Welcome to Willow Elementary School!

As you know, our newly adopted mission at Willow Elementary School is to provide a rigorous, well-rounded program, which affords students an opportunity to reach their highest potential. At the core, Willow is committed to educating children through building cooperative and interdependent relationships, promoting positive self-esteem, modeling high standards and expectations, fostering effective communication and collaboration, providing relevant learning experiences, encouraging community and global outreach, and preparing students to become intelligent, concerned and caring citizens of today, working for a better tomorrow.

In the new year ahead, we will push educational experiences outside the walls of the classroom. Student learning will include not only academic skills, but also those skills needed to successfully navigate our 21st century world. Innovation, leadership, critical inquiry, technology, media literacy, global awareness, health literacy, arts, cross-cultural understanding, and self-reliance are all skills critical in the development of the whole child. We do not accept that children are intended to be passive learners, but rather should be fully engaged in relevant exchanges on a continuous basis. At the end of the day, a Willow student can ask, "What did I do today to improve, myself, my community or the world?" To which, an authentic, personal and meaningful answer would follow.

To these ends, our staff is committed to learning and growing as educational professionals, caring partners, and artful innovators.


Dr. Jessica L. Kiernan

Greetings Willow Families!                                                                  November 2013


Exercise directly impacts the behavior and development of the brain. There is a myriad of research to suggest that students need adequate amounts of physical activity throughout the day; such activity may positively effect mood and academic performance as well as prevent obesity and obesity-related issues. “It is likely that the effects of physical activity on cognition would be particularly important in the highly plastic developing brains of youth,” according to a 2010 essay penned by Charles Basch of Columbia University. With this in mind, we will begin providing an option for morning play four days per week, following our fall break. While the number of minutes weekly may not be significant, they may provide participating students the opportunity to get their blood flowing, allowing for more oxygen to the brain. See below for expectations for this play period.

Willow Morning Play Procedures for Grades 1-5

(Monday through Thursday)


  • Students will be taught playground procedures prior to Morning Play’s start.
  • Students can arrive at school no earlier than 8:00 am.
  • Student play begins at 8:00 am, when the first campus supervisor arrives.
  • Student play ends at 8:10 am, when the first school bell rings.
  • Students line up promptly following the first school bell. 
  • Teachers walk students to classrooms between 8:10 am and 8:15 am.


  • While students are at play, they are expected to follow the same rules and procedures as those required during regular recess periods.
  • Courts will be designated to grade range groups.
  • Outstanding sportsmanship is expected at all times.
  • Students may participate in the Morning Walking Club on the designated field area, as soccer will not be part of morning play.


  • Parents/guardians are expected not to approach campus supervisors/”teachers on duty” or interfere in any student games or activities during this period.
  • Parents/guardians (and students not attending Willow) who wish to stay, may do so, but for safety reasons, are limited to the grassy area in front of the school media center.
  • Parents are welcome to join students at line up on Fridays for our Spirit Assemblies.  
Willow Elementary School Campus Safety Reminders

As you know, your partnership in maintaining a mutually supportive and respectful school environment is essential. To continue to do this, knowledge and support of the following are fundamental.

During School Visiting Procedures
  • For safety and security reasons, all visitors and volunteers must sign-in and receive a visitor's sticker at the office before going to the classroom of destination. (Visitors may be asked for identification).
  • Any classroom volunteer period must also be cleared and calendared with a child's classroom teacher.
  • There should be no visitor or volunteer roaming the campus at any time. Each volunteer on campus is to be under direct supervision of the classroom teacher.
  • At the end of the day when picking up your child, please help us by not approaching the classroom building until after the bell rings. This will prevent distracting the children from instruction when they see adults congregating outside of the classroom.
  • In order to prevent supervision problems, parents/visitors will not be allowed on the playground while children are at recess. Campus supervisors must maintain focus on Willow students.
  • It is also important to refrain from approaching a child who is not your own.
  • Please also keep in mind that parent and visitor interactions should serve as positive models for Willow students.

Before and After School Guidelines
  • Please help us maintain a safe campus by reminding your children that there is no supervision before or after school.
  • The morning bell rings at 8:10 a.m. and students' instructional time starts at 8:15 a.m., therefore please do not send your children to school before 8:00 a.m.
  • All students who do not go to the YMCA should be picked up or go straight home after school and should not loiter on campus after dismissal.
  • During drop-off and pick-up times, be sure your student and their siblings are not climbing on tables or walls, and are keeping noise levels to a minimum as other classes may still be in session.
  • During the 31 Minute Club period, parents are responsible for full supervision of their own younger children unless those children are formally enrolled in the 31 Minute Club.
We at Willow appreciate your continued partnership in your adherence to these important processes designed for the welfare of all Willow students, parents and staff. Thank you!
Be honest "· Don't deceive, cheat, or steal "· Be reliable - do what you say you'll do "· Have the courage to do the right thing "· Build a good reputation "· Be loyal - stand by your family, friends, and country

Treat others with respect; follow the Golden Rule "· Be tolerant and accepting of differences "· Use good manners, not bad language "· Be considerate of the feelings of others "· Don't threaten, hit or hurt anyone "· Deal peacefully with anger, insults, and disagreements

Do what you are supposed to do "· Plan ahead "· Persevere: keep on trying! "· Always do your best "· Use self-control "· Be self-disciplined "· Think before you act - consider the consequences "· Be accountable for your words, actions, and attitudes "· Set a good example for others

Play by the rules "· Take turns and share "· Be open-minded; listen to others "· Don't take advantage of others "· Don't blame others carelessly "· Treat all people fairly

Be kind "· Be compassionate and show you care "· Express gratitude "· Forgive others "· Help people in need

Do your share to make your school and community better "· Cooperate "· Get involved in community affairs "· Stay informed; vote "· Be a good neighbor "· Obey laws and rules "· Respect authority "· Protect the environment "· Volunteer



"What educators and psychologists recognize as giftedness in children is really potential giftedness, which denotes promise rather than fulfillment and probabilities rather than certainties about future accomplishments. How high these probabilities are in any given case depends much on the match between a child's budding talents and the kinds of nurturance provided."
                                        Dr. Harry Passow, Expert in Gifted Education

Every child has the basic right to an education that promotes the development of his her potential. Each child has a unique profile of strengths and abilities. Willow is committed to providing challenging learning experiences for all learners that build on their individual strengths and optimize their abilities. Children who have been identified as gifted and talented have the potential to achieve high levels of accomplishment, and this potential needs to be recognized and addressed. These students exhibit unusual performance capability in intellectual, creative, and/or artistic endeavors. They may also demonstrate exceptional leadership capacity and may excel in specific academic areas. In order to meet their needs and develop their abilities, these highly able learners require a differentiated curriculum and/or instruction that provides for a variety learning opportunities. At Willow differentiation occurs daily, and in each classroom environment. 


Gifted Education Communicator
The official publication of the California Association for the Gifted. It is published four
times a year with each issue developed upon a theme of interest to parents, teachers
and administrators. Has a pull-out section for students. A benefit of membership or
available by subscription. www.CAGifted.org

Gifted Child Quarterly
The official publication of the National Association for Gifted Children, 1707 L Street
N.W., Suite 550, Washington, D.C. 20036. A scholarly journal with articles of interest
to graduate students, researchers and professionals. A benefit of CAG membership.
Parenting for High Potential
A new, exciting and colorful journal designed especially for parents by the National
Association for Gifted Children, 1707 L Street N.W., Suite 550, Washington, D.C.
20036. A benefit of membership. www.NAGC.org
Gifted Education Review
Synthesizes current publications, articles and research on the latest developments in
gifted education. Address:P.O. Box 2278, Evergreen, Colorado 80439-2278, (800)

Gifted Child Today
Published by Prufrock Press, PO Box 8813, Waco, Texas 76714-8813 (800)240-0333.
A Bi-monthly publication for parents, and teachers that addresses all areas of gifted
education. www.Prufrock.com
Imagine: Opportunities and Resources for Academically Talented Youth
The John Hopkins University Press, 3400 North Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218,
(410) 516-0309 or (800)548-1784. Published by the Study of Exceptional Talent
(SET), a project of the Center for Talented Youth(CTY), A newsletter for talented
students in grades 7-12 and their parents. Published five times a year, it helps
students identify options at home, in school and in the community that will satisfy
their intellectual curiosity and need for greater academic challenge. Topics include
preparing for and entering academic competitions, writing for publication, choosing
stimulating extracurricular activities, and finding appropriate college programs.
Imagine also provides a forum for student creative writing, book reviews, and
evaluations of colleges. www.jhu.edu/~gifted
Understanding Our Gifted
Published by Open Space Communication, Inc. P.O. Box 18268, Boulder, Colorado
80308. (800) 494-6178, (303)444-7020, www.openspacecomm.com. A quarterly
journal addressing the intellectual, social and emotional needs of gifted youth.

This bimonthly journal emphasizes articles on identifying and education of the
creative and gifted, appealing to a broad range of readers. PO Box 66654, Mobile ,
Alabama 36660

Organizations and Programs

American Mensa, Ltd
1229 Corporate Drive West, Arlington, Texas 76006-6103. Mensa membership is
based on intelligence testing; sponsors meetings and publications.
Beach Center on Families and Disability
Provides easy to read booklets, a resource directory and videos for parents and
teachers of children with Attention Deficit Disorder, University of Kansas, 311
Haworth, Lawrence, Kansas 66045, (913)864-7600,FAX(913)864-7605
College Board - News for Students/Parents
Updated SAT/PSAT, Advanced Placement, scholarship and college search
information. (609)771-7243 www.Collegeboard.org
EPGY -Education Program for Gifted Youth
Provided by Stanford University, EPGY offers mathematics, physics, and writing
courses for gifted youth through a distance learning program (DLP).
Future Problem Solving Program
Teams are presented real life problems to develop solutions for presentation at state
and national level. (800) 256-1499 http://www.FPSP.org
Gifted Child Society
A non-profit organization founded in l957 to further the cause of gifted children. The
Society has served over 40,000 children and their families. www.Gifted.org
The Lyceum's mission is to stimulate the individual creativity and intellectual promise
in children through enrichment classes that aim to inspire a life-long love of learning.
www.Lyceum.org Monterey County www.Lyceum-svc.org Santa Clara Valley
The Rocamora School
Resources for gifted adults on understanding creativity and giftedness and enhancing
talent development. Plus quotes, articles, interviews, and more.www.Rocamora.org
Family Learning Services
Family Learning Services in cooperation with families, will assist in designing
alternative educational programs to facilitate meeting the needs of each student.
Studies and learning experiences can take place in the home, in a school or tutoring
setting, or in a home school co-op. www.fls-homeschool.com

Schoolwise Press
Parent Resources in California, Student and Curriculum Organizations, Disability
Rights Groups, Advocacy and Research Groups, Legal Services, Computer Resources,
and more. www.schoolwisepress.com

Institute for the Academic Advancement of Youth (IAAY)
Center for Talented Youth (CTY), Johns Hopkins University, 5801 Smith Avenue,
McAuley Hall, Ste. 400, Baltimore, MD 21209 (410) 735-6278. Formally established
in 1979, IAAY is dedicated to identifying young people with exceptional abilities and
involving them in programs specially suited to their own rate of learning.
www.cty.jhu.edu. Email them at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

International Baccalaureate Organization
A world wide program. Maintains an office at 200 Madison Avenue, Suite 2007, New
York, NY 10016, (212)696-44464. www.IBO.org

Odyssey of the Mind
A non-profit, international organization that promotes creative team-based problem
solving in grades K-college. The International Headquarters Odyssey of the Mind
www.odysseyofthemind.org The California Odyssey of the Mind www.calomer.org
Destination Imagination
Destination Imagination: our international program dedicated to the enhancement of
the learning skills, creative problem solving skills, team skills, sportsmanship, and
knowledge of all students. www.dini.org

California OM Association(CAOM)
CAOM is a non-profit organization that was set up to provide a creative problem-
solving program for the students of California. CAOM is divided into 18 Regions, and
through the CAOM Regional Directors provides 18 Regional Tournaments and one
State Finals Tournament! www.caom.org

Let's Get Real
Let's Get Real is a competition and an opportunity for teams of students to gain
experience working on real business problems. Corporate co-sponsors supply real
problems for which teams submit solutions in business format. Each team chooses
from the list of problems the one it finds most interesting. Problems might include
areas such as environmental issues, manufacturing, distribution, engineering,
software creation, human resources, health and safety, facilities design, public
relations, or any other areas deemed important to the corporations involved. Let's
Get Real is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation. We are putting corporate America in
touch with an untapped resource for solving problems with which they are faced.

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Attendance Line

To report absences, please call 818-889-0677 ext. 224. Please use this number to report absences whenever your child will be out of school for the day.  If your child has a medical appointment, please be sure you bring a doctor's note to the school office.

Contact Us

Dr. Jessica Kiernan
29026 Laro Dr.
Agoura Hills, CA 91301

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