• Principal's Message 09/01/2023

    Dear Arleta Families and Caregivers,


    It’s been wonderful welcoming our Arleta students to the 2023-2024 school year! These past two days have been especially delightful as our new kindergartners have come to their “soft start” (half the class has come for a full day of school each day). Here are some highlights from our start this year:


    • Learning what makes our Arleta students happy! Thanks for sending back these papers, and keep them coming! (A hard copy came home in yellow envelopes the 1st day of school.)

    • The festive and fun “welcome back” messages and decor out front and in our entryways! Thank you to all of our parents and community for inspiring and creating so much spirit.

    • Our freshly painted lines and foursquare courts! Still in process this weekend. Thank you for all your effort and time brightening up our playspaces, Green Team parents Tracy Hulleman and Kyle Phillips, and for connecting with local artist Juan (FreshIsCool).

    • Our SS Arleta is close to completion! Students can ignite their imaginations as they row themselves to far away lands or just hang out on our new wooden rowboat rails and talk. Our Kindergarten Team dreamed up this installation and our PTA president Carrie Bowers is building and installing it for us. Final installations of pea gravel and play bark coming soon.

    • Our staff experimented and played with model wooden rowboats during our pre-service work and read an excerpt of the book “Pedagogy of Play” to explore the idea of “playful learning” then planned a lesson for introducing the SS Arleta to classes. Bigger picture, we’re striving to bring the principles of playful learning alive during instruction across grade level standards. “Playful learning in schools occurs when the learning goals of adults and the interests and curiosities of students align. In these situations, learners are leading their own learning, exploring the unknown, and finding the joy of learning” (Mardell, p. 18).

    • Our teachers are engaging students in fun get-to-know-you activities and simultaneously launching their classes gently into learning routines and content standards. Across the school students are doing get-to-know you activities that integrate social emotional learning and literacy. For example Ms. Bidney’s 4th/5th graders used collaboration and grouping strategies to count how many colored cubes there are in their classroom and Ms. Doyle’s students are experimenting with ways music can help them focus. 2nd graders are chorally reading the first text in their literacy module… ask your 2nd grader what the poem their class is reading is all about! 1st graders are thinking about what fills or scoops from each other’s buckets (kindness/unkindness), 3rd graders learned to put dividers in their new binders then added their first reading response to that section and kindergartners are playing with loose parts (little random objects) to connect play and movement into learning many, many new routines!

    • All students practiced “Common Area Expectations” -- what to think about and remember in the cafeteria, bathrooms, hallways and at recess. Big ideas are safety, respect and responsibility.. Last spring our staff asked students what makes them feel safe and unsafe at Arleta and we learned that when students all follow basic expectations in these spaces it makes such a big difference toward all students feeling safe and comfortable at school.


    Here is an Arleta Family Handbook with information about school expectations and procedures to look over and use for conversations with your child or for reference as needed. We’ll send hard copies home with students too, and we’d love your feedback - what is helpful, missing, what suggestions or questions do you have? Back to School Night is Thursday Sept. 14 and will be a good time to ask questions or share your ideas with all / any on our staff. More on B2SN next week.


    Have a wonderful Labor Day Weekend! Then, see you all next week on Tuesday, September 5 for our first full day with all our Arleta students (it will be the first full day of school for all kindergartners!).