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December Newsletter

WUSD December 2020 Newsletter


Wiseburn families and friends,

We hope last week's holiday break allowed yourselves and your families time to rest and reconnect with loved ones, even if it was from a distance.

As we enter the last month of 2020 and approach the conclusion of our first semester, the Wiseburn team is continuing to focus efforts on keeping our students engaged and making efforts to bring students back to campus when possible and safe.

Though we've been in the distance learning model in the district since March, as you'll read below in our School Site Spotlights, our teachers and staff continue to find creative ways to engage our students and build community, a critical aspect of our schools.

We also recognize how vital it is to bring students back to campus where possible, when permitted by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LADPH), and — most importantly — when safe for our students, staff, and community.

We have embarked on the two efforts available to us under LADPH rules to bring students back safely. Currently, we have begun bringing in some students with specialized learning needs for in-person assessments and services, during which we follow a strict safety protocol. This effort continues to move forward without incident under Los Angeles County's new restrictions.

As we shared yesterday, we also received the waiver from the LADPH that allows the District to consider a return to campus for our TK-2 students at Anza and Cabrillo in small and stable cohorts and for limited amounts of time. At this time, WUSD will plan for students to return under this waiver at the earliest on January 25, 2021. If you missed yesterday's message on this, you can see it here.

In the meantime, we had the opportunity on Dec. 2 to share directly with the community and answer questions about our COVID-19 operations, including our plans for social distancing, disinfecting, contact tracing, and more. If you weren't able to attend, you can watch the session here.

Though the school year continues to evolve, our efforts to engage, empower, and elevate our students' educational experiences continue to drive our district's operations every day. We thank each of you for your patience and support through this past year, and hope our community stays safe and well this holiday season.

With gratitude,

Blake Silvers, Ed.D., Superintendent

Sign up for the Wiseburn COVID-19 Dashboard email list

We are continually monitoring the COVID-19 data and any applicable Los Angeles County Department of Public Health directives. If you haven’t already, you may opt into the Wiseburn COVID-19 Dashboard email list to get bi-monthly snapshots of the state’s most recent COVID-19 data, context about what that means for schools, and resources relevant to our Wiseburn community.

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Open invite: attend a WUSD board meeting

Wiseburn USD encourages the community to join us at board meetings on Zoom to learn more about our operations, plans, and how we're achieving the district's goals. Regularly scheduled board meeting open session dates are listed on our website and both regular and special board meetings are announced on BoardDocs, which you can always access at the bottom of the Wiseburn website.

Submit a public comment
Members of the public can comment on an upcoming agenda online via this form as listed on BoardDocs. Comments will be collected until 2 p.m. PDT on the day of the next meeting and read by a member of the Wiseburn team into the Board record. If you wish to read your public comment yourself live at an upcoming Board meeting, please indicate so on the form. During the public comment portion of the meeting, your stated email address will be added so you may read your comment live.

Updated December meeting date:

Updates from Wiseburn District Departments

Educational Services

Anza art supplies

Although these boxes may not look like the beginnings of future artistic masterpieces, Principal Paredes and Assistant Principal Masterson made sure all students had what they needed to engage in visual arts projects at Anza Elementary. Funded by the Los Angeles County Arts Initiative and the Wiseburn Education Foundation, all WUSD elementary students, grades TK-5, recently received art supply kits to support 15 virtual art lessons facilitated by professional P.S. Arts resident artists. Individual kits filled with oil pastels, water colors, markers and more provide students with needed materials for hands-on art experiences throughout this school year. Even during this time of distance learning, WUSD students continue to engage in fine arts options, participating in weekly music classes and enjoying home access to outstanding art experiences.


Happy December from the CARE Team! This year is flying by. We are trying to jam-pack our weeks with opportunities for fun and beneficial social-emotional activities. We are thankful for the students and families who participated in our November Flipgrid community event by sharing what makes their family special! Many students commented on each other’s posts to show support and appreciation. We are having a great time with students during Fun Friday Recess, building skills through our social-emotional live classes, and enjoying hearing from students who are able to contact the CARE Team directly through their school activity tile in SchoolsPLP. We continue to invite parents/caregivers to view our recorded workshops, attend our live parent/caregiver counseling groups to help problem-solve, and attend our live family workshop with students. We hope to build on this momentum for December! Please follow us on Instagram @wusdcareteam and mark your calendars with our list of December events!


"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
— Maya Angelou


Our district-wide community-building theme for December is Connection — a link or association between people, things, and/or ideas. It is difficult to balance multiple responsibilities and hard to know what to prioritize. This month, we’d like to focus on how we can shift some of our thinking and some of our actions to accommodate our responsibilities, while also strengthening our emotional connection with our families and community. When we ask ourselves "How can I be useful?" instead of "How can I get this done?" we allow for opportunities for connection. For example, instead of asking "How will I complete my own work and make sure the children"s homework is done?" ask "What does my child need to be successful with their homework and how can I help? What do I need to be most productive with my own work?". Or, instead of "How can I stop my child from screaming every time it’s time to zoom?" ask "What is my child telling me through their actions and how can I help provide them with what they need?". Engage, Elevate, and become Empowered with us as we participate in this month’s activities!

Let's Taco 'Bout December

1st to 7th - National Handwashing Awareness Week
2nd - Special Education Day
3rd - International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Elementary Schools Activities and Opportunities

Family Conversations with the CARE Team and Dana Counselors

This family workshop is intended for parents/caregivers to attend WITH students, to learn, grow, and have conversations as a family.

  • December 7th, 2:00 - 3:00pm
  • December 14th, 5:00 - 6:00pm

Click here to learn more or register.

Conversations with the CARE Team: Connection

This parent/caregiver workshop is intended for parents/caregivers to ask questions and consult with counselors. View the monthly presentation prior to our workshop and attend the zoom for live Q & A.

  • December 8th, 5:00 - 6:00pm
  • December 17th, 2:00 - 3:00pm

Click here to learn more or register.

Project Share

Cabrillo and Anza families participate in gift sharing and receiving! Gifts must be received by December 16th.

  • Deadline: December 16th

Learn how to share gifts for Anza and Cabrillo.

Ongoing Opportunities

CARE Team Fun Friday Recess

Grade level virtual recess facilitated by a CARE Team member. Check SchoolsPLP for schedule.

  • Ongoing

Access through SchoolsPLP Tile.

CARE Team for Community

The CARE Team for Community provides a monthly opportunity for students and caregivers/parents to participate in a cultural awareness/appreciation activity with their school-site.

  • Ongoing

Click here to learn more and access your school-site's Flipgrid.

CARE Team Club Live Classes

Each student, not just those signed up for counseling services, may participate in lessons that will help develop social-emotional skills.

December Connection:
Class 1: Connecting with Others
Class 2: Resolving Conflict
Class 3: Assertiveness

  • Class times vary Mon - Wed at 1:00pm or 1:30pm

Find out more information here and register here.

CARE Team Weekly SEL Asynchronous Lessons

Each student will have access to a weekly lesson that they may work through independently. Coming soon!

  • Ongoing

Access through CARE Team Club SchoolsPLP Tile.

Students Contact the CARE Team

Students can complete this form as often as you'd like just to say "hi" or to request a counselor contact them.

  • Ongoing

Access here and coming soon to SchoolsPLP!

Adults Contact the CARE Team

Consultation, one-on-one, and group counseling services.

  • Ongoing

Click here to contact the CARE Team.

CARE Team Calendar

An activity a day for parents/caregivers and students to complete.

•  Ongoing

Click here to access the CARE Team Calendar

Visit the CARE Team website

Middle School Counseling Department

Hi Dana Families!

As we transition into December (Wow December!) we’d be remiss not to acknowledge some of this past month’s success. We had a great turn out at the Da Vinci Information night for our 8th grade families where 185 attendees gathered on Zoom to learn about high school opportunities for next year! Looking ahead, we will host another PRIDE assembly in December to honor students who practice positive behavior. We will also focus on the theme of Connection as we move into the holidays and winter break! Please tune into our Family and Caregiver workshops. We hope everyone stays safe and healthy during this time. Have a great December everyone!

Middle School Activities and Opportunities

Family Conversations with the CARE Team and Dana Counselors: Connection

This family workshop is intended for parents/caregivers to attend WITH students, to learn, grow, and have conversations as a family.

  • December 7th, 2:00 - 3:00pm
  • December 14th, 5:00 - 6:00pm

Zoom Information Here
Meeting ID: 913 2381 3105
Passcode: Connection

Conversations with Dana Counselors: Connection

This parent/caregiver workshop is intended for parents/caregivers to ask questions and consult with counselors. View the presentation prior to our workshop and drop in to the zoom for live Q & A.

  • December 10th, 9:00 - 10:00am
  • December 16th, 4:00 - 5:00pm

December 10:
Zoom Information Here
Meeting ID: 985 3838 3279
Passcode: 334727

December 16:
Zoom Information Here
Meeting ID: 955 0276 8340
Passcode: 374469

Consultation, one-on-one, and group counseling services

Please use the link on our counseling website to find important information and schedule meetings with us!

•  Ongoing

Visit the DMS counseling website here

Visit the Middle School Counseling Department website

School Site Spotlights

Juan de Anza Elementary School

When Anza transitioned to distance learning in the spring, our teachers worked quickly to adapt their lessons to a virtual classroom, while maintaining a classroom community and connection. Opening a 2020-2021 school year with a new set of students created an added challenge for teachers as they built a classroom community with students they had never met. Although we are not together in person, Anza has maintained and continued to build a community centered around art, SOARing at home, and classroom community circles.

Community Through Art
In collaboration with PS Arts and the Wiseburn Education Foundation, Anza has recently started sharing art lessons. Even though the lessons are completed independently at home in a virtual setting, students are given an opportunity to share their work on our digital bulletin board. This TK-5 experience allows students to see the work of their peers and allow students to feel connected even though they are apart. Check out the work that students have created here: http://bit.ly/anzapsartswall

Anza art lessons

SOARing as a Community
At Anza, our students SOAR, meaning that they are Scholars, Outstanding Citizens, Accountable, and Respectful. In order to continue this Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) practice at home, students participate in weekly recess opportunities with Ms. Masterson, Mr. Paredes, and the CARE Team where the principles of SOAR are put into practice. In addition to practicing SOAR characteristics, students are given an opportunity to engage with their peers outside of the classroom in a fun and engaging setting! The goal is to continue to foster meaningful relationships and create new connections outside of their classroom.

Classroom Community
Last, but definitely not least, is the community building that is occurring on a daily basis in our classrooms. Teachers are finding creative ways to build relationships and community within the virtual classroom. Activities include: holiday projects, community circles, lunch bunch, comedy clubs, Workforce Wednesdays, and games, such as Boggle. Regardless of the current situation, teachers will continue to go above and beyond to make students feel connected and to remind them that they are what makes Anza special.

Follow Juan de Anza Elementary School:

138th St. School

138th Street spotlight

This month 138th Street School would like to spotlight three amazing individuals that are the heart of our school, Mrs. Mary Grace Grammatico, Mrs. Sandy Galdamez, and Mrs. Kristian Forte.

These three amazing ladies have continued to provide support to all our families during these uncertain times. First, Mrs. Mary Grace Grammatico has been with the Wiseburn School District for over 25 years. During her time with the district, Mrs. Grammatico has worked as a health clerk, Kinder and 3rd grade instructional aide, RSP aide, classified substitute, lunch services helper, and an aide with the Boost program. According to Mrs. Grammatico, "Our district feels like a family. Even during these times, we are still here to support our families with anything they need."

In addition to Mrs. Grammatico, we have Mrs. Galdamez, who has been with the district for 6 years. During her time with Wiseburn, Mrs. Galdamez has worked as the front office Clerk and has been a parent in the district for 17 years. "I love helping people," Mrs. Galdamez states, "and seeing children smile."

Finally, we have Mrs. Forte, who is the newest member of our office staff. Mrs. Forte has been with the Wiseburn School District for 3 years. She currently has a 4th grader at 138th Street School, a Junior at Da Vinci Science and a daughter that graduated from Da Vinci Communications. According to Mrs. Forte, "I love Wiseburn School District, the diversity of the schools and the longevity of the teaching staff. It has been the best school district I have worked for in my career."

On behalf of the entire 138th School community, I would like to thank and spotlight Mary Grace, Sandy and Kristian for their commitment to our school and their grace during these unprecedented times.

Follow 138th St. School:
Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

Juan Cabrillo Elementary School

Cabrillo mascot

Community and Democracy Shine Bright at Cabrillo!

There was an important election that took place this November — an election to decide a name for the new mascot at Cabrillo, of course! With the support and creativity of our PTA and teachers, Cabrillo students suggested names for the mascot, which they shared in short videos on Flipgrid, so they could see and hear one another's ideas. Their spectacularly creative name suggestions ranged from Peanut Butter to Unity to Leo (because it rhymes with Cabrillo!) and more. One wonderful student even suggested naming our mascot in honor of his recently deceased turtle, as a tribute to his pet. After nearly ninety names were suggested by students, the Cabrillo teachers held a "primary" to reduce the field to five top contenders. Then, during our November drive-through materials pick up, students were able to cast their votes. The race was tight, but in the end "Buddy" won the day. The winning name was announced by Mrs. Wilberg during a fun, live Zoom event. Many thanks to our PTA for supporting this activity and to the volunteers who staffed our polling station. This election was truly a community affair, bringing together families, teachers, and students. It was loads of fun to see our youngest students learning about an election by participating in one!

Follow Juan Cabrillo Elementary School:
Instagram | Facebook

R.H. Dana Middle School


Dana is incredibly proud of our dedicated teaching staff and is excited to spotlight Mr. Andy de Seriere. When you think PLTW (Project Lead the Way), you think of Mr. D.

By partnering with local companies like Northrop Grumman and Chevron, Mr. D has created a community that educates, promotes and celebrates STEM. He is dedicated to his students' learning and believes in providing hands-on building experiences.

This dedication translates to afternoon Robotics clubs, weekend Hackathon challenges, and a classroom filled with tools and building supplies. His goal is to get every student to say, "I know an engineer" and works tirelessly to make this a reality.

By creating a network of STEM resources, Mr. D provides students unique opportunities to collaborate and work alongside engineers in a number of different fields. He brings people, resources, and ingenuity together to create a thriving STEM community. Not only is Mr. D a talented educator, but he is also a writer! Mr. D’s journey to bring STEM to Dana and the district was recently published in the September 2020 issue of Next Gen Navigator. With teachers like Mr. D, we know our students are receiving a rich education and exposure to the engineering world.

Follow R.H. Dana Middle School:
Instagram | Facebook

Have questions about your school site's communications, operations, or specific issues?

Remember you can always reach out to your school site. Find phone numbers online here or reach out to your school site secretary via email:

Juan de Anza Elementary School: Susan Castellanos (scastellanos@wiseburn.org)
138th Street School: Kristian Forte-Hill (kforte@wiseburn.org)
Juan Cabrillo Elementary School: Laura Nilsson (lnilsson@wiseburn.org)
Dana Middle School: Sarah Moulton (smoulton@wiseburn.org)