Buddies Not Bullies

Have you heard about our new buddy bench?

Buddy Bench_Christian and Noah

Christian Bucks, a student at Roundtown Elementary School in Pennsylvania, witnessed lonely classmates at his school’s playground and wanted to make sure everyone had a friend. His solution? The Buddy Bench.

After researching the Buddy Bench idea, La Mariposa purchased a hexagon shaped Buddy table for the playground.  The shape of this particular Buddy bench/table allows multiple students to interact during recess.

La Mariposa second graders Christian and Noah have become great student ambassadors for the Buddy Bench.  Christian says, “I like that they gave a bench right there for kids to go to if they’re sad. My friend Noah and I sit in the cave (under the play structure) and watch for a pair of feet, and then we go over to the bench and ask if they want to play with us.”  Noah adds, “We go over to the bench and ask kids if they want to play. We always try to make them feel better.”

How Does The Buddy Bench/Table Work?

If you are sitting at the table, other students will notice that you are looking for a friend. When someone asks you to play, join them.

If you notice someone sitting at the table, walk over and ask if they want to play.  Keep growing your circle of friends until everyone has someone to play with.

4 Reasons to Sit at the Buddy Table:

  1. If you want to make new friends.
  2. If you are new to the school.
  3. If your friends aren’t at school that day.
  4. If you want to play something different than what your friend is playing.

Make Buddies Not Bullies

Every seven minutes a child is bullied, according to an estimate by the U.S. Department of Justice. The Buddy Bench promotes inclusion and gives students a safe space to eliminate loneliness and foster friendships.

The buddy bench was made possible by grant from the PVSD Wellness Event.

Click here to learn more about Christian Bucks and the Buddy Bench.




La Mariposa Needs Your Help!

LM Open House 2014-40Here at La Mariposa, the PTA strives to make your child’s school experience the best it can possibly be!  We only hold two major fundraisers during the year:  The Jog-a-Thon in October and the Dinner Dance in March.  We hope to raise over $70,000 just from these two events!  With the money raised with these two events we fund over 60 programs and services that directly benefit YOUR child!!  Yes, that is right… 60 PROGRAMS!!!

  • Back to School Programs such as New Teacher Money, Start-up Classroom Money, Student Planners & School Toolbox!
  • Academic Programs such as Science Week, Red Ribbon Week & Ability Awareness Week!
  • Art, PE and Technology Instruction!
  • Fitness & Health Programs such as Jog-a-Thon (October) & Tiger Olympics (June)!
  • Exciting Assemblies throughout the year to broaden your child’s minds!
  • Environmental Programs such as Earth Day, Growing Green, Gardens & Emergency Prep!
  • Programs to enhance your child’s extracurricular activities like Enrichment which include Art, Chess, Soccer and other great programs!
  • Community involvement such as Movie Night & Giving Back to the Community!
  • Learning about historical accomplishments & encouraging inspiration with Women in History!
  • Promoting Spirit Wear for a sense of Team at La Mariposa!
  • Celebration events like 5th Grade Promotion!
  • Grade Level Money for each and every child to help support fieldtrips, supplies in the classroom and other educational needs!
  • Weekly Incentives for the children & Awards for Service!
  • Mother/Son and Father/Daughter Dance for the Family (November) and Dinner Dance (March) for the Adults!
  • School Clubs & Involvement such as Reflections, Robotics, Speech Tournament, GATE, Peer Mediator, Peer Buddies, Rotary Track Team & Student Leadership!
  • A venue to showcase your child’s talent at the annual Talent Show in February!
  • Technology such as Smart boards, Laptops, mini iPads & Chromebooks!
  • Programs to capture Priceless Memories with the end of school Yearbook!


We have a few programs that need YOUR help!  It can be as simple as showing up and volunteering your time, working on the computer at home or taking a leadership role!  Getting involved in your child’s education is PRICELESS!  Think about what you would like to do or where you can help out!

We are going to hold a FUN informational meeting on all volunteer positions to help you learn more about it!  You can then decide which committee to join or simply just learn about it and have a fun social night out!

Meeting Date: Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Time:  7:00 PM

Meeting Location:  The home of Natasha Scrivener at 5330 Plata Rosa Ct in Camarillo.  natashascrivener@earthlink.net

If you don’t have a sitter, your children are welcome to attend and play while we hold the meeting!  And bring a friend!  If you cannot attend and would like to volunteer, please contact Kat Gregory, PTA President at katgregory@gmail.com.

LM Dinner Dance 2014-72Dinner Dance

The Annual Dinner Dance is a very exciting event held in March.  This is a fun night out on the town for adults to be social, walk around and enjoy appetizers during the silent auction, participate in an entertaining live auction, dine on a delicious served meal and dance the night away with one of Camarillo’s hottest DJ’s!  From the proceeds raised, La Mariposa pays for the Technology teacher and buys Chromebooks, Mini iPads, and Laptops that are used directly by YOUR children!  In past Dinner Dance years, we have been able to purchase Smart Boards for EVERY classroom!

If you like to plan parties, wish to learn about fundraising, like working with the classrooms at school, love to make bows for gift baskets, want to work the check-in desk, help set-up the venue, or help with any other of the simple, fun tasks, we would LOVE to have you on this committee!  We are also looking for someone to be a fabulous leader for this great event!  This is a very rewarding position and you will have FUN!  Planning meetings will start within the next few weeks.

LM Dinner Dance 2014-78

Science Week

Pilots-10It has been the tradition at La Mariposa for the PTA to sponsor hands-on science events for students for the past six years.  This event has always been a team effort master-mined collaboratively by several parents that LOVE science.  As the years have passed the event evolved from an extracurricular evening led by parent volunteers to a week-long school-wide co-curricular event involving non-profits and science enthusiasts from our school community and beyond.  While the core team members may have changed as older students moved on and younger students moved in, the group remains strong, with each member taking on a specific piece and everyone sharing the workload of this tremendous event.

Science Week Day 1-47As the Science Event Coordinator, you are the leader of this amazing team.  The team meets and decides together the theme and scope of the event, brainstorms resources, and how much of the work they can do themselves and which parts will be contracted out to vendors.  The coordinator initiates the meetings, manages the budget and timeline, delegates the tasks and makes sure all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place.  In the past two years, the budget has been around $2,500 and each grade level experienced at least two hands on science session in addition to lunch time activities and visitors over the span of a week.  You don’t need a science background to coordinate this event–you’ll have lots of help with the science.  You just need to have a passion for high impact learning and the ability to work with and organize a team.  The activities change every year depending on the availability of the team and the budget.  All activities and vendors must be approved by the school principal and PTA.  This children of La Mariposa LOVE this event and look forward to it every year!

Science Week Day 1-11

Tiger Olympics

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATiger Olympics is a highly anticipated event every year!  It is one event that every child looks forward to!  It has historically been one full week, where each grade level comes out to the field during their assigned time each day.  They learn and participate in team sports such as soccer and softball as well as individual track and field events like the high jump, the shot put, the dash, the long distance and the long jump.  The week usually concludes with a fun Obstacle Course that everyone participates in, including the teachers!   The kids are all given participation medals and are so very proud of their new sporting skills!  The event can be altered and run only a few days and the team and individual events can be changed.  This year, we are also incorporating Jump Rope for Heart into Tiger Olympics!

Tiger Olympics-7We are looking for a high energy leader and committee team to run this year’s Tiger Olympics!  It is scheduled for June 1 – 5, 2015.  The hours are heavy the week before and the week of the event.  Committee members can work from home on Excel spreadsheets, create Sign-up Genius posts, monitor volunteers, assist on the field, etc.  There are many fun and easy jobs to be filled for Tiger Olympics!  The children learn to compete, they learn a new sport, they become interested in joining sports, they learn about sportsmanship and they have FUN!  A great quote that was said from a 5th grader, “I wish I didn’t have to leave La Mariposa because I am going to miss Tiger Olympics!”  And another quote, “It was so fun that it made me want to make my own in the future!”   We hope you can join this committee and the fun times ahead!



facebook image 2Do you love social media?  Do you love working from home on the computer?  Well, the Facebook chair is for YOU!  This chair posts updates to our official school Facebook page!  It is public, so anyone can read the posts, but you must at least register to be a Facebook member to post to our school site.  If you love social networks and are connected to the campus, this job is for you!

You will work with the communications team including our webmaster, and email newsletter editor to cut down on workload and ensure consistent and accurate messaging.   Most posts can be scheduled ahead of time, however be prepared for an occasional 24 hour turn around in order to share La Mariposa’s best moments in real time!  All posts must be approved by the school principal and all student photos must be checked for media release.   


Open House

LM Open House 2014-32What a FUN night this is!!  Everyone participates!  The children, family and the La Mariposa Staff!  It is held towards the end of May in the evening, usually from 4:45 to 8:00 PM.  The PTA Executive Board is involved with the planning, but we need a few more people to help us out!  The night begins with a picnic on the grass, usually followed by a grade level performance by all the kids!  Then, parents and their children go to their classrooms to show off all their great work during the year!

We need volunteers to help coordinate the vendor food we sell (in the past we have worked with Jersey Mike’s and Surf N’Yogurt), get order flyers out and coordinate the night!  It is a fun event where everyone pitches in to help!

LM Open House 2014-36 Book Fair

Everyone loves a book fair!!  We hold two book fairs per year.  The first one is within the first 2 weeks of December and is the Scholastic Book Fair.   After Spring Break, the second one is held.  One year it is the Scholastic Book Fair (2015) and the opposite year it is Buck-a-Book (2014).   If you love books and love to encourage reading for the students of La Mariposa, this job is for YOU!  We would love to get a group of volunteers to help set-up, organize and sell books!  READING IS FUN!!!

Camarillo Academic Olympics (CAO)

Saturated-11The Camarillo Academic Olympics (CAO) is bi-annual city event where students grades 4-8 from both public and private Camarillo schools compete in categories such as Mathematics, Science, English Grammar, US History, Current Events, Speech, Art, and Creative Writing.

The site coordinator is in charge of the communicating information from the city organization to our students, seeking and scheduling volunteer proctors, arranging facilities, managing timelines, coordinating drivers for our semi-final events, selecting coaches for speech and Superquiz, and picking up tests and awards.  It you love competition and are good at task delegation and logistics, this job is for you!  It is amazing to see our Star Tigers shine at the awards ceremony in the spring!  Planning begins in November & December with most of the work happening in January and February.  We currently have a site coordinator and are seeking a trainee for 2015-16.

LM CAO Awards-20


We are looking for someone who loves to type and keep our school organized on the computer!  Each year, in the beginning of the school year, the families of La Mariposa join the PTA!  We need help logging and tracking this information to create a roster of those that joined the PTA and help distribute membership cards!  This can be done at home when you have the time!


Do you love to take pictures?!?  Do you want to capture PRICELESS memories?!?  Being a part of the Yearbook Committee is a super fun job!

IMG_5127The Yearbook is a collection of all the children, classes, and school events from August through March.  Being a part of this team means you get to be on campus and be involved in all of our La Mariposa Events!  We have many ongoing events, either specific to grades, or the entire school.  It is a great opportunity to see and be a part of everything that La Mariposa offers our children!  We would love for you to join this award winning team and to be at as many events as you can!  We love posed group pictures (with at least 3 or more people) as well as candid pictures!   Our goal for the yearbook is to be as reflective of ALL kids and ALL events!  We work on the yearbook throughout the year, so this is an ongoing position. We strive to format and complete pages of events as we go so there’s no “crunch time” at the end of the year!

IMG_5146Committee member roles might include the following:  Being mindful of the school calendar of events and Yearbook Timeline, helping with Cover Contest held Oct-Nov (Distribution/Collection of forms), taking photos and sorting through for those “best” ones, submitting to the committee chair (possibly uploading to software), helping with layout of photos in the yearbook (Classes, Holidays, Events), labeling and distribution of yearbooks (Early June).  Bring your camera, your smile, and your creativity!!


–Natasha Srivener, Volunteer Extraordinaire

Spooktacular Halloween Parade: A Photo Gallery

Last Thursday, all of our La Mariposa spooks and goblins, super heros and princesses, rockstars and witches…even some eggs and bacon, hit the soccer fields to show their Halloween Spirit!

Just in case you couldn’t make it out to the fields last week, here’s a little look for you!

Special thanks to parent Susan Weerakkody for sharing her pictures with us.

Do you have some fun La Mariposa Halloween pictures to share?  Send up to 5 of your favorite images to kamblivity@gmail.com.  We’d love to have some more to include in the yearbook!

Bicycle & Pedestrian Safety Is Everyone’s Responsibility

We start each year with the best of intentions.  The City of Camarillo puts a fresh coat of paint on our crosswalks.  Our School Resource Officer, Deputy Leo Cobian, is out and about with his super cool Dodge Charger.  Our motorbike officers make hurried motorists think twice by hanging out near busy corners and issuing citations to harried parents.  There are press releases and newsletter articles and announcements and Facebook posts and robo-calls and STILL, by this time every year at least one student has been hit by a car.  In my 9 years at PVSD I’ve seen a parent run over their own child’s foot in the drop off line, kids riding bikes the wrong way in bike lanes, and I’ve nearly hit at least two girls that darted out from behind an ice-cream truck to hop into their parent’s cars parked across the street.   Two years ago, I was rear-ended when coming to a stop in front of Tierra Linda, last year I saw a child struck in a crosswalk, and just last week I witnessed the aftermath of a student being hit by a car on my way to Las Colinas…or maybe it was a car hit by a student?  Luckily, no serious injuries occurred in any of those instances.

When are we going to learn?

Studies show that walking and riding bikes to school increases attention span in the classroom, strengthens communities, and helps maintain health.  Our city does a great job of providing safe access for our kids to walk or ride to school.  So what’s the problem?

The problem is US, and the problem is OUR KIDS.

For those of you that Drive:

SLOW DOWN:  Even if your are the most law abiding citizen in the world with off the charts reflexes (this is how my husband describes himself), no one can anticipate the split second decision made by a hormonal preteen to dart out between a big black SUV and an ice cream truck so she can give a last minute hug to her friend that happens to be across the street.

PAY ATTENTION:  I don’t drink coffee in the morning, so this one can be tough for me–8:00 am puts me somewhere between a state of everything being farther away than it actually is  and my daily visit to LaLa Land.  I get it.  Watch out for those crosswalks, especially when making right and left turns.  Its hard to see some of those little ones barreling off the curbs to get to school…and that includes my two boys racing each other even though I’ve told them a million times not to.

STAY OFF YOUR PHONE: Not only is it illegal to be on your phone in a school zone, or anywhere, for that matter, it is down right dangerous.  According to the National Safety Council, in 2012, 24% of crashes involved drivers talking or texting on cell phones.  Recent studies also show cell phone using drivers have slower reaction times than drunk drivers.  Put the phone away.

For those of you that walk or ride:

Common Causes of Bike WrecksLOOK: Cars are bigger than you, they weigh more, and they are made of hard materials.  Make sure there isn’t one coming at you when you cross the street.

FOLLOW THE RULES:  Cross at corners, not the middle of the road.  That extra tenth of the mile to the corner or cross walk will not kill you, it might actually make you stronger…and keep you injury free.  If you are in the bike lane, act like a car–the same rules apply to you–and for crying out loud, ride in the right direction.

Click here for a great refresher on bicycle riding laws.

WEAR A HELMET:  At least three quarters of bicycle related injuries can be prevented with the proper use of a helmet and adherence to bicycle safety.  Following the death of a young bicyclist last Father’s Day, the Police Department is cracking down.  They have been stopping unhelmeted riders under 18 and issuing citations resulting in fines up to $200.  The good news is they are also acknowledging riders that wear helmets by giving them gift certificates for treats from our community businesses.  If you or someone you know is in need of a helmet please contact the Camarillo Police Department.  If you’d like to donate a new helmet to a needy child please contact Senior Deputy Bea Hughes at 388-5131.

Finally…From the City of Camarillo Police Department:

Parents are also reminded to teach their children proper bicycle riding safety. The Camarillo Police Department would like to remind parents that children under the age of 18 must wear helmets properly while riding a bicycle, scooter or skateboard per CVC 21212(a). Studies show that 74-85% of bicycle related injuries could have been prevented with the proper use of a helmet and using proper bicycle safety. Proper use means buying a good helmet, making sure it fits, and making sure to buckle the chinstrap, while fitting it properly under the chin. We would like to remind children to look for an intersection that has a crossing guard or a marked crosswalk before crossing, as this is the safest way to cross the street. The Camarillo Police Department’s Traffic Unit will be providing extra saturation patrols to school zones, during the first few weeks of the school year.

A bicycle is considered a vehicle and while riding you must obey the rules of the road. The Camarillo Police Department does have a limited amount of helmets and safety gear available for free, provided to families dealing with financial hardships. Feel free to contact the Community Resource Unit during regular business hours @ 388-5155.  Read the complete media release.

–Kamala Nahas, President of the Camarillo Council of PTAs and mother of one hormonal teen and two kamikaze bicyclists.  (They get it all from their Dad’s side of the family…)

Back To School Night Cliff Notes & Photos

Here’s a little summary for all of you that missed the General Assembly during Back-to-School Night.

From Principal Williams

Common Core

  • Mrs. Williams showed a quick three minute video “What are USA Education Standards?”.  You can view it here:  [youtube:http://youtu.be/g5ktLyHDjL4%5D
  • The teacher learning focus last year was Language Arts.  You’ll see evidence of that this year with new classroom learning structures like Daily 5 and also in a shift to more nonfiction reading.  You’ll also start to see less worksheets coming home and more creative and collaborative classroom assignments.  Learning will be more inquiry based with a focus on writing to demonstrate proficiency.  In fourth and fifth grade you’ll be hearing more and more about academic language.   You’ll also notice these changes don’t stop at language arts, rather they weave together science, history, and other content areas.
  • This year the teacher learning focus is math.  We look forward to seeing all the changes in action toward the end of this year and starting out next year in the area of math.
  • At the heart of the Common Core State Standards is an educational paradigm shift away from knowing facts to thinking about how to find answers.  As a parent you might feel a little lost.  This year the district will be offering Parent Education so you can guide your child using the same Common Core principles at home.

To get the big picture of the aim of Common Core, check out this four and a half minute video:


Daily 5

Daily 5 is a way of structuring the language arts block that allows students to work at their own level, while challenging them and providing structure within the classroom.  Teachers talked about things like building reading and writing stamina, differentiation, and allowing students to chose their own reading material and activities.  To learn more about what Daily 5 looks like in your child’s classroom just ask your child’s teacher.


Mrs. Williams updated us on our technology status:

  • Kindergarten and 1st grade students will be included in instruction by our tech teacher.
  • Every classroom has six computers; desk tops for lower grades and laptops for upper grades.
  • SMART boards in every classroom.
  • We are working toward the addition of a Chromebook Cart with the long range goal of 1:1 device:student.

Principals Coffee

Each month our principal will host an informal discussion meeting with parents and community members.  This is an open meeting where she will share information on topical issues. Parents and community members are invited to provide positive feedback and to express questions and/or concerns. Mark your calendars for Friday, September 27 at 8:15 AM in the La Mariposa library. Click here for a schedule for 2013-2014.

From Our PTA…

Straight from the Milan’s runways, our PTA parents put on a Program and Event Fashion Show.  It was a fun way to highlight all the wonderful things your donations and service add to the La Mariposa educational experience.  We even had some PTA Paparazzi snapping photos to share with you.

To learn more about how the PTA uses your donations click here.

From the Principal: New Year, New Tools For Success

Erica PictureWelcome to the 2013-2014 school year!  I am excited to be part of the La Mariposa School Community.    The teachers have been busy preparing for the students to arrive.  Over the summer our teachers received new laptops, the computer lab was updated and each classroom now has six computers!  All teachers received iPads at the end of last school year and have had the summer to “play” with them and discover new ways to use them with students.  They will start the year with an all-day training on how to implement them within the classroom.

In many classes last year you may have heard your child coming home talking about Daily 5.  This year, you will see that in more of our classrooms.  This is a way of structuring the language arts block during the school day that allows students to work at their own level, while challenging them and providing structure within the classroom.  Students will learn to develop independent literacy habits.  This structure allows for differentiation.  Teachers meet individually with students to set goals and identify strategies to focus on.    These goals are addressed through whole class and small group instruction.  The new structure fosters a love of reading and writing that is quite impressive.

Common Core Standards were introduced to our teachers last school year.  This school year, teachers will begin implementing some of the new concepts.  Teachers will meet monthly with Grade Level teams throughout the district to further prepare for implementation of these standards within the classroom.

I would like to invite all parents to Back to School Night.  This is an opportunity for parents to learn about classroom procedures, homework policies, and grade level standards.  Please join us on Wednesday, September 18th from 6:00-7:30p.m.  We will have a short meeting in our MPR from 6:00-6:30p.m.  Classroom visitations are from 6:30-7:30 p.m.  To accommodate those of you with more than one child at our school, the teachers will give two presentations.  One presentation will be from 6:30-7:00 p.m. and one will be from 7:00-7:30 p.m.  These presentations will be the same, so feel free to attend either one.

The mission of La Mariposa is to provide a safe and nurturing learning environment in which all students participate in an engaging standards based curriculum.  As we work together sharing our strengths and talents, I know we can achieve this goal.

–Erica Williams, Principal