on computers in tandem with exemplary lessons from their teachers. Next year we are getting more technology in the classrooms and SuccessMaker for our 2nd through 5th graders to add to the wonderful classroom instruction. SuccessMaker is a supplemental reading and math program that is researched based and it will be available for all our 2nd through 5th graders. We are making sure our students have a lot of technology around them from computers to promethium boards in most of the classrooms. We have promethium boards in grades 2-5. My goal is to have promethium boards in every classroom next year including K-1. Technology is a must if we want our students to be well prepared.
April 2, 2013br />
Dear Grijalva Families
I hope you all enjoyed time with your families during our Spring Break. We anticipate all of our students are ready to resume learning. All students have been working hard all year to be prepared for our upcoming testing. All students in 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th grades will be completing either the AIMS test or Stanford 10 (2nd graders). To help our students do their best, we ask for your support at home. AIMS/Stanford 10 testing will be administered the week of April 15-19. Please note that we will have a full day of school on April 17, to accommodate for testing. Students will be dismissed at 2:20 on April 17th. To help your child be successful on the test, please:
- Do not schedule appointments for your child during this week
- Make sure your child arrives to school on time
- Ensure your child eats a healthy breakfast
- Encourage your child to do his/her best
We want to thank our community members who have supported our school in the past month. MPNA generously donated many treats to give to our students. Thank you also to the many wonderful parent volunteers who helped to put all the spring baskets and treats together.
Working with our families and community members benefits all of our students. Thank you for your continued support.
March 1, 2013
This past month has been filled with wonderful celebrations of learning. Our 4th and 5th grade students participated in our school Science Fair. Students demonstrated their knowledge of the scientific process through their science projects. Several student projects were selected to move on to the city-level Science Fair, held at the Tucson Convention Center. 4th graders: Lizbeth Aragurdi, Dariana DeLaMora, Gavriela Hurtado, Luis Lomeli, Kailey Miranda, Harrison Beason, Daniel Valdez, Giselle Zuniga, Leonel Chavez, and Vicente Chavez. 5th graders: Cesar Saenz, Maya Laborin, and Marcia Moreno. 1st grade: Mrs. Griguhn’s class project. Congratulations to all of our scientific thinkers!
Our 2nd grade students had guest presenters Aaron Pickering, from KOLD, and Dr. Bayly, from the University of Arizona. Students experienced the wonders of weather and science through many marvelous hands-on experiments.
During our week of Love of Reading, we had many guest readers visit our campus. Our neighborhood firefighters, police officers, TUSD Board Member Adelita Grijalva, and many wonderful parents read to classes. Thank you for sharing our love of reading.
We are excited to be welcoming our up and coming Kindergartners. We will be registering new Kindergarteners for the 2013-2014 school year, the week of March 11-15. On March 13, 5:00-6:00 pm, we will be having a meeting/Open House for parents of new Kindergartners. Please let other friends or family members know, who are not yet part of our Grijalva community.
February 1, 2013
Our students are working diligently on developing their reading, math and learning to learn skills. I am so proud of the effort they all put into the ATI right before Winter Break. Our students as a whole scored very well! Our ATI Test (Assessment Technology Incorporated) checks for students’ understanding of our State Standards; and as mentioned, our students performed very well on the test. If you would like more information, don’t hesitate to call your child’s teacher or me for more information.
Right around the corner we have our Parent-Teacher Conferences. Our teachers are currently calling parents and making appointments. Parent Conference dates are February 7th and 8th. Not all parents will get a call, as we put a priority on meeting with parents who have a child who may be struggling with his/her learning experience. However, if you do not receive a call and you would like to meet with your child’s teacher, please don’t hesitate to call the teacher.
On a different note, our math challenge has produced many Math Masters recently. As you may know, once a child passes one of the tests, Mr. Muller produces a certificate for each respective test. Ask your child about their certificate. Most impressive is how our kindergarten students have taken to the math challenge. This is the first year we are testing our kindergarten students and I must say, the results are outstanding! Success is a choice and it starts in kindergarten at Grijalva Elementary. Go Grizzlies!
December 18, 2012
We hope everyone has a wonderful and restful time with their families during the Winter Break. In light of recent, tragic events, we want to hold our loved ones a little tighter.
While spending quality time with your children during the Winter Break, you can still include some mathematical skills to keep them sharp. Challenge your child to a game of “Fast Fingers, Fast Minds”. Each player places their hands behind their backs, then on the count of three, each player shows their fingers (holding up 0-10 fingers). The first person who can add up all the fingers shown, is the winner. It’s a fun and easy way to practice math facts.
You can also have your child access our school website, listed at the top of the page. Our school website has links to many fun and educational websites.
Parents, please also keep in mind the short-term effects of scary movies on children. Children have trouble distinguishing fantasy from reality. Some common symptoms include crying, trembling, upset stomach, clinginess, and loss of appetite. Our school counselor has seen many children for bad dreams, fear of entering the classroom, and not being able to concentrate on class work. Please visit our website for more information.
November 20, 2012
Thank you for supporting our school by coming out to our Fall Carnival. We had a wonderful turnout of parents and students. Thank you to PTA for coordinating the event and also to our teachers for volunteering their time. It was wonderful to see our Grijalva community all come together.
There will be no school this Thursday and Friday, so please enjoy time with your families. We are thankful for all of our students, parents and community members who all support our efforts. We are also thankful for all of our wonderful teachers who work diligently every day to ensure our students are successful.
As we approach the end of November, please encourage your child to read at home each night and complete their reading log for the month of November. Kids who read, are the ones who succeed.
October 16, 2012
Thank you for your great support and kind words about the great things happening at our school. We have incredible teachers who work diligently to make sure all of our students master the concepts aligned to their grade levels.
I can't believe we are in the second week of the second nine week period. Our students are working diligently in their classes. Students are showing great results on our Math Challenge. They are excited about testing and completing all four tests successfully. Our reading logs are coming with well written summaries and great understanding of the stories. I am so proud of all the work our students are doing each and every day. They are focused and on pace to do very well. We must commend our teachers who plan and teach our students with a focus on meaningful achievement.
Before break, we collaborated with the restaurant Chili's who consistently support us by donating food for our classes during special functions etc. It was a penny drive to help cure cancer. Our students raised over $1,200 in six days. They brought pennies, nickels and dimes. The energy and support our students showed in helping others was powerful. Thank you for your support.
Our Cookie Dough Sale was also a great success. Our P.T.A. has a yearly fall fund raiser and again, the support was incredible. They raised over $10,882. The project for this year is to renovate the library. We have one of the most productive caring P.T.A.'s I have seen in my 28 years in education. They are focused on supporting our vision of academic excellence!
This is the perfect segway to talk about our Midvale Park Neighborhood Association's work. Again, our Neighborhood Association works very closely with our school and is always looking for to collaborate for the benefit of our students. On November 3, they are having a community Festival at Oaktree Park from 12:00-6:00. I am personally inviting you to join in the fun and festivities and talk to our Midvale Park Neighborhood Association about attending their meetings or helping out in some way.
In summary, yesterday we honored students for their hard work and it was beautiful to see so many parents present.
September 10, 2012
It’s hard to believe we are half way through the first nine weeks. Our students have been working hard in the classrooms and are learning the state standards. As you know, our students have homework every night Monday through Thursday. The assignments that are sent home as homework for the most part should be review work. This is where students refine their understanding of concepts and practice procedures of mathematical computations. We are so proud of the effort and results our students are producing every day.
We are also working hard at teaching students the concept of being proactive. We are aware that this is a partnership between the home and school. We remind students that proactive students get their clothes and school materials ready the night before school. Another example we use is we tell our students that proactive students ask their parents before showing up to school what the plan is for after school. Let’s continue to work on this together. This concept helps our students to be better planners and to think with the end in mind in whatever they are doing. The concept of thinking (or seeing) with the end in mind is a follow up concept to being proactive. If a child consistently gets their clothes and materials ready for school the day before, then they are starting to see with the end in mind.
This becomes powerful when it comes to their school work and homework. Students who begin with the end in mind every morning will show up to class knowing they will do their very best in order to reach their goal. Additionally, students who have a set place and time to do their homework understand this will produce a very positive result in the end.
These simple yet powerful two concepts will provide our students with some very productive life long habits. Let’s continue to work together on these concepts. We will be having a night to discuss these concepts on September 12th, at 6:00pm in the cafeteria. You are all invited. Mrs. Priscilla Romero will also be doing a Cafecito that focuses on these two concepts.
As we move into the second half of the first nine weeks, I must tell you I am still excitedly talking about our growth on our math scores. Our fifth graders went up 13 points as a grade level on the AIMS. The state considers five points of growth as significant. We had one class where 72% of the students met or exceeded the standards. Our goal is for every child to meet or exceed the standards. We look forward to seeing you at our school nights.
August 7, 2012
We are off to a great start! Our teachers have worked very hard to create the wonderful learning zones where your child spends his or her day. I am blessed to have a group of very talented and highly committed teachers. I can assure that your child will have a wonderful experience mastering their respective standards and beyond.
The most important thing we can do as parents is make sure our children are well prepared for school on a daily basis. Research shows that if students have a regular bed time; he or she will be better rested and prepared for school. Additionally, routines in the morning as well as after school are critical to a student’s success. Let’s put everyone of our kids in a position to succeed.
The students are busy learning their respective procedures for their class as well as starting homework for the first week. Students at Grijalva have homework Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Please have your child set a time and a place to complete homework. This sets up a routine that will yield success. Additionally, some teachers require the parent signs off on the homework.
This is another exciting year for our students who will participate in the Math Challenge on a monthly basis. They will also be participating in a daily Reading Challenge. Students will log their reading and have a parent verify they have read the noted pages. Students in Kinder-2nd grades are asked to read for 20 minutes, for 20 days. Students in 3rd-5th grades are asked to read for 30 minutes, for 20 days. Students can earn great prizes for their efforts on this challenge including a bicycle. We will also have two Odyssey of the Mind Teams that will compete against other schools and districts.
I will be sharing more information on these programs during Open House. I invite you to join in learning more about your child’s wonderful school.
Dear Parents and Children:
Welcome to Grijalva Elementary School! One of the finest schools in America! Where teachers are guiding, teaching and inspiring America’s greatest resource.
My name is Charles Bermudez and I am your Principal. I am a graduate of the University of Arizona where I earned a teaching degree way back in 1985, following it up with an Educational Specialist Degree (Ed.S.). I have taught fourth and fifth grade at the elementary level and math and science at the middle school level. I have been a principal at the elementary level before my post at Grijalva and I have also been a principal at the middle school level. Additionally, I have been an administrator at the high school level as well. It is an honor to teach, guide and inspire our community’s children. I have worked at each of the three levels of public education and I find elementary schools as the place where you can make the greatest impact on students. If you can set the child on a course of success through rigor and discipline, the rest will almost be a walk in the park.
I entered education because I know that the path to success in life has two roads that come together, the home and the classroom, to reach victory. School is a place where the path of success can be shared with all students. In my opinion, teaching is the noblest of professions. Grijalva is blessed with outstanding teachers dedicated to guiding their students to the highest levels of academic achievement.
As the principal, I am very proud to say that we have a team of teachers who are completely dedicated to the success of your child. I feel my teachers work very well together in order to best serve the needs of your child. Our goal is to provide your child with a world class education that will put the student in a position of success in the 21st Century due to the academic skills they first developed at Grijalva Elementary.
I enthusiastically look forward to meeting and working closely with you!
My Vision of Grijalva Elementary School
There exists a belief and practice that all adults are responsible for all children.
There exists a belief and practice that our students can and will master the basic skills for their respective grade.
There exists a belief and practice that our teachers will make the curricula relevant and guide students to rigorous levels.
There is a belief and a practice that we value and encourage the use of other languages. Our teachers are highly prepared to teach English and Spanish in a Dual Language Program that follows a 50/50 model. This means that teachers use 50% of the time teaching in English and 50% of the time teaching in Spanish. We give equal power to both languages because we believe that learning more than one language is aligned with the 21st Century Skills.
There exists a sense of community based on collaboration, cooperation and continuous improvement.
Firm, fair, consistent and positive discipline is a common practice. There is an outreach for involvement and empowerment of parents, teachers and the community.
High expectations exist for all children and adults.
Outstanding instructional practice is the norm.
There is a creative utilization of technology.
The environment is safe and nurturing.