Pennekamp Elementary School

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Principal's Corner » Dr. Gerger's Good News

Dr. Gerger's Good News

February Newsletter 2017-2018 
Dr. Gerger’s Good News
Jump Rope for Heart
Pennekamp students are amazing! Our students worked extremely hard to raise money for the American Heart Association! We will soon find out the final amount, but we definitely surpassed our goal of $12,000 and may be the top school in the district! We started with Heart Healthy assemblies where Kim Siehl motivated our student to participate in the challenge. The fundraiser ended last Friday. Representatives from the American Heart Association partnered with Mr. Newman, our P.E. teacher, planned a fun-filled day of activities for our students. What a blast!


Makerspace continues to be a hit with our Pennekamp students.  On this day, in our Dragon Den, fourth grade students in Mr. Ahren’s class were given a challenge of building a model sized rollercoaster that would be functional for a marble or ping-pong ball to complete the route.  Students learned the physics behind how roller coasters work.  Under a time limit, teams worked to create their models using donated supplies provided by our families.  The lesson ended with students testing their creations.  Their creativity never ceases to amaze me!


Grand Conversations in 5th Grade  

Fifth grade students are comfortable participating in grand conversations in class.  On this day, students participated in a grand conversation where they shared their thoughts about present day government.  Students were asked to comment in support of or against a quote by Henry David Thoreau’s found in his essay, Civil Disobedience, “That government is best that governs least.”  Teachers from across the district came to observe Ms. Gralnik facilitate this grand conversation as part of their professional learning.

  1. Read-A-Thon: Our literacy month kicks off Monday, February 5th. Reading logs have been sent home by your child’s teacher. Students are encouraged to read, read, read and keep track of their reading minutes on their Read-A-Thon log. Logs will be due on February 26th.
  2. TK/K, 1st and 2nd Grades Author’s Visit: Seth Fishman, author of A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars, will be speaking at assemblies for TK/K, 1st, and 2nd grades on Monday, February 5th. Check out his new book at Pages bookstore.
  3. 3rd-5th Author’s Visit: Lisa McMann, author of the very popular Unwanteds series, will be speaking to our 3rd-5th graders on Thursday, February 8th. Books can be ordered at Pages bookstore.

  4. 2nd Grade Character Matters Performances: Our second graders have been practicing very hard for their upcoming Character Matters performances this Friday, February 9th. Second grade parents, please see below for the assigned times for your child’s teacher’s class performance. Performances will be in room 23.

  5. MBEF Final Month: Only 1 week left to donate to MBEF for this academic year! MBEF is an integral to our kids' education! Please donate an amount that is meaningful to your family. ALL donations are appreciated! Also, our teachers receive $200 for classroom supplies if their class reaches 95% participation and $300 if higher. Please donate today!

  6. February Spirit Assembly: Our third spirit assembly will be held on Wednesday, February 14th immediately following our mindful morning start to our day. Please join us as we recognize students for our second positive behavior of “Every Dragon ROARS”, being ON TASK. One student from each class will be recognized for being on task during the past month. We will also introduce the third positive behavior, ACCOUNTABLE. Some students will also receive the “I Set the Standard” P.E. award. Other fun items are included in our assembly as well. Please come join us to celebrate!

  7. Literacy Bowl Competitions: Students in the third, fourth and fifth grade will attend a quiz-style reading competition to watch fellow peers compete. This is a first-time event, known as the Super Literacy Quiz Bowl. Reading lists of thirteen books, tailored for each grade level, were read by out at that time competitors. Look below for dates and times for each grade-level competition.

  8. Green Focus for February: Our Green Focus for the month of February is TOXINS. One way that Pennekamp is reducing its use of toxins is by using green cleaning wipes, as we took Clorox and Lysol wipes off of our supply lists. The district as a whole no longer uses these types of cleaning wipes. The District has switched to Green Seal Certified cleaning supplies and has reduced insecticide applications, reducing students’ exposure to toxins. Paul Ruta, Director of Maintenance and Operations states, “Currently all of the cleaning chemicals used by the District are environmentally friendly. The District is proud of this accomplishment and thrives to be an example to students and parents.” Also, proper elimination of e-waste is important. Pennekamp recycles its toners and cartridges. Some ways to help at home are to participate in e-waste drives, which are held around town to dispose of old cell phones and computers. Batteries can also be dropped off at the Manhattan Beach City Hall or at the Police Department.

  9. Engaging Your Child with Meaningful Conversations About Reading: Michelle Syverson, MBUSD Literacy TOSA, will be hosting a third parent workshops on Thursday, February 15, 2018 at Pacific Elementary. It is a morning session from 9-10 a.m. All MBUSD elementary parents are invited to attend: Engaging Your Child with Meaningful Conversations About Reading.

  10. REMINDER: Playgrounds Closed During School Hours: Starting this New Year, our lower level playgrounds will be closed during school hours to avoid conflicting with our EDP program or P.E. classes that are taking place. If you have a TK/Kinder student and are waiting, for an upper grade student to be released from class at a later time, please wait at the lunch tables by the cafeteria. Any students playing on the play structure, blacktop, or field after being released from school will be directed to office to call home. Thank you for your cooperation.




February 2, 2018

12:50 p.m.    

MBMS Band and Orchestra Elementary School Tour

February 5, 2018

Read Daily and Complete Reading Log

Read-A-Thon Begins: Feb 5th-26th

February 5, 2018

Assigned Times

Seth Fishman Author Visit for TK/K, 1st and 2nd

February 6, 2018

All Day

100th Day of School: Classroom Activities

February 7, 2018

5:30 p.m.

Board Workshop in the MBUSD Board Room

February 8, 2018

8:30 a.m.  

Lisa McMann Author Visit for 3rd-5th  

February 8, 2018

1:00 p.m.

5th Grade Panoramic Picture

February 8, 2018

6:30 p.m.

All District Orchestra Performance @ Mira Costa in the Auditorium

February 9, 2018

8:45 a.m.

Character Matters Performance in Room 23: Fletcher

February 9, 2018

10:45 a.m.

Character Matters Performance in Room 23: Cannon

February 9, 2018

1:30 p.m.

Character Matters Performance in Room 23: Freeman

February 12, 2018

8:20-9:30 a.m.

3rd Grade Literacy Bowl Competition in the Pennekamp Cafeteria

February 14, 2018

8:15 a.m.

Spirit Assembly on Pennekamp Blacktop

February 15, 2018

8:30-9:45 a.m.

4th Grade Literacy Bowl Competition in the Pennekamp Cafeteria

February 15, 2018

9:00-10:00 a.m.

Engaging and Supporting Your Child in Meaningful Conversations About Reading for MBUSD Elementary Parents @ Pacific Elementary

February 15, 2018

1:40-2:45 p.m.

5th Grade Literacy Bowl Competition in the Pennekamp Cafeteria

February 18-23, 2018


Presidents’ Holiday Break

February 26, 2018

Reading Logs Due

End of Read-A-Thon

February 28, 2018

6:30 p.m.

MBUSD Board Meeting in District Office Board Room