Shark News

Sierra Family Newsletter April 29, 2022

Message from Principal Westberg


On behalf of the Sierra staff, THANK YOU so much for the kind appreciation you showed us throughout the week for Staff Appreciation Week. We felt the love. We are so appreciative of the wonderful Sierra families and PTC and know how fortunate we are to work in this supportive, kind, and caring community! Thank you!


As we wind down the year, we are excited to summatively assess our students and identify the fruits of our labor (yours, ours, and theirs!) in their growth they've made over the school year.

Please watch for emails from your child's teacher regarding the class's specific testing schedule. You can best support your child by ensuring they have are well-fed and well-rested and remind them that this is their time to shine!

As you may be aware, the state test (CAASPP - California Assessment of Academic Performance and Progress) has been on hold since 2020 due to the pandemic. This is the first year RUSD 3rd-6th graders are resuming participating in state testing. 3rd - 6th graders are assessed on language arts and math, and 5th graders are additionally assessed in science (CAST). More information can be found here and here.

The MAP Assessment is a benchmark assessment given to RUSD 3rd-6th graders within every trimester to measure their performance and progress as well, and give staff immediate data to be used to help identify the "just right" next learning steps for each child. More information can be found here.


We will soon be holding our annual meetings where we will place your child into his/her class for next year. Please understand that a great deal of time, energy and professional judgment goes into the placement of each and every student.

Factors that we consider while building “balanced” classes include the following:

• Combinations of students that create the strongest learning environment possible (for all students, not just a few)

• Close to equal number of boys and girls

• Student personality, behavior and special needs

• Individual learning styles

For these reasons, we will not be able to honor all specific requests for teachers. Knowing all of this, it would not be wise or professional of us to encourage requests and make promises that we know we cannot keep, however if you still feel you need to submit a request, please submit it in writing via email to no later than May 14. All requests received after this date will not be considered. If submitting a request, it's helpful to know what attributes you are looking for in a teacher for your child, especially when and if we have staffing changes.

Your child’s current teacher, in collaboration with grade-level colleagues and school support staff, will use their professional and in-depth knowledge of your child as a learner and student to develop well-balanced classes that reflect the Sierra Learning Community.

Placements will be posted in the Aeries Parent Portal prior to the first day of school as in the past. Just as we have done the last couple of years, your child must attend their assigned class for the first 2 weeks of school. If after this time you still have concerns, we ask that you schedule a meeting with your child’s teacher. Please know that it is not our practice to make changes, although if at that point you are not comfortable with the situation, I will be happy to meet with you to hear your concerns.

Given all we know about your child as a learner and a student, please know that we will do our best to make placements for the year to come. Please trust our judgment. This being said, we understand as a parent, you have a great deal of knowledge about your child and the type of learning environment you feel they need. We thank you in advance for your understanding and patience as we move forward together through this process.

Have a great weekend!

Amy Westberg, Principal

PTC Corner

Join us TOMORROW night for Movie Night at Sierra. See below for more details on this FREE event.


“Sing 2” is the feature film at tomorrow’s Shark Family Movie Night! The movie for this FREE event will begin around 8:00pm on the big kid playground. Bring your chairs, blankets, pillows, and cash for concessions (popcorn, candy, hot cocoa, and more). *Please note that all children must be accompanied by an adult. Check out the flyer below.


Sending thanks to families for making this a memorable week for our exceptional Sierra teachers and staff!


Stay tuned for details on our final dine-and-donate of the year. Please note that the previously announced event with La Huaca has been canceled.


4/30: Movie night at Sierra, 6:30pm (big kid playground)

5/11: PTC general meeting, 6:00pm via Zoom (meeting id: 884 5774 2648, pw: sharks). Add to your calendar: PTC Calendar invite

5/26 @5:30pm: BINGO Night at Sierra – details coming next week!

Have a great weekend,

Your Sierra PTC

“Like” our Facebook page or follow us on Instagram [@SierraSharksPTC] to get the latest info on the exciting events planned this school year.

Messages to Ukraine

Many of our children are aware of the tragic events in Ukraine and we have heard from several PTC members who have expressed an interest in finding ways to help. We have consulted with Principal Westberg and are offering interested fellow Sierra parents the chance to work with your child to create messages of hope for Ukrainian children. These messages will tell Ukrainian children that they are not alone and empower our children to make a difference in the lives of others using their voices.

The messages will be scanned and sent electronically to an organization in Ukraine that will print and distribute them to Ukrainian orphans.

If you are interested in your student participating in this project, please have their message be on an 8.5x11” (standard office paper) and single-sided. Messages can include text, drawings, or both. If students would like ideas for their message and/or would like to write something in Ukrainian, click here for sample phrases in English and Ukrainian.

Please give messages to Mindi in the front office by Wednesday, May 4.

One of the wonderful qualities of Sierra’s IB program is that it encourages students to think and act globally. Our hope is that this project offers students and families the opportunity to spread kindness, foster empathy, and make a global impact.

Here are two resources shared by Principal Westberg and Ms. Burke.

  1. Brief read aloud story for kids:

  2. Article for adults about talking with kids about scary times:

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Online Scholastic Book Fair


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Lost & Found

Our lost & found is growing rapidly! Does anything belong to you?

Come pick it up before or after school in the multipurpose room.


Please help us care for our environment by reducing and reusing! Our Inquiry Island and VAPA spaces are incredible spaces for students to collaborate and construct their learning. In recognition of Earth Day and every day, please think of us before you trash. Your trash can be our students' treasures. We would especially like shoeboxes with lids, toilet paper or paper towel tubes, and cardboard or tagboard cut down to manageable sizes (i.e. 9x12, 11x17). Students also like cardboard packing materials in different or unusual shapes (circles, curved shapes, etc.). Fabric, buttons, ribbon scraps, scrapbook paper, and wallpaper are also a hit.

If you're not sure if we can use it then please email our VAPA teacher, Lisa Johnson at

Thank you!

Donations Needed

We are in need of 4-6oz Dixie cup-style cups for our sharks! When they get thirsty and have forgotten their water bottles, these come in handy! You can drop them off at the front office.

Thank you all for your help and generous donations, as always!

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Are you cleared to volunteer or chaperone a field trip?

To ensure compliance with RUSD and the state of California's volunteer policies, parents who wish to volunteer on campus during the school day must have:

RUSD Policy:

  • Fingerprinting completed for RUSD specifically. Prior fingerprinting done for any agency or organization other than RUSD will not be accepted. Fingerprinting takes approximately 72 hours to clear.
  • Current Tuberculosis Test (TB). TB tests expire every 4 years and must be renewed in order to volunteer. TB Tests take approximately 48-72 hours for results and results must be brought to the office.

State of California Policy:

  • Vaccination status or proof of a current negative COVID test uploaded to the link included in the email from Informed K12. If you have not received this email, please let the office know. Details about this are included in the Informed K12 email.

To check your volunteer status, please call the office or email our Secretary, Kimberly Ervin, at


5/12/22 - Open House Minimum Day 12:10 Kinder Dismissal/12:20 1st-6th Dismissal

5/16/22 Minimum Day 12:10 Kinder Dismissal/12:20 1st-6th Dismissal

5/30/22 Memorial Day No School

6/2/22 Last Day of School Minimum Day 12:10 Kinder Dismissal/12:20 1st-6th Dismissal

TK & Kindergarten Registration is Open Now!

Click this button for a video and more details. Share with your friends with school-ready little ones!


Check out our weekly announcements videos shared with students every Monday morning!

Nutrition Services 2021-2022

Lunch may be picked up for RVC students from 11:30 - 12:00 Monday - Friday from our school cafeteria. Our Nutrition Services Website has the menu for the month so your shark knows what they will be sinking their teeth into each day.