Estrada's E-Notes

November 2022 Edition

Principal's Post

November is a time to think about all wonderful things for which we can be grateful! I am thankful for a job that brings me so much JOY. I am grateful for an amazing staff that comes to work each day excited to be with students and do what’s best for them. And, I have so much appreciation for all of the parents who are partnering with us. Your trust, involvement, and support amazes me!

I'm also grateful for all that we accomplished and provided for our students in the month of October. The Foundation hosted our annual Car Show which raises money that goes directly back to our school to enrich the experience of students. We had record-breaking attendance at Family Literacy Night, the PTA hosted a fun and spooky Boo Bash, teachers met with families to discuss students' progress, growth, and goals, and we all had way too much fun for words with Halloween activities, crafts, and games.

Our annual Jog-a-thon is coming up on November 18th. This is one of our biggest (and most fun!) fundraisers of the year. Pledge envelopes will go home this Friday and you can learn more by visiting the Foundation website. Our Foundation enriches the educational experience for all students by providing additional teachers, on-line instructional programs, Art Masters, and more.

Check out the rest of this newsletter for resources and important dates.

Keep being awesome!

Principal Estrada


Kid President's 25 Reasons To Be Thankful!

Grow with Gratitude

Kid President says it way better than me...

Having an attitude of gratitude can have lots of positive impacts and there are so many ways to cultivate that attitude. A favorite tradition for my family in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving is to cut out paper leaves in fall colors and write down something for which we are grateful. Then we add the leaves to a ribbon to decorate the mantel. Here are a couple other suggestions including creating a gratitude jar or a gratitude flower.

Spotlight on Academics

One of the amazing things about education is the cycle of improvement... in other words, "know better, do better". There is a growing body of research behind the science of reading. NMUSD leadership and teachers are responding by changing some of the ways that we approach reading instruction. Reading can be thought of as a rope with many strands intertwined. (See image below). If one of the strands is frayed, the rope will be weak and comprehension will suffer. Developing new strategies for reading instruction was a focus of our trainings on the Staff Development day (November 1st). TK - 2nd grade teachers participated in training on phonemic and phonological awareness. These foundational skills need to by taught systematically and are part of the orange, yellow, and red strands in the image below. Third - sixth grade teachers participated in a training more focused on the comprehension skills (in blue and green below) and how to guide students to respond in writing to the texts that they are reading. We are excited to put these strategies into practice for the benefit of our students.
Big picture

Spotlight on Safety

Internet Safety:

Keeping students safe on the internet is a significant component of the big picture of "safety". While students are using their chromebooks at school, there are web-filters and security measures in place. Additionally, teachers use a program called Go Guardian to monitor students. They can create lists of approved websites for certain periods of the day and block internet activity if needed. When students are using chromebooks at home, only the security measures you have on your home wi-fi are in effect. If you are interested in learning more about internet safety and digital citizenship, Common Sense Media has multiple resources. Also, you can view a presentation on Raising Responsible Digital Citizens that NMUSD did last January as part of the Parent Education Series.

Big picture

What is RULER?

What is RULER?

RULER is an evidenced based approach to social and emotional learning developed at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. RULER is an acronym for the building blocks of emotional intelligence.

  • Recognizing emotions in oneself and others
  • Understanding the causes of emotions and how they influence our thoughts, actions and decisions

  • Labeling emotions with a specific feeling words

  • Expressing emotions skillfully based on who we are with, where we are, and what we are doing

  • Regulating emotions using effective strategies that help us achieve our goals

The RULER approach include 4 tools (see image below for descriptions) At the start of the school year, classes developed a class charter to identify how they wanted to feel in their classroom and how they will treat one another. I'm amazed at some of the words that students generated like: focused, included, valued, heard, inspired, and safe. Students are also learning how to be "emotion scientists" and identify their feelings on the mood meter.
Big picture
Big picture

Shout Out for Second Grade

Newport Elementary second graders have been working hard researching bats. We read about bats from a variety of different sources and took notes about important facts we learned. With each new resource, we evaluated the given information. Were these new facts or something we had already read? Were the facts given important or interesting details? Students were able to understand the value of using more than one resource when learning about a specific topic.

These facts were then organized using a Tree Map. A Tree Map is one of several different thinking maps we are using to help students organize their writing. Students were able to come up with four important headings into which their bat facts were categorized. The categories established were bat bodies, babies, hunting and diet. Now students were ready to start writing their research paper. They had their facts organized and mapped out! The Tree Map gave students structure yet allowed students to customize their writing individually. Students converted their notes into complete sentences and thoughts. Collectively we came up with strong topic sentences for each paragraph. Students were able to develop a well organized, informative multi paragraph expository writing piece on bats. They felt a sense of pride from their hard work and had fun doing it as well!

Important Dates

November 1 - No School for Students

November 2 - PTA Skate Night at FVSC

November 3 - Foundation Restaurant Night at Crack Shack

November 4 - Flag Deck at 8:15

November 11 - No School - Veteran's Day

November 14-17 - Art Masters #3 Assembly and Lessons

November 18 - Flag Deck at 8:15

November 18 - Jog-A-Thon

November 23-25 - Thanksgiving Recess - No School

Big picture

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

Get Connected!

Big picture