Volume 2, Issue 2                                                                                                    September 2016

Greetings!

While we are only a little more than a month into the new school year, students in the Cypress School District have been actively engaged in a variety of hands-on learning experiences that promote innovation, creativity, and problem-solving... and this is only the beginning. With brand new, dedicated classroom facilities for exploring STEM and making music, there is no limit to the amazing things we know our students will accomplish!
 
The September issue of our e-newsletter provides a brief overview of these two new programs and a little snapshot of some of the great things our students are experiencing. We hope you enjoy learning about them just as much as our students do!

Sincerely,
Anne Silavs
Superintendent


The Engineering Design Process
Learning by Making

In September, students were given a scenario and challenged to imagine, plan, and create a toy using everyday items, such as straws, paper cups, tin foil, and string. This project, and others like them, requires students to navigate their way through the engineering design process and helps prepare them to solve the complex problems of tomorrow. The engineering design process requires students to study and define a problem, brainstorm possible solutions, develop a plan, build a prototype, test their solution, and improve or redesign it as needed. It's a cycle, so there's no official start or end point. The process is flexible, and steps are not always followed in sequential order. For example, students may start with a design, test their prototype, and then find various problems it might solve. Through thoughtfully developed lessons and units, students learn to work collaboratively as a team, exercising their creativity and critical thinking skills. The following slide show captures how students are "learning by making" in the Cypress School District. 

 

The video below further explains the engineering design process and illustrates what it looks like in an elementary classroom.



Music Education
Teaching a Universal Language 

Some have argued that music is humanity's greatest creation. It can break down barriers to unite people from different backgrounds and cultures. It can draw people together and uplift them emotionally. On an academic level, researchers have long studied the benefits of music education, recognizing a strong relationship between music instruction and academic achievement. Studying music is associated with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking, and verbal skill. Equally important, music can improve motivation, concentration, confidence, and team work. For all these reasons and many more, music is an essential component of a well-rounded, high-quality educational program, and we are proud to provide music for all students in the Cypress School District.
 
This fall, we welcomed three new music teachers, who are providing weekly music instruction to all students in transitional kindergarten through sixth grade. In the primary grades, students will study the basic elements of music. They will explore and create music through voice and a variety of rhythm instruments. As students work their way through the program, they will learn to read and play music using the recorder in fourth grade. Eventually, students will self-select a musical pathway to pursue, choosing to study either vocal or instrumental music during fifth and sixth grade. While we are just in the beginning stages of launching this new program, the slideshow below reflects the excitement and enthusiasm of our students. Clearly, it's already a big success!




CONTACT US
DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION
Superintendent
714.220.6910
Assistant Superintendent
Business Services
714.220.6941
Administrative Director
Human Resources/Induction
714.220.6913
Director
Curriculum, Instruction, & Assessment
714.220.6920
Director
Special Education/Student Services
714.220.6924
Director
Technology Services
714.220.6961
Director
Maintenance/Operations/Transportation
714.220.6951
Director
Child Nutrition Services
714.220.6948
Coordinator
Instructional Technology/Special Projects
714.220.6929
SCHOOLS
Carol Erbe , Principal
9281 Denni St., Cypress
714.220.6965
Jacki Teschke, Principal
8170 Moody St., Cypress
714.220.6980
Rena Gibbs, Ed.D., Principal
9739 Denni St., Cypress
714.220.6960
Denine Kelly, Principal
4631 La Palma Ave., La Palma
714.220.6918
Lori Hernandez, Principal
9952 Graham St., Cypress
714.220.6995
Helen Lu, Principal
5900 Cathy Ave., Cypress
714.220.6990

BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Candi Kern   -   Sandra Lee   -   Brian Nakamura   -   Lydia Sondhi, Ph.D.