What's New at Walnut?

September 28, 2015

Our Year is in Full Swing!

The school year is off to a strong start at Walnut. Now that students have adjusted to the routines and procedures of our core academic program, we're ready for specialists to enhance the educational environment. Mrs. Drossel, our long-time music teacher and chorus director, teaches music classes once-a-week to students in grades K-5. Mrs. Friedman is returning to teach art lessons which focus on the techniques and mediums used by famous artists in history. We're happy to welcome both Mrs. Ciminera, who teaches PE to grades 1-5, and also Mrs. Flores, who teaches PE to our kindergarteners and transitional kindergarteners. We want Walnut students to have healthy minds and bodies! Finally, we extend a Wildcat welcome to our new Computer Specialist, Mrs. Hammer, who will lead students in technology practice twice weekly. A big "thank you!" goes out to our PTA for supporting these engaging programs.

"Target Time" Begins October 6th

We are excited to unveil the Target Time program for grades 1-5. Each grade level will divide into small group classes for 30 minutes daily, Tuesday-Friday, to help each student meet his or her "target" need. Our three credentialed Reading Specialists, Ms. Howie, Ms. Bray-Corfield, and Mrs. Caswell, along with the classroom teachers, will teach these small classes based on needs revealed by pre-assessment data. The Target Time approach prevents students from being pulled out of class for intervention, and it allows every student to participate. Whether students need extra support, targeted work on a reading skill, or extra challenge and enrichment, their needs will be specifically addressed during Target Time. Mrs. Dann, our Math Specialist, will provide targeted assistance in math. We also welcome Mrs. Lohuaru, our Kindergarten Intervention Specialist.

First ELAC Meeting

Help shape the direction of Walnut's English Language Learning program! The first meeting of Walnut's English Language Advisory Council (ELAC) will be held on Thursday morning, October 8th, at 8:15 a.m. in the MPR. All parents of English Language Learners will receive a printed invitation. We will discuss the Site Plan and the budget, and Mrs. Blasi will give a presentation on being prepared to get the most out of upcoming Parent-Teacher Conferences.

Parent Conferences

Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held during the week of October 12th-16th this year. All students will be dismissed at 12:30 p.m. each day that week. Look for an invitation to go home soon with the date and time of your child's conference. Translation services are available.

Fastt Math

Yes, that's Fastt Math with two t's! Students can practice their math facts in a fun and engaging way using Fastt Math, a program purchased by the school. They may log in at school and at home, using the link:


Students use their student ID number as both their username and password. The more facts they learn, and the faster they get, the more items they "earn" in the game. It's a great way to have fun while increasing fact fluency.


What's New with Walnut PTA?

-Please join Walnut PTA. $10 makes good things happen!

-Monster Mash 2015 will be an Outdoor Movie Night. If you would like to be on the Planning Committee, please contact Jill Frazier j4frazier@gmail.com

-Come to a PTA Meeting

Meetings are held the second Thursday of the month at 6:30 pm in room 21

-We hope you took advantage of our first Restaurant Night last Monday at Chipotle. Walnut received 50% of the profits earned that night! Look for more Restaurant Nights in the future.

-Our Fall Fundraiser kicks off Monday, September 28th and runs for 2 weeks. The money we raise is used to fund assemblies, field trips, specialists, and more!

Meet a Staff Member: Mrs. Gennette

Mrs. Gennette has been Walnut's librarian since 2013. She grew up in the Bay Area and moved to Southern CA as a teenager, graduating from Agoura High School. Her interest in architecture led her to college at UCLA, where she obtained a Bachelor's degree in Sociology. Mrs. Gennette and her husband, who is a tennis coach, have two daughters. In her free time, she loves to go to the beach, hike, practice yoga, and, of course, READ. Mrs. Gennette began working at Walnut as a campus supervisor and decided to take on the role of librarian to share her love of books with children. In her words, "It never feels like work!"

Walnut Elementary School

Walnut is a little elementary school with a BIG heart, where every student is valued and encouraged to develop a lifelong love of learning. We believe in developing the whole child, so we invest in the visual and performing arts, technology, and physical fitness in addition to traditional academics. Walnut has an active PTA, School Site Council, and English Language Advisory Council. Each of these groups of parents and community members would LOVE to have YOU join them in making sure Walnut provides the best possible learning environment for students and families. Please contact us if you'd like to know more. --Mrs. Wall, Principal