Saturday, June 18, 2022

Greeting from Our Principal

 It is my great honor and privilege to serve as the principal of Walgrove. 

Walgrove is a vibrant community replete with positive energy, artistic and entrepreneurial exuberance and big dreams. I am excited about all that we will together create! 

To share a bit about myself, I have been an educator for close to 29 years, 21 as a teacher and 8 as an administrator. I have taught nearly all grades and subjects from bilingual kindergarten in East Oakland to Advanced Placement English Literature in Beverly Hills. 

As an administrator, I have served students at a charter span school in Carson and more recently the juvenile court schools for the Los Angeles County Office of Education. 

My passions include creativity, rigor, experimentation, entrepreneurship and interdisciplinary project-based work where students dream, discover, craft and create and ultimately become all they are meant to become. 

It is a joy to be immersed in a place where the arts and humanities play a role in unmasking the complexities of math and science and where students are cultivated to become skilled and confident leaders and collaborators. 

I am thrilled to work in an environment where social-emotional growth is emphasized alongside academic prowess, recognizing that in addition to scholarship, students must build social skills and emotional intelligence in order to become truly great leaders poised to effect positive change in our ever-evolving global family. 

With its Wildlands, STEAM Studio, Edible Garden, theater program, small burgeoning farm and myriad other offerings, I am convinced that Walgrove is the quintessential den of creativity and a truly unique place where children both flourish and are happy. With great eagerness and enthusiasm, I look forward to another fantastic year with all of you. 

If you have any questions, concerns, ideas or dreams, please share them with me. I would love to hear from you. 

Principal Andrea Kittelson, EdD

Thursday, June 2, 2022

School Safety Update

Dear Walgrove Families and Staff, 

To ensure a school community that is as safe as possible, please help us adhere to the following:

School Access:

  • All gates locked at all times, other than during arrival and dismissal when they are manned.
  • At least one gatekeeper per gate should have on an orange (or yellow) vest. 
  • All gatekeepers must screen entrants for COVID symptoms.
  • No doors to the outdoor world may be propped open.
  • All BIIs the gatekeepers don't recognize and substitute BIIs and substitute teachers and parent volunteers must enter through the front office. Only 5-minute parent escorts, LAUSD employees and non-LAUSD BIIs that you recognize may enter through the side gates. And all must sign in at the front office, anyway.
  • All parents who are staying longer than a 5-minute escort to class must have advance approval from the Principal. The exception is volunteers who work a regular schedule (e.g., M-W-F)
  • All parent volunteers must wear their badge.
  • All visitors must wear a visitor sticker.
  • All aides and assistants must wear orange (or yellow) vests while manning the gate and/or supervising the yard.
  • All staff must have email and/or text at the ready for cases of emergency.

Student Property:

  • Students may not use electronic devices during or after school. All devices on hand for emergencies should be left in backpacks. 
  • Students are strongly discouraged from bringing toys to school, as they may incite conflict, be a danger to younger children (or our prized flora and fauna) or be lost or stolen. Please keep your Pokemon cards and other similar toys at home. We have games and activities at school for use during recess, lunch and after school. If you do bring toys, despite this plea, please assume your own risk.
  • Students should not distribute or share food, as there are many students with different types of allergies and others with yet-to-be-known allergies. Any/all food distribution should be handled officially through teachers in concert with the principal, as there are competitive food laws and other health laws to consider. 
  • Students should honor and respect their own possessions and the possessions of others. Please don't leave behind clothes on the ground. If you see someone's jacket on the ground, kindly bring it to them. Don't interfere with other students' books and papers and materials in or on their desks. Treat our things with the same respect we strive to treat one another. 

COVID Safety:

  • LAUSD staff, registered parent volunteers and students should test weekly.
  • All who are sick with something contagious, either COVID or a cold, should stay home. 
  • If you test positive, isolate and test again on Day 6 or beyond. Come back to work or school as soon as you test negative (or after 10 days have passed). 
  • If there is a positive case in a class, all others in that class should mask for 10 days. 
  • For special events that are outdoors (e.g., assemblies, volunteer days and WeMoves), we recommend negative tests and masks. For special events that are indoors, we require negative tests and recommend masks. 

Thank you for helping us all be as safe as possible while still espousing as much joy as possible!

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Coffee and Diet Coke with the Principal Thurs at 9am

This week's Coffee and Diet Coke with the Principal will include information on Long-Term English Language Learners (LTELS) for those of you with children who are English Language Learners in the upper grades. Thursday at 9am in Dr. K's Zoom room.

El Café y Coca-Cola Light de esta semana con el director incluirá información sobre los estudiantes del idioma inglés a largo plazo para aquellos de ustedes con niños que son estudiantes del idioma inglés en los grados superiores. Jueves a las 9am en la sala Zoom del Dr. K.

Monday, May 16, 2022

STAR Applications Accepted AFTER Thurs @ 8pm

Dear Walgrove Families, 

As promised, here is the fillable STAR (and Beyond the Bell) application for the 2022-2023 school year. (Download and re-open it before filling it out. OR print it out. Then complete it and send it by email to NO EARLIER THAN THURS NIGHT AT 8.

We are registering folks electronically again this year for a few reasons:

1. It is easier for those who cannot come in person or who have to travel far
2. It is easy to timestamp since emails are super precise in their display of the time
3. It prevents folks from gathering in person during a pandemic

Please submit your application NO EARLIER THAN THURSDAY NIGHT (MAY 19) @ 8 PM. 

We will only consider electronic applications STARTING THURSDAY AT 8 PM. 

No early applications will be accepted. 

No in-person or hard-copy applications will be accepted.  

Please reach out if you need help with the technology. 

Students will be admitted to STAR in order of receipt (first-come, first-serve).

Hopefully, the District will accept all other applicants into Beyond the Bell (which is less structured than STAR). 

During the 2021-2022 year, the two programs were one-and-the-same. 

But, let's hope that they are bifurcated next year as during previous years (or open to all) and all who need after school care receive after school care. 

Family Art Night May 31

Sign up here:

Tuesday, May 3, 2022


New LAUSD guidance says that all asymptomatic indoor-close contacts, vaccinated or unvaccinated, MAY come to school but MUST wear a "highly protective" mask for 10 days after exposure. (This starts Wednesday, May 4, 2022.)

Here is this new District info with pertinent parts in yellow: 

LAUSD Guidance

Here, also:

LA County Guidelines for the workplace

LA County Guidelines for schools.

So, the guidance is no longer that only unvaccinated household members must quarantine. Now, symptomatic indoor-close contacts must quarantine (and of course positive cases must isolate). Asymptomatic household members, and asymptomatic indoor-close contacts may resume normal activity -- masked. 

And ALL indoor-close contacts of all stripes must wear high-quality-masks indoors for 10 days.

So, if there is a positive case in a class, it is likely that the positive case will stay home and all asymptomatic others, including classmates and siblings in other classes, whether vaccinated or not, will come to school and wear high-quality-masks indoors for 10 days.

Between Day 5 and Day 10 of isolation, positive individuals may visit any symptomatic testing location to have a rapid test administered. 

Sites can be found at Appointments are not required.  Students are strongly encouraged to have their rapid test administered and read at the testing site.

ALL students and staff must also test weekly. (This is easy!)

In order to facilitate this new paradigm, I am required to engage in contact tracing -- keep track of cases, keep track of close contacts, keep track of their symptoms if they emerge, and keep watch of their adherence to masking policies. I will do my best. 

While it would be easier to just mandate indoor masking for all, the District (and the County) is having us embark upon this new adventure, most likely to ensure that as many students as possible can attend school.

I thank you for your cooperation. 

What is UTK?

UTK, or Universal Transitional Kindergarten, is basically (but not quite) an amalgamation of ETK and TK -- but with UTK at all public schools, expanded age criteria, and no limit on family income. 

So now, any student who turns 5 between September 2 of the current academic year and September 1 of the subsequent year qualifies for UTK for the current year. 

So, if you have a munchkin who will turn 5 between September 2, 2022 and September 1, 2023, your munchkin qualifies for UTK during the 2022-2023 school year. (If they turn 5 before then, they qualify for kinder, and currently, we are combining UTK and kinder.)

While both of our UTK classes are currently also combo kinder classes, if enrollemnt surges, we will be allowed to open a new kinder class. (So, let's recruit!)

In the meantime, we will put the youngest among us with Ms. B in what would have been an ETK class. They will be in Rm 1. We will put the older kiddos with Ms. Zeena in Rm 4. However, this is just our initial goal. If 20 kindergarteners walk in and only 10 UTK, then we shall see. Then one UTK class and one K class. It all depends on who walks in the door. We will also take into consideration parent preference based on their knowledge of their child/ren. 

The good news is that both Ms. Zeena and Ms. B are fantastic teachers who will do great regardless. 

(So is Ms. Chin who will be teaching first grade!)

2022-2023 Matrix

What this will likely look like:

UTK-K - the younger kiddos w/ Ms. Alejandra Biolatto in Rm 1
UTK-K - the older kiddos w/Ms. Zeena Pliska in Rm 4
1 - Ms. Nancy Chin in Rm 5
1 - Ms. Jacqueline Lettieri in Rm 8
2 - Ms. Ana Lima in Rm 11
2-3 - Mr. Ruben Gonzalez in Rm 24
3 - Mr. Doug Merrick in Rm 9
4-5 - Ms. Elvia Perez in Rm 21
4-5 - Ms. Lynn Webster in Rm 20

UTK-1 SDC - Ms. Cindy Mazariegos in Rm 3
2-3 SDC - Ms. Lus Luis in Rm 25
4-5 SDC - Ms. Kathy Elkins in Rm 19
ALT TK-3 - Mr. Matt Stansbury in Rm 2
ALT 4-5 - Mr. Steve Choe in Rm 6

Ms. Nancy Griffin as Primary Promise teacher in Rm 16. 

If more kindergarteners enroll than E-CAST has projected, we will open a Kinder class. Ms. Chin will teach that class, and we will hire a new first-grade teacher. That would happen over the summer or by the first five weeks of school. (Norm Day is the fifth Friday.) If more families enroll during that time - by Norm Day, we will open more classes. With 10 acres, we have the space. We definitely have the love!

Monday, May 2, 2022

Mark Twain Info

If you plan to send your child to Mark Twain next year, we have some updates and announcements. 

For those of you interested in having your child assessed for the highly accelerated mathematics program, please click on the link and complete the form - 

We are offering two assessment dates in May: 

Saturday May 14th at 9am
Tuesday May 17th at 3pm

In addition, please know that Saturday, May 14th 9:00 am to 12:30 pm will be our last Saturday enrollment day. 

Thank you so much. Take care and have a great rest of your week.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

It's Spring Time - Be on the Lookout

Dear Parents

Infestation with head lice is a common occurrence in the school and community. School nurses check children for lice and exclude those who are infested. Your support is very important and highly appreciated in helping to control this problem. We highly recommend that you check your child's hair, clothes, and bedding every day for any signs of lice or nits. Adult lice are tan or grayish-white and the size of a sesame seed. The nits (eggs) are silver-gray in color and are attached to the hair. They cluster around the hairline at the back of the neck, around the ears, and across the front and top area of the head.   

Infestation by lice causes frequent itching of the scalp. If you suspect that your child or any family member has been infested with head lice, you may contact your physician. There are several over-the-counter treatments for head lice available from your pharmacist. It has been found that it may take more than one treatment to destroy the infestation. Carefully follow the directions given on the package to ensure proper treatment.  Do not use insecticides, gasoline or other home preparations on your child's hair. Shaving the hair is not necessary. Children with lice infestation may return to school after appropriate treatment. 

After treatment, a special nit removal comb should be used to remove all nits (eggs) from the hair. One inch of hair should be combed at a time for successful removal of the nits. A long absence from school is not necessary. 

If you would like to consult the school nurse during school hours for screening or checking, please feel free to call. 


Estimado Padres

Un hecho que ocurre con frecuencia en la escuela y en la comunidad es la aparición de piojos que infestan la cabeza. La enfermera escolar examinará la cabeza de los niños para comprobar si están infestadas y excluirá a quienes tengan piojos. Su colaboración es muy importante y sumamente apreciada para ayudarnos a controlar este problema. Le recomendamos encarecidamente que revise el pelo, las ropas y la ropa de cama de su hijo todos los días por cualquier indicio de piojos o liendres. 

Los piojos adultos son de color tostado o entre grisáceo y blanco y del tamaño de una semilla de sésamo. Las liendres (huevos) son de color entre plateado y gris y están agarradas al pelo. Se amontonan alrededor de la raíz del pelo en la parte posterior del cuello, alrededor de las orejas, y en la parte de la frente y la parte de arriba de la cabeza. 

La infestación causa frecuente picazón en el cuero cabelludo. Si sospecha que su hijo o algún miembro de su familia tiene la cabeza infestada con piojos, puede contactar a su médico. Hay varios tratamientos que se pueden comprar sin receta en la farmacia. Se ha descubierto que podría necesitarse más de un tratamiento para destruir la infestación. Siga las instrucciones del paquete cuidadosamente para asegurarse que aplica el tratamiento como es debido. No use insecticidas, gasolina u otra preparación casera en el pelo de su hijo. No es necesario que le afeite la cabeza. Los niños que han tenido la cabeza infestada con piojos pueden regresar a la escuela después de haber recibido un tratamiento apropiado. 

Después del tratamiento, debe usarse un peine especial para despegar todas las liendres (huevos) que están agarradas al pelo. Hay que peinar una pulgada de cabello a la vez para eliminar con éxito las liendres. No es necesaria una ausencia prolongada a clases. Puede llamar a la enfermera durante horario escolar si desea consultarla sobre una revisión.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

COVID Test Over the Break

 Dear Families and Staff, 

Please use the two COVID tests you were given today to test yourself for COVID on either Saturday, April 16 or Sunday, April 18 for a return to school Monday, April 18. 

Thank you, and be well!

Monday, March 21, 2022

Paul Revere Orientation for New Families May 21


Rites and Bites of the Roundtable is Back!

We will be inviting all students Gr 1-5 who have been designated by the District or their teachers as Gifted or potentially Gifted to our weekly Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) meeting Fridays during Lunch starting Friday, April 1, 2022

This is an opportunity for students to gather with others who, like them, may sometimes feel strange or odd or out of place or frustrated by how quickly they understand things (while others don't) yet are misunderstood themselves. 

While our classes are purposefully heterogeneous so that all students might learn from others who are different from them, (and no one is limited daily by not having a particular label), we create this regular opportunity for students to be with likeminded peers in a setting where they are free to discuss their unique experience AND work together on various projects. 

Previous projects have included songwriting, storytelling, building Lego Utopias and more. 

This week's activity will be an interdisciplinary in-class scavenger hunt followed by Lego exploration. 

I will alert teachers and families of the current invite list this week. 

Students who choose NOT to participate on any given Friday certainly do not have to. This is Optional.

Mark Twain Parent Tour April 7


Friday, March 4, 2022

Ms. Zeena's Book Signing March 13

Our own Zeena Pliska, TK teacher and children's author extraordinaire, will read aloud from her book and sign copies (either bring one or buy one) Sunday, March 13 in Westchester. 

@ Manchester and Sepulveda, near the Farmers Market.