Full-Year Distance Learning (FYDL)

Wednesday Newsletter #18 December 16, 2020


Dear Full-Year Distance Learning Families,

Our last day of school before winter break is this Friday, which is a minimum day. There is a lot of excitement in our online classrooms as we wrap up this year and prepare for 2021.

My wish for our families and staff is that you can connect with loved ones, celebrate family traditions, and stay safe and healthy! It may not look the same, but it is so important for us all to have this time with our families and friends, even if it is over a video chat.

I look forward to welcoming everyone back to school on January 7th, 2021!

NO SCHOOL-from December 21-January 6, 2021.

December 18th Spirit Day: Warm & Cozy Pajama Day!

Wear Pajamas, get a cozy blanket, and welcome the winter break this Friday.


How to We Grow Our Readers? The first step is knowing that daily school attendance is important, combined with strong instructional practice from caring educators, however, this is not enough. So let's grow some readers- Especially during this Winter Break!

What We Know About Growing Readers

  • We know that children who read every day grow as readers. The more minutes, the stronger readers they become. Kind of like weight lifting for your brain.

  • We know that children need access to books inside and outside of school to increase their reading stamina. This is why we have robust classroom resources for ebooks and overflowing school libraries for weekly book selection.

  • We know that children need books that they are interested in and want to read if we expect them to read for a sustained amount of time. Children love books in a series (Dogman), books in the same genre (fantasy is popular in 5th grade), graphic novels, (they were called comic books when I was in elementary school), and books by the same author.

  • We know that our youngest, emergent readers benefit from being read to by adults or older siblings. Yes, I know you can't stand reading The Hungry Caterpillar one more time, but you've got to! It makes a difference!

  • We know that children acquiring English or any other language benefit from being read to in their home language, primary language, mother language, the language the adults in the home speak when they don't want the children to know what they are talking about. Yes, children grow their vocabularies and nuanced understanding as they develop their language acquisition in English through a strong foundation in their first language. So keep reading, and talking in your native language.

Our Commitment to Our Growing Readers

  • Children are given time during the school day to practice their reading skills and strategies. They are also required to read outside of school. Thirty minutes, please. Yes, even the kindergarteners. This can be broken up into 10, or 15-minute chunks and includes being read to or sharing the reading with an adult or older sibling.

  • While I am not a fan of reading online, during these times, it is essential, and we offer a few options for each child. RAZ Kids, MyON, NEWSELA, and Epic. Not familiar with these online reading programs? TALK to YOU CHILD'S TEACHER or look on your child's Clever page on Rapid Identity.

Your Partnership Matters

  • Talk with your child's teacher to find out what you can do at home to promote and support your child's growth as a reader. Do they need more books? Different books? Should they work on their reading fluency or comprehension? Or is reading and talking about what they have read enough?

  • Set a timer to help your child build their reading stamina outside of school. Our students are used to reading for 30-minutes a day at school. They can do it at home too.

  • Talk with your child about what they have read. What did they learn? What was surprising? How is what they read deepening their thinking? How did the character change? What was the theme of the story?

  • Have your child spend 20 minutes on Lexia. Lexia is a researched-based program developed to support children in growing specific reading skills to get them to grade-level benchmarks when accompanied by strong classroom reading instruction. Children only need to spend 20 minutes each day on Lexia. Lexia is assigned to all students in K-5.

So what will you do? What is your commitment? How will you work in partnership with us to grow your reader? Let your child's teacher know. She or he will love to hear from you.

Have you caught your child reading? Send me a photo.

Nikole Manou

Another Round of Noon Art!

The second round of noon art instructed by Kathryn Sakata is taking sign-ups. Please read the information below if you are interested.

Kathryn Sakata, an instructional aide and artist, will be offering 30-minute art lessons to students. Due to the nature of this art class, there is a max of 20 students per class. If there are more than 20 students interested, students can only sign up once to give fellow classmates the opportunity to participate in the next round(s).

From Kathryn:

In non-COVID times, I teach after-school enrichment Learn to Draw art classes at Nixon Elementary. Now, as a part of the FYDL staff, we want to offer Noon Art for our students during the lunch break time block. There will be two half-hour sections: Tuesdays (grades 1-2) and Thursdays (grades 3-5). Sections will be limited to 20 students at a time, on a sign-up basis. The following are recommended supplies (or something comparable), but not required to have in order to participate:

Students in grades 1-2 can join on Tuesdays from 11:50-12:20 pm:

  • 1/12
  • 1/19
  • 1/26
  • 2/2
  • 2/9
  • 2/16
  • 2/23

Students in grades 3-5 can join on be Thursdays from 11:50-12:20 pm:

  • 1/14
  • 1/21
  • 1/28
  • 2/4
  • 2/11
  • 2/18
  • 2/25

REGISTRATION for 2020-2021

Registration begins January 4, 2021

Families with children who are not currently enrolled with PAUSD, and want to enroll a child to attend a PAUSD school starting in August 2021, must follow all the instructions at the PAUSD Enrollment web site starting on January 4: www.pausd.org/Enrollment. If you have any questions about if you should enroll your child, please send an email to RegistrationServices@pausd.org.

Big picture

Stanford Parenting Center

The Stanford Parenting Center is offering Positive Parenting During COVID-19 Webinar series. The last session in the series is on Friday, January 22nd. These webinars are free and open to the public. Click here to register for these free webinars and for links to previous webinars: https://med.stanford.edu/childpsychiatry/clinical/parenting/webinars.html

Reminder! Greendell for Attendance

The attendance email is greendellattendance@pausd.org. This is the best way for a parent to report an absence.

The office phone is (650) 856-0833. Voicemails left on this phone number will be forwarded to the Greendell office staff.

FDL What'sApp Group

One thing that came up at our Parent Coffee last Friday was a desire to create an FDL communication resource. Some of the families immediately created a WhatsApp FDL group. To join, please select the following link: https://chat.whatsapp.com/C8VDj4cbM79IA4PFZHTS4d

FDL on Facebook!

Another great way to meet other FDL families is by joining the parent sponsored FDL Facebook group called "FDL parents community." Contact Corinne Haböck at corinne.haboeck@swissonline.ch or for more information.

Direct Link to your Home elementary site