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visionnews

The Newsletter of the Pegasus Vision Committee Spring, 2009

Pegasus Stays True to Its Roots


Vision Continues to Drive Progress

W
hen we look back on plan. Our goal is to gradually
the 2008-09 school year, transform our 1950s campus to
what will we remember? a facility designed for learning,
Surely the passing of our founder technologically advanced and
and head, Dr. Laura Hathaway, environmentally sound, with an
will shape our memories of the infrastructure that will function
year. As will the deep economic effectively for decades to come.
downturn that is impacting each In light of the current economic
of us in one way or another. climate, we have modified the
Despite these unexpected pace for implementing the various
circumstances, The Pegasus skills. We encourage our teachers phases of the plan. Yet we remain
School hasn’t wavered in its to take risks and try new things, but no less committed to seeing our
commitment to the goals and they do so within the framework campus evolve into a true 21st
principles of the Vision Plan, of Vision.” century learning facility.
which Dr. Hathaway guided from
its inception. (See page six for The Vision Plan can be viewed Just like any business, Pegasus
a summary of the Vision Plan.) as a blueprint for The Pegasus must adjust its expectations in
Indeed, our resourceful faculty School’s future—a blueprint that difficult financial times. But we
continues to implement key reflects Dr. Hathaway’s wishes for refuse to adjust our expectations
elements of the plan in ways that the evolution of our school. “We’re as they pertain to the quality of our
require little more than innovative all certain about the future of the children’s education. For 25 years
thinking. The result: enriching school due to that very critical now, Pegasus has delivered on
new programs that enhance our foundation that we created with Dr. Hathaway’s promise of giving
children’s experience at Pegasus Dr. Hathaway,” Sullivan says. bright and gifted students a place
without adding costs. to flourish. Now, more than ever,
Along with program changes, we all must remain committed
“The Vision Plan is so ingrained in the Vision Plan requires physical to Dr. Hathaway’s vision. In this
all of us now,” says John Sullivan, changes on the Pegasus campus. newsletter, you’ll read about
Acting Head of School. “Even In good economic times, we how we have demonstrated this
small changes or decisions are anticipated taking great strides commitment during the 2008-09
based on the set of 21st century in the near future towards school year.
developing the school’s master

Laura S. Hathaway, Ed. D.


Founder and Head of The Pegasus School
In Loving Memory, May 18, 1941 - March 8, 2009
“The world awaits and we have a limited time to make a difference.
‘Building wings’ is more than just academics; it is how we define
ourselves as human beings. Let’s soar on this adventure together
and see the difference the Pegasus community can make.”
Vision Inside the Classroom
What’s New This Year

I
t takes little more than a glimpse inside a classroom Independent Study for Grades 4–5
to see the Vision Plan in action. You can see it in Recognizing that many of our bright and gifted
second grade, where the Famous Americans students thrive on in-depth research, our fourth and
presentations have been expanded this year to fifth grade teachers now give them a pretest on
include famous people from around the world, each new social studies unit. Students who already
enhancing the students’ global awareness. And in first have a solid grasp of the material are encouraged to
grade, where a new unit on different cultural traditions select a more narrow area of study to enhance their
for marking the loss of a tooth teaches that the tooth critical thinking. Oral presentations by these students
fairy doesn’t leave money under pillows in far reaches upon completion of their units not only build their own
of the world. And in middle school, where expanded communication and leadership skills, but also enrich
the entire class experience.

“With Independent Study I get to


pick a topic that interests me and
then learn a lot about it. It’s fun!”
~ Randon Davitt,
Fifth Grade Student

Technological Advancements
Enormous campus-wide benefits have been realized
this year under the leadership of our new Director
of Technology, Trish Paulson. We’ve upgraded our
options for eighth grade Spanish will give students who computer network, making Internet access 20 times
demonstrate a high level of proficiency the choice of faster and providing wireless access to 100% of the
a course focusing on culture and conversation, or a school. It’s all part of our efforts to make our teachers
more traditional course focusing on vocabulary and and students more technologically astute. Teachers
grammar. “The conversation class will be a wonderful are better able to use technology in the classroom
way to develop our students’ Spanish speaking skills when it runs quickly and efficiently. We’ve also
and foster their confidence to use the language,” updated the middle school technology lab with over
says Spanish teacher Charline Nakamura. 20 new computers and acquired software programs,
such as Adobe Suite, Flash/Reason multimedia, and
The impact of the Vision Plan can also be seen outside
animation software, all of which allow our students to
the classroom, as far away as Sudan, where last year’s
use technology like never before.
coin collection at Pegasus raised enough funds to buy
two wells for an impoverished village. As a direct result
of Pegasus fundraising, girls from that village are now
able to spend their days in school instead of walking
nearly 10 miles round trip to collect water.

Pegasus Middle School students were deeply moved


by Lost Boy of Sudan, Benjamin Ajak, who spoke at
our school last year. Their connection with him was so
deep that they invited him back to Pegasus, where
he played soccer and joined in the middle school
field trip to Fountain Bowl for his first time bowling. An
inspirational international figure, Ajak was nonetheless
accessible to the students on a personal level.

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Interactive whiteboards are becoming ubiquitous in Moodle Merges Poetry and the Internet
our classrooms and teachers are growing more and Fourth graders have been flocking to the Internet
more adept at using this outstanding communication this year, but not just for Facebook or YouTube.
tool, thanks in large part to training programs offered A program called Moodle allows our students (and
during the February intersession. our students only) to publish their own poetry online
and then comment on each other’s work. In this
safe online haven, students enjoy writing, analyzing,
and sharing their thoughts—helping them become
technologically astute, excellent communicators,
creative and innovative.

Teachers to Tap Into Moodle, Too


A collaborative Moodle site for our teachers called
“Global Perspectives” is in the works, thanks to
middle school teachers Jim Conti and Vicki Schmitz.
The Global Perspectives Moodle site will allow our
teachers to share ideas and materials to enhance
learning and instruction. Teachers will post in an
In what many of our faculty called the best intersession
open forum about topics on which they are working
ever, multidimensional seminars were offered,
and receive feedback and suggestions from their
depending on the teachers’ skill level and interests.
colleagues. A searchable Resource Exchange
Several of our teachers are now Promethean Masters,
database will enable teachers, along with their
a certification that qualifies them to lead other faculty
students, to easily find educational tools such as
members in the use of the Promethean interactive
videos and print materials. Teachers will also contribute
smartboard.
resources to the database.

Spatial-Temporal Math for Grades 2–5 Other Moodle sites for students and staff are in the
Pegasus has always embraced differences in learning initial stages of development.
styles, and now we have a fun new program that
better accommodates spatial-temporal learners in Middle School Rotation
math. This year, roughly 80 students participated in the All middle school students now participate in a rotation
computer-based Spatial-Temporal (ST) Math program that includes courses in global affairs, creative writing,
from the Mind Institute. The animated program and technology every third day. These ungraded
engages the students in visual interpretation of math courses develop students’ global awareness,
communication skills, creativity and technological
“My children and I spent an enjoyable hour astuteness in a setting that encourages learning for
solving the challenging puzzles on the ST learning’s sake.
math website. They’re a great way for adults
and kids to exercise their minds together.”
~ Nancy Fries, Parent

If you’d like to try the sample ST Math games, go


to www.mindresearch.net and click on demo.

concepts using no language at all. Our teachers


agree that even students who learn well in the more
traditional logical-sequential manner will benefit from
ST Math, because it enhances their critical thinking.
Thus, our teachers will be further trained in ST Math
over the summer, and it will augment our Saxon Math The rotation gives students the opportunity to be
program for all students in grades 2–5 next fall. Thanks exposed to more subject matter across the span of
to a generous donation by a parent, we now have a the school year than if those courses were offered
perpetual site license. only individually and without the pressure of grades.
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Vision Inside the Classroom
What’s New This Year Continued from page 3

Science Night for 3rd and 4th Grade Girls Earth Day Goes Global
Studies have shown girls’ interest and performance in To promote more global awareness, we shifted our
science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) entire observation of Earth Day from the national date
drops off dramatically in the late elementary years. in April to the international date, which falls on the
We consider confidence in these areas to be a critical Spring Equinox. In the middle school, students learned
factor in the emotional well-being of our bright and about their eco-footprints and completed surveys to
gifted girls. To that end, we are implementing some determine their own environmental impact on the
special STEM events for our third and fourth grade girls. world. Based on their survey results, students worked
The first such event will be a Science Night in April with with their advisory groups to develop fun and creative
a CSI theme. The girls will collaborate in an exciting, presentations for the rest of the middle school on ways
educational investigation while their parents listen to to reduce their eco-footprints.
speakers on the importance of keeping girls interested
in STEM. We anticipate this will be the first in a series
Entrepreneur Day Goes Eco-Friendly
of similar events designed to foster leadership and
Entrepreneur Day this year was expanded to include
excellence in the sciences.
all grades in this event that promotes economic
literacy. But we took it one step further by tying it in
with International Earth Day and calling it Entrepreneur
World Market. Roughly half of the 28 businesses
reflected environmental consciousness, among them
an organic produce stand and a booth selling green
cleaning supplies.

Middle School Curriculum Integration


A key step in enhancing curriculum integration in
the middle school was the designation of grade
level English teachers. In the past, teachers shared
responsibility for sixth through eighth grade English,
Environmental Consciousness Expands
but now those grades each have their own teacher.
Additional programs to make our students
This allows for a distinct, well-orchestrated progression
environmentally conscious include our Tanaka Farms
of skill sets throughout the middle school years.
program, which brings a selection of fresh produce
Additionally, it facilitates curriculum integration
directly from farm to school each week. Students
between English and other subjects. For example,
in grades K-4 continue to complete the cycle of
the term paper for social studies is also graded by
soil to table to soil, by planting, harvesting and
the English teacher; the book jacket design for English
composting. Third graders this year cleared an area
becomes a technology project, too. Not only do
for planting a native, drought-resistant garden. Many
teachers work collaboratively, but students do as
of our children have become more eco-conscious as
well, with an increasing number of group projects
their parents!
specifically designed to develop this key skill.

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Increased Programs for Emotional After-School Options Increase
and Physical Well-Being Our new Assistant Director of Special Programs,
We aim to keep our students not only academically Terry Link, has introduced roughly a dozen new after
challenged but also emotionally and physically school activities for our students, ranging from sports
balanced. To further that goal, we have expanded to music to technology. The options are as diverse
our human development program in grades 4–8 and as our students’ interests and offer the opportunity
added new units on health and nutrition. In middle to try new things on our own campus. Depending
school, we’ve changed the advisory program so that on the programs they choose, students can develop
groups are smaller, averaging around 12 students. their physical, technological, artistic, creative, and
The advisory groups meet for weekly tutorials and communication skills.
participate in various middle school activities that
build school spirit and enhance the students’ sense
of belonging.

Growth in our Programs for the Arts


The collaboration between our music teacher Cheryl
Wilson and our new drama teacher, Janice Krell-Coyle,
has enabled our entire K-8 arts program to take on a
new dimension. For the first time, our Winter Concert
included middle school and lower school students
together on stage. In the middle school, overall time
spent on the arts has increased 50% and all electives
fall into the categories of fine or performing arts. As a
result, all of our students are becoming well versed in “This has got to be a place
the arts.
where bright and talented
students feel safe to be who
they are.”
~ Dr. Laura Hathaway
Founder and Head

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Summing it up: The Vision Plan
The Vision Plan, in case you are not familiar with it, helps our children see the world more clearly, today and for
the future. Dr. Laura Hathaway was truly visionary when she started Pegasus 25 years ago. From its humble
beginnings with a tiny student body of 40 in two Fountain Valley classrooms, Pegasus has grown to a community
of 565 students on a 14-acre campus that we now own. Its reputation has grown within Southern California and
beyond, drawing students from a wide radius whose parents know they can receive no finer preschool through
grade eight education anywhere.

But Dr. Hathaway’s vision didn’t stop there. A few years ago, she formed the Vision Committee—a collaborative
group of faculty, administrators, and parents who aimed to identify the key skills 21st century Pegasus students
would need to succeed in life. Committee members visited 40 top-tier schools around the nation and identified
eleven core skills, outlined below. Based on that research, Pegasus faculty members have implemented myriad new
programs that help build those skills in our children.

When you hear teachers mention that a program has stemmed from the Vision Plan, you will know that it is a
program that enhances one of these eleven core skills.

The Pegasus 21st Century Student Will Be:


Emotionally and Physically A Critical Thinker
Well-Balanced In an increasingly complex world, students
Part of being successful is being healthy in need the ability to analyze, synthesize and
one’s physical and personal life. We aim to evaluate vast amounts of information.
teach our students how to care for themselves While concrete thinking will continue to
and for one another, for personal success in be essential, critical thinking will help our
school and beyond. children use problem-solving skills and pure
intuition to decipher complex information.
A Good Citizen It will also help them gauge the credibility of
Good citizenship starts from within, with information, whether on the Internet, in a text
strength of character and belief in oneself. message, or in old-fashioned face-to-face
It extends to the community with a sense of communication.
personal responsibility and an awareness of
how your own actions impact others. Pegasus Technologically Astute
students understand their role and welcome Proficiency in key technological tools is clearly
the responsibilities and the potentials that full essential to today’s students. But proficiency
citizenship represents. isn’t enough. They need to understand the
risks inherent in our technological world.
Technologically savvy students will know how to
protect their own identities and cultivate their
reputations while using the power of technology
to gather information and communicate more
efficiently and effectively than ever before.

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Creative and Innovative A Collaborative Worker with
We cannot even conceive of the new issues Leadership Skills
our children will confront as adults. Those who Employers cite the ability to work collaboratively
succeed will have the courage to think beyond as one of the key skills they look for in hiring.
the status quo to find exciting new solutions. The Professionals at every level will have to work
founders of Apple, eBay and Google are good together to help navigate the mazes of
examples of creative and innovative thinkers technology, bureaucracy, and our innate
in the first phase of the Technology Age. The resistance to change. Few big ideas come
trendsetters of the next phase will be equally to fruition without teamwork. Leadership is
adept at envisioning a possibility—some might required to unite the team and make those big
say a wild idea—and making it a reality. ideas happen.

Economically Literate Environmentally Conscious


Our local and national economies are Our students must understand their role in
inextricably intertwined with those around managing our planet’s resources. They need
the globe. While it is essential for our students to be aware of their interaction with physical,
to understand the world economic market, biological and chemical properties of
economic literacy goes well beyond our world, so they can develop innovative
financial concerns. Our students need to solutions to problems like global warming,
grasp how the economic forces of supply diminishing fossil fuel supplies, overpopulation,
and demand drive virtually everything and much more.
in the world—time, resources, money,
and more. Equipped with a Global Perspective
Messages travel around the globe in
Well Versed in the Arts milliseconds; people do so in mere hours.
It’s more than being well-rounded; the arts Although our students may have lived their
help enhance many of our students’ other skill entire lives in Southern California and perhaps
sets, from creativity and communications skills never attended a school other than Pegasus,
to global awareness and physical well-being. they need to consider themselves members
The arts are an essential part of the human of a global community. Understanding
experience, steeped in history and evoking different cultures, viewing the world from the
the range of human emotions. perspective of those with lives different than
our own, speaking at least one additional
An Excellent Communicator language—all are essential to success in our
Written and verbal skills have always been shrinking world.
important, but our children will need to be able
to communicate appropriately in a vast range
of formats. Texting, e-mailing, and blogging
use different writing formats than traditional
communications, and our students must master
both old and new styles. Persuasive verbal skills
will always be essential, whether for landing a
job, pitching an idea, contributing to a group
effort, or managing personnel.

“The Vision Plan updates our program with skills that are essential for
21st century citizens; it has changed the way we prepare our kids for the
future and enhanced the relevancy of our program. Despite Dr. Hathaway’s
passing, the Vision Plan will ensure that our school continues to evolve the
way she anticipated.”
~ John Sullivan
Acting Head of School

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The Pegasus Vision Committee
19692 Lexington Lane
Huntington Beach, CA 92646