• Pop! Pop! Read-A-Thon - An Opportunity to Read Diverse Books

    Posted by Ellen Kraska on 1/22/2021

    books multicultural

    As Pop! Pop! begins on Monday, our Laurel community will be spending quality time focused on reading! With that in mind, I encourage our parents to reflect on the books their children are reading. The Read-A-Thon is a great opportunity to share new perspectives with children via books and literature. It is vitally important for us to share books with children from diverse perspectives and authors - representing people living in different places, from a variety of backgrounds, races, cultures, ethnicities, religions, family structures and abilities. Research has shown that reading diverse, multicultural books can provide children with mirrors into their own lives, helping them understand their own identity, and also provide windows of insight into the lives and experiences of people who are not like them. This year, our Laurel classroom teachers are dedicating their PTO Classroom library funds to purchasing enriching, diverse collections of books to help our students expand their thinking. The photo is from some new books on display in Maestra Ghahramani's fifth grade classroom! We invite our Laurel parents to join us on this quest to share, enjoy, read and discuss diverse, multicultural books with our children to reflect the diverse and multicultural world that we live in. Looking for titles? Here is a children's book list from Edutopia and another from the nonprofit "We Need Diverse Books."  Happy Pop! Pop! Read - A - Thon! As a lifelong, avid reader, the Pop! Pop! Read-A-Thon is truly one of my favorite times of the year! 

    Your bookworm Assistant Principal,

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    Posted by Ellen Kraska on 11/22/2019 8:00:00 AM

    Our second grade students are wrapping up their "Breakfast of Champions" Project Based Learning Unit. During this unit, students engaged in sustained inquiry regarding nutrition. Students learned how sugary foods burn faster in our bodies by watching different types of cereal burn! They also learned how to read nutrition labels and look out for things like the amount of sugar and salt. Here is a photo from a classroom display which shows the amount of sugar in one serving of these cereals and snack foods! Whoa!Students also discovered what it means to have a healthy plate, what it means to "Eat a Rainbow" and they used this information to plan meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Now, the  students want to influence others to make healthy choices. Some students made posters to share their learning. The picture below is an infographic poster made by two second graders. 

     poster nutrition


    Here is their description: "This poster teaches people what you should eat. The trucks that are bigger show you that you should eat that food. The trucks that are smaller show you should eat less of that food." Our second graders have definitely learned a tremendous amount during this unit of study! Thank you to our second grade teachers!


    We have a short week of school ahead! I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving break with their family.


    Laurel School 
    Assistant Principal

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  • Dia de Los Muertos Activities

    Posted by Ellen Kraska on 11/1/2019


    Last week, students and staff participated in a variety of Día de los Muertos activities. Día de los Muertos at Laurel is an opportunity for all our students to explore and learn about the Latino culture. As part of learning about Día de los Muertos, many classes and students created an ofrenda which is a place to display pictures and items that remind us of loved ones that have passed. Also, all Laurel students experienced dynamic, meaningful performances from Aztec dancers to learn about Aztec culture and traditions. A tremendous thank you to our World Language teacher, Molly Malone, for leading our Laurel Día de los Muertos celebrations, assemblies and events.


    Caption: Professional Aztec Dance Performance



    Caption: An Ofrenda from a Third Grade Classroom



    I'm so proud to be a team member at Laurel School.




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    Posted by Ellen Kraska on 10/17/2019

    Hello Laurel families,

    On Thursday, October 17th, the 30th anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake, we had a special school-wide safety drill. For a few minutes that day, Laurel students and staff practiced how we "Drop, Cover, and Hold On," in the event of an earthquake. In fact, every month we hold a safety drill to practice our Laurel emergency response procedures. Our staff is trained on the "Big 5" Safety Protocols outlined by the San Mateo County Office of Education and we follow these procedures along with all the schools in MPCSD. If you are interested in learning more about our emergency preparedness, more information is available online here. As always, feel free to email me if you have any questions. Keeping everyone safe is top priority at Laurel!



    Laurel School Assistant Principal


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    Posted by Ellen Kraska on 10/7/2019

    Hello families,

    It was wonderful to see everyone gathered for our Fall Family Picnic last week! Many thanks to all the volunteers who organized and planned such an enjoyable, interactive and festive evening! Also, a thank you to our Specialist teachers for putting on the Specialist Showcase to highlight some of the enriching experiences our students have in Art, World Language, Music, Library and PE Classes! Below is a Spotlight on K-3 Orff Music at Laurel, courtesy of our amazing Orff Music teacher, Rachel Bergeron.




    Music Instruments

    Spotlight on Orff!


    The K-3 Music program at Laurel School is based on the Orff Schulwerk approach, where students are actively engaged in music learning as they SING, SAY, DANCE, and PLAY. In the Orff music classroom, students DISCOVER musical concepts by imitation, exploration and experimentation and use TEAMWORK as they collaboratively create and perform. The focus of the music program is on students becoming confident, life-long musicians and creative problem solvers, not necessarily on presenting polished performances.  The process is just as important as the final product! To see what is happening in music, please be sure to sign up for Seesaw! Students in grades 1-3 will also be presenting grade level concerts.


    Please mark your calendars for the following dates:



    1st Grade – Friday, March 13, 2:15

    2nd Grade – Friday, May 1, 2:15

    3rd Grade – Thursday, January 30, 1:30 pm


    If you would like to visit a music classroom, or have any questions, please contact rbergeron@mpcsd.org.


    Rachel Bergeron

    Laurel Music Teacher



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    Posted by Ellen Kraska on 6/10/2018
    As our school year comes to a close, I wanted to thank our students, families and staff for another extraordinary school year. When fourth grader Sanaia  was "Principal for a Day," she asked all students to write down their favorite thing about Laurel. All the notes from the students combined to form a tremendous display revealing what students love about Laurel. The students shared a myriad of "favorite things" including Art class, singing and playing instruments in Music, and exercising in PE. For some students, their favorite thing about Laurel was the "supportive" teachers who believe in them. Other students shared how their favorite thing about Laurel is STEAM Fair or a particular field trip - like Ship Trip. The moving display is testament to how we come together in the Laurel community to create all these enriching, dynamic and meaningful learning experiences for our children. The people at Laurel are my favorite part about the school! I can not thank our parent volunteers, passionate teachers and hardworking staff members enough. It truly takes a village! I wish everyone all the best for the summer break and look forward to seeing everyone in August. And to our students and families moving on to Hillview - we will never forget you! Come back to Laurel and visit!
    Amazing Art Shows! Wow!
    Thank you to all our Art in Action parent volunteers, plus Art teacher Christie Giacomozzi and guest Art teacher Shelley Winters, for this year's incredible Art Shows! The displays demonstrated how much our students are learning about creative, multi-media artistic expression. Wow! Thank you all for the countless volunteer hours and pouring your hearts into this work. Our parents, students and staff are so appreciative!

    Ellen Kraska
    Laurel School Assistant Principal
    Laurel School is on Twitter @LaurelMPCSD
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    Posted by Ellen Kraska on 6/3/2018




    Friday’s Hispanic and Latino American Festival was so meaningful and special! Everyone was incredibly impressed with the songs and dances to celebrate cultures from Spanish speaking countries. Many thanks to Maestra Ghahramani, all the Immersion teachers and our Amity interns  for planning this extraordinary event!


    As this year comes to a close, we wanted to thank our Amity Interns, Irene and Nuria, for all their contributions to Laurel. Irene and Nuria helped our students develop even better Spanish language skills. They taught them about Spanish culture with fun, interactive activities, presentations, individual learning sessions and more! We wish them the best of luck in their next adventures and we will miss them so much!


    We are looking for host families for our Amity Interns for the 2018 -2019 school year. Are you interested? If so, please contact Liliana Perazich 415-297-0125 or email lilgol@yahoo.com. Click here for more info.


    Nuria Saavedra- Laurel’s Lower Campus

    Meet our Amity intern Nuria Saavedra. Nuria was born in Madrid where she lived with her parents. She also has an older brother who also lives in Madrid and many relatives.

    She loves to spend time with her family and traveling to new places. Nuria’s favorite hobby is listening to music, Prior to coming to California, she studied abroad in Poland and Ireland.


    Irene Adame Flores- Laurel’s Upper Campus

    Meet our Amity intern Irene Adame. Irene was born in Madrid where she lived with her parents and brother. She loves dancing, going out with her  friends, listening to music and travelling. She studied abroad in Sweden last year where she visited many countries and met a lot of international friends to whom now she considers family.

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    Posted by Ellen Kraska on 5/27/2018
    Can you believe we only have 14 days left this school year?! It seems that each day leading up to the last day of school has a special event planned. From ABC Countdowns in several classes, to music performances and plays, we are definitely ending the year with fun events and activities. The past few Fridays students loved the lunchtime Bubble Party, Music & Dancing and our recent Superhero Spirit Day too! 

    We are looking forward to having ALL of our Laurel families from both the Lower Campus and our Upper Campus come together to celebrate a fantastic year of learning. Join us on Thursday, May 31st for our Annual Laurel School Spring Picnic. The Art Show in the multi is sure to impress. See you there!

    Ellen Kraska
    Laurel School Assistant Principal
    Laurel School is on Twitter @LaurelMPCSD
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    Posted by Ellen Kraska on 5/20/2018
    We have had a year filled with adventure, excitement and innovation in Laurel's Upper Campus art room! As I am organizing all the beautiful art work in preparation for our upcoming Upper Campus Art Show, I have been reflecting on the past year and all the incredible learning and art making that has been happening. I am so proud for families and friends to see the display of the truly amazing artwork the children have been working so hard on all year...and what an eventful and jam packed year it has been!
    Here are just a few of the year's highlights:
    • All year, the artwork flowed into our Masterpiece Gallery. The Masterpiece Gallery is a rotating gallery which features artwork made at home by Laurel students. This summer would be a perfect time to encourage our Upper Campus artists to make artwork at home to bring in to start our Gallery off with a bang at the start of school! 
    • Every student made an Artist Trading Card which was sent to schools around the world. Students each then received a card that came from over 20 different states, Italy, Thailand and Australia, making the world feel just a little smaller and more connected.
    • Each student has completed a small Fiber Art heart which will comprise a campus-wide mural titled 'Laurel Has Heart' to honor all the kindness, respect and community service our Laurel students engage in every day.
    • Let's not forget our beautiful ceramic pieces! Cupcake treasure boxes were made by 3rd grade, Bobble Head Pets by 4th grade and Laurel Squirrels by 5th grade. Every student will have their ceramic pieces on display at our Art Show for all to admire.
    • Our 3rd Graders have been busy with Chalk Art, whimsical treehouses, lollipop forests and 3-D paper mache bird sculptures.
    • Our 4th Graders have worked hard on their Trees of Life, Pop-Art self-portraits and polar bear landscapes.
    • Our 5th Graders have illustrated children's books, painted a anthropomorphic self-portrait, made thought-provoking abstract sand art and learned how to mix their own skin tone using nothing but the primary colors and white. The results were then painted onto a beautiful skin tone quilt, titled 'The Colors of Us', which will be on display at the Art Show.

    We could not be more proud or excited for our Lower and Upper Campus families to come admire our students' deeply creative work at our Art Show! Students have put their heart into this work, and I could not be more proud of them.


    We look forward to seeing you all at the Art Show, Open House and Spring Picnic on May 31st!

    Submitted by: Christie Giacomozzi
    Art Teacher, Laurel School Upper Campus
    Laurel School is on Twitter @LaurelMPCSD
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    Posted by Ellen Kraska on 5/13/2018



    Many Latin American countries celebrate Día de Las Madres. The custom is to honor mothers and motherhood by giving flowers, small gifts or serenading them with songs. Last week, some of our Spanish Immersion classrooms got into the spirit and had a special morning honoring our Laurel matriarchs.

    Happy Mother’s Day to everyone!


    Submitted by: Tami Girsky

    Coordinator of Spanish Immersion and World Language


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