2019-20 School YearTop of Page

Welcome Back from Principal Petrea:

Dear Woodside Students,
I am excited to see you all on Wednesday, August 21st (first day of school). I hope your summer has been fun and I look forward to hearing your stories. Before first day of school, please remember to label your personal items, purchase recommended school supplies, and organize your room. It is important for you to come prepared to learn and also come with a positive attitude about meeting your new teachers and classmates. I am thrilled to work with all of you again and I look forward to seeing you soon. 

Staff Training: Woodside staff will have a 2-day training on campus before school begins. During this time, teachers will review and also prep the following: School Safety Plan; Student Handbook; Class Assignments; IEP, 504, SST docs; Committee Work; finalize class schedule and field trips; review all instructional materials, and yearly goal setting.

Great Video to Watch (A Very Happy Brain): I will be showing this video to my staff in August. This video talks about how one's brain works and how emotions are identified. We will have a follow up discussion from the video. Please feel free to watch this at home HERE.

2018-19 School YearTop of Page

2018 Petrea headshot
Ms. Lauren Petrea
TK - 5 Elementary Principal
650.851.1571 x4008
Dear Woodside Families,
Welcome to a new school year! For the new families at Woodside, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. This is my 17 year in education. I am a graduate of UC Davis (Go Aggies!) with a bachelor’s degree in both Political Science and Communications. I earned my multiple subject teaching credential and my masters in education (my thesis focused on the academic achievement of gifted students vs. high achievers) at Saint Mary’s College of Moraga (Go Gaels!). My curiosity to work with gifted students also led me to earn a GATE credential. I am currently working on my doctoral degree at the University of Southern California (Go Trojans!) in Organizational Leadership. My dissertation is on the lack of support for gifted and talented students in the United States. Currently, there is no federal policy to identify and implement programs for GATE students. 
Before I came to Woodside, I was a teacher in the San Ramon Unified School District and was an instructional coach there. After earning administrative credential at Cal State East Bay and working as a summer school assistant principal in San Ramon, I became the assistant principal at Bret Harte Middle School in San Jose. After Bret Harte, I became the assistant principal at Booksin. I later became the principal at Booksin and was in charge of leading a school with 72 staff and 800 students. I am grateful for the diverse experiences I have had working at two very different school districts.
Last year was my second year at Woodside. The Woodside community has been kind, generous, and supportive. Woodside Elementary School is truly an amazing place for our students, staff, and parents. I am proud of our team and feel blessed to be part of it. My philosophy in education is to nurture students’ love for learning. My goal is to get to know all of my students and advocate for their needs. I want to help students to feel successful and challenge them accordingly.
I currently live in San Jose with my wonderful husband, Cris and our beautiful son, Brayden. We also have two active dogs, Mya and Buttercup. Brayden is a 4th grader at Woodside and he keeps me busy with his extracurricular activities. But when I have some down time, I do my best to travel. We recently traveled to Hong Kong, Kona, and Memphis.
I am passionate about our school and excited to share my ideas and goals with our Woodside families. I look forward to a fantastic school year filled with making wonderful memories and developing lifelong learners. Let’s have a fantastic year! Please do not hesitate to contact me. I am here for you and your family.
Warmest Regards,
Lauren Petrea

Welcome Interim Principal Bob ShermanTop of Page

February 27, 2017
 "Hi! I am so excited to rejoin the community of Woodside School. When I was last here, officially, I was the Assistant Principal from 2002 to 2008. Of course I have been keeping up with many Woodside friends in the meantime. I was so thrilled to see Ms. Iverson’s front-page story in the Almanac last week. Her classroom is always so relaxing. It remains a very safe place to express creativity.

There are so many wonderful changes at WES, the garden flourishing and Sellman sparkling. I look forward to discovering much more. There are also many things that haven’t changed much at all. The cheerful welcome that I received from staff and students showed me that kindness is still a top priority. Please come say hello and let me know what you love about this amazing school. See you soon!"

From Interim Principal Bob Sherman

Farewell from Principal Pam DuarteTop of Page

 February 13, 2017
Woodside Elementary School is an amazing place with dedicated teachers, generous parents, and outstanding students. It has been my honor to serve as the principal of this school for the past 2 ½ years and it is with mixed emotions that I say farewell. 

My last day is Friday, February 17 and then my husband and I will be on our way to Fallon, Nevada, where I will be taking on a different, but exciting challenge. My new role as Education Director of the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe will encompass working with students of all ages, children through adults. I will oversee a tutoring program for children, as well as recreation, cultural, and library departments on the reservation.  I will also be a liaison for the children with the local school district, ensuring that they are receiving the services they need to help them be successful academically. Additionally, my role will involve providing educational services for teens and adults, and building relationships with families.

Before my departure, I plan to spend time in each classroom, sharing a read aloud with students, providing them with information about the tribal people I will be working with, as well as answering any questions they may have as to why I am moving. Perhaps we will be able to have a partnership or pen pals between the Paiute-Shoshone students and Woodside students in the near future! 

Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of this very special community.  I will always treasure the memories we share and look forward to hearing about the continued growth and success of the Woodside students.  If you or your children would like to keep in touch, it would be a joy to hear from you:  duartepam@yahoo.com.


Pam Duarte

Design ProjectsTop of Page

February 6, 2017
Elementary students have been busy with design projects integrated across various curricula areas. Second graders designed birds based on the needs of a bird in the San Francisco Bay wetlands. Fourth graders are creating models of various California Missions and 5th graders are writing and producing videos about  “change agents.”   

2nd Grade
In science, students studied wetland birds, correlating with the science standard that expects students to understand that many characteristics of an individual organism are strongly influenced by the environment. Students were asked to think of the form and function of different body parts of a bird that will allow it to survive. They also reflected on where the birds live, what they eat, what shape of beak it would need, what its neck, legs, feet, and wings would look like, and where it would roost. With this information in mind, students designed and sketched their bird, followed by building their bird utilizing various materials.

4th Grade
Students in the 4th grade focus on California History, including the California Missions.  As part of their social studies unit, students are each studying about a specific mission and writing fact cards. They have also painted their mission in art class as they learned about the more technical aspects of watercolor.   Finally, they are assembling the exterior of their mission utilizing blue prints in the design lab, where they will soon be on display. This lesson has incorporated social studies, research writing, art and design.
5th Grade
Fifth graders are learning about the accomplishments of famous African Americans by reading biographies and gathering important information around the driving question: “Why should your Change Agent be celebrated?” Using the theme “Celebration of Achievements”, students are tying together reading, writing, research, art, and technology as they write and produce a film about their specific “change agent”.  The films are to include who the change agent is, what area or field they were involved in, how they made progress or a difference, what achievements they accomplished, and why others should celebrate them. Additionally, in art, the students each drew a famous African American. Students drew grids on top of their photos and used this grid to draw the face and used a five point gray scale to shade them in.
design lab
design lab
design lab
design lab

Woodside Teachers Benefit from Professional DevelopmentTop of Page

January 30, 2017
Woodside Elementary teachers consistently avail themselves to continue to grow and develop as a professional educator. Recent areas of focus have been Math, Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop, and Science. 

One teacher from each grade level K-5th regularly attends training with the Silicon Valley Math Initiative. They then share and train their grade level in the new strategies and tips they have learned around teaching math. Silicon Valley Math Initiative (SVMI) is a comprehensive effort to improve mathematics instruction and student learning. The Initiative is based on high performance expectations, ongoing professional development, examining student work, and improved math instruction.

Our Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop Coach, Tracy Reilly, spent a day last week working with K-2 teachers in their classrooms to hone their skills around these academic areas. This included modeling a mini-lesson, observing and reflecting with the teachers, co-teaching a lesson, conferring with individuals and small groups, analyzing student writing, and mapping out units.

And, the teachers had an opportunity to delve deeper into the Next Generation Science Standards, discovering ways to incorporate them fully into the science lessons. They were also introduced to the benefits of utilizing our Z-Space lab to enhance lessons across curricular areas.
staff development
staff development
staff development
staff development

Design Thinking in the ClassroomTop of Page

January 23, 2017
Design Thinking is the confidence that everyone can be part of creating a more desirable future, and a process to take action when faced with a difficult challenge.  The design process is what puts Design Thinking into action.  The design thinking process is woven into our standards and integrated into lessons in classrooms across the campus.   There are four steps to the Design Process.  To learn more:

Step 1:  Find It – What’s the problem?
  • Reading text, listening to a story, looking at a picture or watching a video and identifying a problem
  • Interviewing someone and learning what challenges they face
Step 2: Sketch It – What are some ways I can solve it?
  • Brainstorming
  • Writing a list of solution ideas
  • Drawing a picture of an idea
  • Planning out how you will make something
Step 3:  Build It – Let’s build one of those ideas!
  • Making something that you will show to others (such as an essay, presentation, a physical object, a drawing, etc.)
Step 4:  Share It – Let’s test what we built!
  • Sharing work with others
  • Peer Reviews
  • Communicating the work via media such as See Saw

Mathematical PracticesTop of Page

Math practices example
January 17, 2017

Woodside students focus on eight Mathematical Practices while learning the math content standards at each grade level.   The eight Mathematical Practice standards complement the content standards by helping students to see their world through a mathematical lens, reason mathematically, and use mathematics thoughtfully and effectively to solve problems. 

As part of the Common Core Standards for Mathematics, one of the most important requirements is that correct answers alone will not be enough.  Correct answers are very important, but along with them there is a new set of “mathematical practices” that all teachers will expect from their students.  This is part of their preparation for 21st century jobs.

In today’s environment, there are “habits of mind” that students need to develop and use when they employ math strategies, talk about the math they are learning, and solve problems.  These practices help them learn the content and describe how students should be able to use the mathematics they learn in the world.  These skills are important to employers who want to hire people who can solve problems and make sense of things.  These are the eight Standards for Mathematical Practice.

The Eight Standards for Mathematical Practice are:

  1.  Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them

  2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively

  3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others

  4. Model with mathematics

  5. Use appropriate tools strategically

  6.  Attend to precision

  7.  Look for and make use of structure

  8.  Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning


These Mathematical Practices can be reworded in student friendly language:

  1.  I can try many times to understand and solve a math problem.

  2.  I can think about the math problem in my head, first.

  3.  I can make a plan, called a strategy, to solve the problem and discuss other students’ strategies too.

  4.  I can use math symbols and numbers to solve the problem.

  5.  I can use math tools, pictures, drawings, and objects to solve the problem.

  6.  I can check to see if my strategy and calculations are correct.

  7. I can use what I already know about math to solve the problem.

  8. I can use a strategy that I used to solve another math problem. 

For more information and examples, refer to:  http://www.insidemathematics.org/common-core-resources/mathematical-practice-standards