Gerber Newsletter

December Edition

Gerber Union Elementary School District

The Mission of Gerber Elementary School is to team with families to create a college-oriented culture where students are safe, respected, and empowered to contribute in a global community.

Answer to November RIDDLE: How far can a fox run into the woods? Only halfway, otherwise it would be running out of the woods!

December RIDDLE: What goes up but never comes back down?


We hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving break and were able to spend lots of time with loved ones. We only have 3 weeks in December and they will be busy as we gear up for Royal King Dance Production and winter break.

As we move into seasonal breaks at school, it’s even more important to keep learning happening at home. Just 20 minutes of reading a day will increase language development and prevent students from slipping behind in their academics. Please make daily reading a priority in your everyday routine at home.

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Enrollment: Approximately 392 students

Acknowledgments: Our December Employee of the Month is Rhoda Helkey. Ms. Rhoda is one of our dedicated bus drivers and also works in the cafe helping with custodial duties. Ms. Rhoda is kind, patient and hard working. She goes out of her way to build positive connections with kids and we appreciate everything that she does for Gerber School. Thank you, Ms. Rhoda!!

Interested in getting more involved? Gerber School has openings on our School Site Council (SSC) committee and we are looking for new parent members. SSC is a parent advisory committee that is comprised of parents, teachers, classified staff and administration. We meet once a month to review school goals and priorities and make recommendations to the Board of Trustees. Please contact Jenny Montoya at or 385-1041 for more information.


Important Dates:

Royal King Performance for TK-3rd Grades - Dec 18 from 6-7pm

Royal King Performance for 4th-8th Grades - Dec 19 from 6-7pm

SEB Team

Last month we emphasized the importance of developing and exhibiting empathy. This month the SEB (Social, Emotional, Behavioral) team takes a look at the importance of the developmental skill of social awareness.

“Social awareness...

Is the ability to take the perspectives of others and apply it to your interactions with them. Daily interactions with peers and teachers can help build your child’s social awareness, but you play the greatest role in their social development.” -Parent Toolkit

During these early elementary years, when children are in a formal school setting, they’re interacting with more peers and adults. This increased exposure to others begins to broaden their understanding of the world. Children at this age are developing the ability to identify their feelings and what causes them. They are also learning how to manage their emotions and behave appropriately. The concepts highlighted in this section are based on the five sets of competencies developed by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL).”

To learn more on the development and importance of social awareness in children, please visit the Parent Toolkit at .

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Talk, Read, Sing

It's important for parents to understand the critical role they play in their child's language development. A child develops much of his capacity for learning during his earliest years since this is the time when the brain undergoes its most dramatic growth.

When parents read, sing, or talk to their child, the child's brain is filled with words, sounds, and emotions that help make the brain cells grow stronger. This will have a lifelong effect on his ability to learn language and communicate with others. In fact, kids who don't develop basic literacy skills before kindergarten are three times more likely to drop out of school later in life.

Ways You Can Encourage Strong Language Skills:

  1. Talk to your child. Research shows the more parents talk with their children, the larger vocabularies those children develop. So, use everyday moments - in the car, at the grocery store, during bath time - to talk to your child and teach him about the world around him.

  2. Be a good listener. As your child begins to babble and say his first words, be sure to listen, make eye contact, and respond. This will help encourage him to continue!

  3. Read together every day. Ask questions as you read and talk about the pictures. Help your child make connections, such as how the picture of a cat in a story looks like the neighbor's pet.

  4. Use repetition as a learning technique. Read the same stories over and over again to create familiarity with the words and phrases.

  5. Play with your child. Acting out storybooks, drawing pictures, listening to music, and singing songs are all great ways to stimulate language and literacy development.

  6. Stay positive. If your child says a word incorrectly, simply repeat the word with the correct pronunciation. Offer encouragement and respond positively to your child's efforts, rather than focusing on mistakes.

For more resources visit

Talking is Teaching - Talk, Read, Sing

Tech Tip

Next week is the Hour of Code. Students are challenged to do one hour of coding or programming, whether that is an introduction to coding or practicing what they already know. Students at Gerber have been learning how to do coding throughout the last month using For more information, go to