From Mr. Michael A. Smith's September 15, 2014 letter:
We are back in full operation beginning Monday. Our Kindergarten program starts full day schedule and will be dismissed with the first through eighth grade students at 2:45 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays and 1:45 p.m. on Fridays. Kindergarten parents can drive through the pick- up line and Ms. Hayden will walk your child to your car. If you park in the lot below and walk up to pick-up your child please make sure Ms. Hayden knows you've connected with your child before you leave.
We also begin ITBS testing on Monday. Please make sure your student(s) get a good night's sleep on Sunday and eat a nutritional breakfast Monday morning. Research shows that being well rested and having eaten a good breakfast significantly helps students perform to their highest potential. Room Moms will be providing snacks in Sheridan Hall, at recess, to all students prior to their testing period.
On Thursday September 11th our Middle School students took a field trip to the 911 Memorial flag display at Pepperdine. The students reflected and honored those who were lost on that fateful day. Our students each chose a flag that represented a victim of those attacks to sit near and have a moment of silence to remember and pray for the victims. The students and parents prayed and sung as a faith community, as they recognized the many blessings of being American. They spoke of the many emotions that the flags evoked for each of them and shared those feelings with one another. It was a wonderful community building experience for our students and the parents that attended. A big thank you to: Holly C. for organizing the activity, to Lisa H. for the photographs, and all of the teachers and the many parents who participated in this field trip.
Thursday's Back to School Night for 5th -8th grade was extremely well received. We started with a short informational program in the tent, including Ms. Tafi's presentation on Eat A Rainbow, and then parents visited their students' teachers. Many parents came up to me, at the end of the night, and expressed; what wonderful teachers we have, how great the new elective structure is and how happy their students are after the first week. It was truly a "Job well done!" Our teachers were all very well prepared, knowledgeable and confident in their presentations. I need to publicly thank; Dan, Lexi, Savannah, Laura, Michelle, Glen, Angela, Beverly, Patrice, Sara and Coach for doing such great work here at OLM.
Our language teachers finished the assessments of all the students K-8 on Friday, 9/12/14. We have created classes by language proficiency and classes will begin starting next week, 7th/8th grade classes will be held on Monday and Wednesdays and 6th grade classes will meet on Tuesday and Thursdays. Kindergarten through fifth grade classes will be offered on Tuesday and Fridays.
It'll be our K-4 teachers' time to shine this Thursday, September 18, 2014. We'll begin Back to School Night for K-4 at 6:30 p.m. we'll meet in the tent for a brief orientation, introduction of staff and Ms. Tafi's Eat A Rainbow presentation. Following the short program, parents will be able to visit their student's classroom where the teachers will give an overview of their plans for the coming school year. There will be two presentation blocks so parents with more than one child, in grades K-4, can visit each child's classroom. Please remember this is an event for parents only.
As many of you know, all adults interacting with our students as volunteers, chaperones, drivers on field trips, etc. MUST be Virtus trained and LiveScan fingerprinted by the Archdiocese's LiveScan unit. Also, those who were last Virtus trained four years ago MUST complete a short update training. We will be offering training for both update and new on Thursday, September 25, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. here at OLM. We also are taking sign-ups for LiveScan appointments on October 1st here at OLM as well.
The OLM parishioners will be making their next Mexico Mission trip on Saturday, 9/20/14. They are able to accept donations up to Friday, 9/19/14. Items can be dropped off at the school office or the parish office.
Save the date of Thursday, October 2, 2014 for the New Parents Cocktail Party, hosted by the Parent Guild. More information will follow.
Don't know if you saw the September 4th edition of the Malibu Times, but we are very proud of one of our 7th grade students, David S. There was a very nice article about his speaking at the Malibu Rotary Club regarding his work with the Malibu Youth Commission. David is definitely demonstrating how he can meet his School-Wide Learning Expectation of being a Community Leader.
From Mr. Michael A. Smith's September 8, 2014 letter:
Our first three days of school have been fantastic. It was very smooth as students settled in with their teachers and classmates, both old and new. Our modified after school pick up went very well overall. We will continue this procedure until the tent and storage containers are removed. Thanks for your assistance with this little change.
It was great seeing everyone at Friday's All School Mass, under the tent, followed by the Welcome Back Breakfast. It was a great way for us to reconnect. Kudos to Angela Sall for putting together such an upbeat start to the school year at the All School Mass. The Parent Guild members provided a delicious breakfast and a short program on the different ways to volunteer here at OLM. Our new faculty member and families were recognized with our traditional gift of an apple pie. I also want to convey my deepest gratitude for all of the birthday wishes, it made my day!
The first two days of our new nutritionally balanced hot lunches have been received well by our students. If you haven't already done so, you can sign your students up for hot lunches from "Lunches with Love" and "Kathy Wiggins/KFC ". If interested, you can order and pay on-line for the meals you want for your child. Also, we are looking for any parents who would like to earn volunteer hours by serving lunch. The hours would be, any day(s), Monday through Friday, 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and/or 12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. If interested please contact the office.
Saturday, September 20th, will be the Parish's next Mexico Mission trip. If you have any items that you would like to donate please bring them to the school office by Friday, 9/19.
From Mr. Michael A. Smith's September 1, 2014 letter:
Our week of professional development went by in the blink of an eye. It's no wonder it went so smoothly when you consider that OLM School is at the end of our six year accreditation from the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Six years represents the maximum number of years that can be earned by a school. We have been writing our Self-Study in preparation for our next NCEA/WASC Accreditation visit in 2015. This week, our faculty and staff was all certified in CPR, we analyzed our pre and post Iowa Assessment data from last year and teachers collaborated on planning curricular units with our Art Integration training with the trainer from the Kennedy Center for the Arts on Thursday and Friday. Following the inservice on Thursday, Fr. Bill hosted his annual Faculty and Staff BBQ. A great time on the patio was shared by school and parish staff along with board members.
We welcome this year two new teaching staff: Savannah Armour and Sara Gonzalez. Savannah will be a floating teacher helping with middle grade math, elective offerings, P.E. and serving as an assistant teacher in second grade with Ms. Russell. Savannah is an OLM alum Class of '06 and a recent graduate of University of San Diego, and has earned her preliminary Teaching Credential. Sara is our new Spanish teacher replacing Sr. Flint. She is a native of Seville, Spain and has been studying at UCLA and teaching Spanish in an immersion program in the Valley.
This coming week, Thursday and Friday will begin hot lunches from "Lunches with Love" and "KFC". If interested, you can order and pay on-line for the meals you want for your child. In our move towards a more healthy, nutritional environment you will notice some new items to choose from as well as some items no longer available. Also, we are looking for any parents who would like to earn volunteer hours by serving lunch. The hours would be, any day(s), Monday through Friday, 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and/or 12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. If interested please contact the office.
As I discussed in my message on August 14th, we are excited about the church renovation. It will be a beautiful place to congregate and celebrate our faith. It is on schedule and should be done by the end of September. So for the first few weeks, there will be very limited parking, if any, in front of the church. If you need to come up for any business, you will need to park in the lower lot and walk up. Second, as long as the tent and storage containers are on the yard, drop off AND pick up will occur in the drive through circle. Eder and Coach will be there in the morning and teachers will walk their classes down at the end of the day.
Some great news! Thanks to the collaboration of Dr. Gini V. and Glen Sunyich, we received a acceptance letter of our grant application to upgrade our technology infrastructure and bandwidth. Many new and exciting things will come as a result of receiving this grant. More information to follow!
Finally, over the summer I had some time to do a little research. Considering all that's going on in our educational community of Malibu and knowing our school was built during that time period, I wanted to check OLM's environmental status. I am pleased to say that ALL our classrooms on campus are contamination free. As a result of the fire of 2007, where the school lost its computer lab to the fire, we were responsible to have the entire campus checked. American Restoration of American Technologies, Inc. came out and abated all asbestos and other toxins from each classroom and replaced many of the windows damaged in the fire. In addition, any contaminates that were found in the church renovation have all been abated as well. I know that this is an important topic and I wanted to ensure you we are on top of it.