Orion Gazette

May 3 - May 6

School Calendar

May Calendar

May 3 Teacher Appreciation Week

May 4 Community Listening Session

May 5Distance learning Materials Pick up and Library books


May 10-May 28 iReady testing grades k-5

May 10 Readathon Begins

May 12 School Site Council at 4:30 pm

May 13 Starship PTO meeting

May 14, 9:00am Mandarin Immersion Advisory

May 20 New Parents PTO Orientation

May 31 Memorial Day No School

June Calendar

June 3 PTO Elections

June 5 PTO Sponsored Variety Show

June 8, 5pm Grade 5 Promotion Ceremony on site

June 10 Last Day of School

Survey Results for May -

Last week at the Principal Coffee I shared that we have the opportunity to bring back students full time, 4 days a week due to the revised social distancing guidelines.

I shared that classes that already have students in both the AM and PM groups on campus can move to full-time starting May 10. The link to the principal coffee is noted below.


The following classes have been on-site with AM and PM groups this past month and will be able to move to a full day in grades 1-5:

Grade 1: Ms. Chen & Ms. Gan, Grade 2 Ms. Goldberg & Ms. Su, Grades 3-5, Ms. Loh & Ms. Wang

Several families expressed interest in returning full-time. Below is an image of the survey result sent this past week to the 50% of the Parent Participation Families that have remained in Distance Learning since April 8. The data results show that by and large, 85% of the families that are now in Distance Learning, even with a full-day schedule, want the option of Distance Learning.

Based on the survey results from our families, we will continue in the CURRENT HYBRID MODEL for the remainder of the year except for the classes listed above.

In the survey responses, we did not count students already on Independent study or students that moved from the MI program to the PP program for Distance Learning in April.

Our school board shared in the most recent board meeting on April 21 that all RCSD schools will return for a full-normal opening 5 days a week.

Big picture

IReady Assessments Begin May 10 for Grades k-5

Students learning on campus will need to bring their charged device to school to take the final iReady assessments for the year. Teachers will share the specific calendar for their grade level.

RCSD Decision on State Exams

IReady will be given in lieu of Smarter Balanced Test to measure student progress.

I encourage parents to watch this video to learn more about the assessment. Teachers are preparing students for the assessment during synchronous learning on how to use the tech tools and what they can expect.

Information for parents: English Video

Spanish. and handouts in both languages:

Optional COVID19 Student COVID testing on site

Wednesday, May 5 is optional COVID19 testing for Orion students in grades k-2 and parent employees helping with yard duty.

Parents can bring their children to the main office between 9-11 am for drop-in testing.

Principal Message - Community Dialogue on School Culture

Dear Families,

Thank you for joining us for our ongoing parent series of Courageous Conversations

I am listening to our community and hearing the unique perspectives of our families after our schools merged last year.

In order to heal and move forward, our next step is to build school culture. The purpose and vision of my Community Dialogue on School Culture with parents and staff is to develop goals that lead to a unified space of our two unique programs to thrive and grow in the same space.

I have invited our partner from National Urban Alliance, Stephanie Rome, to collaborate and support our community in building a positive school culture everyone can embrace and share that is safe and joyful.

Please save the dates:

May 6 from 7:00-8:15pm

May 25 from 7:00-8:15pm

Zoom link below

Community Dialogue on School Culture

Thursday, May 6th, 7-8:15pm

This is an online event.

oin Zoom Meeting https://rcsdk8-net.zoom.us/j/89927885730?pwd=YkQ5N1NvaXV5Mzh6Y05KSWxvcXRXUT09 Meeting ID: 899 2788 5730 Passcode: orion1 One tap mobile +16699006833,,89927885730#,,,,*423461# US (San Jose) +12532158782,,89927885730#,,,,*423461# US (Tacoma) Dial by your location +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)

Starship Update

End of Year Teacher and Staff Appreciation: Last Chance to contribute $$ for the teachers!!

The PTO will organize a school wide teacher and staff appreciation week beginning on May 4th. Each day families will be asked to provide a small token of appreciation to teachers and staff. We will take a collection to provide a lunch for all teachers and staff on Wednesday and small coffee gift cards to be given out on Friday. Families are welcome and encouraged to include a personal token of appreciation to their teachers and school staff as well. Participation can be in person or pictures can be given virtually via email.


May 3th - Fruit: Each child can bring an apple or a piece of fruit to give to their teacher

May 4th - Flower: Each child can bring a flower to give to teacher.

May 5th - Video greeting of appreciation from student to teacher.

May 6th - PTO hosted Lunch and Gift Cards - Child gives card or Poem to teacher

Donations for Lunch and Coffee cards for all staff can be made via the following methods until Tuesday.Paypal - (meghan.oreillygreen@gmail.com)

Zelle - (914-471-0230) or Venmo - (@meghan-oreilly-green) Cash - 98 Lowell St, Redwood City Multicultural Updates:

Wednesday will be a materials pick up for distance learners including a wonderful flamingo project.

Flamingo Fundraising!

Support Orion Parent Participation and Mandarin Immersion Programs while having a little pink flamingo fun! Make a donation and to send a flock of pink flamingos to your friends’, family members’, or neighbors’ front yard! Check out the website for details.


The Chalk Granny is back!!! Check out the beautiful murals on the wall under the MUB created by Redwood City’s legendary Chalk Granny! Please do not touch the mural as chalk is delicate and we’d like the mural to last until the end of our multicultural study this year

This week’s assembly will be focused on animal conservation in Kenya and we will have an update about the elephants we adopted last month!

Please encourage your students to complete their Canvas pattern art project.


Don’t forget to check out our website where we are posting all of the amazing resources.

PTO Special Listening Sessions: Courageous Conversations

We have been continuing with hosting courageous conversations to heal the community after difficult transitions. 2 weeks ago we held a special listening session to give space for the MI program to share how they felt about the transition when the parent participation program joined the campus.

We were glad to be able to sit with and hear these personal experiences shared by members of the community. After breakout sessions, we returned to the group. A frequent comment heard after small group sharing was that the Parent Participation program at Orion felt similarly about the loss of identity and threats to core aspects of their program that had a profound negative effect on their community as well. We heard that there was a feeling that both programs have much in common.

We look forward to the next courageous conversation and hearing more from the Parent Participation program in the next special session about their experiences in transitioning to a new campus with many changes that were painful to their community. We look forward to holding space to hear whatever comes up for people speaking from the heart. Together, we will move forward

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 945 8873 2118

Passcode: 045829

7-8 pm Topic: What has been your experience with the schools merging?

Tuesday, May 4 -- From the perspective of the original Orion School families

Tuesday, May 18 -- From the perspective of the original John Gill School families (English program)

Tuesday, June 1 -- From the perspective of the current teachers and staff

PTO Budget and Fundraising

Paypal Link for Donations: https://www.paypal.com/us/fundraiser/charity/2207235

Thank you for filling out the Budget Survey! It is critical to hear what is important for your families and students! A presentation on the results of the survey were created by the budget committee. Please review the following presentation to see what the community values.

Budget Presentation

Based on the opinions of the community a budget was created for next year.

Please review the proposed Budget for 2021-2022 the school year 2021-2022 PTO Budget

We will vote to approve next year’s budget at the May 13th PTO meeting.

Read-A-Thon Fundraiser: May 10th-May 28th

Next week you will be able to sign your kids up for our very first READ-A-THON! Check out the website here! https://www.read-a-thon.com/

Watch these videos to see how it works!

Why Read-a-Thon?

How it Works

You can sign your children up through your email or phone number. They will be able to log minutes, share progress through the text, email, and social media and ask for donations to support their reading progress. They can shop for prizes in the online rewards store. A school prize will be arranged for the classes with the most reading minutes.

The money raised by families and friends will benefit the school-wide fund for PTO and be applied toward Science and STEAM curriculum and training for next year.

Save the Date! Variety Show June 5th

We are excited to host a virtual Variety Show and Fund a Need community event on June 5th. Students will have the opportunity to submit video entries to be streamed live. Details coming soon…...


What did you do this month? The yearbook will consist of pictures we send Renee of this unforgettable year. School at home is still school. Send us pictures of you and your kids and pod did this month! yearbook@orionschool.org

PTO Elections

Elections will be held on June 3rd at 7:30 pm (link to follow). There are plenty of positions to fill and we welcome participation from everyone! If you are interested in a position but aren’t sure which one, please take the opportunity to look over the current Starship PTO structure here which may change as the schools’ needs evolve. Structure of PTO: Roles and Responsibilities

An orientation for new or interested families will be held on May 20th and the executive slate will be shared shortly afterwards.

If you are interested in a position we would be so happy to have you nominate yourself by emailing Starship@orionschool.org

YEARBOOK 2020-2021

To purchase & customize your yearbook:

Must be a parent or student 13 years or older.

  1. 1 Go to www.treering.com/validate

  2. 2 Enter your school’s passcode: 1015496576801726

Yearbook Price: $21.92 *Does not include sales tax, if applicable

Deadline: May 5
Need help? Contact www.treering.com/help

Child Nutrition

Schoolsdistributing meals: Adelante Selby, Garfield, Hoover, & Kennedy

April 14, 2021 - June 30, 2021 WEDNESDAYS

11:00 am to 12:30 pm:


(Please use the Washington Ave. parking lot to visit Kennedy)7


once a week

pick up for all meals

on Wednesdays!

Can't come by Wednesdays or don't have room for 7 days of meals? Please call 650-482-2279 for special arrangements to pick up meals.

Please note:

Distribution schedules may vary by school site.

All families welcome regardless of income or school child attends Free meals are available to children 18 years old and younger No meal card is required

Students do not have to be present

Anyone in the household can pick up meals

Breakfast, lunch, supper & snack!

Free 1:1 Tutoring Opportunity via Zoom for Orion Students

Free one-on-one tutoring for elementary and middle school students via Zoom! SmashHigh is a non-profit dedicated to instilling a passion for learning within students. Our tutors are all qualified high schoolers from your local community! Sign up here. in English and Spanish: here

Flyers are attached below.