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Message from Our Principal

Introducing Mrs. Yepez

Dear MacArthur Families,

My name is Maria Yepez and I am humbled by the opportunity to serve as your new principal.  It is an honor to be a part of a school dedicated to General Douglas A. MacArthur’s legacy.  His strength in leading others, dedication and commitment for what he believed in, and resilience after multiple attempts will serve as guiding principles during my first year at MacArthur Elementary.

My journey began in 1998 as a fifth grade teacher at John Muir Elementary School in Long Beach.  Following that came my roles serving in multiple capacities as 4th grade teacher, Reading First Coach, Title 1 Program Facilitator, and Intervention Specialist.  From John Muir, I served as Bret Harte Elementary School’s Assistant Principal for the past 4 years. These roles have provided me the opportunity to grow as an effective collaborator and leader, leading me to my next journey as your school principal.

At MacArthur, it is our role to provide students with a standards based, high quality education, and opportunities to thrive in today’s society by providing them with the tools to become ready in the areas of college, career, and ultimately, life.  We will continue our school-wide focus on student academic achievement, campus culture, and social-emotional factors that affect overall student growth. Our school vision aligns with the instructional focus in Long Beach Unified School District:  

“We, the MacArthur Elementary Family, promote good character and academic success for all students. Students are encouraged to take risks in their thinking and reflect on their learning to become literate individuals. Students are taught to clearly communicate and work collaboratively with others.”

Please join me in welcoming new members to our staff.  They bring a wealth of expertise, professionalism, and enthusiasm to our work together.  Let us all welcome: Victoria Joseph (Grade 1), Christen Stein (RSP), Theresa Lutke (ETK), Yvette Brotherton (office supervisor), Anamaria Fife (school nurse, Tuesdays), Courtney Cover (health assistant, Wednesdays), and Natalie Ward (intermediate office assistant, Fridays).  

I look forward to meeting all of you.  Most importantly, I cannot wait to meet your smart, enthusiastic, and beautiful children! As a lifelong learner, I want to inspire our MacArthur scholars to embrace the wonderful journey of learning, instill the importance of growth mindset, and encourage them to evolve into their fullest potential.  Thank you in advance for ensuring that your children come to school everyday, on time, and in uniform. Working together, we can make a difference!

 

Sincerely,

Mrs. Maria Yepez


Principal Update: August 28, 2018

Dear MacArthur Families,

Welcome back!  I hope you all had a restful, rejuvenating and rewarding summer vacation.  Our staff has been quietly working very hard "behind the scenes" over the summer to help ensure another memorable and successful school year.  

Summer Updates
In addition to traveling to places near and far, spending quality time with family and friends, and creating summer memories that will last a lifetime, your MacArthur Elementary School teachers, staff, and PTA have been putting in a considerable amount of time "on and off the clock" so that all 380 students are ensured of a year full of learning and growth.  This summer, our hallways were bustling with teachers who were finalizing their moves to temporary classrooms due to renovation or preparing their classrooms and materials for the new school year.  They also spent their time learning new strategies by taking LBUSD’s myPD online courses or immersing themselves in reading articles/research to enhance their pedagogy.  Our counselor, Mrs. Frank has worked diligently with our class placements.  She prepared and organized all of the programs that support our students' academic and behavioral development.  Our new office supervisor, Yvette has worked hard in updating the student and teacher bulletins and has ensured that all of the essential "pieces of school" (textbooks, technology, and other important supplies) are in place.  Our plant supervisor, Tyrone and custodians: Fernando and Charles assisted our teachers in moving successfully in their temporary classrooms.  In addition, they also made sure to give our campus a thorough deep-cleaning in every classroom and building.  Last but not least, our PTA Board has already held planning meetings and attended PTA board workshops to help make this year the best yet.  Please be sure to sign up for PTA membership and be on the lookout for the PTA membership drive letters. You may contact our PTA board president, Meghan Brearley via email douglasmacarthurpta@gmail.com if you have any questions.

I was engaged in a lot of learning during new principal workshops and trainings this summer and still managed to squeeze in a week of adventure and family time in Palm Springs, a night watching Annie “under the stars” at the Hollywood Bowl, yoga on the LB Bluff, massages and acupuncture visits, and some seriously "unplugged downtime".  Specifically, my learning and transition to MacArthur was centered around three things:

  • embracing change and transition in my new role as principal while being open and flexible to the renovation currently happening on campus

  • immersing and studying MacArthur’s achievement data and trends and thinking of ways to continue the momentum in increased student achievement & SEL factors

  • learning and understanding MacArthur’s culture and story that has evolved over the years.  This is important in ensuring collective efficacy to remind our families, educators and students that all MacArthur students will reach their full potential in a warm and nurturing learning environment, with a shared focus on our vision and mission by providing them with the tools to become college, career, and life ready.


RENOVATION UPDATE as of 8/28/18

Refer renovation map as of 9/2/18

I want to ask for your patience and flexibility this year, especially during Phase 1 renovation as we open a new school year.  There will be some changes in your access to the school during construction.  Please refer to the attached map for public access.  During this renovation, I want to ensure you that instructional time is protected and learning and student safety remains our #1 priority.  Please help our students by doing the following:

  • To ensure that our campus is safe, we require that all visitors sign in at the front office. Volunteers must have their VIPS badges on at all times. 

  • Access to the cafeteria and playground from Building A is closed.  This includes the main office building and the black wrought iron side gate.  

  • Please use Henrilee and Gondar as public access to the school.  Kinder parents will need to drop off students in the Kinder playground.

  • Office doors to be used for office related business only (enrollment, administrator assistance, questions to the secretary).

  • Parents are not allowed to park in the teachers/staff parking lot.  The access into the lot needs to be clear at all times to avoid congestion and keep the fire lane open for emergencies.  

  • Students may be dropped off in front of the auditorium. Students are allowed to walk west of the auditorium (by the parking lot), enter the auditorium stage (if they are eating breakfast), or proceed directly to the playground via the construction access gates.

  • Construction access (gates between parking lot and cafeteria) will only be open before and after school.   Rest assure, construction will only drop off equipment or construction supplies before and after school.

  • Work crews were advised by their managers to not engage with students, teachers, staff, and the community.  I find it very hard not to say hello or thank them for their hard work, they seem very surprised when I do. However, please help us by sharing this info to your students/children.  It is important that we allow the crews to continue to focus on their work and meet their deadlines.

  • Please obey school zone speed limits and do not drop your students off at a location where they will have to cross the street (Lakewood Municipal Code – Section 3273).

  • I would also like to remind you to please respect our neighbors. It is important to keep their driveways clear so they can accommodate their guests and have access in case of any emergency.   

We will shift gears again when we begin Phase 2 and will keep you posted with any changes ahead of time.  However, please note that these renovation phase dates are not set in stone, they have varying factors such as approvals from the state for permits and inspections.  You will receive a map with your parent bulletin packet on the first day of school. 

Academic Excellence:  Attendance, Punctuality, School Uniforms
I want to encourage you to prepare your child for success in school and in life by discussing the importance of attendance, being on time, and dressed in their school uniform.  Children who come to school everyday, on time, and dressed ready to learn usually do better academically.  

According to the website, “Encouraging regular school attendance is one of the most powerful ways you can prepare your child for success—both in school and in life. When you make school attendance a priority, you help your child get better grades, develop healthy life habits, avoid dangerous behavior and have a better chance of graduating from high school.”

Please be sure to go over the Parent Information Packet that your child brings home on the first day of school.  Take time to read and discuss our school’s Code of Scholarly and Behavioral Excellence with your son/daughter and help us begin the year with high expectations in attendance, dress and student behavior, in order to ensure academic excellence.  Together, we can build a foundation for a world-class education for ALL students! Go Eagles!

Sincerely,
Mrs. Maria Yepez