Mary Fay Pendleton K-8 School

We Build Leaders at MFP!

Bulldog Beliefs

Be respectful,
Be responsible,
Be relational,
Be reliable,
Be ready!

Message from Administration: Mr. Dominquez and Mrs. Kerr

Our school year is off to a wonderful start. New programs, exciting events, and important news have marked the first two full months of our school year. Our Harvest Festival was a smashing success and was well attended. Countless hours of planning and work were put in by our wonderful PTSA Board and parent volunteers to make this event run smoothly and efficiently. Additionally, many of our MFP teachers volunteered to support our Harvest Festival as well. Thanks to this wonderful team effort, our students
and families had a wonderful time and many funds were generated which will go directly back to supporting field trips, school events, and resources that benefit our students and school community. Awesome job to all!

As you know, the issue of bullying is a nation-wide issue affecting thousands, perhaps millions, of students and families. Research shows that adults on average are aware of only one out of ten bullying incidents on a school campus. In our district and at Mary Fay,
we have taken a proactive approach to bullying. At MFP, forty of our 4th through 8th grade students participated in a two day training in October to become a Safe School Ambassador. Safe School Ambassadors is a nationally recognized program which
utilizes trained student leaders to interact with other students on the playground using low profile intervention strategies in order to reduce bullying. In some schools using the Safe School Ambassadors program, incidents of bullying have been reduced by as much
as 40 percent. We are excited about the possibilities and the future of Safe School Ambassadors, and we look forward to working with our student ambassadors to make our school an even safer place for students.

At the end of September, Mary Fay held its first Bulldog of the Month assembly for our students. Teachers nominated a student from their class who emulated one of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People as described by Stephen Covey in our school-wide
leadership model known as The Leader in Me. Students were also recognized throughout the month for outstanding citizenship and leadership through the use of our BOW WOW! award. Mrs. Kerr and I visited each classroom regularly to recognize outstanding MFP student leaders and citizens Finally, students received recognition by being recognized by an MFP staff member using our new PAWS- I-TIVE slips. Staff members across the campus looked for one student per week who emulated outstanding leadership and
citizenship. Honorees were recognized over the intercom on Friday and entered into a drawing for Pizza with the Principal at the end of the month.

As you know, the state of California has decided to suspend state testing for this year. This is in response to the transition districts are making from California standards toward Common Core standards. While California Standards Testing (CST) has been suspended, third through eighth grade students may still take a pilot assessment based on the new Common Core standards. This pilot assessment is for informational purposes only, and no student scores will be recorded. More information will follow as it becomes available. Additionally, school-wide API and AYP scores will not be available this year. How will we measure student progress during this transition? Our teachers will continue to administer benchmark assessments in language arts, and unit assessments in math for the remainder of the year. Assessment data from these assessments will be used by grade level teams to collaborate and plan engaging lessons. Reteach opportunities for students who may need additional support will be provided based on the aforementioned assessments. Though we are in transition, our district remains committed to ensuring that every one of our students is engaged, supported, and is learning at a high level.

I look forward to sharing more good news with you in the coming months. Be sure to get involved at MFP. Your involvement and participation strengthens our school community and makes MFP a more supportive and engaging place for our students.

MFP Reader Leaders

Reader Leaders

MFP Reader Leaders

Mary Fay Pendleton Elementary has started a new tradition: Reader Leaders! Once a month for an entire week, exceptional middle school are invited to share their love of reading to a primary (Kindergarten-3rd grade) class. Each Reader Leader is given a special invitation with the date/time and class they will be reading to. They have a week to select their favorite picture book, practice reading aloud (with a variety of character voices encouraged) and prepare for their class.

Reader Leaders are selected based on classroom cooperation and participation, recess behavior, and those that continuously demonstrate leadership qualities. We encourage the Reader Leaders to engage with the class they are reading to by asking the students questions about the story they just heard, or allow the students to ask them questions about middle school. The classes have been extremely excited to have a “big kid” as special guest readers, and instantly look to the Reader Leaders as a new role model.

Safe School Ambassadors: Launching at M.F.P in October!

At its core, the Safe School Ambassadors program is an "inside-out" approach to improving school climate, one that relies on social norms change and the power of students to help stop bullying and violence. Student bystanders see, hear, and know things adults don't, can intervene in ways adults can't and are often on the scene of an incident before an adult. They are a critical and under-utilized resource for positively impacting the crisis of bullying in our schools.

The Safe School Ambassadors program engages and mobilizes these bystanders, but not just any bystanders. The program harnesses the power of the socially-influential leaders of a school's diverse cliques, the ones who shape the social norms that govern other students' behavior. These "alpha" leaders are carefully identified through student and staff surveys. They are selected based upon specific criteria, such as: strong position and influence in their peer group, good communication skills, and a history of standing up for friends.

The recruited students participate in a two-day interactive training along with several adults who serve as program mentors. The training gives student Ambassadors the motivation and skills to resolve conflicts, defuse incidents, and support isolated and excluded students. After the training, small group meetings of Ambassadors are held every few weeks. These meetings, led by the adult mentors, provide time for strengthening skills, support data collection and analysis of Ambassador interventions, and help sustain student and adult commitment to the program.

Why SSA Is Effective?

The Safe School Ambassadors program is based on a solid foundation of research and principles that have been validated for many years. There are some important ways that Safe School Ambassadors is unique and differs from other programs:

  • It involves the "change-agents" by identifying and recruiting "socially-influential" students. Research shows that these are the students who determine what's okay and not okay and have the power to change the way young people treat each other.
  • It is a skills-based program that equips students with powerful, nonviolent communication and intervention skills so they can speak up and take effective actions when they see their friends and classmates mistreat others.
  • It equips students to defuse potential incidents in the moment, as opposed to conflict resolution programs that require a structured meeting that might be held hours or even days after an incident occurs.
  • It provides participating students with structure and support through regularly-scheduled Family Group meetings of 7-10 Ambassadors with 1-2 trusted adults, where they discuss their interventions, practice their skills, and receive support for their efforts.
  • It is a sustainable model, a year-round program, which research has shown has immediate impact as well as lasting and measurable results.
Ambassadors influence their peers in ways that result in 59% - 70% reductions in fighting and bullying.

Leadership Class Updates:

Leadership students have wrapped up our unit on the "7 habits of highly effective teens" and try to incorporate them in our everyday lives! We are looking forward to our unit on defining success, with coach John Wooden's pyramid of success. Leadership students enjoyed volunteering at the fall festival and look forward to helping during Purple and Red Ribbon Week. On a side note, we have been stretching our creative wings and studying Pointillism, Impressionism and the style and elements of art. We created our own Picasso self-portraits using cubism and abstract elements. Currently we are also studying great leaders of the past/present and can't wait to present our creative reports to classmates. Stay tuned for a busy few months heading into the holidays! Mrs. Metcalf

PTSA News and Info!

The PTSA would like to thank everyone who attended the Annual Fall Festival!!!

This year we had added Sumo Wrestling, a Game Truck and Zombie tag which enhanced the event for all the kids and adults. The Food was delicious and the DJ was fantastic! Who knew that we had such talented dancers at MFP?

We had a lot of fun planning and coordinating the event and we hope that everyone enjoyed themselves!


CONGRATS to Mrs. Polyascko’s Class (3rd/4th Grade Combo) for winning the Spirit Day prize 2 months in a row!

Don’t forget every Friday is MFP Spirit Day. Students, wear your Blue Shirts and you could win a prize.

At least once a month the PTSA will give out prizes or treats to students and teachers wearing their Blue Spirit Shirts. The class with the highest percentage of students wearing Blue Shirts wins a Popsicle party and gets the MFP Bulldog until the next Spirit Day Contest. Which class will get the Bulldog next time?

Popcorn Friday! The PTSA is providing popcorn for all students one Friday a month during morning recess!

PTSA is sponsoring a Super Hero in Me Dance for all the Middle School Students. Students can wear a Super Hero Costume while enjoying a fun carefree Dance. Tickets are $5 pre-sale for PTSA Members or $7 at the door. We will have drinks and food for purchase.

2013-2014 PTSA Executive Board

President: Killian Kelly

Membership: Christy Hairston

Fundraising: Sheila Tanner

Secretary: OPEN

Treasurer: Jenn Griffith

Volunteer Coordinator:

Student Store: Jamaica Peoples

Parliamentarian: Alice Abbott

Middle School Representative:

Cherese McDonald

You have 84,600 seconds today. Have you used one of them to say thank you? Bulldog Parent Testimonial…

I am the father of two children at Mary Fay, Tommy and Madeline. Our family was transferred here to Camp Pendleton near the beginning of last school year. Prior to arriving, my wife Alyce and I looked closely at the schools in the area, to include several private schools. Once we arrived, and after positive input from friends in the area, we hesitantly decided that we would give Mary Fay a chance.

Our children are now in their second year at your school and I feel it is important to let you know a couple of things that we have learned. We have learned that there is significant value in having children learn and play in a diverse student environment. We have learned that the quality of education doesn't hinge on state-of-the-art facilities and beautifully manicured landscaping. But most importantly, we have learned that even in the midst of challenging bureaucracy and changing philosophies, a team of educators who care enough to teach our children with passion can provide an unrivaled education.

In our home, education is a priority and we feel blessed to have our children attend Mary Fay. We know that there is no school in the area, public or private, that could provide a better education than our children are receiving now. We sincerely appreciate the hard work and passion that you, Ms. Drew, Ms. Odom, Ms. Taylor, Ms. Noetzel and all staff at Mary Fay put in every day.

If there is ever anything I can do to assist, please don't hesitate to ask.

All the best,

Tim Costello

Physical Education Update from Mr. Kurnik

Sowhat are the students doing in physical education these days? Here is a typical day for your child.

Although most people when they hear the word “P.E”, they think physical education, and while that is accurate, it also means an opportunity to teach leadership! P.E. Leaders lead the stretching and strength conditioning. I rotate P.E. Leaders daily because every child wants to participate. This involves arm stretching, lunges, push-ups and abdominal exercises. Afterwards, they take two long laps; this equates to approximately one half of a mile. P.E. Leaders speed walk behind the group and keep your child at a speed walking pace. Our new unit is volleyball. Your child has learned terminology, how to bump, serve, rotate and how to keep score. Skills are reviewed before games and they are played on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Wednesdays are our running days, not necessarily everyone’s favorite, but an important component to living a healthy life and a required state standard. Please have your child wear athletic shoes and apparel. They do have time to change into and out of their apparel. If you have any questions, please email me at:

Emergency Cards Update!

Parents, it is important that everyone understands that a student will not be released to anyone, unless that person is clearly indicated on the emergency card. This policy is in place to protect our students. If your child’s emergency card needs to be updated and you want to add or delete a contact person, please feel free to come by the office to make the necessary adjustments. Thank you for supporting the MFP team in protecting our students!

RED and PURPLE RIBBON WEEK We are committed to live a healthy and happy life!

The MFP and the PTSA are partnering together to provide Assemblies and activities all week long. Join us for a fun-filled spirit week as Mary Fay Pendleton Students say “No to drugs and bullies!”

Wednesday, October 23rd: “Turn Your Back on Drugs and Bullies”

Wear Red or Purple and wear your clothes backward.

Thursday, October 24th: Sock it to Drugs

Wear crazy socks

Friday, October 25th: Be a Super Hero NOT a Bully

Dress as your favorite super hero!

Monday, October 28th: Follow your Dreams and not drugs or bullies

Wear your pajamas

Tuesday, October 29th: Be a Team Player: Help a Bulldog

Wear your favorite sports jersey

Wednesday, October 30th: Bulldogs are PAWS-itivley DRUG and BULLY FREE

Wear your BLUE Spirit Shirt!!!

GATE NEWS: the program is off and running

This month Mary Fay offered a Parent Information Night for all of the parents with a student in the program. It was a wonderful event for parents to gather the latest information and research regarding the Gifted and Talented program. Along with the many during and after school GATE opportunities, MFP will offer another parent workshop on Thursday, December 12th. The focus for this session will be “How to Work with a GATE Child”…strategies and insights to support GATE parents. After school Book Clubs for Grades 3-8 began this month for GATE students and advanced readers. The students had a great time eating snacks, discussing the books, and completing activities based on the books. Next month's books are 3rd/4th Grade: Lunchbox and the Aliens, 5th/6th Grade: Maze Runner, and 7th/8th Grade: Farewell to Manzanar. We are looking for parents to assist with an after school Chess Club and Lego Club. If you have any questions about the Book Clubs or would like to help with the Chess or Lego Club, please contact Ms. Wardinsky at

Technology News at M.F.P

Our new computer lab is up and running with two full periods of electives for students in sixth through eighth grades. Other elementary grade levels are utilizing the lab during the school day as well when the electives are not in session. The lab is equipped with new Dell PCs and the Microsoft Office Suite among other programs. New keyboarding software is on the way so students can improve their typing speed and accuracy. Cloud storage and increased collaboration for students is on the horizon too as we begin to implement My Big Campus, a safe, social learning site, this year. With My Big Campus, a student's individual learning experience goes with them wherever they go too — inside and outside the classroom, on their favorite device.

Mr. Dave Matton, 8th grade math, science and computers

Attendance Matters

Staggering statistics say…

• 1st Grade Students with 9+ total absences by the third marking period are 2 times more likely to drop out of High School than their peers who attend school regularly (2013 study – Maryland)

• Each additional school day missed over 5 results in a 7% decrease in the probability of graduating high school for low-income urban elementary students (2008 study – Chicago)

• Chronic absenteeism is one of the strongest predictors of dropping out, even more than suspensions, test scores or whether a student is older than his or her classmates

• Truancy is the single most powerful predictor of juvenile delinquent behavior (CDE)

• 92% of juvenile victims of violence were chronically truant (Baltimore 1999-2007)

• 82%...of prisoners in America are High School dropouts (National Dropout Prevention Center)

• Students who missed 10% of K and 1st grade scored, on average, 60 points below students with good attendance on 3rd grade reading tests and nearly 100 points below on math tests. (Attendance Works)


What is P.B.I.S???

There are a number of approaches to disciplining students that help create a stronger sense of community and a more civil environment and avoid the common punishments of suspension or expulsion. Those approaches that have shown particular promise are summarized here, along with a brief description of how they work.

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS): A proactive and data-driven approach to discipline. PBIS schools have successfully reduced office referral, raised academic achievement, and improved school climate by setting clear behavioral expectations, rewarding appropriate behavior, utilizing progressive discipline, and providing individualized interventions for students with chronic behavior problems.

• Leadership Team: A 10-15 person leadership team of administrators, teachers, school staff, and students attend a two- or three-day PBIS training where they learn how to create and communicate a list of school-wide behavioral expectations.

• School-wide Support: The larger school community then goes through a process to approve the list of expectations. When the list is approved, the school community commits to implementing and following the expectations it sets forth.

• Data-Driven Decision Making: The leadership team collects school-specific discipline data and uses it to identify and address common discipline problems and inform policy changes.

The United States Department of Education’s Office of Special Education offers free information about implementing PBIS at www.pbis. org (see “How to Get PBS in Your School” at For examples of two school PBIS handbooks, visit Effective Educational Practices at

Restorative Justice: A community building process that aims to heal relationships between offenders, their victims, and their community. Restorative circles and restorative conferences bring affected parties together to discuss the problem or misbehavior and to find a solution or appropriate punishment. Justice is achieved when an offender repairs the harm she committed against another person and/or the school community. Teachers can model informal, impromptu circles as a means to diffuse minor classroom disputes. Eventually, students can be empowered to create their own problem-solving circles. Administrators can use restorative conferences to address serious discipline problems traditionally punished by suspension or expulsion. Conferences typically include the offender; the victim; relevant members of the school community; parents or guardians of the offender and the victim, if both are students; law enforcement, if necessary; and community members invested in the well-being of the offender or victim.

Training on restorative justice is widely available and relatively inexpensive. See;; and

TOSA CORNER: A note from Cyndy Guerretz

Mrs. Guerrettez shares about the P.D. at M.F.P!

Professional Development Highlights:

Our wonderful teachers have had several opportunities to grow as professionals since the start of school. As a school, all teachers have been trained on using and implementing our newest web-based computer program called "Dreambox." This program is a self-paced, targeted instruction for each individual child in the area of Common Core Math. The amazing piece of this program is that all of the work should be done with manipulatives on the computer or in the child's head. There is no pencil and paper work with this program! Teachers have been busy setting up and establishing routines for implementing Dreambox in their classrooms. Through the training, teachers have learned how to monitor and adjust each students' accounts as needed based on their academic performance. You can also watch for a letter to come home from your child's teacher with the Dreambox information so your child can continue to play and learn from home on a computer or through the App available on an ipad.