School News

Mad Scientist Day Featured

In October and December, first and second graders at Ekstrand Elementary School studied the messy side of science during the school’s Mad Scientist Day. Taught by Kendall Kraiss’s 5th grade students, the younger students spent time at each of seven stations to learn about science.

“Because the 5th grade students did so well as assistants in October, Ms. Kraiss gave them the responsibility to write the lessons for the December event,” Principal Lucinda Newton said. “They did a fantastic job!”

October’s Mad Scientist Day topics included: 1) Frankenworms, focusing on the scientific method, 2) baking soda and vinegar ghost experiments to explore chemical reactions, 3) walking water using paper towels as a conduit, 4) the scientific method and the importance of control and consistency throughout your experiment, 5) Pop Rocks and Soda chemical reactions (this group also fed a cricket to Spider-Man, the pet tarantula), 6) M&Ms in water, focusing on the scientific method, and 7) viscosity, making slime.


Teacher Marissa Ford said, “The kids had a messy blast doing the experiments. The fifth-graders were a huge success and work great with set up, mixing and cleaning up.”




Walk-A-Thon 2015 Featured

Annual Walk-A-Thon Raises Funds for Technology, Library, and Campus Beautification

On October 8, 2015, the students, staff and parents of Ekstrand Elementary School will come together for the annual Walk-A-Thon to raise funds for technology, the library, and campus beautification. While families raise money for the cause, the school is also seeking donations from local businesses.

“We have set a goal of $10,000—support from local businesses would make such a difference in reaching that goal,” Principal Lucinda Newton said. “We are working toward a 1:1 student to technological device ratio, and Walk-A-Thon funds will help us get there. We want to purchase new books for our library and complete some beautification projects for our campus.”


Donations can be made from using the PayPal Walkathon link on the right side.


Ekstrand Welcomes 5 New Teachers Featured

Jeremy Gibbons recently moved from the Bay Area, having taught for 14 years in Cupertino. He is energetic, excited to be at Ekstrand, and can't wait to get the fitness program up and running at full speed. He’s an avid tennis player, bowler, and loves spending time with his wife (also a teacher) and his two daughters, ages 5 and 2.

Brittany Adams is excited about joining the Ekstrand team and fulfilling a lifelong calling to teach. She has a Master of Arts in Digital Teaching and Learning and is passionate about students utilizing technology to create and contribute instead of to consume. She worked in the District previously as a long term substitute for fifth grade and kindergarten at a neighboring school. Brittany lives with her husband and two dogs.  

Kendall Kraiss is new to the Ekstrand team as she begins her first year teaching. She is so excited to be part of such a great school, District, and community. After growing up in Huntington Beach, she made her way to the University of La Verne where she played volleyball and track and field. She developed her love for teaching and met her fiancé there! She loves spending time outside, but most of the time you will find her in the classroom planning new and exciting lessons for her 5th graders! 

Ronalea Freeth is from San Dimas. She attended Bonita Unified schools from kindergarten to high school and is a proud Saint. She graduated from Washington State University with her bachelors in Business Administration and has since earned her Master degree in Special Education and Reading & Literacy. She loves to travel with her husband and spend time with their dogs. Ronalea is thrilled to be a part of the amazing Ekstrand team and looks forward to a wonderful year full of learning in first grade.


Stephanie Waterman is a teacher who is passionate about actively engaging students in the learning process.  Her first job in Bonita Unified was over twelve years ago, as a Kindergarten Instructional Aide.  It wasn’t until moving out of state with her family, to live in Alaska for six years, Then Stephanie went back to school and obtained her degree and teaching credential.  She began her teaching career as a third grade teacher in Anchorage, Alaska, and recently taught Transitional Kindergarten at Allen Avenue Elementary.  This school year, she is thrilled to be starting a new adventure teaching first grade at Ekstrand Elementary. 


Walk-A-Thon Featured

We’d like to thank our families for your support of our “Beach Bash” Walk-a-Thon. Your donations make possible the many new books that we order each year in our library. In addition, we bring writing assemblies and it allows us to do campus beautification such as the lunch tables in the quad, cement under the tables, and this year our new “California Distinguished School” wall. We want to thank our business supporters!


We want to thank our business supporters!


RojasLaw Firm

Casa Del Rey Restaurant

Ace Hardware, San Dimas

Valdez and Day Consultants

Pawfection, LLC

Olive Garden, Glendora


The San Dimas Day Parade at LACF Featured

The student council officers and classroom representatives all participated in the San Dimas Day Parade at the Los Angeles County Fair on September 12, 2014. We were all so very excited because the parade was one of our first activities this year. The Ekstrand Bobcats had their own float! It was a huge truck from Sander’s Towing with hay bales and banners all the way around the bed of the truck. The banners said, “Go, Bobcats” and “Ekstrand Bobcats!” We were sitting on the float doing our chants called Mighty, Mighty, Bobcats and our new Distinguished School chant. The cheers were written by Mrs. Rojas, a 5th grade teacher, and tell everyone what Ekstrand is all about. Our amazing advisors, Ms. Humphrey, Mrs. Chin, and Coach Dade cheered too. They cheered us on and helped us let the crowd know that Ekstrand can STAND OUT! As you can see, our representatives and officers, and even Mrs. Newton had a great time. Some parents and teachers were there. They watched and supported us from the beginning to the end.

Our Field Trip to the Los Angeles County Fair Featured

On Friday, September 19, 2014, grades 2nd, 3rd and 5th went on a field trip to the fair. Everyone was divided into groups and had a chaperon to supervise them throughout the day. There were many educational activities to explore. From milking a goat to petting stingrays, there was a variety of things to do and see. When we went to the fair we were able to get free milk from the farmland. Then when you go to the aquarium exhibit you can see sharks and learn about marine biology. In the slopes of the educational hills there was an area enforcing that “Only you can stop wild fires.” In the Smokey the Bear area they gave out tons of prizes. In the section below that there were a whole lot of amphibians which everyone seemed to enjoy watching. That wasn’t the only thing everyone enjoyed, I think that everyone enjoyed the whole fair. Go this year before it’s too late.

Lone Hill Leadership Day Featured

Ekstrand ‘Bobcats’ went to Lone Hill Middle School for a Leadership Conference and got some hands-on learning on how to be better leaders on our campus. We learned such skills as setting goals, working as a team, and how to have fun! Each group was called a ‘camp fire’ group and did a round of leadership activities that can help on a daily basis on campus. My favorite leadership day game was the balloon game. We blew up balloons and wrote something on the balloon that makes your life a little harder for you, like homework or sports. Then your group all throws their balloon up and you can’t let them hit the floor. Well when you have one balloon you think this is too easy, but when you get five or six up in the air you learn to rely on your team and trust them. That helped me with trust, team work, and understanding I’m not superman and it is okay to ask for help from your teachers and parents at times. This was an experience that all kids should have a chance to do and I will always remember. Five Stars and Thumbs UP!

California Distinguished School

On May 30th, at Open House, our community celebrated Ekstrand Elementary School becoming a 2014 California Distinguished School. This is exciting news and a great accomplishment for our staff, students, parents and community. Thank you for all of your support!


Register Now!  2014 – 2015

  • We offer full-day kindergarten, but if you miss the September 1st cutoff date, be sure to inquire about the BUSD Transitional Kindergarten Program.
  • Our schools offer excellent academics, great electives such as art and music, and wonderful extracurricular activities.
  • Transportation and day care available
  • Families of new first through fifth grade students planning to attend the Bonita Unified School District next year are also encouraged to begin registering at this time.



Hollywood Comes to Ekstrand

When we heard Marlana Hope was coming to Ekstrand to visit Mrs. Rojas's English Language Arts class, we all got super excited.  Marlana is a writer on many ABC TV shows such as Army Wives, Desperate Housewives and Friday Night Lights.  She came to tell us that writing can be a good career and about what it's like working on a set with actors and film crews.  We learned that it takes a lot of hours for writers, actors, producers, etc. just to make one 45 minute episode!  She gets to work with the actors she writes lines for on a regular basis.  Marlana helped us understand that if you work hard in life, you can go wherever you want...and that you can get paid for writing! 

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