San Vicente School Bulletin

A Professional Learning Community May 9-May 20

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. {Confuscious}

Principal's Message

Hello San Vicente family,

Welcome back from Spring Break! I hope you all feel recharged and ready to finish out the remainder of the year.

State testing is right around the corner. It has been almost two years since our students in third through sixth grade have taken the state test. Teachers have been diligently preparing our students for absolute success. The testing dates are the following: grades three, four, and six will be testing during the week of May 16, and fifth grade will be testing on May 10 and 11 and May 17 and 18. Please assist our students with ensuring that they go to sleep early and get a healthy breakfast each morning. Please let your students know that we expect only their personal best and let them know that they will shine.

During this past week, we celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week. I wanted to thank all of our certificated staff for all that you have done and for all that you do on a regular basis. I know the challenges that you all face but in light of these challenges you never give up. Your children are thriving and I have been humbled once more. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Next week we will recognize all classified staff during Classified Staff Appreciation Week. Again, our classified staff is the foundation of the school and though we may not always see the inner workings, I can assure you that they contribute to the success of our school exponentially.

Finally, I would like to once again thank Mr. Pantoja and the entire Garden Club for bringing so much joy to our students via outdoor education. I would also like to thank Mrs. Sofia Ramirez for bringing Girls Inc. to our school site! This program was a huge success and we are now looking forward to having them back each year.

Thank you again to everyone on our team!

Panther Proud,

Dr. Bailey

Panthers at Work in the Garden {LCAP GOALS 2,5, and 6}

Edutopia: Food for Thought {LCAP GOAL 2}


We Drastically Underestimate the Importance of Brain Breaks

When it comes to optimizing learning, we don’t value breaks enough, neuroscientists suggest in a new study.

By Youki Terada

April 21, 2022

Practice makes perfect. To become ambidextrous in basketball, dribble with your left hand, switch to your right, and repeat the process again and again. Likewise, to solve differential equations in math, pile them up and work your way through them diligently.

According to one popular school of thought, it’s this active, repeated manipulation of material that lays the neural foundations for skill development. All too often, time away from the basketball court—or the math books—is seen as a break in the learning process, a way to cool off, reenergize, and then return to the vital work of actual practice.

But for Leonardo Cohen, a neuroscientist at the National Institutes of Health and the senior author of a June 2021 study published in the journal Cell, the idea that breaks are a cooling-off period is a misconception.

Cohen and his colleagues used magnetoencephalography—a highly sensitive brain-scanning technique—to observe the neural activity of young adults as they learned how to type with their nondominant hand. After a practice session, the study participants were given a short break and then continued practicing for a total of 35 sessions.

When analyzing the data, Cohen’s team made an intriguing discovery: They observed a spike in brain activity, mimicking the neural pattern seen during the practice session, but compressed by twentyfold. Rather than being idle, the brain was replaying the practice session over and over at an astonishingly high rate of speed—flipping the material from the neocortex, where sensory and motor skills are processed, to the hippocampus, the brain’s memory center, over two dozen times in the span of 10 seconds. Stepping away from the activity, it turns out, is not stepping away from the activity at all.

The findings echo the groundbreaking discovery in 2001 that after successfully running through a maze, rats replayed those memories repeatedly during REM sleep, with the same spatial circuitry flickering to life as they slept.


When we learn a new skill, we need to connect it to previous memories, explains Cohen, a process called “binding.” For example, when learning how to play piano, our brains need to link a simple action—pressing a piano key—with a larger, more complex skill, such as playing a song. Until now, scientists have been unable to decipher how the brain connects these two discrete actions into a consolidated skill.

Cohen’s team discovered that after learning new information, our brains continue to whir, using cognitive downtime as a virtual staging ground to process, organize, and integrate learned information. The key, they believe, lies in neural replay, the “temporally compressed reactivation of neural activity patterns representing behavioral sequences during rest.” In other words, after practicing a skill, our brains rapidly cycle through the experience, compressing and imprinting the material to optimize storage and recall.

We greatly underestimate the value of breaks when learning, Cohen and his colleagues assert, commonly opting for an approach that views active practice as the only way to advance. But that’s a mistake, because incorporating breaks into learning “plays just as important a role as practice in learning a new skill. It appears to be the period when our brains compress and consolidate memories of what we just practiced.”


In the classroom, “brain breaks should take place before fatigue, boredom, distraction, and inattention set in,” writes neurologist and classroom teacher Judy Willis, and that means they should be far more frequent. “As a general rule,” Willis continues, basing her conclusions on decades of research, “concentrated study of 10 to 15 minutes for elementary school and 20 to 30 minutes for middle and high school students calls for a three- to five-minute break.”

You don’t have to overthink it, or add to your workload by planning entertaining activities. Willis recommends simple techniques, such as a stretch break, moving to a different part of the room, or singing a song to give students time to “replay” what they’ve learned and to prepare them for more practice or new material. Letting students chat informally for a few minutes should also work well.

As the school day progresses, there’s evidence that brain breaks become increasingly important. A 2016 study found that “cognitive fatigue” sets in toward the end of the day, leading to a notable drop in test performance: For every hour later in the day, test performance decreased by 0.9 percent of a standard deviation, the researchers found—roughly the equivalent of losing 10 school days’ worth of learning. Incorporating breaks, however, not only eliminated the decrease but actually increased performance. “Importantly, a break causes an improvement in test scores that is larger than the hourly deterioration,” the researchers discovered. “Breaks, it appears, recharge students’ cognitive energy, thus leading to better test scores.”

Parent Corner {LCAP GOAL 4}

ATTENTION PARENTS AND STAFF: We are working on reviving our garden and we are asking for as many donations as possible. We are in need of the following items: shovels, spades, a rototiller, rakes, garden gloves, potting soil, garden hoes, plants, saplings, watering cans, garden hose, and trowels. Please feel free to drop those items off at our office. Thank you!

URGENT: During drop-off and pick-up times, our parking lot is extremely busy. Due to the fact that we have such a small parking lot, I would like to request your assistance in ensuring that you are using caution at all times when you pick up your kids. Safety is our priority at San Vicente. Additionally, please be sure to slow down when exiting our campus and when approaching the crosswalk. We have supervisors and staff in the parking lot, at the crosswalk, and at the exit of our parking lot to assist with the flow of traffic. Next, please be sure to drop your students off and pick them up in front of the school. If you are late or if you need to pick up your students early, please check in with the front office. Please help us to keep our campus safe by coming to the office for assistance. We appreciate all that you do for our kids but our campus is currently closed to parents in an effort to keep our students and staff safe.

Please get involved in our ELAC and School Site Council meetings. We need your input to assist in the ongoing task of helping our students grow socially and academically. In addition, I welcome you to join me for Virtual Coffee with the Principal on the second Wednesday of each month from 8:30-9:30 am. I welcome all of you as I would like to get to know each of you so that I may connect your face with your child's.

Next, please continue to check-in on ClassDojo, Seesaw, and Google Classroom regularly to ensure that you are receiving current news and information about your child's/children's class(es) from their teacher(s). If you have a question or concern regarding classroom assignments, student interactions, curriculum, or anything in general, I would like to encourage you to reach out directly to your child's/children's teacher(s).

PLEASE NOTE: Our office hours are from 7:45-4:30 pm.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us for assistance and support! We are here for you!

Finally, please continue to check our school's website, Facebook page, and Parent Square regularly for updates and upcoming events. We value your input and our kids thrive from partnerships.

A BIG THANK YOU TO PTO for providing our staff with food for our Teacher Appreciation Week!

Important Dates

May 9- Virtual IEP Marathon Day

May 9- BMX Outdoor Assembly

May 9- 6th Grade Promotion Virtual Parent Meeting

May 10-11- 5th Grade CAASPP Testing

May 10- Staff Meeting 3:25pm

May 11- ELAC Meeting 8:15am

May 11- Garden Club 1st-3rd Grade Meeting 1:45pm

May 11- SUSD Board Meeting 7:00pm

May 13- Spirit Day: Career Day

May 13- Aztec Walk 10:30am

May 17-20- CAASPP Testing for Grades 3rd-6th

May 18- Garden Club 4th-6th Grade Meeting 1:45pm

May 20- Virtual Talent Show 1:00pm

Library Corner

BOOKS READ TO DATE: 17,416 (Fabulous!)

WORDS READ TO DATE: 64,368,649 (Amazing work!)



Kinder: Evelyn Corrales Marin (Mrs. Gallegos) 3.9 pts, 97% (AWESOME!)

1st Gr: Zaret Lugo (Ms. Viveros) 5.9 pts, 98% (FABULOUS!)

2nd Gr: Sergio Sanchez-Garcia (Ms. Ramos) 4.9 pts, 98% (SUPER!)

3rd Gr: Adrian Almaras (Mrs. Sandoval) 9.5 pts, 91% (WOW!)

4th Gr: Emmanuel Amaro (Ms. Lara) 10 pts, 100% (GREAT!)

5th Gr: Diego Jimenez (Mr. Ceja) 6 pts, 100% (FASCINATING!)

6th Gr: Tracee Canseco-Soto (Mr. Felix) 54.8 pts, 95% (AMAZING!)

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Counselor's Corner

CONTACTING Mrs. Yesenia Velasquez-Arreola


PHONE EXT. 11641

M-F 7:45AM-3:25PM


San Vicente Elementary School

"Home of the Panthers"

Dr. Gaige Bailey


1300 Metz Rd, Soledad, CA