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Welcome Letter

August 1, 2021

Dear parents,

After the past year-and-a-half filled with remote and hybrid learning, good times are back. We will open the 2021-2022 school year with a rejuvenated appreciation for how truly special it is to be back together again. It will be an absolute blessing to have students learning in-person with their real-life teachers in an actual classroom instead of on Zoom or through video recordings. For a school that will be celebrating its 98th school year, I am optimistic that this year will be one of restoration in which we will replenish our enrollment numbers and have all our students and staff back together on one schedule. We will once again provide our students with a balanced elementary school experience focused on vital 21st century skills such as written and verbal communication, collaboration, problem solving, and creative thinking alongside a full enrichment program including music, dance, art, fitness, and technology literacy. Now more than ever, we believe that this dual commitment is essential to educating well-rounded children.

In this new school year, we will carry on with our school-wide, established innovative programs: Write…From the Beginning, Engineering is Elementary, Lego Robotics & MindUP. You can expect to learn more about how these programs are being implemented in your child’s grade level at Back to School Night. With the support of our teaching staff, Carpenter’s Governance Council, Parents for Carpenter (PFC), PTA and the hard work of our amazing parents and guardians we all can look forward to the following exciting additions:

  • Full in-person learning with regular recess and lunch periods
  • In-person return of Carpenter’s Enrichment program
  • The continuation of collaboration between our Diversity and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice Committees to explicitly fight racism in all aspects of school life at Carpenter
  • Phase II of our implementation of a math textbook that incorporates Singapore Math strategies (Eureka Math)
  • Phase II of our implementation of the science textbook (FOSS)
  • Full-time librarian (fifth consecutive year)
  • Additional First grade classroom teacher funded by Carpenter’s Governance Council (eleventh consecutive year)
  • Full implementation of the Engineering is Elementary program in grades K-5
  • Classroom Robotics Instruction for Grades 2 - 5
  • Expansion of the VEX IQ Competition Team, an after school robotics program for grades 4-5
  • The continuation of our highly popular 180Place - a safe, supervised playground area for students with injuries and/or students in need of assistance with interpersonal relationship
  • Phase V of our implementation of LAUSD’s Restorative Justice practices to promote and strengthen positive school culture

Another exciting change to our school this year is the arrival of new teachers and staff members who are all very eager to become active members of our community. I am thrilled to announce that we have hired three amazing enrichment teachers and seven phenomenal classroom teachers to join our staff.

Enrichment

  • Karen Rubin – Ms. Rubin will oversee our science program for all students TK-5.  She has over 30 years of experience teaching elementary school, preschool, and early childhood learning.  Ms. Rubin is very excited to collaborate with our teaching staff and maintain our school's focus on science and the Next Generation Science Centers.  She also looks forward to integrating our outdoor garden, animals, and outdoor science lab.  She could not be happier to meet everyone and become a part of the Carpenter family.
  • Anthony Fedorov – Mr. Fedorov will be our new primary music teacher for all TK/K/1 students.  He has extensive experience in off-Broadway shows and both regional and international theater.  For the past three years, Mr. Fedorov has taught primary music (Pre-K & K) classes in Los Angeles.  He uses music to teach children critical developmental skills and empathy and believes that music can be used to nurture a child's love and enthusiasm for learning.
  • Matthew Rivera –We are very pleased to announce that Mr. Rivera will be providing direct art instruction to our primary students this year.  Mr. Rivera previously taught art at Carpenter before the pandemic.  PFC and the school administration could not be more excited to welcome back art instruction to the Enrichment program under Mr. Rivera’s leadership.

Kindergarten

  • Rachelle Wells - One of our most trusted substitute teachers for the past five years. Ms. Wells has had a long list of long-term substitute positions at our school in all grade levels.  She has opened (and closed) school years for numerous teachers out on medical leave.  In each of those situations, Ms. Wells did a stellar job of implementing the curriculum, collaborating with our staff, and maintaining communication with parents.  Ms. Wells has also worked extensively at a number of our sister schools in the Studio City area. She looks forward to formally beginning her permanent teaching career at Carpenter.
  • Patriece Issac – Ms. Isaac has taught kindergarten for the past couple of years at Queen Anne Place ES in Los Angeles.  Before joining the staff at Queen Anne, she was also a substitute teacher with LAUSD where she got lots of experience in all grade levels and in different communities.  Ms. Isaac also previously worked as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (a sworn officer of the court who is responsible to help define the best interest of children and nonminors under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court).  Ms. Isaac looks forward to collaborating with her new grade level colleagues and identifying areas where she can assist our school.
  • Noor Elmasri – We are very excited to introduce Ms. Elmasri to our kindergarten team.  She is the product of our local public schools.  She attended Colfax Charter, Walter Reed MS, and the Highly Gifted Magnet at North Hollywood HS.  This background gives her a unique perspective and understanding of student learning in our school community.  Ms. Elmasri is a recent graduate of the highly regarded Integrated Teacher Education Program at California State University, Northridge. Her enthusiasm and high expectations for student learning will make her a wonderful addition to our staff.

Second Grade

  • Kathleen Kim – Ms. Kim has taught for the past 14 years at Warner ES in West Los Angeles.  At Warner, she taught kindergarten for six years and third grade for eight years.  She has been the designated EL teacher for her grade level, a grade level rep, and the co-chair of the school's hospitality committee.  She has extensive experience working with EL, special education, and GATE students.  In addition, she is very skilled at using small group instruction to meet the needs of her students.  Ms. Kim places an emphasis on collaboration and teamwork and strives to cultivate a safe environment where her students feel a strong sense of trust.  She looks forward to being an active member of our staff and building new relationships in our school community.

Fourth Grade

  • Roxanna Dixon - After a two-year leave that took her to Welby Way and Hesby Oaks, we are very happy to announce that Ms. Dixon is rejoining the Carpenter staff.  She previously was a member of our teaching staff for three years. Ms. Dixon has her GATE certification through Cal State Fullerton as well as her National Board Certification since 2017.  She is highly skilled at differentiating instruction and organizing students to work collaboratively in small groups.  In 2019, Ms. Dixon moved out to Thousand Oaks and as a result transferred to a Welby Way in the West Valley.  We are thrilled that she is returning home where she belongs.
  • Ani Perez – We are so fortunate to welcome Ms. Ani Perez to our fourth grade  teaching staff.  She has taught fourth grade at two local schools (Monlux ES and Bellingham ES).  She also served as an instructional coach at Gledhill Magnet ES.  She was unable to stay at those locations due to a combination of low seniority and loss of enrollement at those schools.  She has extensive experience teaching students of diverse demographics.  In addition, Ms. Perez has experience leading STEAM curriculum so she will be right at home at Carpenter.  She looks forward to being involved in all aspects of our school.

Fifth Grade

  • Lara Stuback - Carpenter has had a great deal of success recruiting middle school teachers to teach our fifth-grade classes.  Mrs. Greenlee previously taught at Millikan MS, and Mrs. Shahine taught at Walter Reed MS before joining our staff.  To add to that impressive list, we have hired Lara Stuback from Emerson Community Charter MS in Westwood.  At Emerson, Ms. Stuback was the highly accelerated honors math and science teacher for the past four years.  Like Ms. Dixon, Lara is also a National Board Certificated Teacher.  Before her experience at Emerson, Ms. Stuback was a Resource teacher at Kenter Canyon Affiliated Charter which is a very similar school to Carpenter.  She has a great deal of experience teaching both GATE and special education students.  For the past couple of years at Emerson, she led the school's nationally recognized competitive Speech and Debate Team.  Ms. Stuback is very excited to join our school community.

To say that I am excited about this upcoming year would be a total understatement. My staff and I are committed to making this school year an absolute success. We look forward to establishing new relationships with our new students and families, and we are thrilled to welcome back our returning students and families. We pledge to maintain a growth mindset and a spirit of appreciation for the ability to provide our complete academic and enrichment programs at full capacity. Our goal will be to use some of the positive effects of the pandemic (more awareness of our personal health and inner strength to face future challenges) to provide our students a safe environment where they can learn and grow. Nelson Mandela once said, “There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.” We will model for our students a renewed sense of appreciation for the ability to have in-person learning this year. Carpenter is more than ready to take back the reins from Zoom to reclaim its position as the blueprint for public education in Los Angeles.

 
Joseph Martinez 2015
Sincerely,

Joseph P. Martinez

Principal