NEWS FROM PAPA BEAR    Charles Bermudez, Principal

March 13, 2014

Dear Parents,

Today  is the last day of the quarter and our students have a lot to be proud of as they review their ATI results.  Our students will have a complete week off to rest, read and play.  When they return on March 24th, they have two weeks to finish preparation for the AIMS Test for 3rd-5th graders and the Stanford 10 for the second graders.

As we move into spring and see the blossoms and regeneration of this beautiful cycle, we also see our students much more mature than at the beginning of the year. Our Kinder students will soon be moving into first grade and so it is for all students moving into a new challenge just nine weeks after spring break.

I am so proud of the work our students have done to this point.  This is all made possible by the wonderful teachers who are in front of them all day long.  A teacher is truly the person who can make a student blossom like never before academically as well as socially.  I hear & see so many wonderful stories of how teachers inspire students academically and socially.  The partnership comes full circle when the parents stay in good communication with the teacher.  Productive, constructive and positive communication between the home and the classroom is a game changer.  It is the fastest way to make sure your student excels.

The week after break we will have our Honors Assembly. Second grade will be on March 27th. Kindergarten, first grade, third grade, fourth grade and fifth grade will be on March 28th.  Please note this on your calendar.

The Week of April 7th we will be doing AIMS testing.  It is very important that your child doesn't miss any school the previous two weeks.  Moreover, during testing week, it is very important that students don't have any late nights.  I understand we all have things scheduled like sports, dance, music, etc; however, this is a very important week for the students. Testing starts Monday and goes through Thursday.

In line with our partnership, let's do everything possible to set up our children for success on this national test. I will be sending a flyer to the students reminding them of what great preparation is for test week.

This past Wednesday, we hosted our Kindergarten Open House.  I am pleased to say that we have a waiting list of students who want to attend our school. This is the kind of teachers we have at Grijalva Elementary.  I am very pleased in the community's interest in our programs and look forward to welcoming many new students.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to call me or stop by and visit.  We have a strong mission in maintaining a safe campus with the highest academic standards because our kids deserve the best.

February 4, 2014

Dear Parents,

It's hard to believe February is upon us. As I am sure you know, February is Love of Reading Month. We are kicking off this celebration with a Book Fair Fiesta. For the first time in a long time, the Book Fair Fiesta is going to be in our library. Our students will be visiting the Book Fair with their class to see all the new and exciting books to read. The Book Fair Fiesta runs from February 10th to the 14th from 7:30 to 3:15. On Tuesday, February 11th, the Book Fair Fiesta runs from 7:30 A.M. to 7:15 P.M.. This is a great time for all parents to come with their children.

This is a wonderful opportunity for our children to select the latest and newest books they want to read. Additionally, they will get to purchase other fun stuff like posters, pencils and erasers. Please support our Book Fair, it impacts your child's reading directly.

We also have our Science Fair next week. Our students' experiments will be on display on February 11th from 5:00 to 7:00 P.M.. Our winners will head to the Tucson Convention Center where they will compete with other students from southern Arizona. Our kids produce some of the best experiments in the state. Come on out to see the science displays of our students' experiments and visit the Book Fair Fiesta after viewing our students' incredible work.

There is a lot going on in our classrooms. Students have approximately 35 school days before AIMS testing. Your child will be testing the week of April 7th. Your child has been working diligently to master the concepts aligned with his/her grade level. Our goal is to provide your child with a world class K-5 education that puts them on course for great success in middle school and beyond.

I am extremely proud of the work our teachers are doing with our students. The level of focus and commitment is evident the second one walks into a classroom. I want to thank you for taking the time to talk to your child about the importance of school. Moreover, thank you for providing a quiet place for your child to complete his/her homework. Checking on whether your child completes his or her homework adds an incredible layer of accountability. As I've always said, this is a partnership in collaboration to make sure your child receives a top quality education.

Thank you for your support and teamwork! If you have any concerns or issues about your child's education, please don't hesitate to call me at 908-3604.

January 6, 2014

Dear Parents,

Happy New Year! It was so nice to welcome the students back on Monday. They were all ready and eager to get back to the classroom. We finished up the first semester with a lot of academic success as well as the kindergartners putting on a great Christmas show.

The students had a very successful first semester where we saw some incredible growth on reading and math scores. We had students who made beyond a year's growth in reading. This is a credit to our teachers, our programs and your diligence at home in making sure your child completes their homework.

Our students have homework Monday through Thursday. Homework for the most part is work the students can do on their own. They are reinforcing their understanding of concepts their teacher has taught them. Additionally, if your child is in grades 2nd-5th they can access one of our research based reading and math programs on the internet from home. If your child is in a regular classroom they can access SuccessMaker from home. If your child is in a Dual Language or ELD classroom, they can access Achieve 3000 from home. These are incredible programs that supplement the students' learning.

The winter break gave our students a well deserved rest. They have worked very diligently in their classroom since August. The new year brings us the opportunity to stay focused on our focal point. We all want the best for our students. Our students deserve the best education we can provide them. The best thing we can do is remind our students on a daily basis who we are as a community. We remind the students that they are hard working learners who can learn anything we put in front of them. We remind them that they can learn and develop their school skills to the highest levels. We also remind them that we treat each other kindly. In line with these concepts, we teach them that we are a very hard working community who work together.

Thank you for working closely with us in the partnership to provide your child with the best education possible. It makes a huge difference to your child when they see that we are working together. Our teachers do an exemplary job of communicating with all of our parents through newsletters, phone calls and daily conversations when you drop off or pick up your child. The closer we work together, the better your child understands what is expected of them.

We are very excited about the second semester. We are excited for the learning and fun the students will have in their classroom. We are excited about how they are developing into great leaders. There is no doubt each and every one of our students will make great gains in their learning. It's making for another great year for your child.

Happy New Year!

October 14, 2013

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We are already passed the first nine weeks and our students are familiar and comfortable with their new grade level and classroom routines. They are working diligently, intelligently and neatly every single hour of each day. Our teachers work very hard to make sure our students are receiving a world class education. Our students deserve the very best and that’s exactly what they are going to receive each and every day.

As you may have been told during conferences, your child has access to SuccessMaker or Achieve 3000 from home. They use it at school at least three times a week (up to five times a week in some cases). These are researched based programs that help students develop their reading skills as well as their math skills. If you have internet at home, please provide your child with a time to access one of these two programs. If students have a traditional class then they have access to SuccessMaker. If they are in Dual Language or an English Language Development class they have access to Achieve 3000. Your child knows their user name and password. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call or email me.

This Friday, October 18th is picture day. Students may come out of uniform with their very best and/or favorite clothes. Picture Day is such a wonderful tradition in schools. Everybody looks forward to this day!

Another exciting day for our students will be October 31st when our students may wear their Halloween costume. It must be comfortable so it doesn’t cause a problem in the classroom. It must be safe and something the student can wear most of the day. Additionally, no play weapons or dangerous attachments allowed (e.g., swords, daggers…). Last but not least, it must be in good taste. We will be having our Halloween Parade at 8:30 in the courtyard if you want to come and take photos.

Again, I am so excited about all the wonderful work happening in the classrooms. Students understand that their job at school is to do their very best at learning as much as they can about reading, math and the sciences. This is a great concept to teach our students that it is their job to do their very, very best each and every hour of each and every day at school. Last but not least, I thank you for your efforts at home with the homework and other school stuff your child brings home. This is a partnership between the school and the home, the more your child sees this collaboration, the more your child will love and appreciate school.

August 30, 2013

Dear Parents,

We are off to a great start!  We have 700 plus Grizzlies.  They showed up excited to learn and ready to make new friends.  I can tell you our teachers have worked very diligently to make sure your child receives a quality education.  The planning and the preparation work the teachers have put in is incredible.  This is going to be the best year ever!

Our goal is to provide your child with a quality education.  A world class education that will be the foundation of why your child will compete effectively in a global job market.  We are blessed with incredible teachers.  Moreover, we have added more technology to our students’ day.  Kinder and first grades have access to WaterFord.  Our 3rd through 5th now have access to SuccessMaker.  This is a reading and math program which can also be accessed from home.  I will be sending more information on this great opportunity.  Our ELD and Dual Language classes 2-5 have access to Achieve 3000 in its own lab.  This program also has access from home.  I am so excited about our partnership in guiding our students to be the best possible students.  Our students have the teachers and supplemental tools to be the best in the world.  This is a fact; if we come together and collaborate, we can be one of the best schools in the world.  Again, more information coming your way how to access SuccessMaker and Achieve 3000 from home.  Our school continues to improve each and every year.

I am very happy to introduce you to our new assistant principal Mr. Kristjan Laumets.  He is very energetic, friendly, incredibly meticulous educator who has a keen eye for excellence in the classroom.  He is also incredibly active during lunch  recess;  he is always out and about with our students on the playground.  You’ve probably seen him out and about during morning drop-off  or during pick up at the end of the day out by the parking lots.

Last but not least, I look forward to working with you to make sure your child receives a quality education.  It’s Team Work that makes it happen.