Bronco Bulletin

December 2016

Principal's Message

Dear Bronco Families,

The holiday season is upon us. It seems like it was just a few days ago at Bernal, we were welcoming new students and families on the first day of school; nervous seventh graders looking for their classrooms and lockers, as well as parents lined up at the office door, looking for the right room to take their student. Now a few months later, students and families have already made it to the third grading period, mastered the art of making sure PE clothes are washed over the weekend, remembering which Friday afternoon is the school dance, and memorizing what RISE behavior means. As we wind down into the holiday break over the next two weeks, it’s important to take a step back and remember what’s important in our lives. Our teachers and staff have had a heck-of-a-first few months of school and true to the Bronco way, we have worked together at making sure students remain at the center of why we do what we do. Have a great month of December!

Jamal Splane


Missed the Previous Newsletters?

School Traffic

Traffic: Parents, please slow down before and after school around Bernal when dropping off and picking students up. We have been getting complaints from neighbors about speeding cars and general unsafe driving behavior. Let’s set a good example!

Holiday Stress in Teens

Each day middle school students may worry about their grades, doing their homework, maintaining relationships with their friends or their appearance. As the holidays and school breaks approach, many students can have increased stress and may act out more, talk back, become more irritable, or withdraw. Some additional triggers could include separation/divorce, family issues, having little or nothing to do. Kathy Cumming, School Adjustment Counselor & Mikaela Kita, School Psychologist from Medway Public School list the following as warning signs of stress:

  • Headaches and stomach aches
  • Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Excessive Sleeping
  • Anger
  • Increased irritability
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Crying
  • Avoiding people
  • Worrying/Anxiousness

To combat students increased stressed during the holiday, it is important to be proactive and plan ahead of time. The following are some de-stress strategies recommended by Stacey Ward, School Psychologist to help you plan:

  • Play or do something active/exercise
  • Listen to music/create a holiday playlist
  • Watch TV or play video games
  • Talk to a friend, relative or counselor
  • Keep lines of communication open
  • Acknowledge that stress exists
  • Writing in journal/poetry
  • Breath techniques
  • Get enough sleep
  • Plan fun activities

Additional Resources

  • Websites:
  • Books for Parents: Get out of My Life, But First Could You Drive Me and Cheryl to the Mall? A Parent’s Guide to the New Teenager by Anthony E. Wolf, Ph. D.
  • Book for Teens: Fighting Invisible Tigers: A stress Management Guide for Teenagers by Earl Hipp

Bernal E-Script Program

Join e-Script, shop and earn points! It’s free. Register your store cards to earn. Shop online or at local stores. Dine out or book travel. Earn automatically as you shop. Thousands of merchants that give back to schools. Visit

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Next Generation Science Standards

Thank you to all the families who turned out for a wonderful parent workshop featuring an Introduction to the Next Generation Science Standards! OGSD is committed to giving students the highest quality education in all subject areas, which includes training and workshops for teacher and community members surrounding the newest science standards, currently being adopted nationwide. We are VERY excited about what these new standards will mean for our students. To give a better idea of what changes are already underway in your child's classroom, please see the below chart:

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Parent-Teacher Conference Guide: Overall Tips

Parent ­teacher conferences are a constant throughout your child’s education. Not every conference in every school will be structured exactly the same; this guide is intended as a general reference point. There are a few key points that apply no matter your child’s age or grade level:

The first and most important step is your involvement. Attending the conference is essential to building a relationship with your child’s teacher, and opening lines of communication will show the school and your child that you care and are involved in his education. The act of attending meetings with your child’s teacher sends a message to your child that education is important. Building a partnership with your child’s teacher is a great way for both of you to support your child and each other. Conferences are also a good place to hear about any behavioral issues or learning difficulties that the teacher may notice, and it’s best to know of those concerns as soon as possible. If one parent or guardian can’t attend, ask the teacher ahead of time about arranging for a Skype or speaker­phone call, so everyone can be involved.

Be on time. Depending on your child’s age and number of teachers, you may have anywhere from 5­-20 minutes for the conference. Your time with the teacher is therefore limited and you should try to make the most of it. Try to keep in mind you are not the only parent the teacher is meeting with, and try to stay within your allotted time.

Be prepared for the meeting. Part of being prepared is knowing your child’s grades in advance of your meeting. Many teachers will have a website where you can check grades, assignments and tests (Bernal uses School Loop You may also want to look at the expectations for students at your child’s grade level, so you can discuss these with the teacher. You could consult our academic benchmarks or your local school’s website for a background on what your child should be learning. Ask your child beforehand how he thinks he’s doing in class and if he has any concerns.

Bring questions. It helps to write your thoughts down so you make sure you get to everything you’d like to cover. Because time is so limited, before you go into the meeting, prioritize what is on top of your list to address with the teacher. For example, you may want to know how your child is performing compared to her peers, or if there’s a particular subject where improvement is needed. Also, you should take notes during the meeting.

Let the teacher know you value her time and treat her with respect. Most conferences are held over the course of a day or two—meaning your child’s teacher will be in back­-to-­back meetings during this time. Each family has different concerns and questions for the teacher and it’s a long day. Try not to get offended or angry if she delivers bad news. Listen first, then talk. Thank the teacher for bringing up a problem and discuss ways in which you can solve it together. A good parent ­teacher relationship can help everyone better support your child’s learning.

Bring up anything that is happening at home that could affect your child’s behavior, learning, or participation in class. A divorce, illness or death in the family or of a family pet, financial issues, or other disruptions to your routine could all have an impact on your child.

Arrange a way to communicate going forward. Ask whether the teacher’s preferred method of communication is phone calls, emails or continued meetings. You should let it be known that you plan to be an active participant in your child’s academic achievement and you are available for further discussions. Your partnership with your child's teacher is most beneficial if it continues through the year, so you should maintain a relationship beyond the initial conference. This will help identify potential issues in your child’s learning or behavior and will make both you and the teacher feel comfortable bringing up ways to support your child’s education all year.

Lastly, ensure that a parent teacher conference discusses your student's progress not specific modifications or interventions. Some meetings where parents and teachers may discuss modifications or interventions may include Section 504 Plan meetings or Study Success Team meetings. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is part of the federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against public school students with disabilities. A 504 plan outlines how a child’s specific needs are met with accommodations and modifications. Keep in mind that a student with a 504 plan usually spends the entire school day in a general education classroom. The Student Success Team (SST) is a problem solving and coordinating structure that assists students, families, and teachers to seek positive solutions for maximizing student potential. The SST focuses in-depth on one student at a time, and invites the parent and student to participate in finding solutions/ interventions for student success.

~Counseling Department @ Bernal

Oak Grove Cultural Arts Expo

We are happy to announce that the annual Oak Grove School District Cultural Arts Expo is just around the corner. Be sure to mark Friday, February 3rd, 4:00-7:00 pm on your calendar. It will take place at the Edenvale Community Center, 330 Branham Lane East, San Jose CA 95111. We are excited to see what our talented artists from Oak Grove School District have created this year. There will be a display of visual and performing arts including singing, dancing, and musical performances by Oak Grove students. Food trucks will be present for you to enjoy! The event is free, but a $5 donation per family to support the arts will be greatly appreciated. Please be sure to attend!

Parent Volunteers Needed!

We would like the parent community to support the District in putting together this fantastic show. Please give us 2 hours of your time between 10 am and 4 pm on Thursday, February 2nd. We need help with mounting art work on to the display boards before the show and take down after the show on Friday, February 3rd. Please contact Raji Musinipally at or call (408) 227-8300, ext. 100263 to help.


On Monday, December 5th, all Bernal students will be participating in the Hour of Code in their science classes!

Over the last three years the Hour of Code has reached more than 100 million students in over 180 countries. Last year, we helped make this the largest learning event in history, with record participation from girls and underrepresented minorities.

Computers are changing every industry on the planet, and coding has become relevant to a wide range of high-paying jobs—even those outside the technology and engineering fields. For millions of students, the Hour of Code will be an inspiring introduction to this crucial 21st century skill.

Math and Reading Mid-Year Diagnostic Tests

During December 5th - January 6th, all Bernal students will be taking their mid-year iReady diagnostic tests in Math and Reading. These will take place during students' math and language arts classes. This mid-year diagnostic will give teachers, parents, and students an understanding of the progress each student has made, areas in need of improvement, and academic goals that can be set and achieved by the end of the school year.

Youth Coding Classes Offered at Santa Clara County Libraries

Youth Coding Classes are now being offered at SCCLD Libraries! As the Chair of the Santa Clara County Library District, I wanted to make coding more accessible to kids, especially to our under-served youth. An educated workforce serves everyone’s interests: better paying jobs when kids finish school and more local hiring. The earlier that a girl or boy can learn to code, the more ingrained these skills will be. We wouldn’t expect future doctors to take their first biology classes in college; why should tech workers wait to learn these fundamental skills until much later in their studies? They shouldn’t!

I am excited to announce that we are launching a robust offering of coding classes and events including Hour of Code, CodeF1rst, Girls Who Code, Introduction to Arduinos, Teen Hackathon/CU Hacks, Middle School Intro to Programming using Javascript, Miss CEO, Steam Robotics Classes, Java Coding Class, CoderDojo Coding Club and more.

Campbell Library:

  • Hour of Code: Wednesday, December 7th, at 5pm. During a coding class on artificial intelligence and game mechanics, participants will design their own version of the classic game Pong. There will also be an Atari Home Pong unit from 1975 for display and use for participants to play and compare their design with that of the original.

Cupertino Library:
  • CodeF1rst: Saturday, December 17th from 10a.m.—1p.m. Teen Program
  • Girls Who Code: meets weekly. Requires pre-registration. Every Thursday evening through February 2017
  • Introduction to Arduinos: Presented by the Cupertinker Space on February 5, 2017 and February 12, 2017 in the Library Story Room from 2-5 p.m.
  • Teen Hackathon/CU Hacks (once a year): Cupertino Library’s FREE hack-a-thon event for teenagers ages 14 – 19. A collaborative community event fostering STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) learning skills while providing teen coders first-hand experience in joining together in an engaging, interactive environment as they create beneficial applications. Coming Summer 2017.
  • Hour of Code: Cupertino’s Girls Who Code group will participate in the 2016 Hour of Code.

Gilroy Library:
  • Hour of Code: Wednesday, December 7th at 4p.m., Grades 3-6 join in on the fun! Use blocks of code to complete a fun challenge. Learn coding basics in just one hour. Sign up at the upstairs information desk (held annually).
  • Middle School Intro to Programming using Javascript: 6 week class, beginning January 11th at 4 p.m. Kids develop their own games, apps and website, learning coding experientially.
  • Miss CEO: Learn essential skills like networking, effective communication, negotiation and much more! The Miss CEO Gilroy Club is affiliated with Miss CEO, an international organization dedicated to empowering young women with the ultimate leadership toolkit, mentorship, and career exploration opportunities.
  • Steam Robotics classes: check Gilroy Library Events Calendar for dates.

Los Altos Library:
  • Los Altos Hour of Code: Monday Dec. 5 at 3:30 p.m.
  • SCRATCH class: December 19, 21, 22 and 27, 28, 29 at 3:30 p.m. (Scratch is a free programming language and online community where one can create interactive stories, games, and animations.
  • PYTHON in January 2017: January 14, 21, 28 at 4 p.m.: (Python, an open-source general-purpose interpreted programming language available for a broad range of operating systems.)
  • JAVA in March 2017: (a general-purpose computer programming language): – March 4, 11, 18, and 25 at 4 p.m.

Milpitas Library:
  • Hour of Code: Wednesday, December 7th at 4 p.m. in the Milpitas Computer Lab. (Middle School level)
  • Java Coding Class: December 3rd from 1:30-3 pm in the Milpitas Computer Lab. (taught by Math and Coding.)

Morgan Hill Library:
  • Hour of Code: Tuesday, December 6th at 4p.m.
  • More Coding Classes TBA. Contact library staff for details.

Saratoga Library:
  • Hour of Code: Wednesday, December 7, 2016, 1:00—2:00pm
  • CoderDojo Coding Club: an open learning environment featuring a different coding language at each table: Teens collaborate with others interested in the coding language they are interested in. They bring a project or start something new and help each other with projects. Adult mentors are available for assistance. Students 11 - 17 years of age/Teens bring their own laptop or borrow one from the library. Seating is limited, registration is required. Meets monthly on the third Sunday, but is currently on break for the holidays and will resume in January 2017.
  • Teen Hackathon - High school students sign up in groups of 3-5 on the library website. They put their programming skills to the test in an all-day hacking event and present their work to a panel of judges in the afternoon: The three best teams win a prize! This is a semi-annual event, planned again for March 2017.

For additional information on SCCLD Coding Classes or Computer Science related events, visit


12/2 - Crazy Day!

12/9 - Nike vs. Adidas Day!

12/16 - Holiday Day!

Boys Basketball Games (all games start at 3:45pm)

12/12 @ Bridges

12/13 Jamborees 7th @ Britton 8th @ South Valley

1/3 Herman @ Bernal

1/5 Russell @ Bernal

1/10 @ Brownell

1/11 South Valley @ Bernal

1/12 @ Valley Christian

1/19 @ Murphy

1/24 @Britton

1/26 Solorsano @ Bernal

1/31 Davis @ Bernal

2/7,8,9 Boys Playoff Dates @ TBA

Boys B Basketball Games

1/10 Bernal @ Davis

1/12 Herman @ Bernal

1/18 Bernal @ Herman

1/19 Davis @ Bernal

1/24 Christopher @ Bernal (Not confirmed yet)

Sweet Rendezvous - Bernal's HSA Ongoing Fundraiser

Thursday, Dec. 1st, 12-9pm

668 Blossom Hill Road

San Jose, CA

Bernal's Home & School Association has an ongoing fundraiser at Sweet Rendezvous. Go enjoy a sweet treat to support Bernal every 1st Thursday of each month all day long!

Open Daily 12:00 – 9:00 PM

Phone: (408) 225 – 5004

Hispanic Parent Meeting

Tuesday, Dec. 6th, 6-7:30pm

6610 San Ignacio Avenue

San Jose, CA


Friday, Dec. 9th, 2:45-5pm

6610 San Ignacio Avenue

San Jose, CA

Band Winter Concert

Tuesday, Dec. 13th, 6-9pm

6610 San Ignacio Avenue

San Jose, CA


School will be closed for winter break from 12/17-1/2.

School will resume TUESDAY, JANUARY 3rd.


Parent Information Night: OGSD Educational Choice Faire Options for Parents (6:30‐7:00) College‐Making It Happen (7:00‐8:00)

Tuesday, Jan. 10th 2017 at 6:30-8pm

5955 Blossom Avenue

San Jose, CA