Is it February already?!?!

From the Principal

The year is just flying by… not a new sentiment for this time of year, by any means, but no less surprising when you find yourself flipping the calendar to February.  Yikes!  In classrooms, students are plugging along building skills, acquiring new knowledge, applying what they know in creative ways and constantly stretching their social-emotional awareness and ability in getting along with others, communicating effectively and monitoring their own actions and reactions.  We begin to see more obvious growth and maturity.  It’s an exciting time of year. In the office, we’re one foot in this school year and one foot in the next.  Our amazing office staff takes it all in stride, assisting parents, caring for kids, and generally keeping the whole system running without breaking a sweat.  Can’t appreciate Michelle and Shantina enough!

Garden Update by Aimee Vorhaus

Do you wonder what’s happening with gardening at Grant School? Some vegetables are growing in the raised beds, despite the challenges of water, deer and gophers.    This winter, lunchtime Garden Club has been busy moving compost and mulch, weeding the A-Wing Sensory Garden and the new Learning Garden, and on rainy days, painting watercolor scenes of the garden through the seasons.  Garden Club can always use help on Tuesdays at lunchtime – no experience necessary!

Some teachers have been taking their classes out to the Learning Garden and enjoying the new Outdoor Classroom.  Mrs. RC’s kindergarten class counted rings on the tree stumps as part of their study of wood.  Other classes have held class meetings and did science talks and other lessons there.  We are looking forward to planting an apple tree and other flora in the next few months.  
Are you a builder?  Can you help us build a new wood compost bin?  Composting lunch scraps is part of Grant’s effort to be greener this year and in the future.  Please contact Aimee Vorhaus (aimeevorhaus@gmail.com) if you are an experienced builder and can help with this project.  Thank you!

Grant Avenue Traffic: Clear direction from our friends at Petaluma Police Department

A recent visit from our traffic officer made it crystal clear that we are handling pick up all wrong.  Over the course of the next few weeks, we’re going to work on fixing the problem.  The yellow curb is absolutely not a place to sit and wait.  If your student is not out front, you should circle around the block (Grant to Mountain View to Olive to I to Grant) and try again.  Parking and walking in is always an option but our tiny neighborhood has limited curb space available.
The officer shared that an automobile blocking the flow of traffic on Grant Avenue can be ticketed $800.  Yikes!  That means leaving your car sticking out at the end of the pick up line so that traffic cannot continue through.  That’s a wake-up call if I ever heard one.
Our teacher on duty out front is focused on the cross walk.  We need our Grant School families to handle the flow of pick up with minimal intervention and direction.  There will be signs at the grass to help.  A flier will go home this Friday to get all of us on board.
Thanks for helping out, keeping our students safe and following the traffic laws.

Giddy Up Grant!  The auction is coming.

Saturday, March 1st is our annual auction.  This year it’s a western theme–get your cowboy boots and chaps out and ready!  Tickets are on sale and donations are still being accepted to our silent auction.  If you’re a business owner in town, this is an easy way to contribute to the many PTA sponsored programs at Grant School.  The evening features a live and silent auction, dinner, no-host bar, lots of time to socialize with new and old friends, plus dancing to round out the event!  I hope you’ll join us.

ZunZun, a special water assembly

Did your child come home from school recently and talk about a toilet game show? Or maybe they walked in the door and started singing, “H2O, Go with the Flow” while doing a crazy dance. If so, there’s no doubt they just attended ZunZun’s latest water awareness assembly.  Each year, Sonoma County Water Agency sponsors free water awareness assemblies in local schools. The assemblies, performed by the musical group, ZunZun, teach students about sustainability, watershed protection, conservation, water science and water awareness in a fun and interactive way using musical instruments from all over the world. This year they learned how to say “water” in 8 different languages, and saw how Native Californian plants save water and create habitat in our watershed. Be aware, however, that it’s not unusual for ZunZun to teach students a simple song and dance to reinforce their important message about water. So ask you child what they learned, but don’t be surprised if they break into a song and dance routine as they tell you how to save water around the house. You can ask them “what was the toilet game show?” And if they share some helpful tips on how to conserve and protect water, be sure to take their advice! On Thursday, our school had a just such a visit from the ZunZun.  It was great!  Be sure to ask all about it.  Thanks PTA for coordinating their visit.

Movie Night: a packed house and a lot of fun

Did you join us for Movie Night this year?  I sure hope so.  We watched Despicable Me 2, ate popcorn and visited with friends.  It’s strange to see the multi covered in blankets, sleeping bags and lounging students.  Thank you to Mrs. Critchett for once again organizing our annual Movie Night.
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