Welcome Will Rogers Families!
For the week of August 21, 2023
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Dear Will Rogers Learning Parents and Guardians,
I hope this newsletter finds you safe and sheltered this Sunday evening. Tropical Storm Hilary is projected to grace our community with heavy rain throughout Sunday evening and early Monday. Stay informed and receive emergency alerts from the city of Santa Monica by signing up here: Emergency Alerts.
On behalf of the teachers and staff at Will Rogers, we welcome you to the 2023-24 school year! We are so excited to see you and your children on Thursday, August 24th for their first day of school. There is something really special about the first day of school. The excitement of meeting new classmates and teachers, the anticipation of new learning milestones or simply a return to regular routines. It is all wonderful! Reminder: The first and second days of school are minimum days. School begins at 8:25 a.m. and ends at 12:10 for TK/K and 1:00 p.m. for 1st -5th.
This week, we welcome back our teachers and staff for a few days of district and school professional development.
This Tuesday, by the end of the workday, our office will email classroom/teacher placements. Please understand that we take great care and consideration into creating balanced classes. No changes will be considered the first two weeks of school, if at all.
We hope to see our youngest students this Wednesday at our TK/K Meet and Greet which begins at 10:30a.m. in the TK/kindergarten yard and classrooms.
Lastly, please join us on Friday, August 25th for our Welcome Back Picnic from 1-3pm. Meet and reconnect with friends and families to celebrate the start of school.
In this newsletter:
Learn about our (new) teaching staff and their grade level assignments.
Learn about first day drop-off procedures.
Learn about our free-school guarantee.
Review our daily bell schedule.
Review the calendar of our upcoming school and community events.
Learn how to log-in to your Aeries Parent Portal and complete the 2023-2024 Data Confirmation process.
Together for Will Rogers,
Ms. Lila Daruty, Principal WRLC
Will Rogers Communication - Stay connected and informed!
Monday Room Representative Emails: You will receive updates from your classroom room rep.
Wednesday PTA Emails: Stay informed and connected with our PTA. Use this LINK to sign-up for PTA emails.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
8/22 Class/Teacher assignments will be emailed to parents/guardians
8/23 TK/Kinder Meet & Greet 10:30-11:30 a.m. on the K yard
8/24 First Day of School and Minimum Day TK-Kinder: 8:25-12:10 p.m.1st-5th: 8:25-1:00 p.m.
8/24 Boo Hoo Yahoo/Coffee Social @ 8:30 a.m. in the library
8/24 Second Day of School - NO LATE START and Minimum Day. TK-Kinder: 8:25-12:10 p.m.1st-5th: 8:25-1:00 p.m.
8/25 Welcome Back Picnic 1- 3 p.m. Bring your blankets and chairs!
8/29 Minimum Day TK-Kinder: 8:25-12:10 p.m.1st-5th: 8:25-1:00 p.m.
8/29 Volunteer Trainings 8:30 a.m and 5:00 p.m.
8/29 Back to School Night Grades (TK-2) 5:30- 7:00 p.m.
9/1 First Late start Friday of the year. School begins at 9:45 a.m. for grades TK-5th.
9/4 NO SCHOOL- Labor Day
9/5 Minimum Day Grades TK- 5th TK-Kinder: 8:25-12:10 p.m.1st-5th: 8:25-1:00 p.m.
9/5 Back to School Night (3rd- 5th) 5:30- 7:00 p.m.
9/12 Picture Day!
TK and Kindergarten Meet and Greet
TK- 5th Grade Classroom Teachers by Grade Level
Sally Miller/ Maureen Reilly
1st Grade Team:
2nd Grade Team:
3rd Grade Team:
4th Grade Team: (* Updates to our 4th grade teaching team)
*Nichole Holz ( formerly Hughes)
5th Grade Team:
YOUR CHILD's TEACHER AND CLASSROOM ASSIGNMENT
Your child's teacher and classroom assignment will be emailed on Tuesday, August 22nd, by the end of the workday.
If you do not receive an email feel free to call, email, or visit our school offices and we will provide you the information.
Please help us embrace the new year with enthusiasm and positivity. We want your child’s return to school to be met with joy, curiosity, and wonder. Children look to you for guidance and if they see you are excited about the new school year, they too will feel good about the year to come. We believe deeply in all our teachers here at Rogers.
No changes to class placements will be made the first two weeks of school, if at all.
NEW TEACHER ASSIGNMENTS
Sofia Luciano- Fourth Grade
My name is Birdie Luciano and I am so excited to be joining the Will Rogers community. I wanted to share a little about myself and I am looking forward to getting to know all of you as well. I was born and raised in Santa Monica , and have completed elementary, middle and high school all through SMMUSD and loved it. After graduating from Santa Monica High School, I studied at the University of Alabama where I completed my Bachelor’s of Science in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. I then returned to my hometown of Santa Monica and started my teaching career over zoom at McKinley teaching Kindergarten and 1st grade during Distance Learning in 2020-21. The following year I taught 4th grade at Franklin Elementary School. This past school year I was a substitute and got to explore all the schools within this amazing district before landing here at Will Rogers to teach 4th grade. Some of my hobbies include cooking, working out, trying new restaurants with friends and spending time with my 5 year old nephew. I’m so excited to meet the new students, staff and families and have an amazing 2023/24 school year.
Ms. Birdie (Sofia) Luciano
Matteo Valdivia- SAP Child Development Services (CDS)- School Age Program (SAP) teacher
Hello Will Rogers Learning Community,
My name is Matteo Valdivia and I wanted to introduce myself. I will be the new Child Development Services (CDS)- School Age Program (SAP) teacher for the 1st-3rd graders! I will be located in Rm. 102. I am coming from McKinley where I was the SAP teacher for Tk-1st grade for the past two years. I am so excited to start my third year as teacher here at this school. Fun fact: I went here when I was a child so I am very familiar with this school and district!
I look forward to seeing all of you around campus!
Let's have a great start to the school year,
Courtney Hayes: STEM Coach/ IB Coordinator
I am thrilled to introduce myself as the new STEM Coach / IB Coordinator for the 2023-2024 school year. My name is Courtney Hayes and many of you might recognize my name as one of the 5th grade teachers. This year, I am excited to transition into this new role and look forward to the new learning opportunities in my new role.
I am eager to begin working with our students to continue developing and engaging their enthusiasm for STEM. My goal this year is to continue working with the grade-level teachers to create an engaging and challenging learning environment where students are able to grow and develop their problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and creativity - all while having fun!
In addition to working with students in the STEM Lab, I will also be working with the grade level teachers as we continue to implement and develop our International Baccalaureate Program of Inquiry Plans.
I am excited about this new journey and the opportunity to work closely with our learning community.
Gabrielle Hoffman-Ellis: Third Grade Teacher
My name is Gabrielle (gah-bree-EL) Hoffman-Ellis and I am looking forward to starting this school year with all of you, especially my incoming group of 3rd graders! I was born and raised in LA, and have now been back for a year, after 13 years in Oakland. While this will be my first year at WRLC, I’ve been teaching for over a decade. Art and social justice are defining pillars in my pedagogy. I love cats, card games, public libraries, and swimming in natural bodies of water (but a great pool does the trick, too). I’m so thrilled to be joining this community.
Looking forward to meeting you soon,
Marisa Jaeger: 4th Grade Teacher
Hello Will Rogers,
My name is Marisa Jaeger. I am so excited to join the Will Roger’s community! I attended California State University Northridge where I earned my bachelor’s degree and multiple-subject teaching credential. I am a passionate, dedicated educator with a love for teaching, and strive to provide an inclusive learning environment where all students feel represented. In my free time I enjoy hiking, biking, camping, and singing. I can’t wait to meet each and every one of you, and I am looking forward to having an amazing year!
Together in learning,
Will Rogers Learning Community Bell Schedule 2023 - 2024
8:00-8:15 Breakfast in cafeteria
8:10 Yards open
8:20 First Bell Rings. Students line up for class.
8:25 All students TK to 5th grade in classrooms
Late Start Friday Arrival
9:10-9:40 Breakfast served and yard opens
9:40 First Bell Rings. Students line up for class.
9:45 All students TK to 5th grade in classrooms
PreK Kindergarten Yard
10:20 -11:20 Preschool (M-F)
Grades TK/K Kindergarten Yard
9:45-10:05 TK/Kindergarten #1 (M-Th)
9:55-10:15 Kindergarten #2/Kindergarten #3 (M-Th)
9:55-10:10 1st and 2nd (M-Th)
10:15-10:30 3rd and 4th (M-Th)
10:35-10:50 5th (M-Th)
*No morning recess on Fridays
11:30-12:15 TK/Kindergarten #1
12:00-12:45 Kindergarten #2/Kindergarten #3
11:25-12:10 1st / 2nd Grades
12:10-12:55 3rd / 4th Grades
12:35-1:20 5th Grade
2:55 1st to 3rd Grades
3:00 4th and 5th Grades
Minimum Day Bell Schedule
TK-Kinder: 8:25 -12:10 p.m.
1st-5th: 8:25-1:00 p.m.
*Minimum Days: 8/24, 8/25 (no late start), 8/29, 9/5, 11/7, 11/8, 11/9, 3/21, 3/22 (no late start) and 6/12.
First two days of school drop-off procedures!
PARENT DROP-OFF AND PICK-UP
**Students enrolled in morning care through CDS, enter on 14th street beginning at 7:00 a.m. using the gate code provided at enrollment. This is different from last year as our morning care room has moved locations.
- Morning Drive-up Valet is available on 14th street between 8:10-8:30 a.m. M-TH and 9:30-9:45 a.m. on Fridays. Will Rogers staff will support children to exit cars and enter school through the front school gates. You can help by ensuring that your children are ready to exit with their backpacks on, ready to go! Parents, please do not park in the valet zone and leave your car unattended, the area will be marked with cones. We kindly ask that you take direction from our staff who will help keep the line moving and our students safe.
- Walk-Up Drop off- Parents and guardians may drop-off and say their goodbyes at the gate(s). There will be staff stationed at ALL gates to assist.
- TK/Kinder use the designated gate on 14th street.
- 1st - 5th may use the front gate on 14th street or the pedestrian gate on 16th street.
REMINDER: Parent parking can be found on the neighborhood streets. Be sure to read the street signs! Please do not park in either staff parking lot or in a neighbor's driveway!
DISMISSAL: All students will be walked to their dismissal gate by their classroom teacher. Students who have not been picked-up shortly after dismissal, will be asked to wait in the office.
DESIGNATED DISMISSAL GATES:
- TK/Kinder: Pick-up students on the TK/K yard (on 14th street)
- 1st and 2nd: Pick-up students on the TK/K yard (on 14th street)
- 3rd: Front of the school (on 14th street)
- 4th and 5th: Pick-up students at the 16th street pedestrian gate
**If you have multiple children, please pick-up at the designated gate of your youngest student. Be sure you inform your child's teacher of this plan.
If it is raining: 1st-3rd pick-up location will be the front of school, under the covered awning.
Free School Guarantee
As you prepare for the start of the school year, it is important you know that state law requires us to provide a public education free of charge. Subject to certain exceptions, the right to a free public education means we cannot require students or their families to purchase supplies. Will Rogers Learning Community will provide all necessary supplies for your child to have a quality educational experience. However, many parents/guardians choose the option of purchasing their own supplies, not only for use at home, but for their child to use in the classroom. We encourage you to wait to hear from your teachers at Back to School Night regarding supplies should you prefer your child to have a set of personal supplies in the classroom.
Additionally, I am often asked whether parents/guardians may donate supplies and other items for use in the classroom, and the answer is yes - we are always appreciative of donations. You may choose to assist the class by purchasing items for use in the classroom. Any donations are greatly appreciated. Again, your teachers will provide this wish list at Back to School Night!
You may elect to provide your child:
- A backpack ( we have backpacks to provide) please contact our community liaison Flory Vila @ email@example.com for more information. We were gifted free backpacks from the SM Assistance League!
- A snack for morning recess. Please pack in a re-usable bag. No glass bottles.
- A lunch from home. Lunches will be provided at school at no cost. Please refer to the lunch menu, which is subject to change.
- A re-usable water bottle. We have several re-filling stations and water fountains on campus.
First Day Packet - Annual Forms to Complete are Now Digital
Will Rogers Learning Community's annual registration process is now completed in the Aeries Parent Portal. We have many important documents and plenty of information for your family within the online registration site, accessed via your Aeries Parent Portal.
Note: You must FIRST complete data confirmation for each student.
Beginning August 24, 2023:
- Log in to your aeries parent portal.
- Be sure to read, review, and discuss all the materials with your student.
- Very Important: We need to gather information from you for emergency contacts. Please add at least two non-parents. While there are many boxes to fill, at minimum include name, relationship, and phone number.
- We also need to gather information from you for health documents.
Note: You may decide to print some of the documents for future reference. For a tutorial on how to complete this process, please click here English
Again, Will Rogers Learning Community and SMMUSD have worked to digitize the compliance and document portions of the “First Day Packet.” The Data Confirmation process is easy for you and your student through Aeries Parent Portal in place of our previous process. This includes items like Emergency Cards, Parent Handbooks and Policies and Authorizations. We have many important documents and plenty of information for your family within the online registration site, accessed via your Aeries Parent Portal. Note: You must complete data confirmation for each student. Please be sure to read, review, and discuss all the materials with your student.
BREAKFAST and LUNCH are free of charge for all students!
LUNCH: Students may elect to bring a lunch from home or eat at school. Teachers will take a lunch count each morning to help the cafeteria plan for the day. You can find the lunch menu (subject to change daily) here.
We are a peanut free campus. Please be sure that you do not pack food items that contain peanuts.
Instructional Assistants Needed!
We are looking to hire 3-4 Instructional Assistants for the 23-24 school year (Job Duties).
The position is for 3 hours / five days (5) week position, paid $16.00 - $20.45 Hourly. Ideally the hours are 8:30 - 11:30 a.m.
The Personnel Commission will be scheduling interviews soon. Click here to apply. If anyone may be interested, please apply! Parents and community members make great classroom assistants. Instructional Aides are critical to helping teachers differentiate instruction, prepare supplies, and supervise children at play.