— 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: Annual tradition draws grandparents from near and far

The Half Moon Bay Review published an article about our traditional winter concert and grandparents and special friends day — what a spectacular celebration of community!

2016-12-16-Winter-Concert-Grandparents-Special-Friends-Day-12By Kaitlyn Bartley

The performers belted out their hearts in front of perhaps the most devoted audience ever to attend a rock concert. Even in their red plush Santa hats, some vocalists were shorter than the microphones they sang into, but that did not dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd, where glowing iPhone and camera screens bobbed and waved with the music like hundreds of Bic lighters.

Clearly, the musicians had practiced extensively for their big day, but it was also clear from the proud smiles in the standing-room-only crowd that the performances brought far more joy than could be expected by just hitting right notes.

The event was Sea Crest School’s winter concert program, held the morning of its annual Grandparents and Special Friends Day. The audience included more than 100 grandparents who had traveled from as far as Texas, Massachusetts, and even the United Kingdom, for the yearly celebration.

Winter Concert

Winter Concert“I love the joy of the children,” said Anne Mingus, who traveled with her husband Bill from their retirement village near Modesto to hear their granddaughter. Femke, a first-grader at Sea Crest, performed Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” with her class.

At least some in the audience were relieved that rehearsing for the concert was over.

“We listened to a lot of Johnny Cash in the weeks leading up to the concert,” Femke’s father and Half Moon Bay resident Kory Mingus said with a laugh.

“We are so impressed with the school,” said Ardis Tobin, of Nevada City, who drove for five hours in the rain with her husband, Patrick, to hear their first-grade grandson sing. “It seems like a wonderful, safe place.”

With the guidance of the school’s newly formed Grandparents Circle, this year’s special event featured a morning concert with each grade singing hits from previous decades. Featured artists included Marvin Gaye, the Beatles, Michael Jackson, and Coldplay.

 2016-12-16-Winter-Concert-Grandparents-Special-Friends-Day-213After the concert, families gathered for a snack reception, took photos in a photo booth, and explored a then-and-now display, which featured household items from previous generations. Later in the morning, students showed off their classrooms to families and grandparents and built gingerbread houses.

Janet and Ron Reed, of El Granada, attended Grandparents Day to see their fifth-grade granddaughter perform songs by Cyndi Lauper and The Cure and visit their daughter, who herself is a fifth-grade teacher. Although this is only their second Grandparents Day, it has become one of the most special days of the year for them.

“We like to see all of the grandkids perform,” said Janet Reed. “It’s so wonderful.”


— A magical journey of music through generations

What a spectacular celebration of community at our Winter Concert and Grandparent and Special Friends Day! We enjoyed a magical journey through the decades with heartfelt songs of generations sung by our students. After the concert, our guests participated in classroom activities and enjoyed a Then and Now display created by members of our Grandparents’ Circle. We had well over 100 grandparents and special friends in attendance. Some coming from across the country from Texas and Massachusetts and others from as far away as the United Kingdom. We also welcomed our neighbors from Half Moon Village.

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We thank you for all your support of Sea Crest School now and throughout the year.
We wish you peace and joy during this holiday season and into the new year!


— Service Learning

By Wendy Connolly, Seventh & Eighth Grade History Teacher

Service learning is an important component to the eighth-grade History curriculum. The theme this year is Hunger and Poverty. Students started out learning about causes of hunger, Federal poverty lines, state poverty lines and how that compares globally.

Eighth graders did their first service at the San Francisco Food Bank where they learned about the issues of food insecurities in San Francisco and how food banks help. Each year the food bank distributes over 48 million pounds of food to over 225,000 people in San Francisco and Marin. Our students worked for four hours separating oranges. In the end, we boxed 25,000 pounds of citrus. It was a wonderful feeling and we all had fun doing it. If you are interested in working at the San Francisco Food Bank, go to their website. Families with children as young as 5 can volunteer.

Coastside-HopeThe eighth graders are currently working on Coastside Hope, Adopt a Family program. This year Sea Crest is adopting 10 families that are in need of clothes, toys and household items for this upcoming holiday season. Each eighth grader is connected with a grade level class and an adopted family from the coastside. Students are responsible for setting up all the items being asked for, meeting with teachers and classes to explain the program and organizing the items to be taken to Coastside Hope.

Each year it is wonderful to see the generosity and support of Sea Crest families for this local, charitable program!



In the News: Students return to Sea Crest


The Half Moon Bay Review published an article about our wonderful Welcome Back Celebration:

The collective energy was high Aug. 31 as Sea Crest School students punctuated their first day of classes with a party.

The Sea Crest School Welcome Back Celebration kicked into high gear as sharply dressed students zoomed from face painting to the photo booth as fast as their shiny new shoes could carry them. Kids chatted excitedly, comparing notes, as they waited in line for buttery popcorn and other scrumptious snacks.

The Welcome Back Celebration has become a beloved tradition at Sea Crest. It’s a way for kids to connect with each other after the end of a successful day back in the classroom. But the intent behind the event goes much deeper that that.
“On the first day of school at Sea Crest, we came back together as a community and joined back together as a community,” said Head of School, Tekakwitha M. Pernambuco-Wise.

“We talked about the importance of welcoming and including new people into our community and that’s the mindset that we have at Sea Crest,” she said.

Indeed, the Welcome Back Celebration can be a way for new pupils to cement their decision to attend Sea Crest.

The school goes the extra mile to ensure new students are included before they even get to the classroom. During the summer, these families are paired with seasoned “buddy families” who work to share their knowledge of the school while establishing a bond of friendship before the first school bell rings.

The pairing helps ease the transition by ensuring new kids have at least one friendly face on the playground on the first day of school.

While the Welcome Back Celebration is clearly a way to end Day One on a high note, it’s also a way for the school to reconnect with the community immediately surrounding the school.

It was evident in the little touches, like beautiful handmade paper flowers that add a pop of color to the school’s entrance on the first day.

The carefully crafted, vibrant decorations were a gift from the Half Moon Village, a senior housing complex located next door to the school.

“Some of the residents from Half Moon Village came … and they decorated the front of our school,” said Pernambuco-Wise. “They baked some goodies for our faculty and staff and just expressed how happy they are that we’re here.”

The connection between the seniors and the school is one that Pernambuco-Wise has begun to cultivate.

“As the world is changing, more and more of our pupils are living in nuclear families and seeing their grandparents very infrequently,” she said. “We have a wealth of knowledge surrounding us at Sea Crest so it’s important for us to connect with the residents.”

Last year, Pernambuco-Wise started an initiative at the school called the grandparents circle. The program is intended to bridge the gap between the older generations where both parties can share ideas and learn from each other.

“I believe it’s important for the younger generation to connect with the elders,” said Pernambuco-Wise, “to learn from the wisdom of the elders.”


Sea Crest School is dedicated to providing the best in innovative education to inspire and empower our learners to engage curiosity, express creativity, act with compassion, and lead with courage.


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Sea Crest School is nonsectarian in its programs, admission policies, employment practices and all other operations. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, citizenship, national or ethnic origin gender, sexual orientation, or gender identification in the administration of our educational policies, admission policies, tuition assistance programs and athletic or other school-administered programs. © 2016 SEA CREST SCHOOL
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