The Orion Gazette

Nov 1 - Nov 5

School Calendar


Nov 1 & 2 Dîa de los Muertos

Nov 3 Coffee with Principal Katherine

Nov 5 Make up picture day

Nov 11 Veteran's Day - No School

Nov 12 Trimester 1 Ends

Nov 13 Author Illustrator Fair virtual

Nov 19 Early Dismissal Day before Thanksgiving Holiday

Nov 22 & Nov 23 All Day Virtual Parent-Teacher conferences no school for students

Nov 24-26 Thanksgiving Holiday - No School

Coffee with Principal Katherine

Wednesday, Nov. 3rd, 9-9:30am

This is an online event.

Please join Principal Katherine Rivera for an informal school-wide reflection for the first trimester. Support staff and our STEAM Teacher, and mental health counselor will be sharing their programs coming up for trimester 2.

The slide deck will be shared in the next newsletter if you are not able to attend this virtual meeting.

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 568 380 5514
Passcode: orion1
One tap mobile

+16699006833,,5683805514#,,,,*440073# US (San Jose)

Día de los Muertos Resources and Informaiton

Día de Muertos is celebrated by many across Latino America and the United States. It’s enjoyed a resurgence in Southern California since the 1970s, when the artist group Self Help Graphics & Art organized a public celebration in Los Angeles. In 2017, the film “Coco” helped introduce a new generation to its tenets and symbolism. Here is an LA Times article on how to build an altar.

Incense represents the transformation from the physical to the supernatural.(Nick A

Celebrate Dia de los Muertos All Around the Bay Area (SF Chronicle)

Among the most celebratory, colorful and festive days of the year, Día de los Muertos has become a favorite holiday for many families around the Bay Area. Often associated with San Francisco’s Mission District and Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood, this Latino tradition of honoring deceased ancestors, and welcoming them back into our lives as memories, has deep roots. Check out this San Francisco Chronicle article to view where you can join the celebration!

Scroll down to Celebrate Dia de los Muertos in the Bay Area for information on locations and activities.

Teaching resources

Here’s an amazing and comprehensive slide deck about Dia de los muertos’ with reference to its Symbolism, Culture, Celebrations by Country, Arts, Vocabulary and more.

Source: Facebook group, Bitmoji Craze for Educators

Bi-annual Family Climate Survey

This is the first year RCSD will include the Climate survey 2 times in the school year to learn from all stakeholders how we are performing at Orion school and as a district.

Our first survey will launch on MONDAY, November 1, and close on November 12.

The surveys are anonymous and will be used by our School Site Council to measure

progress and determine action items in the Spring after the second survey May. Staff and students will take a similar survey during the same time period.

The survey will take each family about 15 minutes to complete.

Celebrate International Mother Language Day 2022 Through Art

Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose announces International Mother Language Day 2022, which will be held on February 20th, 2022.

The fourth annual event celebrates cultural diversity through art, language, food, and dance. In this event, various local food truck vendors and dance groups from different cultures will come and showcase how their cultures influence their food and dance traditions.

In anticipation of the celebration, we plan to host a juried art competition that encourages participants to create art around their mother language.

All entries will be exhibited in a virtual environment prior to the in-person event. On Feb. 20, the top 50 artwork entries will be featured at the Children’s Discovery Museum opening reception. Artists whose work is selected will receive free admission to the museum and receive swag bags curated from local businesses. The artwork created in person during the Feb. 20 event by attendees may be exhibited at a later time alongside these 50 top artists’ work.

With that in mind, we’d love to invite Orion studentsto submit their artwork prior to the event (full details about the art competition here). The deadline for submission is Thursday, December 21, 2021.

To submit artwork for consideration, please visit this form.

Two Part Parent Series Workshop: Supporting My Child with Anxiety

Orion Mental Health Counselor Diane Gutierrez presents a two-part parent workshop via Zoom "Supporting My Child with Anxiety."

This workshop will cover:

  • How to identify signs that your child may be anxious?
  • Provide parents tools they can teach their child when feeling anxious.
  • Group discussion and support or parents

Date: English Workshop

Part 1: November 16 from 5-6pm

Part 2: November 16 from 5-6pm

Spanish workshop:

Part 1: November 16 from 6:15-7:15pm

Part 2: November 16 from 6:15-7:15pm

Zoom link will be shared in the newsletter next week

The Parent Education Series (New!)

What Gives You Hope? How to Parent with Confidence and Optimism in Uncertain Times

Madeline Levine, PhD; Donald E. Grant, Jr., PhD; William Stixrud, PhD

Friday, November 5, 2021, 12:00pm – 1:00pm PT, Online Event (Webinar)


Join us for a special event sponsored by The Parent Venture, a nonprofit organization that provides inclusive, high-quality parent and community education. We welcome three national thought leaders in education: Dr. Madeline Levine, Dr. Donald E. Grant, Jr., and Dr. William Stixrud.

Parents, guardians, educators, mental health professionals, and community members welcome! Free admission. Simultaneous Spanish interpretation will be available.

Questions? Contact Charlene Margot, MA, Co-Founder and CEO, The Parent Venture (The Parent Education Series), at

MYTHBUSTERS: The Truth About the California Public Higher Education System

Cuca Acosta (UC); Bernie Day (CCC); April Grommo, EdD (CSU); Heather Lattimer, EdD (CSU)

Tuesday, November 9, 2021, 5:30pm – 6:30pm PT, Online Event (Webinar)


In this webinar, representatives of the University of California, California State University, and California Community College systems will counter some of the most common myths about each system and the systems’ relationships to one another.

Parents/guardians, students, educators, mental health professionals, and community members welcome! Free admission. Simultaneous Spanish interpretation will be available.

This presentation is sponsored by Sequoia Union High School District, Sequoia Healthcare District, Peninsula Health Care District, and The Parent Venture.

Questions? Contact Charlene Margot, MA, Co-Founder and CEO, The Parent Venture (The Parent Education Series), at

CAZADORES DE MITOS: La verdad sobre el sistema de educación superior pública de California

Cuca Acosta (UC); Bernie Day (CCC); April Grommo, EdD (CSU); Heather Lattimer, EdD (CSU)

Martes, 9 de noviembre de 2021, 5:30pm - 6:30pm PT, evento en línea (seminario web)

Enlace de zoom:

En este seminario, representantes de la Universidad de California, la Universidad Estatal dey la California comunidad de California Los universitarios sistemas contrarrestarán algunos de los mitos más comunes sobre cada sistema y las relaciones de los sistemas entre sí.

¡Padres / tutores, estudiantes, educadores, profesionales de la salud mental y miembros de la comunidad son bienvenidos! Entrada gratis. Habrá interpretación simultánea en español.

Esta presentación es patrocinada por el Distrito Sequoia Union High School, Sequoia área de salud, Península de Área de Salud y The Parent Venture.

¿Preguntas? Comuníquese con Charlene Margot, MA, cofundadora y directora ejecutiva de The Parent Venture, en

¿Qué te da esperanza? Cómo criar con confianza y optimismo en tiempos de incertidumbre

Madeline Levine, PhD; Donald E. Grant, Jr., PhD; William Stixrud, Doctor en Filosofía

Viernes, 5 de noviembre de 2021, 12:00pm - 1:00pm PT, evento en línea (seminario web)

Enlace de zoom:

Únase a nosotros en un evento especial patrocinado por The Parent Venture, una organización sin fines de lucro que brinda educación inclusiva y de alta calidad para los padres y la comunidad. Damos la bienvenida a tres líderes de opinión nacionales en educación: la Dra. Madeline Levine, el Dr. Donald E. Grant, Jr. y el Dr. William Stixrud.

¡Padres, tutores, educadores, profesionales de la salud mental y miembros de la comunidad son bienvenidos! Entrada gratis. Habrá interpretación simultánea en español.

¿Preguntas? Comuníquese con Charlene Margot, MA, cofundadora y directora ejecutiva de The Parent Venture, en

Foro de padres #14 - Preguntas Tenebrosas Que Todo Padre Tiene Sobre la Sexualidad de sus Hijos (Español)

Edwin Fernandez, LCSW, One Life Counseling Center

Martes, 26 de octubre de 2021, 5:30pm - 6:30pm, evento en línea (seminario web)

Enlace de zoom:

El criar a los hijos es una tarea difícil. Más aún, cuando nuestros hijos comienzan a hacer pregunta sobre el sexo, la sexualidad y la identidad sexual. Desafortunadamente, estos temas han sido tradicionalmente un tabú en la comunidad latina, y no se hablan.

Sin embargo, y para que nuestros hijos no sean mal informados por tercera personas, es fundamental que los padres o los cuidadores hablen sobre estos temas. En esta charla le compartiremos información objetiva para que usted pueda darle a su hijo una correcta orientación sobre estos temas.

¡Padres y cuidadores bienvenidos! Entrada gratis. El Foro de Padres es una iniciativa del Sequoia Healthcare District, en asociación con RCSD y The Parent Venture.

Preguntas? Póngase en contacto con Charlene Margot, MA, cofundadora y directora ejecutiva de The Parent Venture, o Michelle Remond, RCSD, Enlace comunitario,, texto 650-218-7853

5th Grade Outdoor Education for Orion in February 2022

We are thrilled that our 5th-grade students will attend Jones Gulch Outdoor Education.

Date: February 14-February 18

Cost: Approximately $500 per student

Parent information link:

Starting in November more information will be shared with students and families about 5th grade outdoor education.

Starship Corner

Key Dates: Include Read-A-Thon fliers, Author-Illustrator flier and Student Showcase

11/13 Author Illustrator Fair

11/15 Read-A-Thon begins


This year we are celebrating 20 years of Orion Alternative Elementary’s Author Illustrator Fair on November 13th, 9:00am-3:30pm

This will be held virtually and all the information you need to know will be prepared on the Starship website at

Please see below for our list of amazing authors! Links are provided to get to know them and their work before the event.

Kinder (Gordon, Craft, Evans)

-Todd Parr

1st grade (Conti)

-Elisa Kleven

2nd grade (Calsing, Christopherson)

Leticia Ordaz

books: "That Girl on TV Could Be Me" or "The Adventures of Mr. Macaw"

3rd grade (Goldberg, Lemp)

-Daria Peoples Riley

book: "AMERICA My Love, AMERICA My Heart"

4th grade (Bozin, Lin)

-Francisco Jimenez

-Elizabeth Gomez, Illustrator

book (Elizabeth): "ABC El Salvador"

5th grade (Ibarra, Solanki)

-Francisco Jimenez

-Elizabeth Gomez, Illustrator

book (Elizabeth): "ABC El Salvador"

Kinder (Wu, Kao)

Melissa Miao;

Book: Bobo Loves Dumplings

This is a bilingual counting book that all the TK/Kinders should be able to understand, even the new Mandarin speakers.

1st grade (Gan, Gong)

Katrina Liu,


2nd grade (Su, Hu)

Edna Ma;


Edna just published a new book this summer, which is called Travel, Learn and See the Great Wall.

3rd grade (Loh)

Kat Zhang,


Kat is the author of the Amy Wu books. (Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao; Amy Wu and the Patchwork Dragon) as well as some young adult books.

4th (Han) & 5th (Eaglin)

Julie Leung,


Julie has a new book that is pretty awesome. It's called the Fearless Flights of Hazel Ying Lee, which is about the first Chinese-American woman to fly for the US military.

Linden Tree: Linden Tree Books in Los Altos will be highlighting our featured authors from now until the event and will donate proceeds back to Orion from all of their book sales! To purchase books, you can find a link to the Linden Tree site through the Starship AI Fair page:

Or go directly to

Important Notes:

- Use the code ORION at checkout to purchase.

- The code is not limited to just the AI Fair authors.

- Don't forget to opt for "school delivery" as the shipping method.

We are excited to launch an Orion Student Showcase : We can't wait to see what our very own Author/Illustrators can do! Your students’ works of art should be fictional stories, personal narratives, and/or illustrations that exemplify the theme of FRIENDSHIP and/or COMMUNITY. All work will be displayed in an online gallery and also published and displayed in the Orion library.

Works of art can be typed or handwritten/hand drawn. If handwritten or typed with hand drawn illustrations, work needs to be photographed (iphone photos are ok) and emailed as jpegs. This could be an optional class project or an at home project for interested students. Students can email submissions but we also ask that they are able to turn in submissions to you. We will place a box in the staff room for you to leave any hand drawn/handwritten submissions.

Please encourage students to submit work by November 11.


Our second annual Read-A-Thon begins November 15th! This is not only a wonderful fundraising event, but a celebration of our campus’ shared love of literacy! We take this time to celebrate the different perspectives seen and the new worlds that can be opened through words and pictures shared. Through Read-A-Thon, students can engage in a friendly reading competition against their friends and especially against yesterday's self. There are many ways to count reading minutes that children are already engaging in. We aim for 100% participation this year!

Read-A-Thon will also provide ways for friends and family to reward students for sharing and meeting their reading goals. This is a fantastic way of supporting our school and a wonderful holiday gift from family to students. Families will be able to contribute in a variety of different ways to meet families needs.

Funds raised by Read-A-Thon will be used to fund STEAM education and other school enrichment

Starship Corner

Check out our website for important links and updates

Next Starship PTO meeting: November 7th 7:30. Please join us!

Agenda items include:

  • Author Illustrator
  • Readathon
  • Direct Drive
  • Winter activities
  • Committee updates

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 894 2310 8212
Passcode: 782847

Donate to Starship PTO

See Flyer below for more detail about our Fundraising this year! We need to raise $120k dollars this year for ALL of our exciting resources. Your donations make it possible. Starship Orion is a 501(c)(3) non-profit recognized by the IRS with EIN 94-3179780. We are registered with Benevity for easy company matching. Please check with your employer! Search for your company here .

We suggest donation levels that fit your family's budget. We encourage families to be as generous as possible and donations in any amount are welcome and appreciated!

Paypal Link for Donations:

Check out

Remember all parents, teachers and staff are automatically members of Starship PTO. Questions or ideas?