August 3, 2016
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Welcome to the 2016-2017 school year! As usual, there have been changes over the summer at North Shoreview. We have new staff members joining our sixth/seventh/eighth grade team. Our new teachers include MinJae (Joy) Kim who will be teaching mathematics and science to our sixth graders and Jordan (Lani) Yort who will teach science and mathematics to our seventh and eighth graders. We are very close to hiring a .5 teacher who will teach language arts and social studies to our sixth graders. We have been informed that Megan Viera has resigned as our resource specialist as she has moved to the East Bay due to economic reasons. Our new Resource Specialist is Brenda Samowski. Jody Savory will be our speech and language teacher but we have been assigned a new school psychologist, Jacob Randall. We have had a couple of teachers who recently married who have officially changed their last names. Danielle Perez is now Danielle Helton and Erica Chung is Erica Ma. Please help me in welcoming all these new as well as familiar faces to our campus. We are so fortunate to have these wonderful Montessori educators and support staff joining us.
For our upper grade students (6th/7th/8th graders), we have adjusted the deliverance of the curriculum to better align with the Montessori planes of development. Developmentally, sixth graders are quite different than seventh and eighth graders. So this year our sixth graders will join our seventh and eighth graders for camping, their enrichment classes, homerooms and the afternoon work period but their subject matter classes will be taught
by two teachers rather than three. The same will be true of the seventh and eighth graders. This will also help the teachers better be able to focus on one or two grades instead of three. Montessori herself grouped the seventh and eighth grades together.
Incorporated in the Montessori Method is the belief that every child carries within, the person he or she will become, and that every youngster is born with far greater ability than is usually developed. We are committed to nurturing that potential.
As a Montessori elementary school, our curriculum embraces the new Common Core Standards in Language Arts and Mathematics. In Language Arts, we emphasize all the critical components of listening, speaking, reading and writing as well as grammar and handwriting. Many of our teachers have been trained to use Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop. Cultural Studies encompasses history, geography, zoology and botany. In Mathematics all strands of the curriculum are presented to students in kindergarten through eighth grades with an emphasis on problem solving skills. Social skills and manners is an important part of the Montessori curriculum and so we will be fostering respect, responsibility, and other positive character traits in our students. We are planning to continue the homework program along with training in technology as funds permit. The District is providing 28 Nexus 7 tablets for use by our kindergarten through second grade classes. Training for the teachers in the use of these devices in a classroom will be provided.
For physical education, the District adopted a curriculum, SPARKS for students in kindergarten through fifth grades, and Cindy Freshour will continue to implement this program. Dirk Morrison will also continue as the physical education teacher for our sixth, seventh and eighth graders. Melissa Spaizman will be working with our students in the Computer Lab. She will be presenting the computer standards developed by our Technology Committee to all our students. Vicki Benson returns as our librarian and office assistant. Isabel Boyd will continue as our Special Education para educator and Julie Atkinson, Chasi Tonini, Rhonamarie Miller and Rohini Lal will be returning as classroom aides.
We will continue to offer Art in Action as well as Music for Minors. Cathy Foxhoven, Diane Silven, and Kim Kohli will be returning to provide after school opportunities for our students. Keyboarding classes and steel drum lessons will also be offered again.
As a parent in a Montessori school, you also have a very important role! You need to be familiar with the philosophy and agree and support it. You must recognize the child’s instinct to work, respect that work time, and not interrupt it unnecessarily. In order for this to happen, it is extremely important that every student has excellent attendance and arrives on time daily. Instruction will begin promptly each day and so we encourage you to make an appointment with your child’s teacher rather than conference with them at 8:15.
Our custodian will begin locking all gates at 8:30 a.m. Before leaving home every school day, please check that you have all items such as lunches, snacks, library books, lunch money, permission slips, musical instruments, notes about pickup, homework, etc. so that you do not have to return to the school office once school begins. Children need to learn responsibility and should be allowed to experience the natural consequences for not accepting their role. We make sure all children have some form of food options if they forget. PLEASE NOTE: After the office gate is closed at 8:30, we will not be accepting late items. Parents are not allowed to go to classrooms for any reason unless they are signed in at the office. All visitors, including parents, will need to come to the office. Your cooperation will greatly minimize office interruptions and provide a safe environment for all our children.
Doctor’s and dentist’s appointments should be scheduled before or after school hours or on Wednesday afternoons (Minimum Day). If you do take your child to the doctor or dentist during school hours, you must bring a note from the doctor/dentist when your child returns to school. If your child is absent an excessive number of days, a letter from your doctor may be required. An attendance policy has been passed by the School Board and is being strictly enforced. Any pupil who is absent from school without a valid excuse (an excuse accepted by the State of California) for three full days in one school year will be considered a truant. Also, if a child is absent for more than any 30 minute period during the school day without a valid excuse on three occasions during one school year, they are considered truant. Please read the truancy policy carefully. By law, the school must abide by this policy and we can be audited by the State for doctor’s notes etc.
Children should not arrive at school before 8:00 a.m. There is NO supervision before 8:00 a.m. and after school. Children should hang up their backpacks upon arrival and report to the playground. Playground equipment is for the students so younger brothers and sisters should not be on the play structures. All children are to go home immediately upon dismissal. No child should go to the playground to play after school. School personnel are not available to supervise and P.E. classes and Annex children are using this playground. The only exceptions to this would be the children attending the Annex or the tutorial/homework center. If you must wait for an older child, please watch your younger children carefully. They should not be running through the bushes, climbing on the railings or fences, tearing off leaves and sticks, climbing trees, playing ball and running close to the office door or in and through groups of people. This is unsafe and disruptive to the classes and after school homework assistance programs still in session.
Students must be picked up on time as there is no after school supervision except in the Annex. Police may be called and parents may have to pick up their child at the police station if they are consistently left at the school late. Please make back up provisions with another family if you are having problems.
For the safety of all of our children, please report to the office when you find it necessary to pick up your child before dismissal time. The teacher will be notified and the child will meet you and be dismissed from the office.
In addition, the parent’s support of the program and school events is important. Remember that you are committed to 30 hours of parent participation activities. We will be sending a sheet filled with ideas for volunteering or you can check the gym, office or website for ideas and sign up to help. Please also check with your child’s teacher for the kinds of activities that will benefit the classroom and your child. On the day you are to volunteer, please come to the office first to sign-in and receive a visitor’s badge. Before you leave the school grounds, remember to sign-out in the office and return the badge. We need to know who is on campus at all times. Also, registering all your hours is essential this year as we are strictly monitoring each family’s participation. We have computers in the office on which you can submit your hours or you can do it from your home computer. Easy instructions are also available.
You can also help prepare your child for school by carrying the Montessori philosophy over into the home and thus, encouraging your child to become independent and responsible. Make sure to set a reasonable bedtime. The latest research indicates that a school age child should get 10 to 11 hours sleep a night and should wake up naturally. This means that the child should be in bed at 8:00 p.m. to wake up at 7:00 a.m. A nutritious breakfast will give your child’s brain the fuel it will need to function at its optimum capacity.
For homework, please provide a well-lighted, orderly place for your child to work and stress the importance of completing this work and returning it to the teacher. Every child should have homework at least Monday – Thursday. If your child says they do not, please check with the teacher. Homework provides necessary practice and is a vital part of the learning process. It is your responsibility as a parent to make sure your child completes it. The following minutes indicate the minimum time per day your child should spend on homework for their grade level:
Kindergarten: 5 to 10 minutes
Grades 1 and 2: 10 – 15 minutes
Grades 3 and 4: 20 – 30 minutes
Grade 5: 40 – 60 minutes
Grades 6-8: 90 minutes
In addition, all students are expected to read and/or be read to daily at home. A younger child should have at least three books read to them daily.
OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION
Medication at School
If your child needs to take medication while in school, it must be kept in the office. Children in grades Kindergarten through 5th grade are not to keep medicine on them nor in their backpack. All prescription and Over the Counter medication require a Parent Authorization and Release for the Administration of Medication at School form. This form must be filled out and signed by the parents and physician. Prescription medication must be in the original prescription bottle with the original label. Over the counter medication must be in the original container/packaging that it comes in and the parent must write the child’s name on it.
The lunch program will begin on the first day of school. The cost for an individual student lunch for grades kindergarten through fifth grades is $2.50. If a child wants to purchase just a milk, it is $.50.
Students paying full price for their lunch will be allowed to charge only 3 meals ($7.50). Parents are encouraged to put money on their student’s lunch account. mySchoolBucks.com is a great way to pay.
Information will be distributed the first day of school for families who would like to apply for the Free and Reduced Lunch Program. This program, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the State, is for income eligible families. Families are reminded that they need to complete a new application each year to participate in the Free and Reduced Lunch Program. If your child/children QUALIFIED last year for the Free and Reduced Lunch Program, your child/children will be able to receive a Free and Reduced Lunch for the first 30 days while a new application is submitted and reviewed! If the District has not received a new application and has approved it within the 30 days, your child/children will be dropped and you will need to pay.
For new families to our District, the application will be processed as fast as possible. They will need to pay (or bring a lunch) until they are qualified.
Students may bring one nutritious snack to eat during morning recess. Gum, candy, chips and sodas will not be permitted. These do not provide good brain fuel and thus, hinder your child’s performance in school.
We have a number of students who are severely allergic (could cause death if exposed) to nuts and latex. As a result we are a Nut Free school. When planning lunches and snack, please keep this in mind. For the students with severe allergies, we will send a letter home to the students in the class with more specific instructions. Please let the school know as soon as possible if your child has a severe allergy. Staff will be trained before school begins to administer an Epi Pen.
Much consideration has been given to the classroom assignment of each student. During the summer, students move away unexpectedly and new students enroll. Adjustments have been made to the classroom lists accordingly but further moves may need to be made in order to provide the best chance for every child to progress. Therefore, classroom assignments will not be considered permanent until August 26, 2016. Parents will be informed if a change is recommended.
On the first day of school or during the Ice Cream Social, all families will be given a packet of important forms from the school and the PTA as well as the Emergency Card. Please bring addresses, *phone numbers, doctor’s names etc. to the Ice Cream Social so you can fill out the necessary forms. *Important and new this year: The “Home telephone” field on the emergency card will be left blank. Right now, the “Home telephone number” is the only field that receives school-wide messages. For each child, please write in (on the Home Telephone field) the phone number that you want school-wide messages to go to. If you do not have time during the social, please review all documents, fill out the necessary forms and return everything to your child’s teacher as soon as possible. We cannot over emphasize the importance of the information on the Emergency card. Be sure to list everyone who has permission to pick up your child. By law we cannot release students to anyone not listed on the card except the parents. In the future, if things change, please notify the office immediately. We need to be able to reach you in case of an emergency! You might wish to bring your checkbook also as the PTA will have tee shirts, sweatshirts and other apparel with the school logo available.
Uniforms for Middle School Students:
Middle school students will again wear uniforms this year. The uniform consists of black pants (not “skinny”, tight fitted or sagging), long shorts (just above the knee), and/or a black knee length skirt (non-athletic) with no embellishments or logos. Students will have a choice of a forest green or a white polo shirt or a school logo crew neck T-shirt. They can wear a plain grey crew neck (no hoods) sweatshirt or the grey or Hunter Green sweatshirt with our school logo. Hooded sweatshirts will not be allowed. Leggings, jeggings, and yoga pants are not acceptable. Shoes should be athletic shoes with black or white shoelaces as all students will participate in P.E. Vans, Converse and other “skate” shoes are not considered appropriate. Hats and beanies WITHOUT logos are acceptable for outdoor use only. Jewelry should be left at home. Stud earrings may be worn. Watches (not Smart Ones) and Fitbits are allowed. Small backpacks without wheels can be used. Target, Penney’s, and Sears all carry the clothing required.
Clothing for Elementary Students:
At this time, the elementary students are not wearing uniforms. Please monitor what your children are wearing to school. Since we are a school that advocates peace, clothing that glorifies violence such as wrestling, skulls etc. are inappropriate. Sagging pants, short skirts or shorts (shorts and skirts should be just above the knee), spaghetti strap tops, leggings without a long top or skirt, flip flops, and high heeled shoes are also unsuitable. Students work on the floor so please make sure that the pants cover your student’s bottom when they are sitting. Students should wearathletic shoes as they will have P.E. every day. Jewelry can become a distraction and dangerous. Stud earrings and necklaces worn under the shirt (not visible) are permissible.
Friday Morning Gatherings:
Friday Morning Gatherings are primarily for our students. While we would love to be able to accommodate all the parents who wish to attend, fire regulations limit the number of places we can provide. We will set up the number of chairs which can be allowed and will give parents of the students performing priority for seating. We cannot have parents in doorways and/ or in the pathways students would need if we had to evacuate quickly. Please help us keep your children safe.
Photographs and Videos of Students:
If you come to a performance of our students, attend field trips or assist in the classroom and take pictures or videos of the children, you cannot post these on social media or in any other public place. Parents have the right to deny this for their child. Again children’s safety needs to be everyone’s priority.
Communicating with the District Office
The San Mateo-Foster City School District prides itself on our communication with our parents, staff and community. We communicate regularly through a variety of mediums including:
· District Website – www.smfcsd.net
· SMFCSD E-newsletter – Sign up to receive district updates at www.smfcsd.net
· Community Reports – Mailed home to all residents in San Mateo and Foster City and available on our website
· Phone App – Download the San Mateo-Foster City SD app for your phone
· Facebook – Like San Mateo-Foster City School District
· Twitter – Follow us @SMFCSD
· School Newsletters/Email Blasts – Ask your child’s school how to sign up
· Emergency Notifications – Parents are automatically enrolled to receive time-sensitive information
We periodically email out newsletters/community notices and send emergency text messages when needed. As a member of our school community, you are automatically subscribed to these services. If you would like to opt-out, please follow the unsubscribe directions listed on the bottom of the e-newsletter or imbedded in the text message. We look forward to keeping you informed of the great things happening in our district!
Dates to Remember
Tuesday, August 16: New parent PTA Orientation in library from 3:00–4:00 pm
New families meet in the gym from 4:00 – 4:30 pm
An ice cream social will be provided by the PTA from 4:30 – 6:30. If you want, you can bring emergency information and you can fill in the many forms required
by the school. Most of all, you can socialize and have fun!
Class lists will be posted at 4:30 p.m. in the gym.
North Shoreview shirts and sweatshirts will be available for purchase at this event.
Wednesday, August 17: First Day of School –- School Begins at 8:15 a.m.
EVERY Wednesday is a minimum day this year!
Kindergarten: 8:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. everyday!
Grades 1– 3: 8:15 a.m. – 2:35 p.m.
Grades 4 –7: 8:15 a.m. – 3:01 p.m.
Grades 1 – 8: Minimum Days begin Wednesday, August 17!
8:15 a.m. – 12:20
Wednesday, August 17 : Coffee, breakfast treats and a short PTA welcome-
~~School’s gymnasium at 8:15 a.m.
Wednesday, August 31: Back-to-School Night
6:00 – 6:45 p.m. ~~ Kindergarten through Third Grade classrooms
6:45 - 7:10 p.m. ~~ Introduction of Staff
& Principal’s Message in gym
7:15 – 8:00 p.m. ~ Third/Fourth, Fourth through Eighth grade classrooms
Monday, September 5: Labor Day – NO SCHOOL
Monday, October 24- Fall Break
Friday, October 28
Monday, October 31: Professional Development Day – No School
Again, I look forward to meeting all of you and working with your children. We are a team with the best interests of all the North Shoreview children and their families as our focus.
Phyllis Harrison, Principal
You may have tangible wealth untold,
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I, you can never be.
I had a parent who read to me.