Principal's Update

October 29, 2020

Dear Families,

Yesterday morning at dropoff, I greeted goblins, storm troopers, and a number of wizards at the front gate. Each child came with their mask on, lined up on the social-distance markers, and waited to patiently as Ms. Maria and I checked their screener. This is the funny time we find ourselves in- trying to continue our treasured traditions while also adhering to the new restrictions that have been set forth. I look forward today when we welcome our 2nd and 3rd grade B Cohort friends to campus. I also am planning to visit as many online classes as possible :).

Our 4th and 5th Grade Surveys were due this past Monday. I am still finalizing details, but will share more information soon.


  • TK-1st grade families: Please be considerate of our neighbors on Rhorke. We are encouraging all families who enter through the back gate to walk or bike to school. If you need to arrive by car, please follow the traffic rules. Do not make any U-turns, double-park, or any other traffic violations. We need to work together to ensure the safety of our students and community.
  • Self Screeners must be completed by 7:55AM! Please download the ParentSquare App. While we have paper screeners available, this significantly slows down our process and goal of getting kids to class on time. Scroll down for a video tutorial link.
  • Minimum Day Wednesdays: Please note the dismissal times for students on Wednesdays:
  • - Transitional Kinder (No change, Dismissal at 1:45, M-Th)
  • - Kinder AM (Dismissal at 10:30)
  • - Kinder PM (Dismissal at 1:35)
  • - Grades 1-5 (Dismissal at 1:30)

Counselor's Corner- From Laura Clark Post, School Psychologist

Connecting with Kids and Helping Them Cope in Uncertain Times

Dr. Daniel Siegel is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and the Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute. He has authored or co-authored several books including Parenting from the Inside Out, the Whole Brain Child, No Drama Discipline, Brainstorm, The Yes Brain, and The Power of Showing Up.

Parents are under a lot of stress right now. It feels like we need a whole new set of parenting tools to handle the pandemic, racial justice, distance learning, wildfires and hurricanes, climate change, economic and political uncertainty. Dr. Dan Siegel offers reassuring advice and tools for parents who want to show up for their kids, connect with themselves and others, and validate their feelings.

PiE- Every Cent Helps

Palo Alto Partners in Education (PiE) is an incredible partner of our school. Funding from PiE allows me to provide many more staff than our budget would otherwise allow. Because of donations to PiE, we can have our vital classroom aides and counseling program. PiE’s funding provides specialized art and music programs that enhance the academics for each student. The difference in the school with PiE’s support is remarkable. It would be a very different place without this additional funding.

If you have already donated to PiE this year, I appreciate your support. If you have not, I ask you to please consider making a donation now. If you donate or pledge by November 16th, your donation may be matched by a Challenge Grant.

A donation, in any amount that is meaningful for your family, makes a difference to our community and our school.

You can find out all the ways to make a contribution on PiE's website at:

Project Cornerstone Book of the Month

Project Cornerstone Book of the Month


This month's book for Kindergarten was Listen and Learn, by Cheri J. Meiners. We read about how listening helps us learn, and how to be a good listener. We read how we can use our whole body to listen: our ears to hear and our eyes to follow the speaker, our mouths to be quiet and our hands still so that everyone can listen, and our minds to think about what we listen and learn from it.

After the story, we discussed how to become better at listening and why it is so important for children to listen and to be heard:

· A good listener keeps quiet, looks at the speaker and thinks about what they hear. This helps me learn.

· If I do not understand, I can ask questions. I can also answer questions. By taking turns to talk and listen we all learn together.

· Listening shows I care. I care about my teacher, she’s helping me learn. I care about my friends, I listen and understand them. I like it when my teacher and my friends listen to me. They care about me.

Encourage the kids to tell you about their day, and show them how you listen. Asking questions is a part of listening, it shows I’m following what you’re saying and I want to learn more.

Affirm to the kids that you are there to listen to them, to understand them and to learn together with them. If they are upset, they will know there is someone at home who will listen and understand them.

1-5th Grade:

This month’s ABC book, The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig, helps students develop the ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with people different from themselves. It also encourages students to show empathy. At home, you can continue to help your child build empathy skills by doing the following:

· Empathize with your child by asking questions.

o What did you learn today that was interesting?

o What was the hardest part of your day?

o How would you like to spend a day if you could do anything?

o Do you have a friend that you especially respect?

o Why do you respect that person?

· Make caring for others a priority and lead by example.

o Engage in community service with your child.

o Express interest in those from various backgrounds or those facing different types of challenges.

o Encourage your child to write messages of kindness in sidewalk chalk.

o Offer to pick up store items for an elder neighbor.

o Together with your child, make “thank you” posters or cards to put in the window or on the front door for the mail carrier or delivery person.

Be a role model for empathy. It is at the heart of what it means to be human. We all want to raise children who are happy and KIND!


Anne Marie Bredehoft-Hallada, MPH


TK through 1st Grade Reopening Information (October 12, 2020)