Estrada's E-Notes

September 2021 Edition

Principal's Post

Dear Newport El Families,

It's been a great start to the school year! I love seeing so many happy students eager to return to school!

Each month I will be sharing information, upcoming dates, strategies to support students' academics at home, and resources related to "thriving together" - our school theme for the year. I hope that you will take the time to read through it and stay connected to the school.

This month's E-notes has additional info since we aren't able to have a general, in-person meeting for Back-to-School Night. I know the teachers are excited to Zoom with you to share more about what you and your child can expect this year.

Even though we can't physically have parents and families on campus right now, please know that you are a huge part of our school community, and I value your partnership. Staying connected and involved can look lots of different ways including supporting your students with homework and communicating with their teacher, volunteering with PTA, and joining the Foundation. It's only by working together that we make Newport El the best on the beach!

Keep being awesome!

Principal Estrada


Parent Handbook

Please make sure that you are familiar with the policies and expectations set forth in the Parent Handbook. This helps us to all be on the same page when it comes to supporting our students, keeping them safe, and setting the stage for a positive learning and working environment.

Arrival and Dismissal

Our one-of-a-kind, wonderful location on the beach does pose some challenges for arrival and dismissal. We've designed the procedures to help keep these busy times of day safer for students and more efficient. Thank you in advance for following them.

Drop off:

Staff supervision begins at 7:45.

The valet curb is for dropping off only. Do not park or exit your vehicle.

All walkers and bikers should enter campus from the boardwalk gates.

Pick up:

When school is dismissed, students exit through the MPR doors or the boardwalk gates.

The valet curb is for picking up only. Do not park or exit your vehicle.

All walkers and bikers should exit campus through the boardwalk gates.

Adults, if you are parking your car or walking to campus, please meet your student at the boardwalk gate. It makes it difficult to safely get students in and out of cars when the sidewalk is congested with pedestrians. All foot traffic should be on the boardwalk side of campus. The curb in front of school is for loading/unloading from vehicles only.

Big picture

Flag Deck

Flag Deck is a time for our school to come together as one school community to celebrate our accomplishments, connect, and show our school pride.

While community members are still not allowed on campus, please know how valuable you all are to the success of our students and our school.

We know that parents and family members love to attend, and we hope to be able to invite you back soon.

Health and Safety

Our goal is to keep students in school and maintain a safe learning and working environment. You can learn more about NMUSD's response to Covid-19 by visiting the school district's website.

Please look over this Symptom Decision Tree. Our health office staff uses this document when determining if a student needs to be sent home and for what length of time. If you are in doubt about whether or not your child should come to school, please refer to this document and/or call our health office.

While social-distancing is no longer a requirement under the CDC K-12 School Guidance, it is still relevant when conducting close-contact tracing. A close contact is someone who has been within 6 feet of a COVID-19 infected individual for a period of 15 minutes or more during a 24 hour period. In the event a student or staff member tests positive, our health office staff will conduct close-contact tracing and notify those affected.

Spotlight on Academics

Through the last 18 months of distance learning, hybrid learning, and back to full day instruction, the amount of homework and expectations for at-home learning changed considerably.

With that season behind us, our staff has been thinking critically about the role homework should play, the quality of what is assigned, and the quantity. You will see some changes in how our teachers approach homework. This is based on our experience, reflection, the research about best practices when it comes to homework, and what is developmentally appropriate.

The most important thing you can do at home to support your student is to dedicate time to reading. Time for students to read to themselves, read to you, and for you to read to them. Even older students enjoy and benefit from being read to. When you share reading with your child, you have opportunities to discuss what you're reading together.

Here is an article, "Supporting Your Child's Literacy Development at Home," with more suggestions for incorporating reading and literacy at home.

Thriving Together

Each month I will be sharing resources about 1 of the 7 character strengths defined in Thrivers: The Surprising Reasons Why Some Kids Struggle and Others Shine. I hope you will read the along with the staff and me.

This month's focus is self-confidence. Dr Borba says,

"Self-confidence is the quiet understanding of 'who I am' that nurtures inner assuredness and appreciation of one's unique qualities, strengths, talents and interests. Self-confidence blossoms as skills, capabilities, character traits, and self-awareness grow."

Why Self-Confidence?

  • Leads to better academic performance
  • Leads to more resilience
  • Leads to a greater sense of well-being
  • Leads to more happiness

Two Strategies to Try:

  • Use nouns, not verbs to amplify a child's strength. Using a noun descriptor may motivate kids to use their strength more frequently because they want to pursue a positive identity. For example, try saying, "Thank you for being a helper," instead of "Thank you for helping your little brother."
  • Praise effort, not talent. An ultimate goal for children is to develop a strength mind-set, the belief that if he/she works on her strengths they will improve and help her become her best.

September Read Aloud

This month I am reading The Dot by Peter Reynolds in classrooms. The story makes a powerful connection to self-confidence, our Thrivers focus for the month. Plus, it will prepare us to celebrate International Dot Day on September 15th. Students will participate in dot themed art activities and we will have a “dots or spots” spirit dress that day.

September Dates

September 1 and 2 - Back to School Night Sessions on Zoom

September 2 - Dismissal at 1:00 for Back-to-School night

September 3 - Flag Deck and Spirit Dress - Wear Hawaiian print to say aloha to summer

September 6 - Labor Day - No School

September 10 - Picture Day

September 15 - International Dot Day - Wear "dots or spots"

September 17 - Flag Deck and Spirit Dress - Wear your Newport El gear

September 17 - PTA Fundraiser starts - Charleston Wrap

Big picture

Closed Campus

At this time, NMUSD campuses remain closed to all visitors and volunteers. The front office is open to assist families, but only students and staff are permitted past the front office. As much as possible, please email or call the office for assistance.

Main Line: 949-515-6965

Attendance questions:

Vicky Mahtesian -

Health, medications, and immunizations questions:

Dana Hansen - and

Nurse Sarah Hacker -

All Other inquiries:

Susi Mendoza -

Staff Directory

Get Connected!

Big picture