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Emphasizing the "E" in S.T.E.M.

A change is coming this year, and it will mark a strong step forward in our science education opportunities. After many years, Clairbourn's Project: S.T.A.R. will be replaced by a new Engineering Week.  

Screen Time Revisited

Digital media devices offer new and positive capabilities, but they often have unintentional consequences that must be considered and mitigated.  Screen time offers a whole new world of information and entertainment, but when that new world causes us to be cut off from our families and those closest to us, something must be done.  Without conscious limits, we’ll become more and more isolated...

Gratitude and Grandparents

Grandparents Visiting Day will be celebrated on Tuesday, November 22nd.  It will be a half-day of school and a dress-uniform day.  But the new twist is that we are having this in conjunction with the school’s annual Thanksgiving Service from 8:15 to 9:00 a.m. At this service, grandparents will experience individual grades offering poems, songs, and readings appropriate to the occasion to express gratitude for blessings.

Books, Businesses, and More!

The past seven days at school have delivered a true fall harvest of events and accomplishments within our Clairbourn community. Our sense of community sets us apart, and clearly, the Clairbourn community really turned out for all of these exciting events! 

The Daily Influence of the Annual Fund

From classroom assistants and technology to the soft play surfaces, all of these amenities ensure our students are prepared for the future. Every gift counts and directly contributes to the heightened quality of our educational program.  I urge you to participate, give what you can, and join me in witnessing the good our Annual Fund can do here every day throughout the year.

Middle School at Clairbourn

It’s important to understand the long-term benefits of completing the Clairbourn Middle School program in all its facets.  A recent study, by Michah W. Rothbart at Syracuse University, found that when middle school students were not at the bottom of the grade structure (as seen in 7-12 grade schools), they reported feeling “safer" with "less bullying, less fighting, and a greater sense of belonging.” 

A Week To Remember

Last week, Clairbourn families opened their hearts and homes to young people from another country: Australia.  In true Clairbourn spirit, we reaffirmed that we are all one people, the children of God.  Well done, Clairbourn!

Learning and Using Correct English Grammar

While communication is likely to be common in the years ahead, we are educating and training our students to be uncommon, even extraordinary.  This requires precise, articulately chosen, and correctly expressed language.  Without proper instruction and opportunities to practice, young people will fall into common practice and not distinguish themselves as effective communicators and potential leaders.

Welcoming Australian Students

Through the association we have established with Huntingtower School in Melbourne, Australia, our students get to live with an Australian family for about ten days. In return, the Aussies get to come to Los Angeles and stay with Clairbourn families in alternating years.  This year Clairbourn is hosting Australian students...

Parking Lot Safety

Clairbourn has safe and orderly arrival and departure procedures.  When followed by competent and alert drivers, they provide Clairbourn students and families with efficiency and protection.  By far, most Clairbourn families understand them and attend to these procedures conscientiously.  The most important ingredient, however, is... 

2016-2017: A Great Start To A Great Year

I hope to speak with every Clairbourn parent at some point during the course of the year, and the sooner the better.  If we haven’t had a recent conversation, please don’t hesitate to say, “Hello.”  I’ll be speaking at the first CFA meeting, next Tuesday, September 13th...

2016-2017 Mission Statement

Success in academics, as in life, is not just a momentary event.  We can help our students to put down the kind of roots that will feed and sustain their success now and in the future. From the same sturdy plant, many flowers and crops will bloom in cycles of renewal.  So too, with our students, each year has its seeds, its watering, its below the surface, and its above the ground work to do...  

Clairbourn Library Renovation

After many years of anticipation, the Clairbourn Library renovation is now a reality, and we couldn’t be happier.  Our library, built in 1986, has finally received a “new engine.”  It is essential that our school re-commit itself to what is essentially the home of literacy at Clairbourn... 

End of the Year 2015 Message

The holiday season, in part, is about the re-awakening within ourselves of the qualities and aspirations that move us forward from merely coping and existing to striving and achieving. True education awakens and renews those timeless qualities, embraced in Christmas and other holiday traditions, and brings freshness and vitality to individual student journeys.  As 2016 dawns on this renewal, may it bring peace, prosperity, and progress to families everywhere.

Word-of-Mouth in the Digital Age

Our parents have always been great supporters of the school, and part of that support can include making a point to mention Clairbourn in conversations with others.  For instance, you might share with your friends or acquaintances something really special that happened at school.  For this reason, we've launched a special effort to emphasize the value of personal recommendations for Clairbourn—now in its 90th year... 

Gloria Stahmer Retirement Tribute: An Educator of Lasting Influence

It is time to give tribute to Clairbourn's retired Assistant Head of School Gloria Stahmer, one of the most influential educators in the west San Gabriel Valley.

Using the Blended Learning Approach

Today's students learn in ways that are very different from the ways their teachers and parents were taught not that many years ago.

The Case for Homework

Educators differ about the value of homework in education today.  Of course, this is not new; but, it's reasonable to ask if homework has the same benefit in the age of digital and blended learning.

Honoring Scott Studenmund

Scott Studenmund, from the Clairbourn Class of 2004, was a just a little boy when I first met him. In many ways, it's how I will always remember him.

The True Exchange with Huntingtower

Clairbourn students and families have spent the last ten days welcoming our friends from the Huntingtower School in Melbourne, Australia.

Sharon Stump Sinclair: A Half-Century of Educational Excellence

In today's society careers can be quite short-lived.

Social Skills v. Social Media

Socialization and the development of key social skills are crucial to our success and happiness as human beings.

The Deeper Value of an Excellent Clairbourn Education

It seems that wherever we go today people are talking about Value-Added.

CAIS Conference: Clairbourn Leadership Hears Reinforcing Research on the Benefits of School Gardens

Members of the Clairbourn School Board of Trustees, along with Assistant Head of School Gloria Stahmer and Headmaster Robert Nafie, attended the annual Trustee/Heads Conference of the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) in San Francisco this past weekend.

Student Engagement: The Road to Success

Many studies have been conducted over the years looking into the reasons for low student achievement in schools.

Clairbourn Cares: Helping The Philippines

Thank you to Clairbourn's Student Council for leading the way in lending quick and effective relief to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan!

Our Flexible Library and Its Future

Since 2007, the iPhone and its Android cousins have revolutionized communication and the acquisition of information.

Popularity and Leadership

Everyone enjoys having friends, and almost no one has too many.

Reading: Setting The Right Example

If you're like most parents today, you're concerned about developing strong reading habits in your child.

The Importance of School Spirit

As much fun as we had with Crazy Sock Day, there is an important principle behind it: namely, school spirit.


This new blog is a space for sharing my thoughts as an educator and headmaster on topics of interest to current parents of Clairbourn School.