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Gillispie School / Elementary

Gillispie Grade 4 students spent an afternoon on the field with their Spanish pen pals from Stella Maris Academy! Ms. Gersten and teachers from Stella Maris led the students in fun learning activities like musical chairs en Español, a Spanish vocabulary relay race, and Spanish Twister—mano derecha en color azul! The students had a great time connecting with their pen pals and participating in a day of fun together.   At Gillispie School, we believe that learning is a journey...

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...

Grade 2 students impressed their families and teachers with amazing presentations last week. Each student chose a person of historical significance who they viewed as an inspirational hero, researched the individual, and wrote a two-page biographical report explaining a bit about their lives, accomplishments, and interesting or surprising facts. Working with their teachers and technology instructor Ms. Moore, students used the interactive iPad drawing tool Osmo Masterpiece to illustrate portraits of their subject. Additionally, they created videos with...

It’s tough to be a kid today. So many expectations, so much pressure. Consider that in many places preschool, a place that should be filled with play, imagination, and creativity, is frequently being labeled as “The New Kindergarten”. These preschoolers are forced to move at a fast-forward pace, drilled on letters and math, reading before their eyes are ready, often maintaining busier schedules than adults. Then, it’s off to elementary school, where the pressure is on to...

Last weekend, I took my daughters to the LA Times Festival of Books, which is held every April on the campus of the University of Southern California. During the Q&A portion of a talk by award-winning author Kate DiCamillo, my elder daughter asked, “What did you like to read as a kid?” DiCamillo answered, “If it was a book, I liked it.” I asked DiCamillo what advice she had for kids who want to grow up...

Gillispie School celebrated its annual International Day Friday, April 6. Students grabbed their "passports" and traveled to Brazil, Iceland, Ireland, Mexico, Senegal, Sweden, 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, and much more! This successful...

Operating from the starting point that positive change in the world starts at home, we asked all of our classes in Grades K-6 to explore certain issues that are affecting our community (La Jolla/San Diego). Each grade level tackled one broad theme and dug deeper into a specific area of focus. Kindergarten: Human Effects on Our Coastline Grade 1: Fresh Water Grade 2: Transportation Grade 3: Pollution Grade 4: Hunger Grade 5: Homelessness Grade 6: Civil Rights Cycling through a design-thinking process, students first...

Each week, the San Diego Union Tribune hosts a cartoon caption contest, and last week Gillispie Grade 4 student Talia S. was chosen as a winner! What an honor! We are so proud of our students for not only their creative writing skills but the courage it takes to put themselves out there for contests like these. Well deserved recognition, Talia!   About Gillispie School: We are an independent toddler through Grade 6 school in La Jolla, CA. We...

Grade 3 students were beaming with pride during the check presentation ceremony of funds raised at their annual Blood Drive and Bake Sale. The students reflected upon the experience by sharing a personal message to our special guests from the San Diego Blood Bank. “I learned that giving blood helps millions of people in the hospital.” -Lucian “I hope everyone that got the blood feels better soon and I thank everyone that donated blood or brought something to...

Olympic fever continues in Kindergarten! This week, students were visited by Team U.S.A. Snowboarder and local 16-year-old Judd Henkes! Judd shared with the children how hard he works to train to do something he loves. He also motivated students by stressing the importance of practice and persistence. Judd has been snowboarding since he was 4 years old and trains in Mammoth every year. He hopes to qualify for the 2022 Olympics in China with his best friend (and...