Principal's Welcome Letter

  • August 16, 2023

    Dear Grant Families,

    It is my honor and a pleasure to welcome you to the 2023 – 2024 school year! I hope you all have had a relaxing and fun summer break. I am extremely proud to serve as the Principal of this amazing learning community for the 6th year and to continue to support the students of Sunset Park! This year, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s theme is “Belonging, Curiosity, Empowerment”. As a school, we will be infusing these three concepts in all that we do. As has been our mission at Grant School, we will continue to strive for academic excellence and social and emotional well-being for our students while looking through a lens of equity and inclusion. With that said, the Grant staff and PTA are excited to kick this year off in true Gecko style!

    I would like to welcome all of our new families, whether you are joining us from another school in the district or have relocated from another city, state, or country. We are excited to share with you all that Grant has to offer and believe you will soon feel as we do, that Grant School is a special place for all children. Our educators, support staff, families, and other education partners are ready to welcome you into the Gecko Nation.

    Our teachers and staff are eager to meet their new students and begin this year’s journey with them. The dedicated staff at Grant has been working tirelessly to finalize classes and schedules, engage in professional learning opportunities, and update our instructional models, class routines, and expectations, all with the goal of fostering academic success and a true sense of connectedness and belonging for our students. Our primary goal is to ensure student proficiency in core academic subjects, so we will continue to refine Tier I instruction, analyze data, conduct observations, and review classwork to guide instruction and intervention. We will also be engaging all of our students in Project Based Learning. Our staff has been trained in the Deep Learning model of PBL and are now immersing ourselves in the Gold Standard PBL from the preeminent experts in this field, The Buck Institute for Education: PBLWorks. Additionally, we will continue placing a focus on the integration of the Social Justice Standards, Responsive Classroom community-building techniques, Restorative Justice practices, and social and emotional support strategies 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 for neurodiverse learners through specialized programs, counseling when appropriate, and the implementation of Tier II and Tier III programs and teaching and learning strategies.

    Please be sure to read the Gecko Gazette each Sunday night as it contains important information from the school, PTA, Santa Monica Education Foundation, 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, in-person Back-to-School Night presentations on Tuesday, August 29th for Transitional Kindergarten, Kindergarten, First grade, and Second grade, and Tuesday, September 5th for grades 3-5. Both nights’ programs will begin with a short presentation in the Auditorium where you will meet our teachers, support staff, Assistant Principals, and me. While in the classroom, your child’s teacher will present an overview of the year’s instructional program, schedules, digital resources, and expectations for the coming year. Please refer to the school’s website for additional information on upcoming events: GRANT SCHOOL CALENDAR

    As I have always said, Grant’s outstanding educators create the foundation for your child’s academic success. In addition, a large part of the Grant Learning Community’s success can be attributed to its active and engaged parents who are involved in the PTA, Education Foundation, and various committees. Please consider contributing to the Grant PTA so that we can continue to fund engaging 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, supplemental materials and supplies, the Grant Grows Gardening program, and a variety of outdoor equipment. This year, we are fortunate that your donations will fund a supplemental science program for all students in Grades TK - 5.

    Please visit the Grant PTA website at 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 with a well-rounded and world-class education through music, visual arts, and instructional assistant support. Please visit to donate today! Donations from last year enabled us to purchase an additional semester of Visual and Performing Arts programming and other important instructional supports!

    I look forward to the start of the new school year and to continuing our collaboration of providing your children with an effective and engaging educational experience. As always, we will look to our families to be positive partners in their children’s educational journey. The Grant staff has always made a priority of working together as a caring and compassionate learning community with professionalism, teamwork, action, and expertise. We will always put the best interests of our students at the center of our purpose. Join us in ensuring the success of all Grant’s students. Stay healthy, stay positive, and stay connected.

    As always, my door is open and our team welcomes your input. Please feel free to contact me via email at the address below or call to make an appointment to speak with me to discuss any ideas you feel will make this the best year yet!


    Best regards,

    Christian Fuhrer


    Grant School


    Twitter: @christianfuhrer
    Twitter: @GrantGeckosSMM
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