CMQ - Staff Making a Difference, Spring 2018

  • SXSW & Zap the Gap - Principals Present

    Oak Knoll Principal Kristen Gracia and Encinal Principal Sharon Burns both presented at events this winter. Principal Gracia joined a panel at SXSW Edu, sharing Oak Knoll's commitment to social emotional learning and why it is such a crucial part of educating children to be, as Oak Knoll's motto says, exemplary scholars, valued friends, and courageous citizens. Principal Burns joined a panel at the San Mateo County Office of Education's Zap the Gap conference. Encinal was one of five schools in the county recognized for its major achievement in raising all boats and making success possible for all learners.


    DLI Mini-Conference a Success at Laurel

    Laurel School hosted its second Dual Language Immersion mini-conference and over 80 educators from up and down the west coast came to learn best practices for DLI instruction. Created by Principal Linda Creighton, World Language and Spanish Immersion Coordinator Tami Girsky, and DLI teacher Lucia Rocha-Nestler, the DLI mini-conference fills a need for more professional development for teachers instructing in dual-language classrooms. Dual language immersion teachers have the unique and extraordinary responsibility for teaching students to be bilingual, bi-literate and bicultural. The attendees were inspired and very grateful for the much needed and high quality support. We expect even more educators next year as Laurel's DLI mini-conference leads the way in dual language professional development. The conference would not have succeeded without the talented educators from MPCSD who presented during the two-day event: Liliana Gomez, Marlene Lehman, Emily Chen, Emily Smith, Ashley Guilliot, Katherine Strach, Marisela Gharamani, and Rocio Lopez.


    Hillview's Amy Kingsley Earns Extra Certification

    Hillview French and Yearbook teacher, Amy Ridlehuber Kingsley, just completed the 10-month MERIT program, Making Education Relevant and Interactive through Technology, at the Krause Center for Innovation. Teachers commit to transforming their teaching practice and enhancing learning environments for their students, and invest 84 hours in face-to-face classes, 45 hours in online instruction, and 50 additional hours of learning at conferences and presenting to colleagues. The MERIT training inspired Ms. Kingsley to complete her Google Educator Certifications levels 1 and 2 as well. MERIT taught her about filmmaking, Breakout EDU, podcasting, and digital portfolios. Ms. Kingsley says, "The MERIT program helped give me the support and confidence to rework many of my lessons to incorporate more technology and make them more challenging and exciting for my students. Being a MERIT fellow has left me invigorated and overflowing with new creative ideas to help make my lessons amazing and impactful for my students."


    Susan Blanco Earns Reading Recovery Teacher Leader Certification
    Encinal Elementary’s reading specialist, Susan Blanco, has completed her certification to become a Reading Recovery Teacher Leader. This year, she has spent two to three days of each month at St. Mary’s College of California, taking graduate classes to complete this training.  In addition, Ms. Blanco attended Reading Recovery Teacher training classes to practice her new learning, led some of the trainings, wrote up case studies, attended national Reading Recovery conferences, and continues to deepen her understanding of literacy intervention. In the coming year, she will complete her field year by training a new group of Reading Recovery teachers in the Menlo Park School District. Says Ms. Blanco, “I am so excited to be able to provide this level of knowledge and training to the primary teachers and interventionists of Menlo Park. This will greatly help our most struggling students thrive.”


    Oak Knoll Awarded Environmental Certificate

    The Oak Knoll team of Science Aide and Learning Garden Organizer and Instructor Gwen Solomon, Counselor Nicole Scott, 5th Grade Teacher Caryl Brewbaker, and Parent Volunteer Mary Kelly received a Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Environmental Education Leadership from Menlo Park Mayor Peter Ohtaki for their environmental leadership and achievement. Oak Knoll has modeled and engaged its students in making an environmental impact. Throughout campus, clean-up and caring for the environment efforts are being initiated by and with students.