Pennekamp Elementary School

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

Dr. Gerger's Good News

PK LOGO 2018 2019

                                                                 November Newsletter 2018-2019



International Walk to School Day

On October 10th, Pennekamp students and families walked to school for International Walk to School Day.  Amy Howorth, City Council Member, joined us on our walk too. Beach Cities Health District greeted the walkers and every student who walked received a sticker recognizing their participation in the event.  Thank you to all PK Dragons who walked that morning!


Creating Green Screen Movies to Showcase Reading

A group of students in Mrs. Tynan’s first grade class practiced their reading skills as they read their scripts while making green screen movies titled “Creepy Carrots.”  Students were practicing to read with intonation. Way to go first grade readers!


4th Gr. Walk Through California

Fourth graders participated in the Walk Through California presentation.  This was a great experience after learning about the history of California in social studies.  Each had a definition and fact to memorize, so when called upon, they were able to be a part of the show.  Our fourth graders did an amazing job as always! Thank you to the parents who attended as well!



  1. Book Fair and Donuts with Dads:  Join us, November 6th-9th, for our Pennekamp Book Fair.  It will be open every day from 7:45 a.m.-2:00 p.m.  Students will come by class at a scheduled time to visit the book fair as well.  This is a great volunteer opportunity: to sign up, click here.  On Thursday morning, we invite dads to come down to spend some time with your kids having donuts and visiting the book fair. Fifth graders will also be selling See’s Candy from 12:45-2:00 p.m. and during the Donuts with Dads morning. Come visit our Enchanted Forest!
  2. Fence Project:  We received an updated timeline for the fence completion.  The fence should be complete by the Thanksgiving Break. We will also begin the remodel of the front office soon in order to create a pathway to enter the school after signing in in the front office.    
  3. Kindergarten Reading Assessments: Kindergarten teachers will be conducting reading assessments with Kinder students from November 5th-9th.  These are minimum days with a release time of 11:35 a.m. for kindergarten students and 11:45 a.m. for TK students.  Please remember that there is no school on Monday, November 12th in honor of Veteran’s Day. Campus is closed after school this week to make sure we keep the campus quiet while assessments are being conducted.  Please make sure that your student has a scheduled time to be assessed.
  4. Goal Setting Week:  Goal setting conferences for 1st-5th grades are scheduled for November 5th-9th.  These are minimum days with a release time of 12:45 p.m.  Please remember that there is no school on Monday, November 12th in honor of Veteran’s Day. Campus is closed after school to make sure we keep the campus quiet during parent/teacher conferences.  Please make sure that you have a conference time scheduled with your child’s teacher.
  5. No Lunch During Minimum Days: Please remember that there is no lunch on minimum days.  If you did not order in advance, please plan to bring lunch.  
  6. Unexcused Tardy and Absence Letters: Tardy and absence letters have been sent home.  If your student has an excess of unexcused absences or tardies, a letter will automatically be generated and sent home. Please consider the option of independent study if your child is going to be absent for 5 or more consecutive days.  
  7. Mindfulness at Pennekamp: Mindfulness is continuing to grow at Pennekamp.  We are currently in search of parent volunteers to staff our Mind Lounge during recess and lunch times.  Mrs. Barney is leading the charge in creating our Mind Lounge, a safe place for students to come to take a mindful moment.  Please reach out to her at if you are interested in volunteering.  It is awesome to see our students taking advantage of these quiet, reflective times.     
  8. Parent Book Club: Margot Parker, social emotional wellness and parenting expert, longtime school counselor and administrator, will be facilitating this engaging, hands-on discussion on the book, ​The Yes Brain: How to Cultivate Courage, Curiosity, and Resilience in Your Child,​ by Daniel Siegel, MD & Tina Payne Bryson, PhD. Come reflect on parenting practices, get ideas from each other, and learn new strategies about how to nurture our child's inner spark and positive potential through a fun and lively discussion​ in a positive learning environment​. Coffee and treats will be served. Click here for the Sign-Up Genius link to RSVP. Books are available at Pages Bookstore in downtown Manhattan Beach. You need not have read the book to participate -- all are welcome! Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in our All-About-Me World will be the next book for our January meeting.  
  9. Parent Workshop: Supporting K-5 Readers at Home: Back by popular demand is the parent workshop about how to support your K-5 readers at home.  It includes information about balanced literacy, leveling systems, and how to support readers at home. This session will take place on Thursday 11/15/18, at 8:30 a.m. in the Pennekamp Cafeteria. For more specific information, please click on this link:
  10. Dragon Dinner: We have a Dragon Dinner scheduled at California Pizza Kitchen November 6th!  The classroom with the most attendees wins a pizza party when mentioning the teacher’s name.  20% of sales are given back to Pennekamp when you mention our school.
  11. Run Club: Please remember that we have Run Club every Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 7:45 a.m. Students come early to run laps.  Students receive a necklace where they earn little feet charms to add as they meet milestones of running. Students can earn a foot charm after the 10th, 15th, and 25th lap and for every 25th additional lap after that.  Thank you Mr. Newan. Run, run, run!
  12. Visitor’s On Campus: Thank you to all parents who have been signing in at the front office when visiting campus.  This is for the safety of all students and adults on campus. We appreciate your continued support of signing in and obtaining a visitor’s badge.  
  13. Lost and Found: As we approach Thanksgiving Break, please stop by the lost and found to collect any lost items.  Any remaining items in the lost and found box will be donated to the Good Will over the break.
  14. Collecting Candy for Troops: Operation Gratitude is collecting candy to send to deployed U.S. service members.  In addition to donating candy, they are requesting writing a letter or drawing a picture that can be included in the packages sent to troops.  Please drop off candy, letter or pictures to the Pennekamp front office. The last day to donate is November 7th.
  15. Halloween Costume Reuse Drive: Pennekamp has partnered with Waste Management to collect used Halloween costumes that will be donated to a local shelter for kids in need next year. Please drop off costumes to the Pennekamp front office.  The last day to donate is November 7th.     
  16. Mira Costa Blood Drive: Mira Costa High School is partnering with UCLA to host a Blood Drive on November 14th.  If you would like to donate blood, please sign in at the Mira Costa front office between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. and they will direct you to where to go.  





November 5-9, 2018

12:45 p.m.

Minimum Day Release for Goal Setting Conferences for 1st-5th

November 5-9, 2018

Kinder: 11:35 a.m.

TK: 11:45 a.m.

Minimum Day Release for F&P Testing for TK/Kindergarten

November 6-9, 2018

7:45 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

Enchanted Forest Book Fair in the Cafeteria

November 6, 2018

1:30-5:00 p.m.

Honor Choir Auditions

November 6, 2018

11:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.

Dragon Dinner at CPK

November 7, 2018


Wednesday Envelopes

November 7, 2018

7:15-8:10 a.m.

Donuts with Dads in the Cafeteria

November 7, 2018

4:30 p.m.

School Board Workshop Re: Facilities and Maintenance

November 7, 2018

6:30 p.m.

School Board Meeting

November 7, 2018

Drop off used costumes to front office

Last Day for Halloween Costume Donation Drive

November 7, 2017

Drop off candy to front office

Last Day for Operation Gratitude: Candy for Troops

November 12, 2018

No School

Veteran’s Day

November 14, 2018

8:30-10:00 a.m.

Pennekamp/Grand View Parent Book Club Meeting at Grand View Elementary

November 14, 2018

9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

UCLA/MCHS Blood Drive at Mira Costa High School

November 15, 2018

8:30-10:00 a.m.

Parent Workshop: Information about MBUSD Reading Program and Supporting Readers at Home in Pennekamp Cafeteria

November 19-23, 2017

No School

Thanksgiving Break