Principal's Welcome Letter
August 15, 2021
Dear Grant Parents and Guardians,
It is my honor and a pleasure to welcome you to the 2021 – 2022 school year! I hope you all are doing well and staying healthy and have had a relaxing and fun summer break! When the pandemic forced us to close our schools in March 2020 none of us imagined we would continue to grapple with it in August 2021. Yet as we prepare to open the new school year we once again find ourselves planning and implementing protocols to keep our students and staff safe. We have learned a great deal during this time of crisis and I believe our experiences will allow us to more adeptly navigate the complexities of our new normal.
The entire staff is thrilled to welcome our students to full in-person learning. We learned that there is no replacement for an in-person smile, affirmation of success, a sympathetic ear that understands disappointment, a high five or a hug, or the special bonds and teamwork that physical proximity creates between classmates. Let us never again take for granted the in-person collaboration that fosters strong connections between students, teachers, and parents. With that said, the Grant staff and PTA are ready to kick this year off in true Gecko fashion!
Our dedicated staff has worked tirelessly from the end of the last school year to now to finalize instructional schedules, class routines and expectations, and organize important relevant materials and supplies, all of which are designed to foster academic success. Additionally, we will continue placing an emphasis on the social and emotional learning needs of our students. When we returned to on-campus teaching and learning in March 2021 we found that the isolation many experienced coupled with the experience of trying to understand the pandemic warranted special focus this school year on assuring our students feel safe, valued, and connected. We will continue the work of integrating the Social Justice Standards, Responsive Classroom community-building techniques, Restorative Justice practices, unconscious bias training, and other social and emotional methods of support into our students’ daily school experience. We will work together to create a solid foundation for our students so that they have the opportunity to become self-directed learners, collaborative teammates, critical thinkers, and responsible citizens. We will continue to offer intervention services through Special Education, counseling sessions, and the implementation of Tier II and III intervention programs and strategies, as necessary. SMMUSD is committed to keeping the community up-to-date on the latest health and safety guidelines from the LA County Department of Public Health and the Los Angeles County Office of Education. To read these updates please visit https://www.smmusd.org/Coronavirus.
I would like to thank you for attending our Back to School information meeting last Thursday. We felt it was important to connect with families before the start of this unique school year to share schedules, safety protocols, and the structure of the school day. If you missed this meeting then I encourage you to click the following link so you can watch the video and review the presentation: https://www.smmusd.org/domain/4449. Please be sure to read the Gecko Gazette each Sunday night as it contains important information from the school, PTA, Santa Monica Education Foundation, the City of Santa Monica, and other community partners. Links to each week’s Gazette are posted on our website.
We will be holding our traditional Back-to-School Night presentations on Tuesday, August 24th for Preschool/TK/Kinder and Tuesday, August 31st for grades 3-5. These events are being held virtually. Your child’s teacher will be sending you information regarding their specific meeting. You will receive an overview of the instructional program, schedules, digital resources, and expectations for the coming year.
Grant’s outstanding teachers create the foundation for your child’s academic success. In addition, a large part of Grant’s success is attributed to its active and engaged PTA. Please consider contributing to the Grant PTA so that we can continue to fund stimulating enrichment programs, assemblies, and much-needed supplemental equipment and supplies that will support teaching and learning this year. Your donations directly affect your child’s education. Last year your contributions enabled us to provide digital learning resources in literacy, math, and science, musical instruments, field trips, new library furniture and books, and outdoor equipment. Please visit the Grant PTA website at https://www.grantpta.org/ to become a PTA member and to learn of the many opportunities available to volunteer at Grant. In addition, we hope you consider donating to the Santa Monica Education Foundation. Donations to SMEF enable us to provide our students a well-rounded and world-class education through music, visual arts, instructional assistants, and our science enrichment program. Please visit https://www.smedfoundation.org/ to donate today! Last year’s, donations allowed us to purchase equipment for our science lab including Vex Robotics kits and Z-Space Augmented and Virtual Reality stations for this year!
I look forward to the start of the new school year and to continuing our collaboration to provide your children with an effective and engaging educational experience. We will look to our families to be positive partners in this year’s journey. We understand the daily complexities and challenges our community continues to face at this time. We understand because we are you. The Grant staff has made a priority of working together as a caring and compassionate learning community, tackling the challenges we all will face with professionalism, teamwork, compassion, and to always putting the students’ best interests at the center of our purpose. We hold our hands out to you in partnership, friendship, and goodwill. I wish you all a smooth start to this school year! Stay healthy, stay positive, and stay connected.
As always, my door is open and we welcome your input. Please feel free to contact me via email at the address below or call to make an appointment to speak with me via phone call or Zoom to discuss any ideas you feel will make this the best year yet!
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