Orion Gazette

March 15-March 19

School Calendar


March 15-19 Parent-Teacher Conferences-All synchronous instruction ends by 12 pm this week

March 18 & March 19 School Picture Day at Mickinley School from 1-5

March 18 & March 19 Asynchronous Instruction all-day - Teachers Prepare classrooms for onsite instruction

March 17 St. Patrick's Day

March 23 Early release day at 11:30 am for teacher professional development

March 26 Early dismissal before Spring Break

March 29-April 2 Spring Break -no school

“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much” – Helen Keller

Dear Families,

The Mandarin Immersion and Parent Participation programs have done some amazing collaborative work this year, learning and adapting together on the same campus, both live and virtually.

At the same time, I want to acknowledge the challenges, heartbreak, and pain each community has experienced this past year and a half.

A year ago, a group of parents, staff, and I worked together with an outside facilitator, Seeds of Change, to begin to build bridges of communication and understanding. At the same, the worldwide pandemic has laid bare long-standing racial disparities in our very own communities.

As we prepare to come back to school very soon, the important work of healing, creating open lines of communication, and working on unpacking our biases, both conscious and unconscious, as a staff, as parents, and as the instructional leader for both programs, this work is critical for the health and well being of the children we serve and their families.

With the support of a professional outside facilitator, we can do this work together. I look forward to collaborating and sharing more with you.

Return to School Plans at Orion

Dear Families,

For families choosing to return to campus, actual in-class instruction begins on Thurs, April 8.

The week of March 22, students returning to campus will participate in an hour-long health and safety orientation and campus tour during the school day. The schedule will be shared by teachers this week.

Starting this week, teachers will begin sharing student cohort groups and schedules for in-person instruction at school and Distance Learning.

In the Mandarin Immersion program, 80% of our students will return for instruction on site.

In the Parent Participation program, 50% of our families will return while 50% will remain in Distance Learning. Teachers have done their best to keep as many students as possible with their teachers.

This step forward in bringing back students and staff on campus is exciting yet at the same time filled with some anxiety about change, different schedules and new expectations. As we move through the coming days and weeks, I keep reminding myself that in one month from now, when the students are back in the classroom with their peers and teachers

Orion School Picture Days March 18 and March 19 from 1-5 at McKinley School

Due to contruction and parking challenges on our campus at this time, picture day for Orion students is at McKinely School.

Date: March 18 and March 19

Time: 1-5pm

Location: 400 Duane Street, RWC 94062

The link to the Sign Up Genius is: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0d48a9af28a2fbc16-orion

The link for parents to place an order is: http://lmsep.com/

Bilingual flyer attached.

Starship Update


The week we continue our multicultural study of Kenya. Last week we had a special presentation from Sam Maundu all the way from Nairobi and he will be back this week to teach us more about Kenya. Here is the recording of the assembly

Next week, on March 24th, we will have a musical presentation from Cheza Nami, a wonderful local organization. Cheza Nami Foundation aims to promote cultural education and diversity awareness to learning institutions, corporations, and communities that focus on fostering a more congenial relationship among its members


Please remind your students to complete their sunset banner and Maasai necklace!

Maasai Mara Banner Flag: https://youtu.be/1F01h74ovJw

Maasai Paper Plate Necklace: https://youtu.be/D4AJ1mELOew

March 10th Assembly Tour of Kenya with Samson Maundu: https://youtu.be/okZ6DAMDwUk

Tour of Kenya Presentation

PTO Budget and Fundraising update

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

We are beginning to plan for next year’s budget and would love the entire community’s participation. A small budget committee has formed with parents from both programs to begin generating ideas about priority. The committee hopes to solicit feedback from all parents this month. We will vote to approve next year’s budget at the May PTO meeting. If you are interested in joining the budget committee please email starship@orionschool.org

Direct Drive

Please make sure you have participated in our Direct Drive, we continue to strive towards our annual goal of $97K and we are about halfway there. If we are not able to meet the goal we will have to cut key services such as supplies for teachers, virtual field trips, Art, Soul Shoppe, and Library. Please donate what you can, we ask each family to contribute $500 if they are able.

A reminder that the PTO funds



Soul Shoppe

Supplies for Teachers

Virtual Field Trips

Kinder aid

Training for teachers

and more....


K/1 Book request form: Please sign up here and Librarian Cristina will pack some books for your student.


Bibliocarro request: If you would like books delivered please sign up here


Any questions or issues relating to BiblioCarro, please email Krissie Rice at krissie.h.rice@gmail.com.


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

Starship Meeting update: This week we had our monthly Starship PTO meeting. We discussed budget planning for next year along with multicultural and community building and connection among both programs. The next meeting is on April 15th. Please remember that all parents, teachers, and staff are members of Starship, and all parents are encouraged to attend, please join us!


Free Meals to Every Child is RCSD until 18

Attached to the newsletter you will find updated information about our Free Meals in RCSD.

Also check out the school calendar for this school year.