Our Rossmoor - A Great Place To Live Since 1957

Our Rossmoor Schools

Mary Ann Remnet, Community Engagement
Mary Ann Remnet, Community Engagement Coordinator

When I accepted the RHA’s invitation to become the RHA’s Community Engagement Coordinator, I asked myself, “who is in our community, and what do we know about them?” Then I asked the RHA Board. They responded with several organizations. Most of the responses included mention of our four elementary schools. And that’s where I started my quest for discovery. Allow me to reintroduce our schools to you – oftentimes they seem like our best-kept secret.

This article isn’t about what I discovered but rather, it is about the 2700 students and nearly 400 teachers and staff who are in Rossmoor’s four elementary schools, Monday through Friday – every week. Our schools continue to be noteworthy, especially for one indisputable fact: the generational families, still in Rossmoor recall their years as students here. Each year, Rossmoor’s schools are cited as a crown jewel in our community. Ask any Realtor.

Yet unless a Rossmoor family has a child in one of the schools, it is hard to describe what happens once the students are dropped off and picked up from one of our schools’ circular drives. There is so much more going on, as the RHA discovered, by sharing a grab-n-go lunch with the teachers and staff of each school on each campus.

Nicks Deli Of Seal Beach

The RHA partnered with Nick’s Deli II in Los Alamitos, to make and deliver sandwiches on a prescheduled Friday – just to say thank you. Everyone knows that towards the end of a school week, even something small makes a difference, in a teacher’s life. Without any fanfare, we shared with them that “it’s just lunch.”  We wanted to tangibly express that we were “pitching in” to lighten their loads and were surprised by the number of them who thanked us for “giving them 15 minutes of extra time in the morning because they didn’t have to pack a lunch.”

 

Thanking the School Teachers & Staff

While we set out to thank them, however, the RHA was given a greater gift in getting to know the “heart” of our schools. We had an opportunity to personally thank the teachers and staff members, and as we discovered, once one enters the school grounds, every adult on each campus is busy and engaged – doing their jobs, with enthusiasm, and personal attention to every person they encounter – EVERY person. They have earned (and continue to earn) every single day, the stellar reputations our schools enjoy, because of their attention to excellence. Each school has its own personality, guided by the visions and passions of its principals.

Weaver Whales
Jack L. Weaver Home Of The Whales

Weaver Elementary

Our first visit was to Rossmoor’s second elementary school, which opened in 1959, Jack L. Weaver school. Weaver, home of the spirited Weaver Whales is guided by the plans and visions of Principal Dr. Todd Schmidt. The school, named after Los Alamitos School District’s first superintendent of schools, is the only school in the district that operates on a year-round schedule, and is the “second home” to 675 students, as they grow and learn.

In the two short years since starting as principal, Dr. Schmidt has rolled out Weaver’s STEAM classes complete with a teacher solely dedicated to the Media Center; this was in collaboration with Friends of Weaver (FOW), Weaver’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and the Los Alamitos Education Foundation (LAEF). He continues to work with teachers and staff to find ways to utilize technology as a

Weaver Elementary School - Welcome Back &Amp; Thank You Grab 'N Go Lunch

means of enhancing student learning and teacher efficacy. Volunteers working tirelessly, endlessly give for our students – FOW’s primary fundraiser, its Saturday Night Weaver Gala will be happening on March 22, 2022, at Old Ranch Country Club, in Seal Beach. FOW supports

Weaver Elementary School - Welcome Back &Amp; Thank You Grab 'N Go Lunch

Weaver’s STEAM instructor, intervention teacher, media center renovations, and student enrichment tools. We can’t thank them enough. While the State of California and our district is forced to make decisions that could compromise or eliminate any programs, our volunteers rush in to find and raise funds to ensure the continuity and stability of the programs in each school. More info to come later, on the gala.

Richard Henry Lee - Leopards
Richard Henry Lee Home Of The Leopards

Lee Elementary

Continuing on with our next visit, we had lunch at Richard Henry Lee School – Home of the Lee Leopards and 645 students (supported by 25 teachers and related staff). Lee School opened in 1964 and was named after the American statesman and Founding Father from Virginia, who is most noted for making the motion calling for the colonies’ independence from Great Britain (1776 Lee Resolution), which led to the Declaration of Independence, which he signed.

Guided by the Visions of Principal Amy Vento, the school’s emphasis on literacy, social-emotional wellness, and equity in schools is evident. Ms. Vento, recognized for her efforts and awarded a California Teacher of the Year distinction, brings knowledge, enthusiasm, and excellence to everything she does, which is apparent the moment one steps onto the school grounds.

Lee Elementary School - Welcome Back &Amp; Thank You Grab 'N Go LunchAs with all of the Rossmoor school support programs, Lee School is exceptionally active with its volunteer fundraising efforts. The Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) and its Lee Educational Assistance Program (LEAP), are indispensable and tireless, reaching higher and higher to expand possibilities and programs for the students. By state law, PTA’s are limited in what their funds can be used for, such as funding personnel, but in working together, the two parent-run non-profits augment programs and activities, as well as additional personnel where needed. Additionally, LEAP’s fundraising goal of $100,000 this year, will continue to provide funding for commitments of previous years, such as

  • Funding of a credentialed teacher to provide technology education classes
  • Providing Accelerated Reader (AR) software that provides a comprehensive reading program, personalized to each student’s needs
  • Updating computer hardware and software (including PCs, smart boards, and printers in each classroom, iPads, and other tablets)
  • Funding a media center instructional aide and
  • Hosting a family science night

More information on ways to help Lee’s PTA and LEAP programs in helping our students will be posted as opportunities become available.

 

 

Hopkinson Home Of The Huskies
Hopkinson Home Of The Huskies

Hopkinson Elementary

Every school we visited had its own personality and direction, and the focus on empowering and engaging people towards excellence in their programs at Hopkinson Elementary School was evident from my first telephone contact in setting up the lunch. Hopkinson Elementary School, which opened in 1963, was named for another US statesman and signatory to the Declaration of Independence, Francis Hopkinson.

Principal Evelyn Garcia leads her Hopkinson Huskies by encouraging and inspiring, with a focus on providing each student, teacher, and staff member unlimited opportunities to reach for the sky and excel by doing their best work. An excerpt from her welcome letter to her parents epitomizes everything she does:

“We believe that ALL children can learn and prosper. Our signature instructional practices provide students with a rigorous and fulfilling academic experience. The infusion of collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking

Hopkinson Elementary School - Welcome Back &Amp; Thank You Grab 'N Go Lunch

skills arm our students for success in a rapidly changing global society.”

She understands how to find resources, recognizes their importance, and intuitively knows where all the pieces fit. If I only had two words to describe her, those words would be “can do.”

The Hopkinson PTA oversees many of the activities that happen on campus, in addition to their general fundraising. Some of the programs they support are the annual Book Fair, May Carnival, Family Nights at local restaurants, Spirit Gear sales, School Cents at local malls, and School Supply Packages.

The Friends of Hopkinson (FOH) program is working to put together essential technology components to ensure student success. Through funding from FOH, Hopkinson provides funding for a dedicated full-time credentialed media center teacher. Currently, they are working on modernizing their computer lab, raising funds to support a new iMac lab.

It was an especially thrilling day as our lunch was interrupted by the students’ zeal during their outside lunch hour, at they were surprised by a mini air show, with the Blue Angels flying across the horizon, practicing for their upcoming airshow. So Fun!

Rossmoor Home Of The Knights
Rossmoor Home Of The Knights

Rossmoor Elementary

Rossmoor School, named after, well…… Rossmoor! Rossmoor Elementary School was our first elementary school, that opened in 1958, and it certainly has a personality, all its own. Under the guidance and visions of Principal Amy Colley, the Rossmoor Knights embrace that learning can be fun – and that all students are connected to one another! Ms. Coltey, embracing the theme of knighthood, sorts each Knight to a fearless-four house: the House of Gallahad, for courage; the House of Gawain, for loyalty; the House of Lancelot, for integrity; and the House of Percival, for resiliency. Big and little buddies from each house get to know one another, as they work together towards an agreed-upon “shield promise” or goal for the year that focuses on positive words and actions. Working

Rossmoor Elementary School - Welcome Back &Amp; Thank You Grab 'N Go Lunch

together, the students are motivated in achieving within academics, athletics, activities, and the arts. The camaraderie creates a strong sense of community at Rossmoor School.

The day we visited Rossmoor School, the staff was busy gathering and processing items for their upcoming auction. As with the other schools in Rossmoor, their very active Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and Friends of Rossmoor Booster organization (FOR) are the lifeblood supplementing programs, services, and equipment, and staff for the students, including their STEM lab and part-time psychologist (shared between the schools) who work with families to create Student Intervention Plans (SIP), in assuring that students achieve academic proficiency towards college and career readiness.

The FOR largest annual fundraiser, Rossmoor Knightlife 2022 Extravaganza, is scheduled for Saturday, March 26th, 2022 at the Navy Golf Course in Cypress. For more information on sponsoring, donating auction items, or attending, please contact Rossmoor Elementary School.

Final Notes

Rossmoor Elementary School - Welcome Back &Amp; Thank You Grab 'N Go Lunch
Board Members Diana Hill And Chris Forhan Join Rha President Art Remnet And Rha Events Chair Jo Shade At Rossmoor School

A final note of gratitude, and a special shout-out to LAUSD District Board Members, Chris Forehan and Diana Hill – not only for their overall, everyday support of our schools, but also for help on this project, and for sharing their time, attending and helping us with the Grab-n-Go lunches. A shout out to Jo Shade, Marian Last, and RHA President Art Remnet for helping with the arrangements, set up, and greeting the staff and teachers at the schools. Also, special thanks to Nick’s Deli II for partnering with us, and allowing this to be an affordable outreach activity for the RHA. While sharing lunch, is always nice, sharing items from Nick’s Deli is always a memorable lunch, and was EXTREMELY well-received (Rossmoor Insider’s Tip).

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