November 2017, Volume 10, Issue 3
Principal: Jana Davenport
Vice Principal: Karen Kim
Magnet Coordinator: Susan Taguchi
Beat Editor: Colleen Smith
In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Teacher/Staff Holiday Luncheon
Fall Harvest Festival
Balboa's Community Raises Funds for PE Program

Celebrating Healthy Lifestyles at Fitness Day
Great Shake Out
Compass Fund
Candy Split
Coach Eddie Interview
Mrs. Hurtado Interview
What Are You Thankful For Survey
Student Council Elections
Little Red Hen Performance
Heritage Day
Blue Dolphin Day
Placerita Canyon Field Trip
The Getty Center
Night Under the Stars at Griffith Park
Yearbook Photographs Wanted
Yearbook Pre-Sale

December 1
BSC General Meeting 8:30 am
Parent Workshops 9:30 am: 
- Bullying vs. Teasing
- A-G Requirements
- School Report Card 9:30 am

December 6
Panda Express FUNdraiser at the Granada Hills and Sherman Oaks Locations                      

December 13
Holiday Program for Grades 1-3

Dec 16 - Jan 7
Winter Break

January 8
School Resumes

January 15
Holiday, No School

January 24
Coffee with an Administrator

January 26
BSC General Meeting 8:30a
Balboa Magnet’s Teacher/Staff Holiday Luncheon
This year’s Teacher/Staff Holiday Luncheon will take place on December 14th. This is an opportunity for us to show how grateful we are to our teachers and staff! We will be catering lunch for them this year as apposed to potluck style as we had done in previous years. 
Fall Harvest Festival
The Fall Harvest Festival was on Sunday, October 22nd.  It was typical Los Angeles fall weather with temperatures peaking at 93 degrees!   Over 400 students and families were in attendance at the free event.  The kids enjoyed free carnival games like rubber chicken toss and inflatable horse race.  Over a dozen pumpkins were entered for the pumpkin carving contest.  More than a dozen cakes were entered for the cake decorating contest.  The kids had a lot of fun voting on the pumpkins and cakes, some kids even campaigned for their creations.  Cake Walk winners danced and walked away with a decorated cake/dessert.  Churros, Waffle and Kona Ice were nearby to provide tasty midday snacks.
Thank you to the committed parent volunteers and Balboa Spirit Club who helped make the event a success.  We hope to see you at the next event!
Balboa’s Community Pulls Together to Raise Funds for Our PE Program
As most of you are aware, Balboa’s Jog-a-Thon was replaced this year with Fitness Day and our online campaign to help raise funds to pay for our PE Coach, new equipment, and sprucing up the playground.  Thanks to everyone’s tremendous support, and to friends and family near and far who made online donations.  We exceeded our goal of raising $20k and brought in over $32k in donations during the three-week campaign!  Nearly half of Balboa’s classes raised over $1k and over 43% of our student body brought in at least one donation.  That’s truly an incredible accomplishment! 

Congratulations to classes that won parties and gift cards for their teachers, as well as to the top three Individual Grand Prize Winners (Suha Alvarez, Glennison DePeralta, and Emma Herrera).  The competition was fierce and went down to the wire, with class standings changing throughout the day, and even in the final minutes of the competition.  For a complete list of winners and class standings, go to

Finally, a huge thank you goes out to all of the people that made this campaign possible and volunteered countless hours maintaining the website and doing marketing and promotional materials (Natalie, Stacy, Sonia, Sandra, and Melanie), as well as those of you who have helped man prize give away days and class parties.  Thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU!  And thank you to all of the students, teachers, staff, and families for participating in the fundraiser and getting swept up in the excitement and making this campaign a success!
Celebrating Healthy Lifestyles at FITNESS DAY!
Balboa’s Fitness Day was held on November 9th and was a HUGE success as over 750 students and faculty spent the morning celebrating the joy and diversity of exercise by rotating through four different fitness stations.  It was great to see the energy flowing as students worked up a sweat dancing to hip hop, striking up yoga poses, jogging, and hula hooping. 

Thank you to Coach Eddie and the North Valley Family YMCA PLAY Program for coming out to lead the stations, to Culligan Water for supplying the water for the event, to Alan Au for providing the music and keeping things flowing, to an incredible planning committee (Natalie, Isabel, Stacy, Edna, Alan, Wanda, Sandra), and to the tremendous turnout of parents that came out to support our students by manning water stations, making snack bags, hanging signs, cheering on participants, and being there to help wherever needed.  It was truly a group effort and a lot of fun for all those involved.
Living in California, we live with the reality that we must be prepared for an earthquake at all times.  Between the Earthquake Preparedness Committee and the staff at Balboa, they continue to work hard to ensure Balboa is prepared for the next big one. 
On October 19th, Balboa held its annual Great Shake Out.  Staff and students participated together as Balboa simulated an earthquake emergency situation.  Students ducked and covered in classrooms before evacuating out of their classrooms.  Search and Rescue teams went room by room checking for injured people, clearing classrooms, and requesting the injured be evacuated to a first aid station by a designated team.  Teachers used items from the emergency backpacks, earthquake bin, and emergency classroom bags.  The Great Shake Out was a terrific way to practice for when an earthquake does occur.  We thank Balboa for their diligence in making sure our staff and students prepared.   
Compass Fund Points Balboa in the Right Direction

The 2107 COMPASS Fund campaign has ended and we are happy to report that as of November 6th, 430 Balboa families have pledged $113,407 (and counting)! Congratulations to Ms. Tidalgo’s class for surpassing 90 percent participation for COMPASS Fund donations. We hope you all enjoyed your Slurpee Party!
The COMPASS Fund team would like to thank everyone who contributed to the success of our annual fund drive: Ms. Davenport and the Balboa administration, Balboa’s always helpful office staff- Ms. Graveline, Ms. Vickers, and Ms. Conklin, the Balboa Spirit Club Board and Co-Presidents Sandra Gibson and Mayra Pena, Vice President of Communications Danielle Muller, Balboa’s  teachers and parents, especially our Room Parents, and most of all our amazing Balboa students for supporting our enrichment programs – Instructional Technology Support, Science Lab, P.E. and Vocal Music!
Any outstanding premiums will be distributed by the end of the month and donation acknowledgements will go out after the first of the year. Remember that you can donate to the COMPASS Fund anytime throughout the school year at or the Balboa Spirit Club Facebook page.
If you have any questions, please contact COMPASS Fund co-chairs Don Lukenbill and Michelle Dean at
Candy Split
Candy Split
Balboa held the annual Candy Split on November 1-3, 2017.  With all of your support, we were able to collect about 500 pounds of candy this year.  All of the candy was donated to the Frontline Foundation who make meals for the homeless.  Thank you for all of your donations!
Coach Eddie Interview
by Tallinn Horn
So how are you liking Balboa so far?
Coach Eddie:     
I'm loving it.  The kids are really smart.  It's easy to teach the games and the staff have been awesome.  They're inviting and they make me feel very welcome.
What would you say is your favorite sport to teach and play?
Coach Eddie: 
I love to teach and play soccer.  I grew up with a family who loved soccer.  My Dad would always watch soccer and I would watch it with him.  I didn't start playing soccer until I was in high school and I love teaching my brother.  I love watching kids learn the skills.  I just really enjoy teaching soccer.
How long did you work at the YMCA?
Coach Eddie: 
I've been volunteering for 4-4 1/2 years. I taught at their summer camps in Mammoth.  I've been doing that for a year and a half.
Do you still donate time to teaching kids at the YMCA?
Coach Eddie: 
Not at the YMCA.  I donate my time to my brother's team and their soccer practice.  At the YMCA, I only do the summer camps at Mammoth.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Coach Eddie: 
I love to read.  When I pick up a book, I can't put it down and I won't until I'm finished.  I also like to play soccer, like I said before.
Well, welcome to Balboa Coach Eddie!
Coach Eddie: 
Thank you!
Mrs. Hurtado Interview
by Tallinn Horn
We have a new first grade teacher at Balboa.  I recently got a chance to learn a little bit about her.
What schools did you teach at before coming to Balboa?
Mrs. Hurtado:               
I taught at two schools before I came here. One was Kittridge Elementary and the other was Castlebay Lane Charter.
Do you like being at Balboa so far?
Mrs. Hurtado:   
Absolutely! I love teaching at Balboa! Everything's so amazing!
Why do you enjoy teaching?
Mrs. Hurtado:   
I enjoy teaching because I like to see my students learn and grow academically.
What is your favorite subject to teach?
Mrs. Hurtado:   
My favorite subject to teach my students is writing.
Have you taught any other grades besides first grade?
Mrs. Hurtado:   
Yes, I have taught second grade and third grade as well.
What is something that you like to do in your free time?
Mrs. Hurtado:    
I enjoy spending quality time with my family.
Thank you Mrs. Hurtado, and welcome to Balboa!
What Are You Thankful For Survey
Question 1: What are you thankful for?

Mrs. Klein: I am always thankful for the blessings of the holiday seasons. I am thankful for my friends, family, and health!
Ms. Convirs: I am thankful to have time off before Thanksgiving to see my family and friends.
Mrs. Sanders: I am thankful for my loving a husband, my two smart and beautiful daughters, mu caring family, and my fun friends.
Mr. Richmond: I am thankful for my job!
Mrs. DeSilva: I am thankful for my family, health, and job that I love!
Mrs. Bass: I am thankful for my family, friends, my health, and my 2 boys’ smiles.
Ms. Hallett: I am thankful for being able to work at Balboa, for my family, and for being able to have had many opportunities to travel.
Mr. Schmidt: I am thankful for my family, friends, and thankfulness itself!
Mrs. Conway: I am thankful for love, life, and laughter!
Mrs. Kim, I am thankful for amazing friends and family.
Ms. Hanley: I am thankful for many blessings in my life, including my supportive, loving family, my creative, intelligent students, and for all the opportunities available to me.
Miss Alexander: I am thankful for all the amazing people in my life.
Mrs. Davenport: I am thankful to be principal of Balboa Magnet!
Mrs. Banuelos: I am thankful for my loving family and enthusiastic scholars.
Mr. Brescher: I am thankful for a room full of healthy students.
Mrs. Gordon: I am thankful for my family, friends, students, and health.
Mrs. Tidalgo: I am thankful for my family, friends, and my work family.
Mrs. Vickers: I am thankful for my family and friends.
Ms. Bronson: I am thankful for family, friends, and life.

Question 2: What’s your favorite thing about the holiday season?
Ms. Bronson: My favorite thing about the holidays are the lights, and decorations.
Mrs. Vickers: My favorite thing about the holiday season is getting together with family and enjoying good food.
Mrs. Tidalgo: My favorite thing about the holiday season is seeing the holiday cheer in people, especially the children.
Mrs. Conway: My favorite thing about the holiday season is the pumpkin pie.
Mrs. Kim: My favorite thing about the holiday season is taking the time to meet up with friends and family for special gatherings.
Ms. Hanley: The holiday season is a fun and busy, yet special time of year. Of all the wonderful things that go on during this time of year, my favorite part is partaking in traditions, such as decorating a gingerbread house or having time to bake, all while spending time with my dear family members.
Miss Alexander: My favorite thing about the holidays is that all of my family comes together to celebrate.. Also, there is always such delicious food.
Mr. Schmidt: My favorite thing about the holidays is that I enjoy getting the opportunity to spend time with loved ones, and, also, the great food.
Ms. Hallett: My favorite thing about the holiday season is being able to see my brother. He lives across the country in New Haven, so seeing him is always exciting.
Mrs. Bass: My favorite thing about the holidays is spending time with my family - especially my children.. I also enjoy the free time.
Mrs. DeSilva: I enjoy the spirit of giving and appreciation for others. I love the warm feeling decorating my house for Christmas gives. I especially love singing Christmas music.
Mr. Richmond: My favorite things about the holidays is being with my family and friends.
Mrs. Sanders: I love the holiday baking, decorations, and spending time with my family.
Ms. Convirs: I love to make gingerbread houses. 
Mrs. Klein: I love the smell of pine and cinnamon in the air. The excitement of seeing family and friends together. The joy in the faces of strangers as they get ready for the holidays.
Mrs. Gordon: My favorite thing about the holidays is friends, family, food, and travel.
Mr. Brescher: I love the smells and tastes that the holiday atmosphere brings.
Mrs. Banuelos: I love listening to holiday music, decorating with my family, and spending time with friends and family.
Mrs. Davenport: My favorite thing about the holiday season is that my kids come home from college, and we can all be together!
Student Council Election Results
In October, Balboa held elections for Student Council.  There were a lot of great, quality candidates who tried to persuade the student body to vote for them during an assembly.  After the results were in, the new Student Council officers were publicly announced.  Congratulations to our new Student Council Members!

Mazel Cenzia

Zachary Song

Ava Tasharrofi

5th Grade Historian
Tallinn Horn
Blythe Howard
Sofia Rodriguez

4th Grade Historian
Roman Oh
Harrison Reisner
Hannah Copans
Little Red Hen Performance
On October 29th, the 1st Grade performed their show “The Little Red Hen” for all the parents.  It was a great performance and the kids all did such a great job.  They were all dressed up for their parts and they looked wonderful!  The kids sang five songs including, “De Colores” in Spanish.  It was a real treat to hear all the kids sing that song!  They all worked so hard as did the team of parents that created the set.  The kids had a full barn backdrop to perform in front of.  The teachers did such a great job setting this all up and preparing the kids and giving our first graders such a great experience.
Heritage Day
As part of their unit on Heritage, Balboa 2nd graders participated in “Journey Around the World Day” on Thursday, November 16.  The scholars traveled to six different classrooms where they experienced activities related to other cultures.  In Ms. Hanley’s classroom the scholars were taught about flags and their symbolism. 
Then, they weaved paper place mats composed of the colors of the flag from their country of ancestry. In Ms. Williams’ classroom they learned and competed against their classmates in 3 different games played by various cultures around the world. They also did art, including origami from Japan and molas from Panama and learned cultural dances from South Africa and Mexico.  It was a fun day for the scholars as the activities enhanced their studies and made their Heritage unit come to life!
Blue Dolphin Day at Balboa Magnet
Fourth grade students at Balboa Magnet were given a unique hands on opportunity to experience the resilience and will to survive of Karana, the protagonist in Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. Karana is a twelve year old girl abandoned and forced to live in solitude for 18 years on the present day island of San Nicolas when her tribe is attacked by the Aleuts trapping sea otter.   Island of The Blue Dolphins is a core literature novel the students have been reading in parallel with their Native American Social Studies Unit on California Indian tribes.

The students learned and experienced the  labor intensive process of grinding stone bowls using river rocks. They learned how to shred and separate yucca leaves by pounding them loose using stone grinders.  Karana used these strong yucca fibers to make  paint brushes, to tie canoe planks, and to make yucca skirts.
Students also had the challenging task of trying to build a canoe similar to the one built by Karana. They used abalone shells to scrape bark off of driftwood to make planks, they painted the planks with plant based paints using yucca brushes, and finally they tied together the wood planks with yucca fibers.  When they finished, they wondered if their canoe would float.

Finally the students took a crack at trying to build a fire using a hearth to create friction.  While they didn’t light anything on fire, they experienced the frustration of trying to make a fire and learned how difficult life on the Island of the Blue Dolphins must have been for a twelve year old trying to survive the elements.
Placerita Canyon Field Trip
The third grade classes recently had the fortunate opportunity to visit Placerita Canyon Nature Center.  This was a field trip filled with new knowledge and insight into the habitats and environment that are native to our area of California. First the students were introduced to several animals that have been rescued by the Center and then rehabilitated from their illnesses and injuries, such as: a beautiful barn owl, a turkey vulture, a red tailed hawk and its spectacular eyesight, a Brazilian spider (named Crinkles!), the highly intelligent raven, and a few spiders and snakes, just to name a few.

The students then took a tour of the learning centers and were told about the three types of communities that house plants and wildlife: oak woodland, chaparral, and riparian. They also listened to a wonderful presentation explaining the ecology of our environment, and how each living plant or animal is essential to continue the natural cycle of life all around us. For example, the sun and oxygen make energy, clouds give moisture and water, trees are then able to grow and thrive, animals eat and bury the seeds and fruit that these trees produce, animals live in habitats among the brush and trees and are now able to survive and reproduce.

Lastly, the students went on a guided tour along the trails, learning first-hand about the different types of plants and native animals that currently live right there in the canyon. They were shown how Native Americans used Yucca plants as a needle and thread, what a buckwheat plant looks like before it's made into pancakes, and had the opportunity to look into the windows of the old Walker Cabin that is on sight; this gave the students an idea of what life was like for the Walker's, a family of twelve living in a small cabin in the 1920's.

We then finished our trip by eating lunch under the magnificent oak trees while enjoying the beauty all around us. There is so much more to explore and learn at Placerita Canyon Nature Center, so consider bringing your family for a few hours to enjoy the hiking and educational center! For more information on this fantastic experience and upcoming holiday activities:
The Getty Center
After weeks of unbearable record-breaking heat, it finally cooled down which gave 3rd grade a perfect day to take their first field trip of the year to The Getty Center on Friday, October 20th.  The day started with the students taking a trek up the hill in the white tram that everyone notices when they’re stuck in traffic on the 405 freeway.

From there, the students were split into groups of 12 and were greeted by a volunteer docent.  Each docent led the kids to different galleries to observe pieces of art.  This particular group observed 2 paintings.  With the first painting, they discussed what was happening in the piece and talked about what the artist was trying to portray.  With the second piece of art, the children sketched as much as they could, trying to replicate it. 

Then, students volunteered to share what they drew.  It was interesting to observe their interpretation of the painting and how each child who shared focused on something different.  

Next, the docent took the 3rd graders outside to view the small scale replica of The Getty and touch and look for fossils in the wall of stone. 

Afterwards, since this group had a little bit of time to kill before meeting up with the other half of the class, they did what kids do best…dance, twirl, and play tag.  Since there was still time before lunch, they visited the beautiful garden.  After a quick walk-through of the garden, they power-walked back up to the tram so that it could take them to the shaded lunch area where they ate.  Since the kids didn’t have a mid-morning snack, they ate voraciously! 

After lunch, the students took a quick bathroom break, hopped back onto the bus and headed to Balboa.  What the kids got to see was just the tip of the iceberg, so if you get a chance, please visit The Getty as a family.  For more info, please visit

Night Under the Stars at Griffith Park Observatory
Fifth graders study the Solar System as part of the Science curriculum.  What better way to learn more about it than a hands-on field trip?  That is the exact opportunity recently given to them.  Some fifth grade students and their parents were invited to meet their teachers at Griffith Observatory for a night field trip.  Students were given a scavenger hunt to complete.  During their time at Griffith Observatory, they were able to look through telescopes to see planets, stars, and moons.   Inside, they were able to explore exhibits about the moon’s phases, the Tesla coil, planet presentations from docents, as well as discover how much they weighed on different planets based on the planet’s gravitational pull.  Their excitement showed as they walked around looking, touching, reading, etc.  It was a wonderful night, and we are so thankful for the 5th grade teachers who organized and attended this night field trip.
 Love taking photos?

Turn in high resolution photos (at least 700KB) of Balboa events, field trips, class parties or grade level activities by e-mail at or drop off a labeled flash drive to the main office (flash drive will be returned).

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