GECKO GAZETTE

GRANT SCHOOL - SANTA MONICA

WEEK OF OCTOBER 26 - NOVEMBER 1, 2020

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Check out our Geckos' Art the Vote creations by clicking the link. You can have your child make one, too!


GRANT STUDENT ART THE VOTE ARTWORK GALLERY

~NEW TRANSLATION OPTION INTO 100 LANGUAGES!~

To read the Gecko Gazette in another language please look to the right of the newsletter and click "TRANSLATE NEWSLETTER". You can now choose from 100 languages!

~ ¡NUEVA OPCIÓN DE TRADUCCIÓN A 100 IDIOMAS! ~

Para leer la Gaceta Gecko en otro idioma, mire a la derecha del boletín y haga clic en "TRADUCIR EL BOLETÍN". ¡Ahora puede elegir entre 100 idiomas!

~ በ 100 ቋንቋዎች ውስጥ አዲስ የትርጓሜ ምርጫ! ~

የጌኮ ጋዜጣ በሌላ ቋንቋ ለማንበብ እባክዎን በራሪ ወረቀቱ በስተቀኝ በኩል ይመልከቱ እና “የትርጉም ጽሑፍ” ን ጠቅ ያድርጉ ፡፡ አሁን ከ 100 ቋንቋዎች መምረጥ ይችላሉ!

~ IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER ~

Please review these important dates:


  • Monday, October 26th: SMMUSD Virtual Town Hall for Reopening of Elementary Schools: 6:00 PM >>> JOIN MEETING HERE : (meeting ID: 949 2061 3876; passcode: U2D7z6)

    Or call-in phone number: 669-900-9128; passcode: 648481 (same meeting ID.)


  • October 30th - November 3rd: Grant is an early voting center: Auditorium: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM; Election Day 11/3 from 7:00 AM - 8:00 PM

  • October 30th: Grades 3-5: Guest Author presentation: Stuart Gibbs (see below for details)

  • Sunday, November 1st: Virtual Book Fair Begins - See details below!

  • Tuesday, November 3rd: National Election Day >>> Exercise your right to VOTE!

  • Monday, November 2nd: Student Workday: Students will meet with their teachers at 8:30 for Morning Meeting and then the rest of the day will be asynchronous.

  • Tuesday, November 3rd: Minimum Day for Parent Conferences: Dismissal at 12:15 PM for TK/K; 1:15 PM for grades 1-5. Live instruction ends at 12:00 for teacher prep time. Asynchronous work may be required after lunch. See teachers' class schedules for details.

  • Wednesday, November 4th: ELAC Meeting #2: 8:45 AM >>> Join meeting here: Zoom Link

  • Wednesday, November 4th: Minimum Day for Parent Conferences: Dismissal at 12:15 PM for TK/K; 1:15 PM for grades 1-5. Live instruction ends at 12:00 for teacher prep time. Asynchronous work may be required after lunch. See teachers' class schedules for details.

  • Thursday, November 5th: Pupil-free day. NO SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS.


  • Friday, November 6th: Minimum Day for Parent Conferences: Dismissal at 12:15 PM for TK/K; 1:15 PM for grades 1-5. Live instruction ends at 12:00 for teacher prep time. Asynchronous work may be required after lunch. See teachers' class schedules for details.

  • Tuesday, November 10th: NEW DATE: Grant School Remodeling Community: 6:00 PM >>> Info to come soon

  • Wednesday, November 11th: NO SCHOOL - VETERANS' DAY HOLIDAY


  • Sunday, November 22nd: Virtual Book Fair Ends

  • November 25, 26, 27: NO SCHOOL FOR THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY

  • December 21st- January 3rd, 2021: NO SCHOOL >>> WINTER BREAK
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~REFLECTIONS GALLERY IS OPEN!~

Grant's Reflections Gallery is now up on the PTA website! Stop by and see some of our beautiful student artwork.


www.grantpta.org


A HUGE GECKO THANK YOU TO PARENT MARY BETH O'DONOVAN FOR ONCE AGAIN COORDINATING THIS IMPORTANT AND FUN ACTIVITY FOR OUR STUDENTS!

~GECKO FALL FUN WEEK~

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~HALLOWEEN COSTUME CONTEST~

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~It's NOT a trick, it's a TREAT~

Student Council invites everyone to participate in a VIRTUAL HALLOWEEN COSTUME CONTEST! Students are invited to post pics of themselves on our Grant Halloween PADLET in their cutest, silliest, and/or spookiest costumes! Please make sure they are school appropriate. The PADLET will be available from Sunday, October 25th until Sunday, November 1st! There will be prizes in each category! We can't wait to see you - have FUN! Email Ms. Kooy with any questions - tkooy@smmusd.org


https://padlet.com/tkooy/24unmkb4h3gomnhg

~GUEST AUTHOR - STUART GIBBS~

(Grades 3rd - 5th ONLY)


Grant Elementary is pleased to be hosting a virtual author visit for grades 3 - 5 with Stuart Gibbs, author of the Spy School, Fun Jungle and Moon Base Alpha book series. This visit is sponsored by Children's Book World and you can buy an autographed copy of his new book Spy School Revolution or another one of his books by clicking this link.

https://www.childrensbookworld.com/stuart-gibbs-school-visit-and-book-signing


Students will attend this virtual author visit on Thursday, Oct. 29 at 12:45. Teachers will provide the link to the event. Please contact Ms. Wolfe in the library if you have any questions. pwolfe@smmusd.org


https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1o2Q84grxAYmQZwRPNeBtNJs1yNJdjZh38M0txqvDHtY/edit?usp=sharing

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~ GRANT SCHOOL BOOK VIRTUAL BOOK FAIR IS HERE! ~!

~SHOP FOR THE HOLIDAYS~

We are having an online Book Fair! Browse now, you can purchase books from Nov. 1 - Nov. 22. All orders will be shipped to the school and a pickup day will be arranged. For every purchase made, our school earns 25% back in rewards to help support our literacy mission.


https://efairs.follettbookfairs.com/

School code: ZR8K6

~GRANT RESTAURANT NIGHT THIS THURSDAY!~

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~Superintendent’s Message: Reopening Planning Seeking Parent / Staff / Student Input~

Virtual Town Hall Meetings Planned for Oct. 21 & 26

Dear Parents, Guardians, Staff, and Community Members,


Please join us for two virtual town hall meetings to discuss our reopening planning, October 21 at 6 p.m. for secondary school focus and October 26 at 6 p.m. for elementary school focus. Zoom links coming soon. Both sessions will be recorded for future viewing.


Thank you to our parents, teachers, and secondary students for taking the recent distance learning district survey, so that we can continue to improve the learning and teaching experience for our students and staff. We had a great response. We will use the information gathered to address areas where we can improve, while continuing to deliver what is working. We will share survey results at our October 15 school board meeting, and post the results on our website www.smmusd.org/School2020-21


Simultaneously, we continue to work toward developing a safe and effective way of bringing students and staff back to campuses, once we are given the authorization by the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) and Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) to reopen and once our district’s protocols are aligned to the county’s protocols for a safe return.


As discussed in previous meetings, LA County and our school district are adhering to California’s reopening protocols for schools. Within the state’s reopening criteria, each county is assigned to a tier based on its test positivity and adjusted case rate. At a minimum, counties must remain in a tier for at least three weeks before moving forward. Data is reviewed weekly and tiers are updated on Tuesdays. To move forward into a less restrictive tier, a county must meet that next tier’s criteria for two consecutive weeks. If a county’s metrics worsen for two consecutive weeks, it will be reassigned to a more restrictive tier. Public health officials are constantly monitoring data and can step in, if necessary. Based on the current data projections, LA County would be eligible to move into a less restrictive tier as early as November, if the county’s COVID-19 case rate and test positivity rate continues to improve.


In order for us to reopen our schools, we will need to adhere to strict LACDPH safety protocols for our students, staff, and visitors. We continue to work toward establishing the required protocols for a safe and effective return to school. We are in the process of providing for the return of small cohorts of special education and English learner students for services, as our first step, as authorized by LACDPH. I will be recommending that the school board approve January 5, 2021, as the earliest date for the safe return of all of our students and staff, based on our current status in regards to finalizing the implementation and installation of our safety protocols and the transition from distance learning to a form of in-person instruction.


While work is in progress, there is much that still needs to be done between now and January. We recognize that this needs to be a transparent and inclusive process, while steadily working toward an outcome in which students, staff, and parents/guardians feel confident and safe.

After months of analyzing the state’s expectations, the LACDPH safety protocols, our staffing and fiscal situation, what neighboring districts are doing, and talking to parents and teachers, staff has drafted two options for reopening that address the safety protocols and support the social-emotional needs of our students. Linked is a description of the two models and safety protocols for reopening that we will be discussing with the community in various meetings throughout the month of October and seeking input before the school board makes a final decision at a special board meeting on November 12.


Linked is a list of the various school community engagement opportunities and platforms that will be used to gather input and address questions and concerns, including the two virtual town hall meetings. In the different forums, we will describe what is required of our district in terms of safety protocols and how our district staff plans to address the expectations in our planning. The plans we will discuss are preliminary. We hope to have the community learn about and understand the safety protocols and weigh in on various aspects of the preliminary plan, as we work toward establishing a final plan for reopening to in-person learning as soon as it is safe to do so. Further, parents and staff may submit comments through our Let’s Talk portal, clicking on the school reopening input button. We will have a school reopening survey for parents, teachers, staff, and secondary students following the two town hall meetings to gather your feedback.

We understand that some parents are interested in returning to partial or regular school as quickly as possible. We would prefer to have all students on campus similar to prior to the pandemic, but unfortunately, that is not our current reality. LA County continues to prohibit in-person school, except for small cohorts of special education and English learners, as described above.


Thank you to our parents and staff for your continued support of our students during this challenging time.


For updates on reopening and prior communications visit: www.smmusd.org/School2020-21.

For COVID-19 information, testing sites, health FAQs, and Halloween celebration guidelines visit: www.smmusd.org/Coronavirus.


Sincerely,


Dr. Ben Drati, Superintendent

~WORLD KINDNESS WEEK COMING SOON: SHOW YOUR APPRECIATION FOR OUR TEACHERS~

~ THE FUTURE OF GRANT SCHOOL ~

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~ National Poll Ranks SMMUSD Among California's Best Districts ~

~ GRANT SCHOOL RANKED #2 FOR SMMUSD ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS AND EARNED AN "A+" RANKING ~

The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District is pleased to announce its high ranking in the 2021 Best School Districts in California by national academic ranking service, Niche. SMMUSD is ranked seventh in Los Angeles County and 19th in California of 440 school districts included. The ranking is based on rigorous analysis of key statistics and millions of reviews from students and parents using data from the U.S. Department of Education.


Niche ranking factors include state test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, SAT and ACT scores, teacher quality, public school district ratings and more. See the Niche 2021 report.

“We are honored to be recognized for the extraordinary achievements of our students and teachers,” Superintendent Dr. Ben Drati said. “We are dedicated to providing the education and support all students need for success as they embark on college and career, in order to lead meaningful, engaged lives beyond our halls.”


Additionally, Niche awarded Santa Monica High School an A+ and Malibu High School an A for their educational outcomes, a category that includes academic data such as SAT and ACT scores with special consideration given to schools whose students matriculate to high-ranked colleges and universities. The schools also received an A in academics, which includes proficiency in math and reading, and graduation and college enrollment rates. The ranking formula also includes facilities, safety, clubs, sports and other factors.


Both SMMUSD comprehensive high schools boast proficiency rates that are well above county and state averages, along with graduation rates in the 90-percentile range. Samohi and Malibu High School offer comprehensive college and career counseling, maintain acclaimed visual and performing arts programs, boast high student participation in clubs and extracurricular activities, and support diverse academic curriculum such as Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM); Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID); Career Technical Education (CTE) and Advanced Placement (AP).


John Adams Middle School, Lincoln Middle School and SMASH middle school, all received an A or A+ grade, while all SMMUSD elementary schools earned an A+, A or A-. Niche also ranked the best places to teach in California and SMMUSD ranked 10th of 690, and ranked best teachers in the state, with SMMUSD placing 19th of 699.


“I am so proud of our entire Santa Monica-Malibu community – the students, parents, faculty, and staff for this honorable recognition,” Dr. Drati said.


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Community & Public Relations Department

Superintendent's Office, SMMUSD

~NOVEMBER PARENT CONFERENCES AND THE ELECTION~

In an effort to encourage and inspire community participation in this year's national, state, and local elections SMMUSD is shifting the Tuesday, November 3rd parent conference day to Thursday, November 5th.


WE HOPE YOU ALL GO OUT AND VOTE ON TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 3RD! TO ENSURE YOU ARE REGISTERED TO VOTE YOU CAN VISIT THE CALFORNIA SECRETARY OF STATE'S WEBSITE.


California offers voter registration online, by mail, and in person. Online voter registration is available at RegisterToVote.ca.gov. You can also request and complete a paper voter registration form and mail or hand-deliver it to your county elections official to register to vote.


Key Dates


Election day is Nov. 3


Registration deadlines

Online: Oct. 19

By mail: Postmarked by Oct. 19

In-person: Nov. 3


Absentee ballot deadlines

Request: Oct. 27

Return by Mail: Postmarked by Nov. 3

Return in person: Nov. 3 by 8:00 p.m.


Early voting

Oct. 5 - Nov. 2, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live


Additional information

You can also register and vote on Election Day.

~ A MESSAGE FROM THE GRANT SCHOOL PTA ~

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~HELP WITH DISTRICT ISSUED LAPTOPS~

Please contact our IT department if you need assistance with the following:


  • Your child's laptop is not working
  • You are moving out of the school district
  • Troubleshooting issues


If your child is currently using a district-issued laptop to engage in distance learning and you require technical assistance, please email our technology specialist at:


grantsupport@smmusd.org


If you require translation services for this assistance, please contact Bilingual Community Liaison Florencia Rams at frams@smmusd.org.

~ DONATE TO THE GRANT PTA AND SANTA MONICA EDUCATION FOUNDATION TODAY! ~

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~COMMUNITY RESOURCES for FAMILIES~

*Some events and resources not sponsored by or affiliated with the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District.

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~PARENT PROJECT ONLINE~

The Parent Project Online is a FREE program that helps teach parents the skills necessary to handle their chid's behavioral challenges:


English PeachJar: https://share.peachjar.com/flyers/1033393/districts/5758

Spanish PeachJar: https://share.peachjar.com/flyers/1033414/districts/5758

~ CITY OF SANTA MONICA - CREST ~

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE APPLICATION IS HAPPENING NOW!

This fall, the City of Santa Monica's after-school programs will continue to reopen with limited capacity to ensure community safety. City staff are working to make the necessary changes to the schedule due to modified hours of operation, staff reductions, social distancing, and infection control guidance. The City of Santa Monica offers financial assistance to qualifying moderate to low-income Santa Monica Residents and non-residents attending an SMMUSD school. Financial assistance is available and can be applied to City youth program fees such as: CREST Club, CREST Enrichment, Santa Monica Swim Center classes, community classes, and seasonal day camps. A completed application for financial assistance is required annually. We are currently accepting applications for fiscal year 2020-2021. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.


You may email completed applications (which must include the necessary income, address and identification information) to our office at crest@smgov.net or by drop-off through the mail slot at the CREST Youth Office at Reed Park 1133 7th St.


Did you know that CREST Club is running in-person camp from 12:00PM to 5:15PM at Reed Park for youth ages 8-14?


The health and safety of all participants, staff and parents is of the utmost importance. We would like to share that CREST Club will run and look differently. CREST will still be devoted to having fun-filled and engaging activities that you expect from our CREST Program.


We are taking guidance from the CDC and LA County Public Health Guidelines for programs providing Day Care for School-Age children, additional Safety Protocols and Procedures are being implemented to keep everyone safe while in programming.


Visit smgov.net/crest for more information

Grant School ~ A California Distinguished School

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