Vista Grande Elementary Voyagers Exploring Vast Oceans of Knowledge

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In The Spotlight

Dear Vista Grande Families,

Greetings

 Who knows that Christy* orders a grilled cheese sandwich everyday for lunch, and has it warm and ready?  Our cafeteria manager.  Who notices the child sitting alone on the playground and enlists the help of classmates to include him?  Our playground supervisor.  Who notices the missing lock or broken tree branch? Our head custodian.  Who shows up 45 minutes before school three days a week (rain or shine!) to exercise with students?  Our dedicated Run Club volunteer.  Who dries the tears and cleans scratched knees with everlasting tenderness?  Our health clerk.  Who gives up recess so that students can complete a homework assignment? Our dedicated teachers.  Who greets everyone who comes through our front door with a cheerful smile?  Our office manager.

 
The examples are endless.  Vista Grande has a dedicated core of volunteer parents who ensure that your child’s educational experience is rich with art, music, field trips and technology.  Did you know that our PTA President quit a paying job in order to volunteer two years of her life to this position? Our teachers and staff members demonstrate such dedication that all students are treated as if they were their own children. 

 
These are people who do not work for applause or recognition, but for the love of children.  It isn’t easy, nor is it convenient.  But it is right.  It is rewarding.  And I am forever grateful for the people that make Vista Grande feel like home: a home where all are loved and valued.

 
“Sometimes, the best things in life are not things at all…but the people who make you feel loved and cared for.” (anon)
 
Technology

On Friday, March 24th we had a fabulous evening filled with technology.  Simonetta Cuesta Lulli coordinated this event with her company. Over 65 children and their parents interacted with drones, robots, virtual reality and artificial intelligence.  This focus on technology highlights the importance of preparing our children for their future where these skills will be essential for participation in the workplace.

 
This week you will receive a letter the VG Geeks and me explaining our vision for technology at Vista Grande.  We cannot wait.  The time is now.  We believe that increasing student access to technology will give them an edge in the future.  Our goal is reasonable and if everyone participates we can reach it quickly.  As stated above, people make a difference.  If your commitments at work prevent you from volunteering your time, please consider a monetary gift to Vista Grande to make a difference for our students.  Keep your eye open for the letter in your mailbox with additional details!

Did you know that that VG has its own APP?  It connects you to our Edlio site, right on your phone!  Search for it in the APP store using the words “Vista Grande”.  You will see our school logo as the icon.
 
Havana Nights

Great music!. A beautiful location!  Fun people!  It all added up to a fun-filled evening at Los Verdes Country Club this past Friday night.  Many thanks to Carolina Tanner for organizing this grand social event.  As a result of her hard work over on the Silent Auction items, over $11,000 was raised for Vista Grande PTA.  These are the funds that support assemblies, our garden program, transportation for field trips, books for the school library, disaster supplies and OH so much more! 

Read Across America

When I brought the Read Across America reading challenge to Vista Grande four years ago, we did not reach our goal of 250,000 reading minutes.  That first year we read about 230,000 minutes.  This year we set a goal of 350,000 minutes.  Each week the grade level with the highest per student average of reading minutes could earn and extra 5 minutes of reading.  Each and every week it was our stellar fourth grade who won!  Nevertheless, additional classes earned some extra recess for reasons such as doubling their reading minutes or having the most consistent reading minutes.  The enthusiasm has been stimulating.  This year our total number of reading minutes exceeded our goal.  We read 422,640 minutes and now I must eat green eggs and ham!  Thank you, parents, for your support at home of this important life skill. 
 
Student Safety

It’s almost springtime.  That means we will move our clocks forward next weekend.  It also means we are busy with Little League, Scouts, music lessons, tennis lessons, and a myriad list of activities that keep us on the run.  I get it.  It is difficult to manage multiple children with multiple activities.  But making it all work does not mean you should jeopardize your child’s safety.  I have witnessed cars screeching to a halt as a parent waves their child across the street.  Children cannot be seen by the drivers of SUVs! Cars are racing through our parking lot.  Drivers are violating traffic laws by double parking, blocking driveways, parking in front of hydrants, along red curbs and opposing traffic.  All because we are in a rush.  As adults it is our job to take the high road.  We MUST model to our own children that laws are to be followed, and that their safety is more important than arriving on time to the next event.  I’m certain you know this, but it is worth repeating:  children learn more from watching us then they will ever learn from listening to us.
 
Along the same lines, all kindergarten children must wait with their parent at the kindergarten gate until 8:30.  No student may be dropped off before 8:15 AM unless they participate in a before-school class.  This means that arrangements must be made for siblings who participate in a before-school class.  I am finding that some students are being dropped as much as 30 minutes before school begins.  This is unacceptable and you are putting your child at risk since there is no supervision provided until 8:15 AM.  Dropping your child 15 minutes too early for music ensemble, chorus, ELL or Run Club is disrespectful to the people who must then assume the duty of caring for your child until the proper time.

Report Cards

Report cards come home on Tuesday, March 7th.  This is a good time to sit with your child and encourage some self-reflection.  Even our kindergarten students can explain what they like about school, what is hard and brainstorm ways to improve.  Use lots of praise.  This is elementary school and we are building the foundation for their future.  Above all we want them to love learning and build essential study skills for future success.

Staff Bio

Cheryl Canal is our Learning Center teacher.  With 14 years of experience in PVPUSD, Sherry has a total of 25 years of teaching experience in grades K-12!  Mrs. Canal has six children, five sons and one daughter.  She is also blessed with six grandchildren!  When she is not teaching, she enjoys traveling, bike riding and swimming.  In her words, “I love working with students who are learning to be their best.  I am amazed every day by watching children rise above their challenges and strive for success.”  We are so lucky to have this talented and vibrant Southern belle on our Voyager team.

Dates Ahead

Thursday, March 9    Minimum Day
Friday, March 10       3rd Grade Field Trip
Monday, March 13    Picture Day
Tuesday, March 14    PTA Association Meeting, Room 17
Monday, March 20    5th Grade Promotion Picture Day
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News & Announcements

Team Kids

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Team Kids is a leadership experience for children and by children. With minimal guidance from adult leaders, students organize, collect and deliver items for monthly philanthropic outreaches.

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Run Club

Join the Run Club on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:00-8:30 AM on the field.
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