Olive Falcon News

April 2016 ~ Vista Unified School District

Home of the Falcons

Where Kids Think Big, Turning Ideas into Reality!

Follow @Olive_Falcons on Twitter!


Mrs. Vasquez, Principal

Falcons in Grades 3-5 to take the Upcoming California Assessment of Student Progress and Performance (CaASPP)

Our dedicated teachers and staff work to inspire every student persevere as a critical thinker who collaborates to solve real world problems. Our goal is to ensure all students are career and college ready when they finish 12th grade. The upcoming 2016 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CaASPP) is a measurement tool in how our students are doing to meet these goals.


Beginning April 19th (See schedule below), Olive Falcons in grade 3 – 5 will be participating in the California Assessment for Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP). Students will take Smarter Balanced Assessments in English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics. In addition, our 5th grade students will be participating in the California Standards Test for Science and the Fifth Grade Health & Fitness FitnessGram.


The CaASPP test is a computer adaptive test (CAT) that has interactive questions with a variety of supporting tools.


The Smarter Balance on-line assessments are designed to provide students, parents, and educators with more meaningful and relevant information about student academic growth and progress.


We encourage parents and students to preview the Smarter Balanced Practice and Training Tests website.


Additional resources and information may be found at the following links:


  • The Be a Learning Hero helps parents navigate the changes happening in classrooms across the country so they can help their children be successful in school. Be A Learning Hero is a project of the New Venture Fund. They provide resources and information for parents from some of the nation’s most well-respected education and parent organizations including the National PTA, Common Sense Media and GreatSchools.
  • Fact sheets, questions and answers, and resources for parents may be found at the the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium webpage.

  • The CCSS Resource List provides a list of resources for parents interested in learning more about the Common Core State Standards and how to support their child's success.

Olive Elementary 2016 State Testing Schedule

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Olive Elementary Featured In Vista Press ~ Follow the link to the article

Early Implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards

Vista Unified School District is an Early Adopter of the Next Generation Science Standards--


How are the NGSS for California different than the 1998 California Science Standards (CST Science)?
The NGSS for California are different than current 1998 California Science Standards (PDF). The NGSS for California emphasize the importance of having a deep understanding of science concepts and engaging in scientific thinking. The proposed standards further acknowledge the importance of addressing big ideas and cross cutting concepts.

The NGSS for California also emphasize:

  • The integration of science and engineering practices within the content
  • The integration of the Common Core State Standards for English language arts and Mathematics
  • The integration of skills and practices across the content areas as the foundation of STEM(Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education.
  • Student understanding and use of scientific knowledge within and across science disciplines
  • Learning progressions that develop from K-12


Excerpt taken from CA NGSS Frequently Asked Questions

Common Core Tip for Parents

How Group Learning Spurs Personalized Learning in our Classrooms

California’s new core learning standards are designed to ensure that each student is able to master a set of skills before moving on to the next one. The only way in which our teachers can do this is by understanding each student’s comprehension level of the subject matter, and focusing on how they learn. That’s why the standards place such high priority on understanding a learner’s thought process—whether that is for a math problem or a classic novel.

This focus on individual student skills is why you might notice your child working on more group projects this year. Teachers are trying to understand what students are saying and how they explain their reasoning to their peers. This in turn helps the teacher teach each student at his or her own level.

The “gradual release of responsibility” method is one that you can also use with your child at home.

You Do: The student explores a problem and comes to conclusions on his or her own.

We Do: The teacher leads a discussion about the conclusions students make. Students are encouraged to share their ideas and the teacher guides them towards the concept being taught.

I Do: The teacher then steps in and teaches the mathematical concept and provides exercises for students to practice.

That means that instead of a sheet of multiplication tables, our teachers are helping students understand why multiplication works the way it does, for example. Once the student has learned that, he or she will be able to apply the concepts of multiples in any situation, not just on a test.

Upcoming Events at Olive

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Key of Excellence for April ~ Balance

Balance ~ Live Your Best Life

BALANCE – Live your best life

Be mindful of self and others while focusing on what’s meaningful and important in your life. Inner happiness and fulfillment come when your mind, body, and emotions are nurtured by the choices you make.


When we’re in balance we make time for the things that are important to us. Staying in balance is an ongoing process about choices. We’re constantly making choices about what we do, what we say, how we feel, what we think, etc.


When questions arise about how we spend our time, we make choices depending on what’s important in the moment. We may choose to give up time with friends to finish a project for work or school, or we may choose to put aside something we’re doing to help a friend. Many of the choices we make every day—choices about school, work, hobbies, sports, family, friends, health, etc.—are about balance.


Balance is not about rigidly devoting equal time to everything that matters to us, and it’s not about totally immersing ourselves in one area of our lives to the exclusion of all others.


Selection from Quantum Learning Website