7380 Girard Ave

La Jolla, California


Posted on Nov 06, 2014

Finding the Common Ground

IMG_5476What causes people to be homeless? How many people in San Diego are homeless? How do homeless people feel? These are some of the things that Gillispie fifth graders wondered about prior to a recent service learning field trip.

This month, both Grade 5 classes served lunch to the homeless at St. Vincent de Paul Village in downtown San Diego. The Village provides housing, meals, and a variety of services to members of our local homeless population.

Students learned about food safety and hygiene before preparing to serve lunch. Dressed in aprons, gloves and hair nets, the students cheerfully served lunch to over 300 individuals. The fifth graders served food and drink, helped people carry their lunches to the dining room, and bussed tables. By the end of the lunch service, the students were exhausted and hungry!

Back on campus, students discussed how their view of homeless people had changed. “Homeless people aren’t that different from us,” one student decided. Fifth graders were surprised to see homeless people in formal clothing, families with children, and homeless people using cell phones.

Students also expressed appreciation for their own good fortune: “I feel so grateful that I have a home and a wonderful family.” Many agreed that they would like to return: “It makes you feel good inside.” Giving back to our community gave us a rewarding and meaningful experience that we won’t soon forget.

Heidi Long Grade 5 Teacher
Posted on Nov 06, 2014

Gillispie “Gem” of the Week

Gillispie’s Grade 2 students got to practice being bees this week in the Science Bungalow!

Mr. Edwards introduced this Earth Sciences unit by asking the children what words came to mind when they thought of flowers. This progressed into a discussion on pollination and how bees pollinate flowers to facilitate plant growth and reproduction.

To experience the process first-hand, the students created their own pollination devices using toothpicks and pipe cleaners. They ran from flower to flower gently touching their “pollinators” to the plants’ stigma, which serves as a landing zone and entrance for fertilization.

Some of the plants being pollinated were student-cultivated cucumber and wax bean plants that have recently begun to flower. The assignment was to pollinate 100 flowers, some students surpassed that goal to more than 500!

Gillispie science classes delve into Life Science, Physical Science, Earth Science, and Investigation and Experimentation.

Posted on Nov 06, 2014

Gillispie “Gem” of the Week

Grade 6 presented their Día de Los Muertos altars at this week’s upper elementary assembly.

As part of their Mexican cultural studies, the students worked in groups during their Spanish time with Señora Ruiz. They selected an individual who has died and created an altar to celebrate the person’s life.

On top of the altar, offerings, or “ofrenda,” are laid out consisting of items a loved one enjoyed while he or she was alive.

Michael Jackson, Steve Jobs, and Walt Disney were among those represented by the students. The main altar set up in the conference room by parent volunteers was dedicated to none other than Ada and Samuel Gillispie!

Posted on Oct 16, 2014

Gillispie Boosts Science, Sustainability, and Art Programs With Campus Expansion

La Jolla Patch: The Gillispie School in La Jolla began its school year by unveiling three new learning spaces completed over the summer during its Fay Street campus expansion project. The space additions include a newly renovated science bungalow, a sustainable garden, and an early childhood art atelier, all completed in August 2014…read more. 
Posted on Oct 16, 2014

Gillispie “Gem” of the Week

Based on student interest, preschool Room 1 children have been exploring different kinds of trucks. The truck that’s received the most attention is the red fire engine. After receiving a donated refrigerator box, the students decided to use it to create their own bright red fire truck. They headed outside with large painter’s brushes in hand and got to work on their project!

Posted on Oct 08, 2014

Gillispie “Gem” of the Week


Grade 4 enjoyed their last day of P.E. swim this week!

With fall upon us, our elementary students will take a hiatus from weekly swimming to focus on other sports, like soccer, basketball and lacrosse.

Once the winter months pass and spring arrives along with its warm, sunny days, the students will be back in the pool practicing their backstrokes and dives. ​
Posted on Oct 08, 2014

Gillispie “Gem” of the Week


Grade 6 students participated in a new activity this week in Mrs. Moore’s technology class called “QR Code Scavenger Hunt.”

With iPads in hand, the students searched the campus for 15 hidden QR codes that, when scanned, would pull up a question for them to answer. Questions included school-related trivia, like “How many years ago was the tree on the playground planted?” In groups, the students came up with the answers through research and interviews with faculty and staff members.

This project was an introductory lesson that will help them prepare for their upcoming project of mapping the new science bungalow and sustainability garden using QR codes.
Posted on Oct 08, 2014

Gillispie “Gem” of the Week


Grade 4 students began a new project this week in Mr. Edwards’ science class.
Working outside in the sustainable garden, students were given 24 different rocks and minerals that they will spend the next 5-6 weeks examining and performing tests on to determine their classification.
This week, they began by examining the properties of the specimens, including odor, shape, weight, texture, and color.
Some students were heard saying “This one smells like pennies,” correctly identifying the chemical element, Copper.
Posted on Oct 08, 2014

Gillispie’s Admissions Season Has Begun!

As of October 1, The Gillispie School’s admissions season for the 2015-16 school year has begun!

Current families looking to apply for their younger children and prospective families interested in joining Gillispie can now submit their application(s) for priority enrollment consideration for the 2015-2016 school year.

All applications for priority enrollment consideration are due by January 30, 2015. Applications received after the January 30 deadline will be considered on a space-available basis. Applications can be found on Gillispie’s admissions page.

We invite all current and prospective families to attend one of the following three open house events this year to learn more about what sets a Gillispie education apart:

Preschool-Grade 6 Open House:
Thursday, Jan. 15, 9-10:30
Preschool-Grade 6 Open House:
Wednesday, Jan. 21, 9-10:30
Kindergarten Only Open House:
Thursday, Jan. 22, 9-10:30

We will also be holding three Group Campus Tours on the following Thursdays:

Oct. 23, 8:45-9:15 a.m.
Nov.20, 8:45-9:15 a.m. 
Dec. 18, 8:45-9:15 a.m.

We invite all families to attend one of the Group Tours after drop-off, and encourage you to bring a friend! 

Contact me at bwiczek@gillispie.org to RSVP for any of the above events or for more information regarding admissions.

Here’s to another amazing admissions season at Gillispie!


Brittany Wiczek 
Admissions, Marketing, & Communications Lead
Posted on Sep 16, 2014

Gillispie “Gem” of the Week

san diego pre kindergarten

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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