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Gillispie School / The Journey Matters

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!...

Prep week is always a busy time, but when the countdown to the first day of school coincides with the end of a summer-long construction project, it can be a bit more hectic, to say the least! Our wonderful community of teachers, staff, and administration members banded together to make our campus unveil truly amazing, and we could not be more thankful for this hardworking team of individuals. Go Gillispie!...

During the first semester, Ms. Haas’s fourth graders enjoyed listening to Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo during their time in the library. Near the end of the novel, the characters hold a party. The students and I immediately agreed: Once we finished the book, we’d re-create the party to celebrate! Just before our winter break, we held our event, feasting on the snacks and drinks described in the novel. One student said she could, “taste the...

Gillispie School celebrated its annual International Day Friday, October 26. Students grabbed their “passports” and traveled to Portugal, Greece, New Zealand, France, Japan, Spain, Botswana, Mexico, India, 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 live music,...

Gillispie is a constructivist school. Nothing exemplifies this educational philosophy more than our Gillispie ceramics program. Students in grades kindergarten through sixth enjoy working with clay. The elementary ceramics curriculum builds on the Early Childhood clay experiences. Both divisions are fortunate to have kilns. In the process of hand building with clay, children learn to realize their three-dimensional artistic visions experimenting with slab, pinch pot, and coil construction methods. Examples of pinch pot modeling are the Grade 2 “monster”...

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