The Orion Gazette

September 13-September 17

School Calendar


Sep 14 6:30-8 pm Community Dialogue "Building a Positive School Culture Part 1" via zoom

Sep 16 Starship PTO Meeting 7:30 pm

Sep 17 Mid-Autumn Festival

Sep 17 Picture Day for grades k-2

Sep 24 Picture Day for grades 3-5

Sep 24 Ice Cream Social

Sep 28 6:30-8 pm Community Dialogue "Building a Positive Schoool Culture Part 2" via zoom

Sep 29 9:00am Virtual Principal Coffee

Picture Day coming soon

Dear Families,

Picture Day is an annual right of passage for school-age students. We will hold picture day over two different sessions with a make-up date in November.

Pictures will be taken by professional photographers from Life Touch.

The photographers all wear masks and complete a daily health screening while working on site.

The student pictures will be taken inside the cafeteria with all of the doors open along with the air system using hospital-grade filters.

Students will have the option to leave their masks on or take them off during the 30 seconds the photographer takes the picture. Students will approach the photographer with their masks on. The Life Touch photographer prepares the camera and then asks the student to remove the mask for the photograph. The student will put on the mask back on right away.

Please see the Life Touch Bilingual flyer for specific details for picture day this month.

If you do not want your child to participate in Picture Day, please email the classroom teacher.

Stable seating assignments for safety

Dear Families,

Starting this week the students will learn and eat in stable groups by classrooms in order to ensure we can accurately identify and notify any possible close contacts in the event a student or staff has a positive COVID19 test result. This is a change in routine since the start of the year. We will communicate and practice this change with our students so they feel comfortable with the new routine.

What does this look like for Orion students?

Classroom: students have assigned seating groups at their desks and on the carpet

Recess and lunch:

Students will sit with a stable group of classmates from their classroom at the picnic tables


Students can play with students outside from different classrooms and from different grade levels.

Orion Alternative - Building a Positive School Culture Part 1

Last school year we started a series of community dialogues to develop a positive school culture at Orion Alternative School with two unique and innovative programs. We will continue with 2 more sessions this month in collaboration with our partner, National Urban Alliance. The purpose and vision of our community dialogues are to develop goals that support each program in order to thrive and grow in the same space.

Building a Positive School Culture Part 1

Tuesday, Sep. 14th, 6:30-8pm

This is an online event.

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 829 0129 0338 Passcode: orion1

School Folder

This year our communications department for RCSD will be working with each school site to develop a new logo for each school site. Our new Principal Campus Advisory Committee will work with our communications department on this task.

In the meantime, we will start this Monday by sending home a school/classroom communications folder when papers need to go home to families.

We have moved almost entirely to online communications, but everyone once in a while a paper form will go home on a Monday.

The photo of the Monday folder is shown here.

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Español – Foro de padres #13 De Regreso a la Escuela y la Socialización de los Hijos

The Sequoia Healthcare District sponsors a Parent Forum only for Spanish-speaking parents in our community. This forum will address some issues that may worry parents about their schools.

This is an amazing resource for Spanish-speaking parents and the topics are culturally sensitive and attuned to the Latinx mindset and mental health approach.

Español – Foro de padres #13

De Regreso a la Escuela y la Socialización de los Hijos

Edwin Fernandez, LCSW, One Life Counseling Center

Michelle Remond, Enlace Comunitario, Distrito Escolar de Redwood City (RCSD)

Martes, 21 de septiembre de 2021, 5:30pm - 6:30pm, Evento en vivo (seminario web)

Enlace de zoom:

Muchos estudiantes han estado expuestos a traumas, interrupciones en el aprendizaje, aislamiento físico y desconexión de la escuela y sus compañeros, lo que afecta negativamente su salud mental, académica, y funcionamiento en general.

Una manera de regresar a la nueva normalidad y apoyar a los estudiantes a adaptarse a esto es apoyándolos en el regreso a la escuela y ayudándoles a socializarse de una manera segura. En esta charla, compartiremos consejos para ayudar a nuestros hijos a sentirse más seguros en la escuela y socializándose.

¡Padres y cuidadores bienvenidos! Entrada gratis. El Foro de Padres es una iniciativa del Sequoia Healthcare District, en asociación con RCSD y The Parent Venture.

Preguntas? Póngase en contacto con Charlene Margot, MA, cofundadora y directora ejecutiva de The Parent Venture, o Michelle Remond, RCSD, Enlace comunitario,, texto 650-218-7853

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Starship Update


9/16 Starship PTO Meeting 7:30 pm

9/17 Mid-Autumn Festival

9/24 Ice Cream Social

Lunchtime Library Support: Volunteers Needed

Our library is open and students can visit this wonderful place during their lunch break. We need volunteers to help supervise the line as kids wait their turn to enter (as there is a limited number allowed to enter due to Covid precautions).

The Library is tucked away from the playground so we are looking for volunteers who can help supervise the line since lunch duties cannot help with this. Come help us! Volunteers are needed from 12-1. While you supervise, you are welcome to set up an activity table or read stories to our children. Please make sure that you have submitted your volunteer paperwork and have received clearance from the district. Thank you for your help!

Starship Updates

Here are important Starship PTO updates for this week! Check out our website for important links and updates

Special Election: Starship Meeting 9/16 7:30pm

Claudia Martinez-Starship PTO Vice President

Claudia has been nominated to fill our 3rd VP position. Claudia has been with John Gill/Orion for 9 years and is responsible for growing Los Dichos into the amazing program it is. We are so lucky to have her join the leadership team. Please join us at our first meeting to vote her in!

Our first meeting is this week and we are excited to keep the momentum going and continue the planning for an amazing school year. In addition to our special election, we will provide an overview of our Event Calendar and Fundraising Goals and share lots of opportunities to get involved. Please join us!

Meeting ID: 810 8729 1065

Passcode: 795103

Mid-Autumn Festival Twilight Gathering Friday, September 17th 6-8 pm, Stafford Park:

Join our school-wide community for a gathering to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, a time-honored tradition that started over 2,000 years ago to mark the autumn harvest according to the Lunar calendar. Families will enjoy mooncakes and lanterns, and we'll also have craft supplies for kids to decorate lanterns. Feel free to bring a dinner picnic for yourselves, or individually packaged treats to share.

Join the fun at the 35th Annual Orion Campout 10/8-10/11, Memorial Park:

Join this fun weekend event getting to know other families in a beautiful natural setting. Bring your tent or trailer and camp a night or three, or just come for the day. Families are responsible for their own camping equipment and meals.Sign-ups due September 16th:

QUESTIONS: Tanaya Mills - - 650-430-9320

Donate to Starship PTO

See Flyer below for more detail about our Fundraising this year! We need to raise $105k dollars this year for ALL of our exciting resources. Your donations make it possible. Starship Orion is a 501(c)(3) non-profit recognized by the IRS with EIN 94-3179780. We are registered with Benevity for easy company matching. Please check with your employer!

We suggest donation levels that fit your family's budget. We encourage families to be as generous as possible and donations in any amount are welcome and appreciated!

Paypal Link for Donations:

Traffic Volunteers Needed

To keep the drop-off and pick running smoothly parent volunteers are needed. Please sign up on Konstella for the Safety Traffic Committee and sign up for a traffic duty spot here.

Join the Halloween Committee!

Halloween is around the corner and we want to make this year extra festive for our students. We will have to modify our traditional Halloween Carnival given the current limitations but there are lots of ways we can make the season fun. Please sign up on Konstella to join the planning committee and look for school-wide signups coming soon.

Additional Volunteer Opportunities

Please see Konstella for sign-ups!

Pick up your volunteer form in the school office. Email questions

Here are the steps to getting cleared if you are not yet, or need TB test updating

Volunteer Requirements

Thank you to all of our teachers for hosting a great back-to-school night last week! Here are the slides from Principal Katherine’s Presentation which includes the Starship intro and welcome.

Remember all parents, teachers, and staff is automatically members of Starship PTO. Questions or ideas?