October 2016

Bernal School Kicks Off the 2016-2017 School Year with a Smooth Start

As we begin the year, it is my pleasure to introduce new Bernal staff to you: Jimmy Bui, Science; Ryan Jaimes, Science; Kari Hansen, Special Education; Jamie Backman, Special Education; Pamela Ellis, Special Education; Van Trieu, Math; Hanh Troung, Math; Carol Irving, Math; Martha Bejar, Counselor; Sandra Renteria, Attendance Clerk; Deann Mcevoy, Library. Welcome to all new staff!

Before and After School Traffic

Overall, traffic before and after school has not been bad. Remember to slow down around school, stay off your phone, drop off on school side of street, be extra cautious around crosswalks, and always smile and wave to staff when you see them. Also, please do not make U-turns in the middle of San Ignacio Avenue. It is not safe; it is illegal; and is disruptive to the flow of traffic. Come on, help make our community look safe and orderly, we’re counting on you!

Keep In the Loop With SCHOOL LOOP!!!

How are you going to communicate with your student’s teachers about your students academic progress and daily homework assignments?

School loop is your answer! If you haven’t registered:

  • Complete the registration form.

FAQs about School Loop:

Q: Do parents have full rights once registered?

A: No. Parents may not view published graded until their account has been approved by a school administrator. Some schools choose to use a more restrictive policy that requires approval for both student and parent accounts before they may even log into the system.

Q: Do parents have to register multiple times if they have more than one child?

A: Depends. Parents can add multiple children to their account if those children attend the same school. More info...

Q: Will students and parents have to re-register each school year.

A: No. Their accounts remain active year to year as long as the student attends the school. If a student changes schools, then both student and parent will have to register at the new school.

Q: Is an email address required for student or parent registration?

A: No. It's desirable, but students and parents may enter "@" in place of a valid email address.

Oak Grove School Board Members:

Mary Noel (Area 1)

Hayes, Davis, Miner

Jacquelyn Adams (Area 2)

Christopher, Edenvale, Stipe

Dennis Hawkins (Area 3)

Parkview, Frost Oak Ridge, Herman

Jeremy Nishihara (Area 4)

Sakamoto, Glider, Taylor, Santa Teresa, Bernal, Baldwin

Carolyn Bauer (Area 5)

Anderson, Miner, Ledesma

Using the Binder Reminder to Set Students Up for Success

Agendas, referred to as a “Binder Reminder” here at Bernal, can help students learn to manage their time effectively. Broncos are responsible to track their own time and manage multiple activities, such as homework, projects, tests, and extracurricular activities, which can be a large jump from elementary school expectations. The efficient use of the Binder Reminder can help prevent students from feeling overwhelmed by their school work and gives them a sense of control. It also helps to prioritize, plan and pace their tasks, and is a communication tool between home and school. As parents, you can help our children take responsibility for their time so they can become efficient time managers, as well as stay connected to the curriculum being taught at school.

Your child's classroom teachers will be teaching students how to make the most from their agendas. But, as parents, there is much you can do at home.

The following tips are adapted from Moira Toomey’s “School Agendas: Enabling Children to Manage their Time” and contain many excellent strategies on supporting your teen at home:

1. Set a SITE

  • Homework is best done in the same place at the same time of day.
  • The site needs to be free from family noise and the distractions of interesting electronics.
  • Put the agenda on the desk at the beginning of each homework session.

2. Make it a HABIT/ Establish a ROUTINE

  • Take 5 minutes with your child, each day, to review the day's homework and to check that everything is written in the agenda.
  • Open the agenda together.
  • Ask questions, discuss the answers.
  • Check that notices from school are handed over to you at this time.
  • Use the pocket in the cover of the binder for any communication to and from school.


  • When the homework item is completed, put a check mark in the box or cross it out. When all the tasks are checked off, the homework for that night is completed.
  • If homework completion has historically been a struggle, give a small reward for completed homework at the end of each week.

4. Set PRIORITIES with your child

  • Ask the questions: What has to be done and is urgent? What is important but can be left until another time? What would be nice if it is done but is neither important nor is urgent?
  • Examples: An urgent task would be to study for the test for the following day. An important task would be to begin work on the project due at the end of the week. A nice task would be to color the illustration to a poem.


  • Estimating helps children learn how to predict tasks and plan the completion dates accurately. It also develops the pacing skills needed for sitting tests and exams.
  • Example: If a project is estimated to take 3 hours then break it down into 3, 1 hour blocks and spread it over 3 days. Write the project in the agenda on each of the 3 days, marking each entry as important.


Make sure your child has enough down time to relax. Students need time in the day where they are not scheduled, time alone for uninterrupted reading, playing, listening to music or shooting baskets. This relaxation time is as important as structured homework time.


Take time each day to review the agenda and check-in with your child concerning the school day. The emphasis should not be on marks and success, but on positive communication.

  • Keep the communication open and non-judgmental.
  • If homework time can be challenging, try eating a snack before talking. Short tempers can be lengthened with food.
  • Communication is three-way, i.e. between yourselves and your child, the school and yourselves, your child and the school.
  • Notes can be written directly in the agenda or slipped into the back pocket of the cover.


When you notice your child taking initiative to plan independently, back off. Let your child practice this new organizational skill alone and reward his/her developing independence. Encourage your child to make decisions independently and stop yourself from rescuing him/her from possible mistakes.


As children mature, the setting of personal goals becomes increasingly important to them. They will ask questions such as: What do I want to become? Who do I want to be? What subjects do I excel at? What skills do I have? What kind of person do people see me as? How much time do I have to pursue all my goals? Find time to talk about these big questions. Both teachers and parents can help to shape the answers to these through reflective conversations with the student.


Celebrate the small stuff! Verbally show your child your pride though positive statements such as “I knew if you worked hard you could persevere and get that assignment done.” “I know it was hard to skip time with friends because you had a project due, but I am proud of your decision.” Sometimes we assume students know how proud we are, but adolescence can be a volatile time of uncertainty and self-doubt, so positive praise related to safety, respect, responsibility, and integrity (our RISE mantra) can go a long way!

How Can Parents Help Prevent Cyberbullying?

October is anti-bullying month! However, we are here to keep our students safe every month of the year. Parents and guardians play a HUGE role in that, especially when it comes to the relatively newer threat of online bullying. Students will be learning about bullying and cyber-bullying this month in their Advisory classes. However, there are many things parents can do to keep their students safe as well. Please read the article from the national Parent Teacher Association on how to help keep students safe online. Remember to report school-related bullying to the school, and save screen shots of the inappropriate messages whenever possible, in case the messages are deleted before they can be investigated. Together we can keep our students safe and teach them how to make responsible choices!

Parents Can Prevent Cyberbullying

by: Meline Kevorkian, EdD

Technology is a wonderful tool for communicating and information sharing, but like all tools children learn to use, parents must provide supervision and set limits to ensure their children have a safe and rewarding experience. Cyberbullying is a relatively new danger, and one that can have lasting consequences. Here are some tips for internet safety and preventing cyberbullying.

Know your technology. If you allow your children to carry cell phones, have a MySpace or Facebook page, or work with other technology, learn how to use them yourself. Your children can be your teachers in showing you what they are doing online. Take an interest in your children’s online world just as you would any other aspect of their lives.

Set reasonable limits. Help your children learn to make responsible decisions about using technology by establishing guidelines and exerting control when necessary. Investigate all the features of the technology they use. Cell phones with internet access should have the same guidelines and safety measures as those for household computers. Obtain information on parental controls for all the technology your children use.

Get to know your children’s online friends. Making “friends” online is fast and easy, but you must help your children learn the difference between a real friend and a friendly stranger. Monitor their virtual friendships with questions you would ask about their friends in the physical world. Urge your children never to disclose any information that would reveal who they are, where they live, or where they go to school. Instruct them never to arrange to meet online-only friends in person.

Talk with your kids if you suspect they are being bullied. Changes in your child’s behavior and attitudes can signal that they are being bullied at school or online. Victimized children are more likely to have difficulty sleeping, headaches, nervousness, stomach aches, and make excuses to avoid going to school. Kids are usually reluctant to tell anyone about problems with their peers, and fear losing internet privileges if they report being cyberbullied. You must ensure they feel confident that they can tell you anything and that you will help them. We must teach our children that no one has the right to hurt another person.

Help kids understand the difference between tattling and reporting. We must help children speak up when they are being victimized or witness someone else being victimized. There is a difference between tattling and reporting. Tattling is when you tell something to get someone in trouble. Reporting is getting someone help to keep them safe.

Show your children you love them and will protect them. Children who are bullied are at risk for a variety of mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, diminished self-esteem, and social withdrawal. Remind your children that they are lovable and valuable, and that it is bullies who are the ones with the personality problem.

Get involved with bullying prevention efforts in your school or district. Review your school’s policies and rules against bullying, including cyberbullying. Promote parent education to provide information and training for parents on how to recognize and prevent cyberbullying.

Meline Kevorkian, EdD is the executive director of academic review at Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale-Davie, Florida, and a board member of the International Bullying Prevention Association. She is the author of 101 Facts about Bullying: What Everyone Should Know and Preventing Bullying: Helping Kids Form Positive Relationships, available here at

Breakthrough Junior Challenge: You could win a $250K college scholarship!

Bronco students!

We’re proud to partner with the Breakthrough Junior Challenge video contest again this year. One of your students could win a $250,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 prize for their teacher!

To enter, students need to create a short video explaining a challenging concept in physics, mathematics, or the life sciences in an engaging, illuminating, and creative way.

Anyone ages 13 through 18 is eligible to enter. The winner’s teacher will receive a $50,000 prize, and their school will get a new $100,000 science lab. The winner will also be invited to an awards ceremony, where the prize will be presented in front of the superstars of science, Silicon Valley, and Hollywood.

Good luck, and we can’t wait to see your students’ videos!

P.S.The deadline for submissions is October 10, 2016.

Learn more and register today:

Upcoming Events


Friday, Sep. 30th, 8am to Friday, Oct. 7th, 3pm

6610 San Ignacio Avenue

San Jose, CA

School Site Council Meeting

Tuesday, Oct. 18th, 5:30-6:30pm

6610 San Ignacio Avenue

San Jose, CA

Fall Band Concert

Tuesday, Oct. 18th, 6-8pm

6610 San Ignacio Avenue

San Jose, CA

Koffee Klatch Celebration

Thursday, Oct. 20th, 6:30-7:30pm

5345 Avenida Almendros

San Jose, CA

Please attend our Oak Grove School District Koffee Klatch Celebration to find out more about supporting our children of color, working together for their success, getting access to resources, and developing an environment for our children.

For more information, please see the flyer posted on School Loop at:

Principal's Coffee in Bernal's Library

Thursday, Oct. 27th, 8:15-9am

6610 San Ignacio Avenue

San Jose, CA

Goodwill Truck Drive

Sunday, Nov. 20th, 8am

6610 San Ignacio Avenue

San Jose, CA

Bernal's Home & School Association will be hosting a Goodwill Drive on Sunday, November 20th! Mark your calendars and starting cleaning out those closets! :)

Sweet Rendezvous - HSA Ongoing Fundraiser

Bernal's Home & School Association has an ongoing fundraiser at Sweet Rendezvous. Go enjoy a sweet treat to support Bernal every 1st Thursday of each month all day long!

Open Daily 12:00 – 9:00 PM

668 Blossom Hill Rd
San Jose, CA 95123
Phone: (408) 225 – 5004

October Spirit Days at Bernal

Friday, October 7th: Patriotic Day

  • Wear your Red, White, and Blue clothes! Students will be participating in a mock election in their Social Studies classes this day!

Friday, October 14th: Pink Day (in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month)

  • October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Please wear pink in support on Friday, Oct. 14th.

Friday, October 21st: College Day

  • Friday, 10/21 is the 6th annual college day in Santa Clara County.
  • Wear any COLLEGE gear to promote a college-going culture at Bernal!
  • Find out more information at:

Friday, October 28th: Orange Day (in support of Bullying Prevention Month)

  • National Bullying Prevention month is October
  • Wear your ORANGE clothes and accessories to support Bullying Prevention on Friday 10/28