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Principal's Message - News

A New Years’ Message from the Principal of Castlebay Lane Charter Elementary School

As we begin this new year and semester, it is my pleasure to welcome back all our Castlebay scholars, staff, and families. A new year often brings with it a sense of renewal, of new vistas and opportunities for growth. Yet for Castlebay I believe we are experiencing more a sense of reaffirmation – this new year we are reawakening to ourselves and reaffirming what it means to serve the needs of our children both individually as instructors, staff and parents and collectively as a united team.

In this new 2018 year, we are reawakening to our sense of purpose for our school, to the learning opportunities and goals that exist for our students, and to the collective commitment to exemplary teaching, social-emotional development, and service to our Porter Ranch community. This old knowledge stands as crisp and clean as a winter day for us. The energy is there and our teachers’ and staffs’ resolve in ensuring that all instructional deliverables are met and all of our students achieve high levels of academic performance and productivity is firm.

For this new year, Castlebay is experiencing a renaissance of initiatives which support both the academic and extended needs of our students and community. As a STEM school, our teachers are developing new project-based learning curriculums in which students actively explore real-world problems and challenges and acquire a deeper knowledge. Our custom designed Music, Art, Computer, and Science Lab curriculum will round out the rigorous instruction occurring in the classrooms, allowing students to extend learning concepts across disciplines

In addition, other programs will be designed to meet the diverse academic needs of our students. We are actively pursuing new programs in project-based learning, coding, debate, and robotics, which further develop the many-faceted intellect of our GATE students. For students requiring more input and practice to master the rigorous Common Core content, our GAP Intervention Program will offer academic support in Math and English Language Arts this year.

To meet the tertiary needs of our students, our new Student Lunch Clubs and Restorative Justice Talking Circles will support social-emotional development and introduce intellectual play during lunch. Our student body will also continue the school and community projects and activities which encourage character building in Trustworthiness, Responsibility, Respect, Fairness, Caring, and Kindness, and which demonstrate an awakening of compassion and an understanding of the importance of service to others and of global contribution. Our Afterschool programs will continue to offer our students a diversity of Performing Arts, cultural, and sports activities that will continue to broaden the skill sets developed in class.

Our partnerships with parents and families will continue to provide our school with both guidance and support as we strive to meet the unique needs of each student. We will continue strengthening these partnerships through monthly collaboration as reflected by the active feedback we receive from parents and community members in our Governance, PATH, SSC, ELAC, and CWP monthly meetings. Other partnership initiatives include our Parent Volunteer staff, our Parent Room coordinator staff, and our Grade Level coordinator staff. We will continue pursuing active learning through our new bi-monthly parent workshops designed to help parents thrive in their roles. Educational workshops which focus on helping parents understand and manage the bureaucracy of institutional education as well as increasing their parenting skillsets which support the academic and social-emotional needs of their children and of family social structures.

We are awakening to our potential and to our purpose as a team! The work may be difficult and full of unknown challenges, yet it will inspire all of us to be that which is more in our hearts and minds. And what unfurls–what blossoms from this work will be the spirit and intellect of every child and every member in our community, so that each light will shine uniquely on its own, in a school that provides cutting-edge instruction, embraces all diversity, and creates resilient and inspired students prepared for the future.