School Reopening Offers Options, Excitement Grows

By TECS News Team

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School Reopening Offers Options, Excitement Grows
Kindergartner Harlow Hexum can’t wait to be in school again
Envisioning the future as schools across the state plan their reopening, many of our young students cannot wait to be there: “I’m so excited to see all my friends and my teachers! It’s been a whole year and I really miss them!” says Kindergartner Harlow Hexum. With the school gearing up for an eagerly awaited return to in-person instruction, Topanga Elementary principal, Mr. Kevin Kassebaum aka “Principal K,” as he is known around campus, hosted a town hall on Monday, March 15, to share updates from the District and to address parents’ questions about what a return to campus would look like. Mr. Kassebaum said that many of the protocols in place will exceed state guidelines. While the campus is being prepared for children and staff to safely return, there will still be the option for families to continue to do online learning. He acknowledged that some aspects of the back-to-school rollout will be evolving over the next few weeks until reopening. At press time, the latest information from LAUSD is that instruction will be in morning or afternoon “cohorts” one from 8-11 a.m., the other from 12-3 p.m. Children will also be able to join free childcare programs on site from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day. Principal K also announced that TECS is accepting previously enrolled students, should a family wish to return to the campus for the remainder of the school year. Many of the TECS teachers have adapted to team-teaching and have learned many new skills. With the demands of virtual learning now under their belts, we know that these educators will rise to the new challenges of adapting to in-person cohorts with the same positive and resourceful attitude that they instilled in our children through remote learning during the pandemic. Teachers have praised the children for how responsible and adaptable they have become and how well they have managed during this trying time. Kindergarten teacher Mrs. Kort, says, “My kids are so excited and make me laugh every day. They are so excited because many have not been in our schoolroom ever!” Community support of Topanga Elementary when it is on the cusp of re-opening to in-person instruction, reflects the critical connection between community and school. We are proud to offer a well-rounded education, with a focus on the arts and environmental science. The students, teachers, and parents do not do it alone. Support from the community supports school “extras,” such as class aides, art, and science, and In return, the school enriches the community. One of the school’s long-term supporters of TEP (Topanga Enrichment Programs booster club) is the Topanga Town Council. “The vitality and health of Topanga is integral to the success of our school. TEP platinum supporter, realtor Olga Crawford of Sotheby’s International Realty, explains why she supports TECS. “Topanga Elementary is part of what makes Topanga unique. The vibrant school serves all of us, not only those whose children attend.” This sentiment is mirrored by The Malibu Association of REALTORS who are “proud to support Topanga Elementary as an investment in our community. Quality educational programs such as this are a benefit to everyone.” The wider SoCal area also supports the school. The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation and Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors (Third District County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl) are committed to investing in young scientists. They generously provide grants to support, among other activities, a dedicated science teacher and laboratory, the science fair, and special events like raptor day. The largest annual fundraiser for Topanga Elementary, the Spring Auction, is on and seeking donations of auction items. While we are still pondering the feasibility of a live event later this spring, one thing is certain: Topanga Elementary will be having an online auction filled with wonderful art, crafts, jewelry, clothing, gift certificates, restaurant dinners, experiences, vacation homes, and more, but the auction needs you! What is unique about you, your business, or your family that you can contribute? A certificate for live theater when it opens up again? A week at a vacation house in Mexico or Mammoth? A sculpture or a hand-knitted beanie? Do you work at a video game company that has cool shirts or video games you can donate? Are you a master chef and able to teach an online cooking class for adults or children? Donations are tax deductible. As we look eagerly to re-opening this month, the funds raised by the auction will get us off to a great re-start! Email for more details on how you can contribute to our vibrant school.

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April 02, 2021

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