7380 Girard Ave

La Jolla, California


Posted on May 19, 2015

Help us support the homeless children at St. Vincent de Paul’s Village


Could you imagine not having a single book to read at home? We think that would be just awful! Reading can help your imagination grow, take you to faraway places, and give you knowledge about the world. That is why the Gillispie second grade classes want to help support the homeless children living at St. Vincent de Paul’s Village by collecting gently used books. We are looking for books that will interest children from toddler through high school age.

Starting Monday, May 18, you will see large red and blue book collection bins around the Gillispie campus. Please help us by donating as many books as you can! Our last collection date will be Monday, June 1.

Thank you,

Annalyse A., Abel D., Lev G., Ava H., Emmie K., Finn K., Ryan L., Madeline Lu., Carl M., Marcelle O., Max P., Alex P., Jimmy S., Dillon S.

Posted on May 19, 2015

Gillispie “Gem” of the Week – Grade 3 Owl Pellets


While reading the fictional novel There’s an Owl in the Shower by Jean Craighead George, Gillispie Grade 3 students researched facts about owls.

Last week, the classes dissected owl pellets. An owl eats small rodents, birds, and bugs, but its stomach cannot digest the fur, bones, teeth, feathers, and insect shells from that food. These “extra” parts are formed into tight pellets and are later spit up by the owl.

In order to make the pellets safe for the children to handle, they were heated to a high temperature making them safe for the children to handle. The students excitedly broke apart the pellets searching for animal bones. Children found small leg bones, talons, and animal skulls. They then organized their findings by cross referencing an identification guide.

Posted on May 19, 2015

Gillispie “Gem” of the Week – Grade 6 Play


Gillispie’s Grade 6 students performed the play Once Upon a Crime – The Trial of Goldilocks in front of their peers and families to great laughter and applause! The hilarious play puts Goldilocks on trial for breaking and entering. The plaintiffs are – you guessed it – the three bears. Other fairy tale characters are called to testify as witnesses, including Hansel and Gretel, Granny, Cow, and even the Big Bad Wolf. A special thanks to Mrs. Chaney for directing this wonderful performance!
Posted on May 06, 2015

Gillispie Families Walked for a Cause


Earlier this month, some of our Gillispie families and staff participated in Project Concern International’s Walk for Water. It was a beautiful morning at Mission Bay Park as hundreds of walkers joined together to support the locally-based non-profit dedicated to preventing disease, improving community health, and promoting sustainable development.

To simulate that many families around the world must walk distances to obtain water, individuals, including our Gillispie students, carried buckets of water as they walked.

When asked why they felt the event was important a few responses included:

“It is important because millions of people in Africa have to walk six-nine miles to get water. It was fun because you could carry buckets of water on your head or in your hand. I liked doing it because you could feel what it was like to have to walk for water.”

– Grade 4 Student

“It is important because it was for people who had no water and had to walk miles to get it. Also because we could sort of understand what it would be like to have to do that.”

-Grade 2 Student

“It was awesome to carry the water!”

– Kindergarten Student

It was a wonderful way to bring our community together to serve an important cause!

Alison Fleming

Head of School
Posted on May 06, 2015

Gillispie “Gem” of the Week – International Day


The Gillispie School celebrated its 12th annual International Day Friday, April 17, 2015. Students grabbed their “passports” and traveled to Belgium, Brazil, Greece, Cuba, Hawaii, Iran, India, and Thailand. Parent volunteers and teachers transformed classrooms into virtual countries where children experienced smells, sights, and sounds of the different cultures represented.

The students had the opportunity to learn about each unique culture as they journeyed “around the world,” completing crafts, sampling exotic food and drink, listening to music, harvesting region-specific crops, and much more!

This successful yearly event at Gillispie is part of the School’s global education program, which seeks to teach students the importance of cultural understanding, respect for others, and embracing diversity.

A special thanks to all of the dedicated volunteers who make this special day happen!

Posted on Apr 20, 2015

Scholastic Book Fair at Gillispie

clifford-book-fairPlease join us in celebrating the wonderful world of books!

On Sunday, May 3, The Gillispie School will host its own Scholastic Book Fair in the School’s Music Room (access from the Girard parking lot) at 7380 Girard Avenue (across from the Open Aire Market.)

The book fair will be open to the public from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., and we invite you stop by and check out our titles!

From picture books to novels, from reading aloud to curling up in the corner with a good book, students enjoy travels to the unknown through the power of words.

A portion of the proceeds from book sales will go towards the growth of our classroom libraries.

For more information, contact 858-459-3773.
Posted on Apr 13, 2015

Gillispie “Gem” of the Week – Flamenco Dancing


Gillispie students were treated to a special event today during International Day Assembly – Flamenco dancers and musicians!

Flamenco is a form of Spanish folk music and dance from the region of Andalusia in southern Spain. The children learned the words cante (singing), toque (guitar playing), baile (dance), and jaleo, which refers to the vocalizations and rhythmic sound of hand clapping and finger snapping that encourages the performers.

The students learned to use the word “Olé!” so show support of the musicians and dancers. The trio demonstrated solo dancing, paired dancing, and selected two students to demonstrate the basics.

“Olé!” and enthusiastic hand clapping was heard throughout the two programs!

This assembly kicks-off International Day which will be held on the Gillispie campus next Friday, April 17. This fun-filled, all-day event exposes the prekindergarten – Grade 6 students to a wide variety of cultures and customs from different countries across the world. That day, children may opt to wear their school uniforms or dress in international apparel.

Posted on Apr 13, 2015

Surfing into Summer at Gillispie!

It’s hard to believe that summer is just around the corner. Fortunately, Gillispie is hosting another fantastic line-up of summer classes that are sure to keep your kids engaged and active. Whether your child likes to perform on stage, challenge opponents in chess, get a workout with a game of basketball, or create artistic masterpieces out of clay, there is something exciting and fun to do during the summer at Gillispie.

Sessions taught by our beloved Gillispie staff members include:

Kinder Adventure with Mrs. Laurie Buttaro

Summer Fun with Mrs. Erica Hurley

Theater, Improv, and Playwriting with Ms. Bryn Fillers

“Think Eye” Art and Sculpture with Ms. Susan Walters

Greek Mythology with Mrs. Heidi Long

Sports Camp with Coach Ed Whelan

If you are looking for something fresh and exciting, check out some of the new class offerings we have available this summer (check the summer brochure for more specific class details.)

Better Basketball with Coach Kamal Assaf

Creative Builders I, II, and III by Club Xcite

Publish My Book! with author Lisa Monaco Gonzalez

Jr. Detectives by Club Xcite

Intro. to Latin with Amy Skillicorn

Woodworking with Suzie Pirtle and Michael Sim

and many more!!!

Our one and two-week classes will run from June 15-August 7. Elementary classes are open to both Gillispie and non-Gillispie students, so be sure to invite all of your friends and family to join us this summer as well!

This Friday, April 10, is the last day for all registrants to receive the special 10% early bird discount, and space is limited in many of our class offerings.

We look forward to a fun-filled summer with you and your family.

Linda Davis

Summer Session Director
Posted on Apr 06, 2015

Gillispie “Gem” of the Week – Grade 4 News Team


Grade 4 students held their “News Team” reports!

Throughout the year on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, three students are chosen to research current events related to local news, sports, weather, and International news. In a news-style format, the reporters present their summarized articles to their peers and parents. This week the children presented news on a newly discovered species in China, the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament, and the possibility of a new twenty dollar bill with a woman on it. After the discussion, the reporters answered questions and took comments from their peers.

In addition to the News Team, the children in Grade 4 have opportunities to present social studies projects to their classmates. They also share facts at both elementary assemblies about hunger and poverty in the San Diego area. This relates to their service learning project at the food bank and their school-wide food drive in the fall.
Posted on Apr 06, 2015

An Inquiry into the Plight of the Sea Lion in San Diego


In recent weeks, the children in Prekindergarten Room 6 have been discussing the injured and sick sea lions they have seen on the beaches of La Jolla. The children wondered why this was happening. They had heard on the news that it was connected to the lack of fish available for the sea lions to eat. As part of our discussion, the children asked many questions:

“Are sea lions washing up on the beach hungry? If so, then why?”

“Is the ocean polluted? If the ocean is polluted can scientists clean it with filters like they do with our drinking water?”

“Are there no more fish for the sea lions to eat?”

During Morning Exploration, the children created drawings in their journals of sea lions, illustrating their theories on ways we may be able to help. They also used clay to tell stories about what they had seen. Sketch descriptions:

Elle: My seal is sad because he doesn’t have any food. He is on the beach and only had one fish.

Simon: Here I am under water with a ziplock bag catching fish. I want the seal to smell the fish I caught in my bag and he follow me. I will feed him when I get to shore.

Laird: I want to go on my surf board and take the seals with me. When I get to the beach, I will feed them a bucket of fish that I bought from the store.

Mia: I cannot swim too well. I haven’t had lessons in a long time. Also, I do not know how to fish. But I can go to the store with my mom and buy some fish. Good tasty fish. Then I will drop the fish in the water on a boat to the hungry seals. I will also leave some on the beach in case they are too tired to swim far away.

Kaia: Here I am in the water and I am trying to get the daddy seal to the baby seal with a bag of fish.

The teachers invited researchers Michael Tift of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and a Sea World team member who works directly with the rescued sea lions, to visit the classroom. Mr. Tift explained that the temperature of the ocean is rising. Because of this, the fish and squid that the sea lions eat dive really deep to get to cooler water. The sea lions cannot always dive that deep, so they have to spend more time looking for food. The class learned that most of the stranded sea lions are very young pups. Because the mothers are having a difficult time finding food, some of them are not able to return to feed their pups. The researchers addressed the children’s questions about the sea lion situation, and discussed other marine mammals and their research on ocean life in La Jolla. The researchers also dressed a student as a sea lion in order to explain anatomy, adaptions, and basic natural history.

The children asked if pollution is affecting the ocean and shared ideas about what might be done, such as fitering water that drains into the ocean or using chemicals to treat ocean water. Mr. Tift thought there were some very good ideas. He explained that the ocean will take care of itself if it is left alone, but because people pollute it, the ocean gets sick. If the ocean gets sick, the animals will often get sick as well.

Lynn Babiarz Prekindergarten Teacher
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