Stop by Panda Express today and support Turtleback.
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Family Dine Out

Don’t miss our last Family Dine Out of the year! Just stop by Panda Express in Carmel Mountain (12330 Carmel Mountain Road) today between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. and Turtleback will receive a portion of your purchase.

Supporting Our School

Thanks to your generous support this year, the Foundation has already provided much-needed funding for:

  • Art - $7,000 for ART CORPS
  • Music and Theater Arts - $1,788 for music and the fifth-grade Improv workshop
  • Teacher Grants - $4,300 for reading assessment kits and reading books
  • Physical Education - $1,820 for the Hoopitup! school-wide assembly and YMCA Playground Partners
  • Collaboratory - $860 for bean bag chairs

But, numbers don’t tell the whole story. For example, one teacher grant funded five kindergarten and first-grade reading assessment kits. The kits provide a standard assessment tool to use for evaluating students and placing them in the appropriate reading groups. “Having our own kits has made it so much easier to assess our students,” said first-grade teacher Jodie Podeszwik. “When we sense that a student has progressed, we can assess them any day and at any time.”

ASD students have also benefited from a grant funded last year, but fulfilled this year. Twenty-two second- through fifth-grade students now have access to 12 Chromebooks and are using them to log onto academic websites and do research for class presentations. “Our students are now pretty proficient in accessing the Chromebooks and that wouldn’t have been possible without the grant from the Foundation,” said ASD teacher Christina Rodocker.

Join the Foundation Leadership Team

Wondering how you can get more involved in your child’s education? Become an active member of the Foundation. We’re currently looking for parents to fill Board and coordinator positions for the 2017-18 school year. Giving the gift of your time, even one to two hours every month, will make a big difference to the students of Turtleback. To learn more, email

Community Grants

Turtleback recently received two community-sponsored grants. The first was a $5,000 Barona Education Grant from the Barona Band of Mission Indians. The money will be used to enhance our Maker Space, a new learning area that lets kids explore, create, collaborate, and problem solve. The space will include a Lego wall, Lego starter kits, and two Ozobot classroom robot kits.

From left to right: Ray Welch, Sheila Alvarez, Principal Ann Auten, and Assemblyman Brian Maienschein.

The second grant, for $2,500, was awarded by the Rancho Bernardo Community Foundation. With this money and additional funds received by the district, we are installing turf near the two south gate entrances. This will make a significant difference when the rains come.


November has been another successful month for ART CORPS! Most classes have finished their lessons on Shape and are now learning about Value. The Value lesson involves painting with tempura paint, which is a new medium for many students.

As you can see from the pictures below, the students have gained confidence in their artistic abilities. After the holiday break, it’s on to learning about positive and negative space.

Ho, Ho Holiday Music

Our merry-maker kindergartners will sing their hearts out at a holiday performance this Friday (December 16) at 8:30 a.m. in the MPR. They will be accompanied by Foundation-provided music teacher, Nancy Casey. So come for the smiles and get in the holiday spirit.

Earn Money While You Shop

If you haven’t finished your holiday shopping yet, there’s still time. And when you buy from any of these merchants, they’ll donate a percentage of every purchase to the school.
  • Amazon: Click any of the Amazon ads on the Foundation website. You’ll then be directed to the Amazon website and can complete your purchase.
  • eScrip: Go to the eScrip website and register your store, credit, or debit cards. Then use them to make a purchase at a participating merchant.
  • Benefit Mobile: Download the Benefit app, create an account, and purchase or redeem digital gift cards from your mobile device.
  • Ralph’s: Register your card on the Ralph’s website and designate Turtleback under Community Rewards.


Spelling F-U-N

There is just over a month to go until the Spell-a-thon, one of our largest fundraisers. During the break, your Terrapins can practice their words and collect pledges. Pledge sheets and spelling words are coming home this week and are due back the day of the Spell-a-thon, January 26.

Our goal is to raise $50 per student, which would mean over $30,000 for Turtleback! We’re looking for help from parent volunteers to correct tests and hand out student prizes on January 26. Sign up online if you can assist.

Harvest Festival: That's a Wrap!

Over 550 kids and 200 adults attended the Harvest Festival this year and enjoyed the Mad Science booths, games, rides, food, and fun. After expenses, the school raised $1,361 on the carnival and $6,050 on the Silent Auction. Funds will be used to provide continued support for music, art, science, and technology. Special thanks to coordinators Darrius and Sunday Nowell for organizing the carnival and to Becca Ellithorpe for managing the Silent Auction.


Lights, Camera, Action!

The spotlight is on and it’s time for your child to shine as a participant in our first Variety Show in seven years. If your student enjoys singing, dancing, gymnastics, magic, playing an instrument, reciting poetry or short stories, lip syncing, or more, be sure to sign up for an audition. Please read the instructions carefully as all rehearsals are mandatory and will be held on Tuesdays after school. Performance dates are March 31 and April 1 at 7 p.m. in the MPR. Contact Genni Myles at 858.243.1848 or with questions.

Salute to Our Seniors

On November 9, a group of Turtleback students, staff, and parents helped put smiles on the faces of seniors at the Villa nursing home as part of a special Bucketfillers program. The kids played bingo with the residents and an after-school ESS musical theater troop performed patriotic songs, receiving many accolades. To continue the goodwill and make a low-income senior’s holiday brighter, please consider donating a new blanket, socks or slippers, or men’s large shirts to the school office before Friday.

The next Bucketfiller event, on February 2 and 6, will focus on homelessness and hunger.
Upcoming Events

  • Dec. 14 - Family Dine Out, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
  • Jan. 6 - Movie Night, 6:30 p.m.
  • Jan. 18 - Lunch with Loved Ones (times vary by grade)
  • Jan. 19 - Room Parent Meeting, 10 a.m.
  • Jan. 26 - Spell-a-thon

The Foundation would like to thank all of our generous sponsors for their support!

© 2016 Turtleback Education Foundation. All rights reserved.

Established in April 2009, the Turtleback Education Foundation is a registered nonprofit organization that raises funds and provides community service programs specifically for the purpose of meeting the academic, social, and emotional needs of Turtleback Elementary School students.

Our mailing address is:
Turtleback Education Foundation
15855 Turtleback Road
San Diego, CA 92127

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Turtleback Education Foundation · 15855 Turtleback Road · San Diego, CA 92127 · USA

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