Orion Gazette

April 5-April 9

School Calendar


Apr 5-7 Distance Learning for all students

Apr 8 In person instruction begins

Apr 14 Materials pick up for students in Distance Learning and Library book distribution

Apr 15 School Site Council at 4:30pm

Apr 15 Starship PTO at 7:30pm

Principal's Message

Our orientation the week before Spring break was a great success! Students and their classmates had a chance to connect, with each other, learn and practice the health and wellness procedures and play in their designated play zones.

If your child missed the orientation the week before last, please review this bilingual orientation presentation together.

Parent Orientation of Procedures and Schedules

Please complete the Health and Wellness Survey at least 30 minutes prior to the start of the school day. We run a report for completed health forms at 7:45am.

Procedure for dropping off students by car, walking or biking to school:

Arrival and Departure Procedures and Schedules-English

Procedimientos y horarios para padres de familia

Prepare to show your phone with the completed health form to the yard duty. If you forget to complete the online survey you will be asked to full forward to another parking area and complete the paper copy.

Snacks and take-home lunch will be provided to all students coming to school on site.

Below are links for required forms and documents for students returning to campus:

  • Student Handbook and Contract (mandatory)-Must be signed by student and parent before starting school on April 8. It will be handed on at Orientation.
  • English SpanishWellness Screening Form (daily)
  • Online (preferred method): Bilingual
  • Printed sample: English Spanish
  • COVID Testing consent form (optional) - Appointments
  • English - consent form Spanish - consent form

Principal Forum for Return to School, Wednesday April 7 6:00pm in Spanish & 7:30 in English

I will be hosting one final Principal Forum to answer questions and share the most recent information provided by RCSD for our plans to Reopen our School.

Join Zoom Meeting in Spanish at 6:00pm and same link at 7:30pm for English https://rcsdk8-net.zoom.us/j/81728775556?pwd=OEROTURIeXNjL0txRUMzV0E4L2VPQT09 Meeting ID: 817 2877 5556 Passcode: orion1

In response to our our previous Principal Form last month, here are some answers to parent questions. The answers have been provided by our Human Resource Director, Erin Kekos and come from The response protocols and return to work/school criteria in the Pandemic Recovery Framework.

1. Question: Teacher is teaching both an am and a pm group. Teacher is fully vaccinated. If a student in one co-hort tests positive, do both co-horts have to close?

Answer: In this scenario that you are presenting, both cohorts will need to close for 14 days after the last day of exposure to the positive case.

2. Question: If a student at any time in the day has a temp of 100.4 or higher? What is the protocol for returning to the campus after going home?

Answer: There are 4 ways to return:

1) Negative test

2) Doctor's note that it is caused by an underlying condition

3) Doctor's alternate diagnosis

4) Off campus for 10 days since symptom started

Grant funding for a school garden and outdoor classroom space - show your support by voting

Dear Orion Families,
Each Green Corner is being considered for a grant to fund a school garden site at Orion Alternative Elementary, and we need your vote!

Part of the application entails a public voting period where our supporters, like you, can make your voices heard and support Each Green Corner with just 5 minutes of your time.

You can vote for our garden, the “Orion Alternative School Garden”, by clicking the link here, entering your email address, and then confirming your vote through your email. That’s it!

The voting period will be open until April 7th, and you are limited to one vote per person.

This grant will be used to make improvements to Orion Alternative School’s garden site, impacting students, parents, and teachers alike with a community based and educational garden program.

We would greatly appreciate it if you could share the voting link with your family and friends as the final 21 winners will be decided partially based on the number of votes we receive.

Thank you for your continued support of Each Green Corner!

Check out Reopening My School: https://www.smore.com/r1m6h

Happy Spring - The Qingming Festival

The Qingming Festival, which falls on April 4th this year, is a special time for showing respect, remembering ancestors, and sharing memories from the past. It is an important day in Chinese culture or for anyone who observes this festival in Asia or any place in the world.

Our curriculum partner in the Mandarin Immersion program, Ms. ZaoHe You, has shared with us one of her books.

Wishing you a day full of love and peace during the Qingming Festival!


Allies Agains Racism -Tune in on during the Wednesday assemblies this month

The Orion community cares about the well-being of each and every member of our community and is committed to diversity, inclusion, and equity. We call upon everyone to support anti-racism and stand in solidarity with our Asian-American community. The teachers will continue to participate in age-appropriate conversations and readings with our students that cultivate a place of respect and acceptance for all.

How do we supply students with the tools they need to grow in healthy ways? Soul Shoppe has developed a program that gives kids (and grown-ups) the self-awareness and social skills to navigate complex issues like racism with more confidence and consideration. We continue our partnership with Soul Shoppe is an online program “Allies Against Racism,” which is a powerful way for schools and families to both begin and deepen their conversations around racism.

Starting on April 7, students will engage in interactive lessons. On April 14, our time assembly is specifically dedicated in addressing Anti-Asian Racism with a live facilitator. Check out a preview of the content:


School Site Council

Thursday, April 15th, 4:30-6pm

This is an online event.

All are welcome to attend and listen to the school site council each month. The purpose of the School Site Council is to review, modify, and evaluate the annual Single Plan for Student Achievement.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 885 0436 9800
Passcode: orion1
One tap mobile
+16699006833,,88504369800#,,,,*644051# US (San Jose)

Agenda 4.15 Orion School Site Council

Starship Update

Multicultural Updates

Kenyan Cooking Class and Baobab juice tasting April 17th: 5-7pm

https://www.givesignup.org/TicketEvent/ExploreKenyanCuisineCultureMusic Thanks to the magic of Zoom, our talented host, Josephine Rukaria, will introduce you to Kenyan cuisine, giving you step-by-step instructions to make a complete meal from scratch! In this interactive experience from her home in Kenya, Josephine will share links to music from Kenya and share stories and facts about her country, as she teaches you how to prepare authentic and delicious dishes, using techniques from her family's own recipes.

As you prepare and enjoy your meal, join us for a juice tasting from TERANGA with its founder, Nafy Flatley - Teranga is a local food and beverage company that uses the baobab superfood and other ingredients and spices as the base for most of its prepared meals, snacks, drinks, shots and popsicles. The Baobab tree, also known as the tree of life, grows throughout most of Africa and is an essential part of African cuisine and culture. The entire tree is used, from the roots to the leaves. It is a natural remedy for many ailments, has more Vitamin C than oranges, more magnesium than kale, more potassium than bananas, more calcium than milk and is high in soluble fiber.

Starship PTO will have packaged ingredients available for pick-up or delivery on Wed. 4/14. For this, please purchase tickets by 4/10/2021. However, if you do not need ingredients or drinks, tickets will be available through the day of the event!. Get your tickets! https://www.givesignup.org/TicketEvent/ExploreKenyanCuisineCultureMusic

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

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

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

Kenya Landscape project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPn6xuGAmjg

Tour of Kenya Presentation

PTO Budget and Fundraising update

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

The PTO is planning school-wide program goals for the 2021-2022 school year.

We need your input to inform our fundraising goals for next year. Your feedback matters!

Please take 5 minutes to fill out this brief survey. Responses due by Wednesday, April 7.

Thank you.


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....

LIBRARY: Next Pick up is April 14!

This is a great week to sign up for library pickup!

Coming to library pick up will.......

1. Help kids connect to school again (especially those returning to in-person)

2. Kids can turn in their Kenyan Maasai Mara banner so a full banner can be hung up somewhere for kids to see when they return to campus. I will put a box at the library pick-up table for people to put them in.

3. They can pick up an egg carton to make Mancala if they don't have an egg carton (we will push out the Mancala video/directions next week). I'll have a handful at the table that people can grab one if they didn't save one this week.

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 you and your kids and pod did this month! yearbook@orionschool.org

Starship Meeting update:

Before spring break we had a special listening session to come together as a community and talk about anti-Asian racism and violence, and to also discuss concerns and goals with our school’s social studies curriculum. Parents spoke about their experiences and parents and teachers met in small groups to further reflect. We will continue these structured listening sessions at the end of April to hear from all respective groups in our community; teachers and administrators, the parent participation program, heritage John Gill, as well as the Mandarin Immersion program. We will continue to open up and take the brave steps necessary to face and redress the hurts of the past in order to build community and develop and focus on our shared goals. There is lots more to discuss and explore as we build a cohesive school community.

Our next regular Starship PTO meeting will be April 15th. All parents are encouraged to attend. Please remember that all parents, teachers and staff are members of Starship

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.