Weaver Elementary moves to Head of Class

Pictured here, from left to right, are Mrs. Meg Cutuli (Board of Education president), Dr. Robert Briggerman (principal of Weaver Elementary), Ben Penick (Weaver Hero of the Heart), and Dr. Sherry Kropp (superintendent of the Los Alamitos Unified School D

Students at Weaver Elementary, in Rossmoor, ranked No. 1 in Orange County on the most recent tests of both English language arts and math, Principal Robert Briggerman announced at the most recent meeting of the Los Alamitos Unified School District board.

Fresh on the heels of being named a 2017 National Blue Ribbon School for raising achievement levels of all students, Weaver posted scores that showed an average 94 percent of students in grades 3-5 met or exceeded state standards in English Language Arts, and the same percentage tested at that level in math. Briggerman said the results place Weaver at No. 3 in California in both areas.

Briggerman thanked both the school staff and the parent community for “working so hard to make this happen.

“Does that mean we don’t have any work to do? Of course not. Until we reach 100 percent, we still need to reach out and meet the needs of those families that we still need to serve,” he said.

Briggerman said two factors are key in the school’s success. First, parent support is outstanding.

The PTA, for example, raised $67,000 for student assemblies, field trips, Pacific Symphony Class Act, Meet the Masters art study and other programs. In addition Friends of Weaver purchased a brand new computer lab to support STEAM instruction in Media Center where students learn digital citizenship and safety, typing, coding, Google apps, and engineering design.

Second, Briggerman said, the staff works hard to keep kids from falling through the cracks. Teachers employ research-based initial instruction for all students, followed by targeted intervention for those who fall behind.

Teachers meet once a month in coordinated teams to analyze student data, plan instruction, develop student groupings, and provide intensive intervention.

Briggerman also updated the board on safety enhancements to the campus including fencing completely enclosing the campus, an electronic buzz-system to control entry to the school office area and new playground structures.

At the meeting, Briggerman also honored Ben Penick, a Weaver parent, as the school’s 2017 Hero of the Heart for his many volunteer efforts since 2011. He has been instrumental in setting up the annual school carnival and Summer Jam. He has pitched in on tasks as varied as assembling PE equipment, chaperoning field trips to Sacramento, wrapping baskets for fundraisers and “sharing his love of exploding volcanoes with students,” Briggerman said.

Recently diagnosed with ALS, Penick has used his condition to encourage students to seek ways to help others by becoming educated about their needs and the organizations working to help, Briggerman said.

“We have benefitted greatly from your steadfast support and service, and you have touched our hearts forever,” he said.

In accepting the award, Penick said, “We didn’t realize how tremendously loved we are and surrounded by such caring, loving people. I want to thank our Weaver family and the school district because without you guys this would be a lonely path.”