7380 Girard Ave

La Jolla, California


Posted on Sep 16, 2014

Gillispie “Gem” of the Week

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Last week, a toy candle fell behind the loft in the prekindergarten Room 4 classroom. Many children tried different strategies as they attempted to rescue the candle, but by Friday of last week, the candle was still stuck. ​ This week, the children worked together to design a plan for rescuing the candle. They had multiple group “problem solving” discussions where they suggested using either a fire truck or enlisting the help of the big kids (Gillispie elementary students). The children decided to create flags, notes, and signs to let the big kids know they needed help, and gave a presentation to their book buddies to fill them in on the details of Candle Rescue.

This was one of the first exciting projects of the school year for the prekindergarten students, and it allowed them to use critical thinking skills, logic, and reasoning while working on fine motor skills in written communication. It also helped create a collaborative classroom community where all students worked together to achieve a common goal.

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Posted on Sep 08, 2014

Gillispie “Gem” of the Week

san diego private school
P.E. students kicked off the 2014/15 school year with fun team building exercises! This Grade 5 team building activity is called “Special Solution Removal” Students work together in teams to transport the “special solution” to its proper receptacle for disposal. By working toward a common goal, students are encouraged to practice cooperative learning while maintaining a positive attitude.
la jolla private school
Posted on Sep 08, 2014

Healthy Snack Volunteers Needed!


Friends, we have a problem. Please help Gillispie fill this kitchen with loving, helping hands!

Every Sunday at the La Jolla Open Aire Market, we purchase organic fruits for healthy snack. Now we need the slicers and dicers to make this program happen.

We are in desperate need of Healthy Snack volunteers to help cut fruit in the mornings directly after drop off Monday through Thursday. Snack prep usually takes 20-30 minutes. Time efficient and fun, this is a wonderful way to get to know other parents while making a difference for our students.

If you’re willing to pick up the knife, please email Jessica Yeagle at jyeagle@gillispie.org, and include the dates that you are available.

An imploring,

Alison Fleming  Head of School

Jessica Yeagle Healthy Snack Coordinator
Posted on Sep 08, 2014

Gillispie “Gem” of the Week


What a FANTASTIC first week it has been!

For many of our brave, little early childhood students, this week was their first time at school and away from their parents. Even though this can be a scary step, we saw more teary-eyed Moms and Dads than students this year.

Our K-6 students looked sharp in their new uniforms, and had a great time catching up with classmates and teachers after the long summer break. A highlight of the week was watching students working in the new science bungalow! We are so thankful for this exciting, new space, in addition to the art atelier and learning garden now complete on the Fay Street property.

Posted on Sep 08, 2014

Drum Roll, Please!

gillispie violin

I am thrilled to announce that The Gillispie School curriculum will include violin lessons for all third grade students this year. Thanks to the generosity of two Gillispie families, an instructor from Villa Musica, San Diego’s Community Music Center, has been retained with a curriculum developed by its founder and executive director Dr. Fiona Chatwin. La Jolla Music, one of our local independent stores, will be providing the rentals.
Why has Gillispie chosen a string rather than a wind instrument, and why the violin?
Violins have the advantage of size and weight that are appropriate for children at this age, and it is well suited for teaching in a group situation. Also, it is easier to make a quality sound, as children are not dependent upon wind flow or having to work with mouth formation.
What about children who have previous string experience?
To provide an opportunity for more advanced work, a Monday, after-school enrichment is being offered for fourth through sixth graders who play the violin, viola, cello, or double bass. The ensemble class creates an encouraging learning environment for students by providing performance opportunities and peer interaction.
How do children in a classroom situation benefit from learning an instrument?
The implementation of an instrumental music program has been a dream of The Gillispie School for many reasons.  Music instruction is a proven method to develop creative thinking, gain cooperative skills through ensemble playing, and bolster math skills as children read the symbolic language of notes.  Moreover, there is the important lesson based on the adage, “practice makes perfect” while children build their focus and tenacity. This New York Times article nicely summarizes the many benefits of instrumental music instruction.
A special thank you goes out to Margie Edwards for her research and effort in launching this endeavor as part of Gillispie’s curricular program.
Alison Fleming
Head of School
Posted on Jul 31, 2014

How to Find and Destroy Germs in Your K–5 Classroom

Staples.com:  Pesky germs! They’re good at lurking in plain view and getting everyone in arm’s reach sick. So when you’ve got 25-plus elementary school kids sharing and touching the same high-traffic spaces, you’re bound to have culprit areas of your classroom that are breeding grounds for bacteria and viruses…read more. 
Posted on Jul 03, 2014

10% OFF Week 4 Fencing Class if you register by Thursday!


Olympic Fencing with Team Touché

Week 4, July 7-11, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., Grades 2-6, $225 NOW $202.50!

Team Touché helps refine free-swinging students into deft deflectors and Z-carving virtuosos (with foam swords) while providing a fun and engaging fitness activity. Discover the basics of swordsmanship and learn French and Italian terminology embedded in this classical sport. Wow parents and friends on the last day during our Olympic-style fencing tournament. All participants receive awards after the tournament. Tedd Padgitt is Head Coach of Team Touché and is the 2005 West Coast Champion.

Don’t miss this opporunity! Register today: (858) 459-3773 ext. 135, or email cwatkins@gillispie.org.

Click here for full brochure and registration forms.

Posted on Jul 03, 2014

Non-profit Enlists Gillispie School Students to Brighten Orphan’s Lives

La Jolla Light: Together for Charity, is a locally operated non-profit organization that sponsors an orphanage of 50 children in Tijuana, Mexico. The organization was founded in 2009 by a group Mexican-American women who grew up in Tijuana, but relocated to San Diego years ago…read more on page A12.
Posted on Jun 11, 2014

Gillispie “Gem” of the Week


Gillispie held its annual Art Day last week, showcasing student artwork from every grade level.

The theme of this year’s event was “Garden Party,” and activities included a gallery tour of the elementary school art in the gym, a “Garden Rock” art project in the new community garden space, and a gallery tour of Early Childhood art in the new atelier.

After the Art Day festivities were underway, the School held an ice cream social in the courtyard with tasty frozen treats for students and parents to enjoy.



Posted on Jun 11, 2014

Congratulations to the Gillispie Class of 2014


From Bella O.’s, This I Believe graduation speech, as inspired by NPR, she speaks with conviction about her future:

In life, there are moments that scare us. Places we’re afraid to go. People who intimidate us. Maybe you’re afraid of the dark, or spiders, or small spaces. What controls your fears? What determines if you’re afraid of clowns vs. a shark? It’s that little voice in your head telling you that you will fail. Telling you that you can’t win a soccer game. It could even be telling you that you can’t draw, or it tells you you’re not good enough for anything.

I heard this voice a lot, but it wasn’t telling me I couldn’t win a water polo game or swim meet. It told me I could never be an author. It told me I wasn’t good enough to be published. You might laugh at me for being afraid of not being able to write a book, but what I really am afraid of is rejection. “No, your commas are misplaced.” “No, this is a horrible idea.” “No, you’re only twelve.” I will be an author no matter how many publishers and editors tell me I can’t write. Fear is nothing more than an obstacle that stands in the way of progress. In overcoming our fears, we can move forward as stronger, wiser people. This I believe.

Congratulations to our Grade 6 graduates! We wish them all the best in their future educational journeys:

8 will be joining The Bishop’s School 3 will be joining The Francis Parker School 3 will be joining The La Jolla Country Day School 2 will be joining The Children’s School 1 will be joining Cal Coast Academy

Also, congratulations to Gillispie’s class of 2008 who are off to college in the fall:

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo Claremont McKenna College Occidental College Princeton University Southern Methodist University University of Oregon University of Southern California Willamette University Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Congratulations again to all of our recent and past graduates.

Alison Fleming Head of School

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