Last Wednesday through Friday, Fifth Graders embarked on the most anticipated field trip of the year: AstroCamp! We were so lucky to have some of the best counselors at camp: Kyle, Hallie, and Hobbs. They took us through adventures of Zip Lining, a Sky Coaster that made us feel like flying squirrels, and even a pitch black maze! In respective science classes, we made windmills, launched rockets, and played games to foster teamwork. Who can ever forget our wonderful cabin mates and memories of Human Foosball?
While we were happy to come home and share our stories, we will never forget the memories created to commemorate our entire LS journey at TVT. Just around the corner: Middle School!
The team went undefeated in the regular season. For the second year in a row, our boys went to the finals of the Tri-way League Championships. TVT lost 1 - 0, but it was a very competitive, close, hard-fought game. Shown is the soccer team with their trophy after their game.
On Friday, May 25th, we held our High School Yearbook distribution party. In honor of the regal theme of this year's Re18n Yearbook, purple and silver decorated the room along with beads and tiaras on the tables. The students had a royally good time, eating donuts provided by the Parent Association while signing each other's books and enjoying pictures of themselves and their memories of the past year.
For the seniors, it was bittersweet, as they paged through their final high school yearbook, thinking back on their high school memories at the same time as they looked ahead to graduation and their bright futures.
Under the direction of their teacher, Terri Samuels, the Yearbook staff did an incredible job this year, putting together an outstanding tribute to their friends, classmates, and teachers. They worked tirelessly to meet their deadlines, ultimately producing a truly impressive final product. As some students lingered for hours signing books and enjoying the party, it was a gratifying end to a year of hard work for the proud Yearbook staff.
Special thanks to the Parent Association for the donuts and phone pop sockets.
MS Yearbook Party - Wednesday, June 13th at 10:15 AM.
Please check your classrooms, backpack, locker, car, or home for any misplaced books.
Both the Lower and Upper School Libraries will be closed over the summer. Students will not have access to the collection until after the school year begins. If you want or need something to read over the summer, please visit your friendly local public library.
Each year, TVT students who have spent the year learning complex mathematics in the AI Math Olympiad program compete in the international Math Olympiad competition. Drawing more than 170,000 competitors working on more than 6,000 teams from all 50 states and more than 30 countries, this is the premier mathematics competition for early childhood learners.
This year, TVT’s students dominated the competition. The entire team won a “Highest Team Achievement” award and nine additional individual awards. One TVT student finished with a perfect score. Three students finished in the top 2%; 5 students finished in the top 10% and one student finished in the top 40%.
The math featured in the competition is provocative and challenging, including topics like game theory, that wouldn’t typically be part of a Lower School math curriculum. Our students’ success is a testament to their hard work, the work of their coach, Anna Berdy, and their teacher, Lindsay Melia, who shepherds students through Beast Academy and AOPS. Congratulations!
In first grade, we have been busy integrating learning across the curriculums. When students get excited about a topic, teachers can use it as a springboard to incorporate other subject areas, such as writing and art that can be incorporated into projects. To start our unit on the life cycles of different animals, we began by reading both fiction and nonfiction books within this theme. Students were fascinated to learn all about the chick’s, frog’s, and butterfly’s life cycle! We have then used this unit to begin our author study on Laura Numeroff. Laura Numeroff is known for writing circular stories. This is where a story ends the same way it starts, just like the life cycle! First-grade parents can ask their child to name their favorite Laura Numeroff book. Students are now busy writing their own circle story, and they are excited to share them out with their class!
On Wednesday, May 16, third grade brought their very own Wax Museum to TVT! Over the course of this last semester, the students carefully read and researched important historical characters. Using their research, they wrote a "Time Magazine" and created various art and multi-media pieces. All of their hard work and effort paid off during the big exhibition. Historical characters remained frozen in time waiting for an eager audience to press their buttons and bring them to life. Once brought to life, characters recited a speech before returning to their statue positions. Work well done third graders!
Last Wednesday, TVT's science club, led by its president, Avi Kister, and chaperone, Arnie Benn, went on a field trip to the San Onofre Nuclear Facility, currently in the long process of decommissioning, to learn up close and personal all about nuclear energy. The students learned not only about how nuclear energy has been harvested at the plant, but also about the environmental impacts of using nuclear energy, the actual process of decommissioning, and even the high-level security of the plant. Overall the students had a great time learning and experiencing! A big thank you to Arnie Benn as well as Pam Samuels and Ms. Quigley who made this learning experience possible!
We launched our Ocean Theme in February with a trip to the Ocean Institute. After weeks immersed in OCEAN projects, including research, dioramas, Eric Carle inspired bookmaking, artwork and clay sea creatures we “dove” into our final project.
The 4th-grade TVT Mathletes competed today in OC Math Field Day which includes 17 schools across Orange County. They placed in 4 of the 5 Math events.
1st Place: Algebraic Thinking
2nd Place: Data Analysis
3rd Place: Number and Operations
3rd Place: Geometry
A thank you to Ms. Melia who has with all her heart worked with these kids to help them to think critically and be able to approach any math equation, and problem solves with a calm and enthusiastic attitude.
We are so proud of our 4th grade TVT kids. They have grit, are great friends and love Math!
Second graders got a jump start on their end-of-year celebrations this week when they presented the culmination of their year of learning to parents and friends. This celebration covered all aspects of Hebrew and Jewish learning that students were engaged in during the year. The celebration exposed parents to the process of how a student learns to read Hebrew and showed parents the students' comfort level with regards to Hebrew conversations involving food, clothing and the weather. The celebration ended with a beautiful Shavuot play. All-in-all, students, and parents had a great time reinforcing 2nd-grade skills in a fun and creative way. Kudos to Morah Amit, Riva, and Shiela for a job well done.
(Irvine, CA - May 3, 2018)--Ethan A., a junior at TVT Community Day School in Irvine, captured the Olympic League Singles Individual Crown at the La Mirada Tennis Center with a 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) victory over Daniel Guan from Maranatha High School in Pasadena. With the league title, Ethan A. also won league MVP honors.
Fourth Grade students recently completed an integrated social studies/Jewish Studies activity in which they researched the four topographical regions of California and Israel to achieve a compare and contrast assignment.
The fourth-grade teaching team collaborated to design activity in the makerspace/imagination station to create a 3D map of California. Students used the Tinkercad software because it is a good starting point for students who have not had any previous CAD experience.
The Fourth Grade service project this year is Hunger in Orange County. Students visited the Orange County Food Bank twice to help pack boxes of food for seniors who cannot afford to feed themselves. Between their two visits, they packed over 800 boxes of food. Way to go fourth grade!
Another successful Middle School Garage Band concert was held Thursday night in TVT's Lecture Hall. Thirty-four middle school students participated in the performance led by their teacher, Alex Segal. The repertoire included songs by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, AC\DC, Blink-182, Green Day, Journey, Imagine Dragons, and more. For the remainder of the school year, these students will be recording and making music videos for some of these songs.
To our second-grade parent's delight, last Friday our second-grade students performed the play, CHARACTER MATTERS, stepping into the roles of the Fairy Tale Advice Council and the characters to whom they offer counsel. Led by Rapunzel, a Prince, and a Witch, the council, provided help with character-building to folktale and nursery rhyme characters. In the show, the Big Bad Wolf learns the Golden Rule, Cinderella gets help in managing her anger, and Jack and the Giant discover their differences are cool. Emphasizing the character building messages interwoven throughout the play, the students learned set design, character acting, team building, and most importantly, Character (does) Matter!
Laguna was swarming with 6th graders and their families this past Wednesday night as we gathered to celebrate the 33rd Day of the Omer. Everyone enjoyed hot dogs, marshmallow roasting, frisbee golf and nerf archery.
Next Friday, May 18th, TVT will open her doors to Middle School scholars from across Southern California (and one from NYC) to duke it out in front of a Jewish Court of Law. The case itself deals with the appropriate use of Snapchat. The Jewish learning and prep work for this event began many weeks ago. Thanks to our 8th-grade advisor, Keren Wolf, and 7th grade AI teacher, Rabbi Kirzner, TVT teams are ready to present their oral arguments. What a great opportunity this is for our Middle School students to converse passionately with others about the Jewish perspective on the issue of internet privacy. Here's the schedule for the day:
Arrivals, Check-In and Kick Off
Round One of Competition
“The Final Four”/Round Two of Competition (top four teams)
May is the month for celebrating the Arts in Orange County! Congratulations to the TVT students who currently have their artwork hanging in the Imagination Celebration, “1,000 Pieces of Art” exhibit at South Coast Plaza, Crate, and Barrel Wing. A panel of judges has selected their artwork, and we are so proud to announce the lower school has 25 pieces in this show!
As always, the art room has been bustling with activity! From painting and drawing to printmaking and ceramics, students have been busy developing their creative skills. While I love teaching art in such a beautiful classroom setting, I also believe in giving students creative opportunities outside the classroom.
The 2018-2019 Middle School Student Council Elections took place this past Wednesday, May 2nd. All of the candidates were ready after a week of campaigning on campus. After hearing all of the enthusiastic speeches by the 5th, 6th, and 7th-grade candidates, all of their middle school students voted, and the ballots were counted. Congratulations to the new Student Council Members. I am looking forward to a spectacular 2018-2019 School Year!!!
President: Henry M. Vice President: Susan Z. Tech Master: Owen W. Events Coordinator: Eden B. Secretary: Hunter H. The Voice: Jackson S. 8th Grade Rep.: Noa D. 7th Grade Rep.: Ryan B. 6th Grade Rep.: Leah L. Members at Large: Yonah L., Garrett D., Theo H., Noah R., Mila R., Ella S.
On Sunday, April 29, over 300 parents, grandparents, and friends of TVT gathered for the 2018 TVT Annual Gala, “Innovation: Tomorrow’s Promise;” helping to raise $215,000 and paying tribute to TVT’s beloved Founder Irving “Papa” Gelman who passed away last month.
The evening began with the high school Rock Ensemble, “Dial 2,” welcoming guests. The cocktail hour included a silent auction, tasty delicacies, and entertainment by two pianists, a high-school senior and a sixth-grade student, who impressed the crowd with their incredible talents.
One of the greatest soccer players to ever play at TVT, Daisy G., will continue her stellar career at Carnegie Mellon University next fall. A four-time 1st team all-league selection and recognized as an All-CIF player, Daisy helped develop the girl's soccer program at TVT into a well-respected program within the CIFSS and OC area. Congratulations to Daisy and her family on all of her successes.
Esther Lau, the fifth-grade teacher and leadership council advisor, feels that she is “blessed so that I can bless others.” The Southern California native who obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and social behavior and her Master of Arts degree in education from the University of California, Irvine, became a teacher because she remembered how her teachers had extended themselves for her.
Last weekend, TVT's chapter of the Junior State of America attended their Spring State conference in Irvine. Delegates participated in debates on a wide variety of political issues, and they voted for next year's Junior State leadership. Sophomore Ethan W moderated a lively debate on the subject of moving the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Senior Adam C won a "best speaker" award in a debate, as well as a leadership award for his year of service as the Speaker of the Assembly. Congratulations to all delegates on a successful conference!
Last Thursday, the Kindergarteners got to celebrate Yom Ha-Atzmaut, Israel's Independence Day. We participated in many activities that highlight Israel's unique aspects. The children made hummus, Israeli salad, compared American pickles vs. Israeli in a taste test, face painted, got painted Henna on their hands, Israeli dancing, made pita bread and more! It was a fun-filled day with so much pride celebrating Israel's 70th birthday together as a community.
On Friday, April 27, the Fifth Grade Lemonade Stand raised money to fight childhood cancer. This mitzvah project taught fifth-grade students how to budget, make lemonade and run a storefront. Lemonade was available to students and faculty for a $1 contribution.
Also today, the Lower School (LS) held a Jog-a-Thon at 1:30 on the soccer field. At this schoolwide event, each grade level wore a specific color. According to Esther Lau, 5th-grade teacher and leadership council advisor, “It was a friendly competition about grit, perseverance, school spirit and team unity.”
Expanding and enriching second-grade students' literature experiences, Dr. Oleson and Mrs. Mulligan not only involved their students in a class read of the Newbery award-winning children's novel, Mr. Popper's Penguins, but they also accompanied their second-grade classes to the Segerstrom Center for the Arts play production of Mr. Popper's Penguins. Here they viewed a musical rendition of the novel performed by six actors and 24 puppets. Upon returning to class, the students compared and contrasted the book and play!
In honor of Earth Day 2018, TVT Lower School Students were treated to an entertaining and informative assembly by the Moon Rays vocal quartet, titled "Journey to Save the Planet Earth." Through song and comedy, this sustainable living assembly explained how clean air, plus clean land, plus clean water equals clean living! The students and teachers were thoroughly amused by this group of funny guys as they blended four-part harmony to the doo-wop tunes of "Life Could Be a Dream," "Earth Angel," and "Under the Boardwalk." They also learned about keeping the ocean clean by recycling and using environmentally safe cleaners. The students were encouraged to ask themselves when they throw anything away, "Where will this end up?".
A special thank you to Rachel Burch and the Green Committee for bringing this assembly to TVT!
Tom F. didn't allow a single hit as TVT defeated Eastside Christian 12-0 on Thursday. TVT put up five runs in the fourth inning. Jacob W., Jared M., and Max S. each had RBIs in the frame.Tom F.’s was the winning pitcher for the Lions. He surrendered zero runs on zero hits over five innings, striking out seven and walking one. TVT collected six hits on the day. Jared M. and Max Ferry each managed multiple hits for the Lions including a two-run home run by Jared M. The Lions tore up the base paths, as four players stole at least two bases. Max Ferry led the way with three. Freshman, Eli F., saved the no-hitter in the 4th inning with a web gem worthy catch in right-center field.
Aidan F. didn't allow a single run as TVT defeated Eastside Christian 10-0 on Tuesday. Aidan F. allowed just two hits. TVT put up five runs in the fourth inning. Tom F., Max S., Jacob G., Aidan F., and Elli G. each drove in runs during the inning. Aidan earned the victory on the pitcher's mound for Lions. He went five innings, allowing zero runs on two hits and striking out ten. Jacob went 2-for-3 at the plate to lead TVT in hits.
On Monday, April 16th fifth grade students attended a field trip at Knott's Berry Farm where they learned about scientific concepts of momentum, mass, velocity, gravitational pull, and acceleration. Our knowledgeable docents made hypotheses with the students about the results when centrifugal, and applied centripetal force to specific rides. Of course, the students were more than willing to "test" the rides to see if their educational guesses were correct. The students were excited! For some students, it truly was a revolutionary experience for them to face their fears of feeling on "top of the world." It would be great if learning were always this fun!
On Tuesday, Jared M. was perfect on the mound as he led TVT past Samueli Academy 14-0 on Tuesday.Jared M. struck out Zimodo to end the game.
Jared M. got the win for TVT. He lasted five innings, allowing zero hits and zero runs while striking out 11 and walking zero.
On Monday night, Max S. would not be denied at the plate when runners were on base, driving in four on three hits to lead TVT past Samueli Academy 26-1 on Monday.Max S. drove in runs on a walk in the first, a single in the beginning, a single in the second, and a single in the third.
TVT racked up 13 hits in the game.
The Lions are 6-2 overall and 6-1 in league. Next up, a battle for 1st place with Lutheran (8-0).
Last Friday, students competed in the second round of QuIsrael, a friendly game testing students’ knowledge of Israel and Judaism. This trivia contest truly tested their knowledge based off of what they have learned over the years in their Hebrew and Jewish Studies classes. Many students excitedly showed up for the preliminary round where they took a “quiz” about Israel. This week, the top three students from Round 2 moved on to compete in the final round during our Yom Ha’atzmaut assembly in celebration of Israel’s independence.
Gilah C. (3rd grade), Gidi M. (3rd grade), Mila R. (5th grade) have made it to the final round.
TVT is proud to announce the 2018 Irving Gelman Award Winner is Lyla Weiss, ’06. Lyla, who received more nominations than any previous nominee, dedicates her life to helping others.
As Founder and President of the nonprofit, “Billy’s Camera,” Lyla provides cameras to orphans around the world so that they can experience the joy of photography. Through the lenses of donated cameras, the children explore their creativity and communicate through art while documenting their lives. Lyla hopes to raise awareness of these children in dire situations, through their creations.
This Sunday, April 22, the National College Fair will take place at the Anaheim Convention Center, from 1:30-4: 30 pm. Close to 300 college admissions representatives are expected to attend. There is no cost to attend the fair itself, but the fee for parking is $16, so we encourage you to carpool and arrive early.
Click here to register for the National College Fair and to view the list of colleges that will be in attendance.
This year for this the first time, four TVT 7th graders participated in the nation-wide Academic Pentathlon. Each year a topic is chosen, and students study five different subjects relating to the issue. Our theme for the 2017-2018 school year was Africa. The team had fun learning about things like Ancient Egypt, the empires of Mali and Ghana, human evolution, common diseases in Africa, music throughout the continent, and they read several poems and folk tales. On April 14, three of the team members, coached by LS faculty member Vanessa Paddy, competed against other Orange County middle schools in timed multiple choice tests and wrote a short essay. We’re all looking forward to participating next year and learning about the 1960s!
In correlation with our Social Studies curriculum and Project Based Learning, our 2nd graders assumed the role of entrepreneurs. Over the last few months, using the Engineering Design Process, each student developed his/her product, made 30-40 of them, set a product price, created a storefront complete with advertising, studied supply and demand, purchased a TVT "Business license" and later calculated their profit and loss. Engaging in both producer and consumer roles, the Marketplace opened last Friday at which time they sold to our 1st-grade consumers and later to their 2nd-grade consumer classmates!
In 1st grade, students get to experience many exciting field trips. We kicked off our life cycle unit, by heading out to Centennial Farms to participate in their Jr. Farmer Tour. Students planted radishes, which they brought back to school, got to hold baby chicks, watched a live ox demonstration, and saw many different crops and livestock animals, such as baby pigs, goats, and cattle! Visiting Centennial Farms was an excellent opportunity for students to take a break from the classroom and to have some fun and excitement in an entirely new environment while learning at the same time.
In James J. Asher’s book, Total Physical Response, a methodology for foreign language learning is developed based on the students responding physically to new material. Research on language learning can inform how we teach Hebrew.
On Wednesday, March 21st, 2018, sixteen 4th and 5th graders represented TVT in the Battle of the Books (BOB) competition. The Battle of the Books is a literary competition among Orange County schools. Its purpose is to encourage students to read good literature, increase reading comprehension and have fun while competing with their peers.
Before the break, Ulpan Or challenged 70 participating schools to submit a class project on the topic "There are 70 Reasons to Love Israel... Here is Mine".
Shir Geshvindman's F block was excited about the opportunity. They created "There are 70 Reasons to Love Israel - Mine is Hebrew," and won first place!
You can see the movie (a commercial) and all the supporting documents, along with the process of creating it by clicking here.
It is the second year TVT won first place! Their first year winning project (3 years ago) is now part of the Ulpan curriculum. So every school that uses this curriculum sees a chapter that was made by TVT students (directions, Novice high). How exciting!
Mazal Tov & Kol HaKvod to Shir Geshvindman and her F block students on work well done!
Becoming exceptional readers and writers takes daily practice and perseverance, both of which are being demonstrated by our determined students. The remarkable results of embracing reading and writing, for pleasure and purpose, is evident in our students’ skills accelerating by leaps and bounds!
On Sunday, April 18, TVT served as the Southern California host site for the Diamond Challenge for High School Entrepreneurs, an international program put on by the Horn Entrepreneurship Center at the University of Delaware. Diamond Challenge offers students an opportunity to create a business concept or social innovation concept and pitch that concept to a panel of judges drawn from TVT faculty, board and the broader community.
"Mathematics is its own beautiful language! My passion for math impels me to make other people love it, connect with it, and understand its uses," explains Joy Berkowitz, TVT high school math teacher since 2009.
Mrs. Berkowitz, who holds a B.A. in mathematics from Michigan State University and an M.A. in Education from Grand Canyon University, taught at Milken Community High School and Windward School in Los Angeles before coming to TVT. In 2003 she helped write and edit The Monstrously Fun Fraction Book, which is structured around a series of lab activities designed to familiarize elementary and middle school students with fraction terms, concepts, and operations.
On Tuesday, March 20th, the 5th Graders took a field trip to the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda. The students were able to learn about Richard Nixon, our 37th President, and see firsthand his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. The 5th Graders also learned how Nixon played a crucial role and supported Israel during the Yom Kippur War.
Last Friday, March 16, was an all-day festival of art, music, dance, and film created and performed by TVT students from 6-12th grade. The day began with an array of creative films made by the middle and upper school film classes. The art raffle and Papa Gelman pins, made by Reesa W., were a huge hit. The middle school dance class taught line dancing and the combined Tina Turner rendition of "Rolling on The River" with the MS Garage Band was amazing. The A.I. Band played "Roundabout" by Yes and a number of outstanding original compositions, all done in the backdrop of a surreal papier-mache forest created by the art students.
To see more of the VAPA Blowout please follow us on Instagram at tvt_arts.
I’m thrilled to introduce Michelle Bernat, Ed.D., our newly appointed lower school Principal commencing July 1, 2018. Michelle brings experience as a teacher, site administrator and district leader. She has taught in three Jewish Day Schools and public schools and is excited about the opportunity to marry what she loves most – educational leadership and serving her Jewish community.
A few of Michelle’s accomplishments in education include her role as the Assistant Superintendent of Education Services in a large Orange County School District, where she led the preschool through grade 12 instructional program. She worked extensively with teachers to build a collaborative, positive, engaging relationship. This resulted in district-wide changes in the classroom including the development and use of articulated, engaging curricular materials, putting more than 12,000 technological devices in children’s hands, and the implementation of a STEM program and robust dual immersion program (English, Spanish, Mandarin). She ran the assessment and evaluation division of a school system and is well versed in curriculum and assessment.
At TVT, our mission includes teaching students “to work collaboratively” and preparing “students to be...compassionate citizens and courageous leaders in their community and in the world.” On Wednesday, many of our students staged a 17-minute walkout to commemorate the 17 students killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, last month -- and our mission was on full display. Sophomore Ephi L. and ASB President Dory V., worked collaboratively with Avi K., a senior who wanted to add a layer to the conversation that wasn’t just about guns. Students at the walkout organized an event where multiple perspectives about how to make schools a safer place were shared. According to Ephi, “We honored the lives lost in Parkland and the heroes who sacrificed their lives for others. Together, we collectively pledged to continue our discussion over the next few months in an attempt to find common ground.”
For middle and high school students who chose instead to participate in the normal programming of the day -- a Town Hall discussion -- those students discussed why they didn't walk out and how they felt we could make our schools as safe as possible. Their contributions and decisions to opt-into the the regular programming were both valuable and insightful.
TVT is so very proud of all of our students -- Ephi L., Dory V. and Avi K.for organizing the event, those who shared their stories and thoughts: students Ava G., Ellie G., Max S., and Mika B-E. as well as teachers Joy Berkowitz, Dr. Erin McNellis and Rabbi Micah Hyman, and those who participated in the town hall discussion -- for each and every student at TVT needed to define for themselves what their citizenry and leadership would look like on this day. Kol hakavod to all!
Last week our 8th graders embarked on an urban adventure with Fulcrum, heading to downtown Los Angeles for team building and bonding. Armed with a list of challenges and working in groups, they started off at Grand Park and went on their way. Challenges ranged from visiting LA landmarks to finding out of state license plates. Congratulations to the green team for coming in first and winning a pizza party!
They had so much fun working on their culture projects! In class, they learned about las molas de los indios cunas, las pintorescas carretas de Sarchí, México y sus mascaras, and los santeros de Nuevo Mexico. After learning about these arts, the students chose one to recreate. The students commented on how much fun they had and how lucky they are to have a space like the Makerspace available to them, here at TVT.
What happens when you gets cooks and eaters, shabbat makers and shabbat seekers together for an intimate shabbat experience in TVT homes around the city? You get the strengthening of community and the spread of beautiful Jewish ritual and practice.
TVT’s beloved founder, Irving (Yitzchok) Gelman, passed away on March 4, 2018. A Holocaust survivor who founded Tarbut V'Torah Community Day School, in loving memory of his daughter, Naomi Gelman Weiss, Irving became the "Papa" of many as he touched the community through his generosity, vision, tenacity and devout belief that every Jewish child deserves a stellar Jewish education. Irving believed that the key to the Jewish survival is lifelong learning. Since its opening in 1991, Tarbut has grown from 36 students to a flourishing TK-12 college preparatory school with over 530 students, making it one of the largest Jewish Day Schools in the nation.
Congratulations to our two students, Ethan B. (4th Grade) and Mickey Y. (3rd Grade) for being our 2017-2018 Spelling Bee champions. A huge congratulations to our other students for all of their hard work in competing in our Lower School Spelling Bee. As excellent spellers, they were able to demonstrate their strong skills, all without the modern spellcheck! They all did a wonderful job! What an accomplishment to be proud of! Until next year’s Bee!
On Wednesday, March 7th, fifth graders attended a field trip to the International Printing Museum in Carson where they saw a presentation of Benjamin Franklin's historical inventions and a real-live demonstration of the Gutenberg Printing Press. This field trip was the perfect marriage of history and innovation since our students are always dabbling in STEAM curriculum and had recently finished a study of significant American historical characters (which included Ben Franklin).
Purim is the happiest and loudest holiday in Kindergarten! We have been learning about and dressing up as the main characters of the Purim story, we have also made “rashanim” groggers (noise makers), and the noise made by our Kindergarteners thundered when they heard Haman’s name.
As part of the TVT Speaker Series, Dr. Kenneth W. Stein – one of the foremost authorities on Israel in the United States – shared his expertise on the history, the current political situation and the road ahead in Israel. On Wednesday night, Dr. Stein, author, professor at Emory University and former director and Middle East fellow at the Carter Center, presented “Israel at 70: Unfinished.” His life’s work of studying the Jewish-Arab conflict, in both the historical and social-economic context, provided a unique and captivating look at this ongoing struggle as he offered insight on the US-Israel relationship, the potential for a two-state solution and the Israeli political climate.
Last weekend, TVT's chapter of the Junior State of America attended Winter Congress in Woodland Hills. Senior Adam C won a "best speaker" award in a debate about a bill to ban the trading and use of cryptocurrency in the US. Juniors Nick S and Max B presented a bill to the assembly that mandated state- and federally-funded sexual education programs in public schools, and their bill passed with an impressive margin of 28 to 3. Congratulations to all delegates on a successful conference!
This week, students in the Lower School watched as the Laguna Playhouse brought one of the classic novels to life through their Theatre Reach program. First through fifth graders enjoyed the story of Stuart Little right in our very own MPR. Because third grade did an author study on E.B. White, with different groups that read either Charlotte’s Web, The Trumpet of the Swan, or Stuart Little, they were so excited to make connections to the play through the stories in their pieces of literature. For those who haven’t read the story, now they can’t wait to get their hands on the book!
TVT students will hold a walkout on Wednesday, March 14, at 10 A.M., for about 17 minutes to honor the 17 lives lost at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The walkout will take place in the upper school entrance drop off area. Students will be able to pick up some posters, join in chants, and listen to a series of teachers and students speak about the victims of the Parkland shooting and about ways to create change in our society. Students will also be given the opportunity to write a postcard to their elected officials and will be given a call card with the phone numbers of these officials. Additionally, there will be a raffle to encourage students to register and pre-register to vote.
Second grade Beast Academy students put their measurement skills to practice in the Measurement Olympics. These students competed in various events, attempting to launch their craft puff the farthest. Measurement teams then recorded the distance in both customary and metric units. The students had to consider how to measure longer distances with a small measuring tape, which involved additional calculations to provide precise and accurate results. After each student participated in the measurement games, results were graphed to provide a big picture of classroom performance.
In order to properly observe the great practices of Purim, Lower School students received two zip lock baggies in their transmittal two weeks ago. One zip lock should be filled with 10 dimes to use at the Wednesday Mitzvah Fair. The other zip lock bag should be filled with goodies and will be given to a friend on Purim Day. If you have not already done so, bring in these baggies on Monday.
You’ll often hear it said that your gift to the Lion’s Pride Annual Fund helps us carry out our mission and instill Jewish values in our students. But what does that really mean? One only need spend a short time on campus to see firsthand the words in action.
Take a recent turn of events for two middle school students to know that kindness and compassion are practiced every day at TVT. The incident involved a boy and girl who happened upon one another prior to the girl’s dance class. Unfortunately, she realized she forgot the shoes that she usually wore on the special flooring in the studio. Looking down upon the heeled shoes she was wearing, she realized she couldn’t participate in class.
The IP program (designed for students with intellectual disabilities and/or delays) counts on Chesed Friends (a peer mentor program) to get the IP students as integrated as possible into the total life of the TVT community. Through participation in select general education classes and campus activities, this peer mentor program aids this path of inclusion.
Acceptances are mounting for TVT’s 43 seniors. In total, at this point, there have been 99 acceptances to 53 colleges and universities. Of those acceptances, 8 are in the top 50 US News National Universities. At this point, students have committed to attending: Chapman University, Emory University, George Washington University, Indiana University and Stanford University. Look for much more news next month.
One of TVT's more innovative and most rewarding programs is our Intensive Program (IP) for high school students. The program is designed for students with mild to moderate intellectual challenges who need a place where they get individualized instruction in a safe and positive learning environment to maximize their potential, as well as a chance to acquire good values and social opportunities. Students who join our Chesed Friends mentor program are given the opportunity to help IP students on their road to independence.
Thursday, March 1st is Purim Day and an official late start.
Here are two ways that you can make the most of it: 1. Head out to community Purim celebrations on Wednesday evening. Here are a few examples of what's happening around our community:
Beth Jacob Congregations of Irvine: 7pm Megillah Reading, Illusionist and Free Dinner
Temple Beth El: 5pm Megillah Reading and Purim Dinner.
Bnai Israel: 5:30 Young Family Celebration & Costume Parade 6:15 Dinner (To rsvp for dinner: click here.) 7:00pm Megillah Reading & Purim Shpiel
Chabad of Irvine: 6:30pm Megillah Reading
2. Eschew the late start and come to the lower library at 8:00 AM to hear the entire megillah read (very quickly). Prizes will be raffled off after each of the 10 chapters. Join us for a light breakfast afterwards (RSVP to email@example.com)
And if you're not too Purim-ed out, join Bat Yahm on Friday from 4:30 on for their Shushan Purim celebration.
On a day when we recognize our seniors and their families for their commitment and overall representation of our athletic program during their years at TVT, our soccer and basketball teams swept the competition, delivering four wins for the Lions.
Girls Basketball started off "senior week" with a 40-8 win over Pacifica Christian/Orange County. The following day, we welcomed Avalon to our campus for three separate athletic contests. Girls Soccer started off the day with a 5-1 win. Boys Basketball continued the winning by knocking off Avalon for the first time in 4 years by the score of 53-46. Lastly, our Boys Soccer team finished Avalon off and completed the sweep with a 2-0 victory.
It was a great week of celebrating our seniors, families, and getting those big W's for our school. Go Lions!
Avigdor V. has met all the requirements to be named as a National Merit Finalist. He is one of group of 15,000 Finalists, of which 7,500 will become scholarship winners. The competition originally started with over 1.6 million test takers in October of 2016.
In social studies, the fourth grade group has been learning about the California Gold Rush and the teachers are using project based learning to extend students’ knowledge on this topic. Fourth grade teachers, Gail Peddie and Melissa Geoghegan posed a guiding question, How did the discovery of gold change life in California?, and had students research and investigate further. The teachers collaborated with theirupper school colleagues and took the students on “field trips” to the upper school to learn more about various topics. Diallo Wallace, our upper school science and engineering department chair, and Arnie Benn, an upper school science teacher, taught the fourth graders about the environmental damage done to California as a result of mining methods used during the Gold Rush. Curtis Hartman, an upper school history teacher, taught students about the constitution of California and how California became the thirty-first state.
Rabbi Micah Hyman is in his third year teaching High School Jewish Studies at TVT. A proven innovator in Jewish life, he is a dedicated rabbi in service, learning, community engagement, inspiration and aspiration. Infused with infectious joy and passion, he is a dedicated professional and a compassionate human.
Rabbi Hyman, who serves as the director of the Advanced Institute of Jewish Studies at TVT, described the program as a “traditional curriculum of Biblical texts and Talmud to address current issues of theology, racism, identity politics, civic responsibility and rules of disagreement. He added, “Employing comedy sports, Maker Space design thinking, culinary arts and virtual touring, AI Jewish studies is considered the ‘avant garde of education on campus.’”
These students increased their geographical knowledge by attending meetings for the last month and studying on their own time in addition to their daily academics. We had a great time and enjoyed preparing for this competition, while learning so much about the world! On Friday, ten students, who passed the preliminary round, continued on as finalists in our final competition of the Bee.
The lower school will be participating in Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) week from February 12-15. Performing an act of kindness has been scientifically proven to have multiple benefits for both the giver and the receiver as well as others who witness the act.
Last week, the TK students put on their “scientist hats” and completed two surprising experiments. We started the lesson by talking about the properties of materials, such as color, texture, shape, size, smell, taste, and sound. First, students observed the properties of the mysterious substance (baking soda) in the muffin tin.
Merriam-Webster defines a “mensch” as "a person of integrity and honor." Borrowing from Leo Rosten’s, The Joys of Yiddish, explains, “A mensch is a someone to admire and emulate, someone of noble character. The key to being ‘a real mensch’ is nothing less than character, rectitude, dignity, a sense of what is right, responsible, decorous.” People emulate a mensch, because that person does the right things, does them selflessly and sets an example while doing so. February is a month associated with leadership, heart and rebirth. At TVT, students are learning about leadership in protecting the environment, heart in the food packing event that will keep people from going hungry and rebirth in all of the activities involving Tu B’Shvat. It is a great time to revisit the civility, citizenship and connection part of being a mensch.
In 1947, TVT founder, Irving “Papa” Gelman, immigrated to America on a donation of $5.60. In 1991, Papa Gelman founded TVT despite the odds of being told he could not raise enough funds. Opening with just 36 children, TVT has grown to over 520 students and over 580 Alumni. A donation of $5.60 has multiplied to impact so many. Imagine what your gift to the 2017-2018 Lion’s Pride Annual Fund can do!
It’s time for TVT’s third annual Super Bowl Sunday Food Packing event.
TVT has partnered up once again with FFCC (Friends & Family Community Connections) to package 65,000 meals to help in the fight against hunger. Two-thirds of the meals will be shipped to Haiti, and one-third will remain in the local area to help those in need here at home. FFCC's Fight Against Hunger meals are a highly nutritious, protein fortified, and non-perishable combination that will reverse the effects of malnutrition and starvation. Each package can feed six people and is made up of rice, soy protein, dried vegetables, and 21 essential vitamins and minerals.
After weeks upon weeks of researching and diligently taking notes, third grade students synthesized their Native American knowledge by creating and presenting a Google slide show about a specific Native American tribe to their classmates and family. This culminating project marked the end of their Native American unit. Students not only explored Native American history and culture in their homerooms, but also in Art, Music and Library. Their beautiful adobe houses and Native American tunics were put on display and students even performed a Native American musical piece! Three cheers for our amazing third graders and many thanks to all of the phenomenal people who helped make it possible!
In a few weeks, the first graders will begin learning about American symbols. This study will be integrated across the curriculums using Project Based Learning. Students will explore this knowledge through language arts, STEAM, art and music.
How do you engage eight-year-olds to help them understand the meaning of equal rights, segregation, integration and jobs for all? One powerful approach is through Project Based Learning (PBL), and experiential activities, that integrate all curriculum areas.
“Pluralism is born from a place of humility,” explains Rabbi Stuart Light, TVT’s director of Jewish Studies. “Pluralism allows me to be passionate about my beliefs, ideas and perspectives with the knowledge that I do not hold a monopoly on truth. Pluralism holds within it the idea that by hearing, understanding and validating the truths that others hold, I can better refine my own set of beliefs. By hearing and honoring your story, I solidify my own.”
As part of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration at TVT, second graders presented a reenactment of the 1964 civil rights March on Washington and delivery of Reverend King’s “I Have a Dream” speech at that event. Both second grades participated in this event.
Students marched with their protest signs and delivered MLK's “I Have a Dream” speech. The students have witnessed film clips of the March on Washington and the speech. There is a literature tie, Blast to the Past, King's Courage, written by a former TVT parent, Stacia Deutsch.
Innovation@TVT (I@TVT) is at the heart of TVT’s commitment to preparing students for the ongoing challenges of the 21st century. More than an academic department or stand-alone program, I@TVT’s work represents a transformative understanding of the nature of education across the whole scope of TVT’s program, working not just with students and their learning but also faculty professional development and community engagement. I@TVT integrates programs in engineering, science, mathematics, film and entrepreneurship with TVT’s core curriculum. This gives students the opportunity to combine their learning in creative ways that uniquely reflect TVT’s culture.
Get ready for the next level of TVT education with an exciting program that shows 5th grade parents and students what Middle School is about and 8th grade parents and students what Upper School is about. This hands-on program gives you and your student a chance to learn and explore everything there is to know about making these transitions.
My name is Velear Schrupp, TVT’s new Library Director and member of TVT’s Innovation team. With the library world continually evolving, I would like to give you a glimpse into TVT’s library world. In addition to overseeing the day-to-day operations of both the Lower and Upper School Libraries, I am building the Information Literacy curriculum taught during Library and LS Maker classes, and overseeing/working in both the Imagination Station and the Design Studio (Makerspaces).
The middle school girls basketball team, led by the Big 3, Brendeil, Beyla, and Sonya are undefeated in league play. They have beaten North Tustin Fairmont 20 - 6, Orangewood 32 - 22 and won by 1 point against Heritage Christian 26 - 25.
The boys 6th grade DSL team (developmental sports league) is also undefeated. They have beaten Anaheim Hills 46 - 20, North Tustin Fairmont 36 - 14, and New Horizon 52 - 22.
The boys middle school basketball team is also doing well, they have beaten Hebrew Academy 29 - 23, Anaheim Hills 38 - 23, and North Tustin Fairmont 41 - 34. They recently lost a very close game to Orangewood 34 - 30.
We will see everyone back at school on January 2nd with practice. Have a great break. GO LIONS!
Congratulations to our following student-athletes selected to all-league teams within the Western Athletic Conference: Valerie T.: Tennis, 1st Team Sarah C.: Tennis, 2nd Team Amit D.: Tennis, 2nd Team Andre M.: Cross Country, Honorable Mention Meskie T: Volleyball, Honorable Mention
We are in the home stretch! At this point, there should be only a handful of schools (if any) left to which you still need to apply. And, for many of you, good news has already come. In fact, make sure you check the College Counseling Bulletin Board to view your peer’s acceptances. As I type this, we have had over 29 students admitted to 18 different colleges thus far. And, more news will be coming over the next few weeks! As we move into Winter Break, make sure you take some time to relax and reflect on all you have accomplished. This fall semester has not been easy and your hard work has not gone unnoticed. I sincerely appreciate you all and look forward to seeing you in the New Year rested and excited to start your final semester of high school.
As we gear up for Hanukkah, KA is having so much fun learning all about the holiday, and enriching our knowledge through integrated curriculum across all subjects! We are delving into the literature of Eric Kimmel, such as The Magic Dreidels, Hershel & the Hanukkah Goblins, and The Chanukkah Guest. We made colorful clay menorahs in Art to use for our 8 Holy Nights.
The Lion’s Pride Annual Fund offers donors the opportunity to choose a focus of giving that reflects a personal philanthropic passion when making a gift. This week we will take a closer look at how a donation to Innovation can change the life of a child and the world!
Every student on the TVT campus enjoyed fun and age-appropriate Hanukkah activities this week. Rabbi Stuart Light, TVT’s Director of Jewish Studies, created an engaging lineup of events , games and celebrations.
All Lower and Middle School students peeled their own potatoes, grated and mixed their own latke ingredients and fried their own latkes. Lower School and Middle School each had separate Hanukkah parties.