Heritage Happenings from the Head of School

Patricia Cailler

Head of School


The Mayflower

Friday, November 21st, 2014

“Why are the children in this class sitting on their desks wearing old-fashioned clothing?” a visitor to Peninsula Heritage School might have asked this past Monday.
Fifth Grade teacher Mrs Kimarie Lynn, her associate teacher Mrs. Terry Metzenbaum, Language Arts Enrichment teacher Mrs. Kat Banales, and any of the Fifth Graders will quickly explain that they were crossing the Atlantic Ocean on board the sailing ship Mayflower. This “voyage” is only one part of the week’s simulation of colonial life experienced by this class as they study early American history.
Since the Mayflower had to carry more passengers than originally planned, the Pilgrims were very crowded onboard. The children learn that they will have to endure terrible storms and 65 days of sailing before the ship, blown off course, lands far to the north of their original destination. This vessel also made several false starts before actually beginning its voyage, so the freezing temperatures and snows of December greet the Pilgrims as they arrive in North America.
Before the children leave the ship (their desks) they create a Mayflower Compact with rules to govern themselves after they disembark. Each student signs the document with the name of an actual Mayflower voyager, using a quill pen and sealing it with wax and a stamp.
Colonial Week continues each day for these students dressed in colonial attire, including amazing colonial science, colonial PE, even colonial Spanish, and concluding on Friday with the Trade Fair and a Colonial Breakfast. These PHS Fifth Graders are fortunate to have lived, felt, thought, and experienced far more than can be learned from the pages of a history book!


Saturday, November 15th, 2014

Thanks to PE Instructor Kim Nygaard and PHS parent Mr. George Toney, our students are participating in TRX training during their regular Physical Education classes. First used in training Navy SEALs, this suspension training leverages the student’s bodyweight and gravity to simultaneously develop strength, balance, flexibility and core stability!

Educator of the Year

Friday, November 7th, 2014

Our PHS “Educator of the Year,” Mrs. Eileen Mahoney, was honored on Wednesday evening at the annual “Educator of the Year” dinner presented by the Palos Verdes Rotary Club. Mrs. Mahoney, PHS’s Sixth Grade Language Arts and Social Studies teacher, was one of ten educators from around the Peninsula presented at this Palos Verdes Golf Club event. Joined by her husband, daughters, parents, and extended family, Mrs. Mahoney spoke to the 280 assembled guests, graciously thanking her loved ones and her fellow educators for their inspiration and support. She also shared her love of the teaching profession and her appreciation for her Peninsula Heritage students. Congratulations, Mrs. Mahoney, for this outstanding honor and for all that you do for our students!

Outdoor Education on Catalina Island

Friday, October 24th, 2014

With the water temperature at 78 degrees and the gorgeous summer-like weather on Catalina Island, the Fifth Graders relished their recent Outdoor Education trip. Fifth Grade Teacher Kimarie Lynn shares highlights of this three-day learning experience:
The labs were one of the favorites of the students, and we divided them into 12 children per lab. The Catalina Island Marine Institute (CIMI) personnel instructed us in the parts of a fish skeleton. We learned the anatomy and purpose of each section, including the parts that propel and balance, as well as those that aid in the digestion of food.
In the algae lab, the students delighted in hearing that toothpaste, ice cream, yogurt, and chocolate milk all contain algae to provide the “creaminess” component of each product.
At the fish and shark touch tanks the Fifth Graders were up close and personal with small leopard sharks, round rays and sting rays, and shovel-nosed guitar fish. Another touch tank contained sea snails, sea cucumbers, octopi, sea urchins, sea stars, and non-stinging jelly fish.
Many of our Fifth Graders had never observed sea life under water, so our 1 ½ hour snorkeling sessions on two different days were a real treat. Outfitted with wet suits, face masks, swim fins, and snorkels, the students studied sea life from both on top of the water and while diving beneath the surface. The sand habitats held the various types of rays, while we discovered that the sections of the ocean floor with rocks and kelp were home to a huge variety of fish including the Garibaldi, senorita, blacksmith, sheepshead, and opaleye.
Crabbing (searching for crabs), plankton study, and rock climbing were just a few more of the activities our students enjoyed during this amazing educational experience at Catalina Island.