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August - September 2016

Welcome, NEW Staff Members!

We are very excited to see familiar and new faces at Olive Vista Middle School. The Panda family embraces our  newcomers—Mr. Avilez, Ms. Campbell, Ms. Chacon, Ms. Hubbard, Ms. Kalayjian, Ms. Khalili, Ms. Nolasco, Ms. Pinedo, Ms. Quinonez, Mr. Rico-Flores, Mr. Rodriguez, Mr. Summe, Mr. Larsen, Ms. Lopez, Ms. Kwan,  Ms. Mogren, and Mr. Gorton.




We are confident that our  newcomers will bring their expertise to further enhance Olive Vista community’s sincere attempt to help our students. One of the new programs that is in the process of full implementation on our campus is Restorative Justice.  Mr. Gorton, the Restorative Justice Teacher Advisor, meets  with our students and staff on a daily basis to model the community building circles. Our next column discusses Restorative Justice in detail.



Olive Vista Middle School has embraced the philosophical framework of Restorative Justice with open minds and open hearts.  As a year 1 school our focus has been to “build community” and create positive working relationships amongst all stake holders.  We have delivered the first of three Professional Development presentations to our staff, first focusing on an Introduction to Restorative Justice, to familiarize our faculty and staff with the philosophy and how it aligns with the Discipline Foundation Policy. 




At Olive Vista we open and close our Instructional Leadership Team meetings with Restorative Justice Circles, we have introduced our Parent Center to these practices during Coffee with the Principal meetings, and begun to meet with classes on a weekly basis to conduct Community Building Circles with the idea being, every voice is valuable and the better we know each other, the better we will work together to create a safe and positive place to learn for our students.  I am working with eighteen classroom teachers, all of whom were eager to begin the work of building community in their classroom.  We meet once a week in the “Peace Room”, a designated space we have set aside to hold circles and highlight the idea that relationships do matter.  We are sending a very energetic and enthusiastic cohort of educators, to our two-day training in October, who will return to our campus ready to continue the work of making our community stronger. 

After School Program

This year the After School Program (ASP) is starting off strong. ASP leadership (MTAC) is planning our first event to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, along with the arts group learning to make piñatas. The STEAM coach showed the students how to make homemade ice cream combing salt and ice. Last but not least, our sports teams had their first game on 9/17 at Porter Middle School at 12:00pm. Our cheerleading group participated in this event to cheer up our fellow pandas!

Brandy Gutierrez, La Conservation Corps, Supervisor


Do what you say you’ll do

Just think about it: You promised your parent/guardian to keep your room clean, get excellent grades, and do everything in your power not to get a bad comment from your teacher.  And, if any of those promises is broken, most of the time there is an excuse, right? Now, imagine if your parent promises to buy you a gift you have craved for a long time, and suddenly—on the day of his/her promised day—the gift is not delivered. How would you feel?  Frustrated? Sad? Maybe even angry? Do not promise anything that you cannot deliver. If you have made a promise, do everything in your power to keep your word. At times circumstances are stronger than our efforts, but you know that you have tried your best, and that matters!


Helping Others

Helping Others

Go out of your way to help others reach their goals

Being reputable goes beyond a concern for yourself and your own advancement. In other words— do not show off your skills and do everything to help others gain skills that will make them look good. Develop a mindset of helping other people. Does one of your friends need help in reporting something? Offer to help him or her. Do you see any student being bullied on campus? Report the incident to an adult. Does a friend need help in math or another subject to pass a test? Offer your knowledge so you are both prepared for a test.