Monday, January 23

SHORT STORY inaugural fairmont expo

We were thrilled to see the whole Fairmont family out at Chapman University yesterday for our inaugural Fairmont Expo. Here is a sneak peak of our pictures from the event...

Contributed by Alyssa, Fairmont Private Schools 

Thursday, January 19

HOW TO is your child ready for kindergarten?

Shelia Rafat, Admissions Director at the Citron Campus, has had the opportunity to meet with hundreds of soon-to-be kindergartners over the course of her career. She recently conducted a Fairmont Chalk Talk on how to tell when your preschooler is ready for the big "K". While there is no perfect formula that determines when children are truly ready for kindergarten, she shared the following checklist.  And don't worry if your little one isn't an ace with her ABCs just yet. According to Ms. Shelia, and others in early childhood, what's more important is that your child demonstrates a willingness and eagerness to learn.

Signs that your child may be ready for kindergarten:
  • Cuts with scissors.
  • Traces basic shapes.
  • Sorts similar objects by color, shape and size.
  • Can pay attention for short periods of time to adult-directed tasks.
  • Separates from parents without being upset.
  • Identifies the beginning sounds of some words.
  • Speaks in complete sentences of five to six words.
  • Manages bathroom needs.
  • Identifies alphabet letters and their sounds.
  • Counts to ten.
  • Recognizes some common sight words.
  • Recognizes groups of one, two, three, four, and five.
  • Can share and play with others.
  • Can bounce a ball.
  • Can look at a picture and then tell a story.

photo from Microsoft Office photo gallery

Contributed by Danyelle, Fairmont Private Schools


Wednesday, January 18

ARTS AND CRAFTS chinese new year dragon

Chinese New Year celebrations begin on January 22 (Chinese New Year's Eve) and run through February 6 (Lantern Festival).    Usher in the Year of the Dragon by crafting this pint-sized dragon puppet from FamilyFun magazine.  The dragon is the fifth sign of the Chinese zodiac and it is regarded as an auspicious symbol which stands for power, good luck, success, and happiness.  While you're at it, order up some dumplings from your favorite Chinese restaurant and dig in--with a lucky circular shape they represent coins and are super lucky (and delicious)!
photo from
Contributed by Danyelle, Fairmont Private Schools

Tuesday, January 17

IN THE NEWS great teachers have lasting impact

The Teaching Channel on campus last summer filming one of Fairmont's great teachers in action. 
An article published by the New York Times on January 6th cited a recent study by Harvard and Columbia economists that shows highly effective teachers have a long-term impact on their students' success.

According to the study, students with great teachers are less likely to become pregnant as teenagers, more likely to attend college and earn more when they enter the workforce.  The study is the largest look yet at the controversial “value-added ratings,” which measure the impact individual teachers have on student test scores.

“Everybody believes that teacher quality is very, very important,” says Eric A. Hanushek, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford and longtime researcher of education policy. “What this paper and other work has shown is that it’s probably more important than people think. That the variations or differences between really good and really bad teachers have lifelong impacts on children.”

Teachers unions argue that using test scores to determine teacher quality is harmful and misleading. Others say test scores are an objective measure of a teacher's effectiveness in the classroom and call for accountability.  Regardless of your viewpoint, this study is groundbreaking in assigning a monetary value to poor, average and great teaching.

In my mind, and in the minds of many Fairmont parents, a great teacher is priceless!

Contributed by Danyelle, Fairmont Private Schools

Monday, January 16

THE FAIRMONT FIVE reasons to attend the fairmont expo

We can't wait to host our inaugural Fairmont Expo this Sunday, January 22! This joint open house event will mark the first time that all five of our Orange County schools are together in one location. We're inviting the entire Fairmont family to attend to kick off the new year and celebrate Fairmont's 2011 academic achievements as we launch our 2011 Report Card. Here are all the event details and our top 5 reasons to attend:

Fairmont Private Schools Expo 
Sunday, January 22, 2012 
10am-2pm, open house format 
Chapman University, Beckman Hall 404 
One University Drive, Orange, CA 92866

Top 5 Reasons to Attend: 

  1. 2011 P-12 Academic Outcomes Presentation by Sandy Cosgrove, Director of Education and Dr. Matthew Brandstetter, Dean of Academics
  2. College Outlook Presentation by Jonathan Dunn, Fairmont Prep College Counselor
  3. Fairmont Students in Action
    • Mock Classrooms 
    • Displays of artwork, science projects, and writing samples 
    • Musical Performances 
    • Live Debates
  4. Fun Activities
    • Face Painting
    • Kids Crafts
    • Pictures with Fairmont Mascots 
    • Milk & Cookie Bar
  5. Useful Raffle Prizes 
    • Free Week of Summer Camp
    • Free Summer School Enrollment 
    • Free Transportation (2012/2013 Year) 
    • Free Extended Day (2012/2013 Year) 

Click here to RSVP. We hope to see you there! 

Contributed by Alyssa, Fairmont Private Schools 

Friday, January 13

FRIDAY FOLDER january 13

Highlights From This Week
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Don't forget that there is NO SCHOOL on Monday, January 16th in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Read all about this national holiday in our blog post.

Fairmont Expo 
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Chapman University

We invite you to join us at our inaugural joint open house event as we kick off the New Year and launch our 2011 Report Card. This is the first time in Fairmont history that all five campuses will be together in one location, and you won't want to miss it! Preview your child's next grade level while exploring our art and science exhibits and enjoying student performances and informative presentations. Spend time with fellow parents and meet families and teachers from other Fairmont schools.

Bring your children along to play with their school friends-kid's activities will include treasure map crafts and pirate themed face painting at our Summer Programs table, photos with our mascots, and a milk and cookie bar!
Click here to RSVP

Extracurricular Classes  Our winter session of extracurricular classes begins next week. Our enrichment classes provide excellent opportunities to students to explore foreign languages, sports, and more. Be sure to check out your campus e-newsletter for the list of classes offered and sign-up details. 

Weekly E-Newsletters 
Anaheim Hills Campus 
Citron Campus 
Edgewood Campus 
Mable Campus 

January Lunch Menus 

Contributed by Alyssa, Fairmont Private Schools 

Thursday, January 12

becoming bilingual...A to Z

We kicked off our 2012 Spring Chalk Talk series last night at the Anaheim Hills campus with an event called "Becoming Bilingual." The event began with a screening of the documentary Speaking in Tongues, which follows the story of four students in San Francisco along their path to learn a second language. The film addresses the American trend towards remaining an "English only" nation, and the limitations that trend will put on future generations in an increasingly global economy. 

After the film, we held an open forum discussion on the topic of language learning facilitated by Krystin Kim, a Fairmont parent and owner of the North Orange County division of Lango; Denise Cabanel-Bleuer, Spanish Professor at Orange Coast College; and Sandy Cosgrove, Fairmont's Director of Education. We were thrilled to have a fantastic audience that posed great questions and offered insight into the importance of language learning for children and adults alike.  

Here are some takeaways from the discussion: 

  • Learning a second language offers students a variety of developmental and cognitive benefits, including: higher self esteem, opportunities to connect with other generations, enhanced cultural awareness, reduced risk of Alzheimers,  and increased job opportunity. All of these benefits increase when students learn more than two languages. 
  • The prime window for language learning begins at birth and closes around age 13, when the child's brain is still developing and language can be absorbed rather than taught in translation mode. 
  • When learning a second language, children learn the most from their friends, not from parents, so parents don't have to fear not knowing the language their child is learning. 

The bottom line? Everyone can and should learn a second language, and the earlier you start, the better!  All Fairmont students begin taking Spanish in first grade, and Fairmont also partners with Lango to offer after school language enrichment starting at the preschool level. Contact your campus Activities Director if you're interested in signing up for Lango classes this term. 

Contributed by Alyssa, Fairmont Private Schools