7380 Girard Avenue, La Jolla

Gillispie School / Elementary  / Sandboxes and Being in the Flow

Sandboxes and Being in the Flow

It certainly has been an exciting couple of weeks as the school year winds down! As an educator, I am always pleased to see students find their individual “sandboxes;” those places where they stretch themselves, gaining excitement and sense of purpose from the challenge.

Recently, some of our fourth and fifth graders participated in the county-wide Science Field Day, collaboratively constructing catapults, paddle boats, towers, and a series of simple machines that delivered marbles into cups. This month was Junior Olympics where student-athletes raced, jumped, threw softballs, and completed obstacle courses. I marveled as children never gave up approaching the finish line. Whether they were first or last—they persisted.

We are now preparing for Art Day, and again, as pieces are curated for the event, I witness the creativity and vision of each child’s concept of art from ages two to twelve years old. Being in the sandbox doesn’t mean your scientific or artistic creation is the best, or that you achieve a gold medal in your race. It means that you have enthusiastically found a space, materials, and time that allow you to be “in your zone.”

Alison Fleming
Head of School


At Gillispie School, we believe that learning is a journey in which children are active participants. We balance a child-centered approach that does not rush childhood with well-researched academic programs that demand higher level thinking. We focus on social-emotional learning that develops strength of character, kindness towards others, and openness to diverse ideas and cultures.

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