Estrada's E-Notes

October 2022 Edition

Principal's Post

Wow! It's hard to believe it's already October. As an educator, the school year is way more significant in my life than the calendar year. My friends and family know that opening the school year is a busy (and sometimes stressful, especially during the pandemic) time for me. And when they ask, "So how has the opening of school been this year?" one word comes to my mind this year - JOYFUL. There is an amazing energy on campus. The teachers and I did several trainings in August that have added a new spark to instruction. Our parent groups have a common vision and are connecting parents with one another. We have awesome volunteers working on campus. And, students are reaping the benefit of all of this and thriving!

This edition has some highlights of the great learning happening on campus, info about upcoming events, and resources for parents. If you have any questions, concerns, or ideas you want to share, please reach out.

Keep being awesome!

Principal Estrada


Grow with Gratitude

When we have an attitude of gratitude, it can make us happier which releases endorphins and wakes up our brains. Practicing gratitude is a skill and, like any skill, the more we practice the easier it gets. This month when I visit classrooms, I will be reading a story with a message about gratitude and encouraging students to practice gratitude with these 4 steps.

Notice - Notice someone your are grateful for.

Think - Think about why that person is in your life.

Feel - How do you feel when you think about that person?

Do - What will you do to show that person you are thankful for them?

That 4th step is key. Expressing gratitude to others gives them an opportunity to experience the same benefits of feeling happy and releasing endorphins.

Spotlight on Academics

The last week of this month is set aside for parent teacher conferences. This is a unique opportunity for you to meet 1 on 1 with your child's teacher. Make sure you look for communication from your child's teacher about scheduling a time for an in-person conference. If parents prefer to conference via Zoom, that can be accommodated.

Here are some thoughts on how to get the most out of this experience:

  • Embrace a growth mindset and the power of yet! - The first report card is a status check of how students are performing on meeting grade level standards at the beginning of the year. The goal is mastery of the standard in June after consistent instruction, practice and effort.
  • Ask about specific ways you can support your student at home. What skills need more developing? What areas of strength could be encouraged?
  • Ask about non-academic progress and character too - Does my student have a love of learning? How do they respond to challenges? Are they a kind and respectful member of the school community? Do they take responsibility for their learning and behavior?
  • Assume positive intent - Your child's teacher wants them to be successful and sees the best in them. But, they also see them from a different perspective and in a different environment. This may lead to a difficult conversation, but it is important to be on the same page.

Spotlight on Safety

October 5th is National Walk to School Day. So many of our students are able to walk and bike to school utilizing the beach boardwalk. If your student doesn't usually walk/bike to school, consider participating on October 5th.

7 ways to be safe while walking to school

  • Look both ways and use crosswalks — but don't assume you're seen.
  • Make eye contact with the driver.
  • Eyes up, phones down.
  • Walk in a group.
  • Cross with an adult.
  • Be a good role model.
  • Be visible.

The City of Newport Beach provides crossing guards at 13th and 14th Street before and immediately after school each day to assist our students. Please always cross with the crossing guard, encourage your child to follow all safety laws, and be a good role model.

The NBPD is hosting a Bicycle Safety Meeting. See graphic below for details.

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Shout Out for Fifth Grade

Newport Elementary’s 5th grade students have soared into September with Thinking Maps! Newport Elementary teachers attended training in Thinking Maps in August as a way to bring in these powerful tools for our students. Based on a “strong foundation of cognitive science and research based best practices” in teaching and learning, Thinking Maps gives students tools and strategies to apply in all areas. 5th grade is using thinking maps in history and science, as well as in reading and writing. Our students have created thinking maps to show comparing and contrasting in science, when we compared and contrasted two elements from the Periodic Table. Students chose two elements from the same group, researched their characteristics, and came up with ways they are alike and different. Through this research, the students had a chance to have rich discussions about the structure and organization of the Periodic Table of Elements, what it means to be a reactive element, and characteristics of metals, non-metals, and metalloids. Check out our Thinking Maps to see what we found out!

Important Dates

October 1 - NESF Annual Car Show on the beach - 10am to 2pm

October 3 - Art Masters #2 - assembly and classroom lessons

October 5 - National Walk to School Day

October 7 - Flag Deck @ 8:15 in the Quad

October 12 - Family Literacy Night - 5:30-7:00 in the MPR

October 13 - Make-Up Picture Day

October 20 - Great Shake Out - Disaster Preparedness Drill

October 21 - Flag Deck @ 8:15 in the Quad

October 24-28 - Red Ribbon Week, see flyer below for details

October 24-28 - Conference Week - 1:00 Dismissal time daily

October 25 - Boo Bash hosted by PTA at the Balboa Fun Zone

October 26 - No School for Students

October 31 - Halloween music performance by PreK-1st grade @ 8:15 in the Quad

November 1 - No School for Students

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School Volunteers

Parent volunteers add so much to our school community and the experience of our students.

All interested volunteers are asked to complete these 3 steps annually:

  1. Read through the Newport El Volunteer Orientation slide deck.
  2. Complete the Newport El Volunteer Agreement.
  3. Complete the district's volunteer approval process.

As always, every teacher utilizes volunteers in different ways. Teachers will be communicating with the approved volunteers from their class about their need for volunteers and scheduling.

Our Office Staff is Here to Help

Main Line: 949-515-6965

Absence Line: 949-515-6832

Attendance and enrollment questions:

Debbie Kandel -

Health, medications, and immunizations questions:

Dana Hansen - and

Nurse Sarah Hacker -

All Other Inquiries:

Susi Mendoza -

Staff Directory

Response to Intervention

This information was sent in a previous email. ICYMI...

What is RTI?

RTI stands for Response to Intervention. We know that students learn in different ways and at different rates. This is why we highly value and place a priority on RTI. Through our RTI Rotations, we are able to differentiate instruction to ensure students’ needs are being met. Children who need additional time and support to meet grade-level expectations work in smaller groups to close the gap. Students who are performing at or beyond grade-level receive extension and enrichment instruction geared to take their learning even further.

How does it work?

During RTI Rotations (30 minutes per day, 4 days per week), students within each grade level are broken into smaller groups utilizing our RTI team of credentialed teachers and our homeroom teachers. By doing so, the student to teacher ratio is decreased for all students and the small groups have dedicated time to work on targeted skills.

What is the benefit?

RTI Rotations allow us to individualize instruction, helping students to grow in their academics and self-confidence. Since implementing RTI Rotations, our scores on the state test have increased each year. Our RTI Rotation program is critical to students' success and our success as a school.

How does this magic happen?

It’s not actually magic… the Newport Elementary School Foundation works really hard to support our school and fundraise. NESF supplements our school’s staffing allocation with 2 additional RTI teachers. You can connect with NESF by visiting

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Get Connected!

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