Thanks to your
support of LAEF, every LASD elementary school will have a full-time STEM
(Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) teacher for the 2013-14 school
year! The STEM teacher will support our classroom teachers in creating
and teaching interactive science lessons that include hands-on
experiments in addition to the current FOSS-kit based science lessons,
as well as early programming ideas. Details of the program including
lesson plans are currently being developed. The STEM teacher will work
closely with the LASD STEM Coach, (also supported by your LAEF
donations) to ensure a consistent and enriched science experience for
all K-6 students.
I am pleased to
announce that Mrs. Beth Leach will be the Almond STEM teacher, and Miss
Amy Shelley will be the STEM teacher at Gardner Bullis. It is exciting
to have two of our outstanding Almond teachers be given the opportunity
to influence the science experiences of students at Almond and Gardner
Bullis! They will both bring their wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm
for science to this exciting program. We are indeed lucky to have such
talented professionals with expertise in science, step up to this
While there is no
replacing the unique talents of Mrs. Leach and Miss Shelley, I am
enthusiastic about the teachers that will be joining Almond to teach 6th grade. Jasen Stuart is an experienced 6th
grade teacher who has a depth of knowledge in all subjects, especially
math and science. Jessica Abraham is an experienced upper grade
teacher, with a wide range of expertise, who has recently fulfilled the
role of Math Coach in the South San Francisco School District. I am
currently in the interview process to ensure the addition of another
highly qualified teacher to the team. Miss Shelley and Mrs. Leach will
work closely with the incoming teachers to create a seamless transition
that guarantees a high quality instructional program and a successful
experience for all students.
supporting LAEF and our efforts to provide all students with an
educational path that encourages creativity and engagement in learning!
The Almond staff and I wish every Almond family a fun, relaxing and memorable summer vacation!
NEW STEM TEACHERS!
Thanks to your
support of LAEF, and the commitment of LASD to provide an innovative
learning experience for all students, every elementary school will have a
full-time STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) teacher for the
2013-14 school year! The STEM teacher will support our classroom
teachers in creating and teaching interactive Science lessons that
include hands-on experiments and early programming ideas. The STEM
teacher will work closely with the LASD STEM Coach, (also supported by
your LAEF donations) to ensure a consistent and enriched Science
experience for all K-6 students. Thanks for supporting LAEF and our
efforts to provide all students with an educational path that ensures
excitement and engagement in learning!
COME CELEBRATE OUR RETIRING TEACHERS!
All are invited to
our community event to celebrate the retirements of Betsy Childrey, Pam
Sanderson and Trudie Daggett. The Almond community and students have
greatly benefitted from their compassion for students and dedication to
the art of teaching! The LASD and Almond community will greatly miss
them all! Come celebrate their teaching careers on Monday, June 10 from 3-4:15 in the Multi!
What a great year we have had at Almond! With the end of the school year approaching, we are busy planning for another successful year. There will be a couple of changes in the staff list as we welcome three new teachers to Almond.
We wish the best of luck to our two retiring first grade teachers, Betsy Childrey and Pam Sanderson. The Almond first grade team and students have greatly benefitted from their expertise and excitement for learning. We wish them exciting journeys as they enjoy having more time for family and friends. We will miss them both!
We also wish the best to Vanessa Jordan. She is returning to Texas to be close to her family and friends. She has been such an asset to our sixth grade team. Her enthusiasm for learning and her interactive ways of teaching Social Studies, will be greatly missed!
We welcome Summer Reeves to our first grade team. She is a product of the Los Altos School District! She grew up in Los Altos, attended Oak School, Blach, and Mountain View High. She graduated from Cal Poly with a major in Child Development, then received a minor in Psychology and a Master's degree in Elementary Education from the University of San Francisco. She is currently teaching first grade at Loyola and is looking forward to joining the Almond community.
We will be welcoming another teacher, Rachel Commons, to our second grade team. She has previously taught first grade at Gardner Bullis. She returns to LASD after taking a short leave of absence to complete her Master’s. Rachel is excited about joining the Almond community and integrating innovative strategies into her teaching.
We welcome Jasen Stuart to our 6th grade team. He is originally from San Jose and attended Santa Clara University. He has been teaching for nine years and enjoys working with kids and challenging them to become more proficient, confident and conscientious young adults. He has most recently taught sixth grade Science in San Antonio, TX.
It is with pleasure that I announce our tentative teaching staff for 2013-2014.
- Mrs. Laurie Lamb (PM)
- Mrs. Melissa Powell (AM)
- Ms. Lisa Schubert (AM)
- Miss Summer Reeves
- Mrs. Sarah Hall
- Miss Alicia Chapman
- Mrs. Nancy Liu
- Mrs. Tammy Reilly
- Ms. Jill Williams
- Ms. Rachel Commons
- Mrs. Jenny Wishnack
- Mrs. Joann Martinez
- Mrs. Anna Uhm
- Mrs. Melissa Dowling
- Ms. Annie Daggett
- Mrs. Lisa Call
- Mrs. Samantha Nguyen
- Mr. Joe Chan
- Miss Laura Ohlund
- Mrs. Beth Leach
- Mr. Jasen Stuart
- Miss Amy Shelley
Open House is Tonight!
Open House is tonight, Thursday, May 23 from 7:00-8:00 p.m. We hope to see you and your family during this time of celebration. Don’t forget tomorrow, Friday, May 24th, is a minimum day.
Families and friends of our 4th-6th grade students are invited to our annual Spring Music Concert on Thursday, May 30 at 1:00 in the Multi. Come hear our talented students perform the musical selections they have learned this year! You will certainly be impressed! Thanks to your support of LAEF, 4th-6th grade students receive music instruction twice a week through out the school year. Thanks to our talented music teachers, John Beeman, Corrie Dunn, Keith Hunter and Brianna Jorgenson for making this possible!
Kiwanis Pet Parade
Almond was represented this past Saturday in the Downtown Los Altos Pet Parade. A large group of Almond children and parents paraded in downtown Los Altos, with dogs, lizards, cats and even a stuffed animal wagon (pulled by the Kinder Sleepy Beetle Club). Thank you to Liz Bacchi and Jeanine Stiff for organizing our Almond families for this fun event!
It is time to celebrate! Open House is next Thursday, May 23 at 7:00-8:00 p.m. This is your opportunity to see the many wonderful cross-curricular and
innovative learning experiences your children have participated in.
Don’t forget, Friday, May 24th is a minimum day. We hope to see you and your family during this time of celebration.
It has been a great
year at Almond! Thanks to the talents of our teachers and the
commitment of our parents to support our successes, Almond has continued
to educate our students in innovative ways. In an effort to provide an
education for all students that prepares them for the 21st
Century, we have continued to investigate ways of making technology a
part of every Kindergarten through sixth grade student’s experience.
Thanks to PTA for
purchasing our two iPad carts at the end of the last school year. This
year we have successfully begun the implementation of iPads in our
Kindergarten through third grade classes! Thanks to our Technology
Committee and the expertise of our iLearn Lead Teachers, our K-3
teachers have received training and support in using iPads in the
classroom. Our teachers have been focused on implementing appropriate
applications of the iPad to enhance the educational experience of our
students. We look forward to next year, when students will be involved
in using the iPads for more creative and project-based opportunities.
Thanks to PTA
support, we were also able to purchase another laptop cart for sixth
grade. This purchase has made it possible to have one-to-one access to
technology in sixth grade! Our goal is to increase that ratio to all
grades. That does not mean a computer assigned to each student, but
rather the opportunity to have access to the appropriate technology
tools for project-based activities. This year, upper grade students were
involved in using many multi-media resources to analyze and evaluate
information, and create products that demonstrate understanding of
During this past year,
teachers have actively explored innovative ways of “upgrading” their
curriculum. They discovered many creative ways of involving students
in interactive projects that actively engaged students in their own
learning. This process will continue as teachers collaborate and plan
meaningful learning opportunities based on the Common Core standards
that prepare our students for productive and successful college and
Almond currently has
three teachers that attended the District LAEF funded iLearn training
opportunity provided last summer. Two more Almond teachers will attend
the iLearn training this summer. These teachers will be learning
innovative ways of teaching and learning through the use of technology,
and will be responsible for assisting in the planning and facilitating
of staff training opportunities for the Almond teachers. Their
expertise will assist us in achieving our goal of further integrating
technology in the classroom. We are very lucky to have such dedicated
teachers that are willing to devote their time, energy and knowledge to
help support continued staff development.
We want to extend a
sincere thanks to our Almond families who support LAEF and PTA, and our
efforts to provide an exemplary educational experience for all students.
Your time and generous donations are essential elements of a successful
school community. As we look forward to next year, we are enthusiastic
about being able to continue providing an innovative educational
experience for all Almond students!
As the end of the
school year approaches, we are beginning the process of placing students
in balanced classroom arrangements for the 2013-14 school year. This
process accommodates both parental input and professional judgment with
the final decision for classroom placement resting with the school.
Using a team approach with input
from specialists, staff, parents, and administration, the grade level
teachers will develop class lists by the end of this month. This
thoughtful process relies heavily on what we have learned about each
child during the current and previous school years. When students are
assigned to classes, many factors are taken into consideration. We look
for a match between learning styles and teaching styles. We want to
achieve balanced and compatible heterogeneous classes that include
independent learners, self-starters and students who may need more
guidance and assistance. There are also times that other considerations
may play a role in class assignment, such as interpersonal relationships
between individuals or groups of students. Above all, every child will
be a member of a class that reflects the diverse range of interests and
abilities of Almond students. By the end of May, we will have tentative placements that may be
reevaluated over the summer as we accept new enrollees. All student
class assignments will remain provisional and confidential until they
are announced the week before school starts. If you feel there is
information about your child that we may not have that should be
included in this year’s process, please communicate this information to
me in a written note. We regret that we do not honor requests for
specific teachers, as it is important for us to have maximum flexibility
in creating heterogeneous classrooms at all grade levels. If you have
any questions, or would like further information, please do not hesitate
to contact me.
Thanks for the Appreciation!
The teachers and I
would like to extend our sincere appreciation and thanks for the
wonderful luncheon provided for us on Tuesday by the PTA! The food was
delicious and the decorations were beautiful! We are always in awe of
the support and kindness that we receive from our Almond parents. Thank
A special thank you to Lillian Stadler and Maria Bautista for organizing this special event!
A Successful Junior Olympics!
On Saturday, April 27, our 4th, 5th, and 6th
grade students participated in the LASD’s annual Junior Olympics. The
opening ceremonies celebrated the coming together of Almond, Covington,
Loyola, Oak, Santa Rita, Gardner Bullis and Springer schools. As our
students competed with other students from all over the school district,
Olympic ideals were displayed by all. Congratulations to all of our
Almond participants who put forth their best efforts. The Almond Eagle
spirit and positive sportsmanship was especially visible this year! Thanks to our Almond students for enthusiastically supporting their
As always, our parents made this day possible. Thanks to everyone who volunteered!
A special thanks
to Marcia Chmyz, Rasha Dessouki, Alix Apfelberg, Michelle Gottlieb,
Kirsten Sirey, Liz Parker, Cynthia Arnold, Angelique Champagne, Martha
Gomez, Karen Townsend, Kathleen Mitchel, Kelley and Mike Corley, Dan
Walker and Craig Pellegrini for all their efforts in supporting this
The staff and I want
to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to all the Almond parents
who volunteer their time and efforts to make Almond a great place to
learn for all our students! To show our appreciation, we would like to
invite each of you to our Volunteer Breakfast, tomorrow, Friday, April 26, at 8:00 in the Multi!
A Special Thank You!
Thanks to all for
making my two years at Almond, filled with special memories! It has
been a joy to be part of such a caring, supportive community. As you
have already heard, as of July 1, I will be taking on new
responsibilities in LASD as the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum
and Instruction. While I am enthusiastic about this new opportunity, I
will miss the special relationships with the students and parents of the
Almond community. I am deeply touched by all the thoughtful, kind
words, and encouragement. I sincerely thank you for your support.
The process of identifying a new
principal will include getting input from the community. You are
invited to attend a meeting with Jeff Baier, tonight, Thursday, April
25, at 7:00pm in the Almond multi.
This is a reminder that teachers and students in grades 2nd - 6th
are preparing for the upcoming STAR test. As a school community we
view STAR testing as a tool to reflect on the positive achievements of
our students, and to identify areas of instruction we may need to focus
on. The tests are designed to measure student understanding of grade
level standards in language arts and mathematics in grades 2-6, and
science in grade 5. These assessments are just one measure that we use
to inform our instruction and assess our educational programs. Although
the test is important, we strive to create a calm and stress-free
environment during the testing period.
The testing period for 2nd - 6th grade students is between April 29 and May 10. The majority of the testing will take place during the first week. Please do not schedule doctor or dentist appointments during this time.
Here are a few suggestions on how you can support your children during the testing process:
- Take care of the basics:
See that your child gets a good night sleep the night before the test
and eats a good breakfast. The brain can’t work if the stomach is
- Keep your cool:
While tests have increasing importance, they are just one measure of
student learning so try to keep the process in perspective. Explain
that the results may help your child, and the teacher, understand the
areas where he or she might be especially strong or may have a need for
- Get to school on time: Testing will begin when school starts. Students arriving late will not be allowed to interrupt the testing process.
Thanks for your support!
Almond is proud to host the Los Altos
School District CSTEM Competition and Showcase on Friday, April 26 from
4-5:30 in the Almond multi. The 6th grade CSTEM Program
teaches Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) with a focus on
the 3 C’s: Creativity, Collaboration and Computer Science. CSTEM is
funded by your generous donations to the Los Altos Education Foundation
(LAEF). All are invited to this exciting event. Students will have the
opportunity to play fun computer games created by sixth graders from
all LASD schools. Learn about computer programming, robotics and 3D
design from our LASD sixth graders! Prizes will be awarded to the
competition winners at 5:00pm.
Thanks for your donations to LAEF that support an engaging and innovative education for your children! A
special thanks to Sheena Vaidyanathan for her expertise and dedication
in teaching programming skills that will certainly prepare LASD students
for a 21st Century global experience.