Archive for February, 2013

Conference for the Gifted

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

This past weekend, two of our Trustees represented Peninsula Heritage School at the annual conference of the California Association for the Gifted (CAG). PHS parent and Trustee Zita Macdonald shares her experience:
“Robin Mearns and I, along with over a thousand educators and parents of gifted students participated in the CAG conference at the Anaheim Marriott hotel from February 15 – 17. In addition, our own Sixth Grade teacher, Danielle Standart, attended as well as several of our PHS parents.”
“Each day was filled with outstanding speakers from across the country and seminars focusing on all areas of education for the gifted. Our Peninsula Heritage booth was one of fifty in the exhibit hall, and we had the opportunity to share with interested parents and educators the experiences of our own children at PHS.”
“Most of the people we met were very impressed with the uniqueness of our school and its program of differentiated instruction within a warm, nurturing environment.”
“Mrs. Kim Nygaard also donated a week of her summer Survivor Camp as a door prize at this CAG conference!”

Grandparents/Special Persons Day

Friday, February 15th, 2013

In all my years at PHS, I think that today’s Kindergarten performance in our Amphitheater was the best ever! Congratulations to our lovely, beautiful children. Mrs. Deb Wilcox, Charley Miller, Christy Burden, and Elizabeth Ramirez also deserve a million kudos for the work that they did today and in preparation for this performance. The talented and patience need to present such a performance can never be appreciated enough.
The Fifth Grade gave a wonderful preview of their famous “History Comes Alive!” production coming up on Thursday evening, March 7, 2013, beginning at 6:00 pm at the Norris Theater. Their presentation today is enough to entice everyone to attend – this is an event not to be missed. Tickets will soon be going on sale in our School Office and at the Norris box office.
And we can’t forget our student choir with their lovely voices matching their lovely choir robes.
Thank you to all the parents and grandparents for honoring us with your presence today. It was lovely to meet people who came from all over the world! And although PHS does not have uniforms per se for our students, once a year they can dress up for Fancy Nancy/Fabulous Frederick Day and look so beautiful!
Enjoy our Presidents’ Day long weekend, and remember all of our presidents. We are blessed to be living in America.

On a Mission to the Mission

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

This past Friday, our Fourth Graders took their study of California’s historical mission period to Mission San Juan Capistrano. Fourth Grade teacher Cathy Gilbert recounts the trip:
“This site provides a wonderful opportunity for our children to experience early mission life. Our docent first took us to Serra Chapel, named for Father Junipero Serra, founder of the mission. He first celebrated Mass in this chapel in 1783. We all marveled at the beautiful gold-leafed retablo in the front of this church that is still used for worship services today. The first wine produced in Alta California (what is now our state) was supposedly made at this site, and the students re-enacted the stomping of the grapes where this operation occurred at the mission.””

“We learned about the Native Americans, the Acjachemen (A-ha-che-men) Nation, who worked at the mission and lived in their homes nearby. They raised corn and grains, and we saw the grinding stones used to process their harvest into meal for consumption. All of our students made miniature adobe bricks, molding the mud and straw mixture into the wooden molds.
“The great stone church, partially destroyed in the earthquake of 1812, is the only stone sanctuary built in all of the California missions. The Acjachemen used crushed limestone in the mortar and included one of their “treasures” in the walls. The children found it interesting to see shells and rocks that were considered “treasures,” identifying many of the rocks from our class’s earlier study this year! We also saw several old mud nests on the open church walls, built by the famous swallows who customarily return to Mission San Juan Capistrano on March 19th.”
“We so appreciated our wonderful parents who drove to and from the mission and accompanied the children through the tour! We also had gorgeous weather to further enhance this wonderful historical experience.”

Sixth Grade Preview

Saturday, February 2nd, 2013

A week ago Wednesday, we welcomed current parents of our Fifth Grade students to a lovely evening of sharing the unique and innovative Sixth Grade that we offer here at PHS. Sixth Grade teacher Eileen Mahoney recaps the highlights of the presentation:
“Patricia Cailler began with a warm welcome to the parents and spoke of hers and Mr. Cailler’s French lessons (with appropriate French goodies) that they share with the Sixth Graders on Fridays. She then introduced our science and math teacher, Danielle Standart, our advanced math teacher, Liz Lomeli, our computer science teacher, Stella Demis, and me. I shared with the parents our new writing program, “Step Up to Writing,' which has now been adopted at Peninsula Heritage in all grades including Kindergarten. This unique writing approach gives formulas and visual guidelines for sentence structure, and then moves on to writing expository and narrative essays, as well as techniques for summarizing and also developing vocabulary. We discussed our core novels in literature, which this year include versions of the Illiad, the Odyssey, plus Tuck Everlasting and the The Westing Game, and how the selection of novels changes each year, taking into account the interests of the class.Our hands-on social studies curriculum offers a broad spectrum study beginning with ancient man, continuing through Egypt, India, China, and concluding with the rise and fall of Rome – with a number of other fascinating cultures included.”
“Mrs. Standart shared the highlights of the Sixth Grade earth science program, including the study of various biomes in conjunction with experiments in the Science Lab with Mrs. Mallon. She also outlined our mathematics program with the 'Real Math' curriculum that is used throughout our grades here at PHS. Danielle enriches the curriculum with Marcy Cook strategies, the Problem of the Week, and other learning approaches that bring mathematics to life.”
“Ms. Lomeli will be offering the Seventh and Eighth Grade accelerated mathematics programs next year that include pre-algebra and algebra. Her curriculum is heavily project-based with numerous tie-ins with the computer.”
“Our final presenter, Ms. Demis, spoke of the Sixth Graders’ newspaper project, their very popular stop-motion videos, the continued building of word processing skills, and the introduction of basic computer programming.
“We were so pleased that several parents joined us whose older children had already completed our Sixth Grade here at PHS. They spoke enthusiastically of the enormous benefit of this Sixth Grade experience, of how well-prepared their children were to move on to Seventh Grade, and how the transition was truly seamless. Thank you, parents, for your wonderful affirmation of all that we accomplish in the Sixth Grade here at Peninsula Heritage!”

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