Week of October 4th...
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Lower School Happenings

As we enter into a new month, I wanted to share with you some events that occurred in September and events we are looking forward to in October. 
  • TK and Kindergarten are now moving to a full day of school! Mrs. McNamara, Ms. Hessami, Ms. Reilly, and Mrs. Virgallito are preparing our young students for their full days and all the wonderful things they get to do after lunchtime. Their new dismissal time will be at 2:30 p.m. (2:15 p.m. on Wednesdays). We look forward to seeing our TK and Kinder students on campus in the afternoons! 
  • 1st graders are wowing us with their math skills during their Morning Meeting as they Equate the Date! 
  • 2nd graders are rocking and rolling as they understand how readers learn more about stories through note-taking on characters, plot twists, and much more! 
  • Mrs. Navales’ class is having so much fun as they explore all the wonderful things about fall! I had the pleasure of visiting her class when her students were creating apple volcanoes! 
  • 3rd graders are masters of the theatrical arts! I had the privilege of watching the Fable Plays directed and guided by Mrs. Bertine and Ms. Simkins. 
  • 4th graders are superstars as they put their pen(cils) to paper! I can’t wait to hear them read their first published piece.
  • Our Specialists are creating magical moments in all of their classes. I love watching: 
    • Teamwork that is encouraged in Ms. Jones’ P.E. classes
    • Appreciation and dedication Ms. Iverson inspires in her young artists
    • Beautiful talents Dr. D directed out of our incredibly musically inclined students
    • Exploration of literature Ms. LaCrosse embarks on with all students
    • Love, attention, and support our Resource Specialists give each and every student they see throughout the day. 
We are so lucky to have such an amazing group of educators who dedicate themselves to each child’s academic journey.

1st Week of School ...
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Hello Lower School Families,
Welcome to the first full week of school! I am delighted to have our students back and seeing our teaching teams in action. On the first day of school, we all joined together down in our amphitheater for our Back-to-School assembly. Here, students were able to see our entire school and learn and practice some of our Woodside songs, directed by Dr. D. What a sight to see all of our TK-8th grade students altogether. The following are some thoughts I jotted down as I visited different parts of our school. We have so much to celebrate!
  • Our days begin with smiles! Teachers welcoming their young students every day to classrooms that are warm, inviting, and full of learning. Our teachers are masters at supporting students as they navigate a new schedule, new friends, and a new academic program. With our teachers' background in SEL practices, students are already practicing key skills that assist in learning, growing, and developing.  
  • Our teaching teams have really thought of everything to ensure your child feels loved and supported in their classroom. Thoughtful planning goes into each part of the day and this just shows the expertise of our teachers and the knowledge they have about what students need as they begin a new school year. I enjoy joining the students at different parts of their day to experience the engaging, fun, and supportive lessons and activities their teachers have planned for them. A lot goes into these lessons and I am just in awe of the creative talents of our teachers, and students! 
  • What was that I heard coming from the classrooms? Laughing, learning, and making connections! 
  • Recess has come alive! Students are really receptive to the guidelines for eating and playing outside. The kids are truly enjoying the agency they have in deciding what to do with their free time during their breaks.
Thank you all for your continued support. Woodside is a strong community!

2020 Holiday Message
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Dear Woodside Elementary Lower School Community,
As we near our Winter Break, I’d like to express my continued gratitude and appreciation for all you are doing for our community, our school, our students. We have phased in all of our grade levels, and it is such a delight to see the students learning, playing, and socializing right in front of me. The teachers have me in awe of their lessons. The recesses and lunches are filled with laughter and joy. The dropoffs and pickups run so well, I’m often surprised when I look down at my watch and see that mere minutes have gone by. And speaking of the dropoff and pickup routines - thank you! Thank you for supporting the necessary processes in place to ensure we are safe. I recognize the multiple dropoffs and multiple pickups may be challenging at times with your family’s schedule, and I recognize all of the effort and support that is going into adhering to your child’s specific time slots. I do have to say - it is wonderful to have the time in the mornings and afternoons to say hello to you all, and build connections, even if it just for a moment. And as I close this letter, let me finish by expressing my gratitude to you for keeping our community safe. As a reminder, we do need to stay vigilant and continue to do our part to keep our school community safe and healthy during the Winter Break, and as we return to school, in January. 
Here’s to a restful, joyous, and safe Winter Break!
Warm Regards,

October 12, 2020
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A message from Ms. Bowdoin

As we near the end of our first quarter, I just want to take a moment to thank you all for your support throughout distance learning. The start of this school year brought on many challenges and opportunities, and you all tackled them all in amazing ways. Woodside School is fortunate to have such a supportive family community. 
Looking ahead to these remaining weeks of the quarter, let us also remember the dedication, hard work, and care our teachers are putting into their lessons, the instructional schedules, and the support they provide to each and every child. We are so lucky to have the educational team we do here at Woodside. 
I ask that we continue to champion our teachers by supporting the instructional schedule they’ve created especially for their students, supporting the learning environment they’ve worked hard to cultivate, the leadership model they’ve developed as a way to guide the students through their educational journey and to communicate often.
Together, we are a strong team!
Many thanks,
Melissa Bowdoin

January 13, 2020Top of Page

Reader's and Writer's Workshop Information 
Writer's workshop in Woodside School is centered on ensuring that each child has the opportunity to develop writing skills in order to become a clear communicator, thinker, and innovator. One of the key cornerstones of workshop instruction is showing students how everything they learn about writing is transferable across many styles and subjects and that they can all upon this learning at any time they encounter a writing task. In a workshop setting, students focus on cycling through the writing process as they work on pieces within three Common Core genres-narratives, informative and opinion. Students receive focused and concise instruction through a teacher-led mini-lesson and then have ample time to practice and hone their writing skills. Students determine and set their own goals through ongoing feedback provided by the teacher.

For Reader's Workshop at Woodside, a commitment has been made to ensure all students are thinkers, leaders, and creators. Reader's Workshop begins with a commitment to giving students large amounts of time to read books of their own choice, and always ones that they can read with fluency, accuracy, and comprehension. Mini-lessons will teach reading strategies/skills to our students. Feel free to ask your child about what reading and writing lessons he/she learning in class right now. Thank you for your support.

November 11, 2019 WWTop of Page

Elementary Updates
Dear Parents,
My goal is to keep you all informed through Wildcats Weekly.
Phonics: This year, K-2nd grades adopted a new phonics curriculum. Our K-2nd grade teachers will be highlighting the program on December 10th at 3:30pm in Wildcats. We hope you are able to come and learn about the program.
Math: Our math consultant, Nancy Coleman started working with our students. This year, we are offering Nancy's services to 1-4th grade classes. All students will have an opportunity to work with Nancy. 5th grade students will receive extra support through Ginger Waters (Middle School Math Teacher). 
English Language Learners: We also provide English language support for our English Language Learners. If your child has been identified as an English Language Learner, we have Mr. Myrtetus and Mrs. Liu providing pullout services. 
Behaviorial Intervention: I am currently working on updating our tier system to support students through behavioral intervention. I am hoping to work with my team to update what disciplinary actions will take place for different incidents. I want to keep something clear and helpful to our students. I will keep you all posted.
Recess Supervision/Para Educator Support
Hi, we want to share with you that at recess, we have para educators supervising our students. Our para educators have been trained by our staff in social thinking and SEL (Social and Emotional Learning). We also include our para educators when we have staff development trainings on campus. Administration, teachers, and classified staff work together to ensure that our students have a positive and safe experience at recess. This year, my goal is to keep all of you more informed with our practices on campus. I will continue to update using this form of communication regarding new trainings, curriculum update, staff information, etc. throughout the school year. 

September 3, 2019 WWTop of Page

Dear Woodside Community,
It has been a wonderful experience getting to meet all of the new and returning students, staff and families the last two weeks. This is an extremely busy time of the year with students entering new grades and working with new teachers. It is exciting to see routines and procedures being taught and students' smiling faces.

I would like to share with you that I will be missing Back-to-School Night this year. I am currently a doctoral student at University of Southern California and will be in LA (9/12-9/15) to present my current work to receive an approval from the university to move forward with my dissertation. But please do not hesitate to contact me for anything before or after Back-to-School Night. I am here for you and your family (lpetrea@woodsideschool.us). Thank you for understanding.

End of School Year Note from Principal PetreaTop of Page

Dear Woodside Community,
Thank you for another great year of learning and collaboration. I want to take a moment to thank each and every one of you for your time, support, and commitment to our students. I would also like to thank members of PTA/Foundation/SSC/Outreach Committee for their partnership with us. 
Congratulations to all of our students for finishing another successful school year. To our 5 graders who are moving on to middle school, I am going to miss you all. Please keep in touch and let me know how you are doing. 
This summer, I am planning to create a few actionable steps for the new school year based on parent, staff, and student survey. We will be reviewing our curriculums, programs, and procedures in place. We will continue to look and plan how we can best support our students through differentiation. There are many things I want to accomplish this summer including planning professional development sessions that are meaningful for my staff. In early August, I will be attending a summer conference on differentiation. I hope to bring back some fresh new ideas and also to identify what we are doing well. 
When I am not working at Woodside, I will be finishing up chapter 2 of my dissertation at USC. This journey has taught me so much on organizational change and how I can be a better leader for my team. I have also met some amazing educators/mentors and made many new friends. 
Lastly, I am thrilled to announce that I have been selected to be part of the National Leadership Team of Chi Omega. The team provides leadership training and education for women to foster personal growth and I am honored to be nominated by fellow sorority sisters. I look forward to our team training in Memphis this summer. 
I am so grateful to be the elementary school principal of this amazing school. I wish you a fantastic summer break. To those who will be moving on, we will miss you but please know that you will always be a Woodside Wildcat!
With Gratitude,
Lauren Petrea
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Helpful Tips
Try these easy ways to prepare for your day the night before:

  1. Prep easy to grab breakfast foods
  2. Make and pack lunches
  3. Have children lay out their clothes
  4. Have children organize and lay out school materials for the next day
  5. Designate an area for each family member to place items they need to take with them in the morning
  6. Organize bathroom cupboards and drawers so items needed on a daily basis can be easily found.

Interesting Stat: If your child is just 5 mins late to school each day (180 school days), he/she will miss 900 minutes, or 15 hours of school. That is significant!

2018 Holiday MessageTop of Page

Dear Woodside Families,
It is hard to believe that December has reached us and we are almost ready for the winter break. Life at school has been busy with writing celebrations, field trips, musical performances, and assemblies. It is amazing to see the growth our students are making. I am always impressed with our students and the quality of work our students are demonstrating at school. I am grateful for our staff, students, and parents for their continued support and hard work. Every morning as I walk the campus, I am inspired by the smiles and greetings I receive from students and families. I look forward to seeing all of you in 2019. I am excited to have my parents visiting from Korea and staying with us during the holidays. I also look forward to reading for fun and having some down time. 

I wish you all Happy Holidays and a wonderful New Year!

With gratitude,

Lauren Petrea

Readers & Writers Workshop Update (Nov. 2018)Top of Page

Writer’s workshops in Woodside School are centered on ensuring that each child has the opportunity to develop writing skills in order to become a clear communicator, thinker, and innovator. One of the key cornerstones of workshop instruction is showing students how everything they learn about writing is transferable across many styles and subjects and that they can call upon this learning at any time they encounter a writing task. In the workshop setting, students focus on cycling through the writing process as they work on pieces within three Common Core genres-narrative, informative and opinion. Students receive focused and concise instruction through a teacher-led-mini-lesson and then have ample time to practice and hone their writing skills. Students determine and set their own goals through ongoing feedback provided by the teacher. 

For Reader’s Workshop at Woodside, a commitment has been made to ensuring all students are thinkers, leaders, and creators. Readers’ Workshop begins with a commitment to giving students large amounts of time to read books of their own choice, and always ones that they can read with fluency, accuracy and comprehension. Currently, our reading coach Ms. Reilly and I are completing a needs assessment for all our classroom libraries to ensure that we have variety of books being offered to our diverse readers. 

Thanksgiving MessageTop of Page

Happy Thanksgiving from Principal Petrea...

Dear Woodside Families,
With Thanksgiving approaching, let's reflect and think about what we are thankful for. I am always thankful to work with our students at Woodside. I enjoy visiting classrooms and seeing what kids are doing each day. I am grateful to be part of an amazing team and am always impressed with the work that they do for our students. I appreciate all of you for being our partner to provide the most nurturing and loving learning environment for our students. Thank you and have a wonderful break! On Thanksgiving Day, I will be running a 5K with my family at Silicon Valley Turkey Trot and will be hosting a feast at my house. Wishing all of you a beautiful Thanksgiving Day with your family and friends.

1st Trimester Report CardsTop of Page

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1st trimester report cards will be mailed home close to the Thanksgiving break. The purpose of the report card is to describe the students’ learning process based on grade level expectations and is intended to inform parents about learning successes and to guide improvements when needed. Please review the report card with your child and share your child’s successes with him/her. Please talk about and brainstorm strategies to address challenges.

5th Grade Musical InstrumentsTop of Page

Musical instruments left outside of classrooms after school have become a real concern. The majority of the instruments belong to the school, which means that Woodside School is financially responsible. Because of this, we have a responsibility to protect these items. In order to take the proper care to make sure the items are not stolen or damaged and to help build student independence, the following process will be put in place beginning immediately:

The maintenance staff will collect forgotten musical instruments after 4 p.m. each day. They will be placed in Mrs. Hoss's music room (Room 37), Students must pick up their forgotten instruments from Mrs. Hoss the next morning.

The maintenance staff has been instructed to not allow anyone into classrooms after school hours to retrieve forgotten items. If you have any questions, please contact Principal Petrea

Teacher Work DaysTop of Page

From Principal Petrea...
Last Thursday and Friday on the Teacher Work Days, our teachers collaborated with their team to plan lessons, prep for conferences, and learn more about design thinking. We completed a tour of the design lab and learned more about what's new in the lab. We also scheduled skill building lessons and planned a design thinking project with our Design Thinking consultant, Molly.
In addition, we spent some time looking at what is a balanced literacy program and completed a needs assessment. We also looked at three possible curriculum (Fundations, Teachers College, and Words Their Way) for the TK-2nd grade students for the 2019-2020 school year and received input from our teachers and specialists.
Our upper grade teachers spent some time reviewing assessment data of their students from last year and this year to have a plan of action for differentiating, grouping, and setting personalized goals. I will be meeting with my upper grade teachers and have a 1:1 meeting to provide more input next week. TK-2nd grade teachers already met with me in September to identify needs, set goals and planned next steps during our 1:1 meeting. I hope this update was helpful. Thank you. 

Recommendations for Parent-Teacher ConferencesTop of Page

A note from Principal Petrea on Fall Conferences
We have parent-teacher conferences approaching. These conferences provide a time for parents and guardians to connect with the classroom teacher. It is a time to come together and discuss a common goal: to help your child thrive and learn. Below are some simple ways you can prepare for this upcoming teacher conference:
  • Observe your child doing homework — This will give you a chance to notice issues that my need to be addressed. Observe how he/she is responding to the assignments.
  • Ask for your child’s feedback — Casual conversations about school can give you some insight into your child’s attitude towards school.
  • Bring a list of questions to the conference — Come prepared so that you don’t forget to ask the questions you have. Ask for specific suggestions as to how you can help with the recommended growth areas.
  • Take notes — Jot down answers to your questions and any teacher thoughts or suggestions.
  • Keep in touch — At the conclusion of the conference, find out the best way to stay in contact: email, phone calls, or schedule a follow-up conference.

Principal Petrea's Summer 2018Top of Page

"It has been a busy summer for me and was fortunate enough to attend several conferences. I traveled to Sacramento for the Gifted Conference to learn more about how depth and complexity is used in a classroom. Mr. Frank and I also went to Readers and Writers Conference in Sonoma. We looked at student work and focused on growing extraordinary writers. Last conference of the summer was at Nueva School with Ms. Batlle, Mr. Limbert, and Mrs. Brunner. We were at Social and Emotional Learning Conference and my biggest take away was how important it was to check in with students emotionally. I am always grateful for the learning opportunities I have at Woodside and I look forward to working with our students this year."

Educational Fun Facts!Top of Page

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Week of March 26, 2018
Educational Fun Facts!
  • In China, students receive approx. 3 hours per day of homework! 
  • France offers it's students the shortest school year and the longest school day.
  • In Korea, a new school year starts in March (ends in mid-February).
  • 30 years ago, the U.S. was the leader in quantity and quality (= students are well-prepared for college) of high school diplomas. Today, our nation is ranked 36th in the world.
  • Every year, U.S. teachers spend on approx. $1.5 billion of their own money on school supplies.
  • Research indicates that highly effective principals raise the achievement of a typical student in their schools by between two and seven months of learning in a single school year; ineffective principals lower achievement by the same amount.
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Week of February 5, 2018

MARS Exam 2018 — Grades K-5th; March 5-16
The Silicon Valley Mathematics Initiative (SVMI) is a comprehensive effort to improve math instruction and student learning and is based on high performance expectations, ongoing professional development and examining student work. It includes a formative and summative performance assessment system, content-focused coaching, and leadership training and networks. Students in K-5th grade will be taking the MARS Exam during March 5-31. Each grade level has their own schedule that will be communicated to parents and students. 

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Week of December 18

Dairy Council of CA Assembly
Mobile Dairy Classroom was here on Wednesday, December 13th. Preschool through 6th grade students came to the assembly to learn about how milk comes from a cow to our home and school. Here are some pictures from the assembly. 
Image of Dairy Council Assembly 1Image of Dairy Council Assembly 2Image of Dairy Council Assembly 3Image of Dairy Council Assembly 4
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Week of November 13

2017-2018 Professional Development for Staff

At Woodside, we provide our staff the opportunity to further educate themselves through professional development classes and attending summer trainings and conferences. Since the first day of the 2017-18 school year, our teachers have attended the following:
  • Articulation MT-Review all students with IEPs and 504s
  • Review Mandated Topics like Bloodborne Pathogens, New Safety Protocols, CPS Reporting
  • Technology Training
  • Design MT/Planning
  • SST Process and testing
  • Math Differentiation
  • Structured Word Inquiry
  • Math Training (Mathematical Practices, Strategies teachers can use in the classroom, etc.)
  •  SEL Training and Activities
  • DRA Training (Reading Assessment)
We also have these professional development classes scheduled:
  • Differentiated Instruction (Depth and Complexity Icons)
  •  Design Thinking
  • State Test Training
  • Differentiation (Assessment and Unit Development)
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Week of October 25

5 Parent-Teacher Conference tips

It is a time to come together and discuss a common goal: to help your child thrive and learn. Below are some simple way that you can prepare for your upcoming conference: 

  1. Observe your child doing his/her homework: This will give you a chance to notice issues that may need to be addressed. Observe how he/she is responding to the assignments.
  2. Ask for your child’s feedback: Casual conversations about school can give you some insight into your child’s attitude towards school. You can talk about the books he/she likes to read, friends he/she has at school, favorite activities at school, etc.
  3. Bring a list of questions: Come prepared so that you don’t forget to ask the questions you have. Ask for specific suggestions as to how you can help with the recommended growth areas.
  4. Take notes: Jot down answers to your questions and any teacher thoughts or suggestions. If you take notes, they are available for review later.
  5. Keep in touch: Keep an on-going open dialogue with your child’s teacher.
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Week of October 2, 2017

Flu Season & School Policies
As you may know, flu can be easily spread from person to person. Therefore, we are taking steps to reduce the spread of flu.

Knowing the signs and symptoms of the flu, symptoms of the flu include fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit, 37.8 degrees Celsius or greater), cough, sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches, and feeling very tired. Some people may also vomit or have diarrhea.
Keep sick children at home for at least 24 hours after they no longer have fever or do not have signs of fever, without using fever-reducing medication. Do not send children to school if they are sick.  You know your child best. If he or she is not well, resting at home is always the best medicine.

Please talk to our child about the importance of washing hands throughout the school day and about coughing or sneezing into his/her elbow.
Thank you for doing your part to keep all of our Woodside kids healthy.

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Week of August 28, 2017
Thank you parents!
It was great seeing so many of you at Back-to-School Night. Woodside is a great school because our parents and teachers are committed to providing the best education for their students.
When parents are involved:
• Students attend school regularly
• Students have better social skills and show improved behavior
• Students are motivated
Remember to praise students for their hard work and to recognize good behavior at home. At Woodside, teachers use positive feedback to reinforce positive behavior. In class, teachers use strategies from SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) workshops to provide a safe and nurturing environment for our students.
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Problems of the Month
Problem solving is a fundamental goal of any strong mathematics program. Woodside is committed to making each of our students a problem solver.  In September, January and May, we will present our students with a non-routine problem for them to analyze and solve. The problem will have several levels so that all students at our school will be able to work on a part of the problem appropriate to their learning development. Trials, errors, and retries are key attributes of good problem solvers. We ask you to encourage your students to persevere. In May, students will be asked to complete a write-up of their findings. This write up helps students understand how they think and approach new problems. We look forward to a partnership with you around problem solving. Thank you for supporting your child.