PTA Sponsoring Executive Function Workshop for Teachers and Staff

As you know, one of PTA's missions is to provide professional development opportunities for teachers and staff.  Nicole, our PTA President has worked to make the following opportunity available to GCS, along with the money that GCS families help raise for PTA.

Please encourage your child's teachers and paraprofessionals to take advantage of this opportunity.

Executive Function Workshop Opportunity

All GCS Teachers & Paraprofessionals: We have the opportunity to have a cutting-edge workshop at our school. 

Executive function is the piece that our most challenging students are usually missing.
It is responsible for a number of skills, including:
-- Paying attention
-- Organizing, planning and prioritizing
-- Starting tasks and staying focused on them to completion
-- Understanding different points of view
-- Regulating emotions
-- Self-monitoring (keeping track of what they're doing)

Amy MIller is Executive Director of the May Center, a school that empowers students with learning differences to succeed in school. She shares her experience and strategies with interested teachers in dynamic workshops at their campus. 

Through our PTA, we can have a workshop with Amy Miller here at GCS. 
The Executive Function for Students Workshop will include the following:

+ How learning differences become behavioral issues

+ Why and how to explicitly teach executive function skills to all students

+ Practical ideas for structuring your classroom to build executive function skills in all students 

 

 

Inside the Mind of a 1st Grader

While I was in the school for parent-teacher conferences last week, I snapped a few photos of classroom bulletin boards for the school’s website.

I recently zoomed in to get a closer look at what our students actually wrote on the bulletin boards and get inside the mind of a 1st grader.  I thought it would be entertaining and make me laugh….boy, was I wrong.

The assignment was related to celebrating the first 100 days of school and the students were asked to write what they want the world to be like when they are 100-years-old.  

Instead of laughing, I cried….

        In the words of our 1st graders…..When I am 100-years-old,

                           I wish there is peace on earth.

                           I hope that my mom and dad will get along.

                           I hope people will stop drinking alcohol.

                           there will be no wars in the world.

                           I hope no one gets treated badly.

                           people will not do drugs.

                           I want world peace.

If their words don’t move you to help make the world a better place for our children, there’s no hope for our future.  

Only we can make the world a better place for our children, which is why PTA works so hard - our primary promise is to build bridges between families and school, enabling parents to get more involved in their child’s education.  In my opinion, education is the great equalizer and it doesn’t cost a thing to be an involved parent and help give your child every advantage in the world.  Call me naive, but I believe it!  

We hold the key.  

We just need to open the door to a better world for our children.  

Join us in building that better world by creating a supportive community for our children, together.  Many parents are already involved in their child's education, but we need your help to support every child in our school.  That includes the children that sit next to your child in school every day.  Do you know who that is?  Do you know their parents?  You can meet them at the next PTA meeting - but only if you show up.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

In the mind of a 1st grader.jpg

Help Launch a Class Reading Project

Recently, Mrs. McCabe, Ms. Pino, Ms. Owen, and Mrs. Lussiez (school librarian and 4th grade teachers) worked together to create a 4th grade reading project.  All 4th grade students are currently reading the book Wonder by Raquel J. Palacio during DIG each day.  The class set of books is now part of the permanent 4th grade collection and will benefit many future generations of GCS Lobos.

It's like a book club for students.  The concept of reading the same book at the same creates enthusiasm for reading.  It also enables students to share what they've read with others and see things from different perspectives.  The benefits are immense.

With PTA's help last year, Mr. Dobbs purchased a class set of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.  The class set belongs to his classroom and his current 6th grade students will read the book this school year.  My daughter can't wait to get to be in 6th grade so she can read To Kill a Mockingbird

Undoubtedly, there are other GCS teachers that have also implemented their own "student book clubs".  As a continuation of your partnership in educating your child with their teacher, ask your child's teacher what programs they're working on to spark and foster a life-long love of reading.  This is a great opportunity to engage with your child's teacher and further your knowledge of the fantastic teaching and learning that is always happening in our school.

If you are interested in helping your child's teacher further their class reading programs, please:

1) speak with your child's teacher about how you can help implement or further a class reading project

2) attend a PTA meeting or contact a PTA Board Member at gonzalespta@gmail.com to find out how to request PTA money to buy a class set of books for your child's classroom (after all, this is why we raise money)

3) speak with Mrs. McCabe, Librarian about ordering a class set of books (to be paid for by PTA)

4) ask your child about their new reading project

It really is that EASY!  

PTA will also support any idea you have to enrich education in your child's classroom.  Just ask!

Thanks for Reading,
April Gallegos, PTA Secretary

Wonder.jpg

A Message from PTA

A message from former PTA President April Gallegos....

Hello GCS Parents and Teachers:
 
The first rule of PTA is: you can do no wrong in PTA. 
The second rule of PTA is: you can do no wrong in PTA. 
The third rule of PTA is: you can do no wrong in PTA. 
 
Truly, our Parent Teacher Association will accept any ideas, any amount of time and any amount of money – it all helps and the success of PTA relies on you.

At the start of a new school year, we want to thank everyone that contributes to the success our students – that includes every teacher, staff member and parent at Gonzales.  As a community, we accomplish many goals that benefit our students and their future.  My hope is that, as part of our community, you agree that we’re serving each other well and doing right by our children, and that there is still much more to accomplish.
 
We're not just a group of do-gooders that have nothing better to do than make muffins.  In fact, we rarely make muffins.  Most of our volunteer opportunitiestake place in the evenings or on the weekends and we have a lot of FUN!

It is only with your support that GCS PTA can continue to provide enriching programs for our students.  We look forward to welcoming you and your family to GCS PTA during the 2017-2018 school year.  You can sign-up online athttp://www.gcspta.org/membership/
 
Together, let's make Gonzales the best school for our children and their future!  Remember, you can do no wrong in PTA!

Many Thanks,
April

 

A message from current PTA President, Nicole Moulton....

To all Gonzales Community School Parents, Teachers, Staff, and Students:
 
First, a big THANK YOU to all the teachers, staff and parents who supported our PTA throughout this last year, it was a great success! I hope to meet each and every one of you this Fall as there will be many opportunities, both to socialize and volunteer for our wonderful GCS. But also, if you see me wandering about, just say HI! I promise not to rope you into any work (well, not immediately, anyway) ;-) I do want to hear from you—both your thoughts and opinions about what you love about GCS and what new things you would like to see at the school to make it an even better place for our kids and teachers. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me at any time with any idea big or small.
 
I also would like to take the time to thank April Gallegos for her service as our GCS PTA president for the last two years. She has done incredible work building our community at GCS, and along with current board members Casey Stults and Robyn Romero-Cardenas, will stay on the board to serve as secretary while Casey and Robin will stay on as VP and treasurer, respectively. I am very much looking forward to working with them and feel in extremely capable hands.
 
When I first stepped into Gonzales in the summer of 2014, I was struck by how welcoming Mr. Lee was. He spent over an hour with myself and a friend who was hesitant to send her 5 year old to a school with, gasp, eighth graders! I quickly felt how familial and welcoming Gonzales Community School was and continues to be. I am very proud to tell people that my (now) first and third grader attend Gonzales Community School because it very much feels like a second home, where my kids feel safe and respected while they are learning so many new things.
 
I look forward to meeting and working with all of you this school year!
 
Sincerely,
Nicole Moulton

We Stand on the Shoulders of Giants

We Stand on the Shoulders of Giants

Are you Ready to Stand with Us?

 

It’s that time of year again….time to elect new Parent Teacher Association Board members and Committee Chairs and we’re looking for people who care about the quality of education and creating a supportive learning community at Gonzales Community School.
 
Our PTA nominations will take place at the PTA meeting on Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 5:30pm and we are looking for a new PTA President and Committee Chairs.  Click to view all positions.  Terms will start on July 1, 2017 and conclude on June 30, 2018.

Now before you delete this email, please read about the AMAZING work that PTA has done in society and improved the world that we currently live in.  I’m not just talking at the school level either – over the years, PTA has established the following national programs that we take for granted today:

Creation of Kindergarten classes                              
• Mandatory immunization
• Child labor laws                                     
• Arts in Education
• Public health service  
• Juvenile justice system
• Hot and healthy lunch programs  
• School Safety

Just imagine our current society without these programs.  It’s hard to do because these programs are basic standards that were established long before we started school.  We never give much thought to how they were developed or the long hours that PTA members invested creating a better society for everyone – not just themselves.
 
Over the years, our school PTA community has also created and supported the following long-standing programs at Gonzales:
 
• Facilitating communication between school and home through the GCS PTA website and Thursday Note

• NDI participation for every third and fifth grader
• Nurse supplies – the district does not provide band-aids, Kleenex, etc for our children
• Snacks during PARCC Testing – every student receives a free snack from GCS PTA
• Teacher Funds – every teacher receives monies to buy supplies for their class
• Student clubs
• GCS garden
• Back-to-school BBQ
• Spring Showcase
• Science Fair boards
• Books for the Library
• Transportation for Field Trips
• Teacher and Staff Appreciation
• Spirit Gear
• National Junior High Society


We all lead very busy lives and have more obligations than we can count, but at the end of the day, all children deserve to attend a school that provides a quality education with enriching experiences and a community that supports their education.  It is PTA’s philosophy that enriching programs and a supportive educational community should be available to all students, not just students whose families can afford to pay for a quality, well-rounded education.
 
You don’t need special skills, prior experience, be a stay-at-home mom, have extra money or have a lot of spare time to help your school and serve as a PTA Board Member, Committee Chair or PTA member, you just need to care
 
I have served as GCS PTA President for two years and have reached my term-limit.  Casey Stults and Robyn Romero-Cardenas have graciously agreed to serve a second year as Vice President and Treasurer and I will serve as Secretary.  Board Members and Committee Chairs may be parents, teachers, grandparents, and community members. 
 
Please find more information about these positions on our website at gcspta.org/the-board or in the school office.  If you are interested in supporting education and your school community, please speak with our nominating committee chair, Lupe Longley via email glongley@sfps.k12.nm.us or at school to add your name to the list.
 
Thank you for caring about your school community and helping make Gonzales Community School a great school.
 
All Best,
April
PTA President

 

2016-17 GCS PTA Board Members

April Gallegos, PTA President

Casey Stults, PTA Vice President

Robyn Romero-Cardenas, PTA Treasurer

Carmella Roybal, PTA Secretary

Mr. Michael Lee, Principal

State of the Schools Address

2016 State of the Schools Address

PTA View....

The Santa Fe Public Schools State of the Schools address was last night.  As many of you know, there are many great things happening in our schools and last night was a celebration of our successes. 

Many talented students performed last night, including our very own Nolan Hall and Cyndi Hall.  They danced with SFPS Native American Student Services! 

Award-winning SFPS teachers were also showcased, including GCS third grade teacher Mrs. Chrissy Romero.  Mrs. Romero has been selected as a New Mexico finalist for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.  Congratulations Mrs. Romero!  (sidebar: we'd like to showcase all of our school's talented teachers and students, so please send us your awards and accolades at gonzalespta@gmail.com)

Our new Superintendent, Veronica C. Garcia also spoke about the successes and the challenges we continue to face as a school district, including low student proficient rates in reading and math and decreased funding from the state.  These two major challenges are things, that we as parents, can help remedy in our school and in our school district. 

Dr. Garcia's plan to remedy the challenges in the district is to keep her office and our schools focused on the classroom.  Every program and dollar spent should directly support our teachers and students in the classroom.  She is calling the emphasize "Project Northstar".

Things we can do, as parents, to help remedy low proficiency rates and decreased funding from the state:

1) Ask your child's teacher if your child is proficient in reading and math.  If not, find out why not - don't place blame on yourself, your child or the teacher, it's not productive.  Just find out what you can do to help make your child proficient and take action.

2) Contact your New Mexico State Legislators and ask them to properly fund education in New Mexico.  Our children and teachers deserve better funding.  We will post a template that you can use and modify to send to your legislators before the upcoming session in January.

3) We must also be aware of where our dollars are spent.  We can do this by asking our teachers if they have the supplies they need to accomplish their goals, attend SAC Meetings at our school (there is a SAC meeting on December 12 at 5:30pm) and school board meetings.  We must then take what we learn and make sure it falls in line with "Project Northstar".  If not, we must hold SFPS accountable.

Overall, it was a very positive night and I learned that Capital, Santa Fe High School and ECO (Early College Opportunities)  have "Pathways" programs that help students develop skills for early career development, including professions in engineering, medicine, and automotive.  Santa Fe High School also has "College Plaza", which assists students in finding the path to college.  They help students determine if college is for them, help determine a course of college studies, complete college applications and entrance essays.  I'm sure they'll even help with the dreaded financial aid applications! 

It's up to parents and students to take advantage of the many opportunities SFPS offers or to ask for what we need as a community to succeed in education.

Great work SFPS!

Involved Parents = Successful Students

“The experts have been polled and the results are in: a positive parent-teacher relationship contributes to your child’s school success.” – PBS Parents

The GCS Classroom Representative program is making a comeback and we need your help.  The goal of the Classroom Rep is to free-up our teachers’ valuable time and allow them to focus more on teaching and less on coordinating. 

No experience or special skills are required - just a willingness to help your child succeed!

We know that effective communication between school and home creates a productive learning environment and our Classroom Reps will foster that communication.  The Classroom Rep will also encourage family interaction – the better we know each other, the more productive we are.

GCS PTA will provide you with all the tools and support you need to help you succeed.  That’s the beauty of community – you’re never alone.

It’s also not a time time-consuming role – roughly one-hour per week.  You can also form classroom teams with two or three Classroom Reps.

For more information: talk to a PTA Board Member, visit the Parent Representative page or speak with Mr. Lee or Ms. Hubley.

Spring Showcase

Our Spring Showcase on Tuesday, March 22 was a huge success!  It was truly a celebration of education and the perfect opportunity for parents and the community to visit Gonzales Community School and explore student projects, visit with teachers and tour the school.  We are more than a letter grade.  Thank you to all that participated.

2016/17 PTA Board Member Nominations

Looking for a way to be more involved in your child's school?  Join the GCS Parent Teacher Association and consider becoming a 2016/2017 GCS PTA Board Member.  We're always looking for parents and teachers that are willing to make a positive difference in education.  Is that you?  Nominations will take place at the March 3 PTA meeting and elections will be on May 5.

 

Teacher Appreciation

Teachers never expect a gift.  A nice note is a good way to show your appreciation.  Some parents also like to give holiday gifts but never know what to give.  In an effort to help parents this year, we sent our teachers a survey asking them what they like to receive for the holidays from students.  All teachers truly appreciate a heart-felt THANK YOU and if you're going to give a gift, a $10 restaurant gift certificate was the most popular choice.  Remember to also thank the "specials" teachers...PE, Library, Art, Music, etc.