Verdugo Woodlands Elementary School
The month of March was fast and furious, fun and adventurous, culminating with a much-needed Spring Break!
We kicked off the month of March with our annual Survivor Challenge. All students participated in the challenge and our school raised enough funds to support VW’s library, technology and care counselor positions. A special thanks to Survivor Challenge Chairperson Brook Lee and her team for their efforts to make this event fun and memorable for all students!
We also toured the United States with our Family Reading Night, Read Across the U.S.A, on March 6th. Lisa Haug and her teacher team provided an opportunity for students and their families to listen to teachers, community members, and President Abraham Lincoln Impersonator, Mr. Wommack read and tell stories from our country’s past. It was quite a trip!
Have you seen our new artwork on display? Last year, several of us painted tiles for a school fundraiser. Thanks to VW parent, Raul Lopez and his crew, these tiles are now permanently on display on the kindergarten wall next to the school’s front entrance. Be sure to take a look as you walk on by!
In March we also said goodbye to GUSD’s Deputy Superintendent, Dr. John Garcia. Dr. Garcia was Verdugo’s district representative, but he has moved on to take the helm in Downey Unified as their new Superintendent! Dr. Garcia will be missed in Glendale and we wish him well in his new endeavors. VW’s new district representative is Dr. Maria Gandera, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources. We are in good hands with Dr. Gandera and I look forward to finishing off the year with her help and guidance.
The month of March also marked our annual GATE and WAY field trip. This year, the students’ marine adventures moved from Tall Ships to Catalina Environmental Leadership Program (CELP), offered by Catalina Island Camps at Howlands’ Landing. Their trip included shoreline investigation, day and night snorkeling, hiking, kayaking, teambuilding, and more. Students had a great time learning about sustainable living and our delicate and amazing marine ecology and we look forward to returning to CELP next year. Who can attend CELP? Students in grades four through six that are currently GATE students, or students that were eligible and took the OLSAT test based on CST scores in third through fifth grade by earning scores of 425 in English Language Arts and/or 470 in Math.
This year our California State Tests (CST’s) will take place during the weeks of April 22nd through May 10th for students in grades two through six. These tests are important to Verdugo Woodlands as they are a measure of how we are doing compared to the rest of the state and they give us an opportunity to evaluate and celebrate the success of individual students. Classroom teachers have been preparing our students for these difficult tests throughout the year and are also teaching test-taking skills in order to familiarize students with the type of questions and problems that will be presented. Student success and participation on the exams are critical to the indicators that are used to rate Verdugo Woodlands’ success based on the API (Academic Performance Index) and AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress). VW is currently in an elite group of schools that perform at or above the 900 API mark. Last year we experienced growth on our API score from 932 to 935. Our goal this year is to go above and beyond our current score of 935!
Testing success is crucial to the advancement of all students. Whether for program eligibility or future college entrance, test scores will play an integral role in a student’s future educational endeavors. During the weeks of testing, teachers will reduce homework and modify classroom assignments in order to help ease anxiety. School-wide, we will again be promoting a “No Tardies” campaign during testing. Students arriving on time each day of testing will be rewarded with a collectible charm. Please make sure your child eats a healthy breakfast and do your best to help your child keep to a regular bedtime schedule to avoid any struggles in waking up on time to avoid tardiness.
Thank you for all you do and who you are! You and your children are what make VW such a great place to be!
Kristina Provost, Principal
“I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning how to sail my ship.” - Louisa May Alcott