Village School

A New Village Family

Meet Dancing Bird Graham’s Family

Hi! We are Ashlee and Tejas. Our son Graham joined Ms. Gretchen’s Kindergarten class this year. They call themselves the Dancing Birds! Graham also has an 18 month old brother Cedric, who already enjoys hanging out in Graham’s class for Book Browse every morning. Our family is completed by 14 year old Boo Radley (meow!) and 4 year old black lab Eleanor (woof!).

Ashlee grew up in Ohio and Florida and teaches chemistry at Kehillah Jewish High School, while Tejas grew up in India, speaks 5 languages and works in tech. We met during grad school at Georgia Tech at a friend’s wedding before moving to California 7 years ago. Ashlee loves baking and gardening in her spare time with help from Graham and Cedric, while Tejas loves consuming said baked goods and coaching Graham’s baseball and soccer teams when he gets a chance. We try to squeak in a few camping trips and visits to family every year.


Fun Fact: Our initials coincide with the molecules that form DNA base pairs.


How did you find your way to Village? 
As we were reading up on the various schools on the district website, we first read about Village being right next to Capri, our assigned school. While chatting with parent friends, we ended up talking to a Village mom whose daughter attended preschool with Graham. She has been a long time member of the Village community and we learned from her about the atmosphere and the roles that parents play, we were very excited to try it out. We talked among ourselves about how we could commit to contributing the time and dedication to make our participation meaningful before applying to the school for enrollment.

How prepared were you for the transition to Kindergarten?
We would say we were mostly ready. Graham is generally easy-going and enjoys making new friends or trying new things, so he adjusts to new environments easily. He was in a Jr-K program at preschool, which eased him into a daily academic routine. We felt Village would be the perfect place to continue to nurture him in various ways, not just academically.

How would you describe the first 100 Day experience?
In one word, refreshing. We can’t believe 100 days have flown by. It’s been great to watch Graham blossom in Ms. Gretchen’s class — she is simply one of a kind, and we are already excited at the prospect of Cedric in her classroom in a few years! Graham has always loved to read by himself, and since school he has been devouring books by himself.

More importantly, we have begun to appreciate the effects of the respectful atmosphere in the classroom and school. Just as an example, Graham has become noticeably better at expressing his wants and feelings, or describing conflict situations to us.

What have you been most surprised by so far?
No homework! While Graham hasn’t really been averse to it in the past, he has been somewhat busy outside of school this year. He has been taking classes to learn Tejas’ mother tongue Tamil in a formal setting on weekends, along with a few sports and physical activities. And all the extra time has come in handy there. We are also very grateful for Village parents that have been teaching the Spanish class, and engaging him with the various Centers programs.

Biggest challenge/ adjustment so far?
There are a lot of moving parts involved in making Village run the way it does. It was a bit overwhelming at the start of the year to absorb all the information coming at us, the parent education classes, and the expectations of engagement as new parents. We are starting to get a better hold on it now. It’s important to remember that parent participation consists not only of participating, but enabling others to give their best as well.

What are you most enjoying about being part of the Village community?
The Positive School Climate and Centers programs have earned Village School a Distinguished School Award in the past, and we are seeing first-hand how these programs have benefited our child and family. Above all, we are grateful to have an active and engaged role in our child’s education, and to get the opportunity to interact with his classmates and their teacher and families.