Students throughout the Los Altos School District are really digging into October.
Not only did they dig their heels into the elementary school walkathons and help raise thousands of dollars for their campuses last Saturday, they are also digging in the dirt this month through their Living Classroom programs.
If that wasn't enough, Santa Rita School second-graders pitched tents and really dug their recent campus campout, and Oak students are digging their new title—being named a National Blue Ribbon public school.
A special shout-out goes to all the Almond School dads who acted out a flash mob during the school's walkabout Saturday!! All the kids and families were thrilled and surprised at how much their dads dig "Gangnam Style."
Let's begin with the top honors: Secetary of Education Arne Duncan announced Oak School as being named one of 219 National Blue Ribbon public schools. A total of 269 public and private schools have been recognized with 24 schools in California being honored. Oak School was one of only three elementary schools to be recognized in Santa Clara County.
“This recognition is very exciting for the students, teachers, staff, and parents. Academic success begins at home and is built with a strong primary grade foundation. We are lucky to be part of a district where every initiative puts students and their learning first,” said Amy Romem, principal of Oak Avenue School. “Our collective achievement comes from student success measured one by one and is made possible with the effort of our whole team – teachers, parents, the students themselves, and our wonderful support staff members.”
The program is part of a larger Department of Education effort to identify and disseminate knowledge about best school leadership and teaching practices. Each year since 1982, the U.S. Department of Education has sought out schools where students attain and maintain high academic goals.
To be nominated and ultimately qualify for the Blue Ribbon Award, Oak Avenue School has maintained excellence in state test scores over a sustained period of time. The Academic Performance Index (API) score at Oak has steadily increased in the past ten years from a score of 952 in 2002-03 to a score of 983 in the current year.
Meanwhile, Santa Rita second graders participated in the 20th annual 2nd grade campout last Friday, Oct. 12. Kids pitched tents, cut vegetables and made meatballs for a campout stew. Even Smokey Bear was on hand to teach about fire safety and the kids participated in a sing-along. Creator of the event, Mrs. Bryant, and mothers and daughters from the first campout came to celebrate. The event lasts all day and is one of the favorite traditions at Santa Rita!
Furthermore, the Santa Rita Living Classroom group is having its biannual garden market fundraiser at the Lazy Foot Chicken Ranch, next to Egan Middle School on West Portola. Come buy organic fall harvest veggies and take a tour of this amazing food producing garden right in Los Altos! The event takes place this Sunday, Oct. 21, from 9 am until 1 p.m.
Meanwhile schools througout the district are participating in the Living Classrooms progam in which students plant foods and learn lessons at the same time. For example, second graders plant wheat now and use the crop to make pretzels in the spring.
At Springer School, during the fall, incoming third-grade students harvest and make measurements of the crops and participate in a garden scavenger hunt.
Because students study Native Americans in varying grades all year long, many Living Classroom programs teach students how to plant crops that were planted by those who lived in the area and what it is like to care for the food.
For instance, Loyola School fourth-graders learn about how knowledge and use of plants found in the environment were vital to the survival of California Native Americans. Students examine examples of traditional hand-made objects including: a bow and arrow, a mat, a skirt and several baskets. Students make a bracelet using cordage material, grind acorns and examine herbs that the Native Americans used for various purposes.
For more information, please check out: http://www.lasdk8.org/garden/living_classroom_website/locations.html