Gregory Gardens Weekly Bulletin

Week of September 15, 2019

Greetings from Administration

Happy Sunday Families! Remember September is Attendance Awareness Month. Be safe, be respectful, be responsible and be here!

It's hard to believe we have completed 4 weeks of school! We had a great week of learning and building community. Kindergartners are working on building 5, they are using manipulatives to count and create number bonds. First graders continue to work on blending sounds and reviewing kinder skills. Our second graders had an awesome time on their field trip. Students spent last Thursday at ARF learning how to properly care for pets. 3rd graders have started working on components of stories.... characters, setting and plots. 4th graders are implementing community circles in their classrooms. Circles help create a safe and nurturing environment in the classroom. Students are able to talk about their concerns and support each other in problem solving. This week I was lucky enough to pop into fifth grade during music class. Students from Mrs. Donisi's class sang me a lovely song featuring cities from all around the world..... check it out on my twitter account.

We are in the beginning stages of creating our very own Maker's Space in room 29. The room will have lots of hands on Science materials and all students will have access to the new room. Be on the look out for ways you can support our new classroom. We hope we will see all of our families at Pleasant Hill Community Service day on Saturday 9/28. We have loads of projects..... painting, gardening, cleaning and organizing- come help us spruce up our campus.

As weather permits we will continue to eat snack and lunch outside this week. I have noticed a lot of positive change since students have had the opportunity to sit outside to eat. They are making new friends, finishing their lunches, and the noise level is much more tolerable for everyone. This week I will continue to get into classrooms and connect with students. On Monday we will have our 2nd fire drill, please remind your children we practice drills to ensure we are prepared if we have an emergency. I am looking forward to our Drop off Dance Party on Friday morning.... see you in the bus circle :)

Dogs on Campus

I am a huge dog lover, unfortunately I cannot have them on campus. Please keep your pups at home during drop off and pick up. This helps keep all of our students safe.

Campus Updates

*Our District M&O team is coming to school every morning between 6:30-7:00am to check the campus before students arrive.

Click here to view the 2019-2020 MDUSD Academic Calendar

Katie Koontz

Gregory Gardens Elementary


There is an upcoming meeting at Gregory Gardens on Friday, September 20th at 8:30 am in the school library.

What is ELAC?

ELAC stands for English Learner Advisory Committee. It is a committee of English

Learner (EL) parents that advises the principal and staff on:

· Development or revision of an EL plan of programs and services

· Development of the school needs assessment

· Learn about the importance of school attendance

ELAC Benefits:

· Receive training

· Receive information on school and district programs and their effectiveness

· It is a way for parents to participate


If you think your student will be absent, please call the Attendance Hotline at (925) 682-8000 ext. 7042. Please include your student's name, teacher, and reason for absence. Please be sure to call before 9:30 am. Thank you.

Students should be reporting to their classes with their teacher when the bell rings.

Grades 4-5 the bell is at 7:40 am

Grades TK/K-3 the bell is at 7:50 am

If a student is late to school, they must go to the office to be marked in with a tardy slip to enter their classroom. The district monitors student attendance both for tardies and absences.

Please be aware that students who have:

  • 3 or more unexcused absences/truancies or tardies will be sent a letter to alert the parent/guardian to partner on addressing their student's attendance for school.
  • A second letter will be sent if no improvement has occurred and they have 6 or more unexcused absences/truancies or tardies.
  • Those students who exceed 9 or more unexcused absences/truancies or tardies are scheduled a time to meet with their parent/guardian with the school site Student Attendance Review Team (SART).

Tardy to school is arriving late after the bell for their grade and/or being picked up from school more than 30 minutes before the end of the day.

Absence when a student misses a school day and there has been no call to the office or attendance line to verify the student being out. Parent/guardians have 3 days to call in an absence and/or bring a doctor's note.

Unexcused Absence is a student missing a school day for something other than illness, doctor, dentist or other medical appointment. For example, family travel day.

Truant this is a student missing a school day (days) without a parent/guardian clearing the absence after 3 days.

We know that 80% of success is just showing up. School attendance matters.

School Site Council

Our first SSC meeting will be on Monday September 30 from 2:50-3:50 in the library. Your SSC representatives for the next 2 years are...

Katie Koontz- Principal

Lisa Stauffer- Other

Kristin Hagstrom (1st), Michele Miller (4th), Aerielle Spusta (K) - Teachers


Katie Raher- 1st and 3rd graders

Katie Green- 3rd and 5th graders

Jeff Tschudi- TK and 3rd graders

Jorge Regan- Tk and 4th Graders

Jill Walker- 4th grader

Bullying Vs. Conflict

Continue to talk to your students about the difference between Bullying and Conflict. Attached are two videos to help you start the conversation with children. We take bullying very seriously at Gregory Gardens, we continue to build a community of respect and compassion on our campus.


Shawn Hamdard will be our guest speaker at this weeks Coffee with Koontz. Please join us on Tuesday in the MUR at 7:50am


Since our team has implemented our new reward system we have seen a significant increase of positive behavior around campus. Our office referrals have decreased and students are feeling safe and successful in their classrooms.

Morning Procedures

Please observe our new drop off procedures- All students and parents enter campus through the main gate and walk to the playground through the K1 and K2 hallway. Please do not use the gates by room 17 or 22. All kids and adults are on the blacktop where they can be safely monitored, not roaming the halls where they cannot be supervised. Students may not hang up backpacks prior to the bell ringing, this includes classrooms that are accessible from the blacktop. Once on the playground, students may lay their backpacks in a line at their line up spot. Students may not play on the play structure but they can play with friends on the blacktop. We understand these new expectations will be an adjustment. We appreciate your flexibility and thank you for supporting our efforts to keep all parents, students and siblings safe will at Gregory Gardens.

Student Drop Off

Please be sure to respect school drop off and pick up procedures. Please do not leave your car unattended in the bus circle, this causes stress for other drives and disrupts the flow for all families. Parents should pull to the end of the drop off circle to say goodbye to students. If you would like to park, please find a spot along the bushes or in the church parking lot. Staff parking lots are reserved for school employees.

Volunteer Opportunities

When volunteering in the classroom or on the playground please be sure to make yourself available to all students. Volunteers are always encouraged, any day of the week - just come in when you can. However, for the safety of everyone, we can no longer allow non Gregory Gardens children on campus during volunteering, unless they can be carried in a baby carrier.

Below is a link to the MDUSD volunteer instruction page.

PTA Corner

For more information and ways you can help, please connect with your PTA room parent or check us out on Facebook.

Follow Us

Check out how we spend our days! Follow us

Twitter @gregory_gators, @GGESgarden, @RSP_MDUSD, @MsKoontzMDUSD

Instagram @gregory_gatorsMDUSD

Robert Shearer Preschool

RSP visiting expectations

Parents who are not cleared to volunteer are welcome to visit school for observations, please work with your teacher to ensure all safety measures are taken.

* Visits are pre-arranged with teacher and/or administrator with a 24 hour notice

*Check in with GGES or RSP office upon arrival

*Observational visits can be up to 20 minutes administration present

Drop Off/ Pick Up Procedures

We need your help to reinstate best practices for preschool drop off and pick up. Parents may not park or pull into the bus circle between 8:00am-2:30pm. Parents should park in a designated parking stall and walk their student to the preschool. If your child starts at 8:30 please bring them to the playground gate where your teachers will be waiting to receive them. 10:40 students should come into the pod and enter the playground from the back double doors. Teachers will be there to greet students. At dismissal, please park and walk to meet your child outside the pod at the appropriate time. Thank you for helping us streamline our procedures. We appreciate your flexibility.

Let's run for Funds

Looking Ahead


September 16- Fire Drill #2

September 17- Coffee with Koontz- Guest, Shawn Hamdard @ 7:50 am

September 27- Read-a-Thon Orders Due

September 28- Pleasant Hill Community Service Day 2018


October 2- Walk or Bike to School

October 7 & 8- RSP Picture Day

October 11- Dads and Donuts- 7am

October 15- General PTA Meeting

October 21-25- Red and Blue Ribbon Week

October 25- GatorWeen- 5:30-8:30pm


November 8: End 1st Trimester

November 11: Veterans Day- No School

November 12- See's Candy Fundraiser begins

November 15- Lunch on the Green

November 25- 29: Thanksgiving Break


December 2- See's Candy Orders Due

December 9-20- Parent Teacher Conferences

December 23-January 6- WINTER BREAK



January 17- Family Movie Night- 6pm

January 20- Martin Luther King - No School

January 27-31- Multicultural Week

January 27-31- Book Fair #2

January 31- Multicultural Week Potluck

conflict vs. bullying
Bullying vs. Conflict - Knowing the Difference

Happenings around campus

Previous Newsletters

The Mt. Diablo Unified School District prohibits discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying based on actual or perceived ancestry, age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, actual or potential parental, family, marital status, or association with a person or a group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. Questions, concerns or complaints regarding compliance with Title IX student issues, please contact the Title IX Compliance Officer, Michael A. Jimenez, Assistant Superintendent High School, at 1936 Carlotta Drive, Concord, CA 94519, by phone (925) 682-8000, or email at Questions, concerns or complaints regarding compliance with Title IX employee issues, please contact the Executive Director of Personnel, Lisa Murphy Oates, at 1936 Carlotta Drive, Concord, CA 94519, by phone (925) 682-8000, or email at Questions, concerns or complaints regarding harassment, discrimination, intimidation and bullying, please contact the Equity Compliance Officer, Jennifer Sachs, Executive Director of Instructional Support, at 1936 Carlotta Drive, Concord, CA 94519, by phone (925) 682-8000, or email at