El Verano Mustang News

August 19, 2019

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Welcome Back to School

Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year to all our new and returning families. What an exciting year we have planned for El Verano School! As many of you are aware, El Verano is a very special school. We pride ourselves on the individual attention, which is given to each student and family as we strive to provide a warm, caring atmosphere along with an academically challenging program.

We are focused on student achievement, and we are proud of the efforts of our students and their families. We encourage children to express their individuality while meeting the academic challenges set forth by their teachers. As a staff, we know ALL children will learn if we give them the tools and knowledge they need to be successful students. We will do what ever it takes to help your child succeed!

The preschool offers a year of education to 48 of our youngest learners. Our enrichment program continues to grow as we offer new and exciting programs for children after school. Valley Vibes continues to play beautiful music.

Here at EV we benefit from amazing community support for our programs. The Sonoma Valley Education Foundation have provided us with funding to continue with our afternoon preschool. The Plein Air Foundation has provided us with funding for art classes. Finally, but certainly not last, the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa continues to support our sports, literacy and technology programs. La Luz and SH Cowell fund our family resource center in room 31. We are very fortunate to have such fantastic community support at EV. We are all very excited about the future of these programs for our school, as well as for all of us to work together toward a caring, healthy and academically challenging school year.

We are also continuing with our excellent language arts and math programs. Common Core Standards in the state of California information is available for parents as to how this will affect our curriculum and instruction. Common Core Standards are also known as National Standards and are being adopted across the U.S. The Common Core Standards allow the teachers, students and families to have a clear understanding of what children are expected to learn and know at each grade level. Thank you! Maite Iturri

Common Core Resources for parents:




Readers and Writers Workshop

Dear Families,

Over the last few years EV teachers are using a reading and writing program from Columbia University: Teachers College entitled, Readers and Writers Workshop. These programs have 30 years of research supporting its success. Teachers use an assessment entitled A-Z to determine the right level of reading your child. Your child should be reading books at his/her level 90% of the time. The following components make compose our reading program:

  • Readers choose what they want to read.
  • Readers talk about what they read with others.
  • Readers read a variety of texts.
  • Readers make sure they understand what they are reading.

Here are some things you can do at home to help your child progress in reading!

  • Discuss the story with before reading the book. "What will this book be about? How will this book go?"
  • Discuss the story during the reading of the book. "What's happening in the story? Who is in the story? Where are they? How are they feeling? Why?"
  • Discuss the story after reading the book. Retell the story in sequence. Discuss character's feelings and how they changed throughout the story.

For more information go to:


First Day of School

Monday, Aug. 19th, 8am

18606 Riverside Drive

Sonoma, CA

Family Barbecue

Friday, Aug. 30th, 11am

18606 Riverside Drive

Sonoma, CA

Please note these special staggered lunch times, beginning with Kindergarten at 11:15, 1st 11:30; 2nd at 11:45; 3rd at 12:00, 4th and 5th at 12:15, Please join us!!

Back to School Night

Wednesday, Sep. 4th, 6pm

18606 Riverside Drive

Sonoma, CA

Time will be spent this evening meeting teachers and learning information on how to help your child be a successful student.

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El Verano Community School

Our vision is for us to work together to support the interests of this neighborhood and school. During our recent community meetings, parents, staff, local agencies and neighbors helped to identify common interests. We have named health, parent engagement and leadership as essential components to a healthy and vibrant community.

These areas will continue to be developed by neighbors, staff and families. For example, we may offer a zumba class in the evenings or a farmers market on the weekend. The community inclusive events would take place in the evenings and on the weekends. We promote a sense of family and community through these events.

Over the course of the last several years we have also noticed that children and families have needs that impact learning. These can include dental, medical or emotional needs. Schools are not equipped to meet this need. A Community School can often be a part of the solution by offering services on campus that are accessible to families. We opened the Family Resource Center in April 2015 where we can refer El Verano families for needed services. In addition, we have hired a parent coordinator to support parents in a number of ways including leadership, educational classes and advocacy.

El Verano teachers have identified the need to support students in additional ways. This would include extra support classes and enrichment classes for all students during the school day. Students would receive targeted instruction to support his/her individual needs as well as enriching opportunities such as garden science, art or music.

We will continue to have meetings through our English Language Advisory Committee (ELAC), School Site Council (SSC), Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) and Community Meetings to offer more clarity as we develop these programs. A parent advisory council will be developed for the Family Resource Center, and we welcome your participation as we continue this process.

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Teachers 2019-2020

Kinder and Transitional Kinder

Jenny Hinman, Shannon Buller and Victoria McCracken

First Grade

Donna Presti and Megan Russell/April Nield

Second Grade

Sandra Zamudio, Kathleen Hawing

Third Grade

Catherine Markham and Gabi Heppe

Fourth Grade

Corey Decker and David Kohnhorst

Fifth Grade

TBD, Jack Gray, Nora Alexander-Short


Katie McGrath, Brian McSweeney and Irma Pulido


Gen Caven and TBD


Laurie Salmas, Adda Avila and Laura Rodriguez


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