Spring Earth Science Edition

Spring Earth Science Week

April 30th to May 4th was our first ever Spring Earth Science Week.  Classes worked in our gardens, did science investigations outside, went on field trips and heard guest speakers.  GLT reported on the happenings around campus.  Below are their articles and photos from the week.

Compost Delivery by: Serena and Dax


It started on a Monday morning at 7:30 AM. The Sonoma Compost delivered 2 ½ cubic yards of vineyard mulch and 2 ½ cubic yards of mallard mix. It was the prize Mrs. Megna’s class won from Ag Day. They got $50 worth of soil amendment free! The mallard mix has lots of manure while the vineyard mulch has bark. The purpose of the vineyard mulch is to keep the water from evaporating. And did you know teeny tiny organisms live in the soil? Mrs. Megna taught Dax and me that. We even experienced bringing soil to the garden! Mrs. Megna and her class thank the Sonoma Compost for their delivery!

Solar Power by: Jacquelyn and Michelle

This week is Spring Earth Science Week. Some classes got to have guest speekers come in and talk about their jobs. Mr. Whisman who works at Sun Power came to talk to Ms. Reynold’s and Ms. Bender’s classrooms about his job. They build solar panels that go on top of buildings, houses, or even the ground. The ones on the ground rotate so they can get the sun’s light. Once the light hits them it produces energy. The panels on top of houses don’t move or rotate at all they stay flat. It was really cool to learn about his job at Sun Power.

Snails got the Lettuce!

Kindergarten Lettuce Garden by: Nick and Matea

Mrs. RC’s kindergarteners are gardeners. They planted a variety of lettuce and labeled them with wooden sticks. The problem was the snails ate all of their leaves.  They now have to put out snail bait and start over.  The nursery was out of lettuce so Mrs. RC bought flowers instead.

First Grade Fun by: Sarah and Julia

Ms. Megna and Mrs. Franklin’s class went to Helen Putnam Park on


Monday, April 30. They drove in cars there. They also saw a lot of flowers. Here are some of the names: Lupine, Buttercups, Poppies, and Mexican Hats. They had a picnic with chips, carrots, sandwiches, bagels, and juice. They saw Mrs. Cohen’s bench. They said it was brown. Their favorite flowers were Poppy, Sunflower, and Rattle snake grass. They had a lot of fun! They saw a lot of flowers, slid in the dirt, and played on the playground in the hot sun. They also got to read the Lorax and saw a bull frog and a red dragon fly. What a fun field trip!

Poppies by: Miranda and Brandon

Last week Ms. Garvey’s class planted poppies for their classes Earth Science Week activity!!  First the first graders had to dig a hole so they can put fresh soil with more nutrients in the hole. The class had shovels and did a great job on taking turns digging and removing loose dirt. They put the loose dirt in areas that needed more dirt.  Next they put fresh dirt in the hole they dug. Then the class made little holes dropped seeds in them. They walk impressively back to class.  Finally their class is waiting for the summer to see their poppies!!!

Worm Bins by: Sophia and Jeremy

Happy Worms in their Worm Bin

We went to see Mrs. Reynolds class and Mr. Lightners class watch a worm presentation. They talked about what worms eat. After that they talked about what eats worms. Then they talked about the body of a worm, how it works, and what it does to help the earth. Then they talked about how a worm gives birth. Then they passed out worms with a magnifying glass to look at the worms up close. Then they showed them their worm box and put some food in. After that it was pretty much over.

Solar Panels and Solar Energy by Aidan & Kameron

On Wednesday Mrs. Bender’s class went to Ms. Reynolds Classroom to see a presentation about solar panels. Riley Whisman’s dad, Mr. Whisman, came in and told us about solar panels and solar energy. And he told us that solar panels have small things inside of the panels and they absorb the energy from sun and you are able to turn the energy into electricity We learned how the silicon in the solar panel absorbs light and creates energy.  And there are panels for roofs and for the ground.  The ones on the ground have cement and a pole holding it and a small computer rotates the panels so it’s facing the sun at all times for the most energy.  The ones on the roofs are just laid down on the roofs.  Solar panels are a great way to save money on energy even though a small panel is 1000 dollars! In all, solar panels save money if you can buy them at first, and they create clean energy.

News From Mrs. Haugen

The year is almost over.  I can’t believe it.  Thank you to all who have given me feedback over the year and supported me through this time of transition from teacher to principal.  Dr. Martin and I have different styles, but our caring for and investiment in this school bridges that change. 

We are looking toward some staffing changes next year.  Mr. Lightner and Mrs. Cohen are retiring and budget considerations bring changes to overall elementary staffing district-wide.  When your student’s teacher says We don’t know who will be teaching which grades next year, please trust those words, submit your Student Information Page, and know that we keep the best interests of all our students in mind as we look to make class placement in August. 

Please help us wrap up the 2011-2012 school year by returning library books in a timely manner, checking the lost and found once more and encouraging your student to finish well and stay positive–change is hard for all of us.

Thank You Music Teachers!

Mrs. Baines, Mrs. Rice & Mrs. Larusso hosted an impressive evening of music on Tuesday, May 1st.  It was our first year to hold the chorus concert separate from the band concert and I don’t think we’ll ever go back to the old way.  Everyone could see the students, all had a place to sit and there was even room to breathe.  I am so impressed with the progress our chorus and band students make with only one hour of formal instruction each week.  We acknowledge all the hard work and practice that happens at home–the progress wouldn’t happen otherwise.  Thank you music teachers!  Great job!

School Site Council Members Wanted

We are looking for interested parents to serve on School Site Council for a two-year term (2012-2013 & 2013-2014).  SSC assists in developing and monitoring a school plan and budget providing support for state- and district-adopted curriculum, instructional strategies and materials.  SSC is an advising and collaborating body with staff and administration.   We have a once a month meeting here on campus.  Please email Mrs. Haugen or call the office if you have questions or are interested in running for this position.

The Family BBQ was Amazing!

A huge thank you to PTA for hosting our 2nd annual Family BBQ.  Traxx catered our picnic of burgers, hot dogs, caesar salad, watermelon and chips.  DJ Fiznick Rick entertained the crowd with sack races, dances and contests.  The PTA awarded Volunteer of the Year to Janie Walker.  It was a fun time had by all, and I’m so proud to see our community come together for a low-key evening of fun music, conversation, food and play.  It’s a good vibe at Grant School.

Wanted: Girls on the Run Coach

Make a BIG difference in a young girl’s life!

Coach the Grant Girls in a Fun, Empowering Program

Girls on the Run Sonoma County has helped hundreds of local girls of all abilities reach some amazing goals, and it has been my honor to have coached the Grant School Girls on the Run team for the last seven seasons, but it is time to hand over the reigns to someone new, as I embark on a new endeavor with Girls on the Run Sonoma County. It is very important to me that we continue the program at Grant school for the girls, but we can’t do that without a new coach.

What does it take to be a Girls on the Run coach?  Girls on the Run coaches are a dynamic group of enthusiastic, passionate women ages 21 years or older, including:

  • mothers (of girls and boys)
  • non-mothers
  • community members
  • athlete
  • runners and non-runners
  • administrators
  • teachers
  • any kind-hearted, positive and encouraging woman who is willing to share three hours of her week with a team of girls.

No running experience necessary to coach Girls on the Run!  If you would like to talk about the opportunity further, please contact me at sonomasather@gmail.com.  Or, you can visit www.gotrsonomacounty.org to learn more about the program.

Next Step:  Visit www.gotrsonomacounty.org/newsite to apply.

NEW! Girls on Track for 2012

NEW Girls on Track Program for 6th grade girls at Westside schools this Fall 2012!

Girls on the RunSonoma County has helped hundreds of local girls of all abilities reach some amazing goals.  At the end of our program, young athletes cross the finish line of our season finale 5k run/walk with contagious smiles on their faces – energized by their own strength and prepared to take on life’s challenges. 

Girls on Track is a 12-week program that will meet twice a week at theGrantSchooltrack for 1 ¼ hours.

  • The psychological research and principal philosophy behind Girls on the Run and Girls on Track is the same, yet the depth of processing varies in order to be age appropriate.
  • The Girls on Track curriculum allows for more mature processing around certain topics including eating disorders, internet safety, cyber bullying and tobacco and alcohol use, all while training for a 5k run/walk at the end of the program.
  •  The added bonus of our team is that the girls will also have the opportunity to meet and make connections with some of the girls from the other schools they will soon be classmates with. 

“In Girls on Track I learned that meditation and deep breathing

 is a great way to cope with stress.”  – Camryn, age 11

Next Step:  You can learn more about Girls on the RunSonomaCountyby visiting our website at www.gotrsonomacounty.org, or you can email Coach Stacie at sonomasather@gmail.com.

Upcoming Dates:

  • Westside Relays: Monday, May 14, 2012 starting at 11am
  • 6th Grade Happening: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 1pm in the multi–a special event for 6th graders and Grant School teachers
  • Volunteer Reception: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 1:45 in the multi
  • Spring Sing: Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 6:30pm in the multi (Mrs. Kowta, Mrs. Garvey, Mrs. Megna and Mrs. Franklin’s students.
  • 6th Grade Celebration: Friday, May 18, 2012 at 1pm  Family & Friends join our 6th graders in a student-led presentation in the amphitheater as they say farewell to elementary school
  • Hot Dog Lunch: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 Mrs. Duncan is hosting a student Hot Dog Lunch ($3.00) Please have your student let their teacher know if they are going to have a hot dog on the 23rd.
  • Last Day of School: Friday, May 25 School is dismissed at Noon


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