Roosevelt Riders

February / March 2020 Issue

Principal’s Corner

Hello Roosevelt Families!

Can you believe we’re halfway through February? 2020 is moving fast and I hope you are all making great progress on the goals you may have set for yourself and/or your family this year.

Our Read-a-thon is in full swing and I hope you’re all taking some extra time to read to or with your child! This year we changed up T.V. Turn Off Tuesday (TVTOT), and have rolled out Super Readers Summits. These summits are for 2nd-5th grade students and are a great opportunity to participate in fun and interesting literacy activities that your whole family will enjoy, not to mention having your favorite teachers there to show you the way! Please use the Sign Up Genius link to RSVP. Our second Super Readers Summit is for 4th and 5th Grade students and is scheduled for Tuesday, February 25th starting at 6:00 p.m. in the cafeteria. These are not drop off events. Parents/Guardians must attend. These events are for Roosevelt students only. Thank you!

Our Character Trait of the Month is Kindness and the book that accompanies this trait is: Sam and the Lucky Money by Karen Chinn. Our most recent Olweus Anti-Bullying Lessons centered around discussions about things that could happen on the playground to make someone feel sad or angry, and what specific actions students can take to help everyone feel cared for, included, and safe. Teachers follow up with these lessons throughout the month during their class Community Circles.

I recently discovered a wonderful resource for Dads that is practical and inspirational!

Here’s a taste from the website:

A Dad is A Dad

A dad is a dad is a dad whether your kid is two days or twenty years old, whether they become a professional athlete or develop dyslexia, whether they have kids of their own, whether you’re rich or poor, married or single, a birth-, adopted- or step-parent, gay or straight, American or Afghani. Sure, trends shift and cultures evolve, but what it means to be a father at the very core of things is immutable. Just as motherhood does for women, fatherhood connects us to our distant past and to every generation that will come after us.

As a friendly reminder, the office staff will not be accepting any forgotten homework, books, instruments, projects, clothing, after school snacks/items or water bottles. Please DO NOT ASK the office staff to accept these items, NO Exceptions. Also, we will not accept any items for after school care or enrichment classes. The ONLY item that will be accepted are lunches, however, the office will not be leaving messages or calling into the classrooms. Students know to check the “Forgotten Lunches” box by the Nurses office. Thank you. I appreciate your cooperation. Enjoy the rest of February with love in your heart and kindness to all!

Warm regards,

Ms. Holeva Principal

Assistant Principal’s Corner

I’ve spoken with many of you about the difficulties of raising children in a screendriven world, and still communicating and sharing rich conversations as a family. Whether they’re five or eleven, children feel safest with their parents and guardians, and crave sharing their daily struggles and successes with you. Yet it may be challenging to really talk to your children, particularly when the conversation is based on something upsetting or confusing. A wonderful book, How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk, by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish, gives tremendous advice on building a solid foundation of communication with your child. Many teachers implement strategies from the book in their classrooms, and after reading the real-world scenarios and concrete advice, you’ll gain insight to help improve the quality of your relationship with your children at home.

All the best,

Ms. Stern

Office Corner

We are in full swing enrolling our Kindergarten class of 2025-2026 and our TK class of 2026-2027, and before too long we will be saying goodbye to the 5th grade class of 2020! One of our biggest joys is welcoming all of the new students, families and being along for the ride as we watch them grow throughout the years at Roosevelt. We are very grateful to work in such a magical place.

-Lisa, Estela & Sami

School Nurse’s Corner

Hello, everyone! February is National Children’s Dental Health Month! Cavity prevention starts at infancy & never ends! Healthy teeth as a child impact the health of future adult teeth.

  • Babies should get used to having a washcloth rubbed on their gums and use a soft toothbrush as soon as your pediatrician recommends it.
  • School age children should brush teeth 2 times daily for 2 minutes each. Consider setting a timer for this time while they brush teeth.
  • Form- brush teeth using a circular motion over all areas of teeth, including the tongue.
  • Spend some time with them to make sure they are doing it correctly & not forgetting their back teeth. Cavities are more common in the molars.
  • Children should floss once daily & may not be able floss alone until the age of 6 or 7.
  • Treat cavities & tooth decay as soon as it is recognized.

REMINDER: Remember to schedule your regular dental appointments. Recommended every 6 months. Have a healthy month & don’t forget to SMILE!

-Nurse Priscilla


Ed Foundation Update

Thank you to all the Roosevelt families who have contributed to our Santa Monica Education Foundation this year. Roosevelt ended the Ed Foundation’s parent campaign with 57% participation. Our goal was 70% participation but we still have time! While the School Board starts making budgeting decisions about next year’s programs this month, the Ed Foundation is still raising money through June 30, 2020. EVERY DOLLAR COUNTS, so if you didn’t have a chance to contribute by January 31, you can still donate ANY amount to the Ed Foundation to help ensure that amazing staff and programs continue for our Roosevelt students. So far, the Ed Foundation has raised $1,978,695 toward its $2.3 million goal. Please help our kids by donating at You will also help us reach our 70% participation goal by the end of this school year. Thank you for supporting our students in such a meaningful way!

Message from the PTA President

The Read-a-Thon is in full swing! Make sure your children are getting in their reading minutes! Reading logs for weeks 3-4 are due on Monday, March 2nd. If your child hands in a completed reading log they will be given a prize ticket to redeem on Friday for a Roosevelt water bottle.

Upcoming Dates for February/March

• • •

2/25 Character Night- 4/5th Grade @ 6pm (Aud)

2/26 Roosevelt in Motion @ 9:15 (Basketball Court)

2/28 Rori’s Gives Back to Roosevelt

3/5 PTA General Meeting @ 8:35 in (Aud.)

3/11 Roosevelt in Motion @ 9:15 (Big Yard)

3/12 Coffee with Principal @ 8:35 (Rm. 34)

3/13 – 3/20 Spring Book Fair (Library)

3/19 PTA Exec. Meeting @ 8:35 (Café)

Governance @ 3:15 (Rm. 26)

3/25 Roosevelt in Motion @ 9:15 (Big Yard)

3/27 Family Dance

Rori’s gives back to Roosevelt

Roosevelt Gardening Angels

Roosevelt Gardening Angels is looking for more volunteers to help turn our community gardens into learning opportunities for our students. If any parents are interested in hosting a gardening club before late start on Wednesday morning or during lunch we would love to hear from you! Please contact: Alexis Huether

-Alexis Huether, Edie Ortenberg, & Catherine Handelman

Roosevelt Green Team

Roosevelt Green Team is looking for volunteers and a new committee chairperson. The group partners with the Gardening Angles and the Wellness Committee. Green Team focuses on district sustainability initiatives and on teaching water conservation, recycling, composting and energy efficiency. Anyone interested in helping can contact: Alexis Huether

Staff Spotlight: Interview Brittany Brashear

What grade do you teach and how long have you been teaching? I currently teach 5th grade and this is my 11th year teaching. I started teaching in LA with Adult Education, moved into middle school math in LA and Cupertino, and have landed at upper elementary math/science. I love it! This is my 3rd year at Roosevelt and I’m happy to be here!

What are the advantages of Team Teaching? What are some challenges? One advantage of team teaching is you get to really focus on teaching what you are passionate about! I love math and science and love being able to really focus on those areas with my students. I also love getting to meet so many students and switch classes throughout the day. Lastly, having a partner teacher to bounce ideas off of and problem solve with is amazing. A disadvantage can be scheduling. It can be hard, but it always works out! Especially when working with a great partner teacher like Mr. Ostrom!

What inspired you to be a teacher? My mom worked in education my whole life. I was always around classrooms, but it wasn’t until my second year in college where I really decided it was my calling. I always knew I wanted to work with kids, but didn’t know exactly what. Fast forward many years later and I’m so happy I followed my heart!

What do you love about Roosevelt? I love how welcoming the families and staff are! From day 1 three years ago, I felt welcomed with open arms by my students, families, and the whole staff. The teaching expertise is unbelievable and I learn every day from so many of my colleagues, as well as my students. It really feels like a family and I LOVE that!

Two fun facts about myself: I auditioned for American Idol and I have run a half marathon! If I could learn anything what would it be? I would learn Spanish that is more than what my high school years taught me!

Staff Spotlight: Interview Mike Ostrum

What grade do you teach and how long have you been teaching? I have had the privilege of teaching 4th and 5th grades at Roosevelt as a looping ELA teacher. I have been teaching for 21 years. I started teaching 4th grade in Moreno Valley, CA in 1999 as a child and I was warmly welcomed to Roosevelt in 2001 to teach 3rd grade.

What are the advantages of Team Teaching? What are some challenges? Team teaching is amazing! You are able to teach the subjects that you are most passionate about and build your expertise in these areas. In addition, you have someone with you at all times as a support and to problem solve when needed. I don’t know of any challenges. I have been so fortunate at Roosevelt to always have amazing partner teachers and Ms. Brashear is awesome!

What inspired you to be a teacher? I have wanted to be a teacher since I was in 8th grade. I actually decorated my assignment notebook with colleges that had four-year teacher education programs at that age. (It was the 90s. We did that.) My fourth grade teacher was so mean, crabby and unfortunate. I never wanted any student to feel that way in school. That is why I decided to teach 4th grade my first year of teaching. It had to be done.

What do you love about Roosevelt? Roosevelt is my home, literally. I started here when I was 24. I have literally grown up here. I have made dear friends here. I feel comfortable here. I think that Roosevelt is professionally competitive and I find that inspiring. Roosevelt is also a very caring community. Reaching out when in need is a call that is never left unanswered. Ever.

Two fun facts about myself are: Hmmm…I mean…I’m just fun, let’s be real. Haha. Okay…seriously…I have seen more than 400 Broadway shows in New York over the last 20 years. Also, I have been obsessed with Bette Midler since I was ten years old. If anyone knows her, give me a shout.

If I could learn anything what would it be? I would love to learn to speak Spanish fluently.

Staff Spotlight: Alex Yera

What is your job at Roosevelt? I provide tech support to faculty and staff at Roosevelt. The use of technology in the classroom has become more prevalent as teachers use laptops and audio visual tools to educate the students. Likewise, students use Chromebooks to engage with reading and math programs in the primary grades and later for research and writing. My job entails making sure that teachers and staff are fully supported with their use of this technology.

How long have you worked here? I have worked at Roosevelt for 4 years now.

What do you love about Roosevelt? Roosevelt has a unique combination of amazing teachers and staff, who work together to provide a stellar education to the children in our community. I have always believed that educating our children to become engaged global citizens is one of the most important roles in society. I find it supremely rewarding to provide technology support to teachers so that they can better focus on filling those roles.

Two fun facts about myself: I lived in Casablanca, Morocco for a year (2006-2007.) I backpacked the John Muir Trail in the Sierras. It’s a 211 mile trek that lasted 15 days.

If I could learn anything what would it be? I would love to be fluent in more languages.