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Gillispie School / The Journey Matters

Exceptional moments occur in any given school year. Sometimes they are big, hairy, scary moments, and other times they are exquisitely meaningful and wonderful. Working through the ever-evolving pandemic conditions in 2020-2021 would be an example of the former. And, conversely, what happened at the recent Talent Show in the Gillispie Sandbox’s MPR would fit into the latter category. We witnessed magical moments as pianists, string musicians, jugglers, singers, gymnasts, and magicians (to name a few) took...

Did you know that in 1933, a full 20 years before the formation of Gillispie as a school, it was a food pantry? Sam and Ada Gillispie, along with other community volunteers, ran thrift shops in town to raise money to stock the pantry, which was made available to those families who needed it. This is one of the many reasons that we prioritize community service here at School. It is in our DNA! Fun Fact about...

In PE, EC students have been working on throwing and catching in addition to strengthening their balance and core with body puzzles and yoga positions. Elementary students have been working on volleyball skills, acceleration through sprints, and honing in on their overhand and underhand throwing. Ed Whelen and Cheyenne Kibblewhite, P.E. Teachers...

Inspired by Phyliss Reynolds Naylor’s novel Shiloh, fourth graders sprung into action to help animals who are facing life challenges. Thanks to the help of a resourceful room parent and their classroom teachers, the children worked with water bottles, socks, stuffing, tennis balls, cloth, and squeakers to create 200 toys for the San Diego Humane Society. Many opted to give up recesses to complete the task. Lessons learned went well beyond the skill building of braiding and...

Last Friday, we held one our of favorite annual end-of-year traditions: the Grade 6 vs Faculty Kickball Game! Grade 6 students took to the field to challenge our faculty and staff players to a lively game while being cheered on by their younger peers. Both teams gave it their all, but in their end the sixth graders won the match 8-7! We were elated to bring back this fun tradition this year, and we will miss this group of amazing students....

We strive to develop open-minded collaborators and articulate communicators at Gillispie. Every child and adult has to navigate working with others on a daily basis and the tools needed to be an effective collaborator and communicator are not ones students are born with. Skills like these need to be explicitly taught, practiced, and reflected upon just as any other subject in school. Through group projects, students have a platform that not only develops these skills but...

What is the best way to organize our classroom library? How might we reduce food waste at our school? How can we combat pollution on the La Jolla coastline? In what ways could we address the homelessness issue in San Diego? Questions like these, whether small or big, drive the work of students in classrooms that take a project-based approach to learning. They also look a lot like the types of questions adult professionals face daily...

It has been over a decade since Gillispie first rolled up its sleeves and hosted the first blood drive, and the tradition continues with our annual Grade 3 Blood Drive and Bake Sale February 11, 2020. An event that was organized to support a former Gillispie family affected by childhood leukemia has now turned into our blood drive--a life-saving, annual event that our local community depends on. Over the past ten years, our Gillispie blood donors have saved...

Recently, Grade 5 students served lunch at St. Vincent de Paul’s public and family kitchens in downtown San Diego. Combined, the two classes served well over a thousand meals, bussed tables, and restocked condiments and paper goods. Some students distributed food behind the counter, while others delivered meals to the tables for visitors who were not ambulatory. As one student wrote in a post-trip reflection, "Today was meaningful and really showed me that just a little bit of my...

Grade 3 students have been visiting the Kindergarten classrooms to read with their Book Buddies! Our Book Buddies program pairs upper elementary students with their younger cohorts for weekly meeting spent reading or playing together around campus. Kindergarten students are working on their reading and writing skills, while Grade 3 students are working on their confidence while reading aloud. Both classes enjoy the camaraderie and mentorship that the program provides!...

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