Each week, Los Altos Hills resident Laura Orella will post "LASD Haps About Campus," letting readers know what's going on in our area schools. This week includes photos from Santa Rita and Loyola.

It's not just what goes on inside the classroom that helps children find success; and students throughout the district are about to find out why.

This week, Los Altos School District began rolling out its noontime activities programs along with after-school sports and enrichment classes that have students learning new languages, designing their own clothes, challenging their mental skills and learning how grab a flag off of a wide receiver!

First off—noontime isn't just for eating lunch. Most of the school PTAs have sponsored fun activities for students in both lower and upper grades to give kids more opportunities at lunch to explore their own areas of interest. Students on all campuses can be seen building with Legos, checking each other in chess, discovering nature in school gardens as well as creating art projects.

Springer's Funvisor program, part of Project Cornerstone, features kids with adult mentors trying new veggies, planting seeds, and learning about things like composting in the Springer Living Garden.

Almond's lunchtime Running Club also got off to a great start this week. PTA volunteers boasted having a high turnout, perhaps due to the distribution of Otter Pops—haha. This year, the members set a goal of running the distance to Washington DC. Meanwhile, Santa Rita created a dirt track around its campus so students can join in the exercise fun in Sliders club and Loyola will also kick off its Tracksters noontime activity this month as well.

Grizzly Academy, the after-school programs at Gardner Bullis, made a loud growl this week. Students can choose between two foreign languages - Spanish (which meets before school) and Mandarin (after school). Children can also study with teachers in Homework Club, the brain child of two parent organizers in which a teacher supervises students from 2:30 to 5:00pm while students work quietly on homework and read. This program has been a great boon to working parents who can focus on family time in the evenings. Working Gardner Bullis mother Nancy O'Neal said, "I LOVE Homework Club! My first grader finished all her homework for the week and my fourth grader completed two days worth in one session. When I picked them up, the teacher was reading a story. It was so cute - both my kids were totally engrossed."

Flag football kicked off this week as well for students in grades four through six throughout the district. And if you think only boys are participating, think again. Kristine Dworkin reported that at least two girls are playing at Springer (one of whom is her daughter) and Loyola girls said they were interested in playing as well.

While scores of activities including fashion design, yoga, mathletes and science are happening after school, students have been seen whistling on their way to school almost a whole hour earlier than the bell rings! Chorus programs throughout the elementary schools got vocal chords stretching this week as students in all grades can participate in learning how to end on a high note.

Speaking of high notes, a standing ovation needs to go to Almond and Santa Rita schools which held successful orientations for non-English speaking families (specifically Spanish) this month. These parents were given important school information in Spanish, and even signed up for parent-teacher conferences ahead of time. Volunteers said the goal of the special orientation was to help these new families integrate more fully into the school communities. Muchas Gracias!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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