— Neighborhood Build Celebration

First Grade Neighborhood Study celebration was an absolute success! We are very proud of what the students created during the week of the build that concluded the meticulous research of our neighborhood they conducted for six consecutive weeks, with the guidance of their wonderful teachers: Stephanie Hanepen and Lesley Stevens.

Neighborhood Build2017-02-17-First-Grade-Neighborhood-Build-Ribbon-Cutting-202017-02-17-First-Grade-Neighborhood-Build-Ribbon-Cutting-422017-02-17-First-Grade-Neighborhood-Build-Ribbon-Cutting-33The students studied the inner and outer workings of the neighborhood we all share, Half Moon Bay. The purpose was to explore how a neighborhood works interdependently to provide goods and services that meet the constituents’ wants and needs. The culmination of this study had the students build a 3D model of a neighborhood modeled after downtown HMB, out of cardboard shoeboxes and other recycled materials.

First-grade students kicked off their Neighborhood Study in January with a guest speaker Half Moon Bay Expert, Marina Fraser, who spoke about the history of Half Moon Bay and how the town has transformed over time. Marina gifted each of us a book about Half Moon Bay and a walking tour guide that they referenced on their upcoming walking field trip on Main Street, where they were able to research the things they needed for the neighborhood build.

First-grade students also learned about the water treatment process in class and completed an amazing follow-up activity in the iLab. Before the build, they received another special guest Former HMB Planning Commissioner,  Steve Flint, who joined the first-grade classes to give them tips on city planning. They learned about the different types of space in a city like residential, commercial, industrial, green space and mixed use space. As a group, Steve led the students in a hands-on activity where they mapped out a town according to his tips and advice.

Following their Neighborhood Study, they spent a full week building “Box Town” and proudly presented it during the Academic Celebration on February 17th, 2017. Thanks to all parents for attending this fantastic event and helping during the build!

 

— In the News: Sweethearts go dancing

DJ Beech, a seventh grader at Sea Crest School was spinning tunes for the Sweetheart Dance on Saturday night. John Green / Review

Today the Half Moon Bay Review published an article about our Sweetheart Dance on Saturday and how it opens up the fun of a time-honored tradition to all.

By Sarah Griego Guz

Father-daughter dances take on more inclusive flavor.-

For some generations, the mention of a father-daughter dance may evoke memories of young girls in ruffled white socks dancing with Dad while under a shimmering disco ball affixed to the ceiling of the school gym.

Mention a father-daughter dance to most kids attending school on the coast, however, and you might get a shoulder shrug and a blank stare.

Even three years ago, father-daughter dances were considered a relic of the past. Father-daughter dances on the elementary school level did not exist.

Sweetheart Dance Half Moon Bay Review

One reason could be that the definition of family changed. For many girls, a father may be absent from the core unit, replaced by a mother, uncle, grandmother or someone else entirely.

At Sea Crest School, a handful of parents presented the idea of bringing back the father-daughter dance. Director of Lower School Michelle Giacotto had a suggestion.

“When I was first presented the idea of a father-daughter dance, my challenge was, let’s not make it a father-daughter dance, because that’s sort of limiting. So that’s how the dance turned to ‘sweetheart,’” she said. “That was what we were trying to do, to have the tradition of a father-daughter dance that many parents remember when they were kids, but make it more inclusive.”

What happened next was such a sweet thing that many of the other schools followed suit.

Over the past two weeks, El Granada, Hatch and Sea Crest schools have hosted sweetheart dances, with little girls coming to the dance with a chosen person they consider to be their sweetheart.

“My daughter June was really excited to go because all her friends were going. So I said, ‘Sure, I’ll take you,’” said Sea Crest parent Heidi Bennett, whose husband happened to be on a ski trip with their son. “It was really nice that there was a mix of families there to celebrate the girls.

“There were a few couples, a mother and a father, who brought a daughter,” she continued. “There were maybe a handful of moms who brought a daughter, and it was totally not a big deal.”

Business trips and other travel schedules prohibited some dads from joining the dance.

In those cases, moms sprang to the rescue, getting dolled up along with their daughters and enjoying a nice meal before hitting the dance floor.

“My daughter got to wear a little bit of lipstick and a little bit of sparkly eyeshadow,” laughed Bennett. “We did our hair and our fingernails and we went out to dinner first.”Many of the pint-sized dancers were amazed by the transformation of the Kohrs Family Center, which featured a photo booth as well as a treat table laden with a plethora of sweets.

The funky photo booth, complete with oversized neon glasses, hats and other accessories, was set up in a section of the building.

Fathers, daughters — and mothers — took time out from dancing to document the evening with a funny photo.

“I think it was really good and really fun,” said second-grade Sea Crest student Madeleine Willits who attended the dance with her father, Chris. “They had cookies, cupcakes, candy and you get to make your goodie bags.

“My favorite part,” she continued, “was taking pictures and dancing with my friends.”

Besides inclusion, another benefit is that the cost of the tickets goes directly to the school.

 


 

— The Spanish program is taking off

By Fco. Javier “Cali” Calderón and Paulina Hidalgo, Spanish Teachers

One of our primary approaches to engaging our students in our Spanish language instruction is through the use of Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling (TPRS), which is a best-practice methodology that emphasizes language acquisition through oral storytelling and active response from learners while providing comprehensible input. Students quickly become engaged in the process of story creation listening to and speaking en español (video).

SpanishThis engaging, student centered and immersive approach mirrors the natural way that children acquired their primary language. For example, this is the same approach used by nationally recognized organizations such as the San Francisco Giants in the teaching of English to their Spanish speaking players (video).

Currently in our Spanish program this methodology can be seen in both the lower school and middle school classrooms with activities such as cartoon strip story writing, picture sequencing, group story creation incorporating total physical response (TPR) while using appropriate verb conjugation and topic-specific vocabulary. We continue to use this effective technique of natural language acquisition into middle school as a bridge to more elevated age appropriate content.

SpanishRecently in the middle school seventh graders created art inspired by their own written “Prompt Journals” as a means of improving their communicative practice through a controlled prompt of specific grammar concepts enhanced through their art. Eighth graders expressed their creativity after doing a poetry breakdown of renowned Argentine writer/poet Jorge Luis Borges’ poem “Instantes” (video).

SpanishStudents were asked to write their own poems from the perspective of the 85-year-old in Borges’ work, while viewing an ordinary wall with extraordinary eyes. The wall served as a metaphor of the lives that these students have lived. This supported their studies of the pretérito (past) tense while spurring their own creative interpretations in a back to the future way.

This task-based approach is intended to support development of our students’ sense of self-efficacy in the process of acquiring a second language by refining their ear for the language whilst improving their reading and writing in the target language.


 

 

— Wildlife Associates and their Creepy Critters visited our school

The Wildlife Associates visited our school last week, and they brought their creepy yet wonderful creatures for an assembly full of awws and wows!

This event was a special thank you to all fifth-grade students and families who helped with the Harvest Party set-up back in September. Wildlife Associates was very appreciative and brought us their fantastic Creepy Critter assembly: a boa constrictor, a tortoise, an alligator, a tarantula and a monitor lizard!

Fifth Grade Volunteers Wildlife Associates

Through this event, K-8 students were able to explore the gentler side of the most misunderstood animals of the wild kingdom, dispel myths and learn the important roles these animals have in nature’s diverse web of life. What a wonderful opportunity for our students to know the significance of all living things, even the “creepy” ones!

Wildlife Associates Creepy Critters Wildlife Associates Creepy Critters
Wildlife Associates Creepy Critters Wildlife Associates Creepy Critters Wildlife Associates Creepy Critters Wildlife Associates Creepy Critters

Thanks to the Wildlife Associates for sharing with us all their knowledge and bringing their Creepy Critters!


— Mid-Year Address: The bright future of our school

Thanks to the parents and friends who attended our Mid-Year Address this year!  We celebrated the present with dynamic teacher presentations and launched the strategic plan that will guide our community of innovation.

Tekakwitha Head of School Mid-Year AddressBy Dr. Tekakwitha M. Pernambuco-Wise, Head of School & Amy Ramsey, Chair of Board

Our mission grounds us in what we most value about a Sea Crest education. Comprised of four major sections: Cultivate Community, Program Innovation, Strengthen the Institution and Infrastructure Development, our Strategic Plan is our guide for the next five years and helps us to focus on how to best fulfill this mission.

Designed as a visionary document, our Strategic Plan was formulated during our 20th anniversary year, with input from our constituents – pupils, faculty, staff, administration, trustees, parents and alumni/ae, as part of our re-accreditation process. This truly collaborative document was finalized by our Strategic Planning Committee, comprising faculty, staff, administrators and trustees, and ratified by the Board.

Sea Crest has seen significant growth, especially in our Middle School. From our humble beginnings of 24 pupils, we now stand at almost 300, the highest enrollment in our history. This is in large part due to the high caliber of our faculty and staff, deeply committed trustee volunteers, supportive parents, combined with a vigorous curriculum and engaged pupils. It is indeed an exhilarating time to be part of the Sea Crest community!

Developing authentic relationships is important to us. As we reach towards the goals of our Strategic Plan, we recognize that we can accomplish them only if we continue to work together, never becoming complacent or resting on our laurels and always keeping our sights on achieving greatness in all that we undertake.

Celebrating the present and looking forward to the future…

 

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