Estrada's E-Notes

February 2023 Edition

Principal's Post

Today marks the 100th day of school for this year. This is a very big deal for our TK and Kindergarten students, and they participated in lots of fun centers to celebrate being 100 days smarter. Fun fact: it's also the 1000th cumulative day of school for 5th grade students. In case you are wondering about the math... 180 school days each year for K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th plus 100 days so far this year adds up to 1000. It's fun to think about how much they have learned and grown in that time.

On February 8th, we are hosting our Family STEM night. We had a great turnout for our Family Literacy Night in the fall. This event will be similar, but all the activities will be about STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math). Plus, there will be an art activity for families to create a family charter. Charters are a key tool of the RULER approach to social-emotional learning. A charter is an agreement we make to act in ways that help us to feel the way we want to feel in our school or in this case at home. Everyone has a voice in creating a charter and everyone has a responsibility to uphold it. Our school Counselor and Behavior Specialist will be facilitating this activity. I hope to see you there!

Keep being awesome!

Principal Estrada


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Spotlight on Safety - GoGuardian App

GoGuardian for Parents, which I mentioned in January's E-notes, is now up and running. This document can help get you started: GoGuardian Parent App Directions in English and Spanish.

Newport El is an "early adopter" of this program which will eventually be expanded to all school sites. NMUSD's EdTech department would love your feedback and questions so that we can help improve the experience for everyone. If you have questions or feedback, please email it to

If you are looking for additional resources regarding online safety, NMUSD is hosting a virtual parent education session on "Raising Digital Citizens" on February 15th from 6-7pm. You can register for the webinar by visiting

Shout Out for Fourth Grade

Fourth Graders have been busy working on their writing skills. We continuously practice using a variety of Thinking Maps across curriculum to support students’ critical and creative thinking. We recently applied our skills with thinking maps to construct a visual pattern of the pros and cons of zoos during our research based opinion writing workshop. Students studied multiple sources to gather information and evidence that would support their opinion on whether zoos are helpful or harmful to animals, then wrote a five paragraph essay stating their opinion and correctly citing evidence from the sources. It was amazing to see their final published writing!

In Social Studies we are currently studying the California Missions! Students are learning about the uniqueness of each of the 21 missions. They have been assigned one mission to research and report on its founding, how it was built, Indian tribes that lived in the mission’s area, and the uniqueness of the mission. Next week we will begin reading our favorite California history adventure novel, By the Great Hornspoon by Sid Fleishman, to prepare for our super fun and exciting field trip to Irvine Park at the end of the month where we will experience life as a miner during the 1849 California Gold Rush!!


Newport El (along with all schools in NMUSD) transitioned to a new phone system over the winter break. There are some great new features, and some things to get used to.

  • Office staff and myself can text parent's cell phones. We have found this especially handy when a VM box isn't set up or is full.
  • When you call the main line 949-515-6965, you will hear a recording. You can press 4 to reach either Debbie or Susi. You don't have to wait for the recording to finish.
  • The caller ID that you see on your phone looks different than what you are probably used to. And in some cases it is showing up as "Mission Loans". The district IT department is working on fixing that.

Important February Dates

February 3 - Flag Deck @ 8:15

February 3 - Foundation Meeting after Flag Deck

February 8 - Family STEM Night

February 15 - Theater Info Meeting @ 6:30pm

February 17 - Flag Deck @ 8:15

February 20 - 24 - Presidents' Week - No School

February 27 - March 3 - Read Across America Week - flyer with info about themes and special activities coming soon

March 3 - Flag Deck @ 8:15

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NESF's Spring Fundraiser

It's time for Newport Elementary School Foundation's biggest fundraiser of the year! NESF is a parent-run organization that raises money to enhance the school experience for all Newport El students by funding additional teachers, technology, and enrichment. Each year, NESF hosts a gala and auction. You can participate in lots of different ways: sponsoring the event, soliciting donations from local businesses for the auction, attending the gala event, and purchasing auction items. Learn more by visiting the Foundation website or clicking on the linked flyer below.

School Volunteers

Parent volunteers add so much to our school community and the experience of our students.

All interested volunteers are asked to complete these 3 steps annually:

  1. Read through the Newport El Volunteer Orientation slide deck.
  2. Complete the Newport El Volunteer Agreement.
  3. Complete the district's volunteer approval process.

As always, every teacher utilizes volunteers in different ways. Teachers will be communicating with the approved volunteers from their class about their need for volunteers and scheduling.

Our Office Staff is Here to Help

Main Line: 949-515-6965

Absence Line: 949-515-6832

Attendance and enrollment questions:

Debbie Kandel -

Health, medications, and immunizations questions:

Dana Hansen - and

Nurse Sarah Hacker -

All Other Inquiries:

Susi Mendoza -

Staff Directory

Get Connected!

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