7380 Girard Ave

La Jolla, California


Posted on Dec 16, 2015

2015 Santa Lucia Day

Santa Lucia-555Grade 1 students held their annual Santa Lucia Day procession last week on Friday, December 11. Initiated by Gillispie teacher Ms. Engelhardt more than 20 years ago, the Santa Lucia Day celebration has become a school tradition.

During the procession, the students visit classrooms around the campus to greet students and faculty and deliver sweets.

Leading the procession were the two oldest girls from each first grade class, wearing crowns of evergreen and candles. According to Scandinavian tradition, these girls represent Santa Lucia (or Saint Lucy) herself.
Posted on Oct 12, 2015

Gillispie “Gem” of the Week


Grade 3 students have been working on coding during their technology time with Mrs. Moore.

Using applications on their iPads, they played interactive coding games to practice their programming skills. After a few fun practice sessions, they took turns using an app called Tickle to remotely control a flying Parrot Drone with code that they had written. If the drone didn’t respond the way they intended, they had to go back to their code to find and correct the line error.

This exercise was a great way for them to connect programming to the physical world.
Posted on Sep 22, 2015

Gillispie “Gem” of the Week

IMG_1220During the Cypress Room’s play dough time this week, students practiced their sharing skills and good manners through conversation with one another.

“Maris, can I have more play dough please?” Ava asked. 

“Sure, here you go,” Maris responded. 

“Thank you, Maris,” Ava replied.


“Ian? Can I have more play dough please?” Ava asked.

“Here…you can have all of it,” Ian answered. 

“Thank you, Ian. I’m making a beautiful dress,” Ava said.

Through play, the children are exposed to a variety of educational opportunities that encourage social skill development, self-expression, communication, logical thinking, and problem-solving.  
Posted on Sep 10, 2015

Gillispie “Gem” of the Week

photo.085611The mother of Grade 1 student Ella F. shared with us this story about a German tradition they upheld on Ella’s first day of school last week:

“Today we wanted to share with you a German tradition. On the first day of first grade, children in Germany receive a “Schultuete” from their parents. It is a big cone-shaped container filled with treats: back-to-school gear, candy, books (and in our case a Cinderella dress). Ella enjoyed her Schultuete a lot, and we thought you might enjoy seeing this tradition displayed in front of your school!” – Susanne F.
Posted on Sep 01, 2015

Gillispie “Gem” of the Week

Grade 6 students started off their year with a fun physical challenge in P.E. class with Coach Whelan and Coach Kibblewhite.
This exercise, called the “Human Ladder,” is a teambuilding exercise using PVC pipes, strength, and trust!
The participants must climb over a pipe ladder being held up by his or her peers. This first-week exercise in P.E. was a great lesson is teamwork!
Posted on Jun 02, 2015

Gillispie “Gem” of the Week – Junior Olympics


Gillispie students participated in the annual Kiwanis Junior Olympics on La Jolla High School’s field! The children (aged 5-12) demonstrated great sportsmanship as they competed against 8 local La Jolla schools in several events: the softball throw, the obstacle course, running broad jump, standing broad jump, 50 meter dash, 100 meter dash, 200 meter race, boy/girl 4 x relay races, and the “fastest boy/girl” race. Gillipsie students put forth their best efforts, many won medals, and all congratulated children from other schools who won.

Overall, it was a great showing for the Gillispie School! This fun event encourages children to practice, work hard, support their peers, and show school spirit.

Posted on May 19, 2015

Gillispie “Gem” of the Week – Grade 3 Owl Pellets


While reading the fictional novel There’s an Owl in the Shower by Jean Craighead George, Gillispie Grade 3 students researched facts about owls.

Last week, the classes dissected owl pellets. An owl eats small rodents, birds, and bugs, but its stomach cannot digest the fur, bones, teeth, feathers, and insect shells from that food. These “extra” parts are formed into tight pellets and are later spit up by the owl.

In order to make the pellets safe for the children to handle, they were heated to a high temperature making them safe for the children to handle. The students excitedly broke apart the pellets searching for animal bones. Children found small leg bones, talons, and animal skulls. They then organized their findings by cross referencing an identification guide.

Posted on May 19, 2015

Gillispie “Gem” of the Week – Grade 6 Play


Gillispie’s Grade 6 students performed the play Once Upon a Crime – The Trial of Goldilocks in front of their peers and families to great laughter and applause! The hilarious play puts Goldilocks on trial for breaking and entering. The plaintiffs are – you guessed it – the three bears. Other fairy tale characters are called to testify as witnesses, including Hansel and Gretel, Granny, Cow, and even the Big Bad Wolf. A special thanks to Mrs. Chaney for directing this wonderful performance!
Posted on May 06, 2015

Gillispie “Gem” of the Week – International Day


The Gillispie School celebrated its 12th annual International Day Friday, April 17, 2015. Students grabbed their “passports” and traveled to Belgium, Brazil, Greece, Cuba, Hawaii, Iran, India, and Thailand. Parent volunteers and teachers transformed classrooms into virtual countries where children experienced smells, sights, and sounds of the different cultures represented.

The students had the opportunity to learn about each unique culture as they journeyed “around the world,” completing crafts, sampling exotic food and drink, listening to music, harvesting region-specific crops, and much more!

This successful yearly event at Gillispie is part of the School’s global education program, which seeks to teach students the importance of cultural understanding, respect for others, and embracing diversity.

A special thanks to all of the dedicated volunteers who make this special day happen!

Posted on Apr 13, 2015

Gillispie “Gem” of the Week – Flamenco Dancing


Gillispie students were treated to a special event today during International Day Assembly – Flamenco dancers and musicians!

Flamenco is a form of Spanish folk music and dance from the region of Andalusia in southern Spain. The children learned the words cante (singing), toque (guitar playing), baile (dance), and jaleo, which refers to the vocalizations and rhythmic sound of hand clapping and finger snapping that encourages the performers.

The students learned to use the word “Olé!” so show support of the musicians and dancers. The trio demonstrated solo dancing, paired dancing, and selected two students to demonstrate the basics.

“Olé!” and enthusiastic hand clapping was heard throughout the two programs!

This assembly kicks-off International Day which will be held on the Gillispie campus next Friday, April 17. This fun-filled, all-day event exposes the prekindergarten – Grade 6 students to a wide variety of cultures and customs from different countries across the world. That day, children may opt to wear their school uniforms or dress in international apparel.

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