Happy Halloween!

Week at a Glance
November 4-8

Click Here to download a copy to print for the front of the fridge!

100% in 100 Days...
43 Days Left!

Have you made your pledge? 

Your pledge helps us secure additional financial support from community foundations and organizations. Your participation in the Every Child Campaign will allow us to implement the following educational programs and opportunities for our students this year.

2013-2014 Initiatives

  • Family Enrichment Program
  • Better Readers Make Better Writers
  • 6th Grade Intensive 
  • iPads for 6th Grade Students
  • Research and Development Grants for Teachers
  • Organic Garden Preschool Program
  • Preschool Transitional Program
  • Beautification of St. James’ Hall, St. James’ Court Yard and St. James’ Preschool 
  • Shade Sails on perimeter of playground 
  • Educational Support Services
  • Tuition Assistance 

We need your help to reach 100% in 100 days. Please click HERE to make your pledge today!

Did someone says...See's Candy? 

Yes, that’s correct!  Just in time for the holiday season.  

The 6th graders are kicking off their fundraising efforts for Graduation by selling delicious, delectable, irresistible, and mouthwatering See’s chocolates and goodies. They need your help!

Sales Forms will be going home via backpack express on Monday and can be downloaded here

Annual Hispanic-American heritage Assembly
Wednesday, November 6

St. James’ Episcopal School proudly invites you to attend the V Annual Hispanic-American Heritage Assembly on Wednesday, November 6, 2013 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. in St. James’ Hall.

We are very excited and looking forward to seeing you there! Click here to view the performance schedule. 

Health Room News

At St. James' we are taking steps to keep our children healthy and we need your support. To start with, please do not send your sick child to school. Students should always remain home when they have a fever of 100 F (38 C) or above. They should remain home until they are fever free for 24 hours, WITHOUT the aid of fever reducers. If a student develops a temperature of 100 F or higher here at school or if your child is too sick to benefit from school and unable to participate in class comfortably, you will be called to take your child home from school. Children with diarrhea, vomiting, significant cold symptoms, rashes or other illnesses, even if they do not have a fever, should also remain at home. When your child comes to school sick (and possibly contagious), not only does it expose other children to the illness, it also increases your own child’s healing time. So let's remind our kids to wash their hands often, use hand sanitizer when it's available, eat their leafy greens, and get plenty of rest!

And thank you for helping to keep all of our children healthy.

Help Prevent Peanut Reactions

Peanut and other nut allergies are a serious concern for several of our students. We love enjoying the delicious treats that everyone brings for bake sales and classroom parties, but we ask that you either refrain from using nuts or clearly label the outside of the package so that all volunteers and students can recognize that the food contains nuts. Thank you for helping us keep our students safe. 

Parent Association Open Meeting
November 13, 5:00 at St. James' Cafe

The St. James' Parent Association Executive Committee would like to invite all St. James' parents to join them for an Open Meeting Wednesday, November 13 from 5:30 to 7:30. This is an opportunity to get together with other parents interested in volunteering their time and talents in support of our school, and to learn about upcoming opportunities to become involved. 

The Parent Association is thrilled to bring you a unique chance to hear from one of our excellent new faculty member. St. James'  Media Specialist, Christina Olague, will be speaking about her vision for the library.  In addition, the Parent Association will be raffling off a gift card to the winter Book Fair!

This will be a great community event, and we hope to see everyone there. Dinner is provided by St. James' Cafe with a suggested $5 donation per person. Please let us know if you will be attending by emailing
Parent Portal Log In Information

As we move into this school year, please note that many of the St. James' interactions and information come to you through the online Parent Portal. Each family received their Log In information via mail and email this summer. Each family has one username and password. Your username is your family's primary email address, and your password is unique to each of you. Should you forget your password, there is a link to reset it under the log in information. A reset link will be sent to your username (email) that will allow you to make a new password. 
Wizard of Oz Tickets

The Wizard of Oz performance is quickly approaching on Friday, November 22! If you have a student in the cast, watch for an email this weekend with ticketing information and a link to purchase your tickets. General ticket sales will be announced via email early next week. All ticket sales are through the Parent Portal. 
Subscribe to the School Calendar!

You can now subscribe to the school calendar! If you use iCal or Google Calendar, you can subscribe to the SJSLA calendar so that events are automatically added into your calendar. Any updates to the calendar will be made in your phone. Follow this link to find the calendar,  click "Subscribe" and follow the instructions. 
Upcoming Used Uniform Closet
November 21

The Uniform Closet is open every Community Gathering from 8:15-10:00 am and the 3rd Thursday of every month from 3:00-4:30 pm. Make sure to stop by and stock up on uniforms! 
St.James' Cafe is Open!
November 6, 5:00

Everyone is invited to St. James' Cafe open Wednesdays at 5:00 in Parish Hall, conveniently right after Wizard of Oz practice! Dinner is a $5 suggested donation per person, and you are welcome to bring your own beverages. This is a great way to feed the whole family at the end of a long day, spend time with the St.James' community, and support St. James' Church.

Art at St. James'

With new Art Teacher, Josh Friedman, at St. James' this year, there are many exciting things happing in the Art Room. We interviewed Mr. Friedman to learn more about his background, the St. James' Art curriculum, and the traditional Halloween Mask Parade. 

Tell us about your background.
I am originally from New England, but I have lived all over the world. I studied in Europe and taught in Asia before coming back to the us to set up studio practice. Earned Masters in Ceramics from Cranbrook Academy of Art and taught university found.  Then, I began to exhibit my work in New York and moved to Philadelphia. While there, I worked for the College Board grading AP studio art portfolio exams. A colleague invited me to apply for a position in San Juan Capistrano which led me out to California in 2007 where I taught at another private school for 6 years.
Tell us about your work as an artist.
I focus on mixed media work; I am interested in the space between drawing and sculpture. My work deals a lot with line and repetition and is heavily influenced from my time living in Tokyo, so there is a strong Asian aesthetic.
What made you want to be a teacher?
I am interested in wonderment and the creative process. If I am working with an artist who is 7 years old or someone who is 77 years old, it is all about having a conversation and learning to see something for the very first time. It is interesting to see what questions come out when you follow an idea. It is extremely important that children in schools now cultivate a visual literacy. Just think of how the evolution of technology has impacted the way we receive information. The printed word of newspapers are in decline. More and more information is conveyed online and much of that is through visual language. 
What can parents expect from the St. James’ Art Curriculum?
Students will leave our program with having a firm understanding of all the elements of art and principles of design so that they can better articulate their ideas wherever they go on to. At this level, technique is important, but I really want to push creative thinking and creative problem solving with an exposure and introduction to Art History from all cultures.  They need to see that art is alive; it is a process. I like to mix things up when I can. For example, recently we did large collaborative drawings with the Second and Fifth Graders. It is nice to have all the students working together and learning from each other. It is also so great to have this amazing technology to share and bring the world beyond right into the classroom. We get to watch videos and see digital work that helps influence other projects. I use books, video and computers with the children.
What is your favorite part about teaching?
It is a joy every day. The most rewarding thing is observing a students sense of accomplishment and astonishment when they do something they never thought they could do. Often people shut themselves down because they think, “I can’t do that.” But when you ask if they have ever tried, they say no. Which gives me the opportunity to say, “Ok, try!” You don’t make mistakes in art, you make discoveries, and then you learn from those discoveries.
What is the biggest challenge?
In an odd way, it is a challenge that we live in such a vibrant city. Geographically, this is the first time that I have worked in a school placed in an incredible environment with so many resources, and it just makes you want to expose students to everything. There are so many opportunities. It is an exciting challenge to have. I am thrilled that the students and I create in such a beautiful art studio. 
Tell us about the 2013 Mask Parade.
What we did this year is keep the theme “No Place Like Home” in mind through all of it. For the Kindergarten and First Graders, they experimented with line and making marks. Then, we cut up the drawings to make fur for their lion, tiger, bear and a few Toto masks. The Second Graders decided to be witches, wizards and creatures with magical powers. Third Grade watched a clip of the Emerald City. I always tell students to look at themselves and put themselves in their own environment. Look at your community, look at your neighborhood, look at your own experiences and put that all into your work. So I showed them the Wiltern Theater. It is a big green building just like the Emerald City. The Wiltern was built in 1931 and is a classic important example of American Art Deco architecture. Well, the Emerald city is another example of Art Deco architecture from 1939, so they are making connections between LA and Oz. They became focused on finding connections. The Fourth Grade made “Horses of A Different Color”. Fifth Grade looked at the Tinman and "The Robots" by Gereman musical group Kraftwerk. So we used not only visual references, but also musical to make robots. They will eventually do some creative writing about their robots that they will then video. The Sixth Graders are a forest of trees. I wanted to include them in the event as wise trees and have them hand out apples.

Josh Friedman
Art Teacher

Author Visit

Author Brandon Mull was quite the hit during his visit to St. James'. Students love his books and very much enjoyed hearing him talk about his life, learning how he dreams up the stories they read, and getting their books signed. Click here to see photos from his visit. 

Pumpkin Patch Visit

"The Fifth Grade field trip at Farm Store Pumpkin Patch was a blast! We went with our Kinder-buddies to go pick out our pumpkins. We went through a corn maze that took a long time to find the exit. When we left, we were still thinking about how fun the pumpkin patch was." 

-Celine Park, 5th Grade

Click here for photos of the trip. 

Halloween Parades

The Halloween Mask Parade is a St. James' tradition that did not disappoint this year! Drawing on ideas from art history, theory and our theme of "No Place Like Home", students and teachers put on a spooktacular performance. Click here for photos. 

Click here for photos from the Preschool Halloween Parade. We had ghosts, superheros, and no shortage of Dorothy's!

Service Learning Update

Recently, I had the pleasure of spending some time with sixth grade during their religion class to talk about ways they can be involved in service learning in our local community.  Working closely with Ms. Brown and myself in the coming months, our sixth grade will be looking at ways to help out our sister school, St. Jacques, in Haiti.  The plan is to listen to the needs of the people of St. Jacques, then find ways that we can help.  

Don’t forget that November is snack cracker/granola bar month.  We are collecting these items for our friends at the St. James’ Food Pantry.  Please bring your donation to your classroom by Friday, December 6.   As always, they are very grateful for our help!

Big Sunday, an excellent service organization that I have mentioned before, posted their  “Annual Holiday Volunteering and Giving Opportunities List” today.  This list has ways that you can help out with different organizations during the different holidays celebrated from Thanksgiving to New Year’s.  You can get more info at if you are interested.  

Rob Krueger
Service Learning Director

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