2017 Week 4

FROM THE HEAD OF SCHOOL

DISCIPLINE SYSTEM

As a means to enhance internal communication between our teachers and administrators, we will soon begin using a new Discipline Module in Teacher-ease.  In the event of a behavior issue, the teacher will complete an electronic form available in Teacher-ease.  This form is then reviewed by an administrator, before being sent to the parents/guardians in a standardized format.  This approach (1) provides an additional layer-of-review to ensure fairness and consistency; (2) better-tracks behavior incidents to ensure the school’s behavior policy is appropriately applied: and (3) ensures that all incidents are being similarly communicated to parents.  Please contact Mr. Black with any questions or concerns.

GOALS FOR 2016-17

We continue to update the community with respect to the following goals that have been developed based upon feedback from staff, parent surveys, and our School Board.  These goals are aligned with our Five-year Plan (Vision 2020).

1.Increase enrollment from 150 to 155.  GOAL ACHIEVED!  Current enrollment is 158.

2.Begin to implement a team-teaching approach in Pre-Kindergarten

3.Ensure a staffing structure which directly supports classroom instruction

4.Increase Professional Development opportunities for teachers

5.Enhance student support services & afterschool activities

6.Continue to upgrade the facility

7.Begin to implement the IB-PYP & STEAM programs

8.Maintain financial stability:  In the coming weeks, we will be issuing a mid-year Financial Report to the community which will indicate the school’s current level of stability.  Sharing such information with the community is important in maintaining transparency and accountability.

THE ANNUAL DINNER-DANCE FUNDRAISER IS COMING SOON!!

Our annual Dinner-Dance-GALA will be held on Saturday, March 4 @ 6pm at the FOX theatre in downtown Redlands.  Tickets are currently on-sale for $100 in the school-office and online.  We are hoping to raise $50,000 that will be used to renovate the six student-bathrooms.  Although not glamorous, this improvement will address both aesthetic and health issues as we continue to upgrade our 60-year-old facility.  Everyone’s participation will be greatly appreciated!  Last year’s Dinner-Dance raised $50,000 for the establishment of the new STEAM-lab and the new asphalt for the basketball courts.

ELEVEN AFTERSCHOOL ACTIVITIES TO CHOOSE FROM!!  Get involved!!

As we continue to enhance our afterschool program (see goal #5 above), the following activities are currently available (or coming soon):  Homework Club; Basketball 5-8th; Drama Club 4-8th; Sportball PK-4th; Girl scouts K-3; Lion’s Chorus 2-6th; 8th Notes Choir PK-1st; Free to be Me (new program) PS-4th; Chess Club; Robotics Club; Coding Club. For more information, please contact the school office.

ENROLLMENT CONTRACTS FOR 2017-18

Re-enrollment contracts for 2017-18 will be distributed electronically in mid-February.  We are anticipating a tuition increase of 2-4% (less than $400) as we continue to increase teacher-salaries to be more competitive with the public schools.  Our teachers currently earn approximately 80% of what a public school teacher earns in Redlands.  Last year, we were able to increase salaries by 3-6%, and are hoping to repeat this increase again.  Our

enrollment goal for next year is 160.  Our five-year enrollment goal remains 175, which

would be considered full-capacity (with an average of 15 students per classroom).

2017 Week 4

FROM THE HEAD OF SCHOOL

DISCIPLINE SYSTEM

As a means to enhance internal communication between our teachers and administrators, we will soon begin using a new Discipline Module in Teacher-ease.  In the event of a behavior issue, the teacher will complete an electronic form available in Teacher-ease.  This form is then reviewed by an administrator, before being sent to the parents/guardians in a standardized format.  This approach (1) provides an additional layer-of-review to ensure fairness and consistency; (2) better-tracks behavior incidents to ensure the school’s behavior policy is appropriately applied: and (3) ensures that all incidents are being similarly communicated to parents.  Please contact Mr. Black with any questions or concerns.

GOALS FOR 2016-17

We continue to update the community with respect to the following goals that have been developed based upon feedback from staff, parent surveys, and our School Board.  These goals are aligned with our Five-year Plan (Vision 2020).

1.Increase enrollment from 150 to 155.  GOAL ACHIEVED!  Current enrollment is 158.

2.Begin to implement a team-teaching approach in Pre-Kindergarten

3.Ensure a staffing structure which directly supports classroom instruction

4.Increase Professional Development opportunities for teachers

5.Enhance student support services & afterschool activities

6.Continue to upgrade the facility

7.Begin to implement the IB-PYP & STEAM programs

8.Maintain financial stability:  In the coming weeks, we will be issuing a mid-year Financial Report to the community which will indicate the school’s current level of stability.  Sharing such information with the community is important in maintaining transparency and accountability.

THE ANNUAL DINNER-DANCE FUNDRAISER IS COMING SOON!!

Our annual Dinner-Dance-GALA will be held on Saturday, March 4 @ 6pm at the FOX theatre in downtown Redlands.  Tickets are currently on-sale for $100 in the school-office and online.  We are hoping to raise $50,000 that will be used to renovate the six student-bathrooms.  Although not glamorous, this improvement will address both aesthetic and health issues as we continue to upgrade our 60-year-old facility.  Everyone’s participation will be greatly appreciated!  Last year’s Dinner-Dance raised $50,000 for the establishment of the new STEAM-lab and the new asphalt for the basketball courts.

ELEVEN AFTERSCHOOL ACTIVITIES TO CHOOSE FROM!!  Get involved!!

As we continue to enhance our afterschool program (see goal #5 above), the following activities are currently available (or coming soon):  Homework Club; Basketball 5-8th; Drama Club 4-8th; Sportball PK-4th; Girl scouts K-3; Lion’s Chorus 2-6th; 8th Notes Choir PK-1st; Free to be Me (new program) PS-4th; Chess Club; Robotics Club; Coding Club. For more information, please contact the school office.

ENROLLMENT CONTRACTS FOR 2017-18

Re-enrollment contracts for 2017-18 will be distributed electronically in mid-February.  We are anticipating a tuition increase of 2-4% (less than $400) as we continue to increase teacher-salaries to be more competitive with the public schools.  Our teachers currently earn approximately 80% of what a public school teacher earns in Redlands.  Last year, we were able to increase salaries by 3-6%, and are hoping to repeat this increase again.  Our

enrollment goal for next year is 160.  Our five-year enrollment goal remains 175, which

would be considered full-capacity (with an average of 15 students per classroom).

2016-2017

ANNUAL FUND GOAL HAS BEEN REACHED!!

We are excited to announce that our Annual Fund goal of $50,000 was reached before the end of 2016.   Many thanks to all of our donors for their support of our program-initiatives, and special thanks to Ms. Liz Slaton for her continued work as our Marketing & Development Officer.   We are now aiming for $60,000 before June 1 in order to allow us to send additional teachers to IB & STEAM training during the summer months.  If you donate $150+ before June 1, your name will be added to the large VPS sign (near carpool).

REPORT CARDS & AWARDS

Please be reminded that printed copies of the students’ Report Cards will be distributed today (Friday).  Honor Roll will be announced at the flag-ceremony on Tuesday January 17 (no school Monday due to MLK Day).  Along with Honor Roll & Accelerated Reader awards, we will also be announcing a new award:  Perfect Attendance.  This will be awarded to students who did not have any absences (excused or unexcused), tardies, or early dismissals during the first semester.  In the future, we will be adding additional awards to the ceremony, as we endeavor to recognize our students’ achievements in as many ways as possible.

FORMAT OF 1ST & 5TH GRADE NEXT YEAR

As previously announced, we are considering returning 5th grade to an elementary-school-format next year with a single teacher, as opposed to its current inclusion as part of Middle School.  A final decision is expected in early February, once next year’s budget is approved by our School Board.  In addition, we will likely have two sections of 1st grade next year due to the number of students currently in Kindergarten.  Accordingly, Ms. Romo will be moving-up to 1st grade next year to partner with Ms. Loranty.  Ms. Romo previously taught 1st grade for four years.  We greatly appreciate her flexibility and willingness to support the needs of the school as we continue to increase our enrollment.  Come See What’s Poppin’ at Valley Prep on Wednesday February 1 @ 6pm (Open House) to learn more about the status of these two changes.  All families are encouraged to attend this 1-hour event which provides an opportunity to meet your child’s teacher(s) for next year.

ENROLLMENT CONTRACTS FOR 2017-18

Re-enrollment contracts for 2017-18 will be distributed electronically in mid-February.  We are anticipating a tuition increase of 2-4% as we continue to increase teacher-salaries to be more competitive with the public schools.  Our enrollment goal for next year is 160.

GOALS FOR 2016-17

In the coming weeks we will continue updating the community with respect to the following goals that have been developed based upon feedback from staff, parent surveys, and our School Board.  These goals are aligned with our Five-year Plan (Vision 2020).

  1. Increase enrollment from 150 to 155.  GOAL ACHIEVED!
  2. Begin to implement a team-teaching approach in Pre-Kindergarten & Kindergarten
  3. Begin to implement the IB-PYP & STEAM programs
  4. Ensure a staffing structure which directly supports classroom instruction
  5. Increase Professional Development opportunities for teachers
  6. Enhance student support services
  7. Continue to upgrade the facility:  During the recent holiday we had five of our trees trimmed, in addition to cleaning-up the lower-garden area.  The IB program emphasizes the importance of outdoor learning.  Accordingly, we will endeavor to increase our use of the lower-garden as a learning tool.

2016-2017 Week 14

FROM THE HEAD OF SCHOOL

OUR FIRST IB-STEAM UNIT HAS ENDED

As previously outlined, the IB-PYP uses six transdisciplinary themes to organize curricular content.  We will be implementing two of these themes this year, both with a strong STEAM-focus.  Our first theme has been How the World Works which began on October 31.  This theme is described as follows:

An inquiry into the natural world and its laws; the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; and the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.

Between October 31 and November 18, many of the students’ daily subjects have been “connected” to this theme.  These connections are designed to further develop the students’ problem-solving & critical-thinking skills … which is the hallmark of the IB & STEAM programs.  A more detailed description of the student-learning is included in this week’s ROAR:  VPS Units of Inquiry.

  Valley Prep participates in the Worlds Largest Lesson

In September 2015, the United Nations committed to the Global Goals for Sustainable   Development:  17 goals to achieve 3 extraordinary things in the next 15 years.  End extreme   poverty. Fight inequality and injustice. And fix climate change. As part of our   implementation of the International Baccalaureate Program, Valley Prep participated in the   World’s Largest Lesson, which explains (age-appropriately) the UN’s 17 goals and what   children can do to participate. See Ms. Arakawa’s Kindergarten class explain Goal #2:
Zero Hunger.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAeP-L3utzQ

FIFTH GRADE & MIDDLE SCHOOL

Many thanks to those parents who have voiced their opinion about next year’s 5th grade structure. We continue to review the current structure of our Middle School and whether it is best to keep 5th grade as a part of Middle School, or return it (in August 2017) to a traditional elementary-format, with one teacher who teaches all subjects (thus requiring recruitment of a new 5th grade teacher).   We want to do what-is-best for next year’s 5th graders, while also ensuring we are using our staff as effectively as possible, with respect to the school’s overall program.  In the coming weeks we will outline some of the factors which will be involved in the decision.  A final decision will be made in February.  As always, parents are encouraged to voice their opinions with Mr. Black.

CARPOOL FOR PS-PK

Please be reminded that Preschool & Pre-kindergarten parents should park in the lower-parking-lot and walk their children to the classroom in the morning and pick them up in the classroom in the afternoon.  Please do not use the carpool lanes in the upper parking lot.

ANNUAL FUND

The school focuses on two large fundraisers each year:  The Annual Fund in the Fall (supporting academic programs), and the Dinner-Dance GALA in the Spring (supporting facility improvements).  We ask all families to participate in both of these events.  This year, funds raised through the Annual Fund will be used to support our new academic programs:  IB-PYP & STEAM, including training for our teachers.  Donations can be made thru our website or in the school office.  Our goal is 100% participation and $50,000.  If you donate $150+ before December 31, your name will be added to the large VPS sign (near carpool).

2016-2017 Week 5

FROM THE HEAD OF SCHOOL

GOALS FOR 2016-17

In the coming weeks we will continue to update the community with respect to the following goals that have been developed based upon feedback from staff, parent surveys, and our School Board.  These goals are aligned with our Five-year Plan (Vision 2020).

1.Increase Professional Development (PD) opportunities for teachers

2.Continue to upgrade the facility

3.Increase enrollment from 150 to 155.

4.Begin to implement a team-teaching approach in Pre-Kindergarten & Kindergarten

5.Ensure a staffing structure which directly supports classroom instruction

6.Enhance student support services

7.Begin to implement the IB-PYP & STEAM programs

The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (IB-PYP) uses a thematic approach to organize and present curricular content.  This approach is designed to “connect” the curriculum and provide opportunities for students to develop their problem-solving and critical-thinking skills.  There are six (6) themes in the PYP program.  This year, Valley Prep will implement two of these themes:  one in the Fall, and one in the Spring.  Next year we will implement four themes, followed by all six in 2018-19.  Then, in 2020, Valley Prep will be recognized as an IB World School.

In the coming weeks, you will begin to receive more information about our first theme:  How the World Works (see description below).   This theme lends itself well to a STEAM-emphasis (science, technology, engineering, arts, math), which will allow us to further integrate our new STEAM-lab into the overall curriculum.  Additionally, technology classes this year with Mrs. Willis are divided into four themes of their own:    Multimedia Presentations; Robotics; Programming & Coding; and Engineering & Design.  These themes should overlap nicely with the IB-themes, thereby further enhancing a cross-curricular approach to teaching & learning, which is at the heart of Holistic Education … upon which the school was founded sixty years ago.

HOW THE WORLD WORKSAn inquiry into the natural world and its laws; the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; and the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.

IMPROVING COMMUNICATION

In an effort to improve communication, the school will begin using a texting & robo-call (automated phone call) service, DialMyCalls.com.  Once we begin using this service (in the coming week), parents can opt-out of receiving the texts and/or robo-calls.  However, we strongly encourage families to remain enrolled, as the school will also use this system in cases of emergencies, such as a campus lock-down.  It will also be used as reminders for upcoming events, such as formal-dress-uniform days.

UPDATED SYLLABUSES

Classroom syllabuses and schedules have been updated and are available for viewing on our website and as a link in the ROAR (see at right).  These syllabuses provide a quick-view of the topics-of-study at each grade-level.

ANNUAL FUND

The school focuses on two large fundraisers each year:  The Annual Fund in the  Fall (supporting academic programs), and the Dinner-Dance GALA in the Spring (supporting facility improvements).  We ask all families to participate in both of these events.  This year, funds raised through the Annual Fund will be used to support our new academic programs:  IB-PYP & STEAM, including training for our teachers.  Donations can be made thru our website or in the school office.  Our goal is 100% participation and  $50,000.

        * Register to win two-sessions of free Summer School by making a $100 donation.

        * Have your name added to the large VPS sign (near carpool) for a $150 donation

2016-2017 Week 4

FROM THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

The Valley Prep Board of Trustees extends a warm welcome to all of the school’s community. Already we are off to an innovative start as VPS embarks on the new IB and STEAM programs. The Maker Space, international flag display, and posters that outline the tenets of International Baccalaureate are both exciting and inspirational to see on campus.

Your Board of Trustees is a dedicated group of volunteers from a variety of backgrounds.  They are expected to provide the three “t’s” of boardsmanship:   Time, Talent, and Treasure…and they do it well.  Meetings are held on the last Monday of the month, excluding December, unless there is a holiday conflict. Meetings generally are held in Room 13 at 6:00 PM and are open to visitors. Once approved, minutes of the meetings are posted on the school’s website and available in the office for review by anyone who would like to see them.  Committees may include individuals from the community at large, including Valley Prep constituents.

It is my pleasure to introduce you to this fine group of people who take very seriously their policy and fiduciary duties to the school.  Most everyone knows Mary Jane Auerbacher.  Mrs. Auerbacher and her husband Fred, along with a larger group of Redlanders, envisioned and established Valley Preparatory School in 1957.  All of the original founders except Mrs. Auerbacher are now deceased, but, since the school’s inception, she never has faltered in her dedication and support of the school.  The Board values her input and her historical perspective.

Board vice president is Al Duerbig, who some of you may recall as a VPS middle school teacher in the 1990’s.  Al retired from the U.S. Air Force, then pursued a teaching career, retiring from the San Bernardino school district before returning to Valley Prep as a trustee.  Secretary is Denise Bourne, a well-known community volunteer and the mother of four Valley Prep alums. She has served many terms as a trustee, going back as far as the 1980’s. Bill Christensen is the board treasurer.  Bill, too, is a retired U.S.A.F. officer, after which he had a long career in the aerospace industry.  He currently is a part time technology professor at a local junior college.

Other trustees are Chris Alvarez, who works at the University of Redlands in the field of fund development.  Currently, he also is pursuing a master’s degree.  Kurt Collins, who has served several board terms, is a computer technology professor at Cal State San Bernardino.  Dale Folkens lives in Moreno Valley and works as an administrator in the Apple Valley school district.  Al Hernandez is the co-owner of Citrograph Print Shop in downtown Redlands.  He and his partner also manage the Citrograph Foundation which raises scholarship money for students at the U of R. The current Redlands City Clerk, Sam Irwin, joined the board this year.  Sam is former Air Force and a retired commercial airline pilot.  His two daughters graduated from Valley Prep in the late ’90’s.  Jeff Martinez is the athletic director at the U of R who, with his wife Susan, were organizers of the recent Special Olympics here in Redlands.  Penny Meyer, a Valley Prep parent, also joined the board this year.  Penny was an active participant on the head of school Search Committee and has a strong business background.

I am Mary Jo Holmes and I serve as president of the board, a role I have played on a number of occasions since 1991.  Our daughter attended Valley Prep from pre-kindergarten through 8th grade, graduating in 2000.  For the past 20 years I have worked as a tour leader for high school students, guiding wonderful kids through an array of European destinations. Currently I dedicate my time to the good of the community and my family (including two dachshunds).  If I have not yet met you, I look forward to the opportunity to say “hello” sometime soon.

For the Lions!

Mary Jo Holmes and the Board of Trustees

2016-2017 Week 3

FINANCE OFFICE RE-STRUCTURE

We are sad to announce that Jeff Harder has resigned his position at Valley Prep, effective immediately.  We thank him for his many years of service to Valley Prep in different capacities … most recently as Business Manager.  His diligence in overseeing the school’s finances had a direct impact on the school’s current financial stability.  He will be missed!  We have contracted with Smith Marion Inc to provide a part-time accountant to manage the school’s finances on a weekly basis.  We have also contracted with Powell & Spafford Inc to provide an annual Financial Review (similar to an audit).  Any questions regarding SMART tuition should be directed to Karen in the Admissions Office.  Any questions regarding donations should be directed to Liz in the front-office.

GOALS FOR 2016-17

In the coming weeks we will continue to update the community with respect to the following goals that have been developed based upon feedback from staff, parent surveys, and our School Board.  These goals are all aligned with our Five-year Plan (Vision 2020).

1.Continue to upgrade the facility

Over the Summer we laid new blacktop on the basketball courts at a cost of   approximately $40,000 (with funds raised from the Dinner-Dance).  We also established the   new STEAM room at a cost of nearly $50,000 (room renovations, computers, learning resources, staff training, etc), using some of the funds raised at the Dinner-Dance.  In the coming months we will install a solar array in the carpool-area, allowing us to   relocate   the current shade-cover to the play-structure located near the music room.  Twenty-five year savings on our utility bill will be nearly $200,000.  Many thanks to our School Board for their recent approval of this project.

2.Increase enrollment from 150 to 155.

3.Increase Professional Development (PD) opportunities for teachers

4.Begin to implement the IB-PYP & STEAM programs

5.Begin to implement a team-teaching approach in Pre-Kindergarten & Kindergarten

6.Ensure a staffing structure which directly supports classroom instruction

7.Enhance student support services

SCHOOL ATTENDANCE

Please be reminded of the following policies which are also outlined in the Parent-Student Handbook (available on our website):

  • Absences are categorized as “excused” or “unexcused”
  • Excused-absences require a written excuse (i.e. doctor’s note)
  • Teachers will provide make-up work for excused-absences
  • Teachers are not required to provide make-up work for unexcused absences
  • Three-tardies (arrival after 8am) = one unexcused absence
  • Excessive unexcused-absences can jeopardize promotion to the next grade-level

ANNUAL FUND

The school focuses on two large fundraisers each year:  The Annual Fund in the  Fall (supporting academic programs), and the Dinner-Dance GALA in the Spring (supporting facility improvements).  We ask all families to participate in both of these events.  This year, funds raised through the Annual Fund will be used to support our new academic programs:  IB-PYP & STEAM, including training for our teachers.  Donations can be made thru our website or in the school office.  Our goal is 100% participation and  $50,000.  Register to win two-sessions of free Summer School by making a $100 donation to the Annual Fund.

2016-2017 Week 2

SOLAR IS COMING TO VALLEY PREP!

We are pleased to announce that our School Board has approved the installation of solar power ($0-down, $0-out of pocket) on our campus.  The array will replace the shade-cover that is currently located in the carpool area where the students are picked-up in the afternoon.   The current shade-structure will be relocated to the play-area located between the Music room and Art room.  Twenty-five year savings for using solar power will be nearly $200,000.  Most importantly, we will reduce our carbon-footprint and reinforce key environmental themes of the new IB/STEAM program.   Many thanks to our School Board for their continued support of our initiatives.  Installation is expected to begin within 3-months and last 2-weeks, with careful consideration given to ensuring the children’s safety.

SCHOOL ATTENDANCE

Please be reminded of the following policies which are also outlined in the Parent-Student Handbook (available on our website):

  • Absences are categorized as “excused” or “unexcused”
  • Excused-absences require a written excuse (i.e. doctor’s note)
  • Teachers will provide make-up work for excused-absences
  • Teachers are not required to provide make-up work for unexcused absences
  • Three-tardies (arrival after 8am) = one unexcused absence
  • Excessive unexcused-absences can jeopardize promotion to the next grade-level

GOALS FOR 2016-17

The following goals have been developed based upon feedback from staff, parent surveys, and our School Board, and are all aligned with our Five-year Plan (Vision 2020).

1.Increase enrollment from 150 to 155.

  • Enrollment is currently 156

2.Increase Professional Development (PD) opportunities for teachers

3.Begin to implement the IB-PYP & STEAM programs

4.Begin to implement a team-teaching approach in Pre-Kindergarten & Kindergarten

5.Ensure a staffing structure which directly supports classroom instruction

6.Enhance student support services

ANNUAL FUND

The school focuses on two large fundraisers each year:  The Annual Fund in the  Fall (supporting academic programs), and the Dinner-Dance GALA in the Spring (supporting facility improvements).  We ask all families to participate in both of these events.  This year, funds raised through the Annual Fund will be used to support our new academic programs:  IB-PYP & STEAM, including training for our teachers.  Donations can be made thru our website or in the school office.  Our goal is 100% participation and  $50,000.  Families attending the upcoming Back to School Barbecue can register to win two-sessions of free Summer School by making a $100 donation to the Annual Fund.

AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES

  • Individual or small-group tutoring (more info available on our website)
  • Drama for 4-8th grade (more info available on our website) on Mondays
  • 8th Notes Chorus for Preschool thru 1st Grade (Mondays)
  • Lion’s Chorus for 2 – 8th grade (Wednesdays)
  • Chess Club for 2-8th grade (Fridays)
  • Girl Scout information meeting: September 6 @ 3.15 in the Elementary Science room
  • Homework Club is available M-TH for those students registered in Daycare after school.

2016-2017 Week 1

WELCOME BACK TO SCHOOL

Please join us for Back to School Night on August 25.  The new STEAM-lab will be open at 5:30 for any parents who have questions regarding Teacher-ease (student grades) or Haiku (student homework).  All parents are encouraged to gather outside the STEAM room at 6 pm for a brief presentation about our goals-for-the-year and the kick-off of the Annual Fund.  At 6:30, parents can visit classrooms for teacher-presentations outlining classroom policies & procedures.

 

HOMEWORK CLUB BEGINS MONDAY AUGUST 22

Students who are registered in our Aftercare Program (fees apply) are able to attend the Homework Club on Monday thru Thursday.  One teacher is available to assist students who have questions with their homework.  Homework Club begins at 3.15 and ends at 4 pm (K-2) or 5 pm (3-8th).

 

EMERGENCY FORM

It is mandatory for all families to complete the Emergency Form each year, which updates contact-information and provides necessary medical-releases.  The form can now be completed electronically.  If you have not already done so, please complete this form immediately.

 

EMERGENCY CLOTHING

One element of our Emergency Preparedness Program is to ensure that every student in Preschool thru 8th grade has a change-of-clothes available at school in the event of an emergency.  If you have not already done so, please send these clothes in the coming days.  Large, seal-able, plastic bags are available with the teachers.

 

FOREIGN LANGUAGE SELECTION

All students in grades 2-8 must select a foreign language to study throughout their enrollment at Valley Prep.  This is an important decision, given that we typically do not allow students to change their selection once submitted.

 

ANNUAL FUND

The school focuses on two large fundraisers each year:  The Annual Fund in the  Fall, and the Dinner-Dance GALA in the Spring.  We ask all families to participate in both of these events.  This year, funds raised through the Annual Fund will be used to support our new STEAM program.  The official kick-off of the Annual Fund will be during Back to School Night on August 25.

 

AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES – starting soon

  • Individual or small-group tutoring (more info available on our website)
  • Drama for 4-8th grade (more info available on our website) on Mondays
  • 8th Notes Chorus for Preschool thru 1st Grade (Mondays)
  • Lion’s Chorus for 2 8th grade (Wednesdays)
  • Flag Football & Volleyball for 5-8th grade
  • Chess Club for 2-8th grade (Fridays)

 

IB-PYP & STEAM UPDATE

Many thanks to our teachers for their participation in the IB/STEAM training that was provided the week before classes began.  Our new partnership with the University of Redlands made possible a one-day workshop on the use of Technology in the Classroom (Blended Learning) by Dr. Alice Christie.  We were also joined by Mrs. Sharon Pearson, a former IB-PYP teacher, for a one-day workshop to assist us with our implementation of the IB-PYP.  Earlier in the Summer, three of our teachers attended a 3-day IB-PYP workshop in Lake Tahoe.  Our first PYP “unit of inquiry” (How the World Works) will begin in late October, with a second unit following in the Spring.  Next year, we will implement four of these units. Then, in 2017-18, we will implement all six units. These units are thematic and are designed to connect learning across the curriculum.  At Valley Prep, two of these themes/units will be STEAM-related.  Click here to learn more.

Week 13

FROM THE HEAD OF SCHOOL

We are pleased to announce that our entire staff will be returning for the 2016-17 school year.  Small, independent schools often struggle with staff-turnover (particularly given the discrepancy between private & public school salaries), so we are very fortunate to have such a dedicated staff, all committed to the philosophy of holistic education.  We especially appreciate their enthusiasm for the new IB & STEAM programs which will be launching next year.  Also, recruitment is currently underway for a second Kindergarten teacher to join Miss Arakawa, given an anticipated Kinder enrollment in excess of twenty children.

PARENT SURVEY

A few months ago, we asked our families to complete a Parent Survey which focused on the school’s “climate & culture.” We now ask our families to complete a second Parent Survey which focuses on our academic program.  The results will be extremely useful as we continue to plan for next year’s implementation of the IB-PYP &  STEAM.  Please click HERE to complete the new survey.

SUMMER PROJECTS

The $50,000+ raised during the recent Masquerade Ball will help us to complete the following three projects during the Summer:

1.Resurface the blacktop where the two basketball courts are located.

2.Install a shade covering over the play-structure located near the Music room.

3.Establish the new Maker-Space in room 18, which will include twenty new iMac computers.  This room will become the centerpiece of the STEAM program, which is one element of the IB-PYP framework.  Renovations to room 18 will begin in early June.  If you would like to support this initiative, please click HERE to donate.

IB-PYP & STEAM @ VPS

Valley Preparatory School will gradually implement the International Baccalaureate – Primary Years Program (IB-PYP), a holistic, inquiry-based, cross-curricular approach to teaching & learning that promotes cultural sensitivity and international-mindedness.  The program uses six transdisciplinary themes to organize traditional curricular content.  At Valley Prep, two of these themes will be STEAM-related, encouraging students to work collaboratively to complete units of study that emphasize math, science, and technology, while still appreciating the importance of the Arts.

LATEST UPDATE

  • All teachers received initial training in the IB-PYP approach on April 29
  • Four teachers recently visited an IB school in Ontario to observe the “IB in action.”
  • Three teachers will be attending a 3-day IB-PYP seminar in Lake Tahoe in June
  • Valley Prep has partnered with the University of Redlands to provide training for our teachers in the use of Blended Learning (i.e. using technology in the classroom).
  • Valley Prep has partnered with The-Science-Experience in Banning, CA to provide STEAM content to our curriculum.